Best Gaming Keyboards for 2018
A keyboard is a very crucial component of your setup, especially if you are a gamer. However, a standard, run-of-the-mill keyboard will not be able to handle your gaming needs. Your keyboard no longer remains just a “typing tool” as it doubles up to offer gaming controls. A good and reliable gaming keyboard can help you enjoy a great gameplay experience and an enhanced gaming performance. So, choose your keyboard wisely if you are serious about gaming.
Best Gaming Keyboard for 2018
- 1. Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Red LED
- 2. Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 3. Logitech G105 920-003371 Gaming Keyboard
- 4. Tecknet Kraken 3 LED Adjustable Backlit Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
- 5. TeckNet Gryphon LED Illuminated Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Water-Resistant Design, US Layout
- 6. Redragon K552 KUMARA LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 7. DBPOWER Three Colors Backlit LED Gaming Keyboard
- 8. HAVIT LED Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard, Mechanical
- 9. Corsair Gaming K55 RGB Keyboard, Backlit RGB LED
- 10. Pictek 104 Keys Anti-ghosting Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switch
- 11. Razer Ornata Chroma Gaming Keyboard with Mid-Height Keycaps
Depending on the type of games you play, you should go for a keyboard that matches your requirements. If you are FPS player, you should go for a keyboard that offers swift key press, as these games require a nimbler response. On the other hand, an RTS gamer should go for a keyboard that has highest activation force that offers a stiff feel. Similarly, if you use the same keyboard for your office and game requirements, you should consider that into account as well, while buying the keyboard.
In addition to these key aspects, a gaming keyboard also offers a ton of other features that a standard keyboard does not, making it difficult to enjoy a great gaming session with an ordinary keyboard. A gaming keyboard comes with options such as backlighting, programmable keys, swappable keycap along with similar other features that improve your gaming performance; taking it to the next level. So, a good gaming keyboard can allow you to perform a lot better. We have reviewed some of the best gaming keyboards for you.
Buyers Guide Questions
What are gaming keyboards?
Gaming keyboards are advanced keyboards that help not only to improve a gamers’ experience but also optimize gaming marathons. A gaming keyboard is an essentially an adapted keyboard that comes with keys that give users a tactile feedback and a crisp feel with every movement. They are ergonomically designed to provide the most comfort a gamer could crave for besides automation control and convenience at all times. One of the major aspects of what constitutes a gaming keyboard is programmable keys. Macro keys are like saviours to a gamer as each is assigned with a special action and completes it with a single keystroke without taking seconds.
Gaming Keyboards come with membranes or mechanical switches. While the membrane rubber dome ones are specifically known for their comfort and softness, the mechanical switches allow you to have a tactile and crisp feel. Backlighting is pertinent in gaming keyboards and makes them stand out from the rest. Most gamers want to opt for a keypad that’s stiffer and less responsive and can be used for typing as well as gaming. Some keyboards also allow an audible response while you’re on the go. If you’re a serious gamer, you are most likely to choose a light activation weight and depression level with a tactile feedback for all your keyboard operations.
Most gaming keyboards are different than standard keyboards as they have earned the esteem of a smart keyboard. They come with built-in LCD track panels that are situated to the right of the keyboard and help in receiving more secondary information from your computer. These are multi-touch displays that provide essential information like mini maps, game statistics and also come integrated with a number of significant apps like YouTube, Twitter or Chrome browser. There are hotkeys which lets a gamer program the launch of a special application and helps you multitask effortlessly.
Do gaming keyboards make a difference?
Gaming Keyboards were introduced into the marking for a distinct purpose of making gaming experiences smooth and hassle-free. A gaming keyboards promises longevity and quality just like top-notch standard keyboards. But its versatility is what makes it stand out among the rest. Gaming Keyboards come with mechanical switches that allow a crisp and tactile feel because of automation control and enhances your gaming experience and effort. Some gaming keyboards also come with a membrane technology that provide a cushioned and soft feel to add convenience. Most gaming keyboards are a hybrid blend of mechanical and membrane technology.
Gaming keyboards come with a set of programmable keys that make it a smarter option for most of the hard-core and avid gamers. The macro keys allow users to assign a particular action to each key and help you finish an action with a single keystroke without pressing a multitude of keys. They are also esteemed as smart keyboards, as they come with a built-in LCD track panels located at the right of the keyboard that provides more secondary information to the user like mini maps, gaming statistics.
These multi-touch displays also are integrated with a number of browsers and prime applications like YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. Besides the smart acronym, they come with dynamic backlighting that provide an audible response and light up as every action is taken. There are hot keys that allow gamers to multi-task. Multi-tasking is limited to a point in standard keyboards and its usages exhaust soon. But in gaming keyboard with the help of hotkeys you can schedule the launch of a particular action or application besides multi-tasking at one second. Doing the right thing at the right time is vital in a gaming session just as doing a number of one things at the same time can help you win the fiery battle.
Gaming keyboards combine comfort, speed, convenience, versatility and durability and ensure you are at your best during gaming marathons.
How do I choose the more suitable gaming keyboard?
To decide which gaming keyboard is most suitable for you, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider before buying one. Otherwise, you may end up with features that you do not even need and missing the features that you actually needed. In other words, you might end up wasting your money. The most important factors to consider are:
There are two types of gaming keyboards available in the market. The cheap low-end gaming keyboard models are membrane type keyboards, and the expensive high-end keyboards are mechanical type keyboards. A mechanical keyboard uses physical switches under each key to sense if you have pressed a key while the membrane keyboards have three plastic membranes with rubber switches underneath each key.
The gaming keyboard prices range from as low as 40 dollars all the way up to being more than 190 dollars. However, it is not true that if you buy the topmost model, it will satisfy your needs. It might turn out that a 100-dollar keyboard is the most suitable to you.
- Less than $100
For less than $100 category, most keyboards will be membrane type. If you are looking for mechanical type keyboards, then this price range would have only older mechanical models that too from “not so reliable” companies. If you are a regular gamer and want to have macro keys for gaming, then this price range is good for you.
- From $100 to $150
For gaming keyboards with a price tag between $100 and $150, you will find most of your needs satisfied. If you want to improve your gaming performance or you want to have special function keys or anti-ghosting, this price range is the sweet spot. You can also find newer mechanical models listed in this range.
- Above $150
At this price range, you will have access to the top of the line keyboards which serve you in every way possible. This is where the fancy RGB keyboards are present. Above 150$ is the premium range of keyboards and if you are a hard-core gamer and want to have tons of macro keys and mechanical switches, then this is where you will find them.
Types of keyboards
There are basically three types of keyboards for one to choose from.
- All-purpose keyboards: This type is the vast majority of gaming keyboards. It contains mechanical models with a few macro keys. They may or may not have backlighting and look more or less like the standard keyboards only. They can handle RTS, MOBA or FPS games.
- MMO Keyboards: They are the expensive range keyboards and can help you handle all kinds of games. They generally have a lot of macro keys that go all the way up to 18.
- Tenkeyless keyboards: These types of keyboards are mainly bought for their ease of portability. They are lightweight and compact which makes it easier to transport them. They are inexpensive too.
So, consider all the factors mentioned above and spend your money wisely on the gaming keyboard that suits you the most.
What is the difference between a gaming and standard keyboard?
There isn’t much of a difference between a gaming keyboard and a standard keyboard for a regular low key gamer. But the difference is considerable for a hard-core gamer and can be clearly felt. The gaming keyboards differ from the standard ones on the basis of the following aspects:
- Performance: In the gaming keyboards, the reaction of the keys is made a lot quicker as compared to a standard signal so that when you press a key, the signal is sent to the computer even faster. Whether it is RPG, RTS or FPS, the instant reaction times would increase your gaming potential. The gaming keyboards use mechanical keys which require lesser force and also come with a lesser distance between the keycap and the key which helps in having a tactile feedback.
- Backlighting: The standard keyboards come with no backlighting. You must have seen some coloured keys on the gaming keyboards. The colour used by the key is associated with the level of depression and activation weight. There are a number of options for gamers to choose from as per the level of gaming they are into. For a hardcore gamer, a light depression level and activation weight is the best choice to go for. A lighter depression and lesser activation weight mean that you will have to apply lesser force to activate a key.
- Programmable Keys: Unlike the standard keyboards, the keys of a gaming keyboard are programmable which means one can assign some complex key functions to other simply one or two keys. For example, we need to press a Ctrl, a Shift and an F to perform some task in a game, now if your hands are used to achieve this combination, it’ll take you time to perform the action and who knows, and you might just miss the chance. However, in the case of gaming keyboards, you can assign this function to a single key, and you don’t need to waste any more
- Anti-Ghosting: When you are holding on to two or three keys, and you accidently press another key, you might encounter some unwanted situation, but in gaming keyboards with the anti-ghosting feature, you get to decide how many keys can be allowed to press at a time. So, if three keys are being pressed at a time and you have allowed only three at a time then all other key presses would be neglected by the computer.
- LCD panel: Some gaming keyboards come with a built-in LCD panel located on the right of the keyboard. They help you perform a lot of secondary tasks more easily and quickly. Like they can provide you direct links to your social media accounts and they come very handy while playing games too. They can provide mini-maps and game stats right there on the keyboard without having you deflect from the main gameplay.
Does a gaming keyboard make a difference to the game?
The answer to this question depends on the game which is being played. The extreme levels that a game can be pulled up to decide whether you need a gaming keyboard or not. If your game requires instant inputs or complex combinations of keys, then using a gaming keyboard would brighten up the gameplay in your favour. The variety of programmable keys offered by the gaming keyboard help you in a lot of ways in your gaming experience. Also, the gaming keyboards are often backlit which helps you to play in the dark too which is the preference of some gamers.
A particular set of keys which are painted in colour are the keys that are used most of the times in a game so they are made more sturdy so that they can handle multiple pressures without hurting your hands. The anti-ghosting feature helps you to avoid any errors while gaming whatsoever hence reducing the chances of pressing the wrong key. However, again you will need that only if you play some hard-core stuff like RPG. Also, the LCD panel on the keyboard is very helpful to keep track of your game map or stats and helps you save a lot of time in your game because now you will not have to go to the separately opened mini-map tab. The gaming keyboards also have some extra specialised keys called macro keys for easy access, and you can assign them to whatever function you would like. This makes you perform specific tasks or show some extra skills easily leaving the opponent to wonder. The keyboards may have 6 or all the way up to 18 macro keys.
Gaming keyboard on a budget:
The gaming experience is dependent to a great extent on the gadgets used. The type of gadgets used can make or break a perfect gaming session. There are numerous gaming gadgets available in the market, like a cheap gaming mouse and gaming keyboard. As a gaming mouse, a gaming keyboard is a vital component of top-notch gaming experience. Gaming keyboards are available in a varied price range which starts at low as some 25 $ to as high as 150 $. However, gaming is primarily a passion of youngsters who are usually low on budget. Finding a good gaming keyboard on a budget can be quite a daunting task. So here we bring you an insight to the gaming keyboards on a budget.
Gaming keyboard on a budget provide following specifications: They are compatible with a number of operating systems such as Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista. These gaming keyboards also have the feature of anti-ghosting, i.e. one can simultaneously press several keys without the fear of missing or unexpected key presses. Such gaming keyboards are also featured with custom multimedia keys that provide user with total control over the audio settings.
Some of the gaming keyboards on a budget are “Tecknet Kraken 3 LED Adjustable Backlit Gaming Keyboard and Mouse”. It is heavy duty and has a multifunctional design. It has a very comfortable built for the gamers. Another gaming keyboard on a budget is “DBPOWER 7 Colours LED Backlit Gaming Keyboard, USB Wired Computer Keyboard”. It is easy to operate and has 7 Colours Adjustable LED Backlight. “TeckNetGryphon Pro LED Illuminated Programmable Gaming Keyboard, and Mouse set” is another option for buyers with a budget. It has 3 adjustable LED backlighting with an adjustable brightness which helps to press right keys in dimly lit rooms.
So these are few picks for gaming keyboards on a budget.
Reviews To Suit You
If you are looking for a top-quality gaming keyboard, Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard can be a good choice. It features 100% Cherry MX key switches that deliver an excellent performance, improving your gameplay experience. It also has dynamic backlighting that features RED lights, which can be adjusted to suit your needs. While the design and switches can be great, but without programmable keys, a gaming keyboard isn’t good. This Corsair gaming keyboard has 100% programmable keys, allowing to you reassign any key to match your gaming requirements with ease. To offer a firm grip and great feel, this keyboard features FPS/MOBA keycap. All these top-quality features make this Corsair gaming keyboard a top pick amongst all.
The Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a great gaming keyboard if you’re not restrained by a fixed budget. This keyboard features Romer-G Mechanical Switches that offer up to 25% faster actuation for an improved gaming experience. Backlighting is standard and can be customised to match your style and gaming needs. There are over 16 million colours to choose from. Another novel feature of this gaming keyboard is the Arx Control App and smartphone dock that allows you to access gaming data on your smartphone or another device even when the game is in progress. Programmable keys are a must for any gaming keyboard, and this keyboard has 9 programmable G-keys that allow you to execute complex gaming commands quickly and efficiently. Overall, this keyboard is a premium choice product and if budget is not an issue, go for it!
If you are not a regular gamer, Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard can be a good choice for you. It can handle all your gaming and office requirements with ease. With Long-life blue LED backlighting, you can enjoy the gameplay with backlit keys. It also has 6 programmable G-keys that can be used to program up to 18 functions for each game, which is quite good for any gamer. The Game/desktop switch is another good feature this gaming keyboard has on offer. This product is the perfect size for any desk suited for gaming on. This switch disables the Windows menu keys so that your game is not interrupted midway. Overall, if you are tight on budget and an occasional gamer, this keyboard will be a good choice for you. It definitely offers a great value for money, go for it!