Macros in games
A macro is a programmable computer command that is set to one specific key on a keyboard or one specific button on a gamepad. These commands can be comprised of as many keys and buttons as possible and can be set at any trigger rate. Macros allow you to perform combos at the push of a single button and they also allow you to achieve a kind of auto-fire effect where holding down a button or key will read as the button or key being pushed repeatedly faster than you ever could yourself.
Macros, despite some legalistic problems when used in e-sports and competitions, have found a treasured place in modern computer gaming, where controls can be mapped to the players preference. When used appropriately, macros can give you an extreme advantage over both the computer and other players. Let’s take a look at some key ways macros can be used to skyrocket your gaming abilities.
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Auto-fire in first-person shooters
Obviously, there is a lot of competition in first-person shooters. A simple macro that sets the trigger button to auto-fire will give you a huge time advantage over competing players. This is so rampant that it has actually caused some controversy in FPS circles, and macros are generally disallowed in formal competitions. This may make you hesitant to rely too much on macros if you are looking to get into the competitive angle of things, but for those just looking to have fun kicking butt in their favorite game, macros are an incredibly tempting options to try out.
A lot of times games can just be button-mashing tournaments to see who can press the trigger button the fastest. This has its place, but can put a lot of strain on the finger of casual and professional players alike. With the use of an auto-fire macro, you will be firing at all cylinders all the time, and you can focus your attention on more pertinent needs such as aiming and sipping on your Mountain Dew.
Pulling off tricky combos in fighting games
Another great use for macros is to effortlessly execute combos in fighting games. As fighting games are another notoriously competitive sub-genre of games, macros have found some controversy among fighting game fans as well, but it can’t be argued that there is simple pure joy in executing a ridiculously grandiose combo at the push of a button. Those who rely on macros too much may risk atrophying their actual skills, though, so use macros sparingly and be sure to keep your fingers nimble.
Grinding actions in RPGs and MMORPGs
Macros can be programmed according to your whims, so you can make a macro to perform pretty much any function you could perform on your keyboard, mouse, or gamepad. RPGs and MMORPGs that require lots of grinding can be great places to apply some macro skills, allowing you to plow through hordes and level up XP while not even looking up at the screen.
For anyone who has wasted days upon days of their lives leveling up their characters in virtual reality, the appeal of macros in this area seems totally justified. When you are forced to be actively invested in performing the same dull function over and over just so that you can stand a chance against enemies and other players in a game, it can become incredibly mind-numbing. The thought that there could be some way around this is just too much to resist for many modern gamers.
Program your own
Given that you can make a macro to do whatever you want, there is no limit to how much you can experiment and personalize your macros to fit your gaming needs. A good and totally mappable keyboard, mouse, or gamepad will allow you to become the ultimate creator in any game you play. Macros are fun, easy to use, and work miraculously when integrated properly into gameplay.
The use of macros shouldn’t be looked down upon, as the clever programming of use of macros is just as much an art as the actual gameplay itself. And, it can’t be argued, there are just times when the health of your fingers and wrists is just a little bit more important than playing a game. Or so we’ve been told.