If you’re a gamer, you probably take your gaming keyboard options very seriously, and you should. If you are interested in PC gaming, it is worth knowing what makes a keyboard great, what sets it apart, and what is on the market today. We’ve rounded up the best keyboards you can buy and a quick guide to help you find the one that’s right for you.
Most high-end gaming keyboards these days use mechanical switches that couple each key to its own spring-loaded switch. They offer superior audio and tactile feedback.
The change you want depends on the types of games you play and what you do on your computer. Motospeed mechanical keyboard switches have the highest actuation force, making them ideal for games where you don’t have to worry about accidentally pressing a key twice. However, this can make them stiff, which is not suitable for games that require a more agile response. For these types of tracks, you may prefer the Motospeed mechanical keyboard with hair loosening. If both are too extreme for you, there is a compromise candidate for the Motospeed mechanical keyboard: They have the same actuation force as the red variant, but add a tactile stop for easier typing. If you need a keyboard that can switch between intense gaming and traditional work tasks, this is the right choice.
At the lower end of the gaming keyboard market, you can still find cards that use “rubber dome” switches that use tiny bubbles in a silicone membrane. The material is the spring behind the switch. The result is slow and requires a full press of each button, slowing down the speed at which commands can be entered. A slight change from this is the scissor switch, which also uses a silicone membrane to switch, but has a slimmer profile and adds an ‘X’ shaped stabilization mechanism under each key. Scissor switches are most often found on laptops, but some low-key gaming keyboards use them.
Trick It Out: backlighting and keyboard customization
Features that wouldn’t matter on a regular keyboard take on new meaning when you’re getting ready to play. Backlight. For gamers, the new twists on the old backlight include adjustable colors and multiple lighting zones with separate backlight zones for the arrow and WASD keys, highlighting the most commonly used control keys. Some gaming keyboards even have individual key backlights that allow you to customize the color of each key the way you want.
Another customizable feature is the interchangeable key. Since the mechanical switches are physically separate from the keyboard cover, some models allow you to remove the buttons and swap them out for others that have molded shapes, textures for better tactile control, or plastic. Different color.
Interface: USB wired or wireless?
Speaking of USB, while you may prefer your keyboards to be wireless, most gaming keyboards are connected for a reason. Wired keyboards are eye-catching because you don’t have to worry about possible input latency when transmitting signals wirelessly. With a traditional wireless keyboard, there can be a delay between when you press a key and your computer’s registration as a key.
So which gaming keyboard should you buy?
If you want to fully equip a gaming system, you should also take a look at our top-class gaming mice, monitors, and headsets. Some of these models can work in sync with the keyboard for lighting and controls. Therefore, it is also worth reading the reviews of these models. Sometimes the same software can control RGB effects or macros on a keyboard and mouse from the same manufacturer, eliminating the need to manage and understand two or more utilities.