The best keyboard for upgrading your PC gaming experience from Mashable

Think of a home computer and you’ll almost certainly picture a monitor and keyboard. The keyboard is the most basic of computer accessories. You simply can’t have a PC without one. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a basic keyboard.

To the untrained eye, a keyboard looks like, well, a keyboard. It’s hard to tell a standard office-style keyboard from a high end esports model. But serious gamers know what sets the best keyboards apart. And not just RGB lighting. We’re talking the kinds of features that will help you reach your peak gaming potential.

For those who aren’t in the know, we’ve lined up this quick guide on gaming keyboards — not to mention a roundup of the very best models to consider.

Do you need a gaming keyboard?

If you’re a casual gamer who only plays from time to time, you are probably going to be just fine with a standard keyboard. If you’re a dedicated gamer who engages in competitive matches, or you put in serious campaign hours, a keyboard upgrade could make a big difference to your overall gaming experience.

Alongside your mouse, a keyboard is your number one gaming tool. So it pays to upgrade to something special. The best gaming keyboards are more responsive and react more quickly to give you an edge. When the difference between success and failure can come down to split seconds, high performance tech has an impact on your win rate.

What are the best features in a gaming keyboard?

These are the most important factors when it comes to picking a gaming keyboard:

Anti-ghosting — Anti-ghosting tech (the ability to capture simultaneous keystrokes without errors) has become a standard on gaming keyboards. All the keyboards listed below come equipped with some form of anti-ghosting tech. There are variations, however, in how many anti-ghosting keys can be used simultaneously. Some keyboards are more restrictive than others.

Backlighting — Gaming keyboards come equipped with either single colour backlighting, multi-colour RGB (Red, Green, Blue) backlighting, or no lighting at all. Some gaming keyboards even feature backlighting options that allow you to synchronise the lighting with the action on your screen. A truly immersive experience. 

Macro Keys — These are keys that perform a series of programmable commands in sequence. Essentially a handy shortcut depending on what game you’re playing — a way to play more efficiently and economically. Keyboards come with dedicated macros keys, which you can assign command sequences to.

Switches — Keyboard switches (the bits that sit underneath each key) pick up what you put down. Most gaming keyboards come equipped with one of a variety of different options for mechanical or membrane switches. The switches register your keystroke, so you want them to function with speed and accuracy.

Type — Mechanical keyboards are sturdier, offer a more instant reaction, and tend to be the preferred option for gamers. Membrane keyboards are ideal for quieter performance and quicker movement across the keys. And optical keyboards respond faster and tend to last longer.

Additional features you should consider include ergonomics, hot-swappable keys, and design. The first step is to determine your gaming priorities, and whether they are specific to your favourite game or dictated by your budget. Then use this guide to pinpoint the perfect gaming keyboard to meet your unique gaming needs. 

What is the best gaming keyboard?

We’ve looked at all the key features — not to mention style, performance, and cost — to bring you a selection of your best keyboard options from top gaming brands like Razer and Corsair. We recommend that you check out everything in this list, and consider what will work best for you and your gaming world.

These are the best gaming keyboards in 2024.

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