A hotbar is a row of user-configurable buttons, usually located near the bottom or top of the screen. The user can assign skills, abilities, items, attacks etc. to locations on the hotbar, and then click that button to use whatever is attached to it. Hotbar buttons are usually also labeled with numbers, so the user can e.g. use the item in position 3 of the hotbar by pressing the number "3" on the keyboard. Many games offer the ability to switch between hotbar configurations.
- Most MMORPGs use a hotbar. Newer games even have multiple hotbars that map to the F-number keys, Ctrl + number and/or Alt + number. Some games have hotbars mapped to Shift + number in addition to those. There is also usually an option to click on skills and items to activate them for those players who don't fancy doing a Chopin impression during a boss battle.
- As well as most real-time strategy games, where they allow you to select or jump to certain groups of units.
- Many computer FPS games also use hotbars to allow the player to switch weapons quickly.
- Diablo has a hotbar where you can assign your usable items (perhaps most importantly, healing potions) and spells.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 originally included one hotbar at the bottom of the screen. Later patches added three more hotbars hidden by default.
- And its predecessor had three by default: the first is mapped to F1 through F12, and the other two used Shift or Control in combination with the previous.
- Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura had a hotbar that could hold skills and items. It also told the player how many of a particular potion remained in inventory. Items in the hot bar took up no space in the Grid Inventory, though their weight still counts for encumbrance.
- Thanks to its hybrid FPS/RPG gameplay, Deus Ex features a assignable hotbar for quick inventory access.
- Also appears in Minecraft and Terraria, the latter allowing you to lock it to prevent items from being selected by an accidental click.
- Starcraft II added the ability to access unit groups from the screen (in previous Blizzard Entertainment games, this was only possible via keyboard).