Some questions

Hey guys, I played a little back in the day and now I’m just getting back into DE. I’m trying to get as good as I can at this game, so I want to be mindful some things that I feel are very important.

  1. Legacy vs. Default Hotkeys:

Ofc, as a returning player I’m more comfortable with the legacy hotkeys. However, I saw the potential in the default ones due to its consistency among units/buildings. So, I gave the default hotkeys a try. Aside from playing slowly (very) while getting used to them, I didn’t like them so much because they didn’t allow me to set other hotkeys to any of the letters on the left hand side of the keyboard. I understand I could just assign a new key over the default, but that would essentially break the system of what the default hotkeys are. In addition, I noticed that a lot of the hotkey combinations that I’d often use together were far away from each other. For example, I like my “select TC” hotkey to be right next my “build villager” hotkey. I play a lot of brits so my “select barracks” key I like to be next to “build musk”.

That’s my experience. What are your thoughts? What do most people do? What do pros do? What’s the consensus?

  1. I understand I can use a hotkey to “find” a building, which would select the building and bring my screen right to it. Or, I can “select” a building, which would do only that, but not move my screen. I’ve mostly been using the “select” method while manually clicking around the mini map or scrolling in order to move my view.

Again, is this what higher level players recommend? What are your guys’ thoughts on this?

  1. I want to set my barracks hotkey to a letter rather than a number. Is there a way to do this?

  2. Although the “default” hotkey setup (as opposed to legacy) didn’t feel so good to me, the one thing I liked was that it had hotkeys for things that I had never set a hotkey to before, Such as crackshot or melee mode for the Euro explorer. I couldn’t find a way to set these hotkeys under the Legacy hotkey system. Am I missing something?

I think that’s it for now, I really appreciate the time you spend reading and considering these points. I’m about to start playing this game regularly (I’ve played about 20 games total but plan to start playing about 3-5 games a day) and really hope to practice good hotkey habits that don’t hold me back when striving to be a better player.


Well, as a player from the AoE3 legacy, I have a few recommendations.
This is just how I play the game, I’m not a noob but I’m not a pro either, surely others have better ideas. (You can see tutorials from Aussie Drongo, Samurai revolution and Interjection to help you out, they have good content).

  • As for the legacy or DE hotkeys I found it a lot more intuitive to use the default hotkeys. Having them match the grid of your own keyboard makes thing so much easier than to remember every single hotkey, like the explorer ability, in legacy it changed a lot.

  • 1 of the hotkeys I changed was to make my TC hotkey be right next to the explorer, that way I cycle easily between an explorer gathering treasures and my TC to make settlers much easier (So it’s “{” for TC and “}” for explorer).

  • As for the barracks set to a letter, I’m sure you can set this to a letter like B to [Select all barracks]. I should do this myself, so far when I play I use the control groups to manage my buildings as well as my army, It always goes like this:

  1. Heavy cavalry - I leave this one for all of my melee cavalry or shock infantry units.
  2. Light cavalry - Any ranged cavalry will have this control group.
  3. Heavy infantry - Melee or ranged, it goes here.
  4. Light infantry - Ranged, it goes here.
  5. 1st line of Artillery - The artillery that counters infantry get privilege here, like falconets or leather guns.
  6. COMODIN - Anything I use the most on a particular game, could be 2nd line of artillery (Culverins or mortars), healer units, another building with special units (Consulate, tavern, native post).
  7. Artillery foundry - Or castles for Asian civs.
  8. Stables - Or Noble huts for war chief civs.
  9. Barracks - Or war huts for war chief civs.

Pretty much I use the grid hotkeys and the control groups to manage my game.

Hope that helps you out a bit if you use it like so, cheers brother.

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@willyrumble31306 awesome reply I appreciate it.

Hmm, I definitely want my TC key to be as close to my “q” since the q makes a villager. You don’t mind tc + queue being on opposite sides of the keyboard?

However, you helped me think in the right direction.

I’ve been doing a lot of fiddling around with different hotkey setups lately, and just in case it helps others, this is what I’m doing at the moment, while still making minor tweaks:

I’m using default hotkeys, and maintaining integrity all of the letter keys and therefore not setting any new hotkeys to these keys.

Explorer, TC, and HC, under default are set to f1-f3. I didn’t like this, so I changed the HC to one of my mouse buttons, explorer to `, and TC to 1. I really like it.

I use 2, 3, and 4 for select all barracks, stables, and artillery foundry, respectively.

f1-f4 are my control group I use for armies.

spacebar for atk move.

I’m loving the setup at the moment. The only issue right now is that I’ve got two VERY important hotkeys set to the same key: select explorer and select idle villager. They’re both set to ` (tilda). It prioritizes idle vils, and if there are none, then it selects my explorer. The first day I thought it was a genius choice and a blessing in disguise because if I was neglecting my idle vils but wanted to use my explorer, then I’d be forced to re-task the vils. And it might be helpful while I’m still not that great at this game, but as I get better I think I’m going to want a way to target my explorer ASAP, as a higher priority than an idle villager. But I really really want my idle vil/explorer hotkey to be on the left or middle side of the keyboard…so this is the only think I’m working on changing. But it’s driving me crazy!!!

But overall I’m loving the setup.


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Hahah, thanks buddy :3

Not at all, sometimes a lot of actions require both hands on the keyboards, so I leave the mouse to queue a lot of settlers and check on my explorer (I use “Shift” and “{” to select all TC, then I use “Shift” and “q” to spam a lot of settlers, with both hand it’s no bother)

That I would recommend you change immediately, I guess you already realized it’s up to no good. I left idle military and idle settlers as default, which is the same as legacy.

Hope it all works out great, cheers :wave: