Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard – 3 Best Options on Work Rift!

There is a lot to consider when choosing the right gaming keyboard for your gaming sessions.

Since there are so many options for gaming keyboards, I have put off buying one for a long time.

The good news is that with a little research and our helpful guide to choosing the right gaming keyboard…

…you can find the right equipment in no time.

Don’t let all the choices and technology scare you off.

We’ve broken down everything into manageable sections…

…so the next time you’re looking for a gaming keyboard

…you’ll know what the computer jargon means and what’s best for you.

A few words from Saleem…

My childhood was spent playing games on a membrane keyboard.

A year ago, I switched to mechanical keyboards.

While I enjoyed the feel of the mechanical keys…

…I found myself missing the touch of membrane keys.

In the end, I decided to give this keyboard a try and fell in love with it.

Compared with mechanical switches, it has a soft feel and is very quiet.

In addition, it has a 1000hz polling rate, making it very responsive.

It has become my daily driver after using it for a little while now.

Let’s get started…

Steps to Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard

Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard
Credits: workrift.com

In order to play a game effectively, you should always have a gaming keyboard on hand.

Most standard keyboards won’t withstand the pressure of a gamer’s fast fingers…

…and their keys aren’t always designed to be pressed simultaneously.

Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right gaming keyboard…

…since no one wants their game ruined by ghost presses or shoddy keys.

Make Sure You Know Which Size You Need

There are a variety of keyboard sizes available…

…but they generally fall into one of two categories: full-size or tenkeyless.

The size of your gaming system is an issue, depending on where you play…

…and how comfortable you are. In order to use all the keys, such as the number pad…

…you’ll need a full-size keyboard.

The tenkeyless keyboard, on the other hand, is best…

…if you are looking for a smaller gaming keyboard, for example, to fit on a desk or side table.

Tenkeyless lets you keep the mouse closer to the WASD keys…

…which many gamers find more comfortable.

Nevertheless, if you like using alt codes, a tenkeyless is probably not for you.

Mechanical or Membrane

The two main technologies used in computer keyboards are mechanical and membrane.

Mechanical keyboards are preferred by gamers…

…because they minimize ghosting and offer a satisfying click when pressed.

The old-school aesthetic of clicky mechanical keys is also popular in many games.

As a result, mechanical gaming keyboards tend to be more expensive…

…and if you’re shopping on a budget, you’re probably going to end up with a membrane keyboard.

Membrane technology is less accurate than mechanical…

…but it may be more comfortable for your fingers.

When you get used to pushing keys firmly, a membrane keyboard will work well for you.

Many gamers still use them, and it won’t hinder you.

Do You Want A Lot of Extra Key Customization?

A gaming keyboard needs to be able to handle all the buttons, options…

…and menus your favorite game will throw at it.

You can map your own keys to game functions with macros, for example…

…programming the PrtSc button to bring up your inventory.

It is possible to save several sets of macros, one for each game, on some gaming keyboards.

You should choose a gaming keyboard with this capacity if you play several games…

…so you don’t have to set up your macros every time you change games.

It might also be a good idea to change the switches under specific keys…

…especially if you have trouble with certain keys.

Consider Key Rollover If You Need It

On standard keyboards, the amount of key rollover is usually pretty low.

When you use a computer for work or school…

…you don’t usually press two or more keys simultaneously…

…but this often happens when you play video games.

Make sure your new keyboard has a high key rollover, like 5…

…to handle all the button pressing you do in your gaming sessions…

…especially if you use macro keys.

When you don’t have the right key rollover number…

…your computer will register the wrong keys as pressed…

…or it will register nearby keys.

This could throw your whole game off…

…so make sure you cover those keystrokes on your new keyboard!

Make Sure it Comes with Anti-Ghosting Features

A gaming keyboard with anti-ghosting features is the best.

Ghosting occurs when the computer registers incorrect keys instead of the ones you pressed.

When you use multiple keys simultaneously, it’s usually one of the keys you pressed…

…but it can also be a nearby key that you didn’t even touch.

It is much more of a problem for gamers than it is for regular computer users.

There’s no problem if your computer adds a few extra letters to a word you typed…

…and you can easily delete them.

What if you are playing Rainbow Six Siege…

…and your ghosted keypress knocks an ally out of the game?

Keep reading…

Check the Backlighting for Aesthetics

There are colorfully-lit gaming keyboards with rainbow keys that everyone has seen.

There is nothing wrong with selecting a keyboard based on its beautiful backlighting…

…especially if it is customizable and you can choose your favorite colors.

Also, you can choose colors that match the game you’re playing, such as orange and white for Overwatch.

Backlit keyboards add a whole new level to gaming sessions and are a talking point among your friends.

The market is full of reasonably priced backlit keyboards, so you don’t even have to spend that much.

Buy one with customization, unless you’re satisfied with the colors on offer.

When you purchase a gorgeous new gaming keyboard…

…you don’t want to be stuck with hot pink or a rainbow if these aren’t what you want.

Check for Key Backlighting

Backlighting on keyboards serves another purpose besides aesthetics for gamers.

Using customizable backlighting, you can highlight the keys you use the most, making them easier to find.

Gamers enjoy playing in the dark, but it can be difficult if you don’t know where the keys are.

“Double-check how much customization individual gaming keyboards give you. Some don’t have the option to light up single keys, which is pretty useless as a gamer”.

Nikhil Singh – Author at Entertaiment Den

Durability Reviews – From Gamers Specifically

Gamers are not known for their gentleness.

Gaming is fast and furious, and we’ve all been guilty of keyboard smashing…

…or the occasional bout of ‘gamer’s rage.’

Some games even require you to hit buttons…

…so your gaming keyboard will go through a lot of abuse.

With a better build quality, your keyboard will last longer and can withstand more intense gaming.

If you’re planning on buying a gaming keyboard, you’ll want it to last a long time…

…so pay attention to the build quality and don’t skimp on your budget.

You should also check whether your keyboard comes with a warranty…

…and whether you can buy replacement keys later on if yours wear out.

You will save a lot of money in the long run…

…by replacing a few keys instead of replacing your entire keyboard.

Take A Look at More than One Brand

You shouldn’t feel compelled to choose a gaming keyboard…

…from a popular brand if their products aren’t right for you.

There are many small sellers out there…

…and it’s well worth looking around to see what they have to offer.

The tested and proven brands used by professional gamers are popular for a reason.

While their prices might be higher and you won’t receive the same level of personalized service…

…at a large store, brands like SteelSeries are dedicated experts in their field and know what they’re doing.

Calculate the Cost and Compare it to the Cost of Other Brands with the Same Features

You will need to spend some money on a high-quality gaming keyboard.

There are some great budget keyboards available, too, with prices that aren’t too crazy.

When it comes to something premium or recently released, you can expect to pay $200-300.

However, you will get premium features at that price point, such as:

  • Macros
  • Customizable backlighting
  • Mechanical keys
  • Ability to change switches on individual keys
  • A robust guarantee if you break stuff easily

Some keyboards are overpriced, however, and every keyboard is different.

Before buying anything, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting..

…and if you’re not sure, search for the product online and read reviews.

Please don’t be afraid to ask if you can try out a keyboard.

Take the time to feel it under your fingers and especially under your wrists.

It’s also worth asking the sales representative if they can give you a discount.

While some shops have set prices, others offer discounts, but you may have to ask.

3 Top Picks on Work Rift

Ajazz AK33

Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard
Credits: workrift.com

Featuring an elegant aluminum backplate that well reflects the RGB backlighting…

…and provides extra rigidity, the Ajazz AK33 is a nice looking mechanical keyboard.

It feels well-built, which is surprising given its budget price tag.

The device is also compact, measuring 310x120x37mm.

Getting a keyboard down to this size requires some compromises.

Dropping the numeric keypad has allowed the company to shave off a few inches.

Additionally, the key layout has been modified to have only 82 keys.

Sadly, some keys have shrunk to fit (like the right shift key) and other keys…

…like Home and End, are not where you expected them to be.

Even though this won’t be a major issue for gamers (the AK33’s target market)…

…it did make typing more difficult than a standard keyboard layout.

Several of these keys are also non-standard sizes,…

…so it may be difficult to find compatible aftermarket keycaps if you decide to replace the included set.

It also includes multimedia controls, app shortcuts, and keyboard settings…

…which can be accessed by holding down the function key and F1-F8.

By pressing Fn+W, you can even switch between WASD and arrow keys.

Keycaps themselves are ABS with transparent letters that let the RGB lighting shine through.

The font is clear and easy to read, a nice change…

…from the “gamer”-style fonts found on some mechanical keyboards.

The keycaps are surrounded by black mechanical switches branded with the Ajazz logo.

It’s obvious that the company has tried to replicate the Cherry Black feel, with a linear, non-clicky actuation.

There are also variants with red and blue switches, depending on your preference.

Glossy black plastic covering the back of the keyboard attracts fingerprints like crazy.

A matte finish would have been much better.

Rubber feet and risers allow you to angle the keyboard for more comfort.

There’s a mini USB port on the top of the keyboard that’s used to connect the keyboard…

…to your PC using the included mini USB cable, which is a little on the short side.

Though I believe micro USB or USB Type-C would have been better choices…

…I like the fact that you can replace the cable if necessary.

The per-key RGB lighting looks great. Ajazz has packed in an impressive range of RGB lighting effects…

…including spirals, waves, and more.

Many of them can be customized via key shortcuts, changing colors and speeds.

There’s even some reactive lighting that lights up as you type.

The shockwave that moves across the keyboard as you type was my favorite.

You can even set up a custom profile and save it to the keyboard.

For example, you can light up WASD and other shortcut keys.

If you are a gamer, it’s a great feature to have.

You can also customize lighting, polling rate, macros, and more with Ajazz software.

I didn’t bother installing the software since all the customization I needed could be done directly on the keyboard.

Gaming was easy with the black mechanical switches…

…thanks to their light actuation force and smooth travel.

Compared to my current mechanical keyboard’s blue switches…

…this made playing faster paced games a pleasure.

The typing experience was fine, though I definitely prefer blue mechanical switches…

…for typing as the black switches lack the tactile bump and audible click I’ve grown to love.

In addition, the black switches are far quieter…

…than the blue switches I’m used to – something my partner definitely appreciated.

I also sometimes hit the wrong keys while typing…

…because of that non-standard layout until I adjusted to it.

Check Price on Work Rift

HyperX Alloy Origins Core

Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard
Credits: workrift.com

Originally released at the end of 2019, HyperX’s Alloy Origins Core TKL gaming keyboard…

…featured custom HyperX Red linear mechanical switches.

Later, they released a version with HyperX Aqua switches…

…which was essentially their take on the Cherry MX Brown/tactile bump style of key switch.

There is now a new edition featuring HyperX Blue switches…

…and it’s one of the best gaming keyboards I’ve ever used.

The keyboard offers a sturdy build, sleek design..

…and excellent performance at a lower price than the market average.

In exchange for the competitive price, you’re not really sacrificing anything.

The box contains the keyboard itself, a braided USB-C to USB-A cable, and some documentation.

The Alloy Origins Core stands out for its excellent build quality.

Both the top and bottom of the body are built from aircraft-grade aluminum.

It’s built better than I expected for the price…

…and much better than many more expensive keyboards I’ve used in the past.

It has a sturdy, premium-feeling metal body and a very small bezel edge…

…so it won’t take up much space on your desk.

In addition to its smooth and rounded edges, the casing is solid…

…which enhances the auditory and physical feedback of the clicky switches.

These new HyperX Blue switches are a joy to use, whether you’re typing or gaming.

Their actuation point lines up nicely with their satisfying click, and they have a fast and precise feel.

As a result of the solid case, these switches have a great sound without too much ping…

…so if you’re looking for maximum feedback when you press a key this is a great option.

As well as the switches and keycaps, the build quality is excellent.

The stabilizers on the board work well, and the keys wobble minimally across the board.

The font on the keycaps is very clean.

The design gives the keyboard a luxurious professional look…

…with only the HyperX logo above the arrow keys…

…and HyperX insignia on the space bar indicating that the keyboard is a gaming product.

The secondary functions of each key are lit by the RGB function thanks to smart placement…

…and although some keys are more cramped visually than on other gaming models…

…having everything lit up makes it worth it.

With HyperX’s Ngenuity software, you can easily customize RGB lights.

YA user can save three different light and key assignment profiles to three…

…different hardware-stored slots under the F1, F2, and F3 keys.

If you have written these profiles to the board…

…you can instantly toggle between your custom settings with a key press..

…which is great for users who don’t want to run extra software all the time.

The lighting is bright, clean, and even across the entire keyboard…

…and quite eye-catching despite the black backplate.

Even during aggressive typing or gaming sessions, the keyboard remains stable.

There are large rubber feet on the corners and adjustable feet…

…of two different heights so you can tilt the angle to your liking.

The adjustable feet swing in and out with a prominent heft…

…and click that matches the rest of the keyboard’s build.

After just one hour of adjustment, the standard spacing and ergonomic profile…

…of the key caps helped me get up to full typing speed.

Check Price on Work Rift

Redragon K530 Draconic

Choosing the Right Gaming Keyboard
Credits: workrift.com

K530 (also known as the “Draconic”) is, well, cheap.

This applies both to its price and more or less everything else about it.

Nevertheless, “cheap” isn’t synonymous with bad, and Redragon pulls off a lot here.

Nearly everything on the keyboard is made of ABS plastic and has a 60% layout.

This includes the case and the “plate,” the bit between the keycaps and the circuit board.

The result is a lightweight build, which is perfect for a wireless board that requires a battery and a few extra parts.

Rather than being particularly flashy or ugly…

…the keycaps allow the RGB lighting to show through while also displaying secondary functions.

You should be familiar with this design if you have looked at the mechanical keyboard space in the past few years.

At this price, this board stands out because of its wireless capabilitie…

…similar to the Anne Pro series, and its modular circuit board…

…similar to the much more expensive Massdrop ALT.

As for the former: The keyboard worked flawlessly with multiple devices…

…and the battery lasted for an incredibly long time, even with the lights on.

To thank for this, it has a 3000mah battery, which is twice as large as those found in similar devices.

On the side, there’s a power slider and a manual switch for three different Bluetooth devices.

All nice features–a bottom-mounted power switch means I often forget…

…to turn the keyboard off and drain the battery all night.

There is also a USB-C port on the side, which is much more convenient…

…than the top-mounted ports on other 60% boards.

Meanwhile, you should also note that it is a USB-C port, and that the cable in the box is a USB-C cable.

That’s what it should be, but in a budget keyboard, it deserves praise.

Plugging the keyboard in gives you access to the programming tool and a direct hyper-fast connection.

Software and programming on the K530 are a mess…

…so much so that I was glad to be done with it for not letting me use my favorite layout.

That’s a criticism that’s pretty specific to me, however.

Redragon’s ultra-cheap mechanical keyboard has a combination of Bluetooth…

…RGB lighting, and hot-swappable mechanical keys, all at an almost-shocking price.

For beginners looking to dip their toes into the world of mech boards…

…or for those simply looking for a cheap way to type wirelessly while on the go…

…Redragon has delivered a decent bargain.

Check Price on Work Rift

Sum Up!

Throughout this article, I pointed out 10 simple steps to picking a gaming keyboard.

From choosing the right size (full-size or tenkeyless)…

…to considering the key technology (membrane or mechanical)…

…I went over everything you need to know before splurging on a new gaming keyboard.

Aside from aesthetics, brand, and price…

…you should also look for customization and macros, backlighting, and build quality.

Choose a gaming keyboard with a decent key rollover number…

…and some anti-ghosting features to prevent ghost keypresses from ruining your game.

Conclusion

You should now be able to pick a keyboard that’s perfect for you…

…and your gaming needs now that you have all this knowledge.

It is essential that you balance price and features that are important to you.

Once you’ve set a budget, you can begin narrowing down your choices.

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