Many gamers believe that expensive keyboards are great for gaming, maybe in some cases. But in most cases, an expensive keyboard does not mean they are perfect for PC gaming. However, some major keyboard brands provide great features and performance but are not ideal for gaming.
In the world where CoD, PUBG, and FORTNITE have set high standards for gaming, your ordinary Qwerty Keyboard will never do justice to your gaming skills. You will need a specialized gaming keyboard to do the work and help you win each time.
Gaming keyboards are a huge market, so how do you tell which gaming keyboard is perfect for you? If you don’t know your preferences or haven’t thought about which gaming keyboard I should buy, then be here till the end.
Things to consider in gaming keyboards
What do you think makes a gaming keyboard stand out from the rest, its futuristic design, backlight, ergonomics? Sure, all these external features add up, but they have very little role in giving you an immersive gaming experience, so the other major factors to consider that will improve your gaming are these;
Membrane vs Mechanical
The membrane keyboards are generally less expensive when compared to mechanical keyboards. Another important difference is the lifespan of the latter. Indeed, the mechanical keyboard has a very long lifespan, i.e., 50 million presses (or more) for each key. On the other hand, the membrane model begins to deteriorate after 5 million keystrokes.
In addition, when typing, you have to exert a lot of pressure before you get a reaction with a membrane keyboard. Quite the opposite, the mechanical keyboard offers more responsiveness and is ultra-fast. These are two essential features a gamer should consider.
Furthermore, you need to replace the switches if you use the membrane intensively. Membrane keyboards do not benefit from a strong resistance, like mechanical keyboards, as their robustness can withstand intensive use. Hence it is recommended to use a mechanical gaming keyboard for FPS games like Fortnite or PUBG.
Switches are the core of any keyboard; under each key, there’s a switch that registers for each keystroke. Most switches are mechanical switches and are most preferred in gaming keyboards because, unlike membrane keyboards, these switches do not need an electric current to register each keystroke.
The mechanical keyboard functions with the help of spring-loaded switches embedded inside each key. Mechanical switches are not only great for Key rollover but are also great for the durability of the keyboard. Besides the switches, other things that help in the successful registration of each keystroke are the quality of the switch, keycaps used, and the spring inside the switch.
No membrane keyboard can ever beat the responsiveness of a mechanical keyboard. Switches have different actuation based on that the switches are categorized tactile, clicky, and linear.
Linear switches are the most basic switches as the name suggests linear- meaning the key registers the stroke when it reaches the bottom, there is no bump felt when you click linear switches.
Gamers find it useful while playing FPS as it allows fast response and avoids ambiguous keystroke errors.
The next type is tactile, which means the switches have a little bumpy feel while clicking, which confirms that the key is fully registered or actuated.
Clicky or Tactile switches can be noisy at times which wouldn’t be suitable in an office environment, but here we are discussing gaming, so I guess a clicky switch wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Thus, the type of switch you choose decides the level of immersive experience you will get while playing PUBG or Fortnite.
A key rollover means how many keystrokes your keyboard can register simultaneously.
Most keyboards offer more 1 or 2 key(1KBO/2KRO) rollover options. If you press more than that, then neither of the keys will be registered, or in some cases, the keyboard will register an additional unpressed key automatically.
This phenomenon in keyboards is called ghosting. To avoid ghosting, many high-end gaming monitors offer a 6-key Rollover (6KBRO), enabling you to register 6 keys at a time. If you are a fast gamer or typist, this feature will always be useful.
Every gamer experiences ghosting at some point in their gaming session, leading to frustration. So imagine if your keyboard has Key rollover functionality, you will never be behind in the game.
Hence, make sure your gaming keyboard has at least 6 key rollovers, and then see the magic.
It would be unfair to say only switches, macros, and key rollovers will enhance your desired gaming experience. In reality, the build quality of your keyboard very much contributes to the performance and longevity, two very important factors in any gaming keyboard.
In addition, gamers are the most hysterical creatures in gaming, and not all the keyboards can take the pain. Sure, any keyboard can handle slight tapping or banging but not button mashing.
For these reasons, you need a keyboard that can last for ages. Most high-end gaming keyboards have the outer lining of metal, which greatly prevents breaking or bending.
The housing where all the keys sit is made of a sturdy plastic composition that supports the switches and circuitry inside. In many high-end keyboards, the plastic body is oil, water-resistant, and adds up in durability.
Some cheap keyboards have housing of PVC plastic which is okay to use but wears off easily after certain years. But there are gaming keyboards that offer ABS build, the most durable plastic that handles dust, oil, spills, and even forceful keystrokes. So, whenever you buy a gaming keyboard, make sure it’s built of ABS plastic.
Macros & Customization
Having macros keys and customization options in a gaming keyboard is bliss. You can use the macros to perform repeated series of actions to save time as the other keys would take a long time and a long sequence of clicks.
Multiple software allows you to modify the keyboard macros as per your need. When you have macros, you can reprogram the function of any key of your choice. Thus, choose a keyboard that offers extra keys that you can later use as macros.
On the other hand, custom keyboards are very useful if you are fond of customization or modification in the keyboard profile. You can interchange the keys, convert them into macros, change backlight settings, and many more in-game customization.
So, always choose a gaming keyboard that gives macros and various customization options.
Although this is an exterior need but is very important to have in any gaming keyboard; after all, the backlight makes the keyboard look stylish and game-ready.
Backlights can be included as a single color or as a whole set of 16.8 million RGB colors. Full RGB keyboards are great to have as you will get color customization for each key you desire. You can customize the settings to your taste using the software and tools.
No matter how important the factor is, you must always balance it with a price. Most gaming keyboards are expensive. Thus you have to consider everything with your budget.
If you are not bound to any budget, you can go for the best keyboard, but I recommend cutting down macros and customization options if you have limitations. So if you are planning on buying gaming keyboards for Fortnite, PUBG, or any other game, you know what you must look for to have better in-game performance.