Enabling Hardware Playback Mode on the Corsair Vengeance M90

By Robert Pearce, on October 19, 2012

Enabling Hardware Playback Mode on the Corsair Vengeance M90 Performance MMO and RTS Laser Gaming Mouse

If you’ve got an M90 you may have noticed that your profiles don’t work in some games. I explain why and show you how to use “Hardware Playback” on your Corsair Vengeance M90 Performance MMO and RTS Laser Gaming Mouse.

In an effort to prevent cheating most games today are designed to ignore input from third party software applications. This is not a bad thing as I’m sure you’ll all agree as most of those external programs are designed to help people cheat in game (bots, etc.). I’m sure most everyone has experienced this at one time or another. My personal favorite was getting shot out of my helicopter while capping a base in BF3 by a tank from across the map.


Since game developers can’t keep up with constant barrage of new hacking software they simply design their games to ignore input from any external software program. Unfortunately for you this means that you can’t use a software program to run macros while you’re playing a game. Which means you won’t be able to do simple, useful things like mapping a simple keyboard key to a button on your mouse.

“But wait!” you say “I already know software mode doesn’t work, that’s why I’m reading this blog post!”



Easy there! Before I tell you how to enable the Hardware Playback mode I felt it was important for you to understand WHY you needed it and a little about how it works.

What I haven’t told you yet is that while game developers can stop input from external software programs they can’t very well stop commands coming directly from HID (Human Interface Devices, a catch all term for anything you plug into a computer to control interaction) devices. If they didn’t you simply couldn’t play the game because your keyboard, mouse, joystick, or whatever HID device you using wouldn’t work! To get around this we designed the M90 with memory and processor onboard. This allows you to issue commands directly from the M90 using the very same profiles you created to use with the software. So, you are in effect running a stripped down version of the Corsair Vengeance Software directly from your M90 but since it’s coming directly from the device the game accepts those commands without issue.



Now, you might be saying to yourself, “This all sounds very complicated.” But it’s not and I’m going to show you how, in just a few simple steps, you can do all sorts of amazing things in any game with “Hardware Playback” enabled on your M90.

The first thing you’ll need is a profile for the game in question. If you haven’t created a profile yet I cover that in my other blog “Creating Profiles on the Corsair Vengeance M90 Performance MMO and RTS Laser Gaming Mouse”< http://www.corsair.com/us/blog/creating-profiles-on-the-corsair-vengeance-m90-performance-mmo-and-rts-laser-gaming-mouse/>. For the purposes of this guide I’m going to assume you’ve already created a profile. So, let’s get started!

Go ahead and open up the Vengeance Gaming Software, if you haven’t already, and click on the “Manage Profiles” tab at the top. On the right hand side of the window where you see your profiles listed you’ll see the LED column.



LEFT CLICK anywhere in that area and a new window will appear with six drop-down menus. If you click on one of the dropdown arrows you’ll see you can select from any of the profiles you have created.




The first thing I recommend doing is to assign your “default” profile (as described in my earlier blog post) to one of the slots. That way when you leave a program you’ve been using “Hardware Playback” on you can switch to the default settings so you can use your mouse as you normally would.



Choose which location you want to store your profile/s at. While we’ve given you the ability to create and save up to 50 profiles in the Vengeance Gaming Software you can only have up to 6 stored on the M90 at any time. As you assign a profile it will be removed from the dropdown selection so you don’t have to worry about accidentally assigning the same profile twice.




Next, click on the “Save to M90” button in the bottom left hand corner of the window the click on “OK” just to the right of that. The window will close and you the profiles you saved to the M90 will be highlighted with the corresponding profile number indicated by the row of dots in the LED column.




These are indicated on the M90 by the 6 lights on the left hand side directly in front of the “Sniper” button.



I’m not going to cover button assignment here but there is one important thing you need to keep in mind. When creating profiles you need to make sure you always have a button or buttons in the profile assigned to switch profiles. This can be done with the “profile up” and “profile down” commands which will go up or down stopping once you hit profiles 1 or 6. Or you could use the “profile select” command which will cycle through your selected profiles. For continuity I suggest using the same button/s across all profiles.

If you don’t assign a button to switch profiles when you create your profile you’ll be stuck on that profile once it’s selected in Hardware Playback mode. The only way to get out of that profile at that point will be to open up the Corsair Vengeance Software and disable Hardware Playback.

By default, buttons 10 and 11 are defined as “Profile Up” and "Profile Down” respectively. “Profile Select” is unassigned.



The other thing to keep in mind is that as long as you’re running in Hardware Playback mode the OSD (On Screen Display) won’t work (if you had it enabled) and the software will not reflect which profile the mouse is running. If you should forget your profile assignments, simply refer back to the Manage Profiles section of the Corsair Vengeance Software.

The last thing to do is to enable “Hardware Playback”. This is done by checking the box in the lower left hand corner of the Corsair Vengeance Software (available in all windows). The first time you do this you’re going to get a pop-up window warning you that you are in fact about to switch your mouse into Hardware Playback mode. It’s more of a reminder really so people don’t do it accidentally then freak out when your mouse isn’t behaving the way you expected.


I always check the “Don’t show this message again” option so I don't have to deal with this popup anymore. Click on “OK” and from this point on you’re playing in “Hardware Playback” mode. Additionally, you can simply unplug your mouse from your system and plug it into any other computer and your same profiles, now saved in the onboard memory, will continue to work just like it did on your system!



One last thing to keep in mind is that if you need to go back and change a setting in a profile you’ll need to overwrite the profile stored in memory as that doesn’t happen automatically. Simply repeat the go back into the same window where you assigned the profiles and click on the “Save to M90” button and the most recent changes you’ve made in the software will be written into memory.

Peace, I’m out!