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How to Change the Color of Your SteelSeries Keyboard

Let's dive into the features of the GG app and learn how to create dazzling effects with Engine.

RGB is one of the most attractive feature of a keyboard, and all the SteelSeries gaming keyboards come with beautiful, customizable, 16.8 million colors to feature in your dream setup.

This tutorial will walk you through setting up your Apex SteelSeries keyboard and RGB customization options.

1. Download and install our GG SteelSeries app for free. Open it up, login or create a new account.

2. Navigate to the Engine tab, where you can see all your gear. Your Apex keyboard will be on that list if it's plugged in.

SteelSeries GG Engine tab

Engine is essential to managing all your SteelSeries gear. You can update the firmware here. With my currently plugged-in Apex Pro, clicking the large banner allows me to enter the customization screen. You can also switch saved configuration profiles by using the CONFIG dropdown. For example, if you want to experiment, you can switch to CONFIG2 first.

3. Click the banner of your keyboard to enter this menu. The Illumination settings are at the top of the screen*.

SteelSeries keyboard configuration menu

Nota: Our newer keyboard models have a new system for adjusting illumination called Prism, which will allow you to tune it for all the compatible devices. If you have an older keyboard from us, you will instead see Illumination settings alongside the top menu near key bindings, macros, key actuation, and more.

The settings are overall quite similar for the older models, but with some small differences. Stay tuned while Prism is still in Early Access.

4. Now you can adjust RGB settings of your SteelSeries keyboard, from presets for all the keys to any individual.

RGB settings SteelSeries keyboard.

There are various ways to adjust the RGB settings. You can start with several presets before experimenting more.

Think of the settings as "Layers." The Layers drop down has three options, Active, Reactive, and Idle. Active simply means you are at your keyboard (not AFK). Reactive is for effects that happen while you press the keys. Idle is:, how do you want the keyboard to look when you're away? You can have a specific preset of RGB effects when you're away from it.

Selecting the Layer changes the applicable effects. Let's go through the Active Layer first.

Active Layer (while using the keyboard)

  • Effect: This drop down has several presets. Just select them to instantly see the changes on your keyboard (if you have Live Preview On, which is at the bottom of the screen). You can pick Single Color, ColorShift, or Breathe. The latter two will allow you to tweak the animation, which could be in waves (which can come from whatever direction you choose, and with different sizing and speed). You can also tweak the color by pressing that button next to Animation.

Active Effect Layer

You can adjust precisely when and what color appears, and even type in the R, G, and B values. Click on the color line to add a new color to the wave. We've made a guide for customizing your keyboard for Pride.

Color Choosing RGB Keyboard.

If you go back to Effects and choose one of the presets, like "SteelSeries Orange" or "Chasing Ghosts" those are premade and can't be adjusted. Feel free to experiment with your own creations!

Reactive Layer (what happens when you press a key)

Reactive RGB Keyboard effect.

  • Reactive Layer: These are RGB effects that trigger when you press on a key. Use the drop down to determine what kind of effect happens. For example, Line will make an effect go across the whole keyboard, in the color you selected (the icon next to the drop down.) You can lower or increase the speed to adjust the effect.

Idle Layer (when you're away from keyboard)

AFK RGB color keyboard effect.

  • Idle Layer: These settings are pretty much identical to the Active Layer. You can set up similar presets or single colors. The only difference is that you can choose when those effects appear by selecting a time from the dropdown. So you can have your keyboard go all black, all pink, or whatever else works for you when you're AFK.

5. Apply RGB settings to specific parts of the keyboard.

How to apply RGB effects to specific keys.

Now that you learned how to create effects, you can click and drag around the keyboard to select which specific keys you want to be affected by your settings. You can also click individual keys, and if you want to select multiple keys to adjust, hold Shift while clicking.

For instance, in the example above, the Chasing Ghosts preset is applied to most of the keys, but the arrow and DEL, END, etc. keys have a single, red color.

You can use this to apply a specific color to your numpad keys, for example, or all the number keys, the Function keys, and so on. Get creative and make your dream keyboard RGB setup!

Don't forget to press the Save button in the lower right when you're happy with the changes.

6. Save your Configuration and switch between saved RGB presets easily.

Save RGB Configuration settings

Lastly, you can save all these settings and toggle between them easily with the On-Board Profile customization. To save the RGB settings of your keyboard, use the drop down menu at the top (the three dots). You can Add New, Rename, Duplicate, or Delete the preset. You can save as many as you want and toggle between them in this menu.

7. That's it. You've learned how to adjust the RGB of your SteelSeries keyboard!

Finally, another neat trick: you can press the SteelSeries key and F11 or F12 to reduce or increase the brightness of the RGB keyboard — very useful if you want to watch a movie in the dark!

Ready to create your dream RGB setup for your SteelSeries keyboard? Now you know how. Come share pictures with other keyboard enthusiasts in our SteelSeries Discord.

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