The Best Gaming keyboards
A decent gaming keyboard is a must for every gamer. But what is really important? And how well are current models made? We tested the latest gaming keyboards. CTRL + 1, A, right click, ESC, 2, S, S, S… No, the authors are not nodding off on their keyboard here.
You’re just playing StarCraft 2, Legacy of the Void. And the jumble of letters stands for the keyboard commands with which they incite a group or on the enemy and at the same moment order three stalkers into the home base.
The Best Keyboards for Gaming
Attack and get supplies at the same time without a gaming keyboard these commands would easily take 20 seconds, because controlling with the mouse is extremely time-consuming. With keyboard shortcuts, on the other hand, a maximum of three seconds pass, a time advantage that in “StarCraft 2” decides whether to win or lose.
If an ordinary Windows keyboard is on the table, gamer will of course fight with blunt weapons. But there are also enormous differences in quality with special gamer keyboards and this is shown by the test of current models.
Mechanical keyboards: the perfect pressure point
There are two types of keyboards: membrane or rubber dome models and mechanical input devices. Most mechanical keyboards use MX switches from the German manufacturer Cherry, but some companies have also developed their own solutions, for example Logitech with the Romer-G switches.
With mechanical keyboards, a small metal spring is built into the touchpad instead of the rubber piece, which results in many advantages.
They are more durable, at the same time the typing feel and feedback are more precise, the transmission of inputs runs almost without delay. That’s why professional gamers recommend mechanical keyboards.
More details on the mechanics, the switches and what anti-ghosting is all about can be found in the article ” Mechanical keyboards: Typing and dodging with depth “.
Which is the right gaming keyboard?
Virtuoso typing only works with the right keyboard. But what are the characteristics of a top keyboard? At this point, gamer often don’t know what to do next, after all, gaming keyboards cannot be compared based on clear numerical values like graphics cards or processors.
Instead, there is a confusing variety on the market: models like the Strike 7 from Mad Catz have their own touchscreen, while the manufacturer Cherry mills its MX Board 6.0 RED from a single piece of aluminum.
Hardly anyone knows better than Niklas Behrens how important the right hardware is. The studied computer scientist and eSports expert has turned his hobby into a profession and has made a name for himself as an advisor and coach for sports competitions with video games.
His favorite game “StarCraft 2” is one of the most lucrative and demanding titles in eSport. At the Bonjwa eSports school he founded , he and 18 volunteers explain how to become a better “StarCraft” player. The curriculum is very well received by the growing community.
With video clips, especially “StarCraft” newbies learn the special construction sequences and moves of the three factions Protoss, Terran and Zerg.
The processing is what counts
Some gamers doesn’t believe in a lot of bells and whistles anyway: “Minimalist keyboards don’t distract from gaming.” The expert is also hardly impressed by supposed killer features such as its own display: “A screen on the keyboard may be useful in some applications, but when you play games you look at the monitor!”
The processing of the keyboard also plays an important role. Not just because gamer can sometimes be very mean to their keyboard when they lose, but mostly because they keep using it.
The absolute top players in ” StarCraft 2″handle more than 300 game actions per minute, in the industry one speaks of “actions per minute“, so they issue a good 300 commands in just 60 seconds.
Whoever the German” StarCraft “cracks” Marine “,” Showtime “or “Kungfu Panda” watches while gambling, who knows why a keyboard has to be as robust as possible.
Therefore clear: “Good workmanship is essential for professional gamers. Mechanical keyboards are preferable to models with a classic membrane because their stroke is more precise and they can withstand an unintentional shower of coffee. “Something like that should definitely happen in gaming circles.
Speaking of durability: Various games such as” Age of Empires 2 “or” StarCraft 2 ” demand a lot from the keyboards and certain switches are particularly demanding. One more reason to choose mechanical keyboards.
1st place: SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL
The Steel Series Apex Pro TKL is great to use: it transmits input at lightning speed, and ghosting is a foreign concept to it. The stroke and pressure point are pleasant, and the included palm rest makes it easy to operate, the keyboard is a bit too high without a support. Nice extras: The keyboard can be illuminated with RGB LEDs if desired, a hub with a looped USB 3.0 port is built in.
2nd place: Corsair K100 RGB
The Corsair K100 RGB convinced in the test with a pleasant usability and especially the pressure point could hardly be better on a keyboard. The included wrist rest enables a comfortable posture, the keyboard transfers inputs precisely and without time delays. The keyboard can also be illuminated with RGB LEDs if desired, a hub with a looped-through USB 2.0 port is built in.
3rd place: Roccat Vulcan Pro
The mechanical keyboard Roccat Vulcan Pro with its open keys is an extraordinary input device, but a real eye-catcher. In the test, it transmitted commands and inputs really quickly, but the pressure point requires a comparatively high amount of force, and the stroke is also quite long.
There is a memory for archiving your own key assignments and programming, as well as RGB lighting that can be dimmed in 70 levels. But it doesn’t have any other extras.
4th place: Logitech G413
With a retail price of less than 70 euros, the Logitech G413 is comparatively cheap for a mechanical gaming keyboard from a brand manufacturer. In the test, however, it performed only marginally worse compared to the sometimes much more expensive competitors.
The testers complained about the pressure point, which can only be reached with a comparatively large amount of force, and the overall somewhat stiff keys. Great: The G413 can also be illuminated in five levels, not in RGB colors, but at least. And a looped USB 2.0 port for convenient connection of gaming mice or USB sticks has also been added.
5th place: Logitech Pro X Gaming Keyboard
The pressure point of the Logitech Pro X turned out to be a bit too light in the gaming test, if not spongy. Because the keys are rather stiff and the key drop is a bit long.
In contrast, the transmission of inputs took place without any delays in the test. It’s a shame, there is no memory for archiving your own key assignments and programming. At least the keys can be illuminated by RGB LEDs, even if they are not dimmed.
6th place: Sharkoon Skiller Mech SGK3
At a good 60 euros, the Sharkoon Skiller Mech SGK3 is also one of the comparatively inexpensive mechanical gaming keyboards. In return, gamers have to accept a few shortcomings: The pressure point requires a bit of force, the stroke is spongy.
The keys are a bit close together. And the keyboard is a bit sparse: There is no memory for archiving your own key assignments and programming, and there are only a few additional keys and functions. After all, the keys can be illuminated with RGB LEDs if desired. Overall, with the Sharkoon Skiller Mech SGK3, players get a very decent mechanical gaming keyboard for relatively little money.
Test conclusion: gaming keyboards in comparison
So it is hardly surprising that a mechanical keyboard won our keyboard test: The Apex Pro TKL from SteelSeries offers great handling, good workmanship and is not overloaded with unnecessary controls.
With a price of more than 200 euros, it is not a bargain. If you want it a little cheaper, you can use the G413 from Logitech which did not make any major mistakes in the comparison test.