Macros: Understanding Rift’s Macro system

General posted by Qube

Unless you’ve used Macros extensively in other games before – they’re simply a confusing portion of any MMO. Let’s start off by explaining what a macro is and what it is not:

With the way that the Rift macro system is set up these days, Macros are mostly used for adding functionality to a single button on your ability bar or to help consolidate some of your spells into a single button.

Macros (in Rift) are not, in any way, designed for automation. They can’t and will not be capable of playing your build for you and there are certain safeguards (or limitations depending who you ask) in the Rift macro system that prevents things like this from happening.

So what can you do? Well, here’s a few examples (using my words) of what you can and can not do:

What you can do:

    • Resurrect a player and notify the raid that you’re resurrecting a player.
    • Cast a spell on a player by mouseovering their name on your raid frame or their party frame.
    • Cast a buff or spell and notify yourself when it expires or is off cooldown (if you know the fixed cooldown time)
    • Take 4 or 5 abilities, all of which (except for one) have cooldowns and consolidate them into one spammable button.
    • Cast a targetable AOE ability at a specific target.

What you can’t do:

    • Put your entire rotation into 1 button spam.
    • Have a spell announce something to multiple chat channels.
    • Macro an ability then wait and cast another ability.


Let’s get started, shall we? Here’s a list of macro specific variables:

Modifier / Variable
[ctrl], [shift], [alt]cast [ctrl] @self Bloom
cast @mouseover Bloom
When Control is pressed, casts Bloom on self. When it is not pressed - casts Bloom on mouseover.
[notactive]cast [not active] Entropic VeilOnly used for toggled abilities. As the name states, it will cast a spell if it is not currently active. Great if you're a button spammer!
@selfcast @self BloomCasts Bloom on yourself
@mouseover / @mouseoveruicast @mouseover BloomCasts Bloom on your mouseover target
@lasttargetcast @lasttarget BloomCasts Bloom on your previous target
@targettargetcast @targettarget BloomCasts Bloom on the target of your current target.
@focuscast @focus BloomCasts Bloom on your /focus target.
@petcast @pet BloomIf you have a pet in your current purpose - this would cast Bloom on your pet.
@gtaecast @gtae Fire StormThis will cast your AoE targetable ability on the ground around the current selected target.
@mark # (or Skull, Shield etc)cast @mark 2 BloomCasts bloom on the unit that has the #2 Marked over their head.
#show #show Void Bolt
cast Countdown
cast Void Bolt
Will show the icon and tooltip of whatever ability you specify. *must be used at the very top line of the macro*
wait #cast Wild Growth
wait 12
raid Wild Growth over! Next person cast!
Casts wild growth then waits 12 seconds and announces to raid for next person to go.
target Deathbound
cast spell
If you are mid cast and immediately need to stop and switch targets, stopcasting is your friend - it alts cast and let's you immediately (minus GCD) attack something else.
suppressmacrofailures#show Void Bolt
cast Countdown
cast Void Bolt
If there are any error messages in regards to cooldowns or just anything really, this suppresses the error from spamming on your screen. I use it in almost all of my macros.
%tme waves at %t.* Player waves at target player name.
%rme gasps at the sight of a %r* Player gasps at the sight of a Mathosian.
%ome likes %o.* Player likes him/her.
%pme thinks thats %p.* Player thinks thats his/hers.
%sme wonders who %s is.* Player wonders who she/he is.


All of the listed above are most commonly (if not exclusively) used with Macros. That said – any slash command from the game can be used inside of a Macro – the information above is only supplemental.

Let’s build a macro, shall we? I would like to resurrect a player by mouse-overing their raid frame and announce that to the raid – so here’s how it would work:

Resurrect a player via mouseover an announce it to raid:

A few things you’ll notice: Not only am I doing @mouseover – I am also doing @mouseoverui. Now I don’t know for sure if this is required anymore – but at one point there was a difference between mouseovering built in raid frames and then using Addon raid frames. This blanket macro ensures that mouseovers will recognize the player themselves, the unit frame or any addon unit frames. As I mentioned – I can’t say for sure whether or not it is still required.

The other thing to notice – I’m also targeting the player even though for spells – you don’t need to. That’s because the variable listed above – %t – will not return a value without someone targeted. Mouse over’s do not return values. As such I need to target the player and then after I announce to raid – I return to my previous target.


Let’s do something a little more complicated. Let’s say we want to create a Macro that will cast a single target heal (bloom) on someone unless you have your Ctrl key pressed down when you cast it. In addition – let’s add a Shift modifier that will use your large heal cooldown on your mouseover target. This would be a modifier macro:

One important thing to note here: You can’t have the key’s bound inside of your key binding options in Rift. So let’s say your Bloom is bound to your #3. You’ll see Ctrl + 3 will self heal with Bloom. If you have Ctrl + 3 bound to something in key bindings – this macro will not work. Another thing worth noting: In my experience if you don’t have the [modifier] keys inserted before the fallback un-modified commands – the modifiers will likely not work.

This is what the above macro does. If I put this macro on my action bar, say 3, and press 3 while mouseovering a unit – it will heal that unit. If I press Ctrl + 3, it will heal myself. If I press Shift +3 while mouseovering a unit – it will use Essence Surge on the unit instead of anything else.

Let’s do one more example. Let’s take the resurrect macro I listed above – but add a battle res modifier to it:


Please Note: There are known issues with [modifier] keys in rift. A lot of users are complaining that they do not work with key presses but only button clicks. The only way I have found to remedy this is to clear any and call key bindings in your settings that are using the modifier key that you are attempting to use.

Hopefully this gave you a bit more insight into what is and what is not capable in the Rift Macro system. I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite macros. (Ignoring the fact that I use Mouse Over macros for every heal I’ve got).

Let’s say you have multiple roles and multiple gear sets. Well – Rift allows you to save equipped gear sets with the /saveequip # command – and you can load those gear sets by typing /loadequip #. You can also switch roles based on the order in which it appears in your soul window. So let’s say we wanted to load your first role and equip your first saved gear set – you would simply make a macro like this:

That would then change your role to your first, then load your first set of saved equipment.

If you have a boss that requires you to burn one specific target and focus fire – and you’re the unlucky one who has to mark and attack – simply add the mark function to one of your primary attacks. So as a Chloromancer if I was told to mark I may just make a macro that reads like this:

Keep in mind – you’ll only want to use this on the target that needs to be attacked at that point in time – so long as #1 is considered the “focus fire” target. So if everyone assists #1, no matter what every time you cast void life – it will mark that target with a #1.


  • Karthos

    Good guide. To add something about Shift/Ctrl/Alt modifiers: they are caps sensitive and must be in lower case form. Spent a good 10 minutes trying to figure out why my macro wasn’t working!

  • Pingback: Rift: A Starter’s Guide | RiftScene()

  • Heeelp!

    I believe that Rift disabled the ability to use “/script” in the macro system due to the fish botting epidemic over the holidays. Just thought you would want to know so you could update accordingly.

    • Qube

      You’re right, forgot about that. Thanks!

      • Hellborne

        autohotkey solves that

        • Cupcakes

          AutoHotKey will also flag your account for a suspension as it’s 3rd party application disallowed by their Terms of Service.

  • Hellborne

    /macrowait #sec to chain

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