How to Use Macro Keys for Gaming? Are Macros Useful?

The Downfall of Using Macro Keys

When you first delve into the world of PC gaming you’re going to realize there is a wide variety of things that you can use to elevate your playing potential ranging from cheat codes to macro keys. But what are macro keys and how to use them for gaming?

With that being said, there are plenty of shortcuts that are acceptable to use in offline games, such as RPGs but aren’t recommended for use in online environments such as with FPS games. Macro keys can prove to be quite useful in a wide variety of gaming situations for a couple of reasons.

What are Macro Keys?

The first thing to learn about is the true definition of macro keys and once you understand that, learning how to use them for gaming is incredibly simple. Macro keys are different keystrokes that you can playback repetitively to repeat the same action over and over again. For example, you can set a specific pattern of keystrokes to create a specific sequence that helps you attack a big boss or to mine for materials.

They are essentially an easier way of doing regular tasks without having to press the same keys repeatedly. They can also come in handy for offline fighting games, as you can do combinations without having to try to remember what all of the hotkeys are.

How Do You Set Macro Keys

How Do You Set Macro Keys?

This may differ depending on the type of gaming keyboard that you have, but in general, most gaming keyboards offer a set of macros and then two buttons that allow recording to start and to stop. When you’re ready to program the macro sequence into your keyboard, you’re going to want to push the ‘start recording’ button, input the sequence, and then press the ‘stop recording’ button.

Once the sequence has been recorded, you can then push the designated macro key (G2 for example) and it will perform the action for you.

The Downfall of Using Macro Keys

As mentioned, there are plenty of games where you can benefit from the use of macro keys and in all honesty, once you learn how to use them for gaming, you can have an advantage in every game that you play. However, there are times when using them is appropriate and times when using them aren’t; in fact, there have been numerous players who have attempted to use macro keys in online games only to get banned from the servers.

Is using Macro keys cheating?

How,  you might ask? The answer is simple. If you’re able to input a sequence of movements into a macro key, then instead of having to push multiple keys when you come in contact with another person in a PvP situation, you’re going to have a leg up in the match and as a result, beat them to the punch every time. This in itself is referred to as “automation” and can lead to a direct ban on game servers because it’s seen as cheating.

With all of that being said, there’s absolutely no reason as to why you can’t benefit from using macro keys in an offline environment, especially in a game that has an exploitative glitch to help you get more materials to better your offline characters. Even if you find that you’re going around fighting NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) on a regular basis, you can program a macro to do the fighting for you with the help of a single button.

The Downfall of Using Macro Keys

How to Safely Use Macro Keys in an Online Game

It’s always recommended that you avoid using macro keys as often as possible when it comes to online gaming, especially PvP games because you never know what could be classified as an offense that could get you banned. However, there may be “loopholes” in the game’s terms of service that you can use to your advantage if you want to learn how to use macro keys for gaming.

The vast majority of online games allow users to program a single action to a single macro key, as this is no different than using the traditional keys on the keyboard. For example, you could program your shooting button to “G2” and your dodging button to “G3”, but you wouldn’t be allowed to program a dodge-shoot-dodge function to “G2” alone.

Although this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to completely rule the leaderboards, it can make it slightly easier for you to learn how to use macro keys and to get the hang of computer gaming if you’re relatively new to it. Instead of having to focus on pressing several keys on opposite ends of the keyboard, you can have all of the most important keys in one section.

How to Find a Gaming Keyboard with Macro Keys

Not all gaming keyboards come equipped with macro keys, though the vast majorities do. The easiest way to find one is to take a quick browse around the internet and carefully read through product descriptions as they will typically tell you whether the keyboard comes with macros or programmable keys.

If all else fails, you can also look at the design of the keyboard. In most cases, macros are placed on either the far left or far right of the keyboard in a series of one to 18, similar to the numeric keypad. These keys will be separate from the rest of the keyboard and easy to spot.


Once you’re able to find the right gaming keyboard with macro keys, you’ll be able to sit relaxed in your gaming den, and complete trickier actions in less time as you’ll only have to press one button instead of three or more. Although they should never be used in an online game, learning how to use macro keys for gaming can be quite useful for offline play and everyday work-related tasks.