My Keybindings


No need for an intro today – let’s get stuck in. The only thing I will say is that unlike most people who bind everything using 0-9, I’ve never understood this – isn’t it much easier to use the keys where your left hand naturally is anyway, such as F and E? Hence my apparently strange layout.

Yellow – Movement:

  • The standard WASD for movement, although A and D here are strafe left and right respectively, and not turn, because keyboard turning is for failures.

Green – Modifiers:

  • Shift and Alt are the two modifier keys I use (modifier keys are those which change the function of another key when held down, e.g. F is Attack 1 and Shift-F is Attack 2). I don’t use Ctrl because frankly it’s hard to reach – you have to swivel your hand round – and that’s both uncomfortable and unwieldy.

Red – Attacks:

  • F is my most-used spells, due to its easy accessibility. This means Shadow Bolt, Incinerate and Soul Fire, by using modifiers.
  • E is both my panic buttons and my main AoE spell, because if you hold down Alt, it’s like pressing A+E… AoE… Never mind. Here I have Rain of Fire, and Healthstone is bound to this too, because it’s a good key to spam in an emergency. Similarly, Every Man For Himself (the human racial which is like a PvP trinket) is here.
  • Q tends to be what I call my ‘QQ buttons’. Geddit? Anyway. So I have Fear, Howl of Terror and Death Coil here.
  • C is a bit of an all-rounder. This is Demonic Power with C, Metamorphosis with Alt-C and the character UI with Shift-C.
  • X is my curse button. Immolate, Curse of Agony and Corruption.
  • Z is the hardest to reach, so I have less-frequently used abilities on here, namely Life Tap, Summon Demonic Circle and Immolation Aura (for use in demon form).
  • As mentioned, I don’t believe in using all the numbers, but 1-4 is near enough that my extremely infrequently used abilities can be bound, sometimes. Mainly, these are Demon Armor and Wand.
  • 0, – and = are strange ones, and I have Drain Mana, Life and Soul on these. I don’t know why, at all, it’s just right for me. But I rarely use the abilities, so having them on the other side of the keyboard doesn’t matter.

Pink – Miscellaneous:

  • The grave accent ( ` ) up above Tab is my push-to-talk key for Vent.
  • R will reply to whispers, but with modifiers it will also Shadowflame or Searing Pain.
  • G sets my focus target.
  • V toggles nameplates, which I only use in PvP, but having it bound to a key (which I think is the default anyway) is handy.
  • Space is, of course, jump, but Shift-Space will also Teleport Demonic Circle.
  • The arrow keys. No longer shall I move with you! Up now resets Recount, while Right will toggle it (show or hide). Left toggles the currency screen (what can I say, I had use for it once) and Down toggles Omen.

As well as all the above, I do have a ‘ \ ‘ key between Shift and Z, which isn’t featured on the picture. This sends my pet to attack, or, if modified, summons either my land or air mount.

How do you keybind? I’d be interested to hear other points of view. Anyway, I hope you found this series of guides on addons, the UI and keybindings useful; it’s something I’ve meant to do for a long time!

See you tomorrow,



4 Responses to “My Keybindings”

  1. Aethelbert Says:

    I have developed a key binding system that I use pretty consistently across classes, though at this time I am only playing an elemental shammy, ret pally, and a lowbie warlock. I guarantee that it wouldn’t work for anybody else.

    I use WASD to move and QE to strafe. Call me a noob if you like, but it has worked for me for 4 years. I know all the arguments for mouse moving and tried to learn, but my left hand dexterity (oh the irony) is far better than my right hand.

    Shift and ctrl are my modifiers – they are easily reached by my left pinkie, no swivelling necessary. I use alt as my click-to-talk key with my left thumb.

    F is my main nukes using modifiers (e.g. lightning bolt, chain lightning, lava burst on the shammy). G is for the heal spells, V is my main panic button. R is for CC and ~ is for pets. T is for class specialties (e.g. totems).

    1 through = and Shift-1 through Shift-= are my secondary combat spells, arranged by most use to least. The 4 key, followed by 3 and 5 are my highest use, followed by 1 and 2. I can use any of the left hand keys or modified combinations except 1 and 2 while moving (assuming that the ability can be cast while moving). As you can see, my left hand does 90% of the work what with moving and fighting. I even tab-target most of the time, except when healing in groups.

    My right hand takes care of lower use spells on 6 through = and Shift-6 through Shift-= (left hand usually hits the shift key in those cases — seriously, my right hand is not very coordinated).

    \ (above the return key) is for mounts, ‘ is for other speed abilities. ; flips the camera and , toggles run/walk. Cooldown abilities are Y-U-I and H-J-K-L, without modifiers. I found that for spells I didn’t use a lot, I tend to forget the correct modifier in the heat of the moment.

  2. Sarainy Says:

    I’ve really enjoyed your series on addons/ui/keybinds – it is something that people do not share often (especially keybinds) yet I very much enjoy seeing how other people do things.

    My keybinds are an amalgamation of other peoples ideas that I ‘borrow’ and add to what is comfortable to me. One such idea from your keybinds is using the arrow keys for omen and recount, consider them ‘borrowed’! 😉

  3. Veliaf Says:

    @Aethelbert: Consistency is certainly a good thing. All my other characters use a slightly different system to Veliaf, because I learned to keybind with him first and so things ended up very haphazardly. The alts have the benefit of coming second, and so are arranged better. Both sets of binds are based on the same principles however.

    Keyboard turning is fine in PvE, in my opinion, if it doesn’t get you killed i.e. if you can do it well, as you most probably can. In PvP however, I’m gonna have to stick with my guns and promote mouse movement.

    Your system seems pretty logical; mine would be similar with the use of Y, I, etc, except I can’t bring myself to change the bindings of the main default UI windows… Pressing anything other than O for my guild would make me sad.

    Thanks for taking the time to make an informed comment!

    @Sarainy: Thank you 🙂 Perhaps I should patent my ideas…

    • Aethelbert Says:

      The four default hotkeys that I never change are C, B, O and L. I can’t live without those. In fact, in other games I find myself hitting B to look in my inventory and C to look at my character info — I just can’t help myself!

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