E-Gaming Keyboard Layout Tips and Tricks

When it comes to gaming, using a keyboard with the appropriate layout is essential for success.

E-gaming keyboard layouts include full-size, tenkeyless, 75%, 65%, 60%, and 40% sizes. Macro pads and number pads can be added to keyboards for more flexible use and increased customization options so that you can choose the right e-gaming keyboard layout for you.

Use a full-size e-gaming keyboard layout if you have space.  A tenkeyless keyboard doesn’t have a numpad so it takes up less space. Use a macro pad to customize the keyboard layout. For talking with twitch chat get a keyboard with multimedia keys for quick screenshots and other shortcuts. 

Here are some tips to choose a keyboard with the right layout:

Tip 1. A Full-Size Keyboard Offers Full Functionality but Needs More Space

A full-size keyboard has a dedicated number pad and all the keys you need for gaming. They are ideal for gamers who frequently use the number keys in games, or who need to have a large selection of keys at their disposal.

A full-size keyboard allows a gamer to use number keys and a full selection of keys when gaming, but will take up more space.

The only downside to full-size keyboards like these is that they can take up a lot of space on your desk and are relatively heavy. If you have a small desk or limited space, a tenkeyless or smaller keyboard might be a better option.

And if you ever need to know what to do when a gaming keyboard is not working we’ve got you covered.

Choosing the right e-gaming keyboard layout would depend on whether you need all the functions of a full-size keyboard or not.
A full-size keyboard is a solid choice if space is not a limiting factor. Image Source: Adesso Inc.

Make sure you also take a look at our related article explaining the differences between keychron vs other keyboards. This article will provide you with loads of new information.

Tip 2. A Tenkeyless Keyboard Is Compact Without a Number Pad

Tenkeyless keyboards offer a good balance between size and functionality. They do not have a number pad but have arrow keys, home clusters, and function keys. They are known for being comfortable to use since the wrists do not have to strain much to reach the keys.

A tenkeyless keyboard does not have a number pad but has arrow keys, home clusters, and function keys. This e-gaming keyboard layout will take up less space while offering suitable functionality.

This video tutorial by Hardware Canucks explains exactly what a Tenkeyless keyboard is. And this article which guides you through the 10 best wireless mechanical keyboards also explains a little more about Tenkeyless keyboards.

Tenkeyless keyboards like these are great for people who want a more compact keyboard but do not want to sacrifice comfort or functionality. The only downside of tenkeyless keyboards is the lack of a number pad. If you need to enter many commands when gaming, a tenkeyless keyboard might not be the right choice.

Tenkeyless keyboards make a great option for e-gaming layouts by providing suitable functionality without taking up too much space.
A tenkeyless keyboard requires less space than a full-size one. Image Source: keyboardco.

Tip 3. Use A 75% Keyboard For a Compact, Fully Functional, E-Gaming Keyboard Layout

Slightly smaller than tenkeyless keyboards are 75% keyboards. These have the home cluster arranged vertically, placed right next to the arrow keys. The function keys are also smaller on these keyboards, which can make them difficult to press for people with larger fingers. 

A 75% keyboard is a smaller version of a regular keyboard but has the same functionality as a regular keyboard.

Some of the keys might also be in different places than on a full-size keyboard which can take some time to get used to. Nonetheless, 75% keyboards like these are useful in that they help save space while having most keys. 

Should you be looking at a specific keyboard we suggest that you check out our list of gaming keyboard testers and find out how to use them properly to check the functionality of the keyboard.

For an e-gaming keyboard layout that provides full functionality without taking up too much space, choose a 75% keyboard.
Using a 75% keyboard will save space while still being able to use most keys present on a full-size keyboard. Image Source: Euro Gamer.

Tip 4. A 65% Keyboard Is Compact Keyboard With an Arrow Cluster

In case you are looking for the smallest option that still has arrow keys, consider a 65% keyboard. 

Choose a 65% keyboard for its compact size and arrow cluster. 

These keyboards do not have number pads, function rows, or home clusters but are significantly smaller than full-size keyboards.

65% keyboards are useful for gamers who travel a lot and want a compact yet functional keyboard to take with them. If this is the case for you then our guide that explains the benefits of using a gaming keyboard on your lap might have some great tips for you. This drop ALT Mechanical Keyboard is an excellent model for this purpose. 

A 65% laptop is compact but still offers suitable functionality for gamers that travel.
A 65% keyboard saves you a lot of space but doesn’t have the functionality of a 75% keyboard. Image Source: Amazon.

You might also be wondering how to change a gaming keyboard light settings. If so, be sure to read our related article for more information.

Tip 5. A 60% Keyboard Provides a Custom Build But With Fewer Keys and Functions

60% keyboards are the smallest e-gaming keyboard layout option for people who want to try a custom build. They do not have arrow keys, home clusters, number pads, or function rows. 

Opt for a 60% keyboard for a custom e-gaming keyboard without arrow keys, a home cluster, a number pad, and a function row

They are usually low cost, but it may take time to get used to the small size. The Supercolor PC Gaming Keyboard is a 60% keyboard that is lightweight and affordable.

Tip 6. A 40% Keyboard Provides Portability But Needs Layers Changed To Access Numbers and Symbols 

The smallest option keyboards are 40% keyboards. These do not have number keys. To access numbers and symbols, you can change layers.

A 40% keyboard is portable but needs to be reset to access numbers and symbols. 

Do consider getting a 40% keyboard if you want a light and portable option. This YMDK Carbon Laser-Etched Keyboard, for example, only weighs 3.2 ounces or 85 grams.

A 40% keyboard is suitable for an e-gaming layout that has very limited space.
40% keyboards take up the least space out of all keyboards and are very portable. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 7. Choose a Gaming Keyboard for a Full-Size Keyboard With Added Macro And Multimedia Keys

The keyboard type that offers the most customization is the gaming keyboard. These have every key, a full-size keyboard, and extra macro and multimedia keys that can be customized.

Choose a gaming keyboard for a full-size keyboard with added macro and multimedia keys.

On the other hand, gaming keyboards like this can be expensive and some people might not need all the extra keys. In addition, they are usually big and bulky which can take up a lot of space on your desk.

Nonetheless, gaming keyboards are ideal for people who need to issue many complex demands when gaming, video editing, or graphic designing. This Logitech G213 Prodigy is a keyboard that allows for customizing keys and has dedicated media controls. Check out our guide to the best gaming keyboards under $200 to see what is available on the market today.

If your e-gaming layout has space opt for a proper gaming keyboard that has full gaming functionality and programmability.
Gamers who need to input many different commands may want to consider using a gaming keyboard. Image Source: Computer Land.

Make sure you know exactly what a gaming keyboard is as well. Our related article will provide you loads of information and tips on how to choose the right one. Additionally, learning how many keys are on a gaming keyboard may also provide you with some useful information. Be sure to check that out too.

Tip 8. Add a Number Pad for Flexibility 

Number pads can be put on the left or right side of the keyboard and can be removed to create more space when they are not needed.

Using a number pad allows for the flexibility of moving it to a convenient space to use or clearing up space by removing it altogether.

Number pads like this are a good option for people who want to be able to use it on the left or right side of their desk. They are also great for people who want the flexibility to store their number pad when it is not in use. 

A number pad can be used on either side of your e-gaming keyboard layout.
Having a separate number pad allows for optimal use of space and can be used on whichever side is preferred. Image Source: Walmart.

Tip 9. Get a Macro Pad To Customize Shortcuts

Macro pads are programmable to run macros, control programs, or trigger keyboard shortcuts.

They are a good option for people who e-gaming keyboard layouts with custom shortcuts that make their gaming experience more efficient.

A macro pad allows for the creation of customized shortcuts.

However, macro pads like this can be expensive. In addition, they are usually big and take up a lot of space on your desk. There are smaller models like this Huion Mini Keydial.

A macro pad can be fully programmed to run macros, control programs, or trigger keyboard shortcuts.
Macro pads are great for people who require a lot of shortcuts. Image Source: Max Keyboard.

Tip 10. An ANSI Layout Doesn’t Need Changing and Has Accessible Enter and Left Shift Keys

When choosing an e-gaming keyboard, consider getting one using the ANSI layout. This is the most common keyboard layout.

Look for an ANSI layout to avoid having to change anything, and to avoid having to stretch to reach the enter & left shift keys.

Most keyboards today have an ANSI layout and could be suitable for your e-gaming setup.
And ANSI  keyboard is compact with most of the function keys within easy reach. Image Source: makeuseof.com.

Tip 11. Try an ISO Layout for Typing Accents and Special Characters 

The ISO keyboard layout is more common in Europe but is used in the US too. 

It is a good option for people who often use accents and special characters. The keys are placed differently from an ANSI layout keyboard, so it might take some getting used to. 

An ISO layout is suitable for typing accents and special characters often.

This video tutorial by Switch and Click explains the difference between ISO and ANSI keyboards, clearly.

Use an ISO keyboard for more functions and to be able to use special characters and accents when typing.
An ISO keyboard is bulkier and has keys that are a bit more difficult to reach. Image Source: makeuseof.com.

You may also need to know how to fix a key not working on a gaming keyboard at some point in time. Be sure to take a look at our step-by-step guide for more details. And finally, you might start understanding why gaming keyboards are so expensive. Be sure to take a look at our related article too for more information.


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