Keybinding and User Interfaces For WoW Arena Gameplay

This is part 2 of 5 part article series.

The key to being successful in PvP is to not click ANYTHING, EVER!

In order to do this you will need to utilize two different aspects of our new User Interface. First we will need to use proper key bindings so everything is within reach of our fingers, and we can also use macros and the addon clique to reduce the amount of spells and abilities we need to have on our action bars.


If you have downloaded Bartender3 or a similar action bar addon, you will have a customizable setup now. Along with this you will be able to change all the key bindings for each and every bar. The most typical setup is to take Bars 1-3 and stack them on top of each other in the bottom middle of your screen.

Here is how I set up my action bars:

Action Bar 1Places 1-6 are abilities I need to have very easy access to. Now you can see at the end of the bar abilities that are usually bound to 0, -, and = are all bound to mouse actions. The normal = slot is bound to Mouse Button 4, which is the side mouse button. The normal – slot is bound to mouse button 4 and shift at the same time, while the 0 spot is bound to Ctrl and mouse 4 at the same time. These are all spells I use a lot while I am on the move, and my fingers need to be free for movement keys instead of spell keys.

Action Bar 2This bar is bound the same as Action Bar 1 except that spells 1-6 are bound to shift and their corresponding number. This is very easy to access even while moving your character with the movement keys. Try it out and you will see your response time decreased significantly once you become used to this.

At first you may become frustrated with it, but over time you will become used to the setup and will begin to love it and see its advantages.

Normally I save this bar for my most used cooldown abilities such as sprint or evasion as a rogue example, or Howl of Terror or Amp Curse for a Warlock. This gives you easy access to cooldowns without having to click them, which can keep you from moving and shorten your response time. Which could mean the death of a teammate, or the other person being healed to full before you can finish them off.

Action Bar 3

This bar is bound to Ctrl and the corresponding action number 1-6. This is much like action bar two, and gives you easy access to 6 more spells while maintaining full control of your character.

What this does for you

Overall you should have easy access to at least 21 (6 on each action bar and 3 mouse binds) different spells and abilities no matter what stance you are in, which is a great increase over the normal 5 to 6 and then clicking everything else.

This means a faster reaction time to an extra 15-16 abilities, some of which you may have not even used before but needed!

Every successful PvP players uses tons of macros, from mouseover macros to buff synergy macros they all help you accomplish your job on the battlefield.

Clique Addon Usage

This is one of the most powerful addons for use in PvP you will find. This is mostly for use with caster classes, and mostly healers. As a healer you can use this addon to heal your entire party without ever changing your target, in fact you can have an enemy targeted while you liberally heal and dispel your party.

You will be able to use mouse binds and key binds while over a unit frame to cast the corresponding spell on that character. This will allow you to switch between targets much quicker than most players can by clicking on the unit frame to select the player and then click the spell you would like to cast.

To set this up go into your spell book by pressing “P”, and there you will see this addon has added an extra tab at the bottom. Click on this tab to start binding your spells.

As an example when I play my Paladin I use:

Mouse button 4 (on the side of the mouse) as my button to cast max rank Flash of Light.

Shift and Mouse 4 will cast a Holy Light Rank 7, use this every10-12 seconds in place of Flash of Light in order to keep the Lights Grace buff active.

Then max rank Holy Light is bound to Ctrl and Mouse 4.

Blessing of Protection is the Middle Mouse Button.

Cleanse is bound to Alt and Mouse 4.

These all increase my abiltiy to switch targets and cleanse effectively. These are a requirement for healers in 5v5 matches where opposing teams will use a switch DPS target tactic to try and catch opposing healers off guard. With this addon it is much less likely that will happen to you!

All of these ideas above should serve to increase your reaction time, and if you start using all of them you should see an enormous effect on your PvP ability once you get used to them. In PvP, when every millisecond counts, these will make the sole difference between a loss and a win.

Seth Brown is the author of Spugnort’s PvP Guide find out how to dominate your opposition in every facet of World of Warcraft PvP from duels to arenas. Also check my many other WoW guides at Spugnort’s World Gaming Network Guides