Zr-Cu-Ni-Al quaternary amorphous alloy compositions with varying glass-forming ability are developed by an efficient method of proportional mixing of binary eutectics. The critical diameter of the glassy sample is improved from 6 mm for Zr53Cu18.7Ni12Al16.3 to 14 mm for Zr50.7Cu28Ni9Al12.3 by straightforwardly adjusting the eutectic unit's coefficients. The drastic improvement in GFA is attributed to balancing the chemical affinities of the Zr, Cu, Ni and Al components in the melt prior to solidification which makes the precipitation of competing crystalline phases more difficult. As the glass-forming ability increases, the concentration of Cu in the alloys exhibits a same trend. Based on synchrotron radiation high-energy X-ray diffraction analysis and Miracle's structural model, it is envisioned that the substitution of additional Cu atoms for Zr atoms in the investigated alloys stabilizes the efficient cluster packing structure of the amorphous alloys, leading to the pronounced increase in their glass-forming ability. © 2008 Acta Materialia Inc.