fixed : swap Windows-key layout on PC-gaming keyboard within macOS

Question :

I’ve been playing online multiplayer games like Fortnite for a while now on my MacBook Pro, but the built-in keyboard is starting to cramp my hands & fingers…

So I bought an (external) keyboard, and since there are hardly any gaming-keyboards for Mac, I got myself a PC-gaming keyboard that is supposed to work with Mac also : Trust GXT860 Thura.

I love the metal housing, the mechanical keys and the huge space-bar. I could learn to work with the PC-layout of the ALT and CMD keys, but isn’t there an option to swap or remap the layout of the keys on my Mac so I can use the keyboard blindly without any practicing ?

 

Answer :

Yes, there is, and it’s even built into macOS.

To remap the keys of your (external) keyboard on macOS, do this :

  • make sure your external gaming-keyboard is connected to your MacBook using USB, RF or Bluetooth (even though a wireless connection is not recommended for gaming, it is optional)
  • if your external gaming-keyboard only has a USB-connector and your MacBook only has USB-C ports, use a USB-to-USB-C-adapter (e.g. this USB-C-connection cable or this USB-C-connection adapter or anything similar, most basic ones will do fine)
  • goto Apple-menu (top-left on your desktop)
  • select System Preferences from the pulldown menu
  • in the System Preferences window, click on the Keyboard icon
  • in the Keyboard window, click on the Keyboard tab
  • then, click on the “Modifier Keys” button (bottom right)
  • in the pulldown window, you can individually remap the function of any of the 4 keys that differ from Mac to PC
    • the standard Mac-layout (for desktop and external Mac-keyboards) is from-left-to-right : CTRL – ALT – CMD – SPACE – CMD – ALT – CTRL
    • the standard MacBook-layout (for internal MacBook-keyboards) is from-left-to-right : FN – CTRL – ALT – CMD – SPACE – CMD – ALT
    • the standard PC-layout (for desktop PCs and external Windows-keyboards) is from-left-to-right : CTRL – WIN – ALT – SPACE – ALTgr – FN – CTRL
    • the Trust GXT860 Thura keyboard-layout is from-left-to-right : CTRL – WIN – ALT – SPACE – ALTgr – FN – illumination – CTRL
    • check your PC-gaming keyboard to see it’s layout
  • in the pulldown-window, at “Select keyboard:” select your external gaming-keyboard from the list
  • then set the key-mapping to your liking : the key names (on the left side) stand for the actual keys on your keyboard, and on the right side you can choose the key-stroke they should invoke in macOS on your Mac
  • the default is everything the same on the left and the right side (of course…)
  • and if you want to blindly use the Mac-keyboard-layout on your PC-gaming keyboard, you should set it like this :
    • Caps Lock Key : Caps Lock
    • Control Key : Control
    • Option Key : Command [ connect the ALT-key to the Apple/CMD-keystroke ]
    • Command Key : Option [ connect the Windows-key to the Option/ALT-keystroke ]
  • …but you can choose any variation you like if that suits you better

That’s is !

enjoy 😉

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