Greetings friends. Today I’m going to talk about gaming keyboards. Keyboards are often a more overlooked part of the gaming setup, but are still important. I would say that keyboards are more towards the bottom of the importance list of the parts of your battle station, but if you have the money to spend can still be a worthy investment.
There can be many features to look at in a gaming keyboard. The most important is mechanical keys vs membrane, which I will explain shortly. Other features are if it has macro keys, software, illumination, and portability.
Membrane vs Mechanical keys
The biggest factor in choosing a keyboard is if you want mechanical or membrane keys. Membrane is your stock cheap keyboard that everyone has used. They have a rubber dome that pushes up and when you push the key down all the way it makes the connection and sends the keystroke to your computer. Mechanical, are an actual switch that when pushed to a certain point will send the keystroke. Mechanical feel more precise, and have a much longer lifespan than membrane. Also, there are several different kinds of mechanical switches that have important differences and are important to keep in mind when you are choosing a mechanical keyboard
The different kinds of mechanical switches
There are several kinds of mechanical switches that I will explain the differences to you now. The main differences are if it is “clicky” or “silent”, required pressure to push down, and if it is tactile or linear. Clicky makes an audible click sound when it is pressed down enough (when it makes the connection), where silent is quiet. Note that all keys will make sound when you press them down all the way and they bottom out. Silent keys wont make a click sound if you don’t push them down all the way. The required pressure to push the key down should be self explanatory. A higher weight rated key (45 v 55 grams) will require a harder press. Lastly is tactile v linear. Tactile have a hump inside as you press the key down (as a way of feedback to know where to stop pressing), while linear are a smooth press all the way down with no feedback as to when you can stop pressing.
Cherry MX Blue- This is the most common switch. It is clicky, 50g switch, and tactile bump.
Cherry MX Brown- Silent, 45g switch, tactile bump.
Cherry MX Red-Silent, 50g switch, linear.
Cherry MX Green- Audible click, 80g switch, tactile bump.
Cherry MX White- Silent, 55g spring, tactile bump.
Cherry MX Black- Silent, 60g, linear.
Another aspect of gaming keyboards are macro keys. These are keys that you can record a macro for, so that when you press the key it will run a key macro. This can be used for many things. For example, if you are tired of having to type your long login, you could make a key macro that will type your login when you press it. Then, when you are at the login screen just press your macro key and it types your recording of your login. another example is to have it do a specific key press, like when you press your macro key it will quickly press like alt+7 to switch to hot bar 7, instead of you having to press alt and 7. Not every keyboard comes with these but if you are going to spend a lot on a keyboard I advise getting one with macro keys, because they only take up a bit more keyboard space and can be great to have.
Another optional but possibly important factor in choosing a keyboard is illumination. This is more of a premium for if you are looking to spend more money, but in creating the ultimate battle station, cant be overlooked. Not every keyboards illumination is made equally. Some cheap keyboards have no illumination or 1 color. I find even basic illumination is important, because it helps while playing at night or low light. More expensive keyboards can have custom RGB lighting per key, and with the software can have different settings, like the keys changing color on press and other things.
Choosing your keyboard
Now comes the time where you must chose the right keyboard for your gaming rig / battle station. I can’t pick for you but I can give some advice on what to check out
For someone on a relatively low budget, I recommend the Corsair Gaming K55. It uses membrane keys (which cuts the price down) and has macro keys and RGB illumination.
For those on a higher budget, I recommend the Razer Blackwidow Chroma, especially if you haev other Razer products to match the RGB. It is mechanical, has macro keys, and is RGB illuminated. It has clicky 50g keys, but the “stealth” version of the keyboard uses silent keys. If you don’t use other Razer products though, I recommend the below.
For those only looking for the best, I advise the Corsair K70 Rapidfire. Tech spec’s wise, it isn’t that much different. They key factor is that it is just a higher quality keyboard in general, and is built to last. Razer products aren’t bad, but Razer isn’t known to be the highest quality company and is known to be much more buggy and have issues.
For a wireless gaming keyboard, I recommend the Razer turret. Yes, its Razer and just trash talked Razer, but its still a good company and shouldn’t let you down.
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped to chose your gaming keyboard. If you have any questions, comments, or opinions you want to debate, feel free to leave a comment below!