I thought macros are prohibited from use in Starcraft 2 multiplayer, but recently I've found a keyboard being sold by Blizzard:


Designed specifically for Blizzard Entertainment's highly anticipated Starcraft® II Wings of Liberty™, SteelSeries introduces the StarCraft® II Limited Edition Zboard™ Keyset. The custom designed keyset features labeled game commands on each key, in-game shortcuts, and artwork from the game. The gaming experience will enhance drastically due to one-touch macros and the ability to fully customize each key. This Limited Edition Keyset is a valuable tool for StarCraft II players looking to immerse themselves in the game and improve their performance and actions per minute (APM).

What does the bolded statement mean and what macros are supported/provided by this keyboard?

Thanks a lot.

  • I'm especially interested in what the race buttons are supposed to do for the user. They make it seem like that they change the functionality of the numbered macro keys depending on race.
    – Shaun
    Mar 3, 2011 at 18:14
  • 1
    @Shaun: Yeah, I think they allow per-race setting. A bonus if you can find the typo in the race names... Mar 3, 2011 at 22:51
  • @TomWij: Yeah, I noticed that misspelling. Quite the blunder!
    – Shaun
    Mar 3, 2011 at 23:09

4 Answers 4


I thought macros are prohibited from use in Starcraft 2 multiplayer[...] - Budda


enter image description here

Reports have been coming in of Blizzard banning players.

Pros can't be reached for comment, and Noobs are holding on for their dear lives.

We have confirmed reports that users have been banned. The following is a quote from one user:

So i was banned last friday for using "Third party" hardware that creates an unfair advantage

i was using the g19 logitech keyboard.

aparently bliz has a way to find if you macro onto keyboards.

I was using it for build orders, very simple macros to pop out some units with one button instead of 2.

wtf. Merikh (Platinum Protoss)

WTF indeed.

We now go live to Connie Chung with a response to Merikh by Blizzard... Connie?

Earlier today we met up with World of Warcraft GM Taudarak and he had this to say:

enter image description here

Dark news for keyboarding macro users every where.

Next up: Sports! Can the Nagrand Stranglers take on the Kapulu Roughriders? More after these messages

  • 5
    This is a very poor answer to the question. The OP said as much that he "thought macros were prohibited from use", but that this new keyboard from Blizzard designed specifically for SC2 was talking about having one-touch macro keys. He's asking what those keys do. If anything, this should be a comment, not an answer.
    – Mana
    Mar 3, 2011 at 17:48
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    @Shaun the keys are macros exactly like Budda's post says. They're illegal, just like my answer says. There is no mystery here. He thought that they must do something else because it was branded by Blizzard (and Blizzard doesn't allow macros), but the reality is they don't do anything special, they're just macros. Blizzard allows you to use a keyboard which contains macros as long as you don't use them yourself (as the answer says). I'm sorry if people don't like how I presented the answer as a joke, but its still correct and I'm not change it.
    – tzenes
    Mar 3, 2011 at 18:12
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    @Tom Starcraft player got banned, Starcraft player emailed blizzard, blizzard GM responded.
    – tzenes
    Mar 3, 2011 at 18:39
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    Guys, I'm getting more confused with each comment. Tzene, if I understood you in the correct way, you mean that keyboard DOES have keys with macros, but those macros are still not allowed for playing StarCraft. Then what is a point to buy such STARCRAFT2 keyboard that is NOT allowed to use keyboard features in game? What is a point for Blizzard to create a game keyboard that doesn't allow you to use keyboard features in game? P.S. I like humor very much, but could you please comment now without humor (just to be clear)?
    – Budda
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:51
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    @Budda the Steel series provides a large number of features including: Keysetts (which change what keys are bound to which), 9 Programmable keys (which are traditionally used for issuing commands to Windows to start new programs), and 28 "One-Touch" keys, which provide Functions that would normally require a complex combination of keys to accomplish, or would necessitate navigating through many layers of windows, can be accessed simply and easily by enabling the Pad Area (see ‘‘Pad LED’’) or Bar Area (see ‘‘Bar LED’’) and pressing the appropriate key.
    – tzenes
    Mar 4, 2011 at 7:33

One key should be for one single action.
If not, you fool yourself and you are considered cheating…

The one-touch macros are on the right:

It can be fully customized through the use of the included SteelSeries Z Engine software, which enables macros to be dragged and dropped onto specific keys by use of the program.

For more information, refer to the SteelSeries Zboard website and a screenshot for the Zboard.

An example of the Z Engine which supports a lot of different games and Z keyboards:

  • But what is the functionality of those macro keys? Those "MACRO" keys for Protoss, Terran, Zerg - what they do?
    – Budda
    Mar 3, 2011 at 16:57
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    @Budda: General Refence: SteelSeries Zboard: It can be fully customized through the use of the included SteelSeries Z Engine software which enables macros to be dragged and dropped onto specific keys by use of the program. ~ It sounds to me that these are pre-built macros that are allowed and thus those don't allow you to play better than someone without a keyboard. Mar 3, 2011 at 18:14
  • Are there any pre-build macros in StarCraft 2? Really?
    – Budda
    Mar 3, 2011 at 20:40
  • @Budda: In StarCraft 2? No. Mar 4, 2011 at 10:13

Depends. When user presses a key it goes to -> keyboard controller -> driver -> win (API message) -> game.

I don't know what realization did steelseries used but if macros reside on driver or even controller side then even OS cannot tell if it's user press or not

Actually many keyboard configurators / macros software work with win messages and that's how game know what happens.


as you can see from description SteelSeries puts simple key remapping as 'macro'. It was really helpful before user able to edit keyboard layout in-game.
Anyway it doesn't mean that other devices cannot do real macro.

  • I'm not so sure... I would say that the driver sends the proper sequence. Mar 3, 2011 at 16:26

Use your best judgment. If you think it may be cheating it probably is.

SC2 now provides the ability to remap keys in-game so under most circumstances you shouldn't need a 3rd party software or fancy keyboards to accomplish what you need.

A macro such as build a drone -> s,d would probably not get you banned.

However, a macro such as select queens, inject all hatches, sleep for 26 seconds and repeat would.

Anytime you introduce a time delay or looping into a macro, you are boting and may get banned.

  • 1
    I have a talk with Blizzard support and they tell that hard key remapping (one to one) is fine. But anything over this probably may be threated as ban reason.
    – Meta
    Mar 4, 2011 at 8:50

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