Chose Your Weapons! (gaming keyboards)
If you are a PC gamer then you know that a nice mechanical Keyboard is an essential for a great gaming experience. And if you are a newbie coming from a membrane keyboard, you need to convert to mechanical right now. Seriously, when your keyboard is essentially your controller you don’t want to mess around. Your keyboard is more than just some tool for typing out text documents. It’s an extension of your self. You need a keyboard that can keep up with your high octane gaming inputs.
If you care about your PC gaming then you will want to know what makes an awesome gaming keyboard and what is the best on the market currently. So today we have rounded up the 10 best keyboards that you can buy along with a short guide to help you find the perfect match.
Making the Switch
Some gaming keyboards you see when searching on a market places site, such as Amazon or Newegg can be deceiving. You put in your search for a Gaming keyboard, and the results are a flashy keyboard, but if you read the description. It’s a membrane keyboard, and we don’t want that. Us gamers want mechanical keyboards. Mechanical keyboards have mechanical switches, where every key is matched with a spring loaded switch. These switches provide and audible sound (clickity clack) and tactile feedback. When choosing a mechanical keyboard you are going to see Cherry MX, and these are the type of switches in the keyboard. They are identified by color (black, brown, blue, red, green). Each color was designed for different tasks, and feel differently when typing.
The switch you want to choose sometimes comes down to preference. But we have a generalized description for each color switch. Black Cherry MX switches have a high activation force, this is good for games that you don’t want to accidentally hit the key twice. This makes the black keys stiffer than normal, and not that great for a quick inputs (unless you have heavy fingers). So for quick inputs you may want to head over to the Cherry MX Red Switches. Both Red and black switches lack the tacticle feel, so that brings us to Cherry MX brown. Brown feels the same as the red switches, but give you a tactile bump, and the bump aids in typing. So brown switches are good for an in between with black and red where you might do some hardcore gaming and some working tasks.
You are probably familiar with the silicone dome switches that most basic keyboards have. We want to avoid these keyboards because they feel mushy and require a full push to activate each key stroke. Usually you can go into your computer store like a Best Buy or a Micro Center and they will have some keyboards out for you to give a test drive.
Illumination: It’s more than lighting up the keyboard nowadays, some RGB keyboards offer multiple lighting zones with separate lighting for WASD keys or QWERASDF if you are into MOBA’s
Swapable Keycaps: You can buy textured keycaps for gaming such as WASD and QWERASDF or different colored plastic caps. You can even go as far as swapping it out for Pokemon keycaps. The Possibilities are really endless.
Macro commands: another great feature some keyboards offer are to tie multiple key inputs to single keys and having dedicated macro keys for certain tasks.
Our 2019 Gaming Keyboard Picks (so far)
- Corsair k95 RGB Platinum – $149.99
- Razer Ornata Chroma – $98.95
- Corsair Strafe Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – $69.99
- Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard $129.00
- Logitech G610 Orion Brown – $85.86
- Logitech G910 Spectrum – $119.99
- Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma – $117.71
- SteelSeries Apex M500 -$84.99
- SteelSeries Apex M750 – $114.99
- I’m going to leave number 10 as a super budget gaming keyboard pick. That I have personally used myself The Redragon Mechanical Keyboards
The bare minimum tenkeyless keyboard can be had for $26.99 and you can scale up to an RGB version for up to $48.99, with a few different variations in between.
(all prices were at their lowest as the post is dated)
Still need more convincing on picking up a mechanical keyboard. Then check out our post “Is a Mechanical Keyboard worth It“