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Hot Keys
Every unit command has a hot key, or keyboard shortcut, associated with it. Holding the cursor over any unit command button will display the name of the command. Note that one of the letters appears in Yellow-- this is the hot key for that command. Using hot keys for special abilities, attacking, and construction can save a lot of time.

Follow
If you have a unit or a group of units selected, you can order it to follow another unit by right-clicking on a friendly or neutral unit to be followed. This is handy to move large forces that cannot be selected in one group. Unless the leader decides to attack, units will only follow and will not acquire units to attack on their own. If the leader chooses to attack and the followers are within range, they will break command and engage in the attack with the leader.

You can tell a unit to follow another unit by selecting a unit, then right-clicking on the unit that you want it to follow. You can then tell another unit to follow the unit that was told to follow the first unit. Still with me? You can then daisy chain a group of units, telling each unit to follow another one, until you have a long group following one unit. Then, you need only to control the main leader of the line to direct the strung out targets to their destination. This can allow you to control over 12 units (the selection limit) at one time.

Following is useful in scouting. This is especially the case when you want to follow a unit you cannot attack. For example, if you have a Goblin Zeppelin and you see an Orc Grunt you want to follow, you can order the Goblin Zeppelin to follow him by right-clicking on him with the Zeppelin selected. Undead players can select a Shade and right-click on an enemy Hero to make the Shade follow the enemy Hero wherever it goes.

When moving a number of units through a tight area, you will notice the rear units will never move. The computer assumes the middle units are never going to move and gives up because there is no route. Click on the destination until the rear units start moving, and they will as soon as the middle units move.

The computer doesn't count moving units as obstacles (unless next to them). A unit will remain stopped looking for a route for about two seconds before giving up and remaining stationary.

Selecting Multiple Units
In addition to dragging a box around multiple units to select more than one unit, you can select multiple units of the same type by holding the Ctrl key and left-clicking on one unit. You can also select multiple units of the same type by double-clicking on a unit. All other units on the screen of the same type will be selected.

Adding Units to a Group
To add units to a group, hold down the Shift key and left-click on the desired unit while you have your group selected. The unit will then be added to your group. To drop a unit from a group, select your group, then press Shift and left-click on the unit.

Idle Worker (Peon)
The number of any Idle Workers that exist in the field is displayed by an icon in the lower left-hand side of the main view screen, above the minimap. Clicking this icon will automatically select and cycle through your idle workers. Pressing the F8 key also achieves the same function. Give them commands to either harvest Gold or chop Lumber to remove this icon.

It is also possible to press the tilde (~) key to select and cycle through idle workers.

Cycling Through Multiple Town Halls
If you have more than one Town Hall or its equivalent, you can quickly cycle through them by pressing the Backspace key. Each instance of Backspace will center your view on a Town Hall.

Last Transmission
Whenever you hear a unit transmission, such as "We're under attack!" or "Building complete," etc., press the Space Bar to center the screen on the location of the last transmission. This comes in very handy, especially in the case of a unit being completed.

Pressing the Space Bar multiple times will cycle through a history of unit transmissions for up to 8 transmissions. This can allow you to reach an older unit transmission that you may have missed.

Control Groups
Managing an army in the thick of battle can be a burdensome endeavor. In a particularly large skirmish, it might be hard to find your troops and select them with the mouse. To better manage your armies, you can organize them into command groups. You can have up to 12 units in a group. Once you have formed a group, you can set it to a number by pressing Ctrl plus a number key from 0 to 9. If you need to recall that group again, you can press the number corresponding to that group. Pressing the number key twice in quick succession centers your view on the group.

Careful use of control groups can be vital to building up your forces during the heat of battle, and being able to rapidly respond to unexpected attacks.

By assigning a control group to your Town Hall or Great Hall, you can quickly center on your town by pressing the group key twice. It also allows you to quickly select the building and begin training a new worker. For example, if you have a Town Hall set to group 1, you can press 1 then P to train a new Peasant without pulling your attention away from whatever you're currently doing.

You can also use control groups to assign groups of the same buildings. You can assign all of your Barracks to a single key.

You can also use control groups to assign groups of specific units that you want to find and control easily, such as groups of Grunts, spell casters, or flying units. etc. Use it on spell casters so they will be easier to find.

You cannot assign a group of towers to a control group with other buildings in the mix.

Sub Groups
Warcraft III gives you an unprecedented amount of control over your grouped units. When you select multiple units together, all units of the same type are grouped together in your unit card display. Each grouping of like units in a larger group is called a subgroup. Subgroups are generally ordered from left-to-right according to Heroes, spellcasters, and units with abilities, with pure melee units being last.

The mini portraits of your currently selected subgroup are always highlighted and larger than the portraits of unselected subgroups. You can select the next subgroup by pressing the Tab button. To select the previous subgroup, press Shift plus Tab. By Shifting to different subgroups within a group, you can use their special abilities or spells without ever having to deselect the group as a whole.

You can use "special" commands for individual units without having to deselect your group.

  • When multiple unit types are in a group, any basic order (Move, Attack, etc) given to group will be completed by the entire group.
  • You will also have a subgroup selected. This means one unit TYPE will have his special commands available in your command card (spells, inventory, etc). If you use one of these buttons only the units with that ability will use the command.
  • Pressing Tab will select the next subgroup (i.e. next subgroup of lesser or equal priority)
  • Pressing Shift-Tab will select the previous subgroup (i.e. previous subgroup of greater or equal priority)
  • The portrait model will change to represent the selected subgroup. This way you can always tell which subgroup is active.
  • Subgroups are sorted by priority, with the highest priority units being placed first, and lowest being placed last.
You can select your subgroup in the info card. When units of different types are group selected, you will see which unit type is in a subgroup by the size and highlight of the unit's portrait. To select a new subgroup, LEFT-click a new unit type (you will see all these units now have a big portrait and highlight). To select an individual unit, you must first select that unit type (to subgroup them) and then Left-click on the unit portrait.

If you have multiple casters in a subgroup and give them the command to cast a spell, only ONE of the casters will be given the order to cast the spell. For example, if you had 3 Sorceresses selected and wanted them to cast 2 Polymorphs on different targets, this would be extremely easy to do without having to break subgroup.

You can cast spells on units in subgroups by casting or selecting a spell and LEFT click on a unit portrait that in the group selection. Example: Your subgroup contains a Lich and some Ghouls. Press Tab until the Lich shows up. LEFT click on Frost Armor then Left click on a Ghoul in the status window subgroup.

Heroes are sorted by level. The highest level Hero will always sort the highest in your group selection.

Units with "de-buffs" on them will display with a red miniportrait in your infocard.

Units with a item in their backpack are split from other units of the same type that don't carry any item. For example, if you have 4 Grunts in a group, as soon as one of them takes an item from the ground or at a shop, your Grunts will be split into two subgroups. If a second Grunt also takes an item, then you'll have three subgroups (1 Grunt with item A ; 1 Grunt with item B ; 2 Grunts with no items in their backpack). There is a second case of "de-grouping", if you have 5 Spirit Walkers in your Control Group, and you turn 2 of them into Corporeal Form, you'll then have them in two separated subgroups. (and if some of them carry items, it could lead to up to 5 separated sub-groups)

Subgroup Control Key
Holding down the Ctrl key while issuing an order only gives the order to the highlighted subgroup. This feature is very handy for using concentrated firepower and moving Heroes into and out of battle without breaking your selection. This key must be enabled in the options menu: Options --> Gameplay --> Subgroup Order modifier key;!
Group Select
You can group select up to 12 units.

You can target spells on units in your selection group. This works fantastic for healing spells. Next time you have a Paladin with Holy Light don't bother targeting units on the screen (unless you want to), instead target the spell on the unit portrait in your group selection.

To add units to a selected group of units hold down Shift and left-click on them.

Formations
Units are automatically placed in formations when units are group selected and moved about the map. Formation behavior ensures groups arrive at destinations together (rather than single file) and has the appropriate units in the front. Melee units are typically placed up front followed by ranged units such as Archers, then spellcasters and Siege Units.

Bypassing Formations
When a group of units is given the Move command, they will all move in formation, occasionally pausing along the way to let slower units move into position to maintain the integrity of the formation. If you instead want the units to move to a location at best possible speed, you may hold down the Alt button while right-clicking on their destination.

The F1-F3 Keys
The F1-F3 Function keys can be used to move the screen to the player's Heroes. When Heroes are created, they are assigned a function key (up to F3). You can see which key is used for each Hero by mousing over the Hero's portrait in the top left of the screen. Pressing the function key once selected the Hero. Pressing it again moves the screen to the Hero's location.

If an allied player drops, F4-F6 Function keys will be assigned to your ally's heroes.

Inventory Hot Keys
Use the number keypad as hot keys for items: keys 7 & 8 correspond to slots 1 and 2, keys 4 & 5 correspond to slots 3 and 4, and keys 1 & 2 correspond to slots 5 and 6.

Setting Waypoints
Warcraft III allows you to guide units along using waypoints. Select the units, then hold down Shift. While holding Shift down, select Attack then while continuing to hold down Shift, repeatedly select attack and click on each point on either the mini-map or main screen you want the units to travel to. When you are done, release Shift. You can also do the same thing by right-clicking on the map, but that will issue a Move order instead. As your forces are traveling to the various waypoints, they will not stop or respond to any attacks on them. Move should only be used if you don't think the units will be attacked.

  • Setting waypoints is very useful when scouting by air. Select an air unit, then set a waypoint at each resource spot. The flyer will head off to each resource spot. This is very good when used with Goblin Zeppelins and Dwarven Flying Machines.

  • Use Waypoints to guide your troops through difficult areas.

  • There is a limit of 35 Waypoints that you can use.

  • Waypoints will display graphically on the screen.
Queuing Commands
Assigning waypoints and queuing commands are effectively the same thing. To queue commands, hold down the Shift button, and issue commands to the unit, clicking on the mini-map or on the main screen. When you have issued all your commands, release the Shift key. Each unit is capable of queuing several commands at once singly or when group selected. You can queue most commands such as left-clicking, right-clicking, Stop, Attack, Hold Position, Move, Patrol, and Load/Unload. There is a limited number of commands that can be queued-- you will receive a message indicating when you have reached that Queue limit.

For example:
Command a Peasant to build then harvest Lumber. Hold down Shift and select the building you want to build and click where you want it built. Then, right-click on Lumber. When the Peasant is done building, he will start harvesting Lumber.

Queuing Enemy Targets: It can be very useful to queue up a list of targets for ranged attackers. This can allow you to move your focus elsewhere letting the ranged units fight on their own. Simply select the group of ranged units, hold down Shift and hit A for attack (or right-click) and select all the enemy units you want to attack. Now release Shift and let them go. Make sure that your ranged units don't chase an enemy if the enemy commander tries to lead your army away. You may also find this useful for Creeping.

Queuing Units
It can be helpful to group select similar unit producing buildings then assign them to a hot key. Then when you want to create units simply hit 1 (or whatever number you assign it to) then the hot key of the unit you wish to train.

Queuing Units and Upgrades
You can queue both units and upgrades at the same time. Simply select a unit, then click on an upgrade, then click on another unit. That way you can tell a unit producing building to research an upgrade, then go back to making units again.

Health Bars
You can display the Health Bars of units and buildings on screen by holding down the Alt key.

"[" can be used to display the Health Bars for only your (friendly) units and buildings only, and "]" can be used to display the Health Bars for only your enemy units and buildings (and hostile neutral units as well)

Zoom
To zoom in your view and see the screen from a ground perspective, roll your mouse wheel forward. To pull back for a more bird's eye view, roll your mouse wheel backward. You can also press the Page Up and Page Down keys on your keyboard.

Rotate Camera
Hold down insert to rotate view 90 degrees left and hold delete to rotate view 90 degrees right. Letting go of the key will snap the view back to center.


Select Unit
Certain buildings such as Neutral buildings have a Select Unit button. Click it, then select the Hero or unit you want to use to activate or use the building. Right-clicking the Hero or unit does the same thing.

Automatically Bypassing the Creeps
Have you experienced problems where units suicide themselves into the Creeps as they are trying to reach your hero? You can solve this by using building way points to steer around the Creep camps. This is sometimes easier or safer than clearing the creeps or manually moving units around them.

  1. Select the unit producing building(s) and right-click on an area in your town or past the first area you want to avoid
  2. Now hold down shift and continue to right click to create way points on the minimap.
  3. While continuing to hold the shift button, finally right-click on your Hero's portrait and release the shift button.
If you did this correctly, newly created units will now follow the way points to your Hero while avoiding the Creep camps. After reaching the last way point, the units will finally head toward your Hero. You will have to continue to modify these way points throughout the game as your Hero heads around the map. If you do not change the way points, units will follow the way points off into nowhere before coming back to your Hero or may wander into other Creep camps depending on your Hero's location.




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Unit Commands
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