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  1. #1

    Default [WOW] Bradsters 2020 Hardware Multi-Boxing Guide


    Late to the party as I rarely game these days. But today at lunch surfing the net I discovered the change in policy that Blizzard had made with types of software multi-boxing with key broadcast software.

    My 2007 Hardware guide is pretty outdated. While I don’t play Blizzard games (moral stance due to Hong Kong). The one thing about Hardware Multi-Boxing is its pretty easy to setup compared to your software setup.

    There will be many cons in terms of quality of life. That doesn’t mean its game over. Many of us played that way before software options became available. Sure, it sucks trading in a Cadillac for a Ford Pinto but at the end of the day the Pinto gets you to point B.

    Life is short, I was compelled to make a new 2020 guide to allow you to continue to enjoy your couple hours of freedom between the grind of real life.

    This guide will be setting up for 5 accounts as a template.
    Hardware Requirements
    1 Keyboard Multiplexer
    1 Extra Keyboard
    1 KVM switch
    5 Super Cheap Wireless mice (Cheap as possible is important, more on this later)
    5 PCS

    Keyboard Multiplexer
    Cost: $400

    Takes the input of a single keyboard and divides that keyboard command to all the other PCS via hardware PS/2 or USB input. In simple terms think of it like Audio Speakers. All you’re doing is connecting multiple speakers to one speaker Channel.

    Quick Glance on Vectra, here is one for 5 PCS. It’s worth browsing the site, this guide will be outdated in a short time and there may be better deals available.

    To connect: You’re just plugging in your main keyboard in to the front. Then connecting the USB cables in the back to each computer via USB. If you need help on the correct cords to go with it just ask the company. Do not order USB cables longer then 15ft. That’s about the limit.

    KVM Switch
    Cost: $80

    This would work but only an example. You could most certainly shop around and find something cheaper or better for your needs.

    This provides individual control to each computer. You will absolutely need this. Everything you type on your main keyboard that’s connected to the Multiplexer is always on. You can’t login, chat or do any action without all PCS doing the same thing. The KVM switch gives you this individual control.

    This is also how you change the main character. When the main one you go with dies, you change over to your KVM keyboard and have everything follow that.

    You will be exceptionally weaker in PVP. After the first 2 are down, the lag between switching using the KVM paired with having to switch physical keyboards while in a now awkward position. It’s still powerful. 5 fireballs at once will make anyone take a knee.

    The KVM connects to all the computers linking one keyboard to all of them like the Multiplexer. The difference here is only sends it to one PC at a time on a separate USB port. Using the secondary keyboard you can now use the KVM switch to manually switch between computers to type to them.

    Super cheap wireless mice, why?

    For AOE abilities! Most regular priced mouse has their own unique frequency. That way many people can use the same mouse in the area and won’t conflict with one another for control. Think of them as separate remotes.

    Buy super cheap overseas wireless mice. They forgo that to save cost. Each mouse has a receiver. You plug one receiver in each PC. Then just add batteries to just one mouse. Now when you move the mouse all them receive the signal, must like the keyboard multiplexer. Only it’s not as simple as it sounds. The mouse cursers will not stay in sync. Any time you need to perform an AOE ability or click on something like accept quest you will need to move the mouse cursor to the top left of the screen. By doing so you’ve just synced the cursor position from all mice.

    I can’t provide a link because I made the purchase over 15 years ago and don’t have the product experience to confirm a specific brand will work or not. That’s up to you to test. Thankfully it’s super cheap to find out.

    5 Computers
    While it’s technically 5, my assumption is you already have one and are in need of four others. It will be pointless for me to link them because it will be out of date shortly after. However If I could go back in time this is the following advice I would have provided myself.

    Use Laptops all the way, it’s going to save you big in the long run. Using laptops you do not need to buy four monitors to go with it. If that wasn’t really compelling then the following statement perhaps would convince you.

    The standard outlet is a on a 15 amp circuit. You can’t connect 5 Desktops and monitors to that. The breaker will trip. Thus, if you live in a one bedroom apartment like I once did, you’re going to need to run an extension cord all the way across the living room (your wife is going to love that).

    Running all that equipment it’s going to get hot. At the time I lived in a one bedroom, while I was on the top floor and it was already pretty warm. The 2 AC units in the apartment couldn’t keep up. I had to buy a third AC unit just for me to sit by all that equipment. Please keep in mind the rates were cheaper in 2005-2007 but I was paying well over $300 for electric for this. Also had to take multiple showers during long play sessions because it was so damn hot even with the added AC unit.

    Lastly if you’re single and you take your date home and they see something that looks like a NASA control center with 5 monitors and PCS setup, don’t expect much more than a one night stand. Anyone that see’s that is going to think you have issues.

    However, if you go with laptops. You can neatly stack those, don’t need to worry about power, heat, and extension cords. Plus you don’t look like an obsessed freak or government agent.

    I hope this guide gives you a direction on a way to continue to have fun enjoying what you do.

    Have a good one
    Last edited by Bradster : 11-18-2020 at 05:50 PM
    My YouTube Channel:
    Due to Blizzards position on Hong Kong, money > freedom. I stopped playing.

  2. #2


    I think this approach is quite dated, and it hasn't aged well.

    I'm sure the vectra still works, but there are $35-$55 options available now that handle mice and keyboard at the same time. Something like this: also has buttons or keyboard control to switch back and forth from broadcasting to unicasting as needed. This means you no longer have to worry about finding old RF mice - everyone went bluetooth years ago, even for cheap mice (bluetooth mice won't work for connecting multiple mice to the same receiver - the bluetooth connection only pairs 1 to 1). You can probably find some old mice on ebay, but there's really no reason to.

    Where sometimes it is just simpler to get a 2nd keyboard & mouse for individual control, I'd recommend doing a software KVM for that 2nd keyboard & mouse - the ability to just mouse between screens is great. Plus something like Barrier is free.

    I generally agree with your concerns about power. Laptops are generally good for lower power, but you can achieve the same result with very small form factor PC's. Where I dislike laptops is the screens - I think its just about impossible to have a nice looking setup spread out across 5 laptop screens. But you can mulitplex 4 PC's back to a single monitor if you want - looks better and is cheaper.

    For the PC's themselves, I'd suggest looking at virtualization 1st anyway though. I don't see any reason for 5 physically separate PC's anymore. You can use multi-desktop virtualization to split your PC into 5, and even plug in 5 keyboards and mice if that's what you want. But it seems to work best to split up your PC into 5, then plug 1 keyboard into the KM synchronizer above, then plug that KM synchronizer into all 5 of your virtual PCs. You achieve the same result, but its even cheaper, lower power, fewer cords, etc.

  3. #3


    If anyone is trying to build and has any questions It may be a few days but I will respond.

    My YouTube Channel:
    Due to Blizzards position on Hong Kong, money > freedom. I stopped playing.

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