Custom Hotkeys Guide

From Liquipedia Warcraft Wiki

There are over 50 Hotkeys spread across the keyboard in WC3, and with the Default Hotkeys Setup each race is different. The main ones are the Spell & Action Commands in the bottom corner like: A for Attack, B for Build, F for farm, P for Peon, M for Move, and many more for each unit and spell. Other Hotkeys include Unit # Grouping Modifiers (Ctrl, shift, tab, etc), and the Inventory Items (on the Numpad).

The more you move the mouse to click those Command icons, the less your focusing on your Unit Micro. This guide will help improve increase your APM (Actions Per Minute) accuracy and efficiency with Customkeys.txt and AHK. This is NOT considered cheating or hacking.

Example image of custom hotkeys

Alternate Spell & Action Commands[edit]

In the example image above, you can see how Improved Hotkeys differ from other common setups. Most people know the Grid Align Setup but, I do not like those because it sets the spells to ZXCV. I fixed it around so the spells are now QWER, Attack/Stop/Hide remain A/S/D and move is Z (for Zurround!) it's the same for every race, hero and units, great for playing random! This way is more like LoL or HotS with unit spells closer to the # keys, and it works well with inventory item switcher too

You can get these Customkeys.txt here from the Download button on Pastebin between raw and embed, right-click choose Save As make sure to place it in your Documents\Warcraft III\CustomKeyBindings\ folder  -OR-  C:\Program Files\Warcraft III\  depending on your version, and in the WC3 game Options menu click Enable Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Compatibility with Custom Games might not be 100% for DotA try this

CustomKeys Generator[edit]

There is also a generator for hero und unit hotkeys only, which can be found here

Inventory Items & Other Hotkeys[edit]

Since WC3 is a bit older, some of the Hotkeys were ignored and left out from Customkeys.txt so you have to use something like AutoHotkey for Inventory Items, it's the same as Warkey but lets you swap ANY key, swap inventory hotkeys so T = TownPortal G = Potion etc, also disables WinKey or Alt+QQ from closing game, and NumLock pauses the Script on/off for chat.

Read instructions carefully: First install AHK from its quick and easy. Copy my TXT script over to a new AHK file, or download and rename to .AHK instead of .TXT then place it in your WC3 folder and create shortcut on desktop, right-click on shortcut properties to Run as Admin. You should probably get Customkeys.txt first.

  • Inventory Items .AHK script set to TYGHBN
  • Or alternative Inventory Keys set to Alt+QWEASD
  • Another set instead of Numlock use F5 to Pause
  • Or use Spacebar or Shift instead of Alt (just edit lines near bottom of script)


AHK can do a lot of cool things like swap mouse buttons too, helps if you have a multi-button mouse. My favorite is swap Ctrl with the Spacebar, I left this as optional incase some people didn't want it, but you just have to go to the bottom of the AHK script and edit the following lines

  • Xbutton2::Numpad7 <--(extra mouse button)
  • MButton::Tab <--(middle mouse button)
  • Space::Ctrl (just read the last few lines of the script)
  • Theres even some "QuickChat" msgs if you press the Numpad #s in game


An even easier way to rebind the inventory hotkeys is to use the W3Champions launcher which provides a customisable menu for this task (the launcher must be kept running in the background, however).

Tips on Unit Group Formations[edit]

Positioning techniques are vital to winning battles. Microing in small narrow areas is not easy, if Ranged units are infront or blocking Melee units, you could lose to a weaker army. Auto-Formation (Alt+F) can be switched Off/On. Most players keep Formation Off so units move faster across the map. If you have Formation On you will not be able to retreat as quickly, but Formation is helpful at certain points of attack.

It's better to attack creeps from a distance, pull them back to reduce HP loss and prevent creepjacks.

You must manually set your Group #keys using Ctrl. Always add units and buildings to a # when constructing. You can use the building #s to train units while attacking or creeping, without moving the screen back to your base.

Every player Groups their units differently. Some people use the F1-F3 keys to select their heros, other players set their heros to a #. Here are some common methods for # Groups:

Basic -OR- Advanced
Group #1= Tier 1 units 1= Melee units
#2= Tier 2 2= Range/Air
3= Tier 3 3= Caster/siege
4= Workers(militia/burrow,etc) 4/5= Other (for big army)
5= Tier1buildings 6/7= Workers(militia/burrow,etc)
6= Tier2/3 bldg 8= Tier2/3 bldg
0= Altar 9= Tier1buildings
0= Altar
Additional Keys include:
  ~  = Idle worker Backspace= Town hall(s)
Tab=Choose units in selected group and Space= View recent alerts

Thats just a general idea, use what you feel comfortable with. With over 12 in one group, combine some or change it up depending on strat and army size. Try different variations, but never mix melee with siege. You can also use 4 as air and 5 as siege, but thats a lot of keys and you probably don't need that many groups.


To complete the set, I created a list of all other hotkeys

Heres a detailed guide on basics for beginners

And for fun, the history of WarCraft

If you have any questions please contact me on Reddit and I'll try to help, I know some people don't like switching hotkeys but, just give it a few days of practice to sink in I hope these help glhf :)

Alternate Download Mirror (incase the other links dont work)

- Created by WTVR @ USEast and last edited on May 28, 2017