What to Look for in a Gaming Keyboard

When it comes to gaming on your PC, there is a range of extra bits and pieces you can buy to enhance the experience. Everything from bigger hard drives to comfier chairs is available on the market to make playing video games as good as it possibly can be. One feature which is often overlooked is the keyboard. Every computer requires a keyboard and people rarely consider upgrading them, but when you think about it, they are an essential part of your computing experience.

Whether you’re writing an essay or playing a game, the keyboard is vital for ensuring you can complete a task easily. Of course, some people buy ergonomic keyboards to keep the hands relaxed while working, but there is so much more you can do to improve a keyboard, especially in the world of games. With extra keys and backlighting, you can make gameplay easier, give yourself more control and make your PC set up look cooler at the same time. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of gaming keyboards available, and how they can improve your gaming experience.

Types of Gaming Keyboards

Without wanting to confuse you, there is more than one type of computer keyboard out there and more than one way you can tell your PC to type a certain letter or move your character a certain way. Having a different type of keyboard won’t make a huge difference if you only use it occasionally, but picking the right one will make your life quicker and easier when you want to enjoy your favorite games. 

Membrane Keyboards

The first type of keyboard is a membrane keyboard. These are the standard keyboards you will find included with most pre-built computers. You might well recognize these already, as they are made with two thin plastic layers, or membranes, which run under the keys. An electrical current runs through these membranes while you type to recognize your movements. 

This is a simple kind of keyboard which is easy to damage and doesn’t always feel great to use. The keys tend not to have any distinctive feel or click sound, which is fine for browsing but it can be rather unhelpful when gaming for long periods of time. However, they are conveniently low price. If you are after gaming keyboards for under $100, membrane keyboards are your best bet.

Mechanical Keyboards

Rakk Lam-Ang Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The other option is to purchase a mechanical keyboard. Again, infrequent gamers may not notice the difference, but it can be substantial if you want to get the most out of a gaming PC. Mechanical keyboards have individual switches under each key, which are activated as you click them and make for a much more efficient and straightforward system. 

It also means that they tend to produce a loud click sound and feel like they require more of a push to work. Although this sounds like a bad thing, it is very beneficial to typists and gamers as they can have the reassuring click sound as proof they have hit the key correctly, rather than stopping to check for errors. That smooth and weak membrane keys aren’t as effective, so it’s worth getting a mechanical keyboard if they aren’t much more expensive.

The main benefit of this is when you need to type quickly. This applies to writers and office workers but also to gaming. The effective keys are more satisfying and comfortable under your fingers, so you can press a lot more keys at a higher rate.

What do you need it for?

Now that you understand the different types of keyboards, you can make a decision as to what is right for you. Inevitably, this comes down to how often you use your gaming PC and what you use it for. If you occasionally play some simple online games, there might not be much point in spending a lot of money on a gaming keyboard. Some features, such as colorful lighting behind the keys, won’t make much difference if you don’t play frequently. The most important things are comfort and efficiency, so as long as you can type as fast as possible without cramp, the rest isn’t important.

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