Tips To Choose the Best Keyboard for Gaming
The quality of your gaming setup directly influences your performance. The keyboard is one most crucial components of your gaming setup. In this article, we will discuss what you should pay attention to when choosing the best keyboard for gaming.
To choose the best keyboard for gaming first determine the budget, use a wired keyboard for lower latency and more reliability or wireless keyboard for portability, get a smaller keyboard to reduce distractions and fit the available desk space, and get an ergonomic keyboard to reduce repetitive strain injuries.
Tip 1. First Determine Your Budget
Did you know that according to this post from Guinness World Records the world’s most expensive keyboard goes for $4,240? But don’t worry, quality keyboards like this are sold for a fraction of this price.
For expensive gaming keyboards, Amazon lists options that average $200, while searching for the cheapest gaming keyboards shows an average price of about $20. Differences between high-priced keyboards and low-priced keyboards include brand, type (mechanical keyboards are more expensive), speed, and whether it is wired or wireless as well as other technical properties that we will discuss below.
Our article that discusses whether keyboards are expensive and what makes them expensive also goes into more detail about this.
Tip 2. Use a Wired Keyboard for Better Reliability and a Wireless Keyboard for Limited Space
Consider a few things when choosing between a wired and a wireless keyboard. If it is vital that your keyboard functions at all times with minimal downtime, opt for a wired model. That way you do not have to worry about batteries running out and other connectivity issues as discussed in our article that looks at the 10 best wireless mechanical keyboards. Wired models also tend to cost less than wireless models.
If you have a cramped workspace, the best keyboard for gaming might be a wireless keyboard like this. The absence of a cable means that the keyboard takes up less space and that you can use it wherever you want to as elaborated in our guide on the benefits of gaming with a keyboard on your lap.
Wired keyboards like this used to have a faster response rate, but modern wireless keyboards like this can now compete with them based on DPI and sensitivity. If you value mobility and have the extra cash to spend, go for a wireless keyboard.
Tip 3. Choose the Size of Your Keyboard According to Your Available Workspace.
How big do you want your keyboard? Choose a larger keyboard if you have a large desk area. Choose a smaller keyboard if you have a smaller desk or if you intend to move about with your keyboard.
The size of a keyboard is determined by the number of keys it has. A full-sized keyboard like this has 110 keys whereas a compact keyboard like this only has 68 keys. See this guide by keyboard manufacturer Keychron on keyboard types and which keys they have.
When choosing a size, consider how large your desk is and if you will take the keyboard with you when traveling. If you will be moving around a lot, then you should probably go for a mini keyboard. However, for the best home gaming experience, a full-sized keyboard is better. Tenkeyless keyboards strike a balance between a mini and a full-size keyboard. This video tutorial by Hardware Canucks shows the top 3 Tenkeyless keyboards that are suitable for gaming and for office work.
Summary of Gaming Keyboard Sizes
|Full-Size||These keyboards have all the keys and are perfect for home use||These are the biggest models, they take up a lot of room and are bothersome to transport|
|Tenkeyless||These keyboards have most of the keys that full-size keyboards have but are easier to transport||Tenkeyless keyboards don’t have the number pads present on full-size keyboards|
|60%||These keyboards are small, light, and portable||The limited number of keys makes them unsuitable for high-performance gaming|
Similarly, be sure to read about how to choose between an external and a laptop keyboard. This additional information may help you find what's best for you.
Tip 4. If Aesthetics Are Important to You, Look for a Keyboard With RGB Lighting
Most gamers want their setup to be functional and look good. Consider getting an RGB backlit keyboard like this for the aesthetics and increased visibility of keys.
An RGB backlit keyboard allows for displaying more than 16 million colors and applying them to each individual key. Besides aesthetics, an RGB backlit keyboard can also increase performance by allowing for color zoning of keys based on functions.
Tip 5. A Keyboard With an Ergonomic Design Enhances Comfort and Alleviates Injuries
Long-term gaming takes its toll on the body. The long hours you spend seated while issuing commands, moving the mouse, and staring at a screen, eventually build up. This can result in all sorts of computer-related health issues. Some of these problems, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and wrist pain, are caused by the wrong or prolonged use of a keyboard. For more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, see this article by the NHS.
The best way to prevent computer-related health issues is to use ergonomic accessories. An ergonomic keyboard such as this Delux Ergonomic Keyboard is designed to prevent health issues from long-term use.
Tip 6. Find a Gaming Keyboard With Macro Keys To Make Repeated Actions Easier and More Efficient
Macro keys can be programmed to perform a sequence of actions. The sequence is often specific to a game and gives the gamer an edge by allowing for faster issuing of commands. Instead of pressing multiple keys to issue a command, the macro key is simple to use.
If you are a pro gamer or want to optimize performance in general, then you should consider getting a keyboard like this with macro keys.
Tip 7. A Keyboard With Keys That Are Rated for Millions of Keystrokes Will Last a Long Time
Standard keyboards can withstand at least five million clicks, while top-notch keyboards can endure fifty million clicks. Your choice of keyboard should be based on how much you will be using the keyboard on a daily basis and how long you intend to use it for.
Tip 8. Choose a Keyboard Based on the Genre of Game You Play
Some keyboard features are best suited for a specific game genre. Therefore, consider which types of games you will be playing before deciding on a keyboard.
For first-person shooter games and MOBA games, mechanical keyboards like this with their durable and sensitive keys are best. These games require a lot of pressing, and mechanical keyboards are designed with long-term intensive use in mind.
Our gaming keyboard recommendations explain the requirements for optimum gaming, in greater detail but a general rule of thumb for a gaming keyboard is to get one that has low latency and high action per second.
Summary of Gaming Keyboard Features That Can Be Optimized
|What Are You Trying To Optimize?||What To Look For||Example From Amazon|
|Latency||A Mechanical Keyboard||Cherry MX Board 3.0|
|Better aesthetics||An RGB Keyboard||Corsair K70 PRO|
|Reduce hand pain and the chance of future health problems||An Ergonomic Keyboard||Delux Ergonomic Keyboard|
|More hotkeys for quick actions||A keyboard with macro keys||Corsair K55 PRO|
Tips To Choose the Best Keyboard for Gaming and Working.
Keyboard requirements for gaming and regular typing purposes overlap in some cases. Getting a keyboard suitable for typing and gaming is more convenient than getting two different keyboards. Below are a few tips to choose a keyboard that is suitable for both gaming and working.
Tips to choose the best keyboard for gaming and working are to consider a model with keys that have a short debounce time, go for an ergonomic design, and opt for a mechanical keyboard.
Tip 1. Look for Keys With a Quicker Debounce Time for Faster Typing
When gaming and typing, keys that have a quicker debounce time, like this keyboard has, allow for seamless working. The debounce time of a keyboard refers to the interval between clicks and when they register. The shorter the debounce time, the more commands a keyboard will register in a specific time frame.
Tip 2. Look for an Ergonomic Keyboard
Ergonomic keyboards like this are designed to prevent injuries that are specific to intensive and long-term use of keyboards. Both gaming and typing can be quite heavy on the hands and wrists so try to get an ergonomic model if possible.
Tip 2. Look for a Mechanical RGB Keyboard
Mechanical keyboards like this are built to withstand extreme usage. If you want a keyboard for both typing and gaming, get a mechanical keyboard.
Summary of Gaming Keyboard Features That Are Suitable For Gaming and Working
|Feature To Look For||Why This Feature Is Good for Gaming||Why This Feature Is Good for Typing and Working|
|Short Debounce Time||Perfect for rapid shooting in FPS games||Registers key presses faster|
|Ergonomic Keyboard||Prevents health issues such as wrist pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome||Prevents health issues such as wrist pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome|
|Mechanical Keyboard||Highly durable, can withstand intensive use for a long time||Highly durable, can withstand intensive use for a long time|
How To Find the Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming
Mechanical keyboards have different types of switches - tactile, clicky and linear switches.
To find the best mechanical keyboard for gaming, determine what type of auditory and tactile feedback is desired. Choose linear keys for a noiseless keyboard and for RTS games. For typing and gaming, look for tactile keys. To optimize for typing go for click keys as they register quickly.
For more information on the types of switches see this article by Keychron.
Follow these tips to find the best mechanical keyboard for gaming:
Tip 1. Go for a Linear Switch Mechanical Keyboard For a Noiseless Keyboard and for RTS Games
Linear switches are perfect for RTS games as you have to bottom out any key you press, which reduces the possibility of mistakenly clicking another key.
Tip 2. Opt for Click Switches for Typing
Pick a keyboard like this that has click switches if you will be doing a lot of typing. Every key you press will make a click sound when it reaches its actuation point. Hence you do not need to bottom out the key, which means faster typing.
Tip 3. Opt for Tactile Switches for Both Gaming and Typing
A keyboard like this with tactile switches is perfect for both gaming and typing. You will feel a small bump when you press it and it triggers. This is perfect for MOBAs, MMOs, RTS, and similar genres.