How to Fix Corsair Mouse and Keyboard Issues on macOS and Linux

Corsair makes excellent “gaming” mice and keyboards with many great features, like custom RGB lighting, profile modes, macro support, and fine-tuned performance settings. Most of these require iCUE, Corsair’s proprietary software, which is great but only works on Windows. If you have a Mac, you’ll have to turn to third-party drivers to get the features for which you paid.

Install CKB-Next

CKB-Next is the actively maintained fork of the original CKB, which was abandoned by the creator. You’ll want to download the latest release and install it, although you can build from source if you prefer.

Once it’s installed, plug in your device, and it should display as a new tab in the settings window. From here, you have support for different profiles and can configure the lighting effects for each zone on the device. The animation effects are quite good for a third-party app, and while they’re not as intuitive as iCUE, they’ll get the job done.

To set up the number pad on a mouse like the Scimitar, you’ll need to click each button individually and set that button to type the corresponding key. It’s tedious, but it works. The “Typing” drop-down holds a list of every character for which you can configure the mouse.

Under the other drop-downs and tabs, you’ll find modifier keys, function keys, mouse buttons, and mouse wheel actions.

One thing the software is lacking is a macro system. It has a very basic setup but only seems to let you type in one line of text. On macOS, you could use something like BetterTouchTool to configure macros, though I’ve found it to be too slow for use in games.

Under the “Performance” tab, you can configure the DPI settings, and set up different DPI levels with different colors—at least on mice that support it.

The “Sniper” setting is a manual setting you can activate using another mouse button. It lowers (or raises) the DPI while you hold down the button and is useful for taking accurate shots in games where you’d usually like a high DPI.

Problems With the Software

While it’s certainly improved over time, CKB is still third-party software and not without its faults:

  • It will take around ten seconds or so for CKB to detect your mouse, during which time the mouse works, but only on default settings, and lags when moving around.
  • It does add a bit of input lag to the overall operation of the mouse.
  • I’ve had the number keys not work in specific applications, possibly due to the way it sends those inputs to the system.
  • Initial setup of the mouse is clunky and takes a while

And then there’s the fact that even having to run a third-party program is a major problem, particularly on Corsair’s part. Still, I didn’t expect to find a community made port of iCUE for Mac and Linux, so many thanks to the developers of this app.