A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use A Custom Gaming Keyboard Builder
Even with the wide range of gaming keyboards available out there, it is not always possible to find exactly what you want. This is why many gamers choose to build their own keyboards. So if you want to customize your gaming keyboard size, case color, keyboard profile, keycap set, switches, and other modifications, there are websites that have custom gaming keyboard builders to make this possible.
To use a custom gaming keyboard builder start by selecting the keyboard components that best meet your preferences for a custom tactile feel. Consider optimizing for key characteristics such as keycap material and layout type, and make a list of your desired features to help guide your selection process. Based on your list, choose the modifications that will allow you to achieve the ideal custom gaming keyboard for your needs.
Although the majority of other customizable mechanical keyboards are undoubtedly adequate, you get a great sense of satisfaction when you make something yourself. Similar to building your own PC, a bespoke keyboard like this is made to your specifications in terms of size, functionality, and cost. One can be constructed for a reasonable price. This article will look at how a completely custom keyboard can be built.
What Is a Custom Gaming Keyboard Builder?
A custom gaming keyboard builder is a software tool that you can use to select each aspect of a customized keyboard and have a unique keyboard built to your specifications.
A custom gaming keyboard builder is an online tool offered by some vendors that allows customers to design and customize their own gaming keyboard. Once the design is complete, they can place an order for the keyboard. In some cases, the vendor will send the customer a kit with all the components, which the customer can then assemble to create their custom gaming keyboard.
Stock keyboards are great, read our article about what a gaming keyboard is to find out why. But sometimes there are extra features like dampening of different switch types that you might want. A custom gaming keyboard builder like this makes it easy to customize your keyboard as you do not need to order every component separately. To build a keyboard that is optimized for your needs, you want to consider switch type, profile, stabilizers, and other components.
How To Find the Best Custom Keyboard Websites
When you plan to build your gaming keyboard yourself, you will need to decide on the components and features you want and find out where you can order them. Websites that use custom keyboard builders make this process simple and efficient because everything you could possibly want to include in your keyboard is available on one site. This also ensures that the features you choose are compatible with each other.
Choose the best custom keyboard websites by searching for high-quality keyboard builders, diverse layouts, reading customer reviews, and evaluating ease of use and support. Lastly, don’t forget to compare prices and delivery time too.
Check out this thread on Reddit that discusses various websites and other resources for building a custom gaming keyboard.
These tips will help you to find the best custom keyboard websites:
Tip 1. Look For a High-Quality Custom Gaming Keyboard Builder
When choosing your custom gaming keyboard builder, quality should be a top priority. The components you choose will determine the overall performance and durability of your custom gaming keyboard, so it is important to make informed choices. Doing some research and comparing options online can help you make the best decision for your needs. For example, our article about custom keyboard cases takes a look at the various materials that the cases can be made of and which are the most durable.
Additionally, it may be helpful to look for a builder that offers a warranty or guarantee for its components, to give you added peace of mind. By taking these steps, you can be confident that you’re using a custom gaming keyboard builder that will provide you with high-quality equipment that will meet your gaming needs.
You might also find interest in learning how to connect a gaming keyboard to a laptop. Be sure to take a look at our related article to find out more.
Tip 2. Choose a Website with a Diversity of Keyboard Layouts and Profiles
Having a large variety of of layouts and profiles to choose from is important when building a custom gaming keyboard. This allows you to have more control over the customization of your keyboard, and optimize it in a way that suits your preferences and needs.
The keyboard profile, particularly the incline angle, can have a significant impact on your comfort while gaming, especially during long gaming sessions. Our article about flat key keyboards takes a look at the keyboard incline and how it affects hand and wrist positions so that hand and wrist fatigue is alleviated during long gaming periods. It’s important to consider this factor when choosing a layout and profile, as it can help alleviate hand and wrist fatigue and provide a more ergonomic gaming experience. Therefore, you can make sure that your custom gaming keyboard is not only highly customizable, but also comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
Tip 3. Read Genuine Customer Reviews
When investing in a custom gaming keyboard, it’s important to make sure that you receive the best products and that your investment is worth it. Checking reviews from other customers can be a helpful way to determine the quality and reliability of a custom gaming keyboard builder. By looking for positive and genuine reviews, you can get a better idea of the level of customer satisfaction and the quality of the products offered by the builder. That way, you can be confident that you’re choosing a site that will treat you right and deliver on its promises.
Tip 4. Evaluate Ease of Use And Customer Support
When choosing a custom gaming keyboard builder, it’s important to consider the user-friendliness and ease of navigation of the website. The site should be intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for you to select the components and options you want for your custom gaming keyboard.
Additionally, The builder should offer good customer support options, such as a help center, live chat, or phone support, so that you can get assistance if you need it. Good customer support can be particularly important when you encounter any issues or have any questions during the customization process.
Tip 5. Consider Pricing and Delivery Time
It’s a good idea to compare prices across different sites to find the best value for your money. consider the estimated delivery time to make sure it fits with your schedule. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are getting the best deal possible and that your custom gaming keyboard will arrive in a timely manner.
How To Build a Custom Gaming Keyboard With a Custom Keyboard Builder
Using a custom gaming keyboard builder makes optimizing your keyboard quick and simple. All you need to do is scroll through and choose from the options provided on the custom keyboard builder’s website.
To build a custom gaming keyboard with a custom keyboard builder, use a checklist to choose the desired components, and decide if you want the shop to assemble it. Consider opting for quality assurance, if offered, for peace of mind.
The use of foam on keyboard boards is one of the most common features nowadays. This not only significantly alters the sound produced by the board but can also have an impact on the typing experience. Though you can modify your keyboard by inserting foam like this into it, as explained in this YouTube video tutorial by Killa Keyboards, when you build your own keyboard this dampening foam can be one of the special aspects of the initial design. Our article about how to choose a quiet mechanical keyboard looks at the benefits of including foam in your keyboard.
Follow these steps when using a custom gaming keyboard builder:
Step 1. Design A Checklist of Your Desired Features
When you want to build your own gaming keyboard, you first need to decide on what specific features you want it to have. Make sure you choose a keyboard builder like this one that allows for selecting the preferred functionality and design on your checklist. The first step in building a custom gaming keyboard is to choose your desired layout. This will determine the size and shape of your keyboard, as well as the number and arrangement of keys.
Step 2. Choose Your Preferred Components
Once you have made sure that the custom keyboard builder offers all of your requirements, you can start choosing your preferred components. The first step in building a custom gaming keyboard is to choose your desired layout, which will determine the size and shape of your keyboard, as well as the number and arrangement of keys. Then, select the type of switches that you want, which will determine the feel and responsiveness of the keys. Our article about the different types of gaming keyboard switches explains each one's features and will help you choose the right ones. You can also select the keycaps that match your personal style and gaming needs, and decide on lighting and additional features, such as programmable macros, media controls, or a wrist rest.
This article by Platte B. et al, demonstrated that incorporating a few custom keycaps can improve the ergonomics of keyboards and reduce eye movement by 35%.
You may also be interested in choosing a gaming keyboard that is cute. If so, be sure to read our related article for more information on how to do so.
Step 3. Decide Between Assemble or Pre-Assembled
Decide if you want to assemble the keyboard yourself, or if you want the builder to do it for you. The vendor may also test your build by, for example, checking the stabilizers, lubricating components, and making sure the switches work perfectly. Having a vendor assemble the keyboard for you can save time and guarantee that the build will be done correctly.
Step 4. Select Quality Assurance
As the last step, you may want to select quality assurance. Some builders offer quality assurance, which can give you peace of mind knowing that your keyboard will be properly assembled.
What Is a Custom Keyboard Kit?
Most custom keyboard builders offer you building services on their end and custom do-it-yourself kit bundles that have a variety of customized accessories. If you select the second option, you will receive a custom keyboard kit.
A custom keyboard kit, typically comes with all the necessary components to build your own keyboard, including a PCB, stabilizers, keycaps, switches, and a plate. Some custom keyboard kits may also include extra components, such as a case, wiring, and other accessories.
Custom Gaming Keyboard Builder vs. Custom Gaming Keyboard Kit - Which Is Better?
Most custom keyboard manufacturers offer custom gaming keyboard builders as well as custom keyboard kits. If you want to assemble the gaming keyboard with your own hands and reduce the assembling costs, you can get a custom keyboard kit. Otherwise, using a custom gaming keyboard builder means that the keyboard is assembled for you.
Use a custom gaming keyboard builder to ensure high-quality assembling services and guaranteed compatibility of the selected components. Opt for a custom keyboard kit to assemble it manually and to save on vendor assembly costs.
Use a Custom Gaming Keyboard Builder for High-Quality Assembling and Compatibility Assurance
When you choose a custom gaming keyboard builder like this, can save you the time and effort of assembling the keyboard yourself and give you the peace of mind that your keyboard will be assembled correctly and work properly. However, this service as well as the compatibility check costs more than if you were to assemble the keyboard yourself using a custom keyboard kit like this. This article from Kinetic Labs explains in detail the reasons behind the high cost of custom keyboards.
Use a Custom Keyboard Kit for Budget Constraints and for the Thrill of the Build
If you are not willing to increase your budget to manage the high costs of getting a top-quality keyboard completely customized and built by a custom gaming keyboard builder, then getting a custom keyboard kit for yourself is a wiser choice.
A kit lets you play around with your decided budget, and allows you more flexibility and learning when building your own gaming keyboard like this with your own hands.
How To Build a Gaming Keyboard From a Kit With Custom Keyboard Parts
The best part of using custom keyboard kits is that you get hands-on experience and learn about the structure of your gaming keyboard and the functionality of each part. A custom keyboard kit has all of the basic components you need. The majority of the custom keyboard kits include at least a printed circuit board, mechanical switches, and a case.
To build a keyboard from a kit with custom keyboard parts, start by ensuring all the parts are included, and prepare the printed circuit board, the plate, and the stabilizers. Then insert the switches and attach the LEDs. Solder any components that require soldering, clean the keyboard, and test that it works.
This video tutorial by Matthew Encina explains how to assemble the components of a DIY custom keyboard kit.
Follow these steps to build a gaming keyboard from a kit:
Step 1. Inspect the Kit
The first step in building a custom gaming keyboard from a kit is to inspect the kit and verify that all the components are included and in good condition. Also, make sure that all the components are compatible with each other and with the PCB. Some components may have specific requirements, such as switch type or plate thickness. Always study the documentation and guidelines provided with the kit carefully, before you start. Your custom keyboard kit like this should have a video tutorial or instruction manual to help you assemble it. By taking the time to inspect the kit, you can avoid any potential issues or mistakes during the assembly process.
Step 2. Inspect the PCB Layout
Once you have made sure everything is complete, you can start inspecting the basic structural pieces which include the motherboard and switches, for any damage or defects. If you opted for LED lights, we suggest that you inspect them too for any signs of damage that may have occurred during shipping—though this is unlikely because the manufacturers take extra care when packing your keyboard kit.
Step 3. Preparing the PCB, Plate, and Stabilizers
If you are using a plate, then place it over your circuit board to prepare it for attaching the switches. Make sure you leave a gap between the circuit board and the plate.
If you are not using a plate, you will have to solder your switches and LED lights directly to your mainboard. Once you have assembled the plate, you can insert the stabilizers.
Step 4. Insert the Switches
After the stabilizers are inserted, it is time to install the switches. It is important to handle the circuit board carefully to avoid damaging it, and to install the switches properly to ensure a stable and functional keyboard.
It is best to start installing the switches at the corners of the board and move toward the middle. This will help distribute the pressure evenly and prevent the board from flexing too much.
Additionally, ensure that the pins of the switches extend fully when you press them into the plate, and that the switches are aligned with the holes on the plate, and are seated properly.
Step 5. Manage the LEDs
If you are using single-color LED lights, then they will typically have two pins, one for the positive terminal and one for the negative. Insert the LED light pins into the correct holes on the circuit board, then bend the pins once they are fully inserted to secure the lights in place and prevent them from slipping back into the board.
Step 6. Solder the Appropriate Components and Clean the Keyboard
Soldering is an important step in building a custom keyboard, as it can help ensure a stable and secure connection between the components. It is recommended to start with the pins on the upper left side of the board then moving from left to right when soldering. You can use a wire like this and a soldering kit like this.
Before soldering, prepare the board by cleaning it with alcohol and a cotton swab to remove any dirt or oil that could interfere with the soldering process. If you use flux like this, work quickly and clean anything that needs cleaning without delay, as flux can stiffen when exposed to air for too long. For more information on the soldering process, we recommend you check this in-depth guide to soldering keyboards on Reddit.
Step 7. Inspect Build and Customization
Once all the previous steps have been completed all that remains to be done is to inspect the solder joints and make sure that all components have been attached correctly. Look for any signs of weakness, cracks, or splits, if you find some you can reheat the joints to fix them.
Step 8. Testing and Quality Assurance
Test the keyboard to see if it works properly. If you find that a key isn’t working properly then take a look at our guide on how to fix a key not working on a gaming keyboard to troubleshoot the problem and start using your custom keyboard.
Is a Custom Keyboard Worth It?
A keyboard should be comfortable and responsive. If you are going to be spending a lot of time using your keyboard, customizing it to your preferences is absolutely worth it.
A custom keyboard is worth it to optimize performance and comfort, especially if used for many hours every day. However, a custom keyboard might be expensive in which case a pre-assembled model would be better.
Our article that compares gaming keyboards vs. regular keyboards takes a look at how high-end keyboards offer gamers more functionality and better performance for intense gaming.
Custom keyboards are recognizable to anyone who has experience with mechanical keyboards or PC gaming peripherals. These are presumably more expensive variations of the keyboards that are currently on the market. However, the majority of buyers are not sure if it is worthwhile to spend so much money on these expensive keyboards.
Custom keyboards like this provide a unique experience that no keyboard from a retail store can match. Thanks to components like aluminum and brass, they feature a better typing experience, better sound, and better overall build quality. Getting them is justified by the fact that they provide an experience unlike any other.
In short, there are two ways to customize your gaming keyboard. You can either use a custom keyboard builder and have the keyboard assembled for you, or try building it yourself by using a custom keyboard kit like this, which would work out to be less expensive.
Summary of Pros and Cons of Building a Custom Keyboard
|The higher build quality means the keyboard is more durable and robust.
|The high-end components make custom keyboards more expensive.
|Custom keyboard layouts mean users can optimize their keyboards for efficient typing and accuracy.
|Because the keyboards are built according to to each customer's specifications the lead time can be a little longer than regular keyboard retailers.
|Keycaps can have a truly unique look that sets a custom keyboard apart from ordinary keyboards.
|Cheaper custom keyboards might fool unknowing customers who believe they are getting a superior product. So only trusted and reviewed brands should be trusted.
|Customers can choose their switches so that the typing experience is superior and offers the precise tactile feel the user wants
|Users who are nervous about DIY-ing their custom keyboards can choose to have them assembled by the keyboard builder, though this comes at an additional cost.
|The inclusion of specialized and custom dampeners means the keystrokes are cushioned and the gamer can have the exact sound profile they desire.
|These high-end components make custom keyboards more expensive.
|Custom keyboards allow users to design a keyboard that fits their ergonomic specifications to maximize comfort and reduce hand strain and fatigue.
|Adding components for enhanced ergonomics make custom keyboards more expensive.
|If a component breaks during regular and excessive use it is easy to replace because of the modular nature of custom keyboard kits.
|Custom keyboards are easy to clean because they are simple to dismantle and reassemble.
|Custom keyboards ensure gamers get a keyboard size that not only fits their space but also includes the number of keys they need.
The best keyboard for you is the keyboard that you get the most enjoyment out of using. With a custom keyboard, you can make it exactly as you want it. Since a company's primary goal is to maximize profit and minimize cost, mass-produced gaming keyboards like these have a pretty standard or predictable feel, build quality, and aesthetic quality.
These days keyboards with hot-swappable keys like this one allow users various customization choices, but the ultimate customized keyboard will always be the one you design and build yourself.
Our guide on how to fix gaming keyboard issues details how to replace keyboard keys including the tools you’ll need to remove keys and keycaps without damaging any components.