If you love to game, you would naturally want to be able to have access to all the best keys at the touch of a button.
That is why gaming keypads exist. They provide you with a compact interface where all the buttons you need to push are all within one area and fully accessible with one hand.
Software issues and a lack of knowledge of gaming can lead manufacturers to produce gaming keypads that aren’t up to par with what you need. A good keypad will not only work well, but improve the way that you game.
As such, it is important to know what to look for in a gaming keypad so that you can make use of a piece of equipment that doesn’t just work for you, but with you.
What To Look For In A Gaming Keypad
This is one of the most important factors you will face when choosing a gaming keypad. This ensures that you can use your keypad with ease and comfort, even when you are playing for hours upon hours on end.
A keypad that is ergonomically designed will have a handy layout for all its keys so that there will not be any that are difficult to reach during gameplay.
Rows of keys should not be too close together or too far apart so that you can hit them accurately when you are in a pinch.
They keypad should also feel comfortable to use and flow with the way your fingers and hands work naturally.
You don’t want to use a keypad that involves you holding your hands at an awkward and uncomfortable position just to make use of all the buttons and the directional pad.
In addition, a keypad should have comfort-enhancing features like cushioned palm or wrist rests so that you don’t experience fatigue during long gameplay sessions.
You want to be able to go for hours without needing a break or feeling any pain and discomfort, so it is important that your keypad allows for maximum comfort.
Programmability And Customization
Any good keypad should come with a large number of keys that can all be individually programmed in order to suit the game you are playing. The directional pad and joystick may also be programmable.
Ideally, you should be able to have full control over every single part of the keypad. You should expect to be able to implement complex macros and make use of interchangeable keymaps without any problem.
It is also helpful when a gaming pad has onboard memory, which allows you to store these settings for future use.
Some even come with multiple user profiles so that you can have different settings for all your favorite games, or so that someone can borrow the keypad without messing up your preferences.
Features That Enhance Gameplay
Anything that makes you play better and faster is always a plus. The right equipment can really change the way you game and affect your overall performance.
As such, you can keep your eye out for keypads that offer functions that can make you a better gamer. What sort of features might you be able to find?
Anti-ghosting keys that are able to pick up all your lightest pushes and respond accurately and quickly are excellent for gaming.
Backlighting on the keys will help you to game even in the dark, and some backlights are even customizable.
Meanwhile, a rubberized base will prevent the keypad from sliding around when you are moving quickly.
Whatever the case, if there’s a feature you feel you need, look for a gaming board that offers those configurations!
The Best Gaming Keypad Reviews 2017
Razer Nostromo PC Gaming Keypad
This product has a 16-button layout and measures 9.2” x 8.6” x 4.1”. It is equipped with 8 key maps and an 8-way directional thumb pad.
- This product has been ergonomically designed in order to create more intuitive functionality that will help you with your gaming accuracy.
- It makes use of a tournament-grade layout for ease of use.
- Each of the 16 keys are fully programmable and are Hyperesponse™ to be sensitive to your slightest touch. The 8-way directional thumb pad and scroll wheel are also programmable so that you can game the way you want to.
- 8 key maps are built into the keypad, and they allow you to switch between them instantaneously.
- This keypad has unlimited macro length.
- It can store up to twenty different user profiles so that you can share your keypad without worrying about losing your settings.
- For optimum comfort, the keypad is fitted with an adjustable soft-touch rubberized wrist pad that you can wrest your palm on a soft and comfortable surface while gaming.
- The keypad is backlit so that you can play even in the dark.
- The product is equipped with an advanced configurator software that is fully customizable and very easy to use.
- Razer is known for excellent customer service, so if you have issues with your product, you can rest easy knowing they will be able to help you.
- Poor quality control has resulted in some products with defective D-pads that do not work in the best way, some becoming difficult to use or failing to respond accurately during gameplay.
- Some may find that the keypad does not add a great deal more to simply using an ordinary keyboard.
- Due to design and style, you may find some keys on the keypad virtually useless due to being unable to comfortably reach them during gameplay.
- If you have used other gaming keypads before, although the product works well and offers excellent value for money, you may feel that this keypad pales in comparison with some similar, higher priced models from different brands.
Delux T9 46-Key Wired Gaming Keyboard
This product is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Visa, 7, and 8. It measures 11.2” x 9.4” x 3.4”.
- A diamond-shaped ergonomic design makes the product look sleek and feel easy to use.
- The keypad has four groups of special recess-type keys that are programmable and include a convenient touch middle row for ease of use.
- All keys are adjustable to a certain degree so that you can omit unnecessary keys.
- The product is backlit with three different light settings and capabilities, so that you can customize it based on the dimness of the room and your personal preferences.
- A large space for your wrists to wrest is present, and it provides double the space so that you will be comfortable using it whether you are right handed or left handed. This palm rest is cushioned and comfortable.
- The keypad arrangement is a patented AWDS anteroposterior configuration, and as such, it has been specially to be designed to be perfect for gaming.
- Its low price means great value for money.
- As the product is made by a Chinese company, the instructions are in Chinese, so if you don’t read the language you may have to figure it out on your own.
- Depending on the size of your hands or the angle you usually hold them at while gaming, you may find the layout of this keypad to be awkward or uncomfortable. The keys are also raised, which means your hands may need to rest at an odd position to use them.
- The space bar, despite claiming to be made larger, is pretty small when you are using your thumb to hit it in the middle of a crucial moment in a game.
- The number keys and movement keys are far from each other.
- The keypad isn’t great if you have small hands as everything is spaced farther apart and is made to be bigger.
Logitech G13 Programmable Gameboard
This bestselling hybrid keypad won the CES 2009 Best of Innovations Award. It measures 11.2” x 9.1” x 3.5” and has 25 keys and an analog stick, and it also has an LCD panel. It is compatible with Mac and PC computers.
- This product offers a fully customizable gaming experience with a total of 87 ways to play your game, all thanks to three game modes, 25 programmable keys and an easy-to-use programmable analog stick.
- Custom button profiles are available you to set up for multiple games, and macros can be created while gaming without the need for pausing. There are five ready-to-play profiles that can be programmed, although the keypad originally has some pre-configured settings for popular games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade, and many more.
- It comes with a high-visibility GamePanel LCD that displays game stats, player communication, and system information to enhance your gaming experience. Its lighting is customizable.
- The keypad’s naturally contoured design goes along with your hand and fingers’ natural shapes, allowing for maximum comfort even during long gaming sessions and reducing hand fatigue.
- All keys are backlit for playing in various lighting conditions, and you can choose from hundreds of backlight colors. The concave home-row keys are also easy to press and locate by touch.
- A non-slip surface allows for a stable gaming experience.
- The product is not ergonomically designed, so while it has comfort features, you might find it tiring to use during long gameplay sessions depending on the angle at which you naturally hold your hands.
- There is no official, full-fledged user manual that comes with the keypad; you will need to register with the company’s site to get one.
- The keypad is quite large and may be difficult to use if you have smaller hands.
- The analog stick also doubles as a button which is not easy to push down.
- Its price is one of the higher ones in the market.
1byone Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This gaming keypad has 29 keys and is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. It measures 11.2” x 7.9” x 2”.
- All 29 keys are fully programmable and a wide range of complex macros can be created.
- The keys on the gaming board are manufactured with Kailh Blue mechanical switches that have a key travel of 4.0mm and anti-ghosting features, which ensures excellent accuracy and ease of use.
- An integrated palm rest and functional key layout make for good ergonomics that promote speed and comfort for long periods of time. The default layout is meant to optimize League of Legends gameplay, but all keys can be remapped for different games.
- A customizable RGB chroma backlight allows you to play in low lighting conditions, in any color you like! You can choose from nearly a dozen presets or make your own design.
- The keypad has a 5.5’ USB cable is braided for durability.
- The product comes with a 12-month guarantee.
- Overall, the original layout of this keypad can be very confusing to long-time gamers.
- There are no lower buttons, so if you are used to other keypads or keyboards, it can take a while to get use to the lack of them, and many essential keys are relocated or omitted entirely. This is by far the biggest disadvantage as it means the layout isn’t great for most games.
- The space bar does not feel as integrated as the other keys and is not as responsive.
- The keypad does not have a rubberized base, so it may slip or slide around your desk as you play.
- There is no onboard memory, so programming and configuration is not saved, which can be a hassle and an inconvenience.
- Some customers have reported having difficulty installing the keypad software.
Belkin n52te Tournament Edition SpeedPad
This product has 15 keys, an 8-directional thumb pad, and a removable joystick. It makes use of memory software provided by Razer and measures 4.1” x 8.5” x 9.1”.
- This product was created based on feedback from real gamers, and it incorporates features from gamepads and keyboards in order to provide you with high levels of functionality and usability.
- All 15 keys are fully programmable, as is the thumb pad and joystick, and the keypad has 104 custom functions. It also has 3 keymaps, so your entire gaming experience is highly customizable.
- An adjustable soft-touch wrist pad allows for comfort during long sessions of gameplay.
- The keypad and scroll wheel are backlit in a cool blue color for playing in darker conditions.
- All keys have quick responses with enhanced tactile feedback and button responsiveness so that you can more quickly and efficiently.
- Razer Synapse provides embedded memory on this product, which allows you to have multiple custom player profiles on the keypad. It also allows you to access performance tools that will enhance your gameplay and have added plug and play versatility, all without any software installation necessary.
- This product has non-slip pads on its base to allow for added stability.
- The keypad is extremely durable and can take a lot of abuse without so much as flinching.
- It comparison to the previous edition of the brand’s keypad line, the staple N52, this keypad has simplified much of its features and software, which might not be a good thing overall as many new gamepads are bringing complexity to their software that functions seamlessly.
- The new mapping software leaves much to be desired.
- Due to a large keypad size, if you have smaller hands, you might find this difficult to use without awkwardly stretching your fingers.
- The space bar is not very responsive when you hit it on its edges during gameplay, and the D-pad is slightly stiff.
- The mouse wheel does not make use of great functions; the zooming increments are pretty large and are unreliable during fast gameplay.
- The button rows are spaced very close together, which can make for inaccuracy.
- The cord that comes with the keypad is slightly short and might be a little tight around a desk.
Choosing a game pad based on their features is important in order to get the best value out of your purchase.
Based on those features, we have to recommend the Logitech G13 Programmable Gameboard out of all of the other options.
Not only is it award-winning, it is also highly programmable and customizable, reasonably comfortable, and offers excellent value for money. The added LCD features is also a great plus on this awesome keypad.
With any luck, this list has been exhaustive enough to help you narrow down your choices, or get started on figuring out which features you desire out of your perfect gaming keypad.
Make your choice based on customization, gameplay enhancement, and ergonomics, and you are sure to get a keypad that suits your needs.