OpenRGB may be exactly what you need. These days everything has RGB lighting, mice, keyboards, mousepads, bungees, RAM, GPUs, coolers, cases, even desks and chairs. The list is comprehensive and pretty much covers the entire computer game technology, and it’s getting more and more popular everywhere. If you’ve got any RGB hardware, and at this point we’d be surprised if you haven’t, you’ll be pretty familiar with the problem OpenRGB can solve.
Basically, each manufacturer has its own RGB widget, which usually contains unnecessary additional functions. Razer has Synapse 3, Corsair has iCUE, and ASUS has an arsenal. There are too many to list and as usual with the big companies, none of them are compatible with each other. This is of course to encourage you to buy into their ecosystem, to only use their products because this is the only way you can have complete control and synchronization of your peripherals and devices.
So you are left with two options, either buy everything from one company or try to match three of four different lighting facilities. They must all operate synchronously to keep the light supply ignited. This complicates a fundamental problem with these lighting tools, they are dreadfully taxing on your system, oftentimes taking large chunks of RAM and using an unreasonable amount of processing power.
What is OpenRGB?
OpenRGB seeks to address the issues created by these stubborn companies by providing a free-to-use, lightweight and globally compatible utility. We’ve been using it for a few days with a whole lot of different devices, and now we’re going to show you how to get the most out of RGB, regardless of the brand of the device in question. It’s quickly becoming more and more popular so the sooner you read this guide, the sooner you’ll delete all the annoying drivers and focus on gaming.
How to use OpenRGB
Fortunately, OpenRGB seems to have kept its promise of being lightweight and easy to use. It avoids the sterile and over-designed interfaces of big boy programs. It is a very simple interface that has been designed with a smooth and easy to use user experience in mind. Some might call it basic, but since it’ll be minimized to the taskbar, there’s no reason why it should be so cool.
When you open for the first time, a short window will appear asking if you want to search for devices. Once you click Yes, you will land on this screen. This shows all compatible devices and is where you will spend most of your time in OpenRGB. It is worth noting that for internal RGB components such as RAM and fans, you will have to run OpenRGB as system administrator at least once. This is accomplished simply by right-clicking on the shortcut and selecting “Run as administrator”.
As you can see we ran around the office resting co-workers of their keyboards and mice in order to fully demonstrate how many devices OpenRGB can handle, I was frankly able to manage an unrealistic number of keyboards and mice which is encouraging.
There are a few key settings on this page that you should pay attention to, first is the LED dropdown menu, which allows you to select colors and brightness area by area. Given that OpenRGB is not an official program, regions are labeled somewhat cryptically as a string of numbers. However, There is a very new solution to this
This solution takes the form of the “Toggle LED View” button located at the bottom left of the screen. Once pressed, each addressable LED on your device displays on the screen, reflecting the real-life layout on the respective device. This makes it easy to customize your lighting effects and displays changes in real time.
OpenRGB compatible devices
The next aspect of this software that you should know is hidden away under the settings tab, if you click on the “Supported devices” button, you’ll be presented with an amazingly long list of products that have been verified to work with OpenRGB. There is also a manual search function to locate the device you want. In addition, OpenRGB has a list of all devices on GitLab, and it is constantly updated as well, so if the new keyboard is not there, it will be soon.