How to choose the right gaming keyboard

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on gaming keyboard. Whether you’re building a custom gaming PC or enhancing your current setup, you’ve landed in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the world of gaming keyboards. We’ll cover everything from the basics to advanced topics. Each section is designed to empower you, the gamer, to make informed choices.

Choosing the right keyboard is a crucial step in setting up a gaming desktop. But it’s not just about aesthetics or matching your setup. Your keyboard can significantly impact your gaming performance.

So, let’s dive in and explore the world of gaming keyboards together. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to choose the best keyboard for your needs.

1. Choosing a Gaming Keyboard

a) Understanding Different Types of Keyboards

When choosing a gaming keyboard, remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Various types of keyboards cater to different needs. For instance, full-sized keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro offer a complete set of keys, including a number pad. These are ideal if you have plenty of desk space and require all the keys​.

On the other hand, TKL (TenKeyLess) keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless lack the number pad. They offer a more compact design, making them great for limited desk spaces or for gamers who value portability. Plus, they often provide the same performance as full-sized counterparts​.

Lastly, consider 75% keyboards like the Asus ROG Azoth. These provide an even more compact design than TKL keyboards, eliminating some function keys but retaining most essentials. They’re perfect for gamers who crave a minimalist setup without sacrificing key functionalities​.

b) Considering Switch Types

Switches are the heart of a gaming keyboard. They determine how your keyboard feels and sounds when you press the keys.

Mechanical switches, for example, provide a tactile feel and audible click. These are common in full-sized keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. They offer an engaging typing experience and precise feedback, perfect for those long gaming sessions on your custom gaming pc​.

Alternatively, optical switches, like those in the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless, offer fast and reliable actuation. They use light for actuation, making them speedier and less prone to failure. Gamers often prefer optical switches for their quick response times, especially in fast-paced games​.

2. Picking the Right Keyboard for Your Gaming PC

For a top-tier gaming experience, the keyboard matters. It’s the tactile interface between you and your gaming desktop. Yet, choosing the right one can be daunting.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

Razer’s BlackWidow V3 Pro stands out in the wireless category. It’s full-sized and feature-packed. It offers a premium tactile volume dial and media keys. It’s also complemented by an aluminum top plate and doubleshot ABS plastic keycaps. This keyboard stores up to four profiles in its onboard memory. Moreover, it boasts vibrant per-key RGB lighting. It ensures a fast, reliable connection via a 2.4 GHz dongle or Bluetooth. Furthermore, it’s compatible with up to three computers simultaneously. This makes it an excellent choice for any custom gaming PC​.

Logitech G915 TKL

The Logitech G915 TKL is a highly reputable wireless gaming keyboard known for its sleek design, durability, and impressive performance. It features high-quality GL switches that provide a superbly responsive and tactile typing experience, making it suitable for both gaming and productivity tasks. The keyboard is also recognized for its customizable per-key RGB lighting and dedicated media controls which enhance user experience. Moreover, the G915 TKL boasts an impressive battery life, capable of lasting up to 40 hours of continuous use. This keyboard connects to your device via a powerful 2.4 GHz wireless connection, offering super-fast 1 ms report rate. However, I was unable to find the most recent reviews or updated information specific to the Logitech G915 TKL due to tool limitations. For the most recent and specific information, I recommend checking out the latest reviews on retailer websites or gaming forums.

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless

Looking for a more compact option? The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless is your best bet. This Tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard gives you more desk space. Plus, it offers wireless freedom with built-in dual wireless. The Apex Pro TKL features an elegant chassis and an aluminum alloy top plate. It also has double-shot PBT keycaps and SteelSeries’ newest OmniPoint 2.0 linear optical switches. The keyboard’s high price tag reflects its premium features and accessories. These include a customizable OLED smart screen and a detachable magnetic wrist rest. So, if you’re hunting for a top TKL keyboard for your gaming desktop, look no further​.

gaming keyboard, SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless
Image credit: SteelSeries

Asus ROG Azoth

The Asus ROG Azoth is the best gaming keyboard for typing that we’ve ever used. Most gaming keyboards focus on gaming first. They prioritize flashy RGB over tactile feel and sound. However, the Asus ROG Azoth is impressive in both gaming and typing scenarios. It’s a keyboard that feels like it comes from a boutique keyboard supplier, rather than a mainstream gaming company. If you’re in search of a keyboard that excels in both gaming and typing, the Asus ROG Azoth should be your top choice​.

gaming keyboard, Asus ROG Azoth
Image credit: Digital Trends

3. Setting Up Your Gaming Keyboard

a) Connecting Your Keyboard

So, you’ve chosen your keyboard. Now, it’s time to connect it. Most gaming keyboards connect to your gaming PC via USB. Just plug the keyboard into a USB port. Your PC will recognize it automatically. Other models use a wireless connection. These need a bit more effort.

For wireless keyboards, you have two options. Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz dongle. Bluetooth keyboards pair with your gaming desktop through the Bluetooth settings. The dongle ones require a free USB port. You plug the dongle into the port. Your PC should recognize it instantly​.

b) Installing Keyboard Software

Now that your keyboard is connected, you need to install the software. All major gaming keyboard brands offer their own software. This software helps you customize the keyboard. You can set macros, RGB lighting, and more.

First, visit the manufacturer’s website. Download the software for your keyboard model. Run the installer and follow the instructions. Once installed, you can start customizing your keyboard​.​

c) Customizing Your Keyboard

Customization is what makes gaming keyboards stand out. With the right software, you can set up your keyboard to fit your style. You can assign macros to keys. Macros are series of commands that execute with one keystroke. They can be a game-changer in complex games.

Another customization option is RGB lighting. Most gaming keyboards come with per-key RGB backlighting. You can customize the color scheme to match your gaming PC setup. Some keyboards even let you set lighting effects​.

d) Fine-Tuning Keyboard Settings

For an optimal experience, you need to fine-tune your keyboard settings. Check the key response time. Adjust it to suit your gaming style. If your keyboard has adjustable switches, fine-tune the actuation. This is important for competitive gaming.

Another thing to consider is your typing habits. If you type a lot, you might want a keyboard with a good balance between gaming and typing. Make sure your keyboard offers a comfortable experience for both activities​.

4. Configuring Your Gaming Keyboard

a) Keybinding

Why Keybinding Matters?

Keybinding matters in gaming. It’s vital. It enables efficient and quick actions. This can make a difference in your gaming experience. Keybinding is the process of assigning specific actions to keyboard keys. It’s about customization. Customization that suits your gaming style. Gaming on a PC, especially a custom gaming PC, allows such flexibility. You can tailor controls to your liking. This can give you an edge in games.

Keybinding in a gaming desktop is akin to driving a car. You need to know where the controls are. It’s not just about speed. It’s about ease of use and comfort. Each game can have different controls. Keybinding allows you to standardize these controls. It makes switching between games smoother.

How to Keybind?

Learning to keybind is straightforward. The first step is to identify the actions you frequently use in a game. Next, assign these actions to keys within easy reach. This varies from one person to another. It also depends on the type of game you’re playing.

For instance, in a first-person shooter game, you may bind the “shoot” command to the left mouse button. This is because it’s the most accessible and easiest to press. However, in a strategy game, you might bind the “move” command to the right mouse button. It’s all about what works best for you.

Keep in mind that keybinding is a trial and error process. You may not get the perfect setup in your first try. It might require several gaming sessions to find what works best. However, once you find the perfect setup, it can significantly improve your gaming performance.

Popular Keybinding Configurations

There are popular keybinding configurations among gamers. They are usually based on the type of game. In massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, keys like ‘Q’, ‘E’, ‘R’, ‘F’, and the numbers 1-5 are commonly used. They are within easy reach of the left hand. This allows the right hand to control the mouse.

In first-person shooter (FPS) games, the ‘W’, ‘A’, ‘S’, and ‘D’ keys are usually used for movement. The spacebar is often used for jumping. And the left mouse button for shooting. These are just examples. There’s no one-size-fits-all keybinding configuration. It varies based on individual preference and game type.

Keybinding for gaming keyboard is matters in gaming.
Image credit: wikiHow

b) Using Macros for Advanced Actions

Macros are game-changers in the world of gaming PCs. They’re sequences of actions you can trigger with a single keypress. They streamline complex tasks, making gameplay more efficient and exciting.

In essence, a macro is a custom shortcut. It takes multiple keypresses or mouse actions and condenses them into one button. This feature saves time and optimizes your gaming performance. It’s like having a secret weapon in your gaming desktop arsenal.

A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating macros isn’t as daunting as it seems. Most gaming keyboards come with software for this purpose. The software lets you create, customize, and assign macros to specific keys.

First, launch the software that came with your gaming keyboard. Next, select the key you wish to assign the macro to. Then, record the sequence of keys or actions. Finally, save your new macro. Now, that single key will perform the full sequence when pressed.

This process varies slightly between different gaming keyboard brands. Consult your keyboard’s user guide for detailed instructions specific to your model.

The Power of Macros in Gaming

Macros shine brightest in the realm of custom gaming PCs. They excel in games with complex controls or repetitive actions. They reduce the number of keys you need to press, boosting your gaming speed.

In real-time strategy games, macros can execute complex commands instantly. In MMOs, they can trigger a sequence of abilities or spells.

While macros are powerful, they can be controversial. Some view them as shortcuts that diminish the skill needed to play. Others see them as tools to enhance gameplay and accessibility. Always remember to use macros ethically. Respect the game rules and the spirit of fair play. Gaming is about fun and challenge, not just winning at any cost.

In conclusion, macros are an invaluable feature of gaming keyboards. They enhance your gaming experience, streamline complex tasks, and let you enjoy your custom gaming PC to the fullest. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a newcomer, mastering macros can take your gaming to the next level.

5. Keeping Your Gear in Prime Condition

a) Regular Cleaning: The First Line of Defense

One key to prolonging your gaming keyboard’s life is regular cleaning. Over time, dust, crumbs, and other debris can accumulate. They can interfere with keypresses and degrade your keyboard’s performance.

Take a moment to observe your keyboard. If you see visible dust or debris, it’s time for a cleaning session. This habit will keep your gaming desktop setup looking sharp and functioning optimally.

b) Deep Cleaning: Going the Extra Mile

Deep cleaning is the next level of keyboard maintenance. It’s a more thorough process, designed to tackle stubborn grime and debris. It involves removing keycaps and cleaning beneath them.

Before you start, check your keyboard’s user manual. Some manufacturers provide specific cleaning instructions. Following these will ensure you don’t accidentally damage your keyboard.

Remember, deep cleaning is a delicate process. Handle your keycaps with care to avoid damaging them. Once they’re clean and dry, reattach them carefully. Now, your gaming keyboard is as good as new.

c) Damage Prevention: The Best Cure is Prevention

Protecting your gaming keyboard from damage is crucial. Spills are a common cause of keyboard malfunctions. Hence, keep liquids away from your gaming area. A spill-proof gaming desk is a worthy investment.

Be mindful of your keyboard’s cable, too. It can become frayed or damaged over time. Ensuring it’s not twisted or excessively bent will extend its lifespan. Treat your gaming keyboard with care, and it will serve you well for years to come.

d) Regular Updates: Stay on Top of Your Game

Last but not least, keep your keyboard’s software updated. Manufacturers often release updates to improve performance or fix bugs. Regularly checking for updates ensures you get the most out of your gaming keyboard.

In conclusion, regular maintenance is essential to keep your gaming keyboard in peak condition. It ensures that your gaming PC setup remains clean, functional, and ready for action. Following these simple steps can significantly prolong the life of your keyboard. Happy gaming!

Conclusion: Level Up Your Gaming Experience

We hope this guide has illuminated the path to finding the perfect gaming keyboard for you. Remember, the right keyboard is more than just a tool. It’s an extension of your gaming persona and a key element of your gaming PC setup.

Choosing a gaming keyboard is a personal journey. It depends on your gaming preferences, your budget, and your desired features. But now, you have the knowledge to make that journey with confidence.

Remember, every pro gamer started somewhere. The journey to gaming excellence starts with the first step, and you’ve just taken that. So go ahead, take the plunge, and level up your gaming experience with your ideal keyboard.

Ready to level up your gaming experience? Step into the gaming world of Volta PC, Singapore’s premier destination for high-performance gaming PCs and top-notch gaming accessories. Whether you need a custom gaming PC that handles the most demanding games or a precision-engineered gaming keyboard for an edge in your gameplay, Volta PC has you covered.

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