Gaming keyboards have been specifically designed to offer gamers a greater experience by providing more functionality, higher performance, and comfort during long periods of use.
A standard gaming keyboard will generally come with backlights, LCDs, and unique key layouts that make it more appealing to gaming but not necessarily to typing.
Depending on the gaming style and preferences of the user, the layout of their gaming keyboard is absolutely crucial. Colors and style amount for something. But, more importantly, is the idea to optimize your keyboard set up for maximum efficiency.
Once you’ve chosen your battle, the importance of an ergonomic layout, having programmable keys, and numerous shortcuts will equal to your ability to react quickly and move strategically. Where a split-second can mean the difference between victory or defeat.
The process of setting up and calibrating keys and their functions can be simple to complex. In some cases, additional software may need to be installed.
Gaming keyboards are often made to feel more responsive/reactive, giving the player a more satisfying response from the keys. Mechanical keyboards, in particular, offer tactile feedback.
Standard Features In A Gaming Keyboard
How is a gaming keyboard different from a standard keyboard? What should you expect in a keyboard that has been specifically designed for gaming?
Below is a list of what you will typically find in a gaming keyboard:
Additional keys: Many gaming keyboards come with customizable keys assigned for any number of individual gameplay actions. These are particularly handy when playing MMOs.
Gaming Mode: This lock function prevents you from pressing Windows key or the ‘Alt+Tab’ and ‘Alt+F4′ combination. Thus, avoid being accidentally bounced back to your desktop during critical gaming moments.
LED Backlighting (RBG): Some feel that fancy background lighting with 50 million color schemes is not important. But creating the right atmosphere and being able to see the keys in the dark are good reasons for this feature.
Mechanicalswitches: Many PC gamers prefer a more crisp and responsive keyboard. Unlike rubber dome membrane switches, mechanical switches allow for faster, more precise keystrokes. On the downside, they tend to be more expensive and bulky nature compared to their membrane counterparts.
Anti-ghosting: consisting of a 3 key roll over implementation that offers coverage in commonly mistaken areas. Higher-end gaming keyboards come with N-Key Rollover, which means that all the keys can be pressed and simultaneously registered by your computer.
Dedicated Macro keys: Layoutor reassign keys to your custom settings or by automating common, repetitive tasks by the use of one click. You can program, save, and load custom keyboard profile settings specific to your game or activity involving your keyboard.
Media controls: offering quick access buttons to a controlling video, audio, as well as provide shortcuts to popular apps like Facebook and Twitter. This is much better than using a shared function key.
Digital Display: LCD trackpads or touchscreens that allow viewing game stats, system information, VOIP communication data, video playback, image slideshow.
Watch The Video Below For Some Great Tips On Choosing A Gaming Keyboard
5 PC Gaming Keyboards Worth Considering
Using the criteria above, we have composed a list of 5 keyboards that offer a variety of these features that are important to a great gaming experience.
Your choices for selecting the best gaming keyboard for yourself will depend on whether you are looking to buy a cheap gaming keyboard or something more sophisticated.
We start the list off with both budget mechanical keyboards and those with standard membrane switches. As well as higher quality keyboards with more options and settings.
1. Redragon Karura K502 Gaming Keyboard
A great choice for a good cheap backlit keyboard for your first gaming keyboard or backup.
This budget gaming keyboard for gaming is best for those who do not want a mechanical keyboard with all the tactile feedback.
It could be the cheapest multi-coloured backlit keyboards around and if you enjoy slim keyboards with smooth, soft, and quiet keys.
Features of theRedragon Karura K502:
Dimensions: 17.75 x 8 x .75 inches
Compatibility: Windows 8 and Windows 10
Custom key assigning: with interchangeable and reversible arrow keys and WASD keys.
Winlock setting: meaning your WIN keys can be disabled when gaming.
Laser engraved keycaps: for protection against wear and fading.
19 Non-conflict keys: 12 multimedia keys with adjustable input speeds.
4 LED backlit color: Select between seven colors, pulsing rate, and 4 brightness levels.
104 standard keys: laser engraved chiclet keycaps and the WIN keys can be disabled when gaming.
USB connector comes a wired fiber braided cabling.
Most buyers expressed that this was a decent gaming keyboard for the price. It does take some time to get used to master the button spacing and sizes. With a little practice, it becomes a very comfortable keyboard to use for your gaming and everyday typing needs.
If you are the kind of person who tends to press keys really hard while typing (probably because you’re used to a clunky mechanical keyboard) this may not be the right keyboard for you.
This basic gaming keyboard has been rated 3.9 out of 5 stars by over 860 customers.
Are you looking for a white mechanical keyboard designed to be more robust and made to take a beating? The EagleTec KG011 composed of heavy duty aluminum and ABS construction.
Built to withstand the average liquid spill with a splash-resistant design. It also features a bright and crisp LED backlighting to create the perfect gaming ambiance.
High-end switches with mechanical ultra-last springs, double-shot injection molded keycaps and plate mounted keys.
Features of the EagleTec KG011 include:
Plate mounted keys providing arigid and sturdy keyboard platform that is built to last, by integrating a metal plate between the switches and the PCB.
Outemu Blue switches which are similar to Cherry MX blue switches. But are slightly louder than Cherry and require slightly more actuation force.
Blue LED backlighting that is easily adjusted for brightness, breathing effect, and on/off.
104 double-shot injection molded keycaps are (blue) LED backlit for razor-sharp lighting. 100% anti-ghosting. The lettering is built into the key caps, not imprinted on top doesn’t scratch off.
Twelve dual action F keys: giving youquick access to your most used programs and functions like volume, mute, or skip tracks without the need for your mouse.
Compatibility: Windows 10, Windows 8
Concave keys: allowing your fingertips to glide naturally over your keys.
Customizable W A S D and arrow keys allowing you to assign to specific applications and/or gaming.
Adjustable rear feet for adjusting your keyboard to the perfect typing angle. Raise up to 1/2 inch.
Dimensions: 17.6 x 7 x 1.1 inches
If you enjoy a fairly loud response, this is a very “clicky-clacky” sounding switches. You can order O-rings to dampen the sound. There’s a nice bounce back from the keys as you type, and it is so much harder to ‘accidentally’ mistype a certain letter as with other keyboards
It’s smooth bounce back from the keys as you type, helps you avoid ‘accidentally’ mistyping a certain letter as is often the case with other keyboards.
One common concern with this keyboard was it doesn’t come with any directions or any type of paperwork, though the information is easily found online.
The majority of those who have purchased this good but a cheap mechanical keyboard were very pleased with the overall function and practical use.
Take your gaming to the next level with more speed and precision. This fully mechanical RBG keyboard with Outemu switches, which are basically Cherry MX Blue clones.
Experience amazing performance and tactile feedback with a clear audible response when typing.
Solid build, made with a metal base, rubber feet, and a comfortable armrest.
Many personal customization options.
Features of the HAVIT HV-KB378L include:
104 mechanical keys: constructed with floating keys, blue switches (Gaote switch/ Otemu switch).
Wrist support rest: (non-detachable), effectively reduce fatigue of a long time using
Pro-gamer mode: allows you to uniquely customize up to 5 default modes by pressing FN+ 1-5.
Full Anti-ghosting: giving you perfect signal quality no matter how many buttons you hit simultaneously or fast you play. Supports N-key-rollover.
Multimedia keys: for easy access to your email, calculator, or audio/video settings and controls.
RBG backlit: 10 RBG backlit modes that are easily adjustable and do not require a driver. Modes include 7-color-breathing mode, always-on mode, single-color-breathing mode, mixed color flowing mode, and more.
Wired connection: USB full speed 2.0 interface. Cord length is 1.8 m/70.87 inches.
Compatible: with Windows Vista/Win 7/Win 8/Win 10/Mac OS/Linux
Watch the visual demonstration below:
The majority of users of this affordable mechanical keyboard were very happy with its many functions, considering this keyboard is priced under $100.
It does not come with software configuration, but profiles and settings are easily accessed generally by pressing the function button as a modifier then the respective action key.
The Razer BlackWidow X was designed for durability and high-level gaming action.
Providing the crisp, tactile feel, responsiveness and consistency you have come to expect from a top-notch brand like Razer.
Giving you the upper hand from a gaming perspective.
Features of the Razer BlackWidow X Ultimate include:
High-quality build & materials: Constructed from military grade metal, along with Razer’s award-winning mechanical switches that have been tested and approved by eSports athletes for hard-core gaming.
10 key roll-over anti-ghosting: press up to 10 keys simultaneously.
5 multi-function keys (fully-programmable using Razer’s Synapse software) and a full-sized number pad.
Compatibility: Windows® 10 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 7 / Mac OS X (v10.8 – 10.11)
Backlighting: individually programmable backlit keys along with dynamic lighting effects all set easily through Razer Synapse. Sync your personal lighting settings ranging from Breathing, Reactive, Ripple, Wave or Starlight.
Razer Mechanical Switches: with a lifespan of up to 60 million keystrokes. Actuating point for keys is at an optimal distance, providing you with both speed and responsivenesses.
Programmable keys: with on-the-fly macro recording.
Gaming mode: allows to deactivate your Windows key, the ‘Alt+Tab’ and ‘Alt+F4’ combo for specific applications.
USB connection: wired fiber braided cabling.
Most users of this mechanical gaming keyboard agreed that it was an extremely solid build. The mechanical switches are very satisfying to use and are wonderfully straightforward in terms of key layout and functions.
This Razer gaming keyboard is highly recommended and after being reviewed by nearly 2000 users it has been rated 4.4 out of 5 stars for performance and quality.
Now you can listen to YouTube videos on your keyboard while you’re in gameplay. Having a high-quality LCD screen built into your gaming keyboard will also provide other cool advantages.
Easily switch between desired displays including VIP communication data, clock, CPU load. Not to mention non-gaming specific items such as pictures or video media display.
Like many other G-Series, award-winning keyboards produced by Logitech, the G19 is well equipped with crisp keystrokes, on-the-fly macro recording, a dedicated Windows lock key, 3 modes potentially giving you upwards of 36 customizable keys.
Features of the Logitech G19 Keyboard include:
LCD color screen: tiltable, 320-by-240-pixel display provides valuable in-game information for over sixty games, including World of Warcraft, Fallout 3, and Call of Duty: World at War.
12 Fully Programmable G-keys: You can program up to 36 time-saving commands per game (single keypresses or complex macros).
Multi-Key Input: allowing you to performmultiple actions simultaneously engaging up to five keys at the same time. Due to its multi-key input functionality, which allows you to engage up to five keys at the same time.
Customizable Backlighting: You not only see your keys in the dark butcanswitch yourkeys background lights to a color that best suits your mood to a specific game or application.
Powered USB 2.0 Ports. Comes with two high-speed USB 2.0 ports for connecting and powering other peripherals. Transfer data to and from devices.
Media buttons: limited to controlling volume and playback controls (not including LCD controls).
Power supply: requires adapter with AC Input 100V-240V 50-60Hz;DC Output. This powers the screen as well as the built-in USB ports.
Overall, this gaming keyboard has a solid build. There is no flex or creek and the screen is securely mounted on a thick metal bar hinge.
It has a very traditional layout and familiar feel, making it easy to begin using immediately. It does have a flimsy wrist rest. It seems to be a fairly long keyboard due to the number of keys.
This is not a mechanical key. However, the keys have a great positive feedback and possess a more directional give. Feeling as if they actually ’tilt’ in the direction you push them. As well as a slightly concave surface to provide excellent grip.
This LCD gaming keyboard has been rated 4.3 out of 5 stars for performance, functionality, and quality by over 450 happy users. Find out more or purchase on Amazon now by clicking the link.
The Final Word
In our brief discussion, we have highlighted the key features to look for when considering the purchase of a gaming keyboard. Things like mechanical keys, programmable keys, anti-ghosting, and backlighting are just a few.
Hopefully by using the information provided as well as some the suggestions above you can find the best gaming keyboard for your needs and budget.