Focus target

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The focus target is a supplement to the targeting system, used to keep track of a second unit other than the currently targeted unit. The focus may be used jointly with the manual targeting system to manage targets and coordinate attacks or heals. The focus also acts as sort of "target memory" meaning that the focus can be set then recalled, either by hotkey or macro.

The Focus Unit Frame

Whenever a player has a focus, the user interface creates a new Unit Frame for the focus. The Unit Frame, unlike some other unit frames, when unlocked, may be moved to any desirable position on the screen. Additionally, to make it stand out further, there is an interface option to have a smaller frame for the focus.

The user interface treats the focus as if it were a party unit frame in nearly all respects. This means that it supplies full real-time updates for the currently stored focus, including health and mana updates and casting bars. It may also show the focus' target and potentially their casting bar. It may be accessed with a mouse-click, hotkey, or macro. In the default user interface, the target unit frame will be highlighted in white if it is also the focus.

Note: While the focus may be accessed by macro, many addons can inhibit or interfere with the focus causing a dialog box to appear. Typically, this may be ignored and reapplied.

How to Set the Focus

By Mouse

  1. Right click on the desired Unit Frame.
  2. Choose "Set Focus" from the popup menu.
  3. Some addons will affect the ability to set the Focus. If a dialog box appears, simply click Ignore.
  4. Repeat the procedure. If it fails a second time, then the conflicting addon may need to be disabled.

By Hotkey

First, you have to set the Set Focus key in the Customize Keys menu. Then you simply have to target a character and press the key that you have assigned.

By Console or Macro

/focus - Set the current target as the focus.

How to Get the Focus

By Mouse

Simply click on the Focus Unit Frame.

By Hotkey

First, you have to set the Target Focus key in the Customize Keys menu. Then you simply have to press the key that you have assigned.

By Console or Macro

/target focus - Targets the current focus.

Using the Focus Target

The Focus may be used for a variety of purposes depending on how it is implemented in the player's user interface.

  • It may be very useful for healing classes that need to keep track of a particular player
  • Crowd control classes may track a mob while casting spells on someone else.
  • Multi-purpose classes may track a single target while casting for multiple purposes on multiple targets. For example, a Healer may heal a tank while casting dots on the tank's target.
  • With advanced use, a player may set a party member as a "pointer" and cast spells on each target the "pointer" targets without ever targeting manually.
Focus Command Summary
Slash command Function
/focus Set the current target as the focus.
/target focus Targets the current focus.
/clearfocus Clear the current focus
/target focustarget Target whatever the focus is targeting1
/cast [@focus] ... Targeting the focus as a modifier of another spell2
/script SetRaidTarget("focus", 1) Set a raid icon on the focus3


In macros, "focus" works as a generic unit name in macros, similar to "player", "target", or "pet". This means it can be passed to UI functions that take a unit name, or used in modifiers in macros. For example /cast [@focus] Polymorph would attempt to cast [Polymorph] on the focus. A mage using this macro simply has to set his focus to the mob he wants to sheep, and can re-sheep with one button without having to manually click the mob again.

Some additional notes:

  • Targets of targets can be chained further. (e.g. /target focustargettargettarget)
  • Also works with /use or any other command that takes modifiers in square brackets.
  • Focus is passed to all UI functions that take a unit name as "focus".

See also