In the Starcraft
community, APM stands for Actions Per Minute. A long time ago, someone made a program that analyzed Starcraft
replays and it seemed relatively useless. That changed during the Starcraft World Dream Tour
to find out if someone cheated by getting a Korean
pro to play in his stead. The World Dream Tour
was hosted by the professional Starcraft
playing team, the Dream team, where for an entrance fee of twenty dollars you could enter a challenging tournament and win a two way ticket to Korea
and stay with the Dream team for atleast three months and live as a Starcraft
pro, get exposure, which, if you do well, could allow you to continue past three months. The tournament was for non-Koreans
because they wanted to find the best non-Korean
player, other than the ones in the Dream team, and the prize really would not be a prize to a Korean
This caused a lot of surprising repurcussions in the community. First off, it revealed that the World Dream Tour was a scam. This was because the "winner" could not surpass about 150 APM and the player in his stead had around 323 APM, which is very hard to do and only achieved by practice with insane clicking for a long time.
The other repurcussion was a new obsession in the Starcraft community. It was a somewhat accurate way to measure speed, and many in the community acted as if it were the way of measuring skill, rather than the one who wins the game. People with one hundred actions per minute were called newbies, anything above two hundred and fifty was praised. Now people have cooled off on it ... somewhat.
Some points of interest:
- The highest APM for a game (without pointless actions), was around 500.
- Someone who has had the game for a week usually has 20 APM. Experienced players have around 60-80, anyone above 80 has improved speed through effort and not experience. The average speed of a good player is probably around 140. Most Korean pros are in the 200-350 range, most non-Korean pros go from 110-300. People with 80 APM have often beaten people with around 300 APM. 80 seems to be the cut off point, anything below seems insufficient to multitask (a key skill in Starcraft) vs. someone over 150 APM. There are always exceptions, to all of this.
- A replay analyser was made for Warcraft III a while after it became popular in Starcraft. As many guessed, Warcraft players are slow! Although some of this is due to improvements in Warcraft that make management more convenient, during hot points like battles, Warcraft players are far slower, and it has nothing to do with the easier interface. The only exception seems to be from ex-Starcraft players.
- As a result of this analysis, players in both games have significantly raised their speed.
You can get the programs for both games at http://mapage.noos.fr/bwchart/. At http://www.wgtour.com, in the Starcraft section, you can find the APM analysis charts under their Game of the Day, and currently in their World Game Tour Speed ladder games (WSL), you just need to download an adobe application first.