Why Does the Apex 7 Have 2 USBs? | You Must Know!

The SteelSeries Apex 7 is an excellent mechanical keyboard for what it offers in its price range. With its individual backlit key and full RGB support, it sure is a sturdy choice for hard-core gamers. However, its connectivity may seem a bit challenging for new users, who after getting it often wonder, why the Apex 7 has 2 USBs.

Simply put, the 2nd USB is for using other peripherals via the Apex 7. In other words, it is a USB passthrough port. This means it doesn’t need to be connected if you are not planning on using other hardware via the keyboard.

Why Does the Apex 7 Have 2 USBs

Reason for Apex 7 and Other Gaming Keyboards Having Two USBs

For high-end gaming and mechanical keyboards, USB passthrough is a standard feature. It allows for easier and more convenient USB plug-ins for additional USB peripherals. It eliminates the possibility of you having to lean in and reach for the casing to put in a new USB-powered hardware. However, you need to have an additional free female USB port available on your motherboard. Because keyboards with passthrough support like the Apex 7 come with two male USB connectors.

In its essence, it is nothing different than a USB hub that happens to be on the keyboard itself. You have complete flexibility though because you can leave the USB connector that is responsible for the USB passthrough dangling, should you decide not to use it. Look for the keyboard icon on the USB connector of your Apex 7, this indicates that it’s for the keyboard, not the passthrough. It is not too hard to figure out though if your version is missing the marking.

Some gaming-centric keyboards have two USB connectors because they simply need more power to operate those RGBs. However, that’s not the case for the Apex 7.

What Should You Use the Apex 7 USB Passthrough for?

These days you can get a USB version for almost everything. You can you the Apex 7 USB passthrough to connect a wide variety of devices. Here’s a list of them.

  • USB Mouse
  • USB Joystick
  • USB Speakers
  • USB Headphones
  • USB Microphone
  • Thumb Drive
  • External Hard Drive, etc.

So, it makes connecting USB devices easier and reduces cable clutter. However, keyboards that support USB passthrough like the Apex 7, Apex Pro, or Alienware, don’t have detachable cables. This makes them somewhat bulky and harder to carry, should you decide to game on the go. This also makes it difficult to replace the cable if it’s damaged somehow. Also, you are stuck with the cable that came built-in, and you can’t upgrade to a higher-quality custom USB cable.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Is the Apex 7 hot-swappable?

Sadly no. Having a USB passthrough means that it is not hot-swappable.

Does USB Passthrough Add Latency?

Yes, but very minuscule. Adding a USB passthrough will add no more latency than adding a mouse or a USB hub.


So now you know why there are two USB connectors in your Apex 7. It’s a neat little feature, to be honest. However, not everyone might share the same philosophy. In that case, you have the option to not plug it in.

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