For some, gaming is a serious hobby that can occupy many hours of the day. Like all hobbies, having specialized equipment can give you an edge over the competition and, more importantly, give you a more enjoyable experience. When it comes to PC gaming accessories, upgrading to one of the best gaming keyboards is a must.
Important Gaming Features
Keyboards are important pieces of hardware for any serious gamer. The best gaming keyboards offer users ultra fast response times, sturdy construction for years of hard use, and ergonomic keyboard designs for ultimate comfort.
Here are the most important features to look for in the best gaming keyboards:
- Key Type. The mechanism under each key cap which allows the key to spring up and down determines its key type. The main key types are rubber domes, scissor-switch, and mechanical. The best gaming keyboards use mechanical keys because they are more durable, ultra-responsive, easy to clean and repair, and many users feel they provide a superior tactile experience.
- Additional Keys. In popular game genres like MMORPGs and FPSs, split-second reaction time can determine success or failure, so being able to assign custom macros and other functions is invaluable. Depending on your play style, additional keys and macros software are available with some models. Without additional keys, some gamers use the number pad.
- Rollover. Simultaneously pressing keys which share the columns and rows (holding down W,S,D for example) can result in “ghosting”, where your keyboard fails to register all the keystrokes. This can have a devastating effect in games, so the best gaming keyboards have N-key rollover technology to ensure that no matter how many keys are pressed simultaneously, each will be recognized. If a keyboard has a 6-key rollover, it means 6 keys can be pressed simultaneously.
- Quality Construction. Gamers can put their keyboards through some pretty heavy abuse that standards keyboards aren’t designed to withstand. The best gaming keyboards have thick casings, and feature key caps which have been engraved rather than painted. This means you won’t have to worry about replacing key caps due to fading.
- Multimedia Functions. Having multimedia control is convenient for gamers who spend most of their time in full screen. With these multimedia keys, users can control sound volume, monitor settings, video controls and more.
Other features include ergonomic designs and backlit keyboards. The best gaming keyboards allow you to customize the color and pattern of the backlights, while other models offer less personalization. Water resistance and splash protection are other common features gamers may appreciate.
While it may be tempting to get a wireless keyboard for optimum comfort in your gaming den, wireless keyboards can lag and require batteries, both of which will put a damper on any game session. Unfortunately for gamers on a budget, the best gaming keyboards come with premium price tags, though there are a few excellent entry level models available.
Top 10 Best Gaming Keyboards Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Gaming Keyboards
This exceptional keyboard brings the best of form and function, featuring a robust metal and ABS plastic casing. Durable, backlit keys sit atop professional-grade Blue switches, which make satisfying, audible clicks as you type. The key rows are stepped, for a more natural finger position, and each row glows with a different color for easy identification.
Unlike other keyboards which are simply splash-proof, the Pictek 104 Keys Anti-ghosting Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is water resistant, and has five drainage holes. It’s also dust-proof, and comes with a key cap remover for easy cleaning and maintenance.
There are no complaints on the N-key anti-ghosting, allowing you to press any number of keys at once without interruption. The major complaint with this keyboard is that the LED colors cannot be customized. Instead, the keyboard comes ready out of the box with no software or drivers, and contains 8 preset light patterns. Overall, this is a fine keyboard on par with expensive big-brand counterparts, but at a bit more reasonable price.
Very similar in price and construction as the Pictek, there are a few key differences. The most notable is that the backlit colors are programmable, which can alone be enough to swing picky gamers. It’s also almost a full pound heavier, and reviewers are very pleased with the construction quality versus the price. The AULA Sapphire also features a convenient auto-off function after 10 minutes of inactivity, saving power.
Like the Pictek, this is a mechanical keyboard with Blue switch keys. These produce the same loud, audible click after every keystroke, which users swear by to increase accuracy and type speed. It’s also plug-and-play, with no bothersome software to manage after plugging it in. This keyboard also comes with a one-year warranty, but you likely will not need it with the injection-mold keys which defy wear.
That said, the AULA is not water-resistant or dust-proof like the Pictek. Also, while it claims to have “100% anti-ghosting”, there is no rollover qualifier.
If you are looking for a more accessible keyboard, the EagleTec KG010 may be for you. It doesn’t have industrial construction but it does feature double injection-mold keys and is a solid mechanical keyboard that performs quickly and accurately enough for gaming. The custom built switches resemble Blue switches, though customers report that the EagleTec keys are a little quieter.
The keyboard is backlit by a blue LED lights which shine through the keys, reducing wear caused by paint. Multimedia functions make it easy to control your music without skipping a beat in-game. Like the others on this list, the EagleTec is also fit with a Windows lock key, eliminating the chance of a misstep.
It’s worth noting that this keyboard is not compatible with Macs. Some users are also disappointed by the fact that the blue LED lights cannot be changed, but for its price, the EagleTec offers plenty of other features.
Coming in at a solid 4 lbs., the Corsair K70 is a heavy-duty, professional gaming keyboard. Gaming keys have been textured and contoured for easy identification, under which Red switches provide the most comfortable and accurate typing experience. The large, removable wrist rest takes it a step beyond to ensure your comfort during hours long game sessions.
This keyboard offers flawless N-key rollover that you can trust to read your every keystroke. Above the standard keys, easy-to-read multi-media buttons allow you to control music and video with a single press. A 2-year warranty comes with this keyboard, though it’s expected to last much longer, and stand the test of time as a great piece of technology.
Some users are understandably disappointed that for the price, this keyboard does not offer extra macros keys or software, so look into other options if this is essential.
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