Does Keyboard Matter for Gaming?

“A gamer is only as good as his peripherals” is a false statement. Many people can be great with what they have, and some gamers can work miracles with your stock-standard mouse, keyboard, and monitor. However, we want to examine whether or not a keyboard matters for gaming by talking about whether or not it has any impact. So, does a gaming keyboard matter for gaming?

Gaming keyboards do matter for gaming. However, it does not negate skill entirely. If you are a good gamer, a good gaming keyboard will amplify your skills. That is true even if you are a beginner. So, although a gaming keyboard does not make you a great gamer, it does improve your abilities. Also, it improves your experience.

We also need to consider that gaming keyboards feel good when using them instead of low-end membrane keyboards. There is also an aesthetic look to gaming keyboards that can make a setup genuinely stand out. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about gaming keyboards, so keep reading.

Gaming Keyboard VS. Regular Keyboard: 4 Key Differences

I have already stated that gaming keyboards do matter, and in this section, I want to discuss why by talking about what separates a gaming keyboard from a normal one. There is a lot to cover here, so, without wasting any more time, let’s jump straight into it.

Mechanical Switches

Mechanical switches are different from non-gaming keyboards. A regular keyboard uses a membrane system. It consists of a circuit board with a silicone membrane placed above it. The keycaps punch down on the silicon, and it makes contact with the circuit board, which is how the keys work.

However, a mechanical switch works almost like a light switch. It gives the keys travel distance and an actuation point. All of this provides the gamer with more control of your movements, but it also offers tactile feedback, which we will discuss further down.

We are going to borrow a table that We Created for a previous article showing you the switches. The most important thing you want to look for is the actuation point. That is how far the key must travel for it to activate the key.

Switch colorTactile or linearNActuationTotal travel
MX REDLinear452.0mm4.0mm
MX BLACKLinear602.0mm4.0mm
MX BROWN\ Tactile552.0mm4.0mm
MX BLUE3 Tactile602.2mm4.0mm
MX SILENT RED3Linear451.9mm3.7mm
MX SILENT BLACKLinear601.9mm3.7mm
MX SPEED SILVERLinear451.2mm3.4mm

Low Latency

When you talk about gaming keyboards, you cannot ignore that latency plays a significant role. Not many gamers,  at least casual gamers, realize that latency exists from the input device, your machine, and the monitor. Gaming keyboards do everything they can to minimize latency, and this is especially important when discussing wireless keyboards

Gaming with a regular wireless keyboard is not something most gamers will do. Wireless keyboards also have a stigma. However, manufacturers like Logitech have made significant advancements to get rid of latency.

Tactile Feedback

A mechanical keyboard has tactile feedback. It would be best not to confuse that with the haptic feedback you find on the PS5 controller. Instead, it means that while you are pressing down a key, you feel that you are pushing the key down. It makes games more immersive and a lot more fun to play.

Once you have felt tactile feedback, it is incredibly challenging to go back to anything else. It is the same for people who always have their vibration on while playing with a controller. It is tough for them to go back to anything else. For example, while playing Rocket League, I cannot play with the controller vibration off. I have tried, and for me, it feels like my boost is constantly empty.

RGB Goodness

We will keep this section short, but yes, most gaming keyboards have RGB goodness, which opens the door for you to customize how your keyboard looks. Also, if you have something like Logitech light sync, you can sync the RGB from your PC, Mouse, keyboard, and even mouse pad to all work together to give you an STD clock.

Not everyone likes RGB, and that is ok. We all have our personal preferences.

Is a Smaller Keyboard Better For Gaming?

If you watch esports or any twitch streamer, you will have noticed that many Gamers are starting to use smaller keyboards, specifically ones that don’t have the num-pad. This tells a story, right? Do these smaller keyboards make for better gaming sessions? Let’s take a look.

You cannot say whether or not the smaller keyboard is better for gaming, but we know that pro gamers and streamers prefer it. A smaller keyboard makes sure that your arms are compact and in a comfortable position. Also, there is less going on regarding the keyboard, making it easier to navigate the keys.

Do Gaming Keyboards have Extra Buttons?

Some keyboards have extra buttons, and you would have noticed that they are usually on the left-hand side and labeled either M 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or G1 to 5.

Keyboards that have extra buttons are typically designed for MMORPG, MOBA, and RPG gamers. These extra buttons allow you to create macros that you can program. Using these buttons will usually be skills on your skill bars.

How Much Should you Spend on a Gaming Keyboard?

Regarding how much you should spend on a keyboard, it is best to stay within your budget. However, if you can get a keyboard between $70 and $200, you will have a great experience. I know that is a big gap, but within the price range, you can find a variety of keyboards that will keep you happy, and you will find one that is suits all of your needs.

3 Best Gaming Keyboards of 2021/2022

In this section, we want to discuss our favorite keyboards. Now, you could scroll the internet and find a hundred articles with a hundred different keyboards labeled as “the best.” Well, it’s because these types of sections are usually based on personal preference and what the writer has had experience with.

I have been privileged to try out most keyboards. I have listed a  few here because they have impressed everyone here at never press pause. So, here are our favorite three gaming keyboards in 2021, which will also be great in 2022.

Razer Huntsman Mini 60% Gaming Keyboard: $127.00

  • Linear or Optical switch
  • Aluminum build
  • Easy to use software
  • Customizable keycaps
  • Customizable RGB

We are starting with the Razer Huntsman because Razer is one of the most popular brands in the gaming industry. At one stage, the brand was probably the most desirable amongst gamers. However, let’s talk about this specific keyboard.

You can choose between the purple or red switches. However, if you try and compare these switches to the ones we listed in the table. It is important to note that Razer has fine-tuned and tweaked the switches and the actuation points are much lower than the regular switches of the same type.

The keyboard is 60%, which means it is smaller than your average keyboard, which is the way most professional gamers go. Also, the keyboard uses Razer software that you can use to customize the RGB and buttons of the keyboard entirely.

SteelSeries Apex 7 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: $148.00

  • Red Linear Switches
  • Oled Display
  • Aluminum Alloy build
  • Customizable RGB
  • Switch between profiles
  • Dedicated media controls
  • USB Passthrough

My favorite on this list is a SteelSeries Apex 7. Look, it may be personal preference, or it could be that this is one of the best keyboards I have ever seen. The red switches are tweaked to SteelSeries specifications. The premium aluminum alloy build makes this one of the most durable keyboards you can get.

The features on this keyboard are endless, from the mini OLED display that shows you what settings you are currently using, the media controls, different profiles to customizable RGB.

Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Wireless Gaming Keyboard: $190.00

  • Low profile switches
  • Thin
  • Light sync RGB
  • Wireless
  • 40-hour battery life

Logitech is known for releasing high-end products suited to gamers that want comfort, style, and Performance in one keyboard. The Logitech G915 is the only wireless keyboard we have placed on this list, and it’s because I don’t usually recommend wireless keyboards, but something hits the spot with this Logitech one.

The keyboard has a 40-hour battery life and ultra-fast switches that further minimize the already low latency connection that this board uses. All in all, you cannot go wrong with Logitech, and you cannot go wrong with this keyboard.

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of this article. Hopefully, you now know whether or not a gaming keyboard matters. In my experience, gamers should use gaming-centric equipment rather than office-style equipment. Not only can it improve your abilities, but it also improves your overall experience while sitting at your desk.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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