Use a macro AOE4 is cheating?

Hi, it’s possible using a macro in game or considered a cheating?
Please, I’m not looking for a personal opinion but a rule.


Typically in RTS pro gaming tournaments players are allowed to use specific macro. Think remapping keys to their extra mouse buttons. Typically done via software of their mouse, but sometimes also via scripts. What is typically not allowed is have the scripts do things for you: e.g. send back units, queue new villagers and so on.

There is no hard definition on this and typically it is decided by community consensus. If you want the letter of the law you can find this in the community standards of xbox.

I think most people around here consider it cheating but i’ve yet to see anything official.

What sort of things are you planning on creating macros for? Would love to see a mod with a bunch of quality of life macros built in as features.

I think Kiezel is right. You can generally use macros to remap keys, but you cannot use them to optimize tasks. So for example, select town center and create villager are separate hotkeys. You could not use a macro to combine those tasks into say, select town center and queue 3 villagers with 1 keystroke. Or cycle through TCs and queue villagers in all of them with 1 keystroke. That would give you an unfair advantage over everyone else. Another example would be a macro that places a mill and 8 farms around it. That, again, would be an unfair advantage as everyone else has to perform multiple actions to achieve that effect.


in ranked no one will ban you.
tourneys - host of tourney will decide.

■■■■■■■■ - you can. noone will ban you.

who says it?

show the rule.
it’s unfair laziness of players who did not use macros.

Thanks to everyone for the answers, I have not seen rules that prevent the use of macros and from what you write, neither you.

RESULT: Macro (currently) is LEGIT.

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Maybe technically legal, but other players will regard u as scum if they realize you are using optimizing macros.

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You could say the same thing of aim-bots and wall hacks in FPS games. Both are considered cheating and usually result in bans.

Both cases are utilizing outside software to achieve game performance that the game itself doesn’t enable. Just because other people COULD do the same thing, doesn’t mean it’s not frowned upon. You’re no longer playing the same game.

I realize there is nuance here. Wall hacks provide information that would not be available in the game under any circumstances. Optimizing macros don’t allow you to do things that can’t be done in the game at all, but they allow you to do things easier, more quickly, and more optimally than would normally be achieved playing the game without them. Basically the same as an aim-bot in FPS. Aim bots don’t make shots a person couldn’t technically make, but they artificially boost your skill higher than it should be and provide consistency and efficiency of play you wouldn’t otherwise demonstrate.

It’s like doping in sports. Everyone will hate you for it.

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cheats != macros.
nothing to discuss with person who thinks that aimbot is marcos.

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An aimbot may or may not be a macro, depending on how it’s programmed.

But that’s not the point. An aimbot does something that’s entirely possible within the normal game, but allows you to do it faster and more reliably (albeit in extreme cases there might be long shots that would be almost impossible without one). But the vast majority of the time an aimbot isn’t an auto-win. It just improves performance relative to other players in the same situation.

In what way is an optimizing macro different? It allows you to execute normal game tasks with improved accuracy, speed and reliability compared to everyone else. It’s an unfair advantage compared to everyone else in the game. It effectively boosts your apm, which is a core aspect of RTS performance. No different than an athlete using performance enhancing drugs, or an fps player using an aimbot, etc.

I’m not saying there aren’t cases where improving the efficiency of inputs isn’t good for a game. There are definitely those. The AoE series has seen tons of optimizing improvements (e.g. AoE2 went from farms expiring and needing manual replanting at the cost of wood, to a queue that handled replanting, to a longer queue for replanting, to an auto-replant button, to AoE3 and AoE4 not having replanting at all). But it should be done as a mod within the game’s official mod system (so other players can elect to play under that set of rules) or by the dev team. Running a 3rd party macro in the background that other players aren’t aware of is giving yourself an unfair advantage.

The system requirements for playing the game don’t say you need a PC with enough performance to run macros in the background, and you need to obtain the skillset to write your own macros, just so you can have a fair gaming experience. There’s no art of war for how to write macros. No dev livestream showcasing using macros to improve your play. You buy a game expecting to play the game, not to need to augment the game with a bunch of other code to remain competitive with other players of equal skill. 99% of players are not using macros. The majority wouldn’t even know where to start with creating them (I say this knowing full well how to generate macros myself).

Now I should say there’s nothing wrong with using macros against the AI. But if you’re using macros against other players who haven’t consented to it, you’re cheating yourself to undeserved wins. If you’re using macros in quickmatch/ranked, the reality is you’re cheating your way to a higher ranking than you deserve. The rating system should result in most players winning ~ 50% of their games once their rating stabilizes. If you get to where you’re winning ~50% of your games with macros, that means your average opponent is better than you and you’re using macros to make up the deficit in your skillset.

The only place where I could see this being fair is if you have someone with a physical disability who literally cannot input the same way as other folks. Say someone missing a couple fingers or missing a hand entirely. I’m totally onboard with making games accessible to people who would otherwise be unable to play conventionally, though how exactly to do that is not straightforward.