In the past few weeks, I have been playing RuneScape once again, partly to fuel my nostalgia (I used to play the game a fair amount when I was younger), but also because I enjoy procrastinating way too much. If you’ve not played RuneScape in any way at all, you will find that it is one of the most grindy games on the planet. To get around this, there’s a technology available that has been around for a long time called macros.

For those who do not know what a macro is, it is a series of instructions that can either be coded into a computer or recorded as the desired process is performed. This is normally used by people in job roles where automation is key to increasing productivity, for example accessing large amounts of databases to compile data.

Macros happen to be very useful for gamers as well. The downside for console gamers is that it’s not possible to record macros without extra equipment, for example an Arduino. On a PC it’s far easier, most gaming keyboards are bundled with software that enables macros to be recorded and activated, often without leaving a game. In my time PC gaming, there’s been three different times macros have helped me.

The first being a mission in GTA V with Michael where he is required to run 5 miles through the desert. The macro was simple as it was just holding two buttons until the distance was reached. The second game was cookie clicker, this one was designed to be able to click every time the screen refreshed, as it was a browser game it was restricted to 60FPS so the macro clicked 60 tiles per second as a way to spam clicks into the game.

Finally the macros I have been used recently within RuneScape have been to perform a set of actions that are designed to enable me to quickly grind through levels without a huge amount of effort; For example, mining a load of ore, smelting it together, turning it into a dagger, and then placing the daggers into the bank. Some may call this being lazy, I’m inclined to agree.

Some others may call it cheating; I just call it using the available resources.