Tips To Choose a Small Gaming Keyboard Without a Numpad – A Complete Guide

Keyboards vary in the number of keys they have. One of the major factors that determine the size of a keyboard is the number of keys it has. The Numpad is a set of keys that are often sacrificed in small gaming keyboards. So, as a gamer, how do you choose a small gaming keyboard without a Numpad?

Choose a small gaming keyboard without a Numpad to save space on a desk and if a smaller keyboard is needed for smaller hands. Smaller keyboards are also better for playing FPS games because numpad keys are not required for these games.

Our tips to choose the best keyboard for gaming could be a good place to start when choosing one for your gaming needs. 

This article delves into reasons why you might need a keyboard without a Numpad, how to choose between the several types of keyboards without a Numpad, and how to find the best gaming keyboards that have no Numpad. 

Choose a small gaming keyboard without a Numpad, if you have limited desk space.
A smaller gaming keyboard probably won’t have a Numpad. Image Source: Amazon.

Reasons a Small Gaming Keyboard Without a Numpad Is Right for You

The Numkeys is short for numeric keys, found on most keyboards. 

A small gaming keyboard without a Numpad is a good choice for gamers with limited desk space and who play FPS games. Gamers with small hands will benefit from using a smaller keyboard. 

A Numpad is the area where the number keys are found on a keyboard, and they are very useful for certain functions. However, these keys are of no use to gaming as most genres and subgenres of games do not require the use of these keys.

If you are currently in the market for a new gaming keyboard, there are several factors you have to consider before making a buying decision. However, a gaming keypad without a Numpad might just be right for you. You could opt to have an external Numpad like this which is explained in greater detail in this article by Pen Click explains external number pads. 

You may want to choose a gaming keyboard without a Numpad for the following reasons:

Reason 1. If You Want To Save Space on Your Desk

The number of keys on a keyboard determines its size as we discuss in our guide on how many keys are on a gaming keyboard. There are several sizes of keyboards each one with its number of keys, as explained in this article by Keychron; however, most of the smaller keyboards do not come with a Numpad. 

If you want to save space on your desk, then a keyboard without a Numpad would be your best choice. Most keyboards without Numpads, like this one, do not occupy too much space, leaving you enough room for other important objects like your mouse and mouse pad like this. You also need that extra space to rest your hands while you punch keys.

Reason 2. If You Play FPS Games That Don’t Require Number Keys

FPS or first-person shooter games are one of the biggest genres in gaming. Fortunately, you do not need the Numpad to play FPS games which makes a gaming keyboard like this, with a Numpad, nice to have but unnecessary.

Reason 3. If You Have Small Hands and Feel More Comfortable With a Small Keyboard

If your hands are small, you might find using large gaming keyboards off-putting. In such cases, smaller keyboards might be your best option. Consequently, all small keyboards come without a Numpad and would be the right way to go. Be sure to also take a look at our tips on choosing a gaming keyboard for small hands for more details. Similarly, you may be interested in learning more about the different one-handed gaming keyboards out there. Make sure to take a look at our related article for more information.

Reason 3. If You Need a Portable and Compact Keyboard

If you need a keyboard that you can fit into your backpack or move around easily, then go for one without a Numpad. Keyboards without Numpad come in several sizes, but they are all compact and easy to move around.

Choose a small gaming keyboard without a Numpad for its portability and compact design.
A gaming keyboard that is compact enough to travel with will not have a Numpad. Image Source: Asus.

You may also find interest in our related article explaining how to find the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard. If so, be sure to check out our related article.

What Gaming Keyboard Sizes Don’t Have Numpad?

The size of a keyboard is determined by the number of keys it has. However, the number of keys a keyboard can have is standardized. Based on this, there are six types of keyboards, and only four are without a Numpad.

Every gaming keyboard besides full-sized and compact full-sized keyboards lacks a Numpad. These include tenkeyless keyboards, compact tenkeyless keyboards, compact keyboards, and mini keyboards. 

Of all the keyboard sizes that do not have a Numpad, the tenkeyless keyboard, the compact tenkeyless keyboard (65% keyboard) and the mini keyboard (60% keyboard) are more common. 

These are the types of keyboards that do not have Numpads: 

Type 1. Tenkeyless or 87% Keyboard

A tenkeyless keyboard like this comes with a layout that excludes the Numpad, thereby significantly reducing its size. It retains the navigation key which is very important for certain genres of games. It is the best keyboard for gamers. Hardware Canucks share some handy tips for choosing a Tenkeyless keyboard in their video tutorial

A tenkeyless gaming keyboard has all the keys of a regular-size keyboard except for the Numpad.
 The tenkeyless keyboard is the best keyboard for gamers. Image Source: Amazon.

Type 2. 65% Keyboard 

The 65% keyboard is accurately called the compact keyboard. This type of keyboard comes without the Numpad and the F function keys making it smaller than the tenkeyless keyboard. 

A 65% keyboard is small enough to be used on small desk surfaces but is still functional enough for optimal gaming.
A 65% keyboard, also called the compact keyboard, comes without the Numpad and the F function keys. Image Source: Amazon.

Type 3. 60% Keyboard 

The 60% keyboard is the smallest keyboard and is called a mini keyboard. This type of keyboard is equipped with only the alphabet keys and the number bar and is popular among gamers who prefer much smaller keyboards. This video tutorial by Optimum Tech provides some useful tips for choosing a mini gaming keyboard.

The 60% or mini gaming keyboard is the smallest keyboard available for gaming.
The mini keyboard has only the alphabet keys and the number bar. Image Source: Amazon.

How To Decide Between a Tenkeyless, a 65% Keyboard, and a 60% Keyboard

So, you have to choose a suitable keyboard, and you are not sure which to go for. Well, we will make it easy for you. Discussed in this section are tips that will help you make a more informed decision on what keyboard to go for.

Choose a tenkeyless keyboard for both gaming and typing activities, a 65% keyboard for gaming purposes and some typing functionality, and a mini keyboard for games except for genres that require navigation keys.

These tips will surely help you to choose the right size keyboard for your particular needs: 

Tip 1. Choose a Tenkeyless Keyboard for Both Gaming and Typing Activities 

A tenkeyless keyboard like this is the perfect keyboard for both typing and gaming purposes. Its function justifies its size and is a favorite among gamers, programmers, and typists. So, for a keyboard that is just about the moderate size and that will give you an awesome gaming experience, the tenkeyless keyboard is perfect.

Tip 2. Pick a 65% Keyboard for a More Compact Keyboard Which Is Perfect for Both Gaming and Typing

A 65% keyboard like this is a smaller version of a tenkeyless keyboard but without a Numpad and F function keys. It is suitable for gaming and typing and is perfect if you want an even more compact keyboard than a tenkeyless option.

Tip 3. Pick a 60% Keyboard for Games That Do Not Need Navigation Keys 

A 60% keyboard like this is the smallest keyboard and is perfect for gaming. The only drawback of the mini keyboard is that in the absence of the navigation keys, it isn’t the best for sports games and other genres of games that depend a lot on the navigation keys.

Summary of Reasons for Wanting a Small Keyboard:

Reason For Wanting a Small Keyboard Keyboard Recommendation Example From Amazon
If you have limited desk space Tenkeyless keyboard Tenkeyless Teamwolf Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
If you need a portable and compact keyboard A mini keyboard (60% keyboard) Snpurdiri 60% Gaming Keyboard
If you have small hands and feel more comfortable with a small keyboard A compact keyboard (65% keyboard) Redragon K631 Castor 65%

How To Find the Best Gaming Keyboard With No Number Pad

There are several features on a gaming keyboard that makes it perfect for gaming. Having made the decision to go for one of the sizes of keyboards that has no Numpad, you need one that is equipped with the necessary features to optimize your gaming experience.

To find the best gaming keyboard with no number pad, look for one that has anti-ghosting, is ergonomically designed, is mechanical, comes with the right switches for your most dominant games, has macro keys, and is fitted with backlights.

Consider these tips when looking for the best gaming keyboard without a Numpad: 

Tip 1. Look for a Keyboard With Anti-Ghosting Features

As explained in this article by ASUS, anti-ghosting is a feature that ensures that each key registers when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously on a keyboard. What this means is multiple keys can be registered on your system at the same time for complex commands. More importantly, 2 players can use the same keyboard at the same time. 

Tip 2. Look for an Ergonomic Keyboard

The experts at Posturite explain in this article that Ergonomic keyboards are built to fit the anatomy of users. The ergonomic design helps to alleviate pain from the twisting of the wrists, the repetitive use of the fingers to punch keys, the arms resting on the desk, and other factors. The purpose is to reduce a user’s chances of getting CRI (computer-related illnesses) from gaming for extended periods of time. To learn how to reduce and treat hand pain while gaming, be sure to check out our article. 

Tip 3. Look for a Mechanical Keyboard

The Kono Store discusses Mechanical gaming keyboard features, including spring-type switches which are the best type of switches for gaming and typing, in their article. They are faster, have the lowest latency, and are durable. This makes them the best type of keyboard for gaming. Their alternative is the membrane type of switch that requires harder pressing of the keys before they are registered. 

Tip 4. Look for a Keyboard With the Right Switches

The three types of mechanical switches like these include linear switches, tactile switches, and click switches. Linear switches like these are considered the best for gaming as they do not give a bump nor make any clicking sound when they are being pressed. They also need to be bottomed out when they are used - this reduces accidental multiple presses.

When choosing a small gaming keyboard ensure that it has suitable switches for your gaming and typing needs.
Make sure that your gaming keyboard has the right switches. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 5. Look for a Keyboard With Macro Keys

Macro keys are the keys of a keyboard like this that can be programmed with sequences that are specific to a particular game. They come in handy for complicated or commonly used sequences. They are an important feature for every gamer as they give a competitive edge. To learn more about macro keys and when a gaming keyboard is important, check out our article. 

Tip 6. Look for a Keyboard With Backlights

Backlights on gaming keyboards enhance the overall aesthetics of the keyboard. They are also useful when you need to use your keyboard in the dark. Gaming keyboards come with either LED backlights that feature 1 color or RGB backlights with millions of colors. RGB backlit keyboards allow you to zone keys with colors based on functionality and user preference. Our tips to find a keyboard that lights up could be a helpful resource when looking for a gaming keyboard with this feature.


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