SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard Review

Software & Illumination
You can start using the Apex M500 right away. Just plug it in and Windows will automatically recognize it. You do not need any drivers to use the keyboard, but if you want to customize anything you will need to download the SteelSeries Engine 3 software.

SteelSeries Engine 3 is designed to work with all current SteelSeries gaming products. So you have one central application for everything. When you open it up you will see the SteelSeries gear you have connected and what configuration you are running. For us it is only the Apex M500.


Click on the M500 and it will bring up a screen where you can fully customize the keyboard. Here you can completely remap each key on the keyboard, change the illumination and illumination effect, polling rate, and keyboard region.


There is a Macro Editor where you can create and save macros. For those wondering if you can record live macros so when you are in game it is possible. You will need to remap a key on the keyboard to the macro record button then it is possible to record macros while you are in game and out of the Macro Editor software.

There is not just one config, you can create and save multiple configs so you can load them up depending on what game / application you have open.

As far as illumination goes they keyboard has individual blue LEDs on each key. There are 5 different lighting levels and you have the ability to turn the lights completely off. There is a breathing effect as well.

Here is the illumination at the lowest setting.

SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard

And now at the highest setting.

SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard

I have to say the backlighting is very bright, some of the better lighting I’ve seen on a keyboard.

SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard

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