Gaming Keyboard Recommendations That Fit Your Needs
When shopping for a gaming keyboard, sometimes you can get lost in the pool of options on the market and don't know which one to choose. A good gaming keyboard is quite a luxury in a PC setup, and aside from gaming mice, gaming keyboards are one of the main ways to interact with your PC. Whether you play fast-paced games or just want to make typing easier, this guide covers some gaming keyboard recommendations that will help you optimize your performance.
Gaming keyboard recommendations for beginners include the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog Gaming Keyboard due to its fast speed, dual-function digital dial, and 4 Media Keys, the Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard due to the Axon Hyper-Processing Technology for 4x faster output, accuracy, and reliability, and the lightweight SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
If you want to enjoy games on your computer to your heart's content, then you will understand why a gaming keyboard is essential. A gaming keyboard is a dedicated keyboard that gives you comfort while playing games and improves your performance. It is characterized by a good haptic response when pressing the keyboard keys, less fatigue even after long periods of use, and the ability to recognize multiple keys simultaneously. If you’re interested in budget options for your gaming desk setup, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards under $30.
Are Gaming Keyboards Worth It?
A gaming keyboard, in particular, is designed with a focus on keystrokes and reaction speed so gamers can play games more comfortably. The big difference from a regular keyboard is that you can recognize simultaneous key presses and customize key combinations. With a normal keyboard, if you press four or more keys simultaneously, it won't recognize each one and that will limit your play. On the other hand, gaming keyboards do not have this limitation, complex operations are possible, without the risk of ghosting.
Gaming keyboards are worth it because they give haptic feedback, optimize ergonomics for long-term use, deliver increased speed and precision, make use of anti-ghosting technology to improve gameplay, and provide N- key rollover for smooth typing.
According to this article by the Faculty of Management, AGH University of Science and Technology, Cracow, Poland, the keyboard is the most common device used to interact with a computer.
Using a gaming keyboard when playing games that require instant reactions, such as FPS, which require agile play, and MMO, which requires quick communication, makes it easier. However, gaming keyboards are different per manufacturer. So you must choose one that has all the necessary features. In addition to playing games, it is also recommended for everyday use and work. It doesn't matter if you have big hands or small hands, gaming keyboards like these can serve the necessary purpose.
Here are the reasons why a gaming keyboard is worth it:
Reason 1. The Keys of Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Provide an Audible Sound
The distinctive feature of mechanical keyboards is the provision of haptic feedback. As this research paper by Applied Ergonomics discusses, keyboards which offer tactile feedback are more suitable for long typing sessions and optimum typing productivity. Haptic feedback refers to a keyboard's physical response signals when you press its keys. When the keys are pushed halfway, gaming keyboards produce an audible sound, indicating that your input has been registered. This not only gives a satisfying click but also confirms that your command has been received before shifting your fingers to press the next key resulting in you enjoying seamless gaming.
Reason 2. Gaming Keyboards Have Optimized Ergonomics for Long-Term Use
The ergonomic feature of gaming keyboards is an important reason to buy one. A gaming keyboard with proper ergonomics provides users with long-term comfort. This results in long and enjoyable gaming sessions because you feel comfortable. The ergonomic feature of gaming keyboards helps to minimize muscle strain, a common problem for gamers. Gaming keyboards like this are designed to provide more comfort for gamers. They often feature a downward slope which, according to this article from the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal, helps to reduce wrist extension and decrease pressure in the carpal tunnel area.
Reason 3. Gaming Keyboards Deliver Increased Speed and Precision
Gaming keyboards like this allow for quicker and more precise typing than with a regular keyboard. This can significantly boost your efficiency when several keys are pressed throughout a game. On the other hand, because pressing a key down on a membrane keyboard requires force, it is simple to register unintended key presses. Gaming keyboards like this are great for gamers due to their improved speed and precision. Because the keys on a gaming keyboard are more likely to respond as you glide over them, the likelihood of accidental clicks is decreased.
Reason 4: Gaming Keyboards Make Use of Anti-ghosting Technology to Improve Gameplay
N-key rollover is a distinct feature seen in gaming keyboards. Rollover refers to how many keys can be pressed simultaneously without encountering a problem. It allows users to press multiple keys simultaneously, registering each key separately. This is especially useful for gamers, who tend to press more than one key simultaneously. Once your keyboard is "NKRO" capable, each key is registered individually. So if you press three character keys simultaneously, all characters will be displayed on the screen.
Additionally, it is worth noting that the N-key keyboards usually feature anti-ghosting. Without the anti-ghosting feature, the N-key part is useless. Because If you press more keys at once than the keyboard can handle, all can be registered incorrectly. However, the support of Anti-ghosting prevents this from happening by ensuring all keys pressed are registered correctly. The mechanical keyboard has more than 104-key anti-ghosting.
As Microsoft discusses in this article, the ghosting of keys on keyboards is a real problem in gaming. Games that involve making complex key combinations to execute moves will require keyboards like this with anti-ghosting technology for optimum gameplay. You can test out your keyboard interface and limitations using this anti-ghosting demo from Microsoft. If your keyboard is typing numbers instead of letters, check out our article that addresses this problem.
Reason 5. Gaming Keyboards Are More Durable
The intensive competitiveness that comes with gaming can make you press the keys repeatedly and with a lot of force. This can cause a regular keyboard to degrade and possibly break. Thankfully, mechanical gaming keyboards are made to handle this kind of wear. The switches that make up the keys will continue to function even after being pressed repeatedly and with excessive force, and the keyboard won’t break. If any of your switches need to be removed or replaced, you can check our article on how to replace keyboard switches to guide you through the process. Even with daily use, a gaming keyboard can last for years without becoming faulty.
Reason 6. Gaming Keyboards are Portable
The keyboard's portability is a significant feature that cannot be overlooked. It is typical to spend a lot of time playing an online role-playing game in one position, but moving about while playing is equally crucial. The portability of keyboards like these makes it easy for gamers to move around a lot, making it easy for you to game from anywhere. Also, this feature means being able to pack it away neatly if necessary.
Reason 7. Gaming Keyboards Have Macro Capability
Another amazing feature of mechanical keyboards is the presence of some macro capabilities This feature enables gamers to launch certain actions or commands when specific key combinations are pushed, allowing users to take advantage of the device's custom control features. Many users use auto-play, time-based macros, and visual macros as their most common macro commands. Auto-play macros are executed automatically when the device boots up, allowing you to spend more time playing your favorite game. On the other hand, time-based macros are configured to run at specific times during different game sessions to prepare you for specific game situations. Combinations in these keyboards provide gamers with stress-free and enjoyable gaming experiences.
If you need more explanation, be sure to take a look at our article explaining the differences between a gaming vs. a regular keyboard for more details. Furthermore, there are also several benefits to gaming with a keyboard in your lap. If you're interested, be sure to read our related article to find out what they are.
Similarly, you might find interest in learning about these e-gaming keyboard layout tips and tricks. If so, be sure to check that out too for more information.
What Features Should a Gaming Keyboard Have?
Gaming keyboards are gaining popularity daily, and with good reason. They are typically packed with functionalities making them the go-to options for serious gamers. More than just a regular combination of keys, these keyboards offer gamers easy access to different keys and additional features on the go.
A good gaming keyboard should have features such as backlight LED lighting to make the keyboard attractive, custom keycaps that are colorful and more durable, and mechanical or Cherry MX switches for accuracy and smoothness when tapping.
They are essential components of any gamer's setup, just like gaming mice. If you’re also interested in purchasing mice for your gaming setup, read our recommendations for the best PC gaming mice to buy in 2022.
It is crucial that, as a gamer, you consider more than the regular functionality when selecting a gaming keyboard. Our article on how keyboards work also goes into detail on the features and mechanics of the device.
Check out the specific features you should look out for when shopping for a gaming keyboard:
1. A Mechanical Keyboard With Cherry MX Switches
According to this article from the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, mechanical key switches of a keyboard like this have an influence on your performance, fatigue, and level of comfort while using a keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are available in various switch types. Cherry MX switches of a keyboard like this are classified into two types: linear and tactile. When pressed, linear switches travel straight down and produce little noise. However, tactile buttons are clicky, making a loud clicking sound when pressed. The most common type of switch is the Cherry MX switch, which comes in various colors, including red, blue, brown, black, and silver. When a button is pressed, it has a distinct feel and sound depending on how the user has programmed it.
The Cherry MX switch comes in different colors, each with its own function as explained in this video tutorial by BeatTheBush. The Cherry Blue makes switching from one key to the other easier while playing the game and gives loud feedback. While the cherry green can be slightly stiffer. Cherry Red provides a smooth action without making a sound. The keystroke takes rapid action in silence, just as you might want. Cherry MX Brown switches are among the most recognizable in gaming keyboards. They are tactile switches that must be activated with a little bit of force. They make little noise and bounce back quickly after being actuated. While the Cherry MX Blue switches are easy to press, they also make audible clicking noises when pressed, similar to typewriters. However, some users find the noise enjoyable, while others find it annoying.
Check out our article on the best keyboard switches for mechanical keyboards to serve as a guide for you to make a choice. To determine which switch type you prefer the most, don't be scared to experiment with a few different ones.
2. Customizable Keycaps
Mechanical keyboards offer a variety of options to tweak your keyboard to your taste without much hassle, so users can easily remove any of the keycaps if need be. Also, If your keyboard is too loud, you can buy O-rings and place them on every switch. This will reduce the sound produced when pressing the keys. Our review on the 10 Best quiet gaming keyboards to buy offers several appealing options.
If you don’t like the keycaps that came with your board you can buy a different set to provide your preferred look or just replace a few keys to help you remember specific keyboard shortcuts. Also, these keyboards can be customized based on your preferred color to suit the aesthetics of your gaming setup or your general aesthetics. The customization of your keycaps can also serve as a shortcut during multiplayer games. Likewise, it can be customized with your favorite picture or logo.
3. Backlight LED Lighting
When keyboards were first designed, they were used purely for people to work, so they are mainly black with a regular appearance. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, are entirely designed for gaming. Therefore, the appearance generally has a solid mechanical and sci-fi style. Gaming keyboards like these feature RGB lighting, and each tap will activate cool lights.
There are many colors and modes of light, and you can also use the driver to customize it to apply the light to the keyboard. This feature does not just give the keyboard a very colorful look but it is also great for working in low ambient light. This is because the keys emit colors that allow users to identify them. This LED lighting makes gaming keyboards aesthetically pleasing.
If you're wondering how to change your gaming keyboard light settings, be sure to take a look at our related article. You may be surprised how easy it is!
4. Media Key Controls
Wondering what the function of media keys on a gaming keyboard are? Media keys are specialized keyboard keys used for a certain program or shortcut function that cannot be performed with regular keyboard keys. On keyboards like these, keys can be dedicated to serving different purposes which are not included in conventional 104-key keyboards. When media keys were first introduced, they were thought to exclusively operate the computer's multimedia options, such as the start and pause buttons, forward and backward buttons, and so on. However, with time, manufacturers made upgrades, providing it with a more versatile definition. This feature offers better performance for users and provides you with easy slides and glides during gameplay.
The media keys make it easier for users to control multimedia operations such as music or video players. You can control it instantly without opening a music or video player app. Likewise, it can function as a shortcut key to access or open specific tasks in particular software. With this, you don't have to open the software in full. Instead, make use of the shortcut to give complete access. Another function of the key you'd like as a gamer is that it can serve as a streaming screen controller. To save gamers a lot of stress, the media keys can be programmed as shortcut keys for the streaming screen controller and also change layers in your video game stream. It is worth noting that nowadays, media keys are highly useful, so you should ensure the keyboard you're buying has them.
5. Programmable Keys
Another impressive feature of gaming keyboards like these is that they allow you to program keys in a way that suits you and your gaming style. This function can be just for aesthetics or serve as an easy shortcut during games, by putting your name, logo, or picture. Gamers can assign actions and shortcuts to the keys of their choice. This way, if you frequently press a certain key combination, you can program a key that is quick and simple to punch in the activation process to replace that combination.
Programmable keys allow users to try out different styles on the keyboard. Such as activating skills or changing weapons. Keyboard keys often control character movement. In games where a lot of action is crucial, this enhances the gaming experience and gives players a competitive advantage. In video games like first-person shooter (FPS) tournaments, constant mobility might be helpful. Hence, these features on these keyboards significantly improve when you can move about freely and press all of your keys without pausing or slowing down. Although this is an important feature of gaming keyboards, some manufacturers do not provide this, so be sure to check out whether your keyboard has it before purchasing it.
Our Top 3 Recommended Gaming Keyboards on Amazon
If you're an avid gamer, one of the most satisfying ways to improve your game is to use a gaming keyboard. Therefore, getting a top-notch gaming keyboard like this would come after getting a PC. However, buying a keyboard without all the necessary features mentioned above could ruin your performance and stress you out. You will need tools for extra comfort when playing for extended periods. The right keyboard ensures a good and smooth gaming experience for users. Therefore, you can't just ignore gaming keyboards because they're more than just another device.
Choosing the right keyboard is a crucial task, and if you don't do it right, you're likely to die in your virtual gaming world. Even if you don't know much about gaming, you'll have a good idea of the importance of a good keyboard, what sets it apart, and what's happening in today's market. To help you right now, here are 3 Recommended gaming keyboards on Amazon to help you find the right keyboard for your needs and budget.
1. Razer Huntsman V2 Analog Gaming Keyboard
This Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is considered one of the best gaming keyboards because of its top-notch features and advantages, as it provides a seamless gaming experience. This gaming keyboard offers each of the features mentioned above and even more.
With gamers in mind, the manufacturer equipped it with a multi-functional digital dial and four media keys which can be tweaked to serve different purposes. It is worth noting that you set any of these keys to play, skip, or increase volume, all to satisfy your immediate need. Likewise, the optical switches of this keyboard enable users to set an actuated point to suit their gaming style. So Instead of stiff 8-way WASD movement, you get to use analog input for smoother, more subtle control that allows for natural 360-degree motion.
In addition, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog boasts Doubleshot PBT keycaps. This feature provides users with enhanced durability resulting in long-term usage compared to regular keyboards with ABS features. As a standard gaming keyboard, its backlight is powered by Razer Chroma RGB, which has over 16 million colors and various functions. These can be used to sync keys and supply underglow for a more immersive gaming experience. For convenience, users can connect to their PC using the USB port. Also, it has comfortable soft leather, which allows users to enjoy long gaming sessions without experiencing muscle strain or fatigue.
Although it comes with a host of benefits that users will enjoy, one of its major drawbacks is that it can be loud, and the keys can get stiff when pressed. There is no doubt Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is a bit expensive, but overall, it is one of the best gaming keyboards.
2. Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This Corsair K100 RGB is a great gaming keyboard. The Corsair K100 RGB basic structure is very similar to the K95. It offers the same premium quality throughout, a similar overall layout, identical macro keys on the left side, an identical metal roll in the top right corner, identical media keys immediately below it, and identical double-shot keycaps. It's well made and comfortable to use, plus it comes with a detachable padded wrist rest. Compatible with Corsair iCUE software, it lets you customize the RGB backlighting and set macros to any key you want. It has many extra features, including dedicated media keys, a volume control wheel, a multifunctional iCUE wheel, and six dedicated macro keys. The Cherry MX Speed switches on this device feel light and are responsive to typing. It's also available with the new Corsair OPX linear switches, which provide a different typing experience. It also boasts an 8000Hz polling rate, allowing gamers to enjoy low latency for a responsive gaming experience.
The Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is comfortable to use and features customizable RGB backlighting. Cherry MX Speed switches provide a lightweight typing experience that won't cause fatigue when typing for extended periods, but typing errors may be more common due to the shorter front-of-travel distance. They produce no noise while typing.
Overall, the keyboard offers a tremendous key response, a good range of keys for most hand sizes, an incredible tactile click with each push, and beautifully dimpled keys that let you rest your fingertips when you're not actually pressing down. All of this may seem rather obvious, but it demonstrates how well the K100 RGB handles both the essentials and the extra aesthetics.
3. SteelSeries Apex Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
This SteelSeries Apex Pro gaming mechanical keyboard is one of the full-size gaming keyboards we've tested. It is a mechanical keyboard with unique OmniPoint switches that allow you to customize the travel distance (operating distance from 0.4mm to 3.6mm) to suit your needs. This means you can set a lower pre-travel to improve the game's responsiveness or a higher pre-travel to improve efficiency and typing accuracy. It has linear-feeling optical switches, so they don't provide tactile feedback while typing and don't make too much noise.
The experience feels great; it's sturdy, has a magnetic wrist rest, and has good ergonomics. It also has full RGB backlighting with individually illuminated keys, dedicated media controls, and an OLED screen that can be customized to display just about anything you want. Additionally, the SteelSeries Engine software is compatible with Windows and macOS and allows you to set macros to any key you want. There's also a USB pass-through port, which can be used to charge mobile devices or plug in other devices, such as a mouse.
But its downside is that it doesn't have dedicated macro keys, which might disappoint some gamers. Also, even though it works on Linux, you can't fully customize it when using it on Linux due to its lack of software support. Overall, SteelSeries Apex Pro gaming mechanical keyboard is one of the best full-size gaming keyboards and will satisfy both casual and professional gamers.
Summary of Features and Downsides of Our 3 Recommended Gaming Keyboards
|Recommended Gaming Keyboard||Features||Downsides||Approx Price|
|Razer Huntsman V2 Analog||Doubleshot PBT keycapsResponsive optical switchesPowered by Razer Chroma RGBMagnetic leather wrist restErgonomic designDual-function Digital Dial Programmable media KeysUSB 3.0 passthroughDurableLightweight||A bit expensiveKeys can get stiffInconsistent softwareCan be unnecessarily loud||~$235|
|Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||Cherry MX speed switchesAXON Hyper-Processing Technology for 4x faster outputDetachable padded wrist restTilt settingsProgrammable iCUE controlMacro programmable keysCustomizable RGB backlighting||PriceyClicky noise||~$215|
|SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||Adjustable actuation switchesOLED smart display RGB backlightOmniPoint adjustable switches USB pass-through portTactile feedbackCustomizable keycapsDurableLightweight||Only compatible with windowsNo dedicated macro keysLacks multi-functional keys||~$150|