New Player Tips: Dial M for Macro
New Player Tips
February 25th by Lylirra

New Player Tips is a recurring feature in which we ask World of Warcraft veterans to share their thoughts and advice for new adventurers on a variety of in-game topics.

This week's topic is: macros.

Macros allow you to trigger a combination of in-game actions -- including abilities, item uses, and targeting functions, all with a single button press -- so you can play more efficiently (similar to the benefits of key bindings). Macros require a fair amount of game knowledge, though, so figuring out how to properly create or use them isn't always intuitive, especially for players who are still learning the ropes.

That's where you come in.

What sage advice would you, the masters of the mighty macro, give to World of Warcraft beginners interested in getting the most out of these powerful tools? Do you have any favorites that you can't live without? Are there certain fan sites or online resources that you commonly refer to? Help a playa' out.



If you've never created a World of Warcraft macro before, here's a quick rundown of the basics:

  1. Open up the Game Options menu by pressing the "Escape" key or by clicking on the little computer-shaped icon in the navigation bar on the bottom right of your screen.
  2. Click on the "Macros" button to bring up the macro creation window. (Alternatively, you can type "/macro" or "/m" into the chat box.)
  3. Select the "General Macros" tab if your new macro can be used by more than one character on your account. If the macro is character specific, select the "<Character Name> Macros" tab instead.
  4. Click the "New" button at the bottom of macro window, just below the text box. This will bring up another small window with a list of icons and a place where can you enter a name for the macro (e.g. "Flash Heal Trinket").
  5. Choose your macro's name and icon, and then click "Okay." Your new macro will now appear in the main window under its designated icon. (Note: If you select the standard red question mark icon, the game will automatically select an icon for you based on the spells and/or abilities used in the macro once you've finished.)
  6. Click the macro's icon from the main window and then the text box to begin typing. (This is where you'll enter all the necessary commands to make your macro work.)
  7. After you've entered the macro text, simply drag the icon into one of your action bar slots. Clicking the icon -- or, if the action slot is bound to a key, pressing the corresponding key on your keyboard -- will now perform the actions you assigned to the macro.

For more information about how to create and use macros, be sure to check out Wowpedia's beginner's guide, or head on over to our UI and Macros and New Player Help forums.

See what players had to say last week about their preferred gaming peripherals.

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