A gaming keyboard can come in all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of features. So, how do you choose the right one for you? Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect gaming keyboard for your needs.
Consider your gaming needs
First, consider how you plan to use your keyboard. If you’re mostly a PC or laptop gamer, then you’ll need a keyboard that’s designed for gaming on a PC. Conversely, if you’re mostly a console gamer, then you’ll want a keyboard that’s designed for gaming on a console.
There are also keyboards that are designed specifically for MMOs or MOBA games. Knowing how you plan to use your keyboard will help you narrow down your choices.
Determine the Type of Gaming Keyboard
In most cases for gaming you will want to choose a mechanical keyboard. This is because mechanical keyboards are built to withstand heavy use and offer a better gaming experience overall. However, they are also more expensive than other types of keyboards. If you’re on a budget, then you may want to consider a membrane keyboard instead.
Consider the Key Switches
The key switches are what make a mechanical keyboard so durable. They are also what give you that satisfying “click” sound when you press a key. There are three main types of key switches: linear, tactile, and clicky.
Linear switches have a smooth, even keypress with no bumps or resistance. These are the best choice for gamers who want a fast, responsive keyboard.
Tactile switches have a small bump when they are pressed, which lets you know that the key has been registered. These are a good choice for gamers who want a little bit of feedback when they press a key.
Clicky switches make a “click” sound when they are pressed, and they also have a tactile bump. These are the best choice for gamers who want a keyboard that is both responsive and durable.
If you are recording your streams, also factor in the sound of the keyboard as it can cause some distraction to your viewers. There are several quiet mechanical keyboards like seen here that use switches such as the Cherry MX Silent that are quiet but still responsive.
Choose the right size
Next, you’ll want to consider the size of the keyboard. Do you want a full-sized keyboard, or something smaller? If you have limited desk space, then you may want to opt for a smaller keyboard. On the other hand, if you have plenty of desk space, then you may want a full-sized keyboard so you have more room to move your hands around.
Decide on wired or wireless
Another important consideration is whether you want a wired or wireless keyboard. Wireless keyboards offer the convenience of not having to worry about tangled cords, but they generally have a shorter battery life than wired keyboards. Wired keyboards, on the other hand, will never run out of power, but they can be a bit more difficult to deal with when it comes to cord management.
Check for programmable keys
You’ll want to consider whether you want a keyboard with programmable keys. Programmable keys allow you to assign specific commands to certain keys, which can be a huge time-saver when you’re gaming. Not all keyboards have programmable keys, so if this is something you’re interested in, be sure to check for it before you make your purchase.
Many keyboard manufactures such as Razer now include free cloud storage to save different profiles for different games. This way, you can have all your keybinds and macros set up exactly how you want them without having to reconfigure your keyboard every time you play a new game.
Look for backlighting
Backlighting is another feature that you may want to consider. Backlit keyboards allow you to see the keys in low-light conditions, which can be helpful when you’re gaming in a dark room. Not all keyboards have backlighting, so if this is something you want, be sure to check for it before you make your purchase.
Some keyboards even allow you to customize the backlighting with different colors and effects.
As with any purchase, you’ll want to consider the price of the keyboard. Gaming keyboards can range in price from around $50 to $200 or more. It’s important to find a keyboard that fits your budget, but also offers the features and performance that you need.
If you are unable to test the keyboard out in person, be sure to read online reviews before you make your purchase. This will give you a good idea of how the keyboard performs in real-world conditions.
Choose Your Connectivity
Finally, you’ll want to consider the type of connectivity you want. USB is the most common type of connectivity, but some keyboards also come with Bluetooth or wireless connectivity.
If you choose a keyboard with Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll need to make sure that your computer has Bluetooth capabilities.
Wireless keyboards generally have a shorter battery life than wired keyboards, so if you choose one of these, be sure to check the battery life before you make your purchase.
Think about extra features
Some features that you may want to look for in a gaming keyboard include backlighting, macros, and media controls. Backlighting can be helpful in low-light situations, and it can also add a bit of style to your keyboard.
Macros are pre-programmed keystrokes that can save you time by performing complex actions with the press of a single button.
Media controls let you control volume and playback without having to alt-tab out of your game.
These are just a few of the features that you may want to look for in a gaming keyboard. Ultimately, the right keyboard for you is the one that has the features you need and want, and that fits your budget.
With so many different gaming keyboards on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. But by following these tips, you should be able to find the perfect keyboard for your gaming needs.