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Many times, it’s easy to ignore the default software that comes with hardware. Why install extra software if the component works fine by itself?

For one, the software is often beneficial, which is especially the case with drivers. Secondly, sometimes hardware companies put a lot of time and effort into including useful programs for their users. These programs range in use, from game recording How to Take Videos & Screenshots of Games in Windows How to Take Videos & Screenshots of Games in Windows You want to document your game progress, but when you hit PrtSc on your keyboard, all you get is a snapshot of your desktop? Here's how to take video game screenshots. Read More to macros.

Razer Synapse is a great example of this. If you own a Razer keyboard or mouse, fantastic macro customization is seconds away with Synapse. While macros aren’t the most widespread gaming topic, the ability to create and combine macros can seriously take your gaming to the next level. If you play real-time strategy (RTS) and fighting games, these offer a huge advantage.

The Basics of Synapse Macros

Razer Synapse works with every Razer device you have connected to your PC. Once Synapse is downloaded and installed onto your PC, it will recognize and display your devices like in the screenshot below.

From the Customize window, you can program your keys to whatever function you’d like. You can even link specific programs with macros in order to activate different macros in certain games. To access macro settings, click the Macros tab and you’ll see the following interface.

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The right-hand side of the window will log and display macro steps. On the left-hand side, there are a group of parameters:

  • Macro is where you select your pre-configured macro.
  • Macro Name allows you the name the upcoming macro.
  • Record Delay records input delay in millisecond increments.
  • Default Delay sets default delay for all inputs.
  • No Delay cancels delay.
  • Record begins recording macros.

These are the options you will need to record all your macros.

Recording Macros

Recording macros is simple — knowing what to record and why to record it is the hard part. Different games will require different macros to fit certain needs. Let’s take For Honor as an example. For Honor (our beginner’s guide Tips and Tricks for Playing For Honor Tips and Tricks for Playing For Honor For Honor is here, and you're going to need some help to become the strongest warrior on the battlefield. Grab your blade and prepare with these top tips. Read More ) has move combinations — similar to combos in a fighting game — which you can automate.

What about automating a repetitive task? Let’s combine a simple forward move and shield bash, a common move in For Honor, in order to access it quickly. This particular sequence is mapped to W + Space > Scroll Button. Simply click the Record button and type in your values.

That’s it! Leave the Record Delay default on for now. Name your macro by changing the Macro Name parameter, and it will be accessible under that name.

Macro Programs and Websites

Besides being able to macro key combinations, you can also macro programs and websites. Head to the Customize section and click on a key, then click the drop-down menu under Key Assignment and select Launch Program.

Then, choose the radio button beside either Launch Program or Launch Website.

Both can serve a useful purpose. For example, do you play League of Legends but often forget champion counters? Program two keys in a row: one to open League of Legends, and the other to open the LoL Counter website.

If you insist on only using one key in Synapse, you can also link a batch script How to Write a Simple Batch (BAT) File How to Write a Simple Batch (BAT) File Batch files can automate everyday computer tasks. We'll show you how batch files work and teach you the basics. By the end of this article, you'll have written your first batch file. Read More to your macros so you can open multiple programs and windows with a single click.

While this feature cannot stack key combinations (link two consecutive macros to a third) it’s a fantastic utility to play around with.

Set and Link Profile

Setting profiles will allow you to specify which macros work at what time. The last thing you want is to confuse your macros, or have macros enabled when they shouldn’t be. To create a profile, click the + button under Select Profile and name it whatever you’d like under Profile Name.

Then, check the Link Program option, find your game’s executable file, and double-click it. This will link your game to this individual profile.

You will need to re-calibrate sensitivity and acceleration to simulate previous profile settings.

Set Macros

Click on the Customize tab to get started and you’ll see an image of your Razer device. Click on a numbered button or keyboard key. You should see a Button Assignment window wherein you decide what to do with the button. Under Button Assignment, click on the dropdown menu and select Macro.  Then, under Assign Macro, you should see your pre-configured macros.

I chose Shield Bash, the macro created above.

Choose your playback option (once, repeatedly, or on/off toggle) and select Save. Now you can use your macro with the assigned button/key.

To Macro, or Not to Macro

The most difficult part of including macros in your daily gaming routine is finding out when to use them. While I’d recommend using macros, consider two things: they’re not for every game, and you shouldn’t abuse macros.

Image Credit: Runescape Wiki

The easiest games to upgrade with macros are games which involve move sets, often found in fighting games 5 Browser-Based Fighting Games That Are Actually Good 5 Browser-Based Fighting Games That Are Actually Good Some of the best fighting games are actually available for free as Flash games in your browser. Read More . For Honor, as stated in the example above, supports different character move sets. You can even assign macro groups for different characters, or replace the same buttons with different macro profiles.

RTS games 4 Excellent Real-Time Strategy Games You Can Play On The Cheap 4 Excellent Real-Time Strategy Games You Can Play On The Cheap The real-time strategy genre is one of the staples in gaming today. Other genres, like first person shooters and role playing games, are saturated with hundreds of different titles, but real-time strategy doesn’t hold the... Read More also perform well with macros. Certain widespread RTS games even have libraries of macros available for users. Let’s review an example of a basic macro in the RTS Company of Heroes 2.

If you want to take your gaming to the next level, you have to use keyboard shortcuts. Wandering through a CoH2 map having to click to base and back to another spot will waste precious seconds. The keyboard shortcut to access the American faction’s rifleman, for instance, is F1 (Barracks) + R (Rifleman) + Right-click Map. This will allow you to order a rifleman and place them in a certain location.

You can reduce the previous command to a key, thanks to Synapse. It’s that simple. The more you familiarize yourself with macros, the more you’ll find uses for them. Macro uses range in both size and complexity, and are downloadable and interchangeable online.

MacroYour Gaming

Now is a good a time as any to pick up macro gaming. They’re simple to set up, easy to use, and no problem to change back. Synapse is a perk that any Razer user should use more often, especially those in the gaming community who prefer games that are time-sensitive.

Do you use macros? Why or why not? Let us know your favorite macros in the comments below!

Image Credit: Mangm srisukh stock photo and Marlon Lopez MMG1 Design via Shutterstock.com

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  1. PrettyPink
    April 29, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I use mine to paste commands into CS:GO. It makes it so I don't need to alt-tab to get them. When I press the right key; cl_loadout_colorweaponnames 1
    +cl_show_team_equipment & cl_teamid_overhead_always 1
    Will appear. It's very helpful.

  2. swr
    September 27, 2016 at 9:56 am

    ok i have no interest in the rights and wrongs of using a macro to help make things easier in games.
    at the moment im using a macro that will press 1 wait 20 seconds and press 2 wait another 15 seconds. This is a crafting macro that makes crafting 100 stupid items needed to make 25 other stupid items to then make 5 items i actually need alot easier.
    the game does provide you with small macro commands so by pressing 1 i can activate 4 commands with the delay and pressing 2 can activate the other 4 commands and finish the craft.
    using a macro like this is against the tos so i want to find out if i can set a random delay of say 20-27 seconds then press 2 then a random delay of 15-20 seconds. i believe this will make it much less detectable even at the cost of the macro potentially taking a bit longer.

    cheers

  3. Connor
    April 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

    How do you get it to detect the macro keys? I have an older black widow ultimate, synapse won't detect it but the macro recording part of the legacy driver looks really similar, however the macro keys still do nothing. It won't play any macros or single keys I set them to, and won't register them being pressed either when trying to record a macro, or in a key scancode detecting program.

    Why do my macro keys not work?

  4. Devin H
    January 6, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I just need to understand what key combination sets macros on the fly. It messes up the basic functionality of the keyboard outside of gaming etc (and even within gaming tbh). I got this keyboard for my boyfriend, but I regularly use his PC (and so, this keyboard) to play my own games. He plays more intense games, where you'd expect someone to use macros while I play mostly casual/simulation games. For example, The Sims. SO...I'll be going along just fine with the keyboard working like a dream and then bam: buttons stop working. As you can see, right now, all of them work (that I can tell). In the game, to open the cheat console to reset a Sim or whatever you press Control+Shift+C. Shortly after doing this in game, without fail, this key combo breaks the C key to where I can only use it if I press shift (therefore giving me a capital C) and on one occasion the H key did the same. Anyway, what I'm getting at is how do you get it to NOT record macros because that's obviously what it's trying to do when I open the cheat console (and I just know some smartass is going to say don't cheat- the cheat console isn't used just for cheating. It can be used to reset Sims and other things that have nothing to do with making the game easier).

    • James
      January 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      i'm not sure what keyboard you're using, but if it's similar to mine, the "on the fly" macro recorder would be fn+F9, you should see a circle with an "m" in it if thats the case with your keyboard. If that isn't the case with your keyboard, it may be that "ctrl+shift+c" is a macro recording command, but more likely than not your boyfriend set up a macro to that holds 'c' down (which would be crouch in a lot of games) that may be activated with that combo. try checking out razer synapse or asking your boyfriend.

  5. carte.tf
    July 12, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Hi can you share how to use the "on the fly" macro button to set a macro??
    thanks for the help :)

  6. ZH
    February 6, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Hi can share about how to perform an autokey macro recording or perform ? I mean can we, after setting the macro, AFK and the macro will play the key over again and again without the need of pressing on keyboard ?
    thanks for helping!

  7. Anon
    January 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Question I dont have both razer kb and mouse but what I want to know is if that razer kb with synapse driver can actually recod a mouse click and make a rapid fire button in any kb keys?? thanks in advance

  8. Anonymous
    May 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    This helped a lot, thanks.

  9. Alexander Carstensen
    February 27, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I have a razer arctosa and i love it ! But i have not really been using the macro function yet. Now i will thanks to this article :)

  10. Ron Lister
    February 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Craig I think you should review some more Razer gear and do some giveaways!! what do you say? :)

  11. Mark Alsisto
    February 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    keyboard is to type sentences. keyboard is to type sentences. keyboard is to type sentences. Keyboard is to type sentences. i am typing using my keyboard right now.

    test! test! test! abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyz. OK, my keyboard is working fine! Anyone else can't type with their keyboard??

  12. Christopher Schaber
    February 25, 2013 at 6:42 am

    If your keyboard isn't on this list you can always use Third Party Software like Auto Hotkey to make macros for keyboards... I love my Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, but I am not a huge fan of the Razer software.

    • Craig Snyder
      March 1, 2013 at 5:05 am

      Software isn't the strong point of Razer and I agree, though I do find Synapse to be very easy to use and pretty convenient. If you're familiar with Game Booster, have you seen recently that Razer purchased it? They gutted it, removed certain features, and it just feels like a mess now. Not a fan.

  13. Trixxter
    February 25, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Wait, so the Blackwidow Ultimate 2012 is already out of date that this doesn't even work for it? Bloody hell, bad enough my Lachesis V2 has problems galore...

  14. zuMMbi
    February 25, 2013 at 3:14 am

    Why my Tarantula isnt on the list :(

  15. Nevzat Akkaya
    February 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

    That keyboard looks awesome! though I always see Logitech as the Nike :)

  16. Vipul Jain
    February 22, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I never really understood how companies like Razer work.
    You have a mouse with 3 buttons and you can get it for $1, while Razer sells their's for $60.
    I understand that gaming mouses with additional buttons on the sides are a boon for gamers and, if damn rich, can think about buying those mouss in hundreds of dollars, but a 3 button mouse selling for $60 is just un-understandable :D
    Same goes for a plain sheet of foam - Mouse pad, selling for hundreds as well.
    What gold is hidden in these products? & How rich are the gamers exactly? :P

    • Chris
      February 25, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Well, that 1 dollar mouse might work for mindless games like wow...but if you play FPS games where there is a lot of twitch movements which need to be precise, the cheap mouses & mousepads just don't track well. Most of the time fast movements will cause a jerk in some random direction with cheap mice as they just cant determine where to move the mouse because the sensor cant keep up with the movement. Hopefully that answers your question.

      • Vipul Jain
        March 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

        I actually do play lots of FPS (COD, CS, Crysis) and my $1 mouse works just fine even on my bedsheet :p
        IMO, only if someone is looking for a career in gaming like the guys participating in WCG & such tournaments, actually should consider such 0% error devices!

        • Ivann
          August 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

          I think you're jealous because some people have money and others don't, so they stick to $1 gear and decide to criticize the rich. COD? CS? Crysis? Try Battlefield 3. Let me know if your $1 mouse can keep up with it.

    • Craig Snyder
      March 1, 2013 at 5:03 am

      I agree that the prices do seem outrageous sometimes, but I will definitely say that out of all products they make, Razer can make a great mouse. I paid a chunk of change for my DeathAdder and I can honestly say it's one of the smoothest, most responsive things I've ever held in my palm.

      • Vipul Jain
        March 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

        I have never used one, so I wont compare but my bedsheet is pretty responsive too :D
        Maybe the day I do use a pad will I know the actual difference in sensitivity & response!

  17. Yang Yang Li
    February 22, 2013 at 5:48 am

    "Razer is the Nike of gaming peripherals" - depends on your experience with Nike products. For me, Nike has always been a quality brand, something I can't say for Razer. I have seen enough broken Razer keyboards (Lycosa models, notorious) to last me a lifetime.

    Razer Synapse has so many bugs and glitches it's not worth using.

    Logitech gaming is the way to go if you want quality.

    • Elijah Swartz
      February 22, 2013 at 7:15 am

      You really can't just say broadly that one brand is good. You really need to be specific about specific products. Take the Logitech G400. It is acclaimed as having a "flawless" sensor, but it has semi common problem with the cable that causes connection issues. This problem existed in it's predecessor, the MX518. It's beyond me why they wouldn't fix it over the course of a generation. It really feels like these companies are big fans of planned obsolescence or something. Logitech is at least good with honoring warranty claims. Back to what I was originally saying, essentially, each individual product has it's own perks and problems.

      Regarding other good mice, off the top of my head, I think the Microsoft Intellimouse Explore 3.0 is pretty well loved by gamers. It has a great sensor and seems to have good build quality. Unfortunately, it's less common and cheap as it once was years back. The next mouse I want to try that has a good reputation would be the Zowie Am or Zowie EC1 eVo. Unfortunately, they are less popular so reviews are a bit more scarce, so I am hesitant of spending the money.

      I think for most FPS gamers, it would be best to just have a good out of the box experience. No silly software or drivers or things like that. When adding another layer of software or something, you are just adding another possible variable for things to go wrong.