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How Binds Work

Last Modified: July 28, 2010

Binds are nothing more than a set of commands that are performed when you press a key on the keyboard. All your keymappings such as jump, movement, and any other shortcut keys you use in the game are also binds and can be changed, modified, or removed as you see fit.

At it's simplest a bind command looks like this:

/bind [somekeyname] [somecommand or action]

You simply type your bind command into the chat box (remember the first /) and hit enter. Once you're done, the command will be bound to the key you entered. Simple right? Note that you can also do macros which allow you to bind commands to power buttons in your power tray instead of a key on your keyboard. There are advantages and disadvantages to each:

Binds

  • Are harder to edit
  • Are faster to execute
  • You can have many more binds than macros
  • Are launched by pressing a key

Macros

  • Can be edited directly from CoH via GUI interface
  • Are easier for some people because you can use it like any other power in your tray
  • Can be more bland

So the commands for each are:

/bind [key] [command] /macro [name] [command]

The bind is stupidly simple in that when you press the corresponding keyboard key, the command is executed. Be careful not to bind commands to keys that you need for something else (like spacebar which is used to jump).

As far as macros go, once you hit ENTER to complete the macro, a new power will appear on your tray. It uses a generic grey background, but the button is labeled based on the [name] value you entered before (which is why it's good to keep the name very short and descriptive… probably 4 characters or less).

A macro called Grr
A macro called Grr
And what it does
And what it does

Besides being easier for people who prefer to use the mouse rather than the keyboard, you have the advantage of being able to right-click a macro to edit it. Since with binds you either have to retype them from scratch or save all binds to disk, load the keybinds.txt file (found in your City or Heroes folder), fix it, and then cut and paste it back into CoH, that can be a huge time savings if you edit it frequently

You can see the macro by right-clicking and also select to edit it
You can see the macro by right-clicking and also select to edit it
Macros can be edited in-game.
Macros can be edited in-game.

Other than those differences, they function essentially the same so onto the commands!

Your First Bind

Gale is excited by her new power
Gale is excited by her new power

Note that while I will almost always use binds as examples, you can easily make them macros instead if you feel like it.

Probably the first thing anyone does once they learn binds is to bind some character-specific text to a power. For example:

/bind 0 "local LOOK I MADE A FLUFFY CLOD!$$powexec_name lightning storm"

Ok, let's break this down:

  • /bind 0

    This will bind the command that follows to the number key, 0. Note that there is no space between the first forward slash and the word "bind", but there is between bind and the key as well as between the key and the command. Also note that I have eclosed the command in quotes. This is very important so the entire command will be executed. Otherwise, if it hits a space, it will think the command is over and ignore the rest.

  • local LOOK I MADE A FLUFFY CLOD!

    This is a command to say some text in local chat. The two most common options are team or local just remember that if you use team, it will make a noise which calls people's attention to the chat window. That can be highly annoying when all you are doing is launching a power. Say it in local and people will still be able to read it, but won't have to deal with the constant beeping.

  • $$

    This is a hugely important command that you need to pay close attention to. It is a separator that you must put between separate commands on the same bind/macro. There are limits to how many commands and what type of commands you can combine, but two or three will generally work fine. In this case, we are combining a command to speak with one that launches a power.

  • powexec_name lightning storm

    This is pretty easy; it just launches the lightning storm power. For these to work, you have to know the correct name of the power and not make the common mistake of typing powerexec_name. It's powexec.

After you've typed this command, you can press the 0 key (or your macro button) to make it happen. Note that in my picture, you'll also see some HTML color codes. You should see the chat bubble change color, but they either disabled the ability to change the color or it's a bug that's waiting to be fixed. In either case, I haven't updated my binds to take out the colors yet so they look a little awkward (which is also why I didn't include the detail of how to add the color codes here).

Anyway, those are the basics. Let's move on.

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