As a gamer, having the right peripherals is crucial to the gaming experience, and the keyboard plays a significant role. There are two types of keyboards – mechanical and membrane keyboards. Mechanical keyboards are the classic-looking keyboards that were prevalent in the 1980s, and they are made with high-quality plastic key switches underneath each of the keycaps.
What Makes Mechanical Keyboard A Good Choice For Gaming?
Typing on a mechanical keyboard involves pressing down on a keycap, which activates a physical switch underneath, resulting in a tactile and audible response. Most mechanical keyboard switches are either linear or tactile. Linear switches require a key to be pushed all the way down, while tactile switches only need to be pressed about halfway down to activate, making it easier to move to the next key more quickly and easily.
Cherry MX switches are the most commonly used switches in mechanical keyboards. Cherry MX switches vary in their characteristics, including the auditory and tactile nature of the switch, the amount of force needed to actuate it, and the keyboard’s application or user preference. For instance, Cherry Blue is ideal for typists as it provides a tactile and audible response, while Cherry Red is perfect for gaming, as it has a smoother and lighter touch.
Mechanical keyboards can also be customized in several ways, including replacing switches and adding specialized gaming keypads with programmable keys. Other customization options include backlit keycaps, durable keycaps, and customized keycaps with specific designs, colors, names, shapes, or logos.
In conclusion, mechanical keyboards offer various advantages, including durability, customization options, and better tactile feedback, making them the best option for gaming.
Key Factors To Consider Before Selecting Mechanical Keyboard For Gaming
When it comes to selecting a mechanical keyboard for gaming, there are a few key characteristics to consider in order to find the right one for your individual needs. The choice between a mechanical keyboard or a membrane keyboard is often a personal preference, with most gamers opting for mechanical keyboards due to their tactile feel, durability, and faster response times. However, some gamers may prefer the smaller footprint, portability, and lower cost of membrane keyboards, or even a hybrid of the two.
- Actuation Force – One important factor to consider is actuation force, which is the amount of force required to press down on a key in order for it to be recognized by the keyboard. This force can range widely, from as low as 35 grams up to 350 grams, with most mechanical keyboards ranging from 45 to 60 grams. The actuation force will depend on your individual preference, as some may prefer a lighter touch while others may want a heavier feel.
- Actuation Distance – Another factor to consider is actuation distance, which is the distance the switch needs to be depressed in order to register as an input. This is measured from the top of the keycap and can range from 1 mm to 2 mm for most mechanical keyboards. A shorter actuation distance does not necessarily make you a better gamer, as it may lead to more mistakes due to the lighter feel.
- Tactility – Tactility is also an important consideration, as it refers to the feedback and resistance received when typing. This is associated with the position that the key travels to when generating a keystroke. Mechanical keyboards tend to be more tactile, with feedback being audible and visual through clicking sounds and the keys springing back and raising the keycap. Conversely, many membrane keyboards lack tactility and can feel softened after normal wear and tear. While some membrane keyboards can be engineered to provide tactility, they may not have the same durable feel as mechanical keyboards.
- Noise Level – Noise level is also a consideration, depending on the type of application being used or game being played, as well as where the keyboard is being used. Mechanical keyboards are typically the noisiest due to clicks at both the beginning and end of keystrokes. Membrane keyboards have the quietest switches due to the rubber or silicone cushioning that is lacking in mechanical keyboards. Scissor-switch membrane switches are noisier than regular membrane switches due to having less rubber cushioning.
- Price – Mechanical keyboards are available in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly options around $60 to high-end models exceeding $200. Older models may even be available for a lower cost. Additionally, pricing can vary depending on the brand and whether the keyboard includes RGB lighting or not.
- Durability & Lifespan – Finally, durability and lifespan are important factors to consider when selecting a mechanical keyboard. This includes how many keystrokes a keyboard is rated for over its lifespan, as well as the type of switch used and the build quality of the keyboard itself. Mechanical switches are generally more durable than membrane switches, with some mechanical keyboards being rated for up to 100 million keystrokes. Meanwhile, some membrane keyboards are rated for around 5 million keystrokes. The build quality of the keyboard can also impact its durability, with some keyboards being built to withstand more wear and tear than others.
Overall, selecting a mechanical keyboard for gaming comes down to personal preference and individual needs. Considering factors such as actuation force, distance, tactility, noise level, and durability can help narrow down the options and find the right keyboard for your gaming setup.
Also read: Best Curved Gaming Monitors for PS5 and PS4 in 2023
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the benefits of using a mechanical keyboard?
Mechanical keyboards provide more tactile feedback, resulting in a comfortable and precise typing experience. With the clicky sound and halfway travel feel, you can conveniently tell if a key has registered or not, making it a popular choice among typists and gamers.
Are mechanical keyboards better for gaming?
Yes, mechanical keyboards are the preferred choice for gaming. They use a spring and switch mechanism that provides a more responsive and accurate experience. It is rare to see esports competitors without a mechanical keyboard, as it makes a noticeable difference in their gameplay.
Can mechanical keyboards improve FPS gaming?
Yes, mechanical keyboards can help improve FPS gaming. With more definitive key presses, a mechanical keyboard can provide a slight advantage in gameplay. They are also easier to clean and maintain, making them a practical option for avid gamers.
Do mechanical keyboards really enhance typing speed?
Yes, mechanical keyboards can improve typing speed by allowing you to customize the feel and sound of your keyboard. The tactile and audio feedback from each keystroke can help improve accuracy and speed, making them a popular choice among professionals who type for extended periods of time.