In the digital arena of online gaming, the tide of battle can turn in a fraction of a second, so response times between keyboard strokes hit and commands being registered can make all the difference. Whether you are a professional gamer or an average netizen looking to improve your gaming experience, the differences between average keyboards and gaming keyboards can profoundly impact your overall performance. It is no exaggeration to state that the quality of your keyboard can mean the difference between victory and defeat, so investing in superior equipment can pay serious dividends on the battlefield. There are several reasons why you should purchase a gaming keyboard for both work and pleasure, and there are excellent and affordable models for a variety of budgets.
One of the biggest differences between average keyboards and gaming keyboards is the type and quality of keyboard switches used in their construction. One of the leading manufacturers of top-notch keyboard switches is a German company called Cherry MX. They make three types of keyboard switches, including tactile, clicky, and linear, each with its own kinds of advantages and disadvantages:
No matter your level of experience with online gaming, the health and well-being of your wrists, hands, and arms has a significant impact on your overall performance. This is especially true if you are prone to engage in marathon gaming sessions for fun or profit. Therefore, having a gaming keyboard that can support correct posture while being comfortable cannot be overstated.
Gaming keyboards generally fall into four categories, namely compact, specialty, split, and full-sized. Compact keyboards will prevent you from excessive stretching or reaching by reducing the distance between your mouse and keyboard. Specialty keyboards offer solutions for individuals with health issues by providing high-contrast keys or larger keyboard fonts as well as being made from medical-grade silicone or other materials.
Split keyboards will take a period of adjustment for those used to a more conventional keyboard. They create the ideal position for your hand comfort by splitting keys into two separate keyboard sections. As the most common and most-used form of keyboard, full-sized units are familiar to anyone who has ever used a desktop computer and generally work for the average user. Regardless of which type of gaming keyboard you prefer, the inclusion of high-quality keyboard switches will allow your keyboard to perform millions of keystrokes before needing to be replaced.
In addition to ensuring that you don't sacrifice your health during extended gaming sessions, gaming keyboards also offer gamers a specific and powerful advantage, namely the ability to program macro keys. While hardcore gamers will instantly recognize this term, it refers to the ability to create a keyboard shortcut for actions that require multiple inputs programmed to a single keyboard key.
Actions such as accessing the in-game menu, complex multi-key inputs, and even mouse movements can be accessed with the press of a button. Depending on the number and type of PC games you enjoy, some gaming keyboards can save multiple macro profiles so you can swap games with ease and stay on top with minimal effort.
You should also ensure that whatever gaming keyboard you choose will integrate well with your existing gaming rig and personal tech ecosystem at large. While some keyboards offer widespread compatibility with a variety of operating systems and PCs, some are designed to only with specific models and manufacturers. Therefore, it is highly advisable to make sure that any gaming keyboard you purchase is compatible with your PC to avoid disappointment and a significant financial loss.
Corsair K100 RGB Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Corsair K100 RBG Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard represents a marked improvement to Corsair's already excellent gaming keyboard line. In addition to a comfortable and removable magnetic wrist rest, this model offers dimpled keys for resting your fingers between keystrokes, an iCue control wheel, expanded RGB lighting options, and six programmable macro keys on the left-hand side.
Logitech G213 Prodigy Gaming Keyboard
If you happen to be in the market for an affordable, water-resistant gaming keyboard with dedicated multi-media keys to avoid accidentally exiting out of your game mid-session while adjusting your mood music, the Logitech D213 Prodigy Gaming Keyboard will fit the bill. By downloading Logitech gaming software, users will be able to set macro commands to the function keys, customize RGB settings and much more.
Royal Kludge Typewriter-Style Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Royal Kludge Typewriter-Style Mechanical Gaming keyboard is a handsome addition to your existing setup for gamers who prefer a more retro, steam-punk vibe to their online gaming. As well as including 108-key anti-ghosting technology to ensure that each keystroke is individually registered, this keyboard also has round keycaps like old-school typewriters.
CORSAIR K65 RGB MINI 60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
As the name implies, the Corsair K65 RGB Mini unit is 60% the size of a conventional gaming keyboard, but it offers users a full 100% of user activities while providing incredible key sensitivity. In addition, all keys feature precision-molded PBT double-shot keycaps to ensure they can stand up to all the punishment you can throw at them.
Having a nice gaming keyboard is critical to improving your gaming performance. Armed with the right device, you’ll not only enjoy more ergonomic designs to reduce pressure on your hands and wrists, but you’ll also find more customizations to take your gaming to the next level.