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What keys to press to change keyboard color?

Keyboards with customizable RGB lighting have become increasingly popular in recent years. This allows users to personalize the look of their keyboard by changing the colors of the keys. While the specific key combinations vary between keyboard brands and models, this guide will provide an overview of the common keys used to change keyboard colors and effects.

Function Keys for Lighting Control

Most RGB gaming keyboards have dedicated function keys or key combinations that allow you to control the lighting. These are usually located in the top row of the keyboard marked as F1 through F12.

Here are some common function keys used for RGB control:

F1 Toggle lighting on/off
F2 Cycle through lighting presets
F3 Increase brightness
F4 Decrease brightness
F5 Increase speed of effects
F6 Decrease speed of effects

Consult your keyboard’s manual for the exact functions of these keys. For example, on a Corsair keyboard, F5 and F6 may control the direction of effects rather than the speed.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Most gaming keyboards come with software that lets you program customizable keyboard shortcuts to control the RGB lighting. This gives you more flexibility compared to just using the function keys.

Here are some common keyboard shortcuts for lighting controls:

Ctrl + Shift + 1 Toggle all lights on/off
Ctrl + Shift + 2 Cycle through presets
Ctrl + Shift + 3 Increase brightness
Ctrl + Shift + 4 Decrease brightness
Ctrl + Shift + 5 Increase speed
Ctrl + Shift + 6 Decrease speed

The software allows you to customize which shortcuts perform which functions. Popular keyboard brands like Corsair, Razer, and Logitech provide software utilities to program the key bindings.

Selecting Keyboard Regions

Some advanced keyboards allow you to control the lighting on different regions of the keyboard separately. This gives you options like setting different colors for the WASD keys vs. the number keys.

Software utilities generally include options to select which part of the keyboard you want to modify. For example:

  • Keyboard divisons – Left, middle, right
  • rows
  • Groups of keys – WASD, arrows, function keys
  • Individual keys

The most granular control involves selecting individual keys. You can set each key to its own color and effect. This takes more time but offers the most customization.

Static vs. Dynamic Lighting Effects

RGB keyboards allow you to choose between static and dynamic lighting effects:

  • Static – Keys are set to a fixed color and do not change. This offers simple, solid backlighting.
  • Dynamic – Colors and patterns change over time. Options include spectrum cycling, breathing, and reactive effects that respond to key presses.

Most software includes pre-configured dynamic lighting presets you can apply. But you can also create customized effects.

Choosing Colors

When selecting colors for your keyboard, most software provides options like:

  • Color wheel – Choose any color on the RGB spectrum
  • Color temperature – Sliders for warm to cool colors
  • Preset swatches – Default colors likes red, blue, purple
  • Hex color codes – For precise color input

Keep in mind that printing limitations mean colors on screen may not perfectly match the physical keyboard. But you’ll generally get very close results.

Applying Effects

Lighting effects add movement and interest to your keyboard backlighting. Common effects include:

  • Spectrum cycling – Smoothly transitions through the color spectrum
  • Breathing – Colors fade in and out like a breathing pulse
  • Ripple – Colors radiate out from each key press
  • Wave – A wave of color rolls across the keyboard
  • Raindrops – Random color drops simulate rain falling

Most software has pre-configured effect presets you can simply select and apply. But you can also customize speed, direction, and color options.

Per Key vs. Zone Lighting

As mentioned previously, you have two main options for controlling keyboard colors:

  • Per key – Set each key individually for the most control
  • Zone – Group keys into regions like left, middle, right

Per key control takes more time but offers limitless customization. Zone control is quicker and easier for basic backlighting needs.

Syncing Devices

Many gaming brands offer ecosystem software that syncs the lighting across compatible devices. For example, you can match the colors on your keyboard to your mouse, headset, and RGB gaming PC case.

Syncing allows for unified lighting effects. Devices can share the same color scheme and respond in tandem to various triggers.

Saving and Sharing Presets

After customizing your desired keyboard lighting configuration, most software lets you save it as a preset. This allows you to:

  • Quickly reapply complex effects with one click
  • Create and organize different presets for various situations
  • Share your custom presets with others online

Saving your effects as presets makes it easy to switch between different styles whenever you feel like changing up the look of your keyboard.


Customizing your RGB keyboard lighting gives you an endless array of options for creating stunning, personalized effects. While the specific keys and controls vary by keyboard, the general process involves using function keys, software shortcuts, selecting regions/keys, choosing colors, applying effects, and saving presets. With some experimentation and imagination, you can set up keyboard lighting that matches your style.