SteelSeries is one of the BEST gaming companies on the planet (the SteelSeries Apex Pro is amazing)!
But does SteelSeries work with Mac computers?
Yes, all SteelSeries keyboards are fully compatible with Mac. However, you will need to make 1-2 minor tweaks in macOS system preferences (swapping the modifier keys) in order to set up the keys correctly. Additionally, SteelSeries customization software (Engine) is also available in both Windows and Mac versions.
Below I’ll show you exactly how to set up your SteelSeries to work on Mac, AND dive into various software (SteelSeries “Engine” and otherwise) to get the most out of your keyboard 😉
Let’s go ⌨️
Do SteelSeries Keyboards Work With a Mac?
Yes, they do. This applies to every SteelSeries keyboard (mechanical or membrane), as well as their mice and gaming headsets:
- SteelSeries Apex Pro (or Apex 5 or Apex 7)
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset
- FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE & STUPIDLY FAST with OmniPoint 2.0 Adjustable HyperMagnetic switches
- WORLD’S FASTEST KEYBOARD – 20x faster actuation, 11x faster response than traditional mechanical keyboards
- RAPID TRIGGER - Eradicate latency arising from the physical movement of the switch through dynamic activation and deactivation of keys based on travel distance rather than a fixed point in the key...
All of these work on Mac.
However, it’s worth noting that SteelSeries keyboards (and most mechanical keyboards, for that matter) are technically set up for Windows keys by default.
Here’s the main difference between Mac and Windows computers:
- The Modifier keys: These are your Control, Option, Windows, and Command keys. On a Windows keyboard, the modifier keys are in a different order than they are on a Mac.
- The Keycaps: This won’t affect functionality, but SteelSeries keyboards come with keycaps showing the Windows logo (and generally don’t come with a “Command” logo keycap
- Various Functions: On some Apple keyboards, you might have access to the Launchpad, Mission Control, or Siri features. These don’t come on SteelSeries keyboards
And depending on which keyboard you have, there might be some Windows-related keys (scroll lock, pause break, etc) that don’t work on macOS out of the box (but see below!)
All that said, there are a few simple tweaks that can make ANY SteelSeries keyboard get 99% functionality on any MacOS device.
Let’s get into it.
How to Setup Your SteelSeries for Mac Computers:
Here are the steps:
- Plug your keyboard into your Mac
- Open System Preferences → Keyboard
- Under the “Modifier Keys…” dropdown, switch the Option and Command keys. This will put your modifier keys in the correct order for a Mac
That’s it! You should now have a fully functioning SteelSeries keyboard on your Mac.
Does SteelSeries software Work on Mac?
Yes! The SteelSeries’ gaming customization software come in Mac versions.
- SteelSeries Engine (for keyboards, mice, and other devices)
- SteelSeries GG (a different software to connect with gaming friends, etc)
However, the audio software from SteelSeries (called Sonar) is NOT compatible with Mac.
All of this customization software have separate downloads for MacOS and Windows!
Here’s how to install SteelSeries Engine software on Mac Computers:
- Head to the SteelSeries download page
- Download & install the software (Mac version)
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your specific keyboard, mouse, etc.
And if you want to go even further with your SteelSeries, check out the section below on Keyboard Maestro for Mac (see below)!.
Troubleshooting tips if you experience any problems connecting or using SteelSeries
If you’re having trouble connecting your SteelSeries to a Mac, or if some keys aren’t working correctly, here are a few troubleshooting tips:
Reset your external keyboard for your Mac
When you first connect your SteelSeries to your machine, you should see a popup assistant asking you to press a few keys to determine the layout, etc.
But you can also delete your keyboard preferences file to start from scratch.
Here’s what you do:
- Disconnect the keyboard
- Head to Finder and click the hard drive icon (under Devices)
- Head to the Library folder, and then the Preferences folder
- Click on the file named com.apple.keyboardtype.plist and drag that into the trash!
- Empty your trash
- Reconnect the keyboard via USB
You should see the setup assistant again! Follow the instructions and you should be good to go.
Reach out to SteelSeries support or post on Reddit
If you’re still having issues connecting the SteelSeries to your Mac, you might either…
- Head to SteelSeries’s website and contact their support team. SteelSeries is a large, established company with a full customer support team. They should be prompt and helpful!
- Post on the r/mk subreddit with your issue (be detailed)
Additional Mechanical Keyboard Tips for Mac Users
There are a few other tips and tricks to making the most out of your mechanical keyboard on a Mac:
- Via (only for Via-supported keyboards)
- Keyboard Maestro: A SLICK hotkey & macro tool that’s cheap and flexible!
Sadly, SteelSeries keyboards do not support Via or QMK–so the only way to change keybinds or other custom programming is to use SteelSeries Engine on Mac, or Keyboard Maestro.
(Or a keybind tool like Karabiner, but Keyboard Maestro is more powerful)
Keyboard Maestro for SteelSeries Keyboards
Keyboard Maestro is a GAME-CHANGER for any Mac user, especially keyboards that don’t support Via (like SteelSeries).
It does cost about $30-40 (one time, not a subscription), but it’s totally worth it.
You can use Keyboard Maestro to…
- Set up custom keybinds for ANY key on your keyboard
- Create custom macros
- Change modifier keys
- SO much more
It’s an insanely powerful tool. We highly recommend it (then check out some tutorial videos on YouTube, or here’s a great setup guide).
Other Mac-friendly keyboards
Though we love everything that SteelSeries puts out, there are several other keyboards that work great for Macs too!
- Keychron Keyboards (can’t go wrong with the 75% K2, or the low-profile K7)
- Anne Pro 2
- Any Das Keyboard mechanical keyboard (setup guide)
- Any Razer keyboard (setup guide)
Want to see our full list? Read this post: The 7 Best Mechanical Keyboards for Mac.
If you’re still shopping for your mech, you can also gauge more of our setup guides here:
- Does the GMMK Pro work with Mac?
- Does Redragon work with Mac?
- Do Corsair Keyboards work on Mac?
- Can Mechanical Keyboards Be Used on Mac?
- Does Roccat work on Mac?
Happy clacking, Mac friends!
Mac Keyboards F.A.Q.s
Do SteelSeries headsets work on Mac? (like the Arctis 7)
Yes, the SteelSeries headsets like the Arctis 7 headset are fully compatible with Mac devices. To set up the Arctis 7, go to your Mac System Preferences, and then to “sound.” You can then select the Arctis 7 as both an input and output device.
Are all keyboards Compatible with Mac?
Yes, 99% of computer keyboards are compatible with Mac computers. However, you will generally need to change some keyboard settings (specifically the modifier keys like “Command”) in order to maintain the normal Mac keyboard layouts. This is easily accomplished by going into the Mac System Preferences under “keyboard” and “modifier keys.”
Can a gaming keyboard work with Mac?
Absolutely! Just about any keyboard (mechanical or membrane) will work on a Mac, but you might have to tweak a few settings first (including the modifier keys). This process will be different depending on your specific keyboard, but you can start by changing the modifier keys (Command & Option, specifically) in the macOS System Preferences. With that done, your gaming keyboard should be compatible with most Mac activities.
Can you use SteelSeries keyboard with Apple?
Yes, SteelSeries keyboards will work with Apple computers and devices. However, most models will require you to change the modifier key settings under System Preferences first (to switch the Command & Option keybinds). You can also use software like SteelSeries Engine to adjust keybinds, macros, etc, to your preferences.
Do SteelSeries keyboards need software?
No, SteelSeries keyboards will work on both Windows and Mac when you plug in your keyboard (although you’ll want to swap your modifier keys on MacOS under System Preferences). However, SteelSeries’s gaming software (Engine) does greatly enhance the keyboard experience and is fully compatible with both MacOS and Windows.
How do I connect SteelSeries to my Mac?
First, connect the keyboard to your Mac and test out the modifier keys (Command, Option, Control). If they aren’t functioning correctly, you will need to open your System Preferences and open “Keyboard” then “Modifier keys” and swap the Option and Command functions. You can also set various other keys via software (using SteelSeries Options or 3rd party tools like Keyboard Maestro or karabiner).