World of Warcraft Macro Guide / How to make wow macros

Ryan's Guide To Macros For Dummies and beyond

What the hell is a macro? A macro is a single computer instruction which results in a series of instructions in machine language. Wait, wtf does that mean? Well, in the context of WoW; Blizzard allows users to create their own isolated sections of code behind a command button.


To make a macro follow these instructions:
1. type /macro <enter> or click macro tab on menu.
2. click new
3. enter a name for your macro, if you dont want a name just type . and you wont even notice it.
4. choose an icon for your command button, if you choose the ? icon, then it will mimic the basic icon of the spell / ability you cast in your macro.
5. write your code


This is where it can get a little bit confusing for some people, but don't worry because its really quite easy once you know how.


First of all there are two things you need to know. One is that there is a 255 character limit to the code you can write behind each macro. The other is that each new command starts on a new line and with a / and then the function you want it to carry out. For the purposes of this guide, variables will be written within < > but when actually making the macro, these should not be included. At the end of this article is a slide show you can look through to find pictures of how to lay the different commands talked about.


Lets start with speech commands. This will allow you to write a sentence in a particular context e.g. /say /guild /2 etc and post it as many times as you like with one click. To make your first speech command type /say I am learning how to make a speech macro. Now drag this macro onto your UI and click it once. If you did it right, your character will say what you typed.


Now go back to your macro tab and delete all the code you typed in. You will notice that if you click your command button now it will do nothing. Try a few different commands such as /yell or /y and then typing a sentence. Or try typing /dance and your command button will make your toon dance.


well done!


Now you can try making a cast macro. Make a new macro, call it bob and make the icon a ?. Now type /cast <spell you want to cast> . This is done in the following format. In the case of casting a Flash of Light spell type /cast Flash of Light. (not 100% of players are paladins so just choose your own spell). Make sure that you spell it correctly with all spaces and capitals, and there should be a space between the /cast and the spell name.


Drag it onto your UI and try it out.


This format is simple and will cast the highest rank of that spell in your spell book. If you wish to cast a different
rank you need to type /cast Flash of Light(Rank #) # being your desired rank.

Now you have your first cast macro!

Now it starts to get a bit of fun. Make a new combined macro. Type the following (a new line here is a new line there). %t is the code for your target.
/y Healing %t now! You'll be better in no time mate!
/cast Flash of Light

If you did it right, when you click your command button it will yell healing <target> now! etc etc and at the same time it will cast flash of light.


or a simple speech one is

/target <name>

/point
/s you smell like camel poo

Try not to do this for any spells you are likely to be spamming or it will start to annoy the shit out of people nearby. And when using speech macros on trade: If it doesn't work after clicking twice you have lag. Don't keep clicking it or it will spam uncontrollably and add you to a few thousand ignore lists.


Speech macros can have as many new lines as you like and all will be carried out at once. Cast macros however are not so easy. Try typing the following:
/cast <spell>
/cast <diff spell>
You will notice that only the first will cast and it will say the second is not ready yet. This is because of the global cooldown on spells. There are a few compromises to this issue, but they are all rather advanced compared to what I am teaching you now. The only exemption to this are spells with no global cooldown such as Heroic strike on warriors.

/cast Heroic Strike

/cast Sunder Armor

If you have got this far and never made a macro before, then your doing well!

Have you ever been casting a long spell and then realise that you toons life depends on casting an instant spell right then and now? If yes, then the very simple stopcasting macro is your best friend.
In the case of a Holy Paladin you can try the following (it will work with any spell but it is particularly useful when combined with instant cast heals or high dmg spells).
/stopcasting
/cast Holy Shock
Now if your casting holy light and your target it about to be turned into arcane dust, you can click your new macro and it will immediately stop casting Holy Light and save their life with an instant Holy Shock.

Time for a cast sequence, get ready!

New Macro:
/castsequence <spell1>, <spell2>, <spell3>, <spell2>
Choose your spells positioning wisely, taking into account their cooldowns. You dont have to use the same amount of spells as me or the same order. Just make sure it is laid out in the correct way with a , and space between each spell.

This will allow you to click the same button over and over again, but each time it will cast a different spell. When it gets to the end it will start from the first again. However it is still missing a reset command so taht it will start from number one after a certain event.

Just add one of the following in the the <reset> position. reset=combat/target/10/shift/control/alt (10 is a number and in seconds) (and number of these variables can be added and separated by a /

/castsequence <reset> <spell1>, <spell2>, <spell3>, <spell2>

/castsequence reset=combat/target/shift Arcane Shot, Serpent Sting, Black Arrow


Now your sequence will reset when it comes across your chosen variable.

You now know how to make some of the most basic and most common macros! But I will continue to throw in some useful little commands

/equip <item name> (will equip the stated item)

List of Equipment slot names



Two-Hand Ranged

Bag Chest

Shirt Off Hand

Chest Shoulder

Back Tabard

Feet Thrown (ranged slot items like thrown daggers)

Finger Trinket

Hands Waist

Head One-Hand

Held In Off-hand Main Hand

Legs Off Hand

Neck Wrist

For using trinkets within other macros just use their slot number
/use 13 for the top trinket slot and
/use 14 for the bottom one.
This may come in handy if you wish to add a trinket proc into a castsequence or add speech to your trinket proc.


/cast [equipped:Two-Handed Swords/Two-Handed Maces/Two-Handed Axes/Polearms] Mortal Strike; Heroic Strike

This will cast Mortal Strike if any of the above are equipt, Heroic Strike if not


To create a command button with two functions using two separate binds try the following:
#showtooltip (if u desire) (tooltip is a line of speech)
/cast [button:1] <ground mounts name>
/cast [button:2] <flying mounts name>
Now you can cleft click to summon your ground mount and right click to summon your flying mount.

To cast a random spell from a selection use the command /castrandom e.g.
/castrandom [harm] spell1, spell2, spell3
/stopmacro [noharm]

Here is a load of evaluation commands and ideas from people all over the internet, just have a think about what you need a button to do and then how you can make it work.

help – Evaluates ‘true’ if target is friendly

harm – Evaluates ‘true’ if target is hostile

combat – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are in combat.

stance or stance:# – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are in a stance, or are in a particular stance

stealth – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are stealthed.

equipped: – Evaluates ‘true’ if item is equipped. Item can be any valid inventory slot, item class or item subclass.

pet: – Evaluates ‘true’ if the pet exists. Takes pet type (Owl, Bear, Imp) or pet name (Fluffy, MrBigglesworth). With no modifier (i.e. just [pet]) it evaluates ‘true’ if ANY pet exists.

indoors, outdoors – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are indoors or outdoors, respectively.

channeling: – Evaluates true if you are channeling the spell listed. With no spell listed, it evaluates true if any spell is being channeled.

exists and dead – Evaluates true if your target is dead, or actually exists.

party – evaluates true if the target is a member of your party

raid – evaluates true if the target is a member of your party or raid

group – evaluates true if you are in a group

/cast [help] Greater Heal; Smite

/cast [help] Greater Heal; [harm, combat] Smite; [harm, nocombat] Mind Flay

/cast [nopet] Call Pet; Revive Pet

/cast [pet:owl] Dive; [pet:cat] Dash; [pet] Growl

use [nomounted,outdoors] Black War Steed Bridle

/cast [group:party] Arcane Brilliance; Arcane Intellect



This comes to the end of my Guide to macros for now. Using a combination of all these basic commands you can create a decent range of useful macros to help you in your quest to succeed in WoW. GOOD LUCK!

PS: If you have any class macros or other commands please add them into the comments below.You now know how to make some of the most basic and most common macros! But I will continue to throw in some useful little commands

/equip <item name> (will equip the stated item)

List of Equipment slot names



Two-Hand Ranged

Bag Chest

Shirt Off Hand

Chest Shoulder

Back Tabard

Feet Thrown (ranged slot items like thrown daggers)

Finger Trinket

Hands Waist

Head One-Hand

Held In Off-hand Main Hand

Legs Off Hand

Neck Wrist

For using trinkets within other macros just use their slot number
/use 13 for the top trinket slot and
/use 14 for the bottom one.
This may come in handy if you wish to add a trinket proc into a castsequence or add speech to your trinket proc.


/cast [equipped:Two-Handed Swords/Two-Handed Maces/Two-Handed Axes/Polearms] Mortal Strike; Heroic Strike

This will cast Mortal Strike if any of the above are equipt, Heroic Strike if not


To create a command button with two functions using two separate binds try the following:
#showtooltip (if u desire) (tooltip is a line of speech)
/cast [button:1] <ground mounts name>
/cast [button:2] <flying mounts name>
Now you can cleft click to summon your ground mount and right click to summon your flying mount.

To cast a random spell from a selection use the command /castrandom e.g.
/castrandom [harm] spell1, spell2, spell3
/stopmacro [noharm]

Here is a load of evaluation commands and ideas from people all over the internet, just have a think about what you need a button to do and then how you can make it work.

help – Evaluates ‘true’ if target is friendly

harm – Evaluates ‘true’ if target is hostile

combat – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are in combat.

stance or stance:# – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are in a stance, or are in a particular stance

stealth – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are stealthed.

equipped: – Evaluates ‘true’ if item is equipped. Item can be any valid inventory slot, item class or item subclass.

pet: – Evaluates ‘true’ if the pet exists. Takes pet type (Owl, Bear, Imp) or pet name (Fluffy, MrBigglesworth). With no modifier (i.e. just [pet]) it evaluates ‘true’ if ANY pet exists.

indoors, outdoors – Evaluates ‘true’ if you are indoors or outdoors, respectively.

channeling: – Evaluates true if you are channeling the spell listed. With no spell listed, it evaluates true if any spell is being channeled.

exists and dead – Evaluates true if your target is dead, or actually exists.

party – evaluates true if the target is a member of your party

raid – evaluates true if the target is a member of your party or raid

group – evaluates true if you are in a group

/cast [help] Greater Heal; Smite

/cast [help] Greater Heal; [harm, combat] Smite; [harm, nocombat] Mind Flay

/cast [nopet] Call Pet; Revive Pet

/cast [pet:owl] Dive; [pet:cat] Dash; [pet] Growl

use [nomounted,outdoors] Black War Steed Bridle

/cast [group:party] Arcane Brilliance; Arcane Intellect



This comes to the end of my Guide to macros for now. Using a combination of all these basic commands you can create a decent range of useful macros to help you in your quest to succeed in WoW. GOOD LUCK!

PS: If you have any class macros or other commands please add them into the comments below.You now know how to make some of the most basic and most common macros! But I will continue to throw in some useful little commands.

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

chaladar profile image

chaladar 6 years ago

Nice guide! I also suggest that If you guys are looking for more information on macros to take a look at the wow guides on http://www.hiddenstuff.com/ Cheers!


mmorpgrealm profile image

mmorpgrealm 6 years ago

chaladar:) I saw you again


thrall55 6 years ago from UAE

Great help for newbies specially on macros, which are an effective tool when in pvp, even in simple task as changing mounts.


Matt Brady profile image

Matt Brady 6 years ago

Thanks for the macro tips - it can be daunting for a non techie to make them. But it does save a lot of key pressing when playing instances and dungeons. Some people say you should hit all your keys and not use macros, but hey, if you understand what they do, it's just a short cut!


Amberscar 6 years ago

I want a macro so that when my Death Bringer's Will trinket procs, i say ''O-OMG IM PROCCING''


Patrick Morton profile image

Patrick Morton 6 years ago

Nice Hub and good content!


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 6 years ago Author

/use Death Bringer's Will

/y O-OMG IM PROCCING!


Sara 6 years ago

wow thanx for this, breaks it down for a dummy like me. =D as of now i'm just playing around with everthing


Jd 6 years ago

Just had a noon ?. On the part in the paragraph on the reset command after the /10 you have it like this /10/shift/Control/alt. ok u say the 10 reps 10 in secs right what does the shift and control and alt mean? Are those keys as to where your spells are binded to in key bindings. That's pretty much what is confusing me because I read a lot on macros online and notice the shift and control and alt buttons a lot and don't know what they stand for. If you can help me out that would be great thanks gamers.


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 6 years ago Author

To answer Jd's question:

I have not played with macros much since writing this guide so Blizzard may have changed some commands. In fact I know a Few months back they added some restrictions to stop exploits. However if you are refering to this;

castsequence reset=combat/target/shift Arcane Shot, Serpent Sting, Black Arrow

the reset is what causes to sequence to start from the beginning. You choose one of the variables between the shifts, not all. You can try using the / and it may give you a choice. I cannot remember.

But anyway, in regards to shift control and alt: it means when you hit the chosen key on your board it will reset the sequence, rather than having it on a timer or attached to entering or leaving combat. As already stated I don't know if this still works. Try it out =P


Blackzt3r 6 years ago

would it work like:

/castsequence [reset=target] adrenaline rush, sinister strike,sinister strike

plz answer at "crewer11@gmail.com


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 6 years ago Author

My rogue is mutilate so this is how I tested it

/castsequence reset=combat Sinister Strike(Rank 12), Sinister Strike(Rank 12), Gouge

therefore your line is correct except the [] which are not needed and capitals on the abilities.

Mine show ranks because I shift clicked that rank from my spell book into the macro.

Hope that helps (email sent too)


Cliffor 6 years ago

Hey i was wondering,if i can make a macro when Bloodworm procs? if so how do i do it,been trying a lot nothing happens :(


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 5 years ago Author

I don't believe it is possible to detect a proc with a macro, though there may be some really advanced lua script or something that could do it. But the thing with lua is you may as well go add-on hunting.

In cataclysm though they are bringing out a new proc notification system for the default interface so in a few months you probably won't have to worry about it anyway. In the mean time, if you have flowing combat text enabled, most procs appear through that.


truebluewriter profile image

truebluewriter 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

nice, this has a lot of info... i just recently got back to wow (today) after over month of not playing and I've been reading up on the basics again.

I loved fiddling around with macros before although I always ended up going back to using ability buttons normally hehe I was trying to make the 1 or 2 button do it all rotation for warriors but was never able to come up with one I was satisfied with. Hopefully with cata I'll be going back to my macro experiments.


Marcelo 5 years ago

How i do with the cooldown?, i use an warrior and wanna go from defensive stance to berserker stance and then do recklessness and then go back to the defensive stance and then do the shield wall and shield block how i do that macro? mail me marcelo_leitao25@yahoo.com


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 5 years ago Author

Sorry, as explained in the article you cannot avoid the cooldown. Cooldowns are there to prevent players from making macros which automate everything in such a way.

The closest you can get to it is making a one button cast sequence, but you will have to click it once for every command after each cooldown.


Peter Simon 5 years ago

I want a macro for my hunter that cast Wing Clip when I am in melee range and concussive shot when I am outside of melee range is there a way to do that?


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 5 years ago Author

Well I no longer play wow, and I believe there are some changes to the macro system since, but mostly nerfs.

There MIGHT be a variable for distance / range or something but I doubt it.

What I can suggest is doing a duel click macro or an alt/shift/ctrl macro

For example

To create a command button with two functions using two separate binds try the following:

#showtooltip (if u desire) (tooltip is a line of speech)

/cast [button:1]

/cast [button:2]

Now you can cleft click to wing clip and right click to Concuss.

The other way is similar but changes the spell you use if a selected button such as shift is held down while you hit your normal key bind.

I thought I added this to the article but I can't find it, but you should be able to google it.


www.wowaccçcom 5 years ago

wonderfull post


Clayton Fernandes profile image

Clayton Fernandes 5 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

very well written!


Gargleskeet the Parched 4 years ago

I cannot believe how painstakingly thorough this was.I can only say; "/emote golf clap"


yoebaree profile image

yoebaree 4 years ago from Romania

Thanks, great hub, it was very helpful! Arena, here I come!


johnsdead 4 years ago

im trying to combine Frost Nova with Blink. i want to do it in that order, but i also want to use blink when ever it refreshes. how would i do that?


WoW Guide Master profile image

WoW Guide Master 4 years ago Author

I think the best way would probably be to make a macro where it Blinks normally, but if you hold shift or ctrl or alt (whichever you like) it uses Frost Nova. Unless you want to nova then blink, in which case you would do it the other way around.

You could make it show blink too which I THINK will make it show blinks cooldown.

There is no way to make both work with one click. Blizz stops that specifically to prevent exploitation. Play around with what you learned here and you should find something that works ok for you. That's half the fun! (I haven't got access to wow atm so I can't make something for you and test it. Been a while since I have played with macros too.

Good luck!


Icematikx profile image

Icematikx 4 years ago from United Kingdom, Staffordshire

Nice guide!


Chris 3 years ago

/castsequence Moonfire, Sunfire

good for having 1 key on druid to get the Dots on


Pendetta barth 3 years ago

Ever forget to cast Sacred Shield while tanking?

Single target

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=target Crusader Strike, Sacred Shield

AOE

#showtooltip

/castsequence reset=target Hammer of the Righteous, Sacred Shield

/equipset [spec:1] PSS ; SSS

/usetalents [spec:1] 2; [spec:2] 1

Awesome macro for people who want to change gear and spec at 1 click of the button!

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