In today's fast-paced digital world, efficiency and productivity are paramount. Whether you're a gamer, a programmer, or simply a computer enthusiast, you've likely heard of macro keys.
Keyboard and mouse macros are incredibly helpful for simplifying and streamlining gameplay by automating entire sequences of in-game actions with the single press of a key. Though many hardcore gamers know their macros by heart, macros are often a mystery laced with technical mumbo-jumbo to the everyday, casual player.
In this article, we'll dive into the fascinating world of macro keys, exploring their definition, functionality, and how you can make the most of them.
Table of Contents:
- What Are Macros?
- Benefits Of Macros
- Types Of Keyboard Macros
- How Macro Keys Revolutionize Your Gameplay？
- How to Program a Redragon Keyboard Macro?
- A Guide Using the HORUS K618 keyboard
- A Guide Using the Vishnu K596 Keyboard
- A Guide Using the Redragon K587-Pro Magic Wand keyboard
- How to Program a Redragon Mouse Macro?
- A Guide Using the IMPACT M908 Mouse
- A Guide Using the IMPACT ELITE M913 Mouse
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Macros?
Think of a typical weekday morning. For many, any given morning follows the same basic chain of tasks as the next: Get out of bed. Brush your teeth. Put on your clothes. Make breakfast. Take the kids to school. Leave for work. You repeat these same tasks in the same order the next morning.
What if you could press a single button to automate all of those tasks, in order, each morning?
One click. Done. That’s a macro.
Macro keys, often referred to as macro buttons or macro commands, are programmable keys on a keyboard, mouse, or other input devices. These keys allow users to automate a series of actions or commands, essentially turning a complex task into a single keystroke. Macros are incredibly versatile and can be customized to perform a wide range of functions, from simple text input to intricate gaming maneuvers.
Benefits of Macros
Enhanced Efficiency: Macros are designed to save time and effort. By automating repetitive tasks, you can work more efficiently, whether it's in an office environment, while coding, or during gaming sessions.
Reduced Errors: Since macros follow predefined sequences, they can significantly reduce the chances of human errors. This is especially crucial for tasks that demand precision.
Multifunctional: You can program macros for various purposes, such as inserting frequently used phrases, executing specific software commands, or executing complex gaming combos.
Types of Keyboard Macros
Keyboard macros come in various forms, offering flexibility and convenience to users based on the type of keyboard and software they have at their disposal. Here's a breakdown of the different types of keyboard macros:
Dedicated Macro Keys
Most higher-end gaming keyboards feature special keys dedicated to macros. Macro keys are additional keys that accompany the standard key layout otherwise found across all other types of keyboards. They are most commonly grouped together horizontally or vertically along one edge of the keyboard for quick, easy access, lending themselves to swift adoption via muscle memory. The user can record a macro to one of these dedicated keys, then press the key to execute the macro.
The Redragon ADITYA K513 keyboard, for example, has a row of macro keys (labeled G1-G5) situated at its top-left corner.
Many gaming keyboards include downloadable software that simplify macro creation and usage. Particularly advanced keyboard software can even automatically detect specific games.
When you launch a detected game, the software assigns a profile specific to that game to the keyboard. While the profile is active, the user may create and utilize macros that they assign to keys for the duration of the gameplay session. Once the game is closed, the assignments are removed, but remembered, so that when the game is relaunched, the macros are automatically reassigned. This is incredibly useful when playing multiple games that each require their own macros.
OS & Third-Party Macros
Operating System Macros: Not all keyboards come with dedicated macro keys or software, but that doesn't mean you can't use macros. Some operating systems, like Windows, offer built-in methods for assigning macros to standard keyboard keys. Users can configure macros through their OS settings.
Third-Party Software Solutions: Additionally, several third-party software solutions are available that enable users to create macros for various types of keyboards. These software programs often employ simple scripting languages, allowing users to record and assign macros to standard keys. While this may require some tinkering, it's a viable option for users without dedicated gaming keyboards.
In some cases, games feature the ability to create custom macros without the need for special keyboard keys or external software. This feature is handy for advanced players but involves a high learning curve for newcomers, especially those not versed in any form of scripting.
As shown in the example from World of Warcraft, in-game macros can be created entirely within the game. However, creating such macros often requires a good understanding of scripting, which might appear as gibberish to those unfamiliar with it.
How Macro Keys Revolutionize Your Gameplay？
Macros are incredibly helpful in various types of games, especially those that require a lot of repetitive but complex actions, such as many massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), and fighting games.
Here are some examples of how macro keys can be used in various types of games:
Role-Playing Games (RPGs):
- Automate repetitive tasks such as casting spells, looting enemies, or managing inventory with the press of a single macro key.
- Create custom macros for specific attacks or abilities, allowing for more efficient combat strategies.
- Execute complex combos effortlessly by assigning them to a single keystroke using macro keys.
- Perform special moves and intricate maneuvers with precision and speed.
Real-Time Strategy Games (RTS):
- Quickly and easily execute complex build orders or unit micromanagement tasks by assigning them to macros.
- Optimize your resource management and strategic decisions with the help of macros.
First-Person Shooters (FPS):
- Automate actions like reloading, switching weapons, or using grenades to gain an edge in intense firefights.
- Customize macros for specific in-game situations, enhancing your shooting accuracy and reaction time.
Action-Role-Playing Games (ARPGs):
- Enhance your character's combat abilities by creating macros for specific attack combinations and spellcasting.
- Simplify inventory management and item usage by assigning macros to common actions like healing or using consumables.
These examples demonstrate the versatility of macro keys in gaming, offering players the ability to optimize their gameplay experience across a wide range of genres.
How to Program a Redragon Keyboard Macro?
A Guide Using the HORUS K618 keyboard
To demonstrate how to program macros on Redragon keyboards, let’s take a look at the HORUS K618 keyboard.
Onboard Macro Setup via Keyboard
Choose Your Mode: Start by selecting the mode you want to create. You have up to four modes to save, denoted as M1, M2, M3, and M4.
Enter Macro Programming Mode: To begin programming your macros, press the MR (Macro Record) button.
Select the Macro Key: Choose the macro key you wish to program. These keys are typically labeled as G1 to G5.
Macro Key Activation: Once you've selected the macro key, it will start blinking, indicating that it's ready for recording.
Record Your Macro: Type the series of actions or commands that you want to record using the selected macro key. The keyboard will capture these actions as you perform them.
Stop Recording: When you've completed recording your macro, press the MR key again. This action will signal the keyboard to stop recording the sequence you've typed.
Test Your Macro: Open a text editor or any other appropriate software, and test your newly programmed macro key to ensure it was saved correctly.
Setting Up Macros with Redragon Software
Creating a New Macro:
Download and Install Redragon Software: Begin by downloading and installing the Redragon software tailored for your keyboard.
Launch the Redragon Software: Open the Redragon software on your computer and navigate to the "Macro Editor" tab.
Create a New Macro: Right-click within the software and select the "New Macro" button to initiate the creation of a new macro.
Name Your Macro: Assign a name to your macro key, and then click on the "Start Record" button.
Record the Macro Sequence: Perform the sequence of keystrokes or actions that you want to automate. The software will capture these actions as you perform them.
Finish Recording: Uncheck the box next to the "Start Record" button to finish recording the macro.
Save Your Macro: Click the "Save" button to save your newly created macro.
Editing an Existing Macro:
Access the Macro Editor: Open the Redragon software again and navigate to the "Macro Editor" tab.
Select the Macro: Choose the macro you want to edit from the list of existing macros.
Modify the Macro: Right-click on your selected macro and choose the "Modify" option.
Make Necessary Changes: Edit the macro to incorporate any necessary changes or adjustments.
Save Changes: Click on the "Save" button to save your modifications.
Macro Profiles and Advantages:
With the Redragon software, you can create and manage macros efficiently. You have three profiles available, allowing you to save a total of fifteen macro keys. These customized macro keys can give you a significant advantage in gaming, reducing typing errors, and enabling rapid execution of commands.
By setting up your macros in this manner, you'll enhance your gaming skills and enjoy a seamless gaming experience. Congratulations, you've successfully configured your automated keys for improved gaming performance. Enjoy the advantages of your customized macro keys!
A Guide Using the Vishnu K596 Keyboard
Onboard Macro Setup via Keyboard
Entering Recording Mode:
- First, press the FN key and the G key you want to program simultaneously to enter recording mode. You’ll know you have successfully entered this mode when the Caps Lock and Scroll Lock LEDs both repeatedly flash red.
Recording Your Macro:
- While those two LEDs flash, record your macro by pressing the sequence of keys you want recorded. Recording will stop automatically when you stop pressing keys, indicated by the Caps Lock and Scroll Lock keys reverting back to their previous state (they stop flashing). The G key you recorded your macro to will from this point on glow a solid green.
Confirming Macro Recording:
- Let’s repeat my previous example from the Macro Manager method, this time using the onboard method. I’ll again record my macro to G1, so I first press the FN + G1 keys, then verify my Caps Lock and Scroll Lock LEDs are flashing. While they’re flashing, I enter my sequence. I’ll stick to my previous simple text string, so I type “This is an example of a macro!”. I stop typing, then the LEDs stop flashing. My G1 key now glows a solid green.
Executing Your Macro:
- I can now repeat my previous test: I open my text editor and press the G1 key. Viola! My text automatically types itself out.
Limitation of Onboard Method:
- The only disadvantage to recording macros via this method is that you cannot edit them (as you can via the Macro Manager software). You can, however, easily delete any existing macros, then re-record them if needed.
Deleting Macros: :
- To delete a macro, simply press the FN+CTRL+ the G key you wish to clear simultaneously. (In my case, that means I press FN+CTRL+G1.) You’ll notice that the G key no longer glows green; it reverts to its previous color.
Model-Specific Variations: :
- I mentioned this method may differ depending on the specific model Redragon keyboard you have. For example, the Horus K618 features a “MR” (“Macro Record”) key and the DTI K585 has a “REC” (“Record”) key. Both models also have “Mode” keys (M1, M2, etc.) which provide additional options. Check the manual for your specific keyboard model to see how the recording process may differ.
Setting Up Macros with Redragon Software
As is the case with many Redragon keyboards, the Vishnu k596 includes dedicated programmable macro keys and software with which to do so.
Download and Install Software:
- Begin by downloading the Redragon keyboard software, which is often included with the keyboard itself. You can find it easily on the keyboard's product page. Look for the "Download" link under the product description and select the software link.
Extract and Install:
- After downloading, the software will be in a zip package. Extract the contents and navigate into the extracted folder. Run the Setup.exe file to install the software. Follow the installation prompts until it's complete. You'll then see a Redragon icon in your Windows taskbar.
Access Configuration Utility:
- Right-click on the Redragon icon in your taskbar and select "Configuration." This will open the keyboard software configuration utility, where you can program macros and customize settings.
Identify Macro Keys:
- On Redragon keyboards, macro keys are labeled as "G" keys, such as G1, G2, G3, and so on. The Vishnu K596 has G1 to G5 keys on the left side and G6 to G10 keys at the top of the keyboard, above the function (F) keys.
- By default, all G keys are set to "Button off." This means they don't have predefined functions or macros.
Select Macro Manager:
- To record a custom macro, select "Macro manager" from the drop-down menu. This will launch Redragon's Macro Manager in a new window, a user-friendly tool for macro programming.
Create a New Macro:
- Click the "+" button under the "Assign Macro" box to create a new macro. Give your macro a name and press Enter.
Record the Macro:
- Click the "Record" button on the right to start recording the actions you want the macro to execute. You can record up to 125 actions, including delays between keystrokes.
- As you perform actions like typing a text string, each action is recorded within the "Key Combination" box in real-time. This includes individual key presses and combinations (e.g., Shift + T for a capital "T"). Delays between keystrokes are also recorded, and you can choose to include or exclude them.
- Click the "Stop" button when you're done recording the macro.
Save the Macro:
- If you're satisfied with your recorded macro, click the "Save" button to exit the Macro Manager. The macro is now assigned to the selected G key.
Test the Macro:
- Open a text editor or any relevant application and test the macro by pressing the assigned G key. The recorded actions should execute as you recorded them, including any delays.
Create Additional Macros:
- You can continue creating additional macros and assign them to different G keys as needed.
By following these steps, you can effectively program macros on your Redragon keyboard, enhancing your productivity and gaming experience. Enjoy the convenience of automated keystrokes tailored to your preferences!
Editing the Vishnu K596 Keyboard Macro
Access Macro Manager: After creating macros, you may need to edit them. To do this, open the Redragon's Macro Manager, which you've used to create macros earlier.
Select the Macro: Click on the G key associated with the macro you wish to edit. Follow the same steps you used to access Macro Manager previously.
Highlight the Macro: Within the "Assign Macro" box, click to highlight the name of the macro you want to edit.
Review the Actions: In the "Key Combination" box, review the sequence of actions that make up your macro.
Edit Delays: To adjust delays between actions, locate the delay item in the sequence. Right-click it, select "Edit Delay," enter your new delay value, and press Enter. For instance, if you want to reduce the delay from 156ms to 30ms, simply make the change.
Rearrange or Delete Actions: You can also rearrange the sequence of recorded actions or delete unwanted actions. Highlight the action you want to move or remove, and use the buttons below the "Key Configuration" box to move it up, down, or delete it entirely.
Using the Macro Repeat Feature:
Access Macro Manager: Open the Macro Manager again for the macro you wish to configure for repeat.
Toggle Repeat Options: Below the "Record" and "Stop" buttons in the Macro Manager, you'll find options for repeating a macro. By default, "Repeat" is enabled and set to "1," meaning the sequence will execute once per key press.
Adjust Repeat Value: Change the "Repeat" value to your preferred number. For instance, setting it to "2" will cause the sequence to execute twice per key press. Modify the value as needed and save your settings.
"Repeat until key press": Enabling this option disables the other repeat settings and allows the sequence to repeat until you press the same G key again. For example, if you set it to repeat three times, you'd press the key, wait for the third execution, and then press the key again to stop it.
"Repeat until key release": This option allows the sequence to execute and repeat as long as you hold down the assigned G key. Once you release the key, execution stops. This gives you precise control over the duration of macro execution.
By following these steps, you can easily edit your Redragon keyboard macros and configure them to repeat actions as needed, providing you with versatility and control over your automated keystrokes.
A Guide Using the Redragon K587-Pro Magic Wand keyboard
Recording Macros with Dedicated Keys:
Access Macro Recording Mode: To create a macro using dedicated macro keys located on the top of the keyboard, start by clicking the "Record" key. This key will start flashing, indicating it's ready for recording.
Select a Macro Key: Choose one of the dedicated macro keys, such as G6, where you want to store your macro.
Perform Actions: Hold down the CTRL key and press the C key (in this example) to record the action of copying selected text.
Stop Recording: Once you've performed the desired action, click the "Record" key again to stop recording. The macro is now saved.
Now, when you have text selected, pressing the assigned macro key (e.g., G6) will copy the highlighted text to the computer's clipboard, allowing you to paste it elsewhere.
Using Software-Controlled Macros:
Software-controlled macros offer more versatility and can be programmed to perform various actions.
Single Key Macro:
Choose Profile: Select the profile (e.g., Profile 1) you want to assign the macros to.
Select a Macro Key: Choose one of the macro keys (e.g., G1) you wish to assign a single key macro.
Create the Macro: Select the "Single Key" button.
Enter Key Sequence: Place your cursor in the text box and press the desired key (e.g., G1 will perform a keypress of the letter G).
Save Settings: Click "OK" and then "Apply" to save your single key macro. You can assign various actions to different macro keys.
Macro with Multiple Entries:
Select Profile: Choose the profile where you want to create macros (e.g., Profile 2).
Choose a Macro Key: Select a macro key (e.g., G1) for your macro.
Configure Macro Setting: Click the "Macro Setting" button.
Add Entries: Click the plus button and enter a name for your macro (e.g., Villagers).
Record Key Sequence: Click "Record" and type the key sequence (e.g., h, hold Shift, press a). Adjust delays if needed.
Save the Macro: Click "OK" and then "Apply" to save your macro. This combines multiple keypresses into one.
Access Macro Manager: Open the Macro Manager for the desired macro.
Toggle Repeat Options: Below the "Record" and "Stop" buttons, you'll find options for repeating a macro.
Adjust Repeat Value: Change the "Repeat" value to your desired number. For instance, setting it to "2" will execute the sequence twice per key press.
"Repeat until key press": Enable this option to make the macro repeat until you press the same macro key again.
"Repeat until key release": This option causes the macro to execute as long as you hold down the assigned macro key, stopping when you release it.
By following these steps, you can effectively program Redragon keyboard macros to streamline actions, whether for gaming or general computer use. Enjoy the convenience of automating complex sequences with a single keypress!
How to Program a Redragon Mouse Macro?
A Guide Using the IMPACT M908 Mouse
Download and Install Software : First, download and install the Redragon software for your M908 mouse. You can find the software on the official Redragon website. Once installed, open the software.
Connect Your Redragon M908 Mouse : Make sure your Redragon M908 mouse is connected to your computer.
Access the Macro Settings : In the Redragon software, navigate to the "Macro" or "Key Assignment" section. Click on "Macro" to access the macro settings.
Create a New Macro: Click on "New Macro" or a similar button to create a new macro.
Record Your Macro: Click on "Record" to start recording your macro. Perform the actions you want to record on your mouse and keyboard. When you are done, click "Stop."
Edit Your Macro: You can edit your macro by selecting it and clicking "Edit." This allows you to fine-tune the recorded actions
Assign a Name: Give your macro a name to easily find it later
Save Your Macro: Click "Save" to save your macro settings.
Assign the Macro to a Button: Select the button on your Redragon M908 mouse where you want to assign the macro. Click "Assign" and choose your macro from the list.
Configure Macro Options: You can configure options such as playback speed, repeat, and delay if needed.
Save Your Settings: Once you are satisfied with your macro settings, save your configurations.
Assess Your Macro: Assess the macro by pressing the assigned button on your Redragon M908 mouse.
Enjoy Your Macros: Your macros are now programmed and ready for use. Enjoy the convenience and efficiency they bring to your tasks and games.
Enhancing your Game Performance with Macros
Example game: League of Legends
Step 1: Define Your Macro
Step 2: Setting Up Your Macro
Step 3: Record the Combo
Step 4: Configure the Macro
Step 5: Assign the Macro
Step 6: In-Game Application
Step 7: Customization
By using macros like the "Auto Combo," you can gain a significant advantage in games like League of Legends. Macros help streamline complex actions, improving your reaction time and gameplay performance. They are particularly beneficial for executing precise combos, which can be game-changing during intense moments.
A Guide Using the IMPACT ELITE M913 Mouse
For the initial demonstration, we will now delve into the basic commands for a game known as Warframe. In this context, a player who enjoys a melee-focused approach can devise a custom macro. This macro is designed to repetitively activate the default melee attack function, bound to the 'E' key in Warframe.
1. Accessing the Macro Panel:
The first thing we have to do is click the Macro button on the left of the window. Here you will see any and all of the active macros you' ve created for the M913.
There are two columns, the left one shows the name you' ve given each macro. The right column shows the inputs for each macro. The right column is important because it will be the main area you pay attention to and edit.
2. Creating a New Macro:
Click the "New macro" button and choose a recognizable name without spaces.
3. Defining Key Press Events:
Name your macro, then click the drop-down arrow by the "insert event" bar.
For a simple command, start with a key press, like the letter E.
4. Recording Key Presses:
For the simple command we' re making now, it will start simply with a press of a key; in this case the letter E. The depression of a key, the time in between letting off and pressing another key are all going to be recorded if you leave the “Automatic recording time delay” box ticked.
For the example, We' re also going to tick the box to “cycle until the key released” that way the macro will keep pressing and releasing E over and over until I let go of the button.
5. Saving and Applying the Macro:
At this point, this particular macro is finished. All you need to do now is save it, and then apply it to whichever programmable button you feel like. For this example I’m going to apply this to button number 9. Again you' re going to use the drop-down arrow and select “Macro”.
For the example, We' re also going to tick the box to “cycle until the key released” that way the macro will keep pressing and releasing E over and over until I let go of the button.
6. Finalizing Macro Assignment:
Click OK after selecting the macro for assignment.
7. Confirming Macro Assignment:
Click on the assigned macro and hit OK.
8. Applying Changes:
Now all that's left is to hit “Apply” and after a brief load, you will have finished successfully creating and applying a macro command that will make the computer think you are pressing and releasing E repeatedly until you let go of the button.
DO NOT USE MACROS FOR PROFESSIONAL PLAY INVOLVING MONEY.
You will be disqualified and/or banned if you are found guilty of using macros to gain an advantage when money is on the line
Keyboard macros introduce advanced functionality that allows you to automate many complex, repetitive sequences of actions, which can grant you a serious edge in your gameplay.
Though macros are often regarded as an advanced feature for the most serious of gamers, Redragon’s macro keys make them easily accessible to any gamer. Plugin your keyboard, launch the Macro Manager, record your key presses, and you’re ready to play!
1. Can I use macros on any keyboard or mouse?
- While some keyboards and mice come with dedicated macro keys, you can also use software-based solutions to program macros on standard input devices.
2. Are macros legal in gaming?
- Macros are generally allowed in single-player and cooperative games but may be restricted or considered cheating in competitive multiplayer games. Always check the rules of the game and gaming platform.
3. Can I create macros for my programming tasks?
- Absolutely! Macros can be a programmer's best friend. You can automate code insertion, debugging routines, and repetitive tasks to streamline your coding process.
4. Is there a limit to the number of macros I can create?
- The number of macros you can create often depends on the software and hardware you're using. Some devices and software allow for a generous number of macros, while others may have limitations.
5. How do I delete or modify macros?
- You can typically delete or modify macros through the software provided by your device's manufacturer. Open the software, locate the macro you want to edit, and make the desired changes or delete it altogether.
5. If I’m using the Half keyboard like the K585 DITI for gaming and the K582 for typing, can I use one software for both?
No, at this time you can not use one software for both. Also at this time you can not use both the K585 DITI Software, and the K582 Software at the same time. One software will cancel out the other. Unlike the Mouse and Keyboard software that can run together.