Keyboard, a vital tool for a gamer’s arsenal! Getting the right keyboard will go a long way and surely will boost your gaming performance. And what is the right keyboard? it’s much more than just a quality peripheral added to your gaming rig.
However, certain characteristics let you fully experience the greatness of a PC gaming keyboard. Before we get to the technical parts of it, you need to figure out what your usual and preferred gaming style is. Do you prefer extra buttons for MMOs? Or you fancy lighting and switches?
Or prefer an ergonomic keyboard above all? Do you play strategy games? Your gaming routine defines how comfortable or uncomfortable a certain keyboard is going to feel to you. This comprehensive guide on what to look for in a PC gaming keyboard is going to help you pick the best one for yourself.
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First and foremost, the size, spacing, and a number of keys on your keyboard are extremely important factors. Unlike laptops where a keyboard’s size is dictated by the screen’s size, a solo keyboard consists of a lot of keys.
There are two keyboard sizes popular amongst gamers, the first being a “full size” keyboard consisting of 104 or 105 keys including an alphanumeric QWERTY section, dedicated function keys, a Numpad, and four directional keys.
The layout is flattering and wide. Some gamers find the Numpad keys a little “too much spaced” for their left-hand usage. The other size is a “tenkeyless” keyboard which comes without a Numpad but has everything else a gamer could need. Read more about the TKL keyboard here.
Membrane vs. Mechanical
A membrane keyboard has a layer of silicon or rubber under the keys that serve both as an electrical contact as well as a “spring” which suppresses the “click” sound when a key is pressed. Gamers usually like to know when they have pressed a button and the computer has registered it.
Whereas in mechanical keyboards, there is a mechanical switch with its own springs, housing, and stems to give a highly tactile and audible click. These switches also come with three varieties of spring resistance and “clicks”.
If you’re a serious gamer, a mechanical keyboard is going to be your go-to keyboard as it’s more precise, tough, and feasible for a PC gamer.
A customizable backlighting keyboard allows the gamer to separate the most commonly used zones in different colors according to their use in-game. This provides a visual reference when you’re immersed in the game and lets you concentrate and play better.
Some keyboards also allow individual keys to light up with multiple colors, and if your game in the dark, such keyboards allow you to see keys in detail without you having to strain and adjust your eyes to see. So, if you’re into that, such an aesthetic keyboard is for you.
Some keyboards carry an additional set of dedicated buttons, typically in a column on the left, that can be programmed and customized to carry out macros (a combination of actions, pre-defined) in-game.
Intense games require quick action, and that’s when you can’t afford to slack. A convenient column of macros will do the job.
In a mechanical keyboard, you can change/upgrade keycaps to further customize it for your gaming needs. The ABS plastic keycaps can wear out and fade over time.
If you plan to go hard on your keyboard, like any gamer would, you need to consider one whose switch type and layout support keycap up-gradation. PBT plastic keycaps are much more durable and may also offer various fonts and color schemes.