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razer keyboardJust this last Christmas, I treated myself to a brand new gaming keyboard 5 Heavy Duty Mechanical Keyboards For The Hardcore Gamer 5 Heavy Duty Mechanical Keyboards For The Hardcore Gamer We’ve made quite a song-and-dance about mechanical keyboards here at MakeUseOf, and now that more and more manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon they’re no longer specialised bits of kit reserved for the upper echelons... Read More and mouse. Razer is the Nike of gaming peripherals and I’ve never given their products a try, so I went for it. This article is no endorsement of Razer and their products, but one of the most interesting perks of owning Razer gear is a certain piece of software that allows you to help manage your hardware.

Razer Synapse is the software I’m talking about. It allows you to store keyboard and mouse configurations to the cloud, tweak the settings on your devices, and unlock the full functionality of your products. One question I constantly see people asking for help with has to do with creating macros for your Razer keyboard. A huge portion of Razer keyboards support macros, and I’d like to show you how you can create them in this article.

Compatibility Check

First and foremost, you need to know if your keyboard can create macros through Razer Synapse.

razer keyboard

On their official website, Razer offers a list of keyboards that support their macro-recording functionality. Here is that list:

  • Razer DeathStalker Ultimate
  • Razer DeathStalker
  • Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013
  • Razer BlackWidow 2013
  • Razer BlackWidow Tournament Stealth Edition
  • Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition
  • Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth 2013
  • Razer BlackWidow Stealth Edition 2013
  • Razer Orbweaver
  • Razer Nostromo
  • Razer Anansi
  • Razer Lycosa
  • Razer Arctosa

If you own any of those Razer keyboards, you’re in luck.

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Download Razer Synapse

Razer Synapse is Razer’s response to having such a huge line of products that support so much varying functionality. After you install your Razer hardware, downloading Synapse allows you to configure everything from a single application.

I am currently using a Razer BlackWidow as my keyboard and Razer DeathAdder as my mouse. These are the two most popular Razer products. Here is an example of what the Synapse interface looks like with these two products:

The above screenshots shows a Macros tab. Any keyboard with macro support will have that tab in the Synapse interface.

Setting Up Macros

Many keyboards, such as the BlackWidow, support automated macro recording How to Automate Mundane Tasks with AutoIt How to Automate Mundane Tasks with AutoIt Read More through a hotkey on the keyboard. I’ve used it, and I find it to be a pretty inefficient way to get your macros working effectively. It’s a great idea for something on-the-fly, but keyboard macros require a little more pampering. That’s why I’m going to show you how to set up your macros manually.

The first thing you need to determine is what macro delay you need to use.

  • Record delay will relay your macros back at the exact speed that you’ve recorded them.
  • Default delay allows you to set up a specific delay that will occur before every single action during the macro.
  • No delay will perform the macro instantly.

This requires a certain amount of judgment from the user. What type of a macro are you recording? I’ll offer a few examples:

  • For chat-based macros in a game, I’d recommend selecting the no delay option. If the chat macro takes longer to execute than it would for you to type out manually, then what is the point? Be advised that this type of macro may depend on you to insert certain delays throughout the process for it to execute properly. For example, if in a game it requires you to press the Enter or Tab key before you can type your message, you’d want to insert a short delay before macroing that key to ensure that it is processed first.
  • The default delay option is wise to use when you’re executing a short macro that is very important and precise. For example, macroing hotkeys Create Hotkeys on Windows with Keyboard Tweaker Create Hotkeys on Windows with Keyboard Tweaker Read More to cast a certain chain of spells in a game. Putting a delay in between each keystroke helps ensure that all of your spells are cast.
  • Record delay is good to use in situations where you need to automate keystrokes at a very specific timing. This can only be achieved otherwise by manually inserting delays of varying times, so this method could save you some time if you’re accurate with your keystrokes.

Let’s set up a macro now to see how the software works. I’ll use Notepad in this situation.

The first step is to choose the recording delay you want to use, as aforementioned. Let’s first check out the default delay. Click the Record button, activate the window you want to record your macro in, and begin. When finished, reactivate the Synapse window and click Stop.

Every key press and release is recorded, as you see above. Since we chose to use the default delay, there is an automated delay after every single action in the recording. Let’s now record with no delay.

Above, the delay between each press and release does not exist. However, the macro still needs some cleaning. The mouse press and release represents clicking into the Notepad window (and at the end of the macro, back off of it) to begin recording. Thus, we need to delete that. You can click either the press or release, highlighting it in the list, and then click the trash bin icon.

Now let’s assume we want to quickly modify this macro to work in a game we play. We’ll need to insert a Tab before the macro for it to activate an in-game chat window. Click at the very top of the macro list, click the Insert button, and select to enter a keystroke before the selection at no delay. Record, press the Tab key, then stop.

When your macro is to your liking, you’ll need to bind it to a key. Do this by selecting the Keyboard tab and clicking on the key you wish to use. Assign the key as a macro, select the macro you wish to use with the key, and select a playback option. Now you’re all done!

Recording macros using Razer Synapse may seem intimidating at first, but it is not very difficult at all.

Using Synapse is one of the great perks of owning a Razer keyboard, and I’ve become addicted to setting up macros. They are a huge time saver and they give you a serious competitive edge when you’re playing a game. Let me know if you run into any issues setting up your macros in the comments and I’ll offer any help I can!

  1. 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.


  2. 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?

  3. 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.

    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 :)

  5. 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!

  6. 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

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

    This helped a lot, thanks.

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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? :)

  10. 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??

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

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

    Why my Tarantula isnt on the list :(

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

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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