The thing about gaming peripherals, is they’re also great to use while working. And when it comes to such hardware, perhaps the most well-known manufacturers are Razer and Logitech. But what about the software that lets you customize your amazing mouse and keyboard? Keep reading for a Logitech Gaming vs Razer Synapse comparison.
The two companies offer various gaming peripherals, but today we’re going to talk about their software, specifically what you can do with these apps, their UIs, and how easy they are to use.
Logitech Gaming vs Razer Synapse
Before we get started, you should know each company provides just one application that lets you manage all your peripherals. While they have similar capabilities, things work somewhat differently for each.
Logitech’s application is called Logitech Gaming Software, which sounds a bit plain compared to Razer Synapse, which is Razer’s app. Nevertheless, both programs allow you to customize the color scheme, reprogram buttons, record macros and keep track of usage stats.
In fact, these apps are both excellent and opting for one or the other is a matter of personal preference. However, you can’t make a choice unless you know what they’re capable of and the differences between them.
Shortcuts and profiles
Razer and Logitech apps enable you to create macro keys that will perform a series of actions, as well as create several profiles which makes it possible to customize buttons for specific applications. This way, you can use the same button for different tasks, depending on which app you’re currently using.
When you create a new profile using Logitech Gaming Software it will be used for all your Logitech devices. This means that if you create a new profile for your mouse, it will also be created for your keyboard, but the second one will be just a default profile waiting to be customized.
Things are a bit different with Razer Synapse. The app lets you set up separate profiles for your devices. This means that you can create a profile for just your mouse and your keyboard will still be using the last auto-detected profile.
So how do these differences affect actual usage? For example, if you set up a Dota 2 profile for your Razer keyboard and the last used application was Firefox, the Razer mouse would still be using the Firefox profile and its shortcuts. This means you need to be careful and create Dota 2 profiles for both your mouse and keyboard unless you want to get slaughtered because you’ve just opened a new tab instead of casting a spell.
With Logitech, your mouse would be using the automatically created Dota 2 profile and even if you never bothered to customize it, the default shortcuts are not too disruptive.
Regardless which of the two apps you’re using, you should be careful to create, as well as customize profiles for both your mouse and keyboard, if you want them to be reliable when playing your favorite games.
When it comes to profile storage, Logitech lets you create software-based profiles or store them directly on the device. The latter option would ensure the profile is available even if you plug your mouse into another computer. Razer also lets you store profiles on devices, but the latest models rely on syncing profiles based on a user account. In theory, there’s nothing bad about this but will depend on a third-party server which might not be up 100% of the time.
Logitech provides various general actions for customizing your buttons such as controlling media playback and performing basic text operations. Razer is not so focused on third-party apps but it provides useful functions for customizing shortcuts while you’re playing a game, and switching between profiles among others.
Speaking of, when you switch between profiles via the Logitech app, it will assume you want the same profile on all your devices. Razer, on the other hand, will require you to manually create separate profiles for each of your peripherals.
Recording macros implies a similar process regardless which of the two apps you’re using. Press the record button, hit all the keys in the right order, save it, then assign a button. From then on, every time you press that button in the related app or game, all the keys you recorded will be pressed in that exact order and the series of actions will be executed.
Macros are useful for work, but also for gaming, especially for complex games such as MMOs.
With Logitech Gaming, you can access the section called “Commands” to create new macros. Then, you can assign them by dragging them to the button you want.
If you’re using Razer Synapse you will first need to create your macros in the dedicated tab, then return to the key assignment screen, select the button you want to assign, select Macro from the drop down menu and finally choose the name of the macro you just created. As you can see, there are some additional steps so let’s say Logitech allows us to create macros faster compared to Razer’s software.
In my experience, Logitech’s interface for saving macros was a bit more straightforward. On the screen where you assign commands to buttons, there’s a small, searchable sub-window called “Commands.” Here, you can create new macros before you even assign them to a button. Then, drag them to the key you want to use to trigger that Command. Everything is in one place and it’s super easy to use.
Furthermore, some Logitech keyboards have a Macro Recording button (MR) which you can press to start recording a macro and once you’ve hit all the keys, press the MR button again to stop the recording. It’s certainly a convenient way to record a new macro since you don’t even need to open the app.
Razer Synapse also allows you to enable on-the-fly recording using the Fn+key shortcut, although the rest of the process is the same as for the Logitech Gaming Software. You might think Logitech’s dedicated macro recording button is great, but many users would rely on Razer’s keyboard shortcut instead of having a button they use just occasionally take up space on the keyboard.
For macro repeating, Logitech provides various options to choose from such as repeating while toggled and repeating while pressed. If you want to time one or more actions, you would need to create multiple macros using Logitech Gaming. On the other hand, Razer allows you to select a repeat option when you assign a macro to a button, plus you can choose to repeat a macro for a certain number of times.
Color and lighting customization
And we’ve finally reached the visual part of our Logitech Gaming vs Razer Synapse showdown. Of course, all that lighting and pretty colors are purely aesthetic, most of us love them.
As expected, the color and lighting customization options vary from one product to the other and the more options you have the more expensive the product is.
Logitech enables you to easily change the color of each key on your keyboard via a simple color picker, assuming it provides such an option. Ther are also some preset effects and for supporting devices, Logitech provides something called “lighting zones” for which you can adjust the color.
Razer allows you to tweak the lighting and color of its peripherals using a dedicated app called Chroma Configurator. As you might imagine, you’ll get numerous options such as customizing individual buttons and keys and adding effects, including layered effects. You can set some keys to remain static and apply an effect on the rest.
When it comes to color customization, Logitech Gaming is a bit behind Razer’s Chroma Configurator but one can only assume you won’t choose one or the other based on something not related to functionality.
To conclude, both Razer Synapse and Logitech Gaming apps are intuitive and have a lot of common capabilities. However, choosing one or the other depends on your own needs and preferences. If you’d like to have a set of generic actions which you can assign to keys, a searchable macro library, and simple on-the-fly macro recording, Logitech is the obvious choice. If you’d rather be able to customize shortcut profiles for each of your devices, perform some complex adjustments to the lighting scheme or sync profiles between devices, you’ll prefer Razer.