Y’all listen, I have not lost my mind. I get that from an outside perspective it looks like it, especially since I’ve been deep in the rabbit hole of Crafting and Gathering lately. Now I’m admitting to using an expensive piece of tech to fish, but hear me out… it’s genuinely worth it.
Since returning to FFXIV, I’ve been writing guides daily I’ve been figuring out tasks I can complete while working. Given that I’ve been working almost daily without breaks finding things I can do passively is a blessing, especially when those passive tasks are associated with achievements I already wanted and would rather not complete when I do have the free time to game.
Early on in my blogging career, I spent a fair amount of time farming Eureka while writing since there was always a good amount of downtime between FATEs and the group of players I always farmed with used <se.#> to let us know if something had spawned. While I would have loved to continue to work on Combat related achievements or Relic Weapons, nowadays I can only complete passive content that is solo as I need to hop in and out of content to do research or take screenshots, which is why Crafting and Gathering have become so prominent for me.
While in previous expansions I always levelled up all of my Crafters and Gatherers, especially because I learned early it would be useful to repair gear by myself, the only Job I refused to utilize outside of Tribal Quests was Fisher because I refused to learn what bait fish required, the times they spawned and what a proper rotation for the Fisher was.
Admittedly fishing is never my favourite thing to do in any video game, but I will always end up doing it especially if there are achievements for it. In one game only 0.01% of players had the highest tier fishing achievement and you bet your butt I had it.
Though this time around I still struggled to get used to the ins and outs of Fishing, I finally got the hang of it. Unfortunately, though, I realized that Fishing was a bit too distracting while working because I was constantly changing what keyboard I was on and would regularly hit the wrong button, essentially losing the fish I wanted or messing up Double Hooks and Triple Hooks.
A few weeks ago I thought I would try my hand at utilizing my Stream Deck for Fishing. You see, I found Fishing on Controller a lot less distracting, but since Fishing on Controller utilizes the Trigger Buttons in tandem with Face Buttons I still found this distracting and realistically couldn’t do it.
Now, I know this is when you tell me to quit trying to min-max my work life, but this is when I tell you… absolutely not. Truthfully, Basically Average was started on the premise of trying to figure out niche ways of min-maxing video games. Even more importantly, I’m always the type of person who tries to maximize efficiency whether that’s for work or video games. If I can do something more easily, I will find the way and am absolutely happy to share it with others.
So, let’s get to talking about why I think that Fishing on a Stream Deck is overpowered. Now, this post is not meant to be a sales pitch for Stream Decks. They are realistically not essential for fishing. Not only that, but there is freeware associated with Stream Deck you can use, but overall this is to simply give those who have a Stream Deck another opportunity to use it.
Note: If you have any questions about FFXIV that you want me to cover feel free to leave them in a comment below, you can also ask me while I am streaming on Twitch, YouTube or in our community discord.
WHY I LIKE USING A STREAM DECK FOR FISHING
There are a few reasons I prefer using a Stream Deck for Fishing. The first is that it’s easy to put it on my lap while working and since you don’t need to press multiple buttons as you would a Controller, it makes switching from whatever you’re doing to the Stream Deck extremely easy.
The main reason I find the Stream Deck useful is because there are a few different ways to Fish and I usually change my HUD layout to accommodate which “rotation” I’m utilizing.
Sometimes when I’m too distracted, which is going to happen since I’m typically working while fishing, I forget to change my HUD layout to accommodate the phase I am in. This often makes me fail catches because I’m using an ability I don’t have access to or using the ability that drops my catch chance.
With the Stream Deck, I rarely drop catches and at most, I sometimes don’t realize abilities like Patience II have fallen off, but I will tell you how I combat this in the next section.
As an individual who often gets distracted, has ADHD and constantly forgets to rebind hotkeys, I’ve come up with several ways to combat my shortcomings and ensure higher rates of success.
Realistically the switch to Stream Deck wasn’t only because I wanted to be able to fish while I work. Chances are I would have used the Stream Deck for fishing sooner or later due to how much it simplifies everything for me.
As a player who has set up at least 30 macros when it comes to Gathering and Crafting tasks, hotbars can be extremely frustrating to work with. Even though you have a good amount of hotbars and slots to place Abilities, it sometimes feels like I’ve run out of keybinds that make sense to actually initiate them. While yes, I have a gaming Mouse and have modifiers set up, I still constantly get frustrated, especially if I’m changing tasks regularly.
The Stream Deck streamlines this in some really nifty ways and though I’ll go much more in-depth about this in a section later on, the most notable quality-of-life improvement is that I can use extremely obscure keybinds to initiate the Abilities or Macros I want to use. Things that would normally be unreachable on a Mouse and Keyboard are now possible and instead of having to hit multiple buttons, it’s just a finger press away.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR STREAM DECK FOR FISHING
To begin, you will need to ensure that you have Stream Deck’s official software on your computer. Open the Software and begin by creating a folder for Fishing.
Depending on the size of your Stram Deck and if you utilize any timer Macros, you may want to make seperate folders for each Fish you are trying to catch.
I personally have a 32 button Stream Deck and can easily fit at least 4 different types of Fish rotations in a single File Folder on the Stream Deck.
Once your File Folder(s) have been created head to the System Category to the right of the application. Here you will see an option for Hotkey. Realistically this is going to be the only option you need as you are able to create Hotkeys that include Modifiers (such as Ctrl+F).
Each time you create a new Hotkey button make sure you name it so you don’t get confused. This can be done in the Title section and players can change the placement, colour, size, font and the typography of the text (bold, underline, italics.)
If players want to avoid confusion if they aren’t focussing on the buttons they are pressing, they can add the images to these buttons by pressing the little down arrow to the right of the Icon. This will allow a player to upload the images and for the most part anything you need a picture of can be found on the FFXIV Wiki.
Other than that, you’re basically set! But let me tell you how I set up my HUD and Stream Deck.
HOW I SET UP MY HUD, MACROS AND STREAM DECK FOR FISHING
So, I’ve already admitted that I’m not someone who generally pays too much attention when Fishing, so my HUD and Stream Deck are a bit more “in-depth” or complicated than you need.
Right now I’m doing a lot of Fishing in the Diadem and there are 4 main sets of Fishing Rotations I use. They goes as follows:
A Fishing Rotation based on Patience II
A Fishing Rotation based on Makeshift Bait
A Fishing Rotation which includes an Identical Catch and a Triple Hook
A Fishing Rotation with a Timer that has both Hook and Triple Hook
Though players can set up their Stream Deck to only have a single button for each ability, the thing that works best for me is when all the Abilities I’m going to use are placed in the order I’m going to use them. For example, one of my rows is Cast > Hook > Mooch > Hook.
While yes this is redundant, it makes it so I don’t have to think about which button to press since I know “when I’m in this phase or catching this fish I use the buttons in this row.”
My fishing rotations are all placed on the right hand side of my Stream Deck so they all align in a similar fashion. That way the only thing I have to remember is what line I’m pressing buttons from.
On the left hand side of my Stream Deck screen I have the GP skills and potions such as Cordial, Hi-Cordial and Thaliak’s Favor. This way I have plenty of options for regaining GP and don’t accidently waste Cordial when I don’t need it or Angler’s Art if I’m planning on using it for Makeshift Bait.
As my Gatherers have a GP build so I can indefinitely Gather, having multiple GP regeneration options makes it possible to remain in a Patiencce II rotation for hours without having to break it. Of course this build only works for low-to-mid end content since you will need a good amount of Gathering and Perception for the highest level fish. Nonetheless, having these buttons or at least one for Hi-Cordial and one for Thaliaks Favor will be beneficial for all players so you don’t have to keep bouncing between your computer and the Stream Deck.
In the Center of my Stream Deck I have a Patience II Macro and Makeshift Bait. My Patience II Macro goes as follows:
/micon “Patience II”
/ac “Patience II” <wait.60>
/echo Halfway <wait.60>
/echo Reapply Soon <wait.23>
This Macro is tremendously important to me since it means I don’t have to pay attention to the Patience II timer and instead hear a sound effect right before it falls off. I must admit the two text Echos are pretty useless and I never really see them, but wait commands are only allowed to be 60 seconds long so you might as well have them.
If you are paying attention to the screen it will give you a quick queue of where you are in the buff, especially if you forget how long Patience II is.
I must warn you <se.4> is pretty startling, so I would recommend it if you’re a jumpy person. I personally like it because it breaks my focus and it will actually remind me to re-apply Patience II. I would, however, never use it for any of my Fish timers, because they are far too short and frequent.
As I mentioned, I have timers for the unique Fish in the Diadem. These help alert me when I need to use Triple Cast and I have them bound to obscure Hotkeys that I would never press otherwise. Realistically, I would hide these on Hotbars you never use because you will never have to move these Macros or even look at them.
On the Stream Deck itself, I have these buttons named after the fish I am trying to catch and have also ensured that I named the actual Macro so I don’t forget which fish it is associated with in case I end up moving the Hotkey later.
A typical timer Macro looks like this:
/ac “Cast” <wait.20>
<se.15> is a generally quiet and calm sound and since for the most part, you’re going to be using this unique Macro for the fish you’re trying to farm for a long period, you need to choose a sound effect that isn’t too obnoxious. Though I personally use this to know when to Triple Catch, it can also be useful for players who are trying to avoid catching certain Fish and don’t want to waste GP on Surface Slap, especially in situations where there are multiple Fish and Surface Slap is not very useful.
It can be useful to have a segregated hook button for those times when Patience II falls off, though I don’t have one. Instead, I simply use one of the many Hook buttons I have on the Stream Deck whenever I see that a Powerful Hookset has failed. In most cases you have time to fail one Hotkey and manage to catch a fish with the alternate Hotkey, but this will require you to have enough muscle memory to remember where the Hook Button is (ie. why my Hook is directly under my Powerful Hookset so I can quickly press it if necessary.)
At the end of the day, this doesn’t make Fishing completely automated and you will still have to look at your screen each time you hear a Fish tugging on the line. This is especially true for Patience II rotations, though if you are fishing in the same hole all day you tend to get used to the time it takes for each type of fish to pop by. Depending on the strength of the fish players may also get differing sound cues to let them know which Ability to use, though in my experience this hasn’t been something I could rely on.
Luckily for me, I’m able to see how many exclamation points appear above my head each time a Fish tugs, so it is generally easy to do this while typing. Even with my Stream Deck on the other side of the desk, I would say I have a 99% success rate of catching fish and utilizing my skills to the best of my ability and the only thing I mess up at this point is keeping track of my Angler’s Art limit and sometimes accidentally forget to pop a Hi-Cordial after I use Patience II causing me to be unable to use Precision Hookset or Powerful Hookset in rare circumstances. I can’t lie, this would probably happen even if I was Fishing without working since I’m not always aware of my surroundings… *cough* my bad.
WHAT OPTIONS DO YOU HAVE IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE A STREAM DECK
If players are thinking about investing in a Stream Deck, whether it’s for streaming, general work productivity or for Fishing you have three options.
I will outline the benefits of each to help you make a decision, however, as I have only used the Elgato Stream Deck XL, this is the only one I can give you the quality assurance of. I’ve used this product almost daily since 2020 without issue. All the buttons work, the screen shows no signs of dead pixels and there are no signs of wear and tear. Before me, my brother-in-law was the owner of the Elgato Stream Deck and he used it for 2 years before gifting it to me. Although he used it for work productivity and Macros for programs, it was used daily by him as well.
ELGATO STREAM DECK MINI
The first option is the Elgato Stream Deck Mini which has 6 buttons. Not to be a size queen, but I honestly cannot see this being useful in any means.
As a Fishing Rotation has at least 4 steps to it, having only 6 buttons limits the versatility you can provide yourself and though you can make more folders to accommodate for its size, I think this essentially defeats the purpose of having a Stream Deck in the first place.
If you already have a Stream Deck Mini my suggestion would be to have the following folders:
- A Folder Dedicated to GP Regeneration
- A Folder for Patience II with the following Abilities: Patience II > Cast > Precision Hookset > Mooch > Powerful Hookset
- A Folder for Makeshift Bait: Hi Cordial > Makeshift Bait > Cast > Mooch > Hook (I’d put Hook at the end because it will be the most frequently used)
- A Folder for Surface Slap: Prize Catch > Cast > Surface Slap > Mooch > Hook
- A Folder for Identical Catch: Prize Catch > Cast > Identical Catch > Mooch > Hook
- A Folder for Double & Triple Hook: Cast > Mooch > Hook > Double Hook > Triple Hook
Otherwise, for fish that require Identical Catch and Surface Slap, you’re kind of out of luck since for these rotations you typically need Prize Catch or one of the timed Buffs to make them work even relatively well.
At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to upsell, I’ve had several streamer colleagues complain about the quality of this product, saying that it was flimsy and broke shortly after the purchase. However, as I wasn’t the user of the hardware I cannot comment on how the device was treated or if it was the user’s fault. I also don’t know if the manufacturing of this device has changed since they used it to make it more sturdy, so I would strongly advise you to read reviews for making this particular purchase in case there have been an overwhelming amount of recent negative reviews.
ELGATO STREAM DECK MK.2
The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is probably the only other Stream Deck I could see being useful for Fishing since it has 15 buttons you can Macro.
Of course, again, you will lose one of these 15 buttons to a back button when using File Folders, but that shouldn’t be too big of an issue since you’ll be able to have 2-3 Fisher Rotations based on their complexity per folder.
My one concern with the Elgato Strem Deck MK.2 is that colleagues still complained about it, mostly because the stand not being durable. You can somewhat get away with this, as users don’t need to utilize the stand and can simply use it like a controller, but if you’re planning on using it for streaming or regular workloads, the stand is going to be important.
The last I heard a complaint about the stand was about a year ago, so similar to the Elgato Stream Deck Mini, I would take a look at the most recent reviews to see if there have been any quality changes because realistically I would say this is your best bet when it comes to finding a perfect sized controller for Macros.
If you’re planning on purchasing the Stream Deck simply for Fishing efficiency, this is the one in my opinion.
Essentially there are two ways I’d build folders. The first for simplicity:
First Row: Hi-Cordial > Thaliak’s Favor >Prize Catch > Triple Hook
Second Row: Patience II > Cast > Precision Hookset > Mooch > Powerful Hookset
Third Row: Makeshift Bait > Cast > Hook > Mooch > Hook
If you want more versatility and don’t need multiple of the same button I would recommend the following:
First Row: Hi-Cordial > Thaliak’s Favor > Identical Catch > Prize Catch
Second Row: Makeshift Bait > Cast > Hook > Surface Slap > Triple Hook
Third Row: Patience II > Cast > Precision Hookset > Mooch > Powerful Hookset
In my head, these are the most important Abilities to a player and are relatively close to being in line as a rotation. Of course, it’s best to build different folders based on the type of fish you are trying to catch, especially when you have a finite number of physical buttons as there is an extremely high chance you will never use Patience II when you are hoping to land Triple Hooks on a fish.
If I was going to program the Stream Deck MK.2 to my liking it would be these two folders:
The Patience II Folder:
First Row: Surface Slap > Cordial > Hi-Cordial > Thaliak’s Favor
Second Row: Patience II > Cast > Precision Hookset > Mooch > Powerful Hookset
The Makeshift Bait Folder:
First Row: Makeshift Bait > Surface Slap > Identical Catch > Prize Catch
Second Row: Hi Cordial > Cast > Hook > Mooch II > Hook
Third Row: Cast > Hook > Mooch > Hook > Triple Hook
ELGATO STREAM DECK XL
As I’ve said, the Elgato Stream Deck XL is the device that I use and though I mostly utilize it for transitions on stream and sometimes for shortcuts while editing music, I recognize that it is overkill when it comes to Fishing.
I don’t think that anyone needs a Stream Deck XL if all they hope is to fish with it, but I can personally attest that it is a very hardy device.
You see, in my family, we have this ongoing joke… that’s not so much a joke, that I should be a full-time product tester. Legitimately, anything I get my hands on I will sooner or later destroy in ways that you wouldn’t think a human could destroy. While I wish I was more careful with my belongings and try to be as careful as I can, not only am I incredibly clumsy and will drop things on a whim, but I also have the bad tendency of placing things down in horrible places leading them to be likely to be knocked over and dropped on the ground.
If I’m not the one breaking things, chances are my cats will have a go at them and most recently one of my cats ended up smashing my headphones, breaking the cans off them and causing them to be extremely uncomfortable to use.
I’m happy to report, as I did before, that the Stream Deck has survived this and hopefully my brother-in-law isn’t reading this, but I’ve dropped it several times because of where I placed it on my desk initially, but it still fully functions and again, doesn’t show any signs of damage and oddly enough no scratches.
Now this isn’t to say it is indestructible, because it is still a piece of plastic, but it’s relatively thick and durable which is why I was so surprised to hear complaints about the smaller devices. I will say that I have thought about the weight of the smaller Stream Decks and have wondered if they were at a higher risk of sliding around. When I first started using the Stream Deck I got frustrated every so often because it would move around if I pressed it in particular manners, but as soon as I placed it on my mouse pad, which is big enough for my keyboard, mouse and Stream Deck it wasn’t an issue.
Alright, as for layouts. As you can see, you have 32 buttons on the XL variant and as mentioned it is a bit of an overkill. I realistically don’t need multiple folders for the rotations I use in the Diadem and still have a good number of slots to spare. For me, I prefer this, though this is mostly a “just in case” thought as when buttons are too close together I tend to hit the wrong one. I’m relating this to playing piano mostly and have been known to press two keys at once while performing. While I have hit the wrong button on the Stream Deck since using it as a controller, it hasn’t been because the buttons are too close to each other, but rather that I didn’t hear the sound effect go off when Patience fell off or I hit Triple Hook instead of Hook because I haven’t labelled the buttons well enough.
I must admit to being pampered and love the fact that I don’t have to keep switching folders and have the freedom to have multiple lines of rotation. I get that most people won’t care about having duplicate buttons on their setup, but I thoroughly enjoy being able to press button one then two then three then four, even though two and four are the exact same Ability.
Realistically, this is the “treat yourself” Stream Deck, but if the price difference isn’t significant to you it’s the better investment since it’s reviewed as being more durable and you will have much more flexibility if you end up using it for tasks inside and out of FFXIV.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE STREAM DECK
I tried hard to find alternatives to the Stream Deck since I recognize Elgato products tend to be overpriced and not worth the cost due to their quality. In my opinion, non-gamer products tend to be more durable, if not have better specs are are generally less expensive.
The only problem is that I’ve been struggling to find an alternative that isn’t bombarded with terrible reviews. The only one that I’ve found that is getting decent reviews is the Razer Stream Controller, though it depends on where you are looking as users are much more split.
I generally dislike Razer products more than Elgato, though my opinion is based on audio technology and realistically I would never use either brand for any audio tech.
I understand that you cannot go off of reviews on online stores, but as Elgato cornered this market for years there have not been enough user experiences to get a good idea of what other products are equal in quality if not better. I will say, that it looks like all of the very off-brand products are very negatively reviewed with little to no positive feedback.
I’ll take some more time to look into some other options and see if I can manage to pull some product reviews together if I can find alternatives that can be purchased here. But, for the time being, I will go on record stating that the Stream Deck XL is the one Elgato product I think is well-designed and worth the price.
Truthfully, it’s the one product that Elgato really focused on and it feels like many of their other products are “knock-offs” that have a streamer twist, kind of like gaming chairs versus office chairs. While yes they do the thing they are meant to do, they don’t bring significant enough improvements to the table to make the markup worth it.
While I wouldn’t recommend people go out to buy Stream Decks simply to fish in FFXIV, I do feel like they’re a much easier type of controller to use for certain tasks.
Honestly, I’m curious about what other tasks I can do in FFXIV while utilizing the Stream Deck and have a few ideas of things I’d like to try for future posts.
The two major benefits for me when it comes to using the Stream Deck for Fishing are that I don’t have to constantly change my HUD and can have as many Macro Timers as I want, all bound to obscure keybinds I’d never hit accidentally.
Since the Stream Deck is also stationary, I can easily reach for it and hit whatever button I want and since for the most part I use the images of the Abilities as the buttons the risk of me hitting the wrong one is unlikely.
I can’t lie and have to say that I’m extremely happy that I have the Stream Deck XL because I can essentially make full lines of Fishing Rotations and I don’t know if I could manage to passively fish without the full rotation mapped out for myself. I know how crazy that sounds, but now that I’ve built a muscle memory of where buttons are I rarely have to look at the Stream Deck to know which button to press and at most, I take a glimpse at my computer screen if I don’t know if I saw things correctly.
I’d be very curious if any of you try out Fishing on the Stream Deck and if you do, I’d be very interested to hear what layouts you’ve created for yourself. Do they look similar to mine? Do you have multiple Folders? Of course, there are fishing rotations that are generally good for multiple Fish, but what a player does will depend on how much GP they have and whether they need a Mooch or a Triple Hook.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!