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Advanced Binds - Custom Default Binds (using advanced binds) for New Alts


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This one takes a little more patience to set up but makes life quicker and easier when starting new alts.


I like to have some of my quality of life and shortcut binds present on ALL of my characters, then I can edit different mouse shortcuts for powers etc. individually after that. I'm impatient though, and I don't like having the pop-up on my screen with a countdown when I first log in on a new alt before I can click OK, I want my windows to be the right scales and colours I use, my chat bubble set-up how I like it etc. etc. This is how I fix that.

I won't post my *entire* default keybinds - because a lot of them are dependent on having other text files present in your binds folder and it wouldn't work for other players without them copying my exact set-up. I will, however, explain some of them that I like to use, why, and how you would tweak that to your preferences.


First up - the basics, and some things you'll benefit from knowing, in plain English:

  • Binds have a hard limit of around 255 characters, so for more complex ones you need to split them in to chunks (files) that fit those restrictions. That's why binds like this use multiple text files.
  • The 'bindloadfile' command will default to the 'root' game directory if you use relative paths ("bindloadfile file1.txt" would look for file1.txt in the root directory), this means you're cutting out however many characters you would waste on typing out the full HDD path, so you don't need to use "C:/Binds/whatever.txt" as a sloppy workaround for that - "binds/whatever.txt" is MUCH shorter than even that and lets you keep your binds subfolder in the game's directory. Win-win. Now this will differ from launcher to launcher - but essentially Tequila will look in the 'Tequila' directory if you don't use a full path, whereas Homecoming's launcher would look in "settings/live" (for the live servers). You may need to fiddle with this if you're using other launchers to find out where the game is looking by default, generally it'll be in the same location as the City of Heroes executable file, Homecoming have just sorted their versions to their own subfolders.
  • Removing the underscores from slash commands makes them shorter and the game still understands them - you don't need "bind_load_file", because "bindloadfile" works too and is two characters shorter. I like "bindloadfilesilent" because whilst it's a little longer, it means my chat window isn't getting spammed with bind files loading in, and I can still split most of my long bind loops in to 2 or 4 files to avoid the hard limit of text characters.
  • If you add "+ $$- $$" (note the spaces) to the beginning of your multiple file bind, it will actually execute two steps - once when you press the key down, and again when you release it. In a bind that uses multiple files - this means one keypress will run *two* bind files on a single push and release, speeding things up (this is the shortest possible number of characters and is thanks to JAMMan0000's suggestion on my 'Lazy Kin' bind topic). This is used here so that my T key loads in two sets of binds/commands with one press - file 1 loads when I press the key down, file 2 executes when I let go.


Right then, let's get started.

Step 1)
First up whilst you're ingame - get your window, positions scales & colours, chat bubbles/profanity settings, default keybinds etc. all configured how you like them and how you want them to be on all new characters you create. So don't put anything specific to a single alt in there (E.G. Don't put key binds in for Domination if you also play other ATs). Once you've done that you're going to use three slash commands in chat to save those settings out to text files in your game directory.


Command 1: /wdwsave - This should save a text file called wdw.txt to your CoH game directory (HC will save it in '/settings/live')
Command 2: /chatsave - This should save a text file called chat.txt to your CoH game directory (HC will save it in '/settings/live')
Command 3: /bindsave - This should save a text file called keybinds.txt to your CoH game directory (HC will save it in '/settings/live')
(These may actually be saved in '/settings/live' on Homecoming, hard to tell as mine is not a clean install. If they appear to be in that folder for you, then use that wherever I mentioned the main game/root directory below.)

OPTIONAL Command 4 (not used in the bind file examples below, see reply): /optionsave - This should save a text file called options.txt to your CoH game directory (HC will save it in '/settings/live')

These are now your preferred default settings for new alts. So whatever is in those three files becomes your baseline set of options/window appearances/keybinds on all new characters.

Step 2)

Navigate to the game directory and open up keybinds.txt in your text editor software. We're immediately going to save a copy of this with a new name - personally I use '2.txt' and I'll explain why shortly as well as give my examples below.

This file needs to be saved in your binds directory, not in the game's root folder, for my examples here the 'binds' directory is one I've created at <game folder>/settings/live/binds because I'm using Homecoming's launcher, if you were using Tequilla it would be <game directory>/binds and this will change between launchers and operating systems so see my notes above and test to see where yours is if it's not on PC and using the Homecoming launcher. This is so the ./ path shortcut works in your binds and ingame using slash commands - if you don't have the binds folder in the right location, this won't work and you'll get an error message in chat.

For this example, I've saved a copy of my keybinds.txt file as 2.txt in 'City of Heroes\settings\live\binds\.

Step 3)
Make another text file in the same directory as 2.txt and call it 1.txt.
Save it, then open up all three files in your text editor; keybinds.txt in your game directory, and both 1.txt and 2.txt in your binds folder.

This is where we start to tinker. We're going to blank our keybinds.txt file, then set up a single keybind in it that will load in our preferred settings, which will be split between keybinds.txt and 1.txt to avoid the 255 character limitation, then load in our default keybinds that we have saved in 2.txt

For me - T is the button I like to use when I start a new alt - I only have to press it once to load everything in, and as soon as I release the button it gets reset to it's default binding (no function or 'nop' for me). So it's only my 'load in my defaults' button for about 5 seconds on each new character. I like to use the stat monitors for a set of default stats too, so I've split those across the keybinds.txt and 1.txt file also.

My 'keybinds.txt' - located in the main game directory of my Homecoming installation
When I press T down, start monitoring Regen/Recovery/End Usage/To Hit/Damage/Recharge and then load in 1.txt from my binds directory. Want different stats monitored? Change it to your preferences - just bear in mind that some of the Defense and Resistance ones are bugged and their commands don't work.

T "+ $$- $$monitorattribute regeneration rate$$monitorattribute recovery rate$$monitorattribute Endurance Consumption$$monitorattribute to hit bonus$$monitorattribute damage bonus$$monitorattribute recharge time bonus$$bindloadfile binds\1.txt"

My '1.txt' - located in a '/binds' sub-folder of my Homecoming installation ('/settings/live/')
When I *release* T, add in Inf to my monitored stats window, load in my window settings from wdw.txt, load in my chat settings from chat.txt, set my buff icons at the top-right of my screen and my Team window side panel to the stacking/display settings I like, stack my power trays at the bottom-right of my screen and set them to tray 1, tray 2, and tray 3 immediately, then finally load in 2.txt which was my original default keybinds file.

T "+ $$- $$monitorattribute Influence$$wdwload$$chatload$$optionset buffsettings 1118480$$alttraysticky$$alttraysticky$$goto_tray_alt 2$$goto_tray_alt2 3$$bindloadfile binds/2.txt"

This will then load in your actual default key bindings that you saved in 2.txt and you can further edit to your liking or to add in some more of my advanced bind guides (E.G. I use my Manage quick shortcut on my E key, so this 2.txt file has the content of the first bindfile in that tutorial set to E's default binding - that way it loads in those two files to rotation for me on new alts)

BONUS addition for 2.txt - located in a '/binds' sub-folder of my Homecoming installation ('/settings/live/')
Make sure to add these binds to your Y and N keys in your 2.txt file - they're a MASSIVE time saver and will allow you to skip that annoying countdown on 'OK' that pops-up on your screen when you first load in new alts.

Edit your 'N' bind in 2.txt to read:
N "dialog_no$$dialog_answer cancel$$dialog_answer Ok"

Edit your 'Y' bind in 2.txt to read:
Y "dialog_yes$$dialog_answer accept$$dialog_answer Ok"

If you use that bonus note - after you load the binds in on your new character - hit Y on your keyboard and the annoying welcome pop-up with the countdown timer before you can click OK will just go away. The accept binds I've added mean you can press N to decline/answer no to pop-ups and Y to accept/answer yes to them. This works for teaming/buff prompts/teleport requests and other game dialog pop-ups in missions etc.

How to load this ingame when you have created your new alt: type /bindload in chat and hit enter then press and release T - that's it. Your new character now has your UI appearance, chat settings, power trays and default binds all loaded in and ready to go. If you used my bonus bindings for Y and N - you can also hit Y on your keyboard to dismiss that annoying timed welcome message you normally can't click OK on for 10 seconds.

Don't need all the stat monitor stuff? No problem, just delete those bits of the two files or alter to your own preferences (bear in mind you can only monitor a set number of stats at a time, if you add more they just get scrolled off the bottom - I have another advanced bind topic coming up for rotating monitored stats).

Want to change the way the alt trays work instead of having three of them stacked and set to trays 1, 2 and 3 like mine? Just edit the numbers in this part of 2.txt: alttraysticky$$alttraysticky$$goto_tray_alt 2$$goto_tray_alt2 3 - that command is telling the game to add both sticky trays above my normal tray 1 (alttraysticky ran twice adds the two trays) then set the second one to tray 2 and the third to tray 3. You could just as easily tell it to load in 8 and 9 by changing the 'goto_tray alt' and 'goto_tray alt2' commands to use 8 and 9 instead of 2 and 3. You can even remove the underscores here 'gototray alt' and 'gototray alt2' will work as well and save you 2 characters.

Don't like the buff icon settings I use? No problem, delete that command from 1.txt or alter to your preference; there's a good guide how it works here:

Best thing about this is that as you find your own little quality of life shortcuts and binds, you can just open up your 2.txt file in your text editor and add them in, that way when you load this on your new alts they all benefit straight out of the box. 🙂

Edited by Avernal
Improved shorter paths based on feedback on other topic
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I derped a bit here - my example set-ups don't load in the options the /optionsave command saves out to options.txt.

You don't actually need it, as your game client options will remain the same across all alts, unless you change them. You can either skip the /optionsave command step entirely, or add in optionload in to 1.txt somewhere with an extra $$ pair separating it from the other commands. It'll still fall under the 255 character limit for that file.

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