For any gamer, whether casual or professional, good equipment is essential to ensuring a positive performance and is necessary in order to improve at gameplay.
As skilled as you may be, a good worker still requires tools, so it is important to choose the best gaming keyboard that can help complement your abilities.
The world of gaming keyboards can be complicated. There’s technical jargon to understand and countless features available, and with all the possibilities, it can be hard to narrow down your choices.
That is why we have listed down some ways to choose a good keyboard for gaming, and also mentioned a few of our favorites.
Best Gaming Keyboard – Comparison Table
|Cosair Gaming K70||Yes||Full||4.3 /5|
|Redragon Karura K502||Yes||10||4.2 /5|
|1CM Storm QuickFire||Yes||Full||4.4 /5|
How to Choose a Great Gaming Keyboard
Keys, Programming, and Macros
All gamers need to be able to press the keys they want and see feedback immediately in their game. As such, it is important that the keyboard you purchase is optimized for gaming and can help you perform outstandingly.
Many keyboards have keys designed to respond quickly to even the slightest touch, allowing them to be extremely responsive and sensitive and not let a single one of your keypresses go to waste.
This is also known as an anti-ghosting feature. The downside, of course, is that accidentally brushing a key may set it off, but anti-ghosting is mostly a favored quality of gaming keyboards. Rollover features are also great for speed and accuracy.
A good gaming keyboard should also have keys that can record and perform complex macros with just the touch of your finger.
Some may have as few as three, and others as many as 15, but the important part is that they are present. This can help you set off wicked combos during gameplay with just one key.
In addition, gaming keyboards should allow you to have easy access to media controls, usually present as keys on the board itself, so that you can make adjustments without needing to pause a game.
Some keyboards also offer the option for you to disable specific keys while playing so you avoid pressing them; the Windows key is one great example of a key that could do with disabling.
The most important thing to make sure of is that the keys will last. Many companies have products out that have been tested to resist tens of millions of keystrokes without failing, and those may be the ones you want to go for!
Keys should be durable so that they don’t just pop off, and if the keycaps do become faulty, they should be of an industry standard so that they are easy to replace.
Illumination And Backlighting
In order to game in any condition and under any lighting situation, it is often necessary that your keyboard have a good lighting system, where the keys are backlit.
While many keyboards offer one color of backlighting, specialized gaming keyboards may offer an entire RGB spectrum so that you can customize your keyboard colors the way you like.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether the keyboard you are eyeing has different lighting modes, and you should also consider your own personal lighting needs.
A keyboard with three or more lighting modes can help if you are often in a variety of lighting situations.
On the other hand, a simple non-adjustable backlit keyboard may be less expensive; just be aware that if there is no “off” setting for backlighting, it can be glaring or distracting in brighter lighting.
Of course, next comes the issue of customization. It isn’t necessary to have a cool keyboard to be a gamer, but there is definitely no harm in trying for one.
Some keyboards offer hundreds, thousands, or even millions of options for you to use when customizing your backlighting.
You can choose between different colors, mix and match them, apply them in a gradient across the keyboard; it is all up to you.
The more options you have, the cooler you might find your keyboard appearing – and also, the more expensive the keyboard gets.
Some other cool illumination features you might be interested in is the ability to adjust the lighting of specific keys – like the arrow keys or WASD – separately from the rest of the keyboard.
This is great for when you need something to stand out while playing, and it can help you focus better.
You should also be aware of some common issues with illumination. It is not uncommon for some keyboards to end up being manufactured in such a way that some keys are brighter than others.
Meanwhile, some simply don’t have the durability to withstand the test of time, and will die out or bust sooner than you would like. So, make sure you are buying from a reputable company!
A good gaming keyboard will offer more than just great keys and decent lighting. As most gaming keyboards are mechanical, some may have a stealth mode or may have been designed so as to make as little noise as possible.
Not all gaming keyboards have this built in, so it is up to you if you want clicky keys or silent ones.
Some keyboards also have USB pass-throughs so that you can plug in gaming accessories, like a mouse or a pair of headphones, easily into the keyboard without digging around the side of your monitor.
Some are even carefully placed so that none of them will get in the way of your gameplay at all.
There are even some keyboards that come with wrist rests that aim to remove fatigue, or at the very least, reduce it. This is especially important when you plan to game for extremely long periods of time.
That comfort can help you play better and perform like a champion in comparison to someone whose hand is exhausted.
The Best Gaming Keyboard Reviews
Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This keyboard requires two Hi-Speed USB ports, 70MB of available space on a hard disk, and works best with an internet connection so you can download the software. It comes in blue and brown and is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
- This keyboard’s 110 anti-ghosting keys are rubber-domed to ensure high responsiveness and quick tactile feedback, so you don’t have to use a lot of force to get the fast responses you want.
- There is a 26 key rollover so that you can press any number of keys followed by modifiers to receive the exact feedback you desire, easily.
- The product has six programmable G-keys that have three macros each, allowing you to configure up to 18 unique functions per game. You can opt for complex macros, single keypresses, and intricate LUA scripts with no problem, too, allowing for precisely executed moved during gameplay. You do not have to exit a game to adjust macros, either.
- All media keys simply require one touch activation, so you can control volume, media playback, and mute functions easily.
- You can disable Windows/Context Menu keys in Game/Desktop mode so that there are no accidental interruptions during gameplay.
- Despite being a mechanical keyboard, it is completely whisper-quiet thanks to non-clicking key switches, which are further reinforced by dampening rings underneath each keycap.
- The backlighting on the keyboard allows for use in various lighting conditions thanks to four brightness settings (and an “off” setting, too), and you can adjust the brightness of the arrow keys and WASD separately from the rest of your keyboard.
- A removable palm rest provides you with comfort and support if you need it.
- High-speed USB pass-throughs are built into the keyboard so that you can quickly plug in any devices you require without searching for them on your PC.
- This keyboard has been tested to 50 million keypresses for durability.
- Customer support from Logitech, at least for this particular product, is not known for being particularly helpful, so you may be on your own if issues arise with the keyboard.
- The centerplate of the keyboard is very glossy, resulting in dust and prints being obviously seen if not regularly wiped down.
- If a key does break off, there are no individual key replacements available; you will have to send the whole keyboard for fixing.
- Due to poor quality control, durability claims work only under direct downward pressure, which isn’t necessarily the way a large majority of gamers use their keyboards. The keycaps are made of a soft plastic which, if you happen to mash too much during gameplay, may eventually disintegrate and result in the falling off of some keys within a few months.
- Backlight issues have been reported, resulting in uneven lighting and some keys which stay at maximum brightness no matter how much they are adjusted.]d
Cosair Gaming K70 RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Keyboard
With plenty of product options available, this keyboard is well known for its high aesthetic qualities and its excellent and eye-catching backlighting.
- This keyboard is designed to be fast and respond quickly to your touch. It claims to be one of the fastest in the market with 1.2mm actuation and light 45g force in its keys.
- It is 100% anti-ghosting and has a full key rollover on USB, meaning that regardless of how quickly you need to move during gameplay, this keyboard will not just keep up, but attempt to meet you halfway with accuracy.
- The Cherry MX Speed RGB switches have been manufactured for fast actuation and efficient linear responses.
- Macro and lighting programming is advanced and virtually unlimited with the use of Corsair Utility Engine (CUE software) support. The software is intuitive and versatile and allows you to play the way you want to.
- Multimedia controls are easily accessible, so you want have to pause your game to adjust audio settings.
- A detachable soft-touch wrist rest adds comfort for long hours of gaming.
- All keycaps have a large font and have fully controllable, vibrant backlighting that helps you see the keys better, even in low light. They are also textured and contoured to enhance their feel and provide reliable FPS and MOBA keycap sets.
- The keyboard comes with a USB pass-through port so that you can easily plug in any accessories, and the port is positioned so that you don’t need to worry about your mouse or headset getting in the way.
- The product is durable thanks to its aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame. It is meant to never jam, even with heavy keystrokes, and is advertised to last a lifetime. At the same time, the keyboard is lightweight.
- Customer service is easily reachable should you require assistance.
- The bottom row of keys on the keyboard are of a non-standard sizing, so they are not up to the common industry standards. This means that should any of them need replacing, it will be difficult to find a keycap that fits, if not nearly impossible.
- The software can be a bit confusing if you are attempting to make highly advanced customizations on lighting.
- There is no rubber on the underside of the keyboard, so it may slip and slide during more intense gameplay.
- The high sensitivity and speedy response on this keyboard can be a negative aspect for some, as it registers the slightest touch and may result in errors, typos, and the wrong keys being pressed in-game. This is especially true if you tend to type heavily or have larger fingers, and it can be a frustrating feature.
- Although it is a mechanical keyboard, the keys are slightly “mushier” and less clicky than the standard mechanical keyboard. While not an important area, this may turn off some.
- They are at a high price point.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This keyboard is one of the bestselling and most popular in its market, and it has an award-winning mechanical switch system. Its features focus heavily on lighting options.
- Each key on this keyboard is designed specifically to improve gaming performance. As such, it provides high levels of responsiveness for maximum speed. Razer Mechanical Switches, as each key is called, are well known for their excellent performances in gaming keyboards and is award-winning.
- The keyboard has a consistent delivery and responds in a tactile manner to all inputted commands.
- All keys are fully programmable, and the keyboard comes with an additional five gaming keys for macros, which can be recorded on-the-fly as you play.
- Media keys are easily accessible so that you can control volume with the highest amount of ease.
- This keyboard has a 10 key rollover and anti-ghosting features so that each touch is registered.
- Thanks to a software known as Razer Synapse, you can sync your personal lighting settings – ranging from Spectrum Cycling, Breathing, Custom, Preloaded Templates, Reactive, or Wave – automatically with this unified cloud-based configurator.
- Advanced backlighting is highly customizable, with over 16.8 million color options, so you will never run out of ways to make your keyboard 100% unique. In addition, Razer Chroma allows for inter-device color synchronization so all the Razer brand products you use will match. There are even pre-loaded color effects for particular games, and some games have lighting as alerts or warnings.
- The keyboard comes with 3.5mm audio ports for microphones and headphones as well as a USB port to ensure easy routing.
- The product is designed to be durable, which each mechanical switch rated for up to 80 million keystrokes, so you don’t need to worry about the damage that could come from spamming your keys.
- This keyboard comes with a two-year warranty.
- Its keys aren’t quiet, so it might serve as a distraction or be annoying to those around you. There is no stealth option for them.
- The ports aren’t in the best or most convenient position and may result in some accessories getting in the way of gameplay.
- Bad quality control has resulted in customers receiving faulty products, and as such, there is a risk of having to return a keyboard that doesn’t work, which can be a hassle.
- There is no arm rest.
Redragon Karura K502 USB Gaming Keyboard
While this isn’t your typical gaming keyboard, it makes an excellent option for those on a budget. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
- This is easily the most affordable of the good gaming keyboards in the market.
- It has a rigid, strong design to improve durability.
- Each of the 104 laser-engraved standard keys have an excellent feel, and the keyboard is also equipped with 19 non-conflict keys and 12-multimedia keys. They keys also have a lot of traction, so they are easy to feel.
- Arrow keys and WASD keys are interchangeable, and the WIN keys can be disabled.
- The input speed of the keys is adjustable so that you can control the response time of each of your inputs.
- This keyboard is equipped with LED lights that have an adjusting pulsing rate and four different brightness levels so that you can play in a variety of lighting conditions.
- There is a built-in wrist rest included in the keyboard.
- The Redragon research and development team consists of experts in modeling, structure design, electronics, user interface, and software and only uses the latest and most modern equipment in the manufacturing process. As such, you do not need to worry that the cheap price of the keyboard will lead to poor quality.
- This product is made in an environmentally-responsible and lead-free environment.
- Customer service with this company is excellent, so you will not have difficulties receiving exchanges or having issues rectified.
- As an inexpensive keyboard, the quality of the keys may leave much to be desired by those who have used other gaming keyboards before.
- The keyboard layout isn’t standard, so it can be difficult to get used to.
- This keyboard also has rubberized keys, which can feel odd if you aren’t used to it.
- The lighting is not even across the keyboard.
- The keys are not quiet and, although they do not have the same sound as a mechanical keyboard, they can still be distracting to you and those around you.
CM Storm QuickFire TK Compact
This keyboard comes in a wide variety of color options and keyboard features, as well as in small, medium, and large color options. It requires a PC with a USB 2.0 port at 500mA, and it is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.
- An ergonomic layout allows for ease of use, and it is also compact. The keyboard also has an integrated numpad section, adding to usability.
- Each keyswitch has minimal resistance and provides feedback instantly upon an easy keypress. All feedback received will be indicated with a clicking noise from the keys.
- You have easy access to seven multimedia shortcut keys for quick adjustments to audio and music volume during games.
- Windows keys can be disabled.
- You can gain unlimited simultaneous keystrokes that register perfect using N-Key Rollover (NKRO) through the USB port.
- The keyboard is fully backlit by LEDs, and it has three modes and five brightness levels so that you can play regardless of your lighting situation.
- It is extremely durable, with each switch having a lifespan of over 50 million keystrokes. Each key is UV coated to add to its long-lasting lifespan. The keyboard itself has an embedded blue steel backplate to improve stability while providing a durable base.
- This keyboard is equipped with rubber feet on its standoffs, as well as super grip pads in order to keep it steady and stable, even if you are really going for it during gameplay!
- The product is slim and lightweight, so it does not take up too much space and allows you to add on accessories like a mouse or headphones without taking up too much space.
- It comes with a removable USB cable, complete with cable routing, that is braided for durability and flexibility.
- You have a large wealth of choice of colors, options, and features for this line of keyboards, Compatibility
- There is no option for macro configuration, which is a huge downside to any gamer.
- The numpad takes getting used to and can be frustrating to you if you have never used a similar one before.
- The USB port is right angled, so if you are right-handed, you may find its cable getting in the way of your mouse.
- At certain times, the keyboard will need to be unplugged and replugged as it will not be detectable by your computer, which is a bit of a hassle.
- For the price, the lighting options and customization leave something to be desired.
- The backlighting is bright but not even, and some keys may be dimmer or brighter than others.
- The keyboard does not come with a wrist rest.
While all these keyboards make great choices, the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has exceeded expectations.
With very few low points in its specifications, it offers fully programmable keys from start to finish that allow you to customize your gaming experience based on your preferences.
The backlighting is also extremely customizable, and can even sync with your other gaming devices! Not to mention, of course, that it is one of the most popular keyboards on the market and sells better than any other.
The Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is definitely a solid choice, but at the end of the day, any one of these options would make an excellent piece of equipment to invest in.
Based on your needs and budget, you can easily own a fantastic keyboard that will help you go above and beyond all expectations during gaming sessions. Sounds like a great deal to me!