When it comes to gaming, you don’t have to completely empty your pockets to have fun. However, if you want to play like an expert, then it means you have to put more thought and money into some parts of your gaming rig to win. One of the first pieces of equipment that you should consider upgrading is the keyboard. The best gaming keyboard can give you the edge you need to wipe off your opponent from the map completely. Read on below to learn more about these gaming boards.
Yes, gaming keyboards make a huge difference. Such keyboards are lighter, more responsive, and are in tune with the gamer’s needs. They are easy to customize and come with features such as responsive lighting, macro support, and comfort options. Some companies make these keyboards to suit the needs of disabled players so they can enjoy playing games, too.
Most Important Features of A Gaming Keyboard
When it comes to the features of a gaming keyboard, there is plenty you need to consider. However, some important features include comfort, backlights, macros, custom control pads, and more. Read on below to learn more about these features and how they can help with your gaming journey.
Even though gaming has become a more casual-friendly activity in the past few years, the best gaming sessions often involve long hours of uninterrupted playing. Simply think about your typical MMO; even a very casual and friendly MMORPG requires around 20 to 30 minutes of your time. Sometimes, they can even go up to a couple of hours, especially if you are dealing with end-game content with several different groups.
For this reason, having a keyboard that doesn’t make your fingers or your wrist ache is the answer. A gaming keyboard usually comes with well-spaced, full-sized, and mechanical keys, which makes them ideal for long hours of gaming. On top of all that, the entire shape of the keyboard is designed to perfectly fit gamers’ hands, which enables them to use the keyboard for long stretches without having it hurt their wrists and hands. Keyboards are ergonomic as well, making them perfect for use without experiencing any hand fatigue.
Mechanical Keys Enable Faster Typing
The second consideration you need to make is the guts of the keyboard. This means that you need to check the way the keys register when they are pressed and how they feel and sound once you press down on them. There are two kinds of variations used in keyboards today, mechanical and membrane-based keyboards.
Membrane-based keyboards are very affordable since they have an incredibly thin design. This is due to the silicone and rubber layer, which acts as the spring and the electrical contact. These keyboards are very versatile, but they lack the distinct “click” feel and sound, which makes it hard to figure out from a tactile point of view if you have pressed the key or not. For gamers, this squishy and spongy feel, along with the small amount of space between the keys, is not ideal for their needs since they need confirmation of whether they have pressed the button that will make their character do the desired action.
Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, are a throwback keyboard due to their old design. Under each keyboard key, which is taller than a membrane keyboard key, is a dedicated mechanical switch. These switches have their own stems, springs, and housing, and the click that they make is very audible and tactile.
This tactile feature allows you to feel the exact moment the mechanism connects to the electrical contact. Mechanical keyboards have key switches in three different varieties, so you can choose a model according to the number of clicks you need and the amount of spring resistance you’d like. If you are a very serious gamer, then you will need a mechanical keyboard. The keys on this keyboard are more accurate and precise, and they are also tougher than the standard keyboard. Mechanical keyboards also understand how important even a millisecond is, and so such a keyboard ensures speed and efficiency at the same time.
Macros are one of the biggest advantages of gaming keyboards, and they give you an edge over your personal preferences and speed. Some keyboards usually have a dedicated set of keys on the left side. These keys can be easily programmed in order to carry out in-game macros (pre-defined mixture of actions).
Usually, in complex games such as World of Warcraft, you have to type in a command or make use of your mouse in order to select a specific icon on the screen to fire the macro. But by assigning a macro to the keyboard macro key, you only need a single key click. This is hugely convenient for gamers, and it even provides them with a short reaction time.
Furthermore, these macros allow you to set different profiles in order to play different games. But the best part is that all keys operate differently in the games you play, so once you set it to a particular setting, the other games’ setting won’t ruin the previous key customization. By creating these macros, you can automate the most important and even the most tedious tasks. These tasks give you the upper hand over other players and help ensure your win!
Custom Control Pads
Even though this does not apply to every gaming keyboard, there are still many keyboards present that have their own custom pads. These pads are present on the left side of the keyboard, and these controls tend to mimic the WASD keys, whereas the keys surrounding them act as a custom control pad.
These custom keys make it very easy for gamers to control the characters in the game. The improved controls result in a faster response time while you play. This allows you to act quickly, whether you are playing against another player or simply going up against computer AI.
Furthermore, most keyboard manufacturers feature multiple customization options, such as allowing gamers to disable certain keys and even change the lighting of their keys. You can even swap out mechanical switches under the keys on some keyboards. For example, if you want a softer spring under the WASD and a firmer click for the enter key, you can remove the keycap and easily swap out the switches. These keycaps can also be swapped out for a custom print or a different texture print of the top for your ease.
If you have ever seen a gaming keyboard light up with different colors and thought, “Wow, that looks beautiful,” you may be surprised to find out that these keyboard backlights are more than just a pretty sight. Keyboard backlights present on gaming keyboards provide you with multicolor lights that you can customize on your own. They make your entire gaming experience incredibly fun and easy.
Dividing your keyboard into the most used zones by lighting those areas with colors can provide you with quick visual help during the game.
With these backlights, you do not have to spend time figuring out where your fingers have to go, allowing you to play faster. An extreme example of backlighting is the ability to select a different light for each key, but the zone approach is a much smarter idea.
However, if there is a key that is used again and again, then you can always give it a sharp color, such as red since this will be ideal when playing games in the dark. Furthermore, a red backlight provides you with the illumination to see the key in full detail. Dark colors make you enjoy the keyboard without forcing you to squint or adjust to a bright lighting source.
Anti Ghosting and Key Rollover
It is very rare for keyboard users to press several keys at the same time when they’re typing. When this happens, it is usually by mistake, so it doesn’t matter which key registers with the PC and which doesn’t. However, during games, it is a different story. Simultaneous key pressing takes place almost all the time, and each key matters!
Gaming keyboards are designed specifically to deal with a number of simultaneous presses, and this feature is known as “n-key rollover.” “N” simply means the number of keys that you can press at the same time. Although you don’t need a keyboard that supports every key pressed simultaneously, the higher the “n” number, the better and more flexible the game and keyboard will be. Furthermore, if you use your keyboard for playback software, music composition, or for games with two players that require the use of the same keyboard, then a good n-key rollover is a must.
Non-gaming keyboards also suffer from an effect called key ghosting. This takes place when certain keys are pressed simultaneously or quickly after each other, and the keyboard does not register all the pressed keys. Now, this ghosting is not a big deal during a typing activity but it can be disastrous for you during gaming. The best keyboard for gamers will come with an anti-ghosting feature. This feature is made by using a special wiring pattern, which ensures that mixed signals associated with ghosting are avoided.
Some gaming keyboards also tend to isolate popular and specific keys and zones such as WASD so that there is no ghosting. At the same time, some manufacturers tend to keep wide spaces to isolate every key.
A good gaming keyboard provides you with a very strong edge over other players. It makes your entire gaming experience incredibly fun and smooth. If you are looking to improve your gaming performance while playing the latest games, then a gaming keyboard is your best friend. The right kind of gaming keyboard can make a huge difference in your success rate, especially when playing competitive games. So, look at the features mentioned above and find the keyboard that best suits your needs.