Step 1 - Setup Mouse & Keyboard
It is important you follow these steps in the order they are written, otherwise you will likely run into problems. It's not difficult but the instructions are very specific, so be sure to take your time. If you have used the previous Zen MK system, you should start again as none of the previous settings are compatible - but you won't be sorry!
DO NOT have any scripts or GamePacks enabled until you are happy with your Mouse & Keyboard setup and performance (disabled = press the memory slot button until the Zen gearhead logo is on the OLED screen), and remember, if your mouse ever disconnects, glitches or becomes unresponsive, simply tap Zen's reset button to resync.
The new Zen 2.1.0 Beta has a huge list of new Mouse & Keyboard features, including an updated Ballistic Curve engine, giving greater mouse translation accuracy than ever before, multiple profiles for HIP, ADS, and 4 AUX, multiple keybinds with advanced scripting, an updated Game Profiles system, plus a major design overhaul with a ton of updates and fixes.
Unless you have a powered USB MK Switch, setting up a gaming Mouse and Keyboard with Cronus Zen requires a second mouse and keyboard.
This is because the MK you are connecting to the Zen outputs as a controller, not as a mouse and keyboard. But you need a mouse and keyboard to dial in all of the MK settings in Zen Studio while your gaming mouse and keyboard is connected to the Zen.
to control Windows functionality so that you're able to use Zen Studio. However, If you don't have a second MK, we recommend using an MK Switch with built-in powered USB Hub.
Powered MK Switch Advantages:
- Connect one Mouse/Keyboard/Controller to both Cronus Zen and PC at the same time
- Quickly switch to ZEN for live in-game tuning
- Quickly switch to PC for Tuning/Mapping/Export/Import
- Easy setup for Windows PC gaming use
- Extra 5v AUX power for RGB keyboards (micro-USB power supply not included)
- Up to 4 USB inputs (idea for RGB keyboards with 2 x USB cables)
Remember, all devices connected to a Cronus are emulated as a controller. So, the Mouse & Keyboard connected to your Zen, which is connected to your PC, is detected by your PC as a controller, not as a Mouse or Keyboard. So to operate software like Zen Studio, you'd need another Mouse & Keyboard to operate Windows applications.
If you don't have a second Mouse or Keyboard, we recommend using an MK Switch with built-in powered USB Hub 👍
To save you the job of hunting for a good quality MK Switch, you can buy a custom Cronus MK Switch with a powered 5v USB hub for extra juice to RGB devices. You also get four USB inputs which are ideal for RGB keyboards that have more than one USB cable (like the Logitech G815 in the image below), there's a machined aluminum shell for high efficiency cooling, and easy to read labels for ZEN and PC with bright blue LEDs to highlight which device you are switched to. Now available to buy👉 from our store 🛒
If you are using a second Mouse & Keyboard you don't need to use an MK Switch - the instructions are the same, but when it says switch to PC and use the mouse, simply use the mouse you already have connected to your PC and the same with your keyboard.
Important: If you are not using an MK Switch and your keyboard has two cables (example: Logitech G815), you must connect the KEYBOARD cable to the ZEN and not the second RGB/Data cable. This may have an effect on RGB performance or other custom features of your keyboard. If you are using an Xbox controller and it keeps pairing to your console remove the batteries in it then reconnect it to port A1.
The rest of this guide will assume you are using the MK Switch as it makes setup much easier with less room for error. Here are the simple steps to hooking everything up between the MK Switch and the Cronus Zen.
- Using the USB A to A Cables provided with the MK Switch, connect USB1 to Zen's A3 USB PORT, and USB2 to your Desktop/Laptop running Windows. See the diagram below for USB Port Numbers. We recommend using USB3 ports as they are higher amps than USB2.
- Connect a micro-USB cable to the AUX 5v port. You can use a 5v USB power brick or connect it to a Desktop/Laptop USB port. This adds additional power (great for RGB keyboards).
- Connect up to 4 x USB devices (perfect for Keyboards with 2 x USB cables).
- Press the round button to switch between PC and ZEN (LED lights up BLUE).
There are some MK Switches that have four outputs instead of two. They both work exactly the same just ignore the extra two ports.
Pretty straightforward, yes?
OK, unplug the MK Switch from A3 because we're now going to test if your Mouse and Keyboard is compatible, and configured correctly for Cronus Zen.
Forst, check the Mouse & Keyboard page to see if your mouse and keyboard is supported, and if there are any special setup notes. For example, most Redragon keyboards also output as a mouse, so you'd need to use the "Ignore Device" function. Also, most Corsair keyboards need to be put into a special BIOS mode.
First, we need to verify the keyboard is compatible, detecting correctly as a keyboard and not also outputting as a mouse (The Cronus Support Center has this as the #1 failure with customers looking for MK help). Let's take you through this step-by-step....
To get started, connect your gaming mouse to the MK Switch and connect the ZEN USB Cable to the A2 USB PORT - then switch the MK Switch to PC (not required if using a second mouse).
- Connect your gaming keyboard to the A3 USB PORT
- Connect Zen to your PC using the PROG mini-USB cable.
- Open the latest version of Zen Studio
- Select the Device Tab
- Connect Keyboard to A3 (also A2 if 2 x USB Cables - for example the Logitech G815 RGB Keyboard)
- CONNECTED DEVICES on the right should now show the KEYBOARD icon (see image below).
Don't worry if the CONNECTED DEVICES icon is a question mark, we simply haven't gotten around to adding the brand logo of your device yet. If you would like us to add the logo, get the VID of the device from Device Monitor (F3) and contact us at the Cronus Support Center so we can add it.
If your keyboard also outputs as a MOUSE (see image below), you will first need to add it to the device ignore list before continuing (see Ignore Device instructions in the next step).
If no icons are displaying at all, even if you are using the powered Cronus MK Switch, then unfortunately your mouse or keyboard is likely not compatible with Cronus Zen.
You only need to follow this step if your keyboard is also outputting as a mouse, otherwise, you can skip to the next step (Test Mouse).
1️⃣ Select the M&K settings tab. You will notice that the Connected Devices are now listed on the left.
2️⃣ Navigate to CONNECTED DEVICES and right click the MOUSE icon - select Add To Ignore List
3️⃣ You can view all ignored Keyboards & Mice devices by clicking on the Ignore 'Eye' icon.
If you can't see this part of the M&K Settings panel, then your screen resolution is likely too low. Simply use the scroll bars to scroll down and to the right so you're able to get access to huge amount of features in this panel, even with a low res laptop screen 👍
Demo Video: Click Here
We're assuming that you have followed this guide using the MK Switch, which should be connected to Zen's A3 USB PORT.
Unplug your gaming keyboard if it is still connected to the Zen and connect it to the MK Switch (or connect your gaming keyboard to A2 if you are using a second MK or laptop keyboard to operate Windows).
Open Zen Studio, click the Device tab, then press the MK Switch button to select ZEN. Your Mouse and Keyboard will now patch directly to the Cronus Zen, which is outputting to your PC as the controller of your choice (connect an XBOX/PS/SWITCH controller to the A1 USB PORT.
When you connect a PlayStation controller to A1, Zen will mirror as a PS4 or PS5, and the game will display PlayStation icons. Connect an Xbox controller to A1, Zen will mirror as an Xbox One X/S (the official Xbox Accessories App for Windows will correctly detect the exact model of Xbox controller) and all PC games will display Xbox icons.
Remember, the game thinks you have a controller connected, so all menus will be controller menus, not mouse and keyboard menus. This is how you can get Mouse & Keyboard into controller lobbies and have a little fun 😉
If the connected devices are not displaying or the taskbar says 'Device Disconnected', make sure all the USB cables are firmly connected, then hit the Zen reset button a couple of times until everything syncs. If that doesn't work the USB bus may have crashed, so close Zen Studio and try again.
For the example below, a DualSense controller is connected to A1 with the emulator output set to AUTO, so the Zen is 'mirroring' as a PS5. A Logitech G815 keyboard and a Razer Deathadder Elite mouse is connected to A2 and A3.
Press the MK Switch button to select PC so you can use your Mouse again. Open Zen Studio and select the M&K Settings tab. Press F3 to open the Device Monitor, then highlight the PS4_RX and PS4_RY outputs so they can be viewed in the output monitor. As soon as you area ready to start testing your gaming Mouse & Keyboard, press the MK Switch to select ZEN. Your Mouse and Keyboard will now patch directly to the Cronus Zen.
Now it's the moment of truth. Move your mouse around in circles and you will see the RX/RY values move in real-time. Also press keys on the keyboard and you will see their mapped controller outputs highlight. The plot graph in the image below shows the mouse moving in circles. You can see where the mouse is spinning slow, then faster.
If you have gotten this far, congratulations your Mouse & Keyboard is compatible and fully working with Cronus Zen 👍
If you're using an MK Switch and the Mouse & Keyboard icons do not shown under Connected Devices in M&K Settings, but they do show in Device Manager, don't worry they're connected and working, there's just a small glitch when using an MK Switch instead of a second Mouse or Keyboard.
You have to manually select the Auto Scan Devices button - we're working on a fix (click here for a work around using an Auto KeyPress tool - see script below).
For gaming, you need a wide range from high to low DPI. Most gaming mice offer a range between 400 to 16000 DPI.
In many games such as Apex Legends, you may need to turn around fast to see if an opponent is shooting you from behind. In scenarios such as this fast movement is key to winning the fight. Setting your mouse to a high DPI of about 10000 DPI or higher as this will require much less physical movement from your mouse to react to an opponent. For precise targeting to get that half mile-away headshot while sniping, you’ll need 4000 DPI or even less. The premade expert profiles are all set with a DPI of 10000 in mind as this DPI will be good for most users.
The DPI you choose to play with depends on your playing style, and even the game you’re playing. The higher the DPI the more sensitive the mouse will be, a lower DPI will make the mouse less sensitive to movement. There is no wrong or right but user preference with DPI. Remember movement should feel comfortable to you and another user's settings may not work for you as well as it did for the other person.
To change your mouse DPI you will need software from the mouse manufacturer. This will include mouse software to adjust the DPI or will provide a website link for direct download of the mouse software. For example, I'm using a Logitech G502 Hero with the provided Logitech G Hub mouse software to select my preferred DPI. I prefer to select two different DPI settings ranging from 4000 to 10000 so I can toggle to either when I need to. The video below demonstrates opening the mouse software up and setting 2 dpi settings low and high. Below are links for software from popular mouse manufacturers.
Logitech GHUB Download https://www.logitechg.com/en-us/innovation/g-hub.html
Corsair ICUE Download https://www.corsair.com/us/en/downloads#download_form_1
Razer Synapse 3 Download https://www.razer.com/synapse-3
Second: If mouse software is not available then you can go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers > then right-click on your mouse to Properties > Mouse Settings > Pointer Options, move the slider left to reduce your DPI (slow) or right to increase your DPI (fast).
Now you know your Mouse is working, you will want to start tuning it to the recommended baseline settings. Always start from these before trying any other settings. It's important everyone starts at the same baseline, it becomes so much easier when sharing settings in the community - trust us! 😁
Open the mouse software and set the DPI Speed to 4000. We recommend this as it's the most preferred setting for console MK users (remember, Zen is outputting as a controller not a mouse, and console gaming is different than PC gaming - the sensitivities vary wildly, so higher dpi isn't necessarily better).
When setting the dpi and polling rate of your mouse, make sure it is connected directly to your PC and not to the Zen or MK Switch.
We'll show you how to tune your settings later in the guide so you can use whatever dpi or polling rate suits your style, but for now, stick to the defaults so you can get a good baseline 👍
The Zen has been designed to work optimally with the hosts polling rate. For example, an Xbox One polls at 125Hz (8ms) and a PS4 polls at 250Hz (4ms). So in the case of using Mouse & Keyboard on a console, you should set the polling rate of the mouse to 250Hz. If you only have a 500hz option, that will work fine.
It is a matter of personal preference of course, but you'll find 250Hz on a console is a huge difference over the default 1000Hz (which we do recommend for Windows PC use) - it goes from stutter to butter! 😁
Xbox Series X/S
You are now almost ready to start gaming with your Mouse & Keyboard! The next step is to import an expert Game profile from the current crop of popular games.