The demanding gamer needs more than just a fast gaming PC and a large, high-resolution monitor: Even a modern gaming keyboard should not be missed here. The advantages of such a special keyboard: Your keys are individually assignable and they implement key strokes very quickly. When buying, pay close attention to the number of buttons on as many individually configurable multimedia buttons and additional features such as the so-called anti-ghosting and the smart dock. The following buying guide gives you exactly information about which extras are worthwhile.
Purchase advice: How to find the right gaming keyboard in 2019
- A gaming keyboard meets the special needs of gamers and therefore has significantly more keys than a traditional keyboard.
- Gaming keyboards are available as wireless keyboards as well as wired. Both variants convince with their longevity: they withstand up to 50 million keystrokes.
- Gaming keyboards for casual players are already available from $10.
Those who frequently experience dangerous adventures on the PC, conquer kingdoms or contest international competitions need the right equipment. The PC games are controlled by a gaming keyboard and a mouse. While traditional keyboards are limited in their use for gaming , special gaming keyboards offer optimized features and functions. Mechanical keys and macros ensure maximum performance and a high fun factor.
We’ll explain what’s important about a gaming keyboard, what types and what to look for when buying. Equipped with this information, you can then perform your personal gaming keyboard comparison and find the optimal model for your purposes. We provide you with the various types of gamer keyboards, their features and functions, as well as comprehensive buying advice.
1. That must be a gaming keyboard
Regardless of the manufacturer and category, what matters for your personal gaming keyboard test is what your new input device needs to do, and whether it’s Mac compatible, for example. One of the biggest advantages of a good gaming keyboard over a conventional one is the longevity of the mechanical components. Playing with it means that individual keys are assigned special functions and must be operated much more frequently than the rest of the keyboard. This also applies to the umlauts.
Since it is impossible to define a generally valid keyboard layout, each individual key must be able to withstand a maximum number of attacks. Good mechanical keys bring it to 50 million stops and more. Depending on the preferences of the player or the specifications of the game, individual keys, key combinations and the sequence of multiple keys must be freely programmable.
In this way, complicated and time-consuming combinations can be done with just the touch of a button.
These features are provided by a gaming keyboard:
- additional function keys
- programmable keys and keyboard shortcuts
- optimized key mechanics
- more complex to use
- high quality models comparatively expensive
2. Mechanical buttons overshadow Rubberdomes
The keyboards face two basic operating principles. In addition to the widespread in the conventional keyboards Rubberdome technology in the field of gaming keyboards, the models with mechanical buttons have clear advantages.
2.1. Rubberdome keyboards: Soft typing feel and firm pressure point
Rubberdome or rubber bell keyboards are based on the principle that two conductor foils are brought into contact at one point of contact and thus trigger the respective key signal.
The button cap is depressed by a finger. The button cap exerts pressure on the rubber bell, which in turn exerts pressure on the two conductor foils and thus establishes the electrical contact.
The pressure point in this type of keyboard is clearly noticeable, the typing feel can be described as soft. Characteristic is also the click when pressing a button.
The stroke from touching the button to triggering the signal varies between two and four millimeters. The maximum resistance that a key offers to the finger is reached at the pressure point and is between 55 and 60 grams. Characteristic of Rubberdome keyboards is that the entire hub must be exploited to trigger the electrical signal. Only when the keys are completely depressed will the information be safely transmitted.
2.2. Scissor keyboards: Flat keyboard with less stroke
The Scissor keyboard is a special form of the Rubberdomes and finds particularly in keyboards with flat keys use. The trigger mechanism is the same as the rubber bell keyboard. The signal is also triggered by the contact between two conductor foils.
The Scissor keyboards are equipped with additional stabilizers that connect the chassis to the keycaps at four points. In this way it is achieved that the caps have less play and a lower stroke than high keys.
A stroke of two millimeters is enough to trigger a scissor button safely. The keys can be triggered regardless of the exact finger position over the entire cap surface.
Common to all Rubberdome keyboards is the limited life. Apart from the wear of the contact films, rubber undergoes aging processes that can significantly affect the writing experience.
One of the great advantages of the Rubberdome keyboards is the low production costs. As a result, unconventional keyboard layouts can be realized cost-effectively.
2.3. Mechanical keyboards: Shortens the reaction time while playing
The production of mechanical keyboards is relatively expensive. Therefore, these models are located in the middle and upper price segment. In keyboard layout, the mechanical keyboards score with a key rollover of at least six.
In other words, it is guaranteed that six buttons can be pressed simultaneously without causing any malfunction. In addition, technically savvy users can buy and replace individual buttons. The same goes for the keycaps.
The mechanics of the buttons are based on a slide, which establishes a connection between two metal contacts. The resistance that a mechanical push-button opposes when pressing down is created by a metal spring. Unlike a rubber dome button, the full stroke does not have to be used on a mechanical one.
Although the stroke is also four millimeters in many mechanical keyboards. However, the signal point is reached after two millimeters at the latest. This shortens the response time that is so important in many games. A disadvantage of the current models lies in the comparatively high noise level and the currently necessary height.
The keyboard types in comparison:
|Rubber Dome Keyboard||
3. Tips for buying: Which criteria you should attach particular importance
Which is the best gaming keyboard for your purpose depends not least on the budget. While simple rubber dome models are already priced at around ten dollars, mechanical keyboards cost $ 50 or more. Good quality mechanical models are rare if you buy a cheap gaming keyboard.
Who wants to call a high quality mechanical keyboard with many additional functions own, must spend $100 and sometimes significantly more. For the brands, the user has free choice. He can choose between a Logitech gaming keyboard, a Roccat gaming keyboard, a Razer gaming keyboard or a Havit gaming keyboard. No less popular than Razer and Roccat models are Cherry keyboards.
3.1. The lighting: colors can be chosen to match the game
Equally important for buying advice for a gaming keyboard are additional functions such as lighting. Rubberdome keyboards,with a few exceptions, are unlikely to have single key lighting .
Instead, a plastic light guide is illuminated by LED lighting, which distributes the light evenly across the keypad.
This variant is inexpensive, but its luminosity is limited.
Mechanical keys can not be illuminated indirectly due to the design. Each key is illuminated individually with a separate LED. In so-called RGB keyboards LEDs are installed, with the help of which each key can be illuminated in a variety of different colors. The creativity in the color assignment to individual keys or the entire keyboard are virtually unlimited.
Tip: If your gaming keyboard is illuminated, be sure to illuminate not only the key spaces, but also the key icons. Illuminated spaces look chic, but do not fulfill any functional purpose.
For example, it is also possible to let the keyboard shine in different colors as a function of the life points in a particular game.
3.2. Tenkeyless and sofa keyboards: For special requirements
In order to find the best gaming keyboard from a corresponding brand in your gaming keyboard test, it may be worthwhile looking at specific keyboard types. One way to provide extra ergonomics during gaming is the so-called Tenkeyless keyboard.
This is a gaming keyboard without a number pad. The slimmer design allows the gaming mouse and keyboard to move together and can provide an ergonomic posture while playing. Since this keyboard type is primarily interesting for gamers, it is relatively infrequently demanded and is correspondingly expensive. The starting price in this category is around $30.
If you are looking for a particularly ergonomic gaming keyboard, you can fall back on a model with palm rest and ergonomically arranged buttons. Plenty of seating flexibility allows for a gaming keyboard that is wireless. Otherwise, a gaming keyboard is connected via USB. Visual effects can be achieved with LED lighting. Especially the RGB gaming keyboards can be a real eye-catcher, especially if it is a gaming keyboard with display. However, cleaning these gaming keyboards is a bit more involved.
Gamer, who likes to be comfortable, can take a look at the popular sofa keyboards. With these gambler keyboards, the mouse pad and keyboard merge into one unit. The resulting input device can be used in many sitting or lying positions, but has the required space.
4. Questions and answers about gaming keyboards
4.1. What is the difference between a gaming keyboard and a normal one?
Compared to a traditional keyboard, a gamer keyboard is equipped with numerous additional buttons for special gaming functions. In addition, gamers prefer keyboards with mechanical keys.
If a gaming keyboard works mechanically, it is particularly durable and ensures short reaction times. Normal PC keyboards, however, are equipped with so-called rubber bell buttons. The built-in rubber is subject to aging over time and sooner or later makes the keyboard unusable.
4.2. What makes a gaming keyboard?
A gaming keyboard is designed to meet the specific needs of computer gaming. It offers numerous additional features that are required in many games and allows maximum flexibility in the keyboard layout. These keyboards are not normally waterproof.
One of the big advantages that can make gaming much more comfortable is the programming of macros. You can combine several commands that have to be entered for a particular action in the game one after the other. The player then no longer has to press three, four or five individual key combinations, but can trigger the entire procedure with a single keystroke.
Another aspect of gaming keyboards, which many gamblers value, is keyboard illumination. Modern RGB keyboards can be illuminated in a variety of ways and thus provide a particularly spacey feeling while playing. However, the key illumination brings little advantage when playing. It is primarily about the visual effect.
4.3. What brings a gaming keyboard?
For many gamers, a high-quality gaming keyboard is simply the necessary equipment for their leisure time activities. They appreciate the design of the case as well as the visual effects. In addition, a gaming keyboard but also tangible functional advantages to offer. It is equipped with numerous extra buttons for game-specific additional functions.