Tips to Choose the Fastest Gaming Keyboard For Your Needs

Computer accessories like the keyboard and mouse are vital for users when working and gaming. Features like durability and speed are priorities for gamers, and these are standard features of gaming keyboards. Metal backplates are a common feature of high-end keyboards for durability as well as mechanical switches to enhance their speed. But how do you choose the fastest gaming keyboard for your genre of gaming?

To choose the fastest gaming keyboard, look for a keyboard with a high polling rate and N-key rollover that uses linear switches with a short actuation distance.

The fastest gaming keyboard will have high-end mechanical switches.
Gaming keyboards are optimized for speed. Image source: Amazon.

Why Do You Need the Best and Fastest Gaming Keyboard?

Every millisecond counts when gaming. When pressing a command on your keyboard, you want it to register as quickly as possible. The moment you press a key, it should result in action being taken in the game. If your opponent has a keyboard that registers keystrokes faster than yours, you will be at a disadvantage. 

Using the best and fastest gaming keyboard ensures optimal gaming performance and comfort. A fast gaming keyboard offers quick in-game responses that can make or break your gaming. 

This video tutorial by Prettymuchtech discusses the fastest mechanical gaming keyboard. 

And if you are thinking of speeding things up a bit, then the following reasons will clarify why you should look at getting the fastest gaming keyboard:

Reason 1. It Affects Performance 

Using a gaming keyboard will generally result in better performance than when using a standard keyboard to play games. This is because gaming keyboards have features that allow for the fast and efficient issuing of commands. For example, most gaming keyboards are known for their speed feature hot-swappable mechanical switches, as this one does. 

Mechanical switches offer faster response times when compared to other types of switches. While mechanical switches have an input lag of 15-25 milliseconds, membrane switches have an average latency of 30 milliseconds. Our article comparing membrane to mechanical keyboards takes an in-depth look at their differences and explains the benefits of using a mechanical keyboard for gaming. 

Reason 2. It Affects Comfort 

Gamers tend to be serious about their hobby and many engage in sessions that last for hours. Ending a game with arm, shoulder, or neck pain is something most gamers want to prevent at all costs. To prevent health complications, gaming keyboards often have switches that are easy to press which reduces fatigue in the hands and results in a more comfortable gaming experience. This article from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine explains how the design of a keyboard switch can reduce hand and arm pain. Also, be sure to take a look at our tips on how to reduce hand pain while gaming.

The witches of a mechanical keyboard can make all the difference to a gamer's level of comfort.
The switch design on a mechanical keyboard can dramatically reduce hand fatigue and pain when gaming. Image Source: Amazon.

Similarly, you may find interest in learning how to choose a one-handed gaming keyboard or possibly the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard. If so, be sure to take a look at those related articles for more details.

A Gaming Keyboard With the Fastest Response Time 

The length of time it takes to win or lose an online game is measured in milliseconds rather than seconds. In highly competitive gaming, having a quick, responsive gaming keyboard is essential. Besides the polling rate, whether or not it uses the N-key rollover technology also affects the response time.

To find a gaming keyboard with the fastest response time, look for a keyboard with a high polling rate and one which uses N-key rollover technology. Fast keyboards have a high polling rate which affects latency and can improve gaming speed.

Follow these tips for help in choosing a gaming keyboard with the fastest response time:

Tip 1. Find a Keyboard With a High Polling Rate

To get the fastest response time from a gaming keyboard, find one with a high polling rate. A keyboard's polling rate refers to how often it can send data to the computer. Our article that explains what a gaming keyboard is with pro tips to choose one discusses polling rates and what to look out for when choosing a keyboard. 

The polling rate is measured in Hertz, with higher measures meaning that the keyboard has a faster response time for keypresses. For gaming keyboards, a 500Hz to 1000Hz polling rate is the minimum for better performance. A gaming keyboard that has a 125 Hz polling rate is eight times slower than a keyboard with a 1000 Hz polling rate. Make sure to always consider the polling rate when choosing a fast gaming keyboard like this one.

The fastest gaming keyboard will have the highest polling rate.
The higher the polling rate of a keyboard is, the faster its response time. Image Source: techreviewer.

Tip 2. Find a Keyboard with N-key rollover

Keyboards that use N-key rollover technology can be counted on to register all keystrokes, even if they are pressed at the same time. When gaming, you may need to press and release several keys simultaneously; this is when N-key rollover is vital and ensures that every command issued is carried out in the game. Our article about whether gaming keyboards are expensive and what makes them so discusses the significance of N-key roller technology. 

Summary of Fast Gaming Keyboards

Fast Gaming Keyboard What features make it fast? What kinds of games or situations is this keyboard good for? Price
Razer Huntsman Mini Razer optical switches use light-based actuation, registering key presses at the speed of light.  Its relatively small size makes this keyboard perfect for travel and for limited workspace. ~$80
Black Shark Rgb Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Mechanical switches and N-Key Rollover technology allow for fast and accurate issuing of commands. This keyboard is an excellent choice for gamers who want a faster keyboard but do not want to spend a lot. ~$40
Corsair K57 Rgb Wireless Gaming Keyboard This keyboard sports super low latency. Gamers who want to use their keyboard away from their desktop will find this keyboard convenient. ~$100
Steelseries Apex Pro Mini Wireless Keyboard State-of-the-art magnetic sensors raise the speed to the max. This keyboard is for gamers who want the fastest keyboard on the market and who want to make sure they will never be disadvantaged when it comes to speed. ~$190

Be sure to take a look at our related article that explains how to choose a small gaming keyboard without a Numpad. Our related article will provide you with loads of additional information. Similarly, you might be interested in our tips for choosing the best gaming keyboard for small hands. If so, be sure to read that related article too.

How To Find the Fastest Gaming Keyboard Switches for Mechanical Keyboards

The type of switches used in a keyboard affects how fast it is. There are some factors to consider when looking for fast gaming keyboard switches, such as the actuation distance of the switches and their type. 

To find the fastest gaming keyboard switches for mechanical keyboards, look for linear switches that have a short actuation distance.

Our guide on the ten best mechanical switches for mechanical keyboards looks at the most popular switch types and their benefits.

These tips will come in handy when you need to find the fastest gaming keyboard switches:

Tip 1. Look for Switches With a Short Actuation Distance

Key actuation distance makes a huge difference to your keyboard’s speed capabilities. The term refers to the distance switches need to travel until they are registered as a keystroke. As a rule, a short actuation distance means the keyboard is faster. Mechanical keyboards often have a short actuation distance and are generally a good choice if you are looking for a fast gaming keyboard.

Tip 2. Look for Linear Switches 

There are three types of keyboard switches: linear, tactile, and clicky. As a rule, linear switches are the best choice for gamers as they have the fastest response time. For more about the three types of keyboard switches, see this article by keyboard manufacturer Aziocorp.

The three different types of mechanical gaming keyboard switches all feel and sound different and the one that has the fastest action is the Linear switch.
Sound, speed, and feedback vary across the three types of switches. Image source:

What Is the Fastest Keyboard Layout?

When comparing the three popular layouts, QWERTY, Colemak, and DVORAK, Colemak is the fastest layout. But because of its popularity and long history, users have become so familiar with using QWERTY that switching to other layouts might make them slower.

The fastest keyboard layout is the Colemak layout. The Dvorak layout can also be quick and requires less time to learn than the Colemak layout. QWERTY is the most widely used layout, while it is slower than other layouts, many people are used to it and are therefore quicker using it.

When considering which keyboard layout to use, it is necessary to decide whether you need it for gaming or only for typing. For typing and regular use, the Colemak keyboard layout has proven to be the most efficient and the easiest to use. However, if you’re looking for the fastest layout for gaming, nothing can beat the familiar QWERTY keyboard layout. To learn more check out our e-gaming keyboard layout tips and tricks

Familiarity greatly influences how fast you can be on your keyboard. During typing competitions, the winners have been found to be using QWERTY keyboard layouts, despite the fact that they are not actually the fastest. 

Our article about how many keys are on a gaming keyboard takes a look at various keyboard sizes and layouts if you want to learn more about the keyboard options that are available. 

Each of the three layouts has its pros and cons, which we will now discuss in more detail:

Layout 1. Colemak Layout

The Colemak layout is the newest one. It resembles the familiar QWERTY layout but with some improvements. The Colemak layout offers a quicker typing speed because of its design. Using it also reduces stretching and pain during typing. However, they are not widely available because they are new.

A Colemac key layout is the fastest layout for gamers.
The Colemak Layout is arguably the most comfortable layout.  Image Source: Wikipedia

Layout 2. DVORAK Layout

In terms of speed, the DVORAK is similar to the Colemak layout. According to this article from, it is estimated that typing on a keyboard like this one with a DVORAK layout can be 60 percent faster than using a QWERTY layout. Similar to the Colemak layout, the DVORAK layout also reduces stretching and pain from typing. The DVORAK layout takes some time to get used to.

It is more comfortable to use a keyboard with a DVORAK layout but not many people are familiar with this layout.
The Dvorak keyboard layout is faster than QWERTY but few people are familiar with it. Image Source: Wikipedia

Layout 3. QWERTY Layout

QWERTY is the most widely used keyboard layout. Almost everyone uses a QWERTY keyboard. Gamers tend to prefer the QWERTY layout of a keyboard like this because they are familiar with it. Games are actually designed with the QWERTY layout in mind, and that's why most of the buttons gamers use during the games are much easier to use with a QWERTY keyboard.

Most gamers are familiar with a QWERTY keyboard layout which makes these the fastest for gaming.
The QWERTY keyboard layout is the oldest and the most established layout. Image source: Wikipedia.

How To Find the Fastest Wireless Gaming Keyboard

Wireless gaming keyboards can be faster than wired keyboards. Using a wireless keyboard for gaming can actually allow you to issue commands about 79 milliseconds faster compared to playing with a wired keyboard. These few milliseconds can be noticeable when playing games that require fast reactions such as shooter games. 

To find the fastest wireless gaming keyboard, look for one with a USB receiver for a faster response time compared to Bluetooth wireless keyboards. Choose a high-quality keyboard to avoid latency issues.  

Our article that compares wireless vs. wired keyboards for gaming discusses the pros and cons of both of these keyboards to help you choose the right one for your needs.

These tips will help you find the fastest wireless gaming keyboard:

Tip 1. Look for a Wireless Keyboard With a USB Dongle 

Wireless gaming keyboards connect via Bluetooth or USB dongles, or both. However, for performance, it is recommended to use one like this that connects via a USB dongle because it offers better performance, faster response time, and more reliability compared to Bluetooth ones.

One of the drawbacks that make Bluetooth wireless keyboards less popular compared to USB ones is the occasional flakiness. Bluetooth wireless keyboards can frequently get disconnected which definitely will affect the gamer's performance negatively. Also, Bluetooth wireless keyboards tend to have high latency compared to ones that use USB dongles.

For a faster wireless connection opt for a wireless gaming keyboard that connects via a USB dongle.
Wireless gaming keyboards with USB Dongles offer faster performance compared to those that connect via Bluetooth. Image source: Amazon.

Tip 2. Look for a High-Quality Keyboard 

To have a wireless gaming keyboard that will allow you to perform optimally, you will need a high-quality one. Cheaper keyboards tend to be of lower quality and are more likely to have latency problems causing lag during gaming sessions. Our article about gaming keyboard recommendations that fit your game genre and gaming setup offers tips on selecting the right keyboard for your needs. 

You may also be interested in protecting your new keyboard from dust and spills. Take a look at the different kinds of gaming keyboard dust covers so you can choose the one that fits your needs best.

Tips for Finding the Fastest Budget Gaming Keyboard

Many gamers look for a budget keyboard that can still offer reliable performance. Luckily, there are affordable gaming keyboards on the market that will allow you to perform well. 

To find the fastest budget gaming keyboard, look for a keyboard that has mechanical switches. Also, consider getting a model that has backlights because they enhance performance noticeably when playing in low-lit environments.

Our article comparing gaming keyboards vs. regular computer keyboards explains why a regular keyboard may not be suitable for your particular gaming scenario.

When going for a cheaper model you will be sacrificing some features, but getting a model with good switches can still make it fast.

Tip 1. Find a Budget Keyboard With Mechanical Switches 

The type of switches on a keyboard greatly affects how fast the keyboard is. When looking for a low-cost keyboard, make sure to go for one with mechanical switches and consider the actuation distance. Our article about the ten best gaming keyboards that are under $30 is a good resource to help you find a decent gaming keyboard on a budget. 

Tip 2. Find a Budget Keyboard With Backlighting 

Many gamers prefer playing in low-lit environments because they feel it makes their experience more immersive. If you play games at night or in low-lit environments, find a budget gaming keyboard with backlighting like this one. The lighting will ensure that your keys are visible in the dark.

While keyboards with customizable backlighting can be more expensive, you can buy a keyboard with preset color backlights for less. Our article about how to change the color settings on a backlit keyboard explains how you can customize your RGB or LED keyboard. 


This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.