Gaming is one of the most popular branches of the IT world. Hardware manufacturers have started creating separate divisions destined especially for developing the best gaming accessories. The extra buttons on a mouse or a joystick are no longer enough, though. Keyboards have evolved the most over the past years. Some of them now provide endless shortcuts and dedicated keys for particular games. Responsiveness and accuracy have also been taken to a whole different level. Using these keyboards is easy. The hard part comes with the buying process. With so many options, it has become a real challenge to be certain you’ve made the right choice. In order to help you with that process, we’ve decided to put together a buying guide destined to help you end up with the best gaming keyboard.
What is Gaming Keyboard and Why Is it Important?
These types of keyboards give more keys and features than you need and it’s often the most imaginative gamers that can benefit from these impressive peripherals.
Of course, there are also the bragging rights at stake here as to who owns the coolest and best gaming keyboard. Just like computer cases, owning a great looking keyboard can make you look like a boss at a LAN Party, and that could very well be why you’re willing to place the extra money anyway. If you play multiple games, these keyboards will be twice as useful, since you can generally program buttons, profiles and much more for the ultimate gamer who like to switch games whenever he wants to.
We’ll all admit that in-game settings aren’t so reliable when it comes to saving our precious button layouts, and having them directly in your peripheral is pretty reassuring. However, with these additional buttons and functions come the need for more desk space, so these next five contenders for best gaming keyboard certainly aren’t thinking small… they’re thinking big and you will need to make room for them on your desk. If you’re looking for a smaller keyboard, you might look into some cheaper models or some of these picks can have other versions that are more basic.
How to Choose A Gaming Keyboard
Responsiveness: The average keyboard will recognize three simultaneous keystrokes. If you go for more than that, and you will be as a gamer, chances are you will miss a lot of great combinations. A basic gaming keyboard handles five keystrokes at a time. This is enough for amateur gamers. If you are on a different level, you might want to check out a device which handles up to 10 simultaneous keystrokes. Even though there are manufacturers who say their products handle more than 10 keystrokes, we find it hard to believe anyone needs such a feature considering a single person can only push ten buttons at a time.
Extra Keys: The best gaming keyboards offer 10-15 extra keys to use in combination with macros. Make sure you know your games though as some don’t actually need so many shortcuts. The only way to make the most of a keyboard with 15 additional keys is to take up MMOs which really need macros.
Software: The most useful feature you could get with a gaming keyboard is its ability to store different profiles. Some are more versatile than others as they offer the option to create up to 10 different profiles which become activated once you start a particular program. This will apply not only to games but also to programs like Photoshop which can incorporate a lot of macros.
Backlighting: Most gaming keyboards come with this option. Gamers usually like playing in the dark. Because it offers fewer distractions even if you are more than acquainted with the keyboard layout, you will still be needing some visibility in low light. We recommend getting a keyboard with several brightness levels. To make things more fun, you could invest in a device which can change color depending on the profile you will be using.
Gaming equipment has come a long way. Despite the obvious grow in console popularity, the PC is still a gamer’s favorite. It offers versatility and better specifications which make the gaming experience more complete. The keyboard is one of the most important investments to make. Choosing the perfect product will be hard though especially if you don’t know what games you are really good at yet. Fortunately, our experts have made a list of five of the best gaming keyboards. They tested all their top choices and they took into consideration key features which will help you excel at any of the games you love.
Review of the Top Gaming Keyboards
Now, we’re going to take a look at some of the meanest keyboards around, those that possess the most impressive (and sometimes exaggerated we must admit) features to make you feel like you own the unique and versatile device out there.
We made our choices based on several criteria, mainly customer appreciation, features, performance, and looks. Also, don’t forget to check the warranty on these keyboards, as you certainly don’t want anything this expensive break on you after a few weeks. So without further ado, here are the five most impressive keyboard creations of some of the most recognizable gaming gear companies out there.
Corsair K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming KeyboardOn the Vengeance K95, the directional keys are textured and contoured (as well as highlighted in orange), which provides much more control and responsiveness as you move your character. The keys are even mechanically modified so that you get the feeling of your dreams. The comfort even extends to the wrist with a wrist rest that will put any gamer in heaven. What’s even more interesting is that the Corsair Vengeance does include some flashy keys and a wrist rest that some gamers could consider as funny-looking, but the K95 somehow manages to make the whole package look cool and trendy. This is certainly not to be underestimated as you will be using this keyboard for a long time and bringing it to all kinds of places. back to menu ↑
SteelSeries Merc Stealth Gaming KeyboardSteelseries is a natural pick when it comes to the best gaming keyboards. However, they’re known for much less flashy and complex keyboards than this one. The Merc Stealth is indeed a very large keyboard that occupies a lot of space on your desk, so you will make some space before you welcome it.
The first great feature on it is its anti-ghosting, which is an absolute must on a keyboard of this caliber. You can press up to 7 keys at once, which is plenty to do all your maneuvers without interruption. The directional keys setup on the side is also very interesting and resembles a lot what Madcatz has been offering on some of their foldable keyboards.
What’s more important is that you can use that section very independently from the rest of your keyboard. The standard section is very standard and features some quality keys that will last a long time. If you ever wish to game faster, you can use the predefined profiles of one of the 150 games supported, the list is still being expanded to this day. Overall, the Merc Stealth is a good improvement and extension of what Steelseries generally offers in their selection of always very reliable keyboards.back to menu ↑
Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Well, there’s even more to the Logitech Orion Spark since you also get customizable backlighting colors and 9 fully programmable keys per macro keys as well. It’s also worth pointing out that the keyboard comes with a 2 years limited warranty if any of the parts would suddenly break.
The LCD panel requires you to download some software and supports over 60 games, and as you can guess classics like World of Warcraft are included in the selection. Can you imagine having some of your WoW data right on the little screen of your gaming keyboard? Now that’s luxury gaming! This without a doubt brings the Logitech Orion Spark in our Top 5 and we can only thank the company for introducing a feature this unique to the gaming world.back to menu ↑
Cooler Master QuickFire XTi Mechanical KeyboardThe Cooler Master QuickFire XTi is an awesome keyboard that comes from a company that you might’ve noticed in the power supply department, but this offer is excellent in the lower price range. The look on this keyboard is slightly more arcade than professional, but it should satisfy the look most gamers are looking for. The blue color is what a lot of computer case use as their theme, so you can buy it and be able to match it easily. Quick access keys are also on this keyboard to play, pause, forward and rewind your media. back to menu ↑
ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro Mechanical Gaming KeyboardThis is the absolute best gaming keyboard. ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro comes packed with incredible features which refer to both design and functionality. It has an incredible 5 separate programmable macro buttons which will allow you to create 63 different commands. It is very responsive and comes with patented technology which will make your life a whole lot easier. When it comes to design, this keyboard uses 16 million color backlighting. It also has a built-in mic and speaker ports. It can be adjusted in many different ways because of the detachable parts which split it into three separate gadgets. back to menu ↑
Thermaltake eSPORTS Gaming KeyboardModders are about cool looks and making friends at LAN parties, and this keyboard represents exactly that. It will match great with any Thermaltake case and can even switch backlighting colors to create the perfect look. The keyboard comes in different versions, but it’s actually the Challenger Ultimate we’re considering here, and it comes with some neat extras like an actual fan to cool your fingers.
Thermaltake are definitely staying true to their roots with the creation of this new peripheral. They make some of the best case cooling systems around and your fingers won’t ever have to feel the heat either on this one. In a LAN Party taking place during the summer, you will be thankful that you bought this one.
Razer DeathStalker Gaming KeyboardBut that’s when the comparisons stop with the Tarantula. On the Ultimate version of the Deathstalker, you get one of the most awesome LCD screen on the right side of the keyboard. You can insert apps like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that show up beautiful logos in the form of keys.
The Deathstalker Ultimate is truly a unique creation that will revive your gaming if you needed a breath of fresh air on your desk. The DeathStalker rolls over the usual features that come with Razer keyboards: Razer Synapse, programmable keys, anti-ghosting for the price you’re getting exactly what you need to game for hours on end.
The Final Word
This is a pretty nice rundown, isn’t it? Each of these picks will satisfy a specific type of gamer and buyer, and you might as well read some of our more detailed reviews to make sure you put the money on the right gaming keyboard. Sometimes it’s about the keys, sometimes it’s about the features, and sometimes it’s even about the look, but the selection of gaming keyboards out there is better than ever.