You do not fully understand the benefit of using a gaming keyboard until you’ve actually had the pleasure of using one. Not only are gaming keyboards more responsive than regular keyboards but they’re also much more durable in the long run. Not only that but these type of keyboards usually pack a multitude of features you normally wouldn’t find on a standard keyboard.
Perks like customizable buttons & macros, reinforced keys, switches, RGB backlights, and many equally interesting features, will completely transform the way you play video games. Having said that, let us find out what are the ten best gaming keyboards out there and what features make them stand out among the rest.
Best Gaming Keyboards – Reviews
10Mad Catz STRIKE TE
The Mad Catz STRIKE TE is one of the most resilient gaming keyboards out there, and that’s not even its best feature. Mechanically speaking, it fairs well in terms of feel and customization, which is aided by some not-so-smooth customization software. On the plus side, it comes with dedicated macro keys and Kailh Brown switches for a truly exquisite gaming experience. Its backlight is okay at best since it lacks any advanced programmability or a preferable RGB lighting. Overall, it is a solid gaming keyboard by most standards.
9Roccat Ryos MK Pro
The Roccat Ryos MK Pro gaming keyboard is a highly customizable one. It features a solid build quality and lets the user go all out in terms of customizability. It also stacks a plethora of impressing features including per-key backlighting, a wide range of Cherry MX mechanical switches, powerful customization software. And although some might find the lack of RGB backlighting bothersome, it still holds up as an incredibly worthwhile gaming keyboard.
8SteelSeries Apex M800
Undoubtedly the best feature of this gaming keyboard is its impressive RGB backlighting which is not only attractive but also very handy when it comes to designating keys. The customization software is quite easy to use. Other features include mechanical switches—these can be a bit loud—and a USB pass. Its biggest weakness is that it lacks keycap customizability and, frustratingly, lacks documentation.
7Corsair Vengeance K95 RGB
As impressively featured as Corsair’s K95 RGB gaming keyboard is, it is the build quality that steals the show. PC gamers of all calibers will not find it lacking since it comes with everything from an array of dedicated macro keys to beautiful RGB lighting. The aluminum back plate is not just a nice touch, but a cool way to trump up the keyboard’s durability. To boot, you get one of the most powerful customization engines out there, which is the Corsair Utility Engine customization software, which lets you transform your keyboard however you wish.
6CoolerMaster Storm Quick Fire
The Quick Fire TK’s best feature is its outstandingly resilient build quality. Not only is it an excellent gaming keyboard despite the lack of RGB backlighting; it is also a very comfortable typing keyboard. The only downside is that it is not specialized for gaming. Other than that, it easily outperforms some of the specialized gaming keyboards out there. Not only that but you will also find it to be much more durable than most keyboards on the market today.
5Logitech G910 Orion Spark
For the price of a standard gaming keyboard, Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark offers so much more functionality including smartphone integration. The non-detachable wrist rest might take some getting used to although there are not many complaints on this front. This fully featured gaming keyboard gives you everything from dedicated macro keys to stunning backlighting. You will also find the customization software an absolute delight.
4Das Keyboard 4 Professional Soft Tactile MX
Although this is considered an adequate gaming keyboard, its functionality lacks many functions you would normally find in a high-end gaming keyboard. Even so, this particular keyboard offers enough reliability to make you forget all about them. Furthermore, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional Soft Tactile MX gaming keyboard’s biggest selling point is its high quality, ergonomic build. However, it is more suited for heavy typing than it is for heavy gaming. Customizing the keyboard is also quite a task, not to mention it isn’t compatible with macros without some additional programming.
The biggest perk of owning the Corsair Strafe gaming keyboard is that you get to use the powerful Corsair Utility Engine customization software to make your gaming keyboard truly yours. Aesthetically, the only thing to complain about is the lack of an aluminum back plate. Nevertheless, the keyboard features a solid build with a matte finish that resists fingerprints. Other than the disappointing lack of dedicated macro keys, this is a great gaming keyboard.
Despite the lack of some crucial features such as RGB backlighting, the Logitech G710+ is a gaming keyboard worth your money. For the avid PC gamer, it offers great customization software, an array of mechanical switches, great build quality, and 26-key rollover. Other than the lack of a braided cable and the aforementioned RGB lighting, you will not be disappointed by the Logitech G710+ gaming keyboard.
1Razer BlackWidow Chroma
The Razer BlackWidow Chroma offers one of the best customization software out there. The keyboard looks good, feels great, and comes with quite the assortment of features such as brand new mechanical switches, incredibly vivid RGB lighting, and a sturdily made body. This is a keyboard that can handle heavy-duty gaming flawlessly while keeping things interesting for you at all times, which is perhaps why it enjoys the tremendous popularity it has. In fact, you are very unlikely to find a keyboard that even comes close to the BlackWidow Chrome in terms of sheer quality in this price range.
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Gaming Keyboard Buying Guide
As gamers are increasingly using their personal computers for gaming, the role of the keyboard has been expanded. After all, gamers need a keyboard that’s capable of doing more than what a keyboard for word processing can do. They need a keyboard that’s designed so that it’s easier for them to use during games and they may need access to special functions such as launching Shortkey Macros.
Finding the best gaming keyboard isn’t always an easy process for many people because the definition of what makes a keyboard suitable for gaming can be quite a broad distinction. Some of the models available don’t have the features a basic gaming keyboard should have, and some are merely overpriced word processing keyboards with a few lights added to them. It can be painful to even look for a new gaming keyboard.
Fortunately, we can provide a path through the madness with some clear things every gamer should consider before they plop their money down on a new keyboard. In this guide, we’ll show what you need to look for and how to choose the best model for your particular gaming needs.
Choose A Type Of Keyboard
The first thing the gamer should determine is what type of keyboard they need. Keyboards come in two basic varieties: All-Purpose Keyboards and MMO Keyboards. The type the gamer needs is going to be determined by the type of gaming they plan on doing. Let’s examine each of these types individually to clearly see who benefits from them.
- All-Purpose Keyboards: These keyboards are designed to be used with a variety of different games including First Person Shooters (FPS), Real Time Strategy (RTS), and Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games. They’re also quite useful for individuals who like to play the old PC games from the 1990s through 2000s including games such as Duke Nukem or Resident Evil 2.
- MMO Keyboards: As their names suggest, these keyboards are designed for Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMO Games) or for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). These keyboards are equipped with at least 6 extra macro keys, which are useful for scrolling through their character’s inventory, launching attacks or setting up defenses. Some of the more expensive MMO keyboards, however, usually have more than 6 extra keys. In fact, we’ve seen keyboards with 18 or more macro keys.
Mechanical Versus Membrane
The next thing you’ll want to determine is whether the keyboard uses membrane or a mechanical switch for conveying keystrokes into information that can be used by the computer, or by the game more specifically. Cheaper keyboards tend to use a membrane mechanism that works by pushing an electrical current between two plastic membranes. This allows the computer, or the game, to know which keys are being depressed at which time. Although this method works pretty well most of the time, the plastic can wear down, which ruins its reliability.
Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, use a switch under each key-cap. This key-cap is physically pushed down to let the game know the key is depressed. Mechanical keyboards not only feel better, but they are also more reliable. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive, so gamers are going to have to weight feel and reliability against price to determine which is more important to them.
The next thing that you are going to want to consider is the price of the keyboards. Gaming keyboards range in price from under $100 all the way up to $140+ dollars. What features do you get in each of these different price ranges? Let’s take a look at find out, shall we?
- $100 Or Less: Most of the keyboards, if not all, in this price range are going to be membrane keyboards. Very few of the keyboards are going to have many bells and whistles other than a limited selection of Macro Keys and illumination.
- $100 to $140: In this price range, gamers will find both membrane and mechanical keyboards and most of the keyboards in this range have a good selection of features. These keyboards usually have better lighting and more Macro Keys than cheaper models.
- $140+: Keyboards in this price range can have everything from custom backlit keys to integrated USB audio and programmable macro keys.
Okay, some gamers may feel like this is an unnecessary consideration, while other gamers may feel like it’s a necessity. It’s really up to the gamer whether or not they want to buy a keyboard with backlit illumination. After all, there are good keyboards in either category.