Is there a difference between gaming keyboards and regular keyboards? When it comes to video games, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good time. To game like a pro, however, you’ll need to spend a little more thought and money into some aspects of your rig to help you kick big butt. Your keyboard is one of the first pieces of equipment you should consider upgrading.
Gaming keyboards do make a significant difference. They’re lighter, more responsive, and tuned in to gamers’ demands. Gaming keyboards are highly customizable, with features such as macro support, comfort settings, and responsive lighting. They’re also fantastic for impaired gamers.
The greatest gaming keyboards can give you the upper hand in eliminating your opponent from the game. Winners and losers in gaming are separated by a fraction of a second. Having the greatest gaming keyboard at your hands is one way to ensure that you always have the tools you need to stay ahead of your opponents, no matter what genre you’re playing. We’ll go into why gaming keyboards are so great and which ones we recommend for various gaming genres down below.
What Makes Gaming Keyboards So Unique?
All keyboards have the same purpose. They’re your computer’s initial and greatest connection, allowing you to issue commands and communicate with it, even if it’s not working properly and you need to debug. For the most part, a standard, dull, and inexpensive membrane keyboard will suffice. A keyboard makes typing emails, perusing the web, and conversing in real time on social media much easier.
Basic keyboards are also suitable for casual gamers. They accomplish the job without all the bells and whistles, as well as extra knobs and keys. But if you truly want to take your gaming to the next level, dive into the realm of gaming keyboards and prepare to have your mind blown. Even the cheapest gaming keyboard can significantly improve your gaming, so don’t assume that all gaming keyboards are prohibitively expensive.
But what makes gaming keyboards so appealing? It boils down to a few crucial considerations:
- Macro features are common on gaming keyboards, allowing you to design your own one-touch combo instructions to save even more time in-game.
- Gaming keyboards are lighter, stronger, and made specifically for gamers, with unique forms, sizes, and sensitivities in keys, knobs, and buttons to meet the needs of every genre.
- Many gaming keyboards include amazing lighting effects that can help lead you to the proper keys with a fast glance.
- Most gaming keyboards are designed to accommodate people of all abilities, thus disabled people can find completely adjustable gaming keyboards that can help them overcome their challenges and take their gaming to the next level.
- Some gaming keyboards can communicate with your games and automatically configure the keyboard with game-specific shortcuts, macros, and other vital functionalities, allowing you to have more fun while reducing stress and setup time. Many even include custom color schemes to make learning the control layouts a breeze.
- All gaming keyboards are designed to be comfortable. Because these keyboards are made for long hours of gaming, they’ve altered ordinary keyboards to let your hands, wrists, and arms to relax during downtime while remaining in the proper ergonomic posture while actively gaming.
- Mechanical keyboards are significantly superior to the “membrane” keyboards used on work PCs and low-cost sets. Each key has its own setting, making it easy to push. This decreases player fatigue and improves game response time. If you write for a living as I do, they’re also a dream to type on!
Razer Huntsman Elite is our favorite gaming keyboard
The Razer Huntsman Elite is my personal favorite. This baby is lightning fast and completely customizable in practically every manner. I have a few physical limitations to deal with, and the Razer Huntsman Elite offers a solution for each of them.
First, the mechanical keys are super-fast and responsive, with a durability of 100 million clicks, but even more importantly, they’re “clicky.” This means that each time you push one, it makes a distinct and audible click. I can’t hear a conventional keyboard since I have some hearing loss from years of playing loud instruments on stage. The Razer Huntsman Elite is loud enough for me to hear, but not so loud that it wakes up the rest of the house during late-night gaming sessions.
This keyboard features good tactile feedback in addition to the clicky mechanical keys. I can both hear and feel the click when I push a key. This tells me in two distinct ways that I’ve hit the key and may proceed to the next step without hesitation. This comes in handy when playing Overwatch, Risk of Rain, and other split-second games with intense multiplayer action.
Because it uses high-tech optical beam-based actuation technology, the Razer Huntsman Elite is much faster than typical mechanical switches. The computer is informed by the beam that you have pushed the key. Its actuation distance is 30% shorter than standard keyboards, and the beam is almost instantaneous. All of the magic works silently because the beam is the real key, therefore the clicking sound and feel are mostly for user happiness. The beam is blocked when you press the key. The beam restarts after you release the key. This is the time it takes for light to respond.
The ability to customize Razer keyboards is one of my favorite features. Everything from the colors to the layout to the key style and sound level can be changed, or you can find one already customized to your specifications. I could, for example, replace my mechanical clicky keys with quieter ones. I’ll never do that, but it’s cool that it’s a possibility. Chroma lighting is included on the Huntsman Elite, allowing users to customize every facet of the individually backlit keys. This keyboard can do it all: colors, shades, tints, brightness, static or moving. Because you have 16.8 million colors to select from, you can even make each key a different color. That’s right, 16.8 million people!
Onboard media controls are also available on this keyboard. I can mute, play, pause, skip, and alter the volume of my games with a single touch. Because my desk is so large and my speakers are around 3 feet away from me, this is a major assistance. I can now manage the sounds from within the game and have them right at my fingers.
I don’t utilize the luxury wrist rest that comes with this keyboard. It is, however, attached with a strong magnet, so you can take it off and put it back on in a flash. This gaming keyboard is unbeatable, with a 2-year warranty and fully customizable macro support, as well as sync capabilities with over 30 partners, including game publishers.
Amazon Basics Mechanical PC Gaming Keyboard is a similar, lower-cost option.
Although not everyone can afford a Razer keyboard, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a great, configurable, and killer keyboard. Right here on Amazon, you’ll find a cheaper alternative to the Razer Huntsman Elite.
Mechanical switches are present, although they are of poorer quality. They can handle up to 50 million “cycles,” whereas the Huntsman can handle over 100 million. But who’s keeping track? The Amazon version has backlight software, allowing you to perform some of the same lighting effects as the Huntsman, though with fewer possibilities. The wrist rest may be removed, and it also contains programmable macro keys.
There is no warranty on this keyboard. When it comes to returns, though, Amazon has always been accommodating. They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if the product is “dead on arrival,” which is better than no protection at all.
Overall, it’s a good substitute for the fantastic Razer Huntsman Elite. While you save up for one of the greatest, it would be a good stand-in or novice gaming keyboard.
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro is the best minimalist gaming keyboard.
You don’t always need a slew of extra buttons, knobs, and switches, but you do need a quick response time. The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro was created with the utmost attention to detail. This design is particularly useful for FPS players who don’t require a lot of extra heft. The design of this keyboard is thin, portable, and streamlined without the ten key on the right side. It is also available in a full-sized version, but the small version’s elegance cannot be overlooked.
To help prevent Windows from crashing your game due to an accidental keypress on the Windows key, there’s a handy “game mode” key. I’m a big fan of the “exposed frame” look. It has a sleek appearance and is simple to clean and maintain.
Razer Blackwidow Lite, a similar but more expensive minimalist gaming keyboard
Instead of the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro, choose the Razer Blackwidow Lite if you want a quiet, minimalist keyboard with complete macro and key customization and Razer’s fantastic 2-year guarantee. It has additional customization choices, quieter keys, and clever O-ring sound dampeners to keep your game quiet.
For individuals who wish to game at night, in flats with thin walls, or when travelling, the lower noise output is a major plus. The removable USB cable adds to the portability.
If you really want to count, you’ll receive 80 million clicks from these tactile keys, as opposed to the HyperX claim of 50 million. This keyboard’s small shape and simple look appeal to me. Because the backlit hue is white, it doesn’t look as “evil” as the HyperX, but it’s easier on the eyes when gaming in a dark room. If you need a keyboard that can kill it in games while still being an effective work keyboard, it also fits beautifully into an office atmosphere.
Conclusion: Gaming Keyboards Aren’t Always Expensive
Any gaming keyboard is better than a typical, run-of-the-mill keyboard, whether you want a full-sized, high-tech keyboard like the Razer Huntsman Elite or a more minimalist design like the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro. You’ll have faster response times and more control, allowing you to dominate the field like never before. Gaming keyboards don’t have to be pricey, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get every possible customization option plus a lifetime warranty.