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I have a friend who's wanting to five box for WoW. He's been using a keyboard/mouse switch/signal multiplier, however it has proven to be not what he needs. He was looking at getting five sets of the same keyboard/mice to use around the office, then when playing wow, hook up all the receivers to the 5 different WoW PC's. So my question is this :

Is it possible to use 5 receivers for one mouse/ 5 receivers for one keyboard if all the keyboards are using the same frequency/ all the mice are using the same frequency?

If this cannot be done, some software/hardware solutions would be great.

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Sounds like this should be on SuperUser –  bwarner Oct 4 '10 at 16:21
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Actually I recommend checking out the resources at multiboxing.com –  Wikwocket Oct 4 '10 at 16:36
    
@bwarner It's already on Super User, actually. This question has been through... a bit of a journey. –  Grace Note Oct 4 '10 at 17:25
    
yes it has :) I'v been told a different website every time I posted it. I finally just told the guy to call Logitech and see if they know anything. Thanks for y'alls help and Ill look into the given websites/software examples –  Redburn Oct 4 '10 at 17:48
    
For anyone curious, here's the question on SU (and shameless self-promotion) - superuser.com/questions/11052/… –  Jeffrey Oct 5 '10 at 13:42
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

He could try with the excellent software Synergy. It works very well between different computers and even different operating systems, sharing the same mouse and keyboard across all screens.

I wouldn't know if it's useful for full-screen games but he could try.

Edit: Engadget wrote an excellent tutorial in http://engadget.com/2005/08/09/how-to-share-your-keyboard-and-mouse-in-realtime-with-synergy/

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Synergy is more of a KVM solution than duplicating mouse movement on a second or fifth PC. –  steve.lippert Oct 5 '10 at 15:55
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First, this is not the way multiboxing is normally done. Instead, once the characters are loaded, the "subordinate" characters are set to auto-follow the "primary" character. Then, using macros, specialized keybindings, etc., actions on the subordinate characters are triggered by the user's actions on the primary.

Specifically, there are a couple of technical problems with the approach your friend wants to follow:

  • In order to reduce interference - imagine the confusion if 3 people in close proximity were using the same model mouse! - each mouse and receiver are coordinated so that the receiver only picks up signals from that mouse. You may be able to override this by registering the mouse with each of the receivers, though your mileage may vary. More likely, registering it with receiver #2 would break its registration with receiver #1.
  • Even if you managed to get them all registered, you would also suffer from mouse pointer alignment problems. Basically, just because your mouse cursor was in a "safe" location on one PC doesn't mean that it is safe on the others. You could trigger all kinds of unintended behavior. You could reduce this significantly by hiding the UI (Shift-Z) on the subordinate characters. However, you could still suffer from targeting problems, for example, if a click event happened to target a mob that you didn't intend.
  • Multiboxing often is done on one PC in order to reduce the hardware expense. If you turn down all UI, effects, etc. on the non-primary instances, the client itself won't strain the PC too much. One mid-to-high-range gaming PC is much cheaper than 5, even if each of the 5 isn't as powerful.
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