Mouse keys

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Mouse keys are a feature of many operating systems that allows the numeric keypad to take on some of the functions of a pointing device. They can be useful when playing RuneScape because the "5" key can be used as a mouse-click, which can reduce strain on the player's hand when performing click-intensive playing, and it is possible to use mouse keys to jump the cursor a set distance, which can be used to reach options on drop-down menus.

Basics[edit | edit source]

The keys that are involved in mouse keys are only the ones on the numerical keypad.

  • 5 clicks the mouse, and the surrounding 8 numbers are used to move the cursor.
  • / sets the 5 key to left click.
  • - sets the 5 key to right click.
  • * sets the 5 key to left and right click simultaneously (useful for dropping an inventory of objects). [This no longer works.]
  • + double clicks (can be used to withdraw 2 items from the bank and various other things. In some parts of the game, it will only act as a single click. For example, using it to click on an item in your inventory. Note: This is extremely useful while alching).
  • 0 clicks and holds the cursor.
  • . releases the cursor if it has been held by pressing 0.

The cursor jump is performed by holding down Ctrl, then pressing one of the 8 directional keys. The cursor jump can only be used after it has been enabled in the mouse keys settings. The cursor jump is most frequently used when right clicking something to produce a drop-down menu, then pressing Ctrl+2+5 to select an option. The most common uses for the cursor jump are dropping items (the cursor must jump down to the second option) or withdrawing items (the cursor must jump down to the fourth option). The cursor jump distance can be adjusted by changing the top speed in mouse keys settings, or by changing the mouse pointer speed (including enabling or disabling pointer precision). It is not necessarily possible to get the jump distance that players may want, due to different mice set to different pointer speeds.

Mouse keys on a laptop[edit | edit source]

While 15-inch laptops can have a full keyboard with a numerical keypad, other laptops may not have an actual numerical keypad. However, these laptops often have keys which can double as a numeric keypad. Looking closely at keys may reveal small numbers, which are the numeric keypad. The numeric keypad can be enabled by turning Num Lock on. There also may not be an actual Num Lock key on these laptops, but there may be a key that doubles as a Num Lock key if the Fn (Function) key is held down. For mouse keys to work on a numeric keypad being used on a laptop in this way, it is essential that mouse keys are set up to be enabled while numlock is on. Note that turning on Num Lock in this situation will convert some of the letter keys to the numeric keypad keys, making it difficult to type while mouse keys are being used.

Despite this, some laptops do not have keys that can be converted to a numeric keypad. Mouse keys can be used on these laptops only by plugging in a keyboard, or possibly by downloading a program that would allow keys to be remapped to a numeric keypad (this is commonly done with the Caps Lock key, given that few people use it regularly). Keys can also be remapped by editing the Windows Registry directly, but this is not recommended for inexperienced users.

Setting up[edit | edit source]

Windows XP[edit | edit source]

Mouse keys are enabled on Windows XP by selecting the Control Panel from the Start Menu, selecting Accessibility Options, selecting Mouse, checking "Use MouseKeys," and clicking "Apply." An alternate way to enable mouse keys is to press Alt+left Shift+Num Lock, or pressing Shift five times, pressing Settings, and going to the Mouse tab. For additional settings, click "Settings." Check the box that says "Hold down Ctrl to speed up and Shift to slow down." This will enable the cursor jump. Players also may want to disable showing mouse keys status on the screen.

Windows Vista[edit | edit source]

Mouse keys are enabled on Windows Vista by selecting the Control Panel from the Start Menu, selecting Ease of Access, selecting the Ease of Access Centre, clicking "Make the mouse easier to use", then clicking "Set up Mouse Keys". Check the boxes that say "Turn on Mouse Keys" and "Hold down Ctrl to speed up and Shift to slow down." This will enable the cursor jump.

Windows 7[edit | edit source]

Mouse keys are enabled by going Start menu→Control Panel→Ease of Access→Change how your mouse works. Check the box that says "Turn on Mouse Keys". Setting can be adjusted from the "Set up Mouse Keys" link below the check box. Check the box that says "Hold down Ctrl to speed up and Shift to slow down." This will enable the cursor jump.

You can also enable it with Alt+left Shift+Num Lock.

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10[edit | edit source]

Mouse keys are enabled on Windows 8 by:

  1. Going to the bottom/top right-hand corner of your screen and moving the cursor up to open the Charms bar.
  2. Then click Settings→Control Panel to open up the control panel
  3. On the control panel click the heading Ease of Access→Change how your mouse works.
  4. Check the box that says "Turn on Mouse Keys".

Setting can be adjusted from the "Set up Mouse Keys" link below the check box. Check the box that says "Hold down Ctrl to speed up and Shift to slow down." This will enable the cursor jump.

You can also enable it with Alt+left Shift+Num Lock.

macOS[edit | edit source]

To turn on Mouse Keys, click the System Preferences icon on the Dock, and then click the Accessibility icon. Select the "Mouse & Trackpad" or "Pointer Control" pane from the sidebar, and turn on Mouse Keys (it may be under "Alternate Control Methods").

  • 5 clicks the mouse, and the surrounding eight number keys are used to move the cursor.
  • 0 clicks and holds the cursor.
  • . Releases the cursor if it has been held by pressing 0.

Linux (GNOME)[edit | edit source]

Use the main menu and go to Preferences→Keyboard, then in the Keyboard Preferences dialogue box switch to the tab called "Mouse Keys". Check the box at the top to enable Mouse Keys.

Adjust the acceleration, speed and delay sliders according to your personal preferences. Setting the acceleration to max, speed to around 45% and delay to 1% (press the right arrow key on the keyboard twice to achieve this) seems to be ideal for moving the mouse pointer between the different items in your inventory or bank with decent accuracy (it's recommended to test it yourself and adjust the settings to improve the precision). Neither the GNOME Mouse Settings nor dpi sensor buttons seem to affect the speed of the mouse pointer when using Mouse Keys.

You move the mouse pointer around with the number keys, using the 5 key to click.

Linux (Xfce)[edit | edit source]

Use the main menu and go to Settings→Accessibility, then switch to that tab called "Mouse". Check the box at the top to enable mouse keys. You move the mouse pointer around with the number keys, using the 5 key click and the + key to double-click.

Linux (KDE)[edit | edit source]

Use the main menu and go to Accessibility→Mouse Navigation, than click the box and choose the desired options.

Dropping items[edit | edit source]

Mouse keys can be used to drop items in the inventory. This technique significantly decreases the time taken to empty an inventory of unwanted items. This can be very useful to a player power levelling several different skills, such as mining, fishing, and woodcutting. With practice a full inventory (excluding the bottom row) can be dropped very quickly; there is no limit of how many items you can drop per tick.

Configuration[edit | edit source]

In order for mouse keys to be used to drop items, the downwards cursor jump (Ctrl-2) should be set to jump the exact distance between the first click (the right click on the item) and the drop option on the drop down menu.

To adjust the cursor jump distance, start by opening the mouse keys' settings window and try different settings on the "Top speed" slider. This setting does NOT affect how fast the mouse pointer moves when using the mouse, but it does affect the mouse keys jump distance, which makes it the best setting to adjust first. For each setting of Top Speed, go on RuneScape, right click an item, press Ctrl+2, and see if the cursor jumps down to the second option. If this does not work, change the Top Speed and try again until the distance is just right (or at least close).

If it is still not close enough to work, go to Mouse properties which is found in the Control Panel. From there, go to the Pointer options tab and you can further tweak the distance the mouse jumps by changing the pointer speed. You also may try turning "Enhance pointer precision" on and off to try out different combinations, as this also affects pointer speed.

Note: In some cases, the cursor will jump down further when dropping a second item, making the cursor jump to "examine", or "cancel" rather than "drop," even if the cursor jumped down to "drop" on the first item directly above the second item. To solve this problem you will have to untick "Enhance pointer precision" in mouse options and then try to set the jump distance correctly again.

It may take some experimenting to find the exact jump distance that you desire, and it may not even be possible to find an appropriate setting without significantly changing the mouse pointer speed. If you have to significantly change the mouse pointer speed in order to find an appropriate mouse keys' jump distance, you may waste more time getting used to the new pointer speed than you save from using the mouse keys' jump. Nevertheless, the mouse keys' jump can be useful even if you cannot get the exact distance right; for example, if you can get the cursor to jump down to just a few pixels over the drop option (so that it is still on "use"), it is still possible to drop items quickly (more quickly than while not using mouse keys at all) by using the cursor jump and gradually moving the mouse downwards while dropping the items.

How to use[edit | edit source]

Now that the mouse keys are configured to jump down to the second option, or at least close to it, try dropping an inventory of items. (This will not work on items in which drop is not the second option on the drop down list, such as items that have the option to wield. However, the items that are commonly dropped are items like logs, ores, or fish, and they have Drop as the second option).

Some people prefer to drop items using mouse keys while using the one-button mouse, enabled in the RuneScape options. To drop items this way, one would start by positioning the mouse at the top left item and then pressing 5+2+5 repeatedly until the bottom of the inventory is reached (one or both of the 5's can be substituted with the + key or a left click on the mouse as well). Then, the cursor would be moved up to the top of the second column of items using the mouse, and the second column would be dropped in the same way. The third and fourth columns would be dropped the same way as well.

However, it is also possible to drop items using mousekeys while using the two-button mouse, which is the default for most RuneScape players. The only difference would be that instead of pressing 5+2+5 for each item, the first input for each item would have to be a right click. The easiest way to do this is to right click with the mouse on each item and then press 2+5.

Sticky keys[edit | edit source]

With a standard keyboard, the Ctrl key can be held down with the pinkie side of the left hand while using mouse keys with the left hand. However, it is also possible to hold down the Ctrl key non-manually by using sticky keys. Like mouse keys, sticky keys is an accessibility program found in Windows by default. You can access it in the control panel in Windows, in the Accessibility Options or Ease of Access Centre. You can also turn sticky keys on and off by pressing Shift 5 times quickly (do not move your mouse or press any other key during these 5 Shift presses). Open up the sticky keys options by double clicking the icon in your task bar, or in the Accessibility Options or Ease of Access Centre in your control panel. In the sticky keys options, make sure "Lock modifier when keys are pressed twice in a row" is checked. Now, with sticky keys on, you can press Ctrl twice quickly to make the Ctrl key 'stick'. After this, you can use the mouse keys jump without holding down Ctrl manually. To unstick the key, press Ctrl once and it will go back to normal. (Note: While Ctrl is stuck down, you can't type or change to a different window using your taskbar. You must unstick Ctrl before typing or switching windows).

Legality[edit | edit source]

There is often confusion about whether mouse keys are legal or if they are considered macroing. Mouse keys are officially not considered macroing; they are allowed by Jagex because they are an accessibility option that is included in many operating systems. Players still have to manually press each click, so the program is not a "macro".[1]

Additionally, there is often further confusion about whether the + key in mouse keys is allowed. In mouse keys, the + key is set by default to double-click, and this cannot be changed. However, as the + key is part of the standard mouse keys, it would be impractical to ban it without banning all of mouse keys. Since it is a built-in feature, it is permitted to use the + key in mouse keys.

Programs that are similar to Windows Mousekeys but have more functionality or programmable functions, such as the ability to click in a specific place on the screen with a key press or generate a series of outputs (not including a double-click) from a single key press, are not legal to use.

Mouse keys can act in a different way on some keyboards and generate repeated outputs if keys are pressed simultaneously and held down. If this can happen on your keyboard, it would be best to avoid doing this so that you aren't flagged by the macro detection system.

Late last year Mod Balance and Mod Infinity made comments about Auto Hot Keys and mousekeys, specifically whether or not they were against the rules. A few RuneScapers weren't satisfied with their response to the situation and so we escalated the issue to our anti-cheating specialists who have confirmed that their statements were correct.

They have confirmed that:

Mousekeys (i.e. the windows accessibility tool) is allowed (it always has been); anything else is third party software and is not. If the team see evidence that a player is using AHK's, super-mousekeys or any other versions of this macroing software then they will take action against them. If a player is using normal mousekeys, they won't. The team are perfectly capable of detecting both and telling the different between them.

When it comes to skilling, mousekeys can potentially give an advantage when it comes to emptying the inventory quickly, however this requires a certain level of skill, though the following section of macroing rule is quite clear in regards to this behaviour:

"Software that generates input to our game applets. This includes software that automatically moves the mouse pointer or generates mouse clicks or key presses."

Now, mousekeys do not generate input as that is done by the user; it doesn't automatically move the mouse pointer to a specified coordinate, it moves it at a steady pace in the direction specified by the key pressed (2,4,6 or 8) and stops doing so when the key is released. It doesn't generate mouse clicks (as that is done by the user pressing 5) and it doesn't generate key presses. Without augmentation or modification (adjusting the inbuilt settings is not augmentation or modification and is fine) mousekeys are not capable of violating the rules against third party software.

— Mod MattHe Clan Leaders Forum[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Mod Ac. "Mouse keys - Rule Clarity.." 4 March 2010. Old School RuneScape Forums.
  2. ^ Clarification on AHK's (must have access to CLF)

External links[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]