You’re here because you’re trying to make a crucial decision as a gamer, you want to know whether buying a gaming keyboard is worth the money or not, after all, gaming keyboards are quite expensive, well in this post I’m going to lay out everything there is about keyboards and tell you the difference between gaming keyboards and regular keyboards.
After reading this post you’ll be 100% informed about what kind of keyboard you should look for.
What Is A Gaming Keyboard?
In very basic words, a gaming keyboard is a special type of keyboard with special type of switches that enable you to perform better in games, and specifically in FPS games (first person shooter), but why should you get a gaming keyboard? well, a gaming keyboard has quite a lot of advantages which I’m going to tell you in a bit.
But the main thing is the response time, a gaming keyboard is way faster than a regular keyboard and it will enable you to defeat your enemies with relative ease, and if you’re a competitive gamer then you should definitely get one as soon as possible.
The keys on most gaming keyboards are “mechanical”, I know, the term sounds old , but it’s not, the reason why they’re faster is because of the mechanical switches.
Mechanical switches basically have a spring underneath them which triggers the circuit board and registers the key.
What is A Regular Keyboard?
A regular keyboard is a regular keyboard, with no extra functionality, and it’s a lot less durable as well, a regular keyboard has what you call “membrane switches”, membrane switches usually have a silicone cap underneath them , which trigger the circuit board when pressed.
And regular keyboards are pretty slow, you might not know the difference if you’re a regular PC user, but while gaming, you can easily know the difference between a fast and a slow keyboard.
Who Should Buy A Gaming Keyboard
A gaming keyboard is specifically designed for gamers, so you don’t want one unless you’re a gamer who’s looking for additional functionality, don’t get me wrong, gaming can be done on a regular keyboard as well, but not as effectively as on a gaming keyboard.
So if you’re a gamer and you need to aim better and generally do better in games then you should buy a gaming keyboard.
On the other hand, if you’re a person who just needs to work on a computer and has no interest in gaming then you should not get a gaming keyboard, because good gaming keyboards cost a lot and they’re worth it.
If you’re looking for a keyboard to do some office work or general typing then you should buy a regular keyboard.
What Makes A Keyboard Good For Gaming
The most important thing to look out for is the response time, NKEY Rollover ( more on this later) , and key registry, the first thing that makes a keyboard good for gaming is fast response time, the keyboard should have a response time of 6ms, which is a very fast number.
The 2nd thing you should evaluate is whether the keyboard is registering multiple keys at the same time or not, this is one of the most important features of a gaming keyboard, if the keyboard fails to register 2 or 3 keys at the same time then you should look for another keyboard.
Because as a gamer, you’ll obviously press multiple keys at the same time, pairing “WASD” and “CTRL” to crouch or pressing “SHIFT” key to walk, these presses require the feature known as NKEY Rollover or “Anti ghosting”, whereby you can press multiple keys on the keyboard at the same time and they register.
After that, you should look for whether the keyboard is “mechanical” or “half mechanical”, half mechanical keyboards have some spring loaded keys and some with the silicone cap, and they’re much cheaper as well.
So if you’re buying a half mechanical keyboard then make sure that the essential keys like the “WASD” and Arrow keys are mechanical and not silicone loaded.
The final thing that makes a keyboard good for gaming is the key registry itself, are all of the keys working? are they being registered? if they’re being registered without any delays then you should buy the keyboard.
Here’s Why A Gaming Keyboard Is Better Than A Normal Keyboard
There are many reasons to why you should get a gaming keyboard instead of a regular keyboard.
Advantages of Getting A Gaming Keyboard
- Gaming Keyboards Last Longer: The average regular keyboard lasts 5 million clicks, while the average gaming keyboard lasts up to 100 million clicks, that’s a massive difference , so if you get a gaming keyboard then you can expect it to last for years.
- Gaming Keyboards Are Easy To Clean: Did you spill water on your keyboard? did you spill some chips or bread crumbs? don’t worry! if you’ve got a gaming keyboard then the keys can easily be taken out and cleaned, unlike a regular keyboard, where you’re more likely to break / damage the keys instead of cleaning them.
- Easy Maintenance: Gaming keyboards are much more easier to maintain than regular keyboards, most gaming keyboards come with a tool that helps you to pluck out keys and individually clean them or clean the keyboard as a whole.
- Quick Response/ No Input Delay: This is the most important reason to get a gaming keyboard, the last thing you want is for your enemy to kill you , especially if you’re a competitive Esports gamer, you need fast response keys that will immediately respond to key presses and help you in movement.
Because movement is extremely important in Esports games and without good movement you’ll be at a major disadvantage
- More Durable: Gaming keyboards are heavy and durable, they’re usually made from aluminum or metal, and with raging gamers constantly rising, gaming keyboards can handle any kind of abuse that you throw at them.
- Programmable Keys: As a gamer, you need shortcuts to doing specific tasks in games, for example pressing the f1 key and buying a weapon, you can’t do that with a regular keyboard, this is another major advantage of a gaming keyboard, it’s that it enables you to setup and configure shortcuts in every individual game.
- Light Key Presses: This is a very good feature of mechanical keyboards, it’s that you don’t have to push the keys all the way down for them to register, you can just press them halfway through and they’ll register. And this feature isn’t just good for gamers, it’s good for article and blog writers as well because it will help you type faster.
- Replaceable Switches: Let’s say that you buy a gaming keyboard and after 4 or 5 years the switches need replacement, well you certainly don’t have to buy another gaming keyboard! all you have to do is buy switches and install them and you’re good to go!
Gaming keyboards are expensive in the short term but really cheap in the long run!
- Backlighting: The feature might sound useless but trust me it’s not, in a dark room, backlight will be your savior!
- Wrist rest: Did I mention that you don’t have any kind of wrist pain with a gaming keyboard? I’m obviously talking about the ones which come with a detachable wrist rest and boy do they work wonders for your hand. With a wrist rest you can expect to have long gaming sessions without any kind of pain.
We know that gaming keyboards have so many advantages to them , but at the same time gaming keyboards also have some disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Getting A Gaming Keyboard
- Gaming Keyboards Are Loud: Yes! if you’ve got a roommate and if you game at night, then there’s going to be hell for the roommate, because gaming keyboards are irritatingly loud , not for the user but for the people around the user. Because of the spring loaded switches, they tend to make a loud click noise, similar to that of an amplified mouse click.
- Gaming Keyboards Are Expensive: Good gaming keyboards are insanely expensive, you can expect a good one to cost around $200, which is too much for a keyboard but well worth it.
We’ve seen both the disadvantages and advantages, but it’s clear to me that the advantages of a gaming keyboard far outweigh the disadvantages.
Here’s Why You Should Get A Regular Keyboard
We’ve seen the clear advantage that a gaming keyboard has over a regular keyboard, but regular keyboards aren’t all that bad!
Advantages of Getting A Regular Keyboard
- Quiet: Regular keyboards produce very low to no sound at all and as a result of that they’re less likely to irritate you or the people around you.
- Cheap: Price matters a lot so you can get a regular keyboard for around $10-20 and you can always replace it.
Disadvantages of A Regular Keyboard
- Difficult To Clean: Regular keyboards are extremely hard to clean, and if you spill water or liquid then the keyboard is pretty much dead, apart from that, you’re going to need cotton swabs and be very careful while cleaning the keyboard so as not to damage any keys and circuit.
- Not Durable: Regular keyboards are made of cheap material and generally have a very weak frame, therefore they can be damaged quite easily and don’t last long. You can last a normal keyboard to last around a year or 2 at max.
Main Difference between a Gaming & Regular Keyboard
Are Gaming Keyboards Faster Than Normal Keyboards?
The main difference that matters to a gamer is the response time, delayed key registration is the number one reason for bad movement in a game and a mechanical gaming keyboard will help you eliminate that error and will enable you to have good movement in games.
Can I Use A Gaming Keyboard For Work?
There’s a debate on this topic because using a gaming keyboard in an office is not the ideal thing to do because of the loudness of the keypresses however when it comes to work from home then you can definitely use a gaming keyboard.
Apart from that if you’re asking whether gaming keyboards can function as a normal keyboard then yes they do function just like a normal keyboard except that the experience is smooth.
Are Gaming Keyboards Good For Typing?
One of the advantages of a gaming keyboard is that you don’t have to press a key all the way through in order for it to register, you can just press it halfway through and it’ll register, this means that as an article / blog post writer your WPM count will increase massively.
So are gaming keyboards easier to type on? YES they are!
Can You Use A Gaming Keyboard On A Laptop?
All keyboards can be used on a laptop, there’s no distinction to that because all laptops come with a USB hub and all keyboards come with a USB plug so they can easily be plugged in to the laptop.
Do Gaming Keyboards Make A Difference? Wrap Up
All in all, gaming keyboards do make a difference when it comes to gaming, although when you purchase the keyboard you won’t notice much of a change in the start.
But as you begin to acclimate to the keyboard you’ll see that your movement and aim in games has become much better than before.