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 😉

fixed : Ethernet cable connection on USB-C only MacBook Pro

Question :

I just bought a new MacBook Pro that has USB-C only (and WiFi & Bluetooth), nothing else… I would like to hook it up to an Ethernet-cable since I’ve heard that’s better than WiFi when playing games like Fortnite…

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

To connect your MacBook to Ethernet using a UTP-cable, you need to have an adapter. You could use an USB-to-Ethernet-connector that you might have laying around and connect it to your MacBook using a cheap USB-to-USB-C-connector that you can get at a supermarket or discount-shop… but I would advise against that : all cheap USB-to-USB-C-connectors are USB2-only (because they are mainly for connecting USB-mouses and keyboards to modern computers)… and a lot of USB-to-Ethernet-connectors are 10/100-Ethernet compatible and USB2-only… but even if you have a USB3-to-Gigabit-Ethernet, the end result will be just USB2…

To get the best out of your MacBook, you should get a USB-C-to-Ethernet-connector that is Thunderbolt 3 compatible, like this one :

Thunderbolt 3 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet connector (buy on Amazon US) (buy on Amazon UK) (buy on Amazon DE)

 

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : play retro Cuphead game on Mac

Question :

My children have played the ‘ultra-retro Disney’ game Cuphead on their friend’s PC and they love it. So now they want to play it on their own Mac also. Unfortunately there is no Mac version available yet.

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

There are various ways to solve your problem, and they all boil down to trickery to play the Windows game on your Mac : installing Windows (like Bootcamp, Parallels, VM Ware or VirtualBox) or some form of WINE (= the ‘Windows without Windows’-virtualization called “Wine Is Not an Emulator”, like WineBottler, WinOnX or PlayOnMac) or NVIDIA GeForce NOW cloud gaming.

It turns out that the simplest way to get the Cuphead game running on your Mac is this :

  • get (buy) the Cuphead game (Windows 10 version) in the Microsoft Store here
  • find the Cuphead.zip or Cuphead.rar in your downloads and unzip/unrar it
  • make sure you have both the setup_cuphead_xxxxxx.bin and the setup_cuphead_xxxxxx.exe files
  • then get the PlayOnMac virtualization-app here
  • download and install the PlayOnMac-app
  • now, right-click on the setup_cuphead_xxxxxx.exe file
  • in the pulldown-menu, choose “Open with PlayOnMac”
  • now the installation (in an app-like container) will start
  • this will take some time, just ignore any error messages
  • when PlayOnMac asks for the location of the setup_cuphead_xxxxxx.bin file, locate it on your Mac and proceed the installation
  • again, ignore any error messages
  • when PlayOnMac asks you to create a Cuphead game-alias on your Desktop, do it
  • when the Cuphead game-alias appears on your Desktop, it might have an icon of a non-runnable application ; ignore that
  • drag&drop the Cuphead game-alias on the Dock (in most cases, the icon will now change to the yellow-squared Cuphead icon)
  • then exit PayOnMac
  • finally open the Cuphead game-alias in the Dock and the Cuphead game will run

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

Note : depending on your screen-settings, there may be weird looking edges on the top and/or bottom part of the screen while playing the Cuphead game, this is one of the little downsides of using PlayOnMac…