StarCraft® II

1 action on macro key = is it illegal? Pls reply Blizz


Posts: 48
Hi "forumers".

I have heard that binding keyboard macros is forbidden and you can be banned for that if you use it in game (which is kinda funny, Blizzard sells Starcraft II peripherals with macro function :D ). I think that that is macro like "inject 6 hatcheries instantly by clicking one button" or something like that, because is something like bot, it plays for you. I agree, it should not be tolerated. But what about if I bind on 1 macro key ( for ex. on G19 keyboard) just one action?

For example, look at your keyboard and find "Backspace" key. Yes, it is kinda far. I dont know if you know this, but there is one inject larvae technique which uses Backspace often. Just hotkey all your queens on one key, press and hold shift, press V and press Backspace, you will get view on those queens, because backspace is used for changing view at individual units in group and just simply click on hatcheries next to them. It is insanely fast. But you know, backspace is really far.

And here is my point: is it illegal to macro just one simple Backspace action on macro key and use it in game? It is just one action per press, it is not bot or something that will get you big advantage, just replacing position of that key. Same goes for repositioning for ex. 7-0 hotkeys on macro keys next to Caps Lock. One action per press, too. Is it illegal? Many people on use it, but I´m not 100% sure that its OK. I dont want to get banned and buy new copy of game. Can you answer my question, Blizz? :)

EDIT: Just fyi, G19 is this ->

Macro keys are at far left side, those 3 2x2 "boxes" of keys, G1-G12
Edited by Overpowered on 19/12/2010 16:29 GMT
Posts: 1,287
this forum is moderated
it's not reviews by blizzards design team nor the CEO

doubt you can ask questions of such an official nature and expect an official answer to questions like this here
Posts: 48
So there is no reason for forums like this exist, then. Of course these forums are moderated, but those moderators know many facts and if they dont know, they can ask someone competent. I have got some good answers from blues, i think they should know it. If not, tell me where to ask this question then.
- StarCraft II
Posts: 4,864
I don't know if it is legal, but I do know that in the next patch custom keys are added, so maybe it is wise to wait until that patch is live and see if you can change it then:)
Posts: 48
True, thats not bad. I knew this, but i just wanted to know if one action macro is legal. If not, i will change it to something else in next patch then. Thx.
Posts: 117
The way I see it, macro keys don't really help you much in Starcraft 2, since they don't actually help you play the game better.

I have a G110 keyboard too, but I couldn't even think of any macro for Starcraft 2 that would really benefit me. There are also too many variables in a given game for a keyboard macro to really work well without it having any idea of the state of the game.
For example, you could create a macro to select each of your nexii, queue up two probes, and chrono boost, but the problem is that the number of nexii you have constantly changes throughout the game. A macro key which just does that to one nexus is of very little use, but trying to write a macro that does it multiple times will leave you with the problem of it performing the actions too often and wasting chrono boosts. The same applies to pretty much any other automation. Even where you might save a keypress by hitting a G key instead of two normal keys, you'll probably be confusing yourself with having to reach for the G key and remember what it does, for very little benefit over simply pressing the two keys quickly. If you have any kind of decent keyboard speed, it should be fairly much a non-issue.

Using a macro key for queen larvae injection is the only thing where you might get some benefit, since you can't "waste" inject larvae, but I personally don't play as zerg so that's of no real relevance to me. I certainly wouldn't hold it against an enemy zerg player if they used such a macro key - the way I see it, the zerg queen macro mechanics are too tedious and uninteresting, so I can't blame anyone if they try to streamline the process. It doesn't give a huge advantage over doing it manually, anyway.

One thing I did find the G110 useful for was recording message-sending macros, e.g. for playing or testing custom maps where you need to type a certain message to do something in the map, and the on-keyboard macro recorder makes it very easy to quickly set one of those up for playing a custom map, and then to remove/replace it again later.

Finally, there's no way that Blizzard could even know if you're using single-action macro keys. Maybe if you have a macro which performs a number of actions ridiculously fast - e.g. faster than any human possibly could - but there's no way that they could detect a single-key macro, since as far as the game is concerned that's the same as just pressing the real key.
Edited by Nameless on 19/12/2010 20:32 GMT
Posts: 3
In next patch, you can rebind keys, including backspace. So I would guess it's not illegal to simply move the function from one key to another.
Posts: 48
So I have read some threads at and ppl got some responses from Blizzard. As long as there is one action in game per one action on hardware, its ok. So if you get hotkey control group on mouse, its ok. But if you get control group hotkey and build probe command on mouse, its not that ok and you can be banned for that. In my opinion, it can be only detected if you spam it and those commands are in few ms, but if you record your own pressing and then simply repeat it when you need it (no spam), it cant be detected. But I im not 100% sure, try at own ban risk :D
Posts: 192
What about......

Doing a macro key which does 1 > 5 and then just holding it for a whopping 10000 average APM? Would you get banned for something like that? :P
Posts: 117
I've never understood the people who spam actions to artificially increase their APM. It breaks the meaning of the statistic without giving any actual benefit to the spammer. I'd rather have a puny APM of 70 actually useful actions than a crazy APM of 300 wasted actions, myself.
Posts: 192
Just playing with the idea. I'm a low APM player myself :)
Posts: 7
I just received an answer from blizzard. I'm not sure if its applied in the backspace injecting method as i used a macro for this reason. So this is an official answer. As my english is not the best please tell me if it's legal or not.

Hello George,

Thanks for your email.

As long as you're not automating timings and actions in game, it shouldn't be a problem. If you are unsure it's always best to refrain from using macros in game.

I would recommend that you discuss this further with your fellow StarCraft II players (and Blizzard representatives) on the StarCraft II forums:

I hope this helps and have a nice day.

If you have any further questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Best Regards,

Erik A.
Blizzard Entertainment Europe

If you reply to this email, please include all previous replies and files.
Posts: 117
I understand that as "macros to do simple stuff are okay, macros which turn you into a partially automated bot player are not".

I personally have a macro which sends the message "gl hf" - amusing, but not of any actual use in the game.
Posts: 652
I don't have Razor mouse or keyboard. Can I make a macro?
If yes , please tell hot to do that
Customer Service
Posts: 2,901
From what I understand, Overpowered, you simply want to move one in-game function (= selecting a specific unit in a group) from its default key (= backspace) to another of your choosing, which you have available in your keyboard? Correct me if I misunderstood you, of course.

Were you to program multiple functions onto that same key, an execute them all with just one keypress, that wouldn't be ok. I don't see a problem with what you propose however; you're basically just changing a keybinding.
Posts: 48
Thanks, thats exactly what I meant.
Posts: 16
I have been browsing the forums for more than two hours now, and goggling as well, and this post is the closest I have come to an answer a lot of people ask.

It it also legal to rebind your mouse buttons?
I have found that some mice come with this function as default behaviour (customizable button layout). I have seen several support thread for people having trouble with patches and their mice (razor etc.). So it seems to be within the reign of the EULA which I have read several times to the best of my knowledge.

If it is legal, is it also legal to rebind your mouse buttons with third-party software other than your mouse driver?

My mouse uses windows default software, where you cannot rebind mouse3 and mouse-wheel. There is a program called autohotkey, which can help you rebind your keys on your keyboard and mouse. As with the razor mouses and windows default software, it is also able to crate macros.

I feel/fear that if I use this software I will get my account banned. Although I can nothing more than ordinary mouse software, and I will not use it for doing multiple actions.

What I would like is if you could answer the following two questions for all of us:

1. Whether or not it is okay to change the buttons on your mouse and mouse wheel, so you can bind them via the hot-key setup (control groups etc). Given that you only bind 1 key to one action.

2. Is Autohotkey deemed an Illegal third-party software by blizzard? (it might be, since it is possible to make macros with it (like all standard mouse software and windows default drivers also can).

I can rephrase question no 2 to, do you ban people for macros usage only based on macro pattern recognition? If that was that case I would feel quite safe (given question 1 is a yes).

I have this feeling that you do both, and I will get a permanently banned for installing software which is basically only an addition to my mouse driver.
Well. If my account gets frozen, this post will serve as an answer to the community. I will try my luck (unless getting a no to question no1).
Edited by Volc on 21/05/2011 11:25 BST
Customer Service
Posts: 2,901
We cannot take a stance against specific software, as whether it falls under acceptable use depends entirely on how it's used.

Autohotkey for example has been used to multibox (control several characters at once) in World of Warcraft for a long time, and we never had a problem with it, unless actions were automated. Yes, the program could be used for automation, but it doesn't have to be; it can also be used for what we consider fully legitimate purposes such as broadcasting a single keypress to 5 characters, each of which reacts to it with a specific spell of their own. Not automation, just a lot easier than physically binding 5 different keyboards together in a some highly creative manner. Or using your toes. I guess someone could pull that one off.

Are you simply moving hotkeys and not automating them by binding several together with timing functions? If so, I don't see a problem with it. Hotkeys are intended to be easy to reach - otherwise what's the point? - so if your customized ideal differs from ours, that's fine. We tried to give you flexibility with the in-game keybinding menu, but if this doesn't work for you, I wish you the best of luck finding a way to bind those extra mouse keys just the way you like.
Posts: 16
Thank you for your reply. The Eula on that point was not very clear to read. Your answer was very helpful.

Actually I was just talking about reassigning to the mouse buttons (mouse3,4,5 wheelup and wheeldown), since sc2 does not allow for this in it's own.

I think this post will clarify things for a lot of people. I have seen quite a few forum posts which said that Autohotkey would get you banned.

Also it is great to see you you have a reasonable approach to things.

Thank you for a great product, and a swift answer.
Edited by Volc on 25/05/2011 22:06 BST
Posts: 23
ummm so if i hot key my nexus to 5 and E makes a probe could i assign my g1 key on my g19 keyboard to make a probe or not ??? or would i have to assign 5 to g1 and E to g2
the only reason i ask is i have only have 1 arm and its very hard to play most games but i enjoy starcraft 2 and this way i could swop from mouse to keyboard but the g keys would help loads as there on the left side of the board next to my mouse
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