Up For Debate - What do you look for in a gaming keyboard? 2021 edition

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Mar 27, 2021 5:00 PM

Keyboards are a fundamental part of PC gaming. They may not seem like much: just a bunch of small, plastic boxes that can be pressed down on another large plastic slab. It’s easy to see the keyboard as one of the easiest options to cheap out on a budget build, but a good keyboard can often go a long way. So we want to know from you guys, what do you look for in a gaming keyboard?

There’s a lot of different aspects to a gaming keyboard, all the way from how the keys sound when you press them and how quickly each key press is registered, to the age old question of whether you want RGB or not. Do you like the standard layout, or do you prefer a more ergonomic style? Do you like to have macro keys? Or are you not that bothered? Do you like wired or wireless keyboards?

These questions can seem pretty daunting to a newcomer in the PC gaming scene, or someone who has not bought a new keyboard in 7 years and never thought about it. They are also essential for work (especially now, as pretty much everyone has  been working from home in the past year). And if you are a competitive gamer, the keyboard is one of your most trusted weapons.

So there’s a lot to think about, and hopefully this Up For Debate can help someone out there find the kind of keyboard they’re looking for. And without the ability to physically go into a store and touch all the keyboards you want, figuring out the best option online can be pretty tricky.

So now onto you guys! What do you look for in a gaming keyboard? Do you prefer mechanical or silent keyboards? Do you prefer standard, or ergonomic? RGB or no RGB? And what is the single most important part of a good gaming keyboard for you? Let’s debate!

Mechanical or silent?

Standard or Ergonomic?

Wired or wireless?

RGB or no RGB?

Login or Register to join the debate

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08:04 Mar-31-2021

Well i bought a razer huntsman elite and the hyperx pudding keycaps, the main aspetcs for me are build quality (i want long lasting products), reliable switches (but not a too high actuation point, i don't wanna blow and suddenly press a key), AESTHETICS (yes, rgb bla bla bla), and smooth typing other tham gaming

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12:44 Mar-30-2021

I am not so in the clickity clack of the Mechanical Keyboards. And I will rather choose a membrane keyboard that has multiple multimedia and macro keys rather one that has none but is mechanical for the same price.


This only applies to me because I can't afford one that has all of them but I would rather give up the mechanical than the extra buttons.

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14:28 Mar-30-2021

Sensation of typing on a mechanical keyboard is miles ahead over membrane, and there are plenty of switch types that offer a variety of different experiences from click to silent, hard or soft to press, etc. Personal customisation is also great but that's a more premium feature. With that there are definitely advantages membranes offer too. They're often more resilient, cheaper to produce so they can be more experimental and few more.

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23:02 Mar-30-2021

I totally agree. Used one for a while. But as I specified above, I can't afford one that also have the extra multimedia buttons so I would rather stick to membrane than just enjoying the "feel". Also, I can break it without remorse if I get mad because it is cheap. xD

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16:33 Mar-29-2021

Started getting into building mechanical keyboards and it has been a great hobby. For a gaming board, something wired with low spring weight and linear switches. Currently using a board with linear alpaca switches on the stock springs. It's been great!

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07:31 Mar-29-2021

Classy look with good typing experience. Do most of my gaming with a controller anyways. Bought a Varmilo with Cherry MX Blacks a while ago, they make some nice looking, non gamer-esque boards with good quality all around.

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11:42 Mar-28-2021

I look for a small LCD and try to run Skyrim on it

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16:34 Mar-28-2021

or doom

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11:13 Mar-28-2021

Had a g710+ and absolutely hated it, cheap plastic everywhere useless side buttons who always came off, it was pure gamer(TM) bait and I fell for it for 120€.
Switched to a somewhat minimalistic Ducky One TKL, absolutely love it. No flex on pressing, no useless buttons, no BS, absolutely love it.

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10:58 Mar-28-2021

"Mechanical or Silent"


Cherry MX silent: Why not both

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11:30 Mar-28-2021

I have brown switches with 0.4mm o-rings and it is a bit quieter, but not as quiet as the silent sample recordings. I don't think I'll upgrade my keyboard for a long time which is more than good for me. RTX Voice has my back when it comes to typing and calling and the keyboard sounds aren't annoying me, since it's a form of feedback on my actions (typing).

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09:09 Mar-28-2021

Using a cheap wireless keyboard and mouse combo from Genius. Cost me $20 USD.

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08:59 Mar-28-2021

From what i can see in the comments, i am definitely the odd ball. When looking for a new keyboard, or new peripherals in general. i look at 3 criterias:


Mechanical
Wireless
Battery life

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09:08 Mar-28-2021

The battery issue on wireless keyboard isn't much of a problem if the keyboard uses AAA batteries.
Just keep 2s pair on hand. When the ones in the keyboard a empty just switch em out and have the keyboard back and running in under 30 seconds.


My AAA batteries last 3 - 4 months before I need to recharge them.

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18:08 Mar-28-2021

My keyboard uses 2 AA batteries and I change 2 maybe 3 times a year. It's just a standard Logitech I bought around 2008. Still works flawlessly.

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20:22 Mar-28-2021

Heard that Logitech stuff is quality, but 13 years.
Nice

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13:14 Mar-30-2021

Logitech quality seems to the stuff legends are made of, my Friend still rocks his MX518. he got that when we both built AMD Athlon 64 systems in 2005. was a slivery leopard print style, now just solid black from wear and tear but still going strong

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02:56 Mar-28-2021

Recently jumped into the higher end keyboards and mice, been using cheap brands in past around £30 and under, now using the Corsair K70 Mk2 with cherry mx brown keys for £114, love the icue software to sync my rgb profiles with my Corsair Glaive Pro mouse

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00:24 Mar-28-2021

I am using a Razer Blackwidow Lite Ten-Keyless with orange switches. I love the size of this keyboard.. I make a bazillion typos with it tho lol!

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23:52 Mar-27-2021

Mechanical or Non Mechanical, I like a keyboard that gives Long Life preferably 3years at max
alot of keyboards stop working in a year or so, very rarely we get a keyboard that provides long life.

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11:33 Mar-28-2021

Sounds like you've had bad luck during the years. All keyboards I've owned work till this day. Starting off with PS/2 keyboards, an old membrane USB keyboard, laptop keyboards, and now my mechanical keyboard (which I already own 2 years). I rarely use the PS/2 keyboard, you'll never know when the system decides to not initialize USB. PS/2 is the safe spot. I know that there are some PS/2 to USB adapters, but they don't always work in BIOS environments.

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13:17 Mar-28-2021

Some keys on my Acer laptop keyboard stopped working after 5 years, so I needed to replace the whole keyboard.

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23:30 Mar-27-2021

For me it is mechanical, as long as it is not too clicky or loud, like G413 silver I have is doing fine, from Cherry switches, red kind of strike me as the type of deal I would want. Definitely standard. And wired, I really am terrible with charging, so I love wired, plus no signal interference. As for RGB, I prefer single color light enough backlight for keys, so I can see them in dark,...

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23:32 Mar-27-2021

... so RGB would kind of be wasted on me and usually is excessive, I want computer, not Christmas tree. Then again, RGB that Gigabyte put on my motherboard must feel sooo useless, like it is in case with solid sidepanel, so no one ever gets to see it. But beside display and keyboard, I like stuff around me to be dark.

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11:25 Mar-28-2021

Seth, same here... My board is white back light only. Perfect!

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22:11 Mar-27-2021

Yeah man! I got myself the Redragon K556 early last year. I'm now completely sold on trying out mechanical keyboards.

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22:03 Mar-27-2021

full size (need numerals for some software, like sibelius), silent, and cheap. Backlight is necessary too, bc i work in the dark.

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21:50 Mar-27-2021

My pc has a tv connected to it so that i can use from my bed and a monitor. In the sitting position i have a Corsair Strafe RGB (silent mechanical linear keys) and on the bed i have a cheap wireless 60% royal kludge(with knock off cherry blues). I mostly enjoy my content in the dark so having backlight is a must. Honestly i have more money than sense for me it wouldnt matter if its membrane or mechanical. I quess im just a victim of marketing.

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21:50 Mar-27-2021

Corsair K95 RGB

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21:49 Mar-27-2021

1.mechanical
2.low profile
3.wireless
4.screen sync RGB (link with aura sync and Philips hue)

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21:10 Mar-27-2021

Wireless is the only thing I really care about. Wires are an absolute deal-breaker.

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20:45 Mar-27-2021

I mostly look for a mechanical keyboard in TKL or something in the 60/65/75% size range.

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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
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Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
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Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
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Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
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Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX 540X 2GB Mobile 8GB
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Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
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100% Yes [5 votes]
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