How To Play SC2 Like A Pro (Setup & Settings)

Let me paint a picture, players come out on stage, they shake hands and they go to their stations and begin setting up. Uh oh, we got a delay and the match can’t start because something isn’t right. You see it’s so important that a player’s setup is the perfect environment or it could cost them the game. When people started, they will run with the default or let some software choose what’s optimal. But StarCraft 2 is over 10 years old and Pro Players have done a lot of the work on what a good setup looks like. Pros aim to get the best performance while keeping distractions to a minimum. There’s no reason not to take advantage of that. 

OUTSIDE OF THE GAME

Let’s talk about outside of the game first Starting with keyboards, You’re going to want a mechanical Ten Keyless Keyboard. Tenkeyless gives you a lot more room to move your mouse and it’s easier to pack when travelling. Korean Pro Players, plus Scarlett and Special use keyboards from Leopold.

Right now everyone’s rocking the Leopold FC 750R . It has sturdier keycaps and enthusiast features right out of the box. But its rival, the Filco Majestouch 2 has also made an appearance in the Korean scene over the years.

Ok, so mice, optical. Anything else is begging for a harder life. Many top pros in StarCraft own a Logitech G Pro. In the past, wired was your only choice but Serral can be seen using the Logitech G Pro X Superlight Wireless.

I ANNOUNCE TO YOU, that the technology is here and it’s Logitech, a wireless mouse that’s not only lightweight but matches the latency of a wired mouse.

Monitors naturally vary across the pro spectrum but there are some key specs that are consistent. Pros often use monitors that are similar in size and refresh rate to the ones they’ll use when playing on the big stages. We’re looking at 24″, with nothing less than 144 hz, with some sporting 240 hz monitors.

Hertz is the measure of the refresh rate, referring to how many times per second the display is able to draw a new image.

The monitor that you’re likely to see on a pro’s desk at the making of this video is either the LG Ultra Gear Twenty Four GL Six 600F used by GSL or the Benq Zowie XL 2540 used by ESL.

REMEMBER… to be able to hit the high refresh rate, your system needs to be outputting enough FPS. Audio equipment is so understated in StarCraft 2 because… it’s not a team game. But it’s still important to hear the directions of game effect sounds.

So get this, on stage, Pro players need to wear headphones provided by the organizer and it pumps white noise so they don’t hear the commentators or live crowds. So that means to hear the sound they’ve got to use wired earbud… and noise-cancelling to drown out the white noise being pumped at them. For example, Scarlett uses a Bose QC20 and Zest uses a Razer Hammerhead.

INGAME SETTINGS

If you’ve ever seen the player’s Point of view during a tournament, you might have noticed the game doesn’t look as nice as it possibly could be. Really, they must have a PC that could run the game at max settings right?

WELL they do

In the early days, reducing your settings was all about getting max frame rates, and reducing the possibility of lag game spikes but an advantage that has stuck around is getting rid of unnecessary distractions And THAT’S what we are going to do here

Many of the in game settings can be set to personal preference but here we’ll focus only on specific changes from the default needed for competitive play. If I don’t mention it, it probably doesn’t need to be touched.

Graphics

When it comes to graphics Remember the goal is to maximise FPS without putting yourself at a disadvantage in game play.

Vertical Sync:

locks your Monitor Frame Rate to the Frame Rate of your GPU in order to elimiate Screen Tearing. This option comes at the cost of your Game’s FPS.

The graphics section affect how certain units and effects appear on screen. Making certain units effects easier to identify.

Graphics and Textures:

  1. Set Graphic Quality to Medium. with this many of choices will be set correctly with some exceptions
  2. Set Shaders to Medium or High. ( high lets you see better when units are warping in)
  3. Set Textures Quality – Either Medium or High(best balance between blurry and sharp textures).
  4. Set Unit Portraits: 2D
  5. Set Physics – Off
  6. Set Post Processing – Low

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse

Mouse sensitivity: Enable

Mouse sensitivity: 51% to avoid your mouse from skipping pixels and frames

Keyboard

Disable Windows key : Enabled to prevent you from knocking yourself out of a game by accident

Scrolling

Drag Scroll Speed: 50 – 79 with 69 being a good test then tweak

Mouse Scroll Speed & Keyboard Scroll – Many pros will set to around 69 but some Pros Like Serral and Maru will set to around 15 – 30 to make their mouse drag scroll smoother.

Gameplay

User Interface

Show Alert: Enable

Enable Simple Command Card: Disabled

Enemy unit selection: Enable

Show unit life bar: Always or damaged

Control Group : Unclickable

Show Flyer helper: Always

Experience points: Enable*

Experience points can be unnecessary most of the time, but it allows you to see whether the cloak unit is destroyed. For example, opponent burrowed a Widow Mine in your mineral line, and you attack the Supply Depot next to the Widow Mine with your Hellion to kill it. The experience points indicator allows you to know whether it is destroyed.

Social

  • Auto-join play mode chat : Disabled cause no one got time for that
  • Set Status to Busy when Playing a game : On

Hotkeys

  • Hotkeys can very among pro players with many pros opting to using the standard hotkeys and then customizing key buttons.
  • The key principles here is to move your keys to the left hand side, and select keys that don’t’ have you moving your hand too much.
  • Lastly on Hotkeys you’ll want to set up Rapid Fires, this allows you take advantage of your keyboard repeat rate to use abilities, build units and buildings in rapid succession.
  • Click Create a Profile and give it a name
  • Click Global
  • Unit Management
  • Click Choose Ability or A.I Target
  • Click “Add Alternate” and choose a key or an ability you use for your hotkeys
  • Since you can only add one from the menu you’ll need to add others to manually
  • Jump out of the game
  • Go to Documents > StarCraft II > Accounts > Your Account Number > Hotkeys
  • Right Click on the file named as your hotkey profile and click “open with” and select notepad
  • Under Hotkeys you’ll see “TargetChoose” at the end add a comma and add other capital letters that correspond to your abilities, buildings or units you want to rapid fire separated by commas. Save and Restart StarCraft
  • If you’ve modified your hotkeys from standard, watch out which keys you bind here in rapid fire and not overlapping on key you don’t want rapid fired

 

Alright that’s it…

In the end, you’re going to have to put your own spin on your setup and customize it to yourself as a player.

But after what we just went through you should have at LEAST a baseline from where to take your pro setup…

So Good Luck & Have Fun

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