Multiboxers make use of a variety of features that may be built into their MMORPG of choice. This article aims to describe many of those features, and some ways that multiboxers take advantage of them.
Action Bars, or Hotbars, are at the heart of most MMORPG user interfaces.
Multiboxers make heavy use of Action Bars, especially when many Action Bars are available at the same time with the ability to assign a hotkey to any individual Action Bar button.
Addons, or User Interface mods, allow basic customization of the game client in ways deemed appropriate by the game developers. This feature is becoming increasingly common in MMORPGs. Addons are available in many games, including World of Warcraft.
ISBoxer automatically creates an Addon for World of Warcraft, allowing World of Warcraft macro management through the ISBoxer interface.
See also: Forum Topic: WoW Addons for multiboxing
Assist helps one player target the same thing as another player, in contrast to Skill Target Forwarding that may use an ability on another player's Target instead of your own (the other player). This feature is built into most MMORPGs.
Assist mechanics generally have a delay between character A targeting something, and character B being able to target the same thing (see diagram to the right). This is typically unexpected to most new multiboxers. In a nutshell, when you select a target your game client must send a message to the game server, and then the game server must send your new target to the other players near you. Until your clients get the message from the server, they will continue to pick up your previous target. See this video demonstration.
Auto-follow helps one player automatically follow behind another player. This feature is built into most MMORPGs.
Auto-follow is the only way to reliably move a group of characters together, since there is no other way to reliably coordinate this type of complex action. Consider the action you take to follow another player manually -- you can't simply hold down forward, you need to constantly adjust your heading and perhaps slow down or jump over obstacles.
Multiboxing in a game without an auto-follow feature (such as Dungeons & Dragons Online) is possible, but requires more time devoted to manual movement of each character.
Click to Move
Click to Move allows clicking on the game environment, or sometimes on other objects within the game such as NPCs, to move the character to the location of the click. This feature is available in World of Warcraft, and works in conjunction with Interact with Target.
Interact with Target
Interact with Target does the same thing as right-clicking on an NPC or other targetable game object, but via a configurable hotkey. This feature is available in World of Warcraft.
Key Bindings allow the use of configurable Hotkeys to perform actions. This feature is common to nearly all (if not all) MMORPGs.
Macros allow combining actions, sometimes conditionally, into the same Hotkey. Some games, such as EverQuest, additionally provide delayed action capability as part of the in-game macro system -- this is in contrast to ISBoxer, which does not provide any method for delayed action. This feature is available in most MMORPGs.
Skill Target Forwarding
Skill Target Forwarding allows the player to keep a "main assist" targeted, with the game forwarding harmful abilities to whatever the "main assist" has targeted. This feature is available in Lord of the Rings Online and RIFT.
Skill Target Forwarding is related to, and in some cases (may be used in place of, Assist. During combat, this feature means a player does not need to keep up with the main assist's target changing -- since the main assist can be targeted the entire time. However, this feature cannot be used in place of assist for peaceful matters, such as targeting a friendly NPC for questing.