- Gaming keyboards have a short but innovative history, with mechanical switches and RGB lighting being standout features.
- Gaming keyboards offer fast response times, customizable keys, and customizable RGB lighting.
- Mechanical gaming keyboards have a long lifespan and can be either quiet or loud.
- Some top gaming keyboards include the HyperX Alloy Origins, G.Skill KM250 RGB, and Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless.
- Factors to consider when buying a gaming keyboard include size, key technology, and connectivity.
Most professional gamers have an unending rivalry, but one consensus they have is that you cannot become a professional gamer without a good gaming setup. Occasionally, we overlook gaming keyboards because we don’t see them as a weapon in our arsenal, but they may be the secret to elevating your gameplay.
Moreover, a good gaming keyboard allows you to customize its settings to suit your gameplay and preferences, further improving your gaming experience. As for non-professional gamers, you will never go back once you ditch your regular keyboard for a gaming one.
So, if you’re still unconvinced that a gaming keyboard will elevate your gaming, this article is just for you! Here are the best reasons to buy a gaming keyboard.
5 Must-Know Facts About Gaming Keyboards
- Generally, mechanical gaming keyboards last longer than standard keyboards, as they are made of sturdy, durable materials. They also have modular switches, which are replaceable.
- Gaming keyboards have quicker responses than standard keyboards, reducing lag.
- Most gaming keyboards allow users to customize their RGB lighting to match other accessories, like gaming mice and headsets.
- Most gaming keyboards use mechanical, membrane, or rubber dome switches. Unfortunately, manufacturers aren’t usually forthcoming with the switches installed, so be vigilant when shopping.
- Gaming keyboards can have a cord or not. Choose the option that best suits your gaming needs.
History of Gaming Keyboards
The gaming keyboard’s history through time is short and filled with both innovative and forgettable designs. The first notable attempt at designing a mechanical keyboard was in the 1970s, an era dominated by membrane and rubber dome switches.
These keyboards were effective, but their design was wildly off-putting compared to today’s gaming keyboards. After years of tests and multiple heartbreaks, the 2000s gave us a glimpse of the future, especially with the gaming keyboards’ innovative design featuring RGB lighting.
However, the standout innovation in this era was using unique mechanical switches to make gaming keyboards. Today, manufacturers apply the foundations established in previous years, as seen in our modern keyboards, which have unique click sounds, optimized actuation, and innovative tactile bumps.
Moreover, thanks to modern RGB lighting engineering, gaming keyboards have roughly 16.8 million customizable colors.
5 Reasons to Buy a Gaming Keyboard Today
Some gamers question why they should spend more on a gaming keyboard when they already have a multi-purpose one. The simple answer would be that gaming keyboards are tailored for gaming, meaning they have features often missing from standard ones.
Below are some notable reasons to buy a gaming keyboard today.
1. They Have Fast Response Times
Most gaming keyboards use mechanical switches. This is different from standard laptop keyboards, which use membrane switches. Moreover, playing with a gaming keyboard is easier, as manufacturers often design them to have faster response times.
For example, most gaming keyboards have a polling rate of 1000Hz, which allows them to send signals in milliseconds. Some premium models have a polling rate of 2000Hz to 8000Hz, making their responses almost lag-free.
Sometimes, the difference between the winner and the loser comes down to a fraction of a second, which you can bridge with a good gaming keyboard. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you cannot game with a standard keyboard. Get a premium gaming keyboard if you want the thrill of fast response times when playing action-themed games.
2. They Have Programmable/ Customizable Keys
You may be losing some games for having higher action or reaction times than your competitor. However, thanks to the programmable keys in most gaming keyboards, you can now reduce your action time by creating shortcut keys.
For example, you can make shortcut keys for multi-action commands like spells, fighting moves, and weapon changes. Moreover, some gaming keyboards have macro keys, which you can customize to simplify repetitive tasks or, in our case, repetitive gaming moves.
Additionally, depending on each manufacturer’s keyboard software, you can create a profile with all your programmed keys, especially if you share the keyboard with a friend or family member. Overall, gaming should be fun, and you can enjoy better gameplay using a programmable keyboard.
3. They Have Customizable RGB Lighting
Being a pro gamer is only half what it takes to be popular in the gaming community, especially in the social media era. It has become almost compulsory to have a cool gaming setup that other gamers and enthusiasts are envious of.
One way of having a cool setup is by including a gaming keyboard with RGB lighting. Besides elevating your gaming experience, an RGB gaming keyboard adds to your room’s décor — especially if you can pair it with a matching RGB mouse, headset, and microphone.
4. They Have a Long Lifespan
Mechanical keyboards can last roughly ten years, depending on your use; they can handle over 50 million keystrokes. At first glance, these keyboards look similar to your typical keyboard but differ in structure and build.
Manufacturers understand that gamers are usually aggressive with keyboards when playing, so they ensure every key on a mechanical gaming keyboard has an independent switch for durability.
- Ultra-compact aluminum keyboard
- Premium Kailh Brown mechanical switches
- 12 customizable modes
- Zero-degree slope with pop-up feet
Moreover, you can easily replace a faulty keycap or switch on a mechanical gaming keyboard for as low as $2. In addition, some gaming keyboards are dressed in an aluminum casing, which protects the inner components from mechanical damage.
Other gaming keyboards are waterproof, which adds to the keyboard’s protection and durability. Ultimately, with an excellent mechanical keyboard, you can rest easy knowing that your keyboard will serve you for years, even with intensive gaming.
5. They Can Be Quiet or Loud
One common myth about gaming keyboards is that they are loud. On the contrary, there are quiet gaming keyboards on the market. This is convenient, as you don’t have to increase your microphone’s volume to override the loud switches when streaming.
Moreover, if you like the audible feedback from the keystrokes, especially when gaming alone, you can settle for a gaming keyboard with clicky switches. Overall, choose a quiet or noisy gaming keyboard, depending on your preferences.
3 Best Gaming Keyboards Today
With every gaming keyboard manufacturer attacking the market with several models, it can be challenging to select the best-fit option. So, if you cannot decide which keyboard is right for you, here are some of the best ones to consider getting.
HyperX Alloy Origins
- 104 keys
- RGB lighting with dynamic effects
- 3 adjustable angles
- Aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Game Mode, 100% anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover functionalities
While the HyperX Alloy Origins is super-expensive, it’s a near-perfect gaming keyboard that blends style and performance perfectly. You cannot go wrong with the keyboard’s aircraft-grade aluminum body that firmly holds its position when the keystrokes are flying, even when executing a 45g operation force.
But what impressed us the most was this HyperX keyboard’s feet, which you can adjust and position to create room for a sweeping mouse. Thanks to HyperX’s NGENUITY Software, you can program the keys and assign different gaming commands to boost your gameplay.
Moreover, you can light up your gaming room to match the game’s theme, thanks to the 16,777,216 customizable RGB colors. Additionally, you don’t have to waste time programming the HyperX Alloy Origins gaming keys or lighting after a long day at work.
Instead, save these settings and assign them different profiles. Lastly, with a tolerance of 80 million keystrokes, you won’t need to buy another gaming keyboard for at least several years.
G.Skill KM250 RGB
For a keyboard that costs $39, the G.Skill KM250 is perfect if you’re looking for a cheap gaming keyboard that performs exceptionally. You won’t clutter your gaming station because this 65% gaming keyboard is only 12.9 inches long, which creates room for your mouse, microphone, and gaming monitor.
Moreover, besides weighing 1.5 pounds, this keyboard is detachable, making it portable; you can easily fit it into your school bag. The G.Skill KM250 features a minimalistic design, but the standout feature is the volume control knob on the far right.
Moreover, thanks to this keyboard’s durable PBT keycaps and swappable switches, you don’t have to worry about your aggressive gaming style.
This USB 2.0 keyboard is designed for comfort, as seen from its two keyboard legs that you can adjust based on your sitting position. Its main drawback is its limited compatibility; it only pairs with the Mac and devices using Windows 7 to 11.
Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless
The Logitech G915 TKL is a wireless RGB gaming keyboard that defies all the rules of keyboard engineering. It’s lightweight, coming in at 810g. However, its 14.49” L x 5.91” W x 0.87” H dimensions are what may trick you into impulse buying.
Moreover, the G915 has a sophisticated design, which features various macro keys and oleophobic-coated keycaps to minimize fingerprints; these features complement this keyboard’s unparalleled beauty.
Speaking of the G915’s keycaps, it won’t be intimidated by your aggressive gaming style because it has an actuation force of 50g. One thing that sets it apart from other gaming keyboards is its 0.06-inches actuation distance and 1 ms response time, ensuring fast gaming.
Also, thanks to the G915’s expansive battery, you can game wirelessly for roughly 40 hours on a single charge. We must also mention the G915’s LIGHTSYNC technology, which immerses you in your game. For example, this keyboard can illuminate 16.8 million colors thanks to RGB lighting.
Furthermore, with the G-Hub software, you can synchronize your on-screen content to the RGB lighting, which is impressive. You won’t appreciate the G915 until you’ve used it. However, remember to check that the keyboard is compatible with your gaming devices.
What to Know Before Buying a Gaming Keyboard
Always research and compare different gaming keyboards before settling on your preferred option. It is impossible to find the perfect gaming keyboard. However, you can buy one that suits your gaming style. Below are a few factors to remember when shopping for a gaming keyboard:
- Size of the keyboard
- Key technology
Size of the Keyboard
The size of the keyboard you choose depends on your workstation. Avoid full-sized keyboards if your gaming desk is small, as it will clutter your gaming area, especially if you pair the keyboard with a mouse and microphone.
In contrast, 60% keyboards lack some keys, which may undermine your gameplay and performance. Instead of compromising your gaming experience, look for a bigger desk that can accommodate a large gaming keyboard.
Depending on the model, gaming keyboards can have either mechanical or membrane keys. Always go for mechanical keys, as they are fast and durable.
It is also easy to repair and replace broken mechanical keys. This is an important reason to buy a keyboard with mechanical keys, as it will save you money in the long run.
Gaming keyboards are either wired or wireless. Most wired keyboards use a USB cable. However, this doesn’t guarantee compatibility with all devices that have a USB port.
In contrast, wireless keyboards connect via Bluetooth. Check the keyboard’s Bluetooth version to ensure it is compatible with your gaming devices.
|1. They Have Fast Response Times
|Gaming keyboards use mechanical switches and have faster response times, with some models having a polling rate of up to 8000Hz, making their responses almost lag-free.
|2. They Have Programmable/ Customizable Keys
|Gaming keyboards often have programmable keys that allow you to create shortcut keys for multi-action commands like spells, fighting moves, and weapon changes.
|3. They Have Customizable RGB Lighting
|Gaming keyboards often come with RGB lighting that can be customized to match your gaming setup and room dÃ©cor.
|4. They Have a Long Lifespan
|Mechanical keyboards can last roughly ten years and can handle over 50 million keystrokes. They are designed to withstand aggressive gaming and some models are even waterproof.
|5. They Can Be Quiet or Loud
|Gaming keyboards can be either quiet or loud, depending on your preferences. This is especially useful for streamers who don’t want their microphone to pick up loud keystrokes.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE/Shutterstock.com.