Gaming Keyboard vs. a Regular Keyboard – Tips To Choose the Right One for You

Gaming keyboards and regular keyboards are marketed for different audiences and it is useful to learn their basic differences and characteristics. This knowledge can ensure that you choose the most suitable model according to your gaming requirements and personal preferences. We will now explain the characteristics and the differences between a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard in greater depth.

A gaming keyboard is more durable, has lower keyboard latency, and has better feedback than a regular keyboard. A regular keyboard is less expensive and less noisy than a gaming keyboard.

When comparing a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard, expect a better feel and a faster response rate. Razer keyboards are commonly used for gaming rather than regular computer work.
Razer BlackWidow Family Keyboards are popular for gaming. Image Source: Razer.

Is a Gaming Keyboard the Same as a Regular Keyboard?

Gaming keyboards often have more features than regular ones. While regular keyboards may be more suitable and efficient for work and casual use, gaming keyboards are designed for heavier use. 

Gaming keyboards are not the same as regular keyboards. The advantages of a gaming keyboard include durability and a longer lifespan, efficient response to keystrokes, and reliable and stronger feedback. A regular keyboard is often less expensive and designed with greater attention given to ergonomics for comfortable hand placement in work environments.

Much like a regular computer mouse and a gaming mouse can affect gaming efficiency, so too do keyboards. Our article comparing gaming mice and regular computer mice explains these differences and benefits in detail.

Optimization for gaming performance means that gaming keyboards like this tend to be designed in such a way that they are less ergonomic in their fundamental structure but are also more expensive due to their high-quality features.

Compared with regular membrane or rubber dome keyboards, gaming keyboards are more costly, heavier, and noisier. They are harder to clean due to the structure of their keys, and thus more prone to damage caused by spills and debris.

Gaming keyboards are made with higher-quality materials than regular keyboards which makes them more robust and longer-lasting.
Gaming keyboards often have a longer lifespan. Image Source: HP.

Advantages of Using a Gaming Keyboard

Using a gaming keyboard for gaming is advantageous due to its special features that are suitable for your preferred gaming.

The advantages of using a gaming keyboard include their durability, efficient keystroke response, and reliable and steady feedback response. 

Advantage 1. More Durable

Durability is measured by the number of keystrokes a keyboard can sustain, and is determined by the material of the hardware. When comparing a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard, you should expect a higher durability from a gaming keyboard. Try a model with hot-swappable switches like this one. Hot-swappable switches are easy to replace individually in case of a switch failure. This prolongs the durability and lifespan of your gaming keyboard. According to this article by, customizing your gaming keyboard with an aluminum plate can also enhance its durability. 

Advantage 2. Efficient Response To Keystrokes

Gaming keyboards provide you with a fast and high-quality gaming experience with their quick and responsive switches. If you would like to increase the response time, even more, you can choose optical switches like these for your gaming keyboard. Optical switches allow for the fastest reaction possible, see this article by Razor for more information about optical switches.

A gaming keyboard has switches  that are much more responsive than the switches of a regular keyboard.
The fastest gaming keyboards use optical switches. Image Source: Razer.

You might also be wondering how many keys are on a gaming keyboard. Be sure to check out our related article to find out more.

Advantage 3. Reliable and Stronger Feedback

As a gamer, you want your keyboard to have tactile feedback and a fast response time. Gaming keyboards that are specifically structured around requirements for optimal performance prioritize instant and reliable feedback.

At some point, you may need to know how to fix a key not working on a gaming keyboard. When you do, be sure to bookmark our related article for a step-by-step guide.

Disadvantages of Using a Gaming Keyboard

If you are only doing regular computer work using a gaming keyboard may not be a great idea. 

Disadvantages of a gaming keyboard include a higher cost and less ergonomic design. Gaming keyboard manufacturers tend to focus their design around optimal output instead of comfort, though there are gaming keyboards that are comfortable to use for long periods of time. 

Disadvantage 1. Cost More

A gaming keyboard like this has extra components that are specifically designed for performance. This results in a higher manufacturing cost and therefore a higher price for the consumer. Be sure to check out our article about gaming keyboards that cost under $200 for a list of affordable popular gaming keyboards. 

Disadvantage 2. Less Ergonomically Structured

Most mechanical gaming keyboards have a narrow and small design. This results in poor hand placement. However, you can find gaming keyboards that give you the best of both worlds and get yourself a gaming keyboard that is designed with an ergonomic structure in mind. For example, this gaming keyboard has an integrated wrist rest for added comfort. 

A disadvantage of gaming keyboards is that they have a less ergonomic design than regular keyboards.
Gaming Keyboards are often not the best when it comes to ergonomic design. Image Source: Reddit.

Advantages of Using a Regular Keyboard

Using a regular keyboard does offer you some advantages.

The advantages of a regular computer keyboard are that it’s less expensive than gaming keyboards and that it is ergonomically designed to improve user comfort and posture. Regular keyboards also make softer clicking sounds when the keys are pressed. 

Advantage 1. Less Expensive

Since regular keyboards do not have extra components specifically designed for gamers, they do not cost as much as gaming keyboards. They are a suitable choice for you if you want to cut costs when purchasing a keyboard, but they aren’t as robust as gaming keyboards. 

Advantage 2. Ergonomically Designed 

Regular keyboards usually have a flat structured base which makes them more comfortable to use and provides better wrist support. Ergonomic regular keyboards reduce the chances of experiencing strain. There are also ergonomic keyboards with optimized key placement for better ergonomic functions like this one which offers more comfortable hand positions. 

An ergonomic regular keyboard is more comfortable when used for long periods of time, than a gaming keyboard.
Ergonomic keyboards are optimized for comfort with long-term use. Image Source: Forbes.

Advantage 3. Make Less Noise

Most gaming keyboards are mechanical and produce noise though there are some models available that were designed with noise reduction in mind. Typically, regular keyboards tend to be quieter, especially if they have scissor reflex keys like this one

Regular keyboards are usually quieter than gaming keyboards.
Gaming keyboards with silent keys can be an option for people who want to keep typing sound to a minimum. Image Source: Amazon.

Disadvantages of Using a Regular Keyboard

When comparing a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard, you’ll notice several key differences. 

The disadvantages of a regular keyboard are its low stability and durability to withstand regular and prolonged use. Regular keyboards are also less responsive, especially in fast-paced gaming situations. 

Disadvantage 1. Low Stability

Since regular keyboards have no extra components and are designed for comfort they tend to be easier on the hands. However, this same quality makes them less stable and less durable if you are planning to use them for a longer period of time. Moreover, if a key fails to perform its intended function, you cannot fix that individual key, you would most probably have to replace the entire key panel or board.

Disadvantage 2. Slow Response

As a regular keyboard is not designed for gaming purposes, it is not optimized for a quicker response time. For a regular user, the millisecond difference might not matter much, but for a gamer, response time is a key factor as our article about how to quickly fix a gaming mouse that’s slow explains. 

Summary of Regular Keyboards Vs Gaming Keyboards

What are you trying to optimize? Is a gaming keyboard or a regular keyboard better? Why? Example keyboard 
I want to minimize costs Regular Keyboard Regular keyboards do not have extra and fancy components Logitech MK335 Keyboard 
I want to minimize latency Gaming Keyboard Gaming keyboards are of a better quality and have the lowest latency Razer DeathStalker V2 PRO
I do not want to charge or use batteries Regular Keyboard Regular keyboards are preferred for charging convenience Basic Wired Keyboard QWERTY Layout
I want something that is good for gaming and office use Regular Keyboard Gaming keyboards tend to be noisy and non-ergonomic. Regular keyboards usually work well enough for casual gaming. Dell Wired Keyboard, Ergonomic and Gaming

If you're curious, there are several benefits of gaming with a keyboard in your lap. Be sure to read our related article to find out more. Additionally, you might find these e-gaming keyboard layout tips and tricks extremely helpful. So be sure to check those out too.

Tips To Choose Between Gaming Keyboards vs. Regular Keyboards

Choosing the right keyboard for yourself whether it be for gaming purposes or regular everyday use takes careful consideration. The choice depends on your budget, comfort, and intended use. It is best to consider all the keyboard options and their various features.

Tips to choose between gaming keyboards vs. regular keyboards include, opting for more customization options, and better durability. Choose a regular keyboard for casual use and to minimize costs.

Consider these tips when choosing between a gaming keyboard and a regular keyboard:

Tip 1. Choose a Gaming Keyboard for Customizable Macros

Keyboard macros are a series of customized actions that a keyboard can perform efficiently. As this article from IEEE Xplore explains, using built-in customizable macros can be extremely helpful when you need to perform repetitive or computational gaming actions that would usually require more than a single keystroke. This saves time and makes effective use of each keystroke. 

Tip 2. If Lighting Is Important For You, Opt For a Gaming Keyboard

Most keyboard manufacturers offer millions of color options on individually backlit keys. You can personalize them according to your preferences and mood. If you use the computer in dark or dimly lit environments, a gaming keyboard like this would be appropriate. Our article about how to change gaming keyboard light settings offers tips for you to customize your backlight colors, intensity, and sequences. 

A gaming keyboard that has individually lit keys is better for use in a darker space than a regular keyboard.
The Razer Cynosa Chroma gaming keyboard has individual backlit RGB keys. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 3. Go With a Gaming Keyboard for More Durability  

Gaming keyboards are often designed with individual switch mechanisms which make them easier to repair and result in a longer life span. Also, since gaming keyboards like this have extra components they are heavier than regular ones, making them solid and more durable.

A gaming keyboard is easier to repair than a regular keyboard because it has individual key switches that can be replaced.
The individual switches of gaming keyboards can often be replaced with relative ease, making the keyboard more durable. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 4. Pick a Regular Keyboard If You Have a Limited Budget

Regular keyboards are lightweight and basic in design and structure, so the manufacturing costs are low, making a regular keyboard the best option if you want to minimize costs. When optimizing budget, choose a regular keyboard since a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard is at least 2x - 3x as expensive. You can choose between a wired version like this one or a wireless one like this one

 If you would like to cut costs go for a regular keyboard.
A regular keyboard can be lightweight, ergonomically designed, and inexpensive. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 5. Find a Regular Keyboard if You Are a Casual Gamer Who Does Not Need Extra-Fast Reaction Time or Extra Keys

If you are a casual gamer who does not care much for instant response time and customizable built-in macro keys, a regular keyboard is probably sufficient. 

Our article that outlines the 7 best keyboards for long nails is an interesting read and will show you which 7 keyboards have low-profile keys and good ergonomic designs if you have long nails. 

What Makes a Keyboard Good For Gaming? Tips To Find the Best Gaming Keyboard

When looking for keyboards that are good for gaming, most gamers prefer keyboards that are more tactile, durable, and have an instant response time. However, as a gamer, you might also want a keyboard that is light, portable, and less expensive.

To find the best gaming keyboard, look for one with 6KRO or NKRO to avoid ghosting. Choose a keyboard with macro keys if customization is important. For a durable keyboard, look for one made with metal or ABS plastic components, an RGB keyboard for stunning visuals, and switches that are rated for 10+ million keystrokes to last a long time. 

Choose a gaming keyboard for better durability and customization options as opposed to a regular keyboard.
Mechanical gaming keyboards offer durability and stunning visuals. Image Source: HP.

These tips can help you find the best gaming keyboard:

Tip 1. Look for Keyboards With 6KRO or NKRO To Make Sure Every Key Stroke Registers

NKRO means that a keyboard like this one registers all of its keys when they are pressed simultaneously. 6KRO means you can press a minimum of 6 keys plus some modifier keys and the keyboard will register them simultaneously. For a high-quality gaming experience, NKRO and 6KRO are essential.

Some keyboards don't work when too many keys are pressed at the same time. The keystrokes that don’t show up as a response on the screen are what this article from Razer refers to as “ghosted.”  This video by Dygma Lab explains more about NKRO and 6KRO keyboards and how they reduce or eliminate ghosting. 

Tip 2. Choose a Keyboard Made With a Metal Backplate and ABS Plastic For the Best Durability

A metal backplate offers protection against damage and improves durability. A keyboard like this one will feel more stable and firm because it has a metal backplate. ABS plastic is recommended as it is a softer plastic that produces minimal sound and is ideal for keyboard buttons.

Tip 3. Find a Keyboard With Macro Keys For Ultimate Customization

Macro keys of keyboards like this allow for ultra-efficient actions. Complicated commands that would usually take multiple keystrokes and patterns, can easily be integrated within one macro key.

Macro settings on some keyboards allow you to program certain commands for easier and more convenient gaming.
Some keyboard models come with additional macro keys. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 4. Pick a Keyboard With RGB Backlighting For Aesthetics

Aesthetics can be an important consideration. For clarity and performance consider a keyboard that has dynamic multicolor backlighting options for individual keys. This will help differentiate between commands. Backlit keyboards like this one also give the key characters better visibility. Our article comparing RGB and LED backlit keyboards explains the similarities and differences between these two popular types of keyboards so that you can choose the best one for your needs, 

Tip 5. Opt for a Keyboard With Switches That Are Rated For 10+ Million Keystrokes

The durability of a keyboard depends heavily on the number of keystrokes it can take overall. It is recommended to opt for a keyboard with switches that are rated for 10+ million keystrokes like this one to ensure durability and reliability.

How To Find a Keyboard - Tips To Choose a Great Regular Keyboard

Regular keyboards are known for their lower quality when compared to high-end gaming keyboards. However, there are good regular keyboard models available that are functional and durable. 

To find a great regular keyboard, look for durability, ergonomics, and response time. Consider the shape and size of the keyboard and compatibility with other devices. Keyboards with metal backplates have great durability.

Read this article by The New York Times for more information on the best regular keyboard models.

These tips will help you to find a great regular keyboard:

Tip 1. Consider the Shape and Size of the Keyboard

It is necessary that you pick a keyboard that not only performs all desired functions well but is also easy to use and comfortable. Make sure to study the size and shape of keyboard models and consider the space you want to use it in as well as your body measurements. Compact keyboards like this one often eliminate the numeric keys on the right side of the keyboard to save space. If however, you will be capturing number-heavy data regularly then you can purchase a numeric keypad extension like this one that can be plugged into the computer via USB. 

When selecting a keyboard make sure the one you choose will fit in your designated work space.
Consider keyboard size and make sure it will fit in the space you intend to use it. Image Source:

Tip 2. Easy To Pair With Other Devices

A regular keyboard can be used for multiple purposes, so it is useful if it can be easily paired with multiple devices. Wireless keyboards tend to be more flexible because they can connect via Bluetooth. 

Can a Gaming Keyboard Be Used as a Regular Keyboard?

When comparing a gaming keyboard vs. a regular keyboard, both types of keyboards can be used as regular keyboards. However, a gaming keyboard is like an enhanced and upgraded version of a regular keyboard. They’re highly customizable and you can easily change gaming settings so they don’t interfere with work tasks.

A gaming keyboard can be used as a regular keyboard. Gaming keyboards come with extra features but retain the functionality of a regular keyboard. Their customizable keys can make work more efficient and improve productivity. 

Our article about changing keyboard speed on Mac and Windows can help you tweak your keyboard's responsiveness to one that is better suited to the type of work you are doing.

A gaming keyboard is actually a regular keyboard that has been adapted and designed for gaming so it can be used as a regular keyboard.
A wireless gaming keyboard can be used as a regular work computer keyboard because of its flexibility and added features that improve efficiency. Image Source: Amazon.

Do Gaming Keyboards Make a Difference?

You might wonder whether all the extra features of a gaming keyboard are worth the extra money. They actually are worth the extra cost if you are serious about gaming performance, especially when playing games that require inputting many commands quickly.

Gaming keyboards do make a difference. Using a gaming keyboard allows for using more command options and significantly increases response time. Gaming keyboards have extra functionality that makes them more responsive and customizable improving gaming performance and enjoyment. 


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.