Have you ever wondered how other players in an alert diss the boss with a scathing one-liner while blasting away or flex their muscles for the camera during the victory cutscene while your character just stands around clueless?
These in-the-know players are using keybinds.
Keybinding is a little-known feature in Champions Online that allows players to associate (i.e. bind) a certain action, like performing an emote or saying a text string in a chat channel, to a specific keystroke.
Let’s take a look at how to roll your very own keybinds. This site lists the console commands available.
Please note that, throughout this tutorial, I use the 0 key in almost all my examples. The reason for this is that 0 is not used by default. You may substitute this key with any key or combination of keys you wish.
Creating Simple Keybinds
To create a keybind in Champions Online, you type a command into the text input field of the chat window found at the bottom left of your screen and press ENTER on your keyboard.
Once done, that command is part of how the character works until the keybind is changed or overwritten.
The syntax used for commands looks like this:
/bind (key) (command) [parameter]
- key – This is the button(s) you wish to bind a command to.
- command – This is the game command or alias you wish to run when the key is pressed.
- parameter – Any parameter(s) the command you are using may require.
Example: /bind 0 local What’s up, heroes?
Result: Whenever you press the 0 key on your keyboard, your character will say What’s up, heroes? in the local chat channel.
You can also bind more than one command to a particular keystroke. When two or more commands are used, all the commands must be written between quotation marks and two dollar signs must be used to separate each command. The syntax looks like this:
/bind (key) “(command1)$$(command2)”
Example: /bind 0 “local Let’s dance, heroes!$$em dance_snake”
Result: Whenever you press the 9 key on your keyboard, your character will say Let’s dance, heroes! in the local chat channel and also perform the snake dance emote.
You may also bind one or more commands to a series of keystrokes by using the plus sign between the keys.
Example: /bind SHIFT+0 “teamup They were good but we were better!$$em dance_snake”
Result: Whenever you press the SHIFT and 0 keys on your keyboard, your character will say They were good but we were better! in the teamup chat channel and also perform the snake dance emote.
Please note that when you have a keybind with multiple commands, the first command will determine the binary state of your entire bind.
Loading, Saving and Editing Custom Keybinds
Once you have created your keybinds, they will be part of how your character works until you edit or remove them.
I’ve always found it easier to write, edit and save my keybinds in a simple text (.txt) file. This is a great way of quickly making changes to keybinds and transferring keybinds between characters.
To save your custom keybinds on the active character to a text file, type /bind_save_file (name of file) into the text input field of the chat window found at the bottom left of your screen and press ENTER on your keyboard.
Example: /bind_save_file Liberty.txt
Result: A file called Liberty.txt will be created in your Champions Online\Live folder containing all custom binds on the active character. You will notice that the /bind command no longer appears in our text file and that each line is a single keybind. Please note that, if a file with that name already exists, it will be overwritten.
Sometimes, you will want to make additions or changes to a character’s set of custom keybinds saved in a text file. To do so:
- open the text file you wish to edit, making sure that each line contains only one keybind;
- make and save changes as you would to any text file;
- type /bind_load_file (name of file) into the text input field of the chat window found at the bottom left of your screen and press ENTER on your keyboard.
Please note that only the keybinds contained in the loaded file will be applied. Loading a specific file will unbind other custom keybinds you may have on the active character.
There are a number of ways you can change your keybinds. You may:
- remove a bind from a keystroke entirely by using /unbind (key);
- use the /bind (key) command again with an existing keybind to overwrite the old keybind;
- manually edit keybinds in text files (.txt) in your Champions Online\Live folder as discussed above.
Binary and Toggle Commands
There are several commands that accept the binary operators + and – respectively.
When the + sign is in front of a command, the command is on while the key is pressed, and off when you release it.
Example: 0 “+up”
Result: While flying, you will fly up while 0 is pressed and stop when 0 is released.
Toggle commands can accept the ++ operator in front of them, which will switch the command between being on and being off.
Example: 0 “++autoForward”
Result: When you press 0, you will turn auto run on. If you are already auto running, pressing 0 will turn of auto run.
Keybinds and the Power Tray
If you would like to bind a particular keystroke to one of the powers in your power tray, you will use the PowerTrayExec command like this:
PowerTrayExec (State) (Tray Slot)
- State: the binary state of the power, i.e. whether it’s on (1) or off (0).
- Tray Slot: which power on your power tray will be activated based on the slot number illustrated below:
| 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 15 |
| 16 | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 14 |
Please note that since the first argument refers to the binary state of a power, the binary operators + and – can be used with this command. The syntax looks like this:
(operator)PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot)
Example: +PowerTrayExec 0
Result: This will execute the power in slot 0 (usually your energy builder) as long as the assigned key is held down.
You can bind a keystroke to a single power like this:
/bind (key) (operator)PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot)
This will bind a power to the selected key to function exactly like they do on your bar.
If you want the power to stay on until another power cancels it, you would do the following:
/bind (key) PowerTrayExec 1 (Tray Slot)
Notice that no operator (+ or -) was used before the PowerTrayExec command but that 1 was passed for the binary argument. This means that the power will stay on until cancelled. This also means that a charge power will attempt to completely charge, a maintain power will stay on until cancelled or you run out of power and so on.
If you want to switch a power off, you would do one of the following:
/bind (key) -PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot)
/bind (key) PowerTrayExec 0 (Tray Slot)
If you’d like to stop all powers from running, the syntax would look like this:
/bind (key) “-PowerTrayExec 16 $$ PowersCancelAllActivations”
You can also bind two or more powers from your power tray to a single keystroke. The syntax you would use looks like this:
/bind (key) “+PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot) $$ +PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot)”
However, there are some limitations to what you can do with respect to charge and maintain abilities. Let’s look at the following situation:
Example: /bind 0 “+PowerTrayExec 2 $$ +PowerTrayExec 3”
Result: If the first power (Tray Slot 2) is instant, it will activate and then the second power (Tray Slot 3) will activate when you press the 0 key.
However, if both powers are charges and/or maintains, the first power will be used as a tap ability and the second power will activate as a charge/maintain ability.
There are some pretty nice tricks you can do with keybinds, ranging from making certain actions easier to do to helping to bring a character to life. I’ve provided a few examples below to get you going. If you’ve got a cool trick you’d like to share, please send it through in-game mail to @apfarmakis.
Kicking butt and taking names
Although not exactly a trick, this keybind tries to capture the moment your hero faces down a big baddie. Your character will perform a taunt emote and then threaten the villain by name in the teamup chat channel.
- /bind 0 “em taunt01 $$ teamup Your madness ends now, $target!”
Saying something when a power is used
A staple of comic books is when the hero says something particularly witty just before knocking the villain out. Here’s how to do this in Champions Online.
- Syntax: /bind (key) “(Chat ID) (Your Text) $$ +PowerTrayExec (Tray Slot)”
- Example: /bind 0 “team Eat arrow, dirtbag! $$ +PowerTrayExec 4”
- Result: When you press 0, your character will say Eat arrow, dirtbag! in the team chat channel and then use the power in tray slot 4
Blocking without holding down the SHIFT key
Personally, I find it difficult to move around and/or target an enemy when I’m blocking because I have to keep the SHIFT key pressed to keep blocking attacks. Here’s how to make your block a toggle ability.
- /bind SHIFT PowerTrayExec 1 16
Looking at a targeted player character’s in-game description
I love reading other people’s character biographies and I also like checking how my biography looks but doing so is a bit tedious. Here’s a quick way to view the description of any player character that is currently your target.
- /bind 0 “target_info”
Walking instead of running
It seems that everyone’s in a rush nowadays. Do our characters always need to run to get to where they’re going? I think not. This keybind will keep you walking until you cancel the action.
- /bind 0 “++walk”
Being a better Beastmaster
Some people use pets. LOTS of pets. Here’s a nifty keybind that will keep your pets focused on destroying (or healing) your target.
/bind 0″PetCommands_GlobalPetTrayExec 0 0$$PetCommands_SetAllToOwnerAttackTarget”
Switching costumes without a phone booth
Some characters like the Human Torch fly by transforming themselves somehow. This is how this can be simulated in the game. Create a text file (e.g. human torch.txt) in your Champions Online\Live Folder with the follow bits of code:
- Example: T “+PowerTrayExec 14 $$ setactivecostume 0 1”
CONTROL+T “+PowerTrayExec 14 $$ setactivecostume 0 0”
- Result: When you press T (your flight button) you will switch to your second saved costume (your civilian or powered-up form). Pressing CONTROL+T will revert you to your first costume (your civilian attire or unpowered form).
When the original Captain Marvel was created back in the golden age of comics, his creators introduced a wonderful idea: a character with no special abilities transforms into a superhumanly powerful individual by saying a magic word. Let’s say you want to do something along these lines in Champions Online. Create a text file (e.g. shazam.txt) in your Champions Online\Live Folder with the follow bits of code:
- Example: 0 “teamup Looks like trouble! SHAZAM! $$ buildset 1”
CONTROL+0 “teamup Glad that’s over! SHAZAM! $$ buildset 0”
- Result: When you press 0, your character will switch to their second build with associated costume. Pressing CONTROL+0 will change you back to your first build.