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Advanced Keybinding Guide

Posted by Rhino - October 31, 2011, 10:00

Advanced WoW keybinding and macro guide (by Jargi)

In this Guide:

  1. What is a keybind?
  2. Binding spells, abilities, etc
  3. Binding efficiently (with standard gamer equipment)
  4. Recommended Pre-Keybinds
  5. Keybind classification
  6. Help I need more information about keybinding?! What do I do?!

Keybinding is also an important part of game-play in WoW. Whether it is during PvE or PvP, a solid system of keybinding can impressively improve your gameplay quality. It is also a fundamental piece of lesson when learning a new class and getting used to its spells, abilities and skills. Once you bound skills on several keys, you will get used to them very quickly from the beginning. Therefore you should think how to bind each skills most efficiently first.

In this “brief” guide, I’ll show you exactly how keybinds can help you and how to use them most efficiently. In addition, I will present you with several components which you can mix yourself to create a more personalized keybind system.

Before you start reading this guide, you are recommended to read the “Advanced Macro Guide“ by Arbito (link: http://hydramist.tv/portfolio/advanced-macro-guide/ ) first. I would like to start by explaining what a keybind is. If you already know what a keybind is and how to create one, you may skip to chapter 3.

1. What is a keybind?

A keybind is the function which allows you to push a button and (almost) simultaneosly you are telling the game to execute an action for you. This way, you can tell the game to make your character yell something or cast a spell by pushing buttons. The basic way a keybind works is no different than when you would click on a spell from your spellbook or type in the slash command in the chat box every time you want to initiate an action. Additionally, a macro shortens this process by executing the slash commands as directed with a single key press.

As an example, if you want your character to use abilities or cast spells, you can click on spells from your spellbook. Pushing a key which is bound to the same spell will usually have the same effect.

2. Binding spells, abilites, etc.

If you open the “Key Bindings“ menu (By pressing ‘Esc’ and then selecting ‘Key Bindings’ out of the ‘Game menu’), you will see a menu pop up with many lines which allow you to bind your buttons to the actionbar and other InGame functions or addOns. On the top right corner of the menu you will see the function “Character Specific Key Bindings“. If you enable this function by clicking in the box left, you are going to configure this menu and all the keybinds only for your character, which you are currently online with.

In order to make a new keybind you simply click on the line which you would like to bind. The explanation for each line is given at the left column. When “Press Key to Bind to Command → X“ appears at the bottom line, you are asked to press the key you would like to bind the command with. After you pressed the key two different statements can appear at the bottom line. “Key Bound Successfully“, which means you have bound the key without changing other keybinds, or “Command X is not Bound anymore!“, which means you changed another keybind in order to bind the new one. In that case be sure that you did it on purpose because you may have changed some important keybinds such as “W“ for running.

You always have the chance to bind each command with 2 different keys. Thus there are two columns, named “Key 1“ and “Key 2“, given. For a start, you could test out your keybind by using the new keybind. If you are using the right command you bound the key with, you have now successfully created a keybind.

For example:

Binding “Follow Target“(Bottom line in the first menu box) to ” , “(comma). Click on one of the 2 boxes at the same line right next to the description. Now press ” , “(comma) and watch the bottom line of the “Key Bindings“ menu. The statement should be “Key Bound Successfully“. Now quit the game menu and press ” , “(comma) InGame while have a friendly target in your target. You should be running after the target. Following friendly targets won’t win you the battle however. So in order to get that edge over your opponent you will need to have more keybinds which you use in the most efficiently.

3. Binding efficiently (with standard gamer equipment)

Recommended Pre-Keybinds

Thus you know how to bind each command and action bar button, let’s try to use your keybinds for maximum efficiency. I assume that you have standard gamer equipment, which consists of a “QWERT“ keyboard and a 5-button mouse, and that you are a right-handed player.

First let’s start with the keybinds you have to use necessarily. “W“, “A“, “S“, “D“, “Spacebar“, “Mouse Button 1“ and “Mouse Button 2“ are usually used for moving and controlling your character, thus it is not recommended to change these binds. “Mouse Button 1“ and “Mouse Button 2“ are not changeable. The whole rest of all your keys can be bound differently than it is offered in the default system. There are also other important interface keybinds which you should bind; I will show you the binds I use for these commands.

  • Toggle Run/Walk“ bound to “<“ in the “Movement Keys“ section,
  • Open Chat“ bound to “Enter“,
  • Chat Reply“ bound to “Shift + Y“ in the “Chat Functions“ section,
  • Target Next Enemy“ bound to “Shift + Tab“,
  • Target Next Enemy Player“ bound to “Tab“,
  • Show Enemy Name Plates“ bound to “Num Pad 7
  • Show Friendly Name Plates“ bound to “Num Pad 8
  • Show all Name Plates“ bound to “Num Pad 9“ in the “Target Functions“ section
  •  Toggle Character Pane“ bound to “Shift + B“,
  •  Open All Bags“ bound to “B“,
  •  Toggle Game Menu“ bound to “Escape“,
  •  Toggle World Map Pane“ bound to “M“,
  • Toggle Score Screen“ bound to “Ctrl + Spacebar“ in the “Interface Panel Functions“ section,
  •  Zoom In“ bound to “Mouse Wheel Up
  •  Zoom Out“ bound to “Mouse Wheel Down“ in the “Camera Functions“ section.

Now you should have many free keys. These free keys can be classified by each of their priorities and their attributes. At this point it will get a little bit into theory.

Keybind classification

There are 4 classes of keys/buttons:

SBM (Spammable Button with the ability of getting pushed with Modifers)

  •  SBMs: 3, 4, 5, E, R, F, C, T, G, V, Spacebar + all Mouse Extra Buttons!

nSBM (not-Spammable Button with the ability of getting pushed with Modifers)

  •  nSBMs: 2, X, Q, S, B, H, Z

SbnM (Spammable Button without the ability of getting pushed with Modifers)

  •  SbnMs: ^, 1

nSBnM (not-Spammable Button without the ability of getting pushed with Modifers)

  •  nSBnMs: 6, U, J, N
A “SB (Spammable Button) is a button which you can push quickly many times in a row while you are able to use the buttons “W“, “A“, “S“, “D“, “Spacebar“, “Mouse Button 1“ and “Mouse Button 2“.

A “M” (Modifer) is one of the buttons “Alt“, “Ctrl“ and “Shift“, which you can combine with normal buttons such as “E“, “R“, etc…

You should use the “SBs” for your DPS/HPS-rotation in order to avoid getting weakened by the GCD (the nasty 1.5 seconds, which you must wait between the use of your individual skills). Moreover, depending your macros you should use the “SBMs” for your CC (Crow Control – spells and abilities you can use in order to make enemies incapable) or your GroupCDs because these skills, spells and abilities are important and should be used easily, fast and with modifers.


Paladin’s macro for Hammer of Justice (HoJ) for 3v3 arena:

#showtooltip Hammer of Justice
/cast [target=arena1, nomod, nodead] Hammer of Justice; [target=arena2, mod:shift, nodead] Hammer of Justice; [target=arena3, mod:ctrl, nodead] Hammer of Justice; Hammer of Justice

This macro is going to be activated when you press the button with the several modifers in order to use HoJ on one of the arena enemies. This macro also works for 2v2 arena; there only will not be a third arena enemy. It is possible to use HoJ on your current enemy by using this macro with the modifer “Alt“


Mage’s macro for Counterspell (CS) for 3v3 arena:

#showtooltip Counterspell
/cancelaura Iceblock
/cast [target=arena1, nomod, nodead] Counterspell; [target=arena2, mod:shift, nodead] Counterspell; [target=arena3, mod:ctrl, nodead] Counterspell; Counterspell

It has the same function as the “Paladin’s HoJ 3v3 macro“ above.


Paladin’s macro for Hand of Protection (HoP) for 3v3 arena:

#showtooltip Hand of Protection
/cast [target=party1, mod:shift, nodead] Hand of Protection; [target=party2, mod:ctrl, nodead] Hand of Protection; [target=player, nomod] Hand of Protection

This macro is going to be activated when you press the button with the several modifers in order to toss your arena partners a HoP. This macro also works for 2v2 arena; there only will not be a third arena partner.



There is also a slight difference between the “SBMs“. The buttons 3, 4, 5, E, R, T, F, G, C, V are pushed with the left index finger. These buttons differ in their ability of getting spammed. On the one hand you can spam 3, 4, 5, E, R, F, C easily, on the other hand it gets a little bit more difficult with the buttons T, G, V. Thus you should use T, G and V for your skills which need modifers, are used for friendly targets and also have a long duration of cooldown. (For example, Paladin’s Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation, Sacrifice; Rogue’s Trick or Treat; Priest’s Pain Suppression; etc.)

However, you should start loving your mouse. Mouse Buttons are the perfect “SBMs”; they have the highest priority because they can be perfectly used as SBs while modifers are in use! Therefore gamers likely wish to have more extra buttons on their mouse. Many products can offer this privilege, though these are expensive.


“nSBMs” are recommended to be used for spells with no higher priority or relevance.


SBnMs” should be used for trinkets/CDs because they are spammable with the left ring finger and there are only two of them ^ and 1.


nSBnMs” should rather be used for furhter Interface Panel Functions than for crucial spells, skills or abilities.

4. Help I need more information about keybinding!? What do I do?!

There is a huge multitude of information out there, ready to be found on many different sites:




For Class specific macros look into the class guides on http://hydramist.tv/guides/. There is almost always a macro and/or a keybinding section included.

If you have trouble with your keybind system or have a keybinding related question, feel free to either PM me on the forums, contact me via Skype or E-Mail, or simply make a thread on the forums. I’ll make sure to help you out!

  • Hydramist forums name: Jargi
  • Skype name: Jargi001
  • E-Mail: Jargi001@googlemail.com