BEST GAMING KEYPAD? What’s the actual buzz is about?
Video games are one of the most popular indoor activities all over the world, and are taken up as a beloved pastime by millions of people. Some video games necessarily require a good quality gaming keypad, to let the player enjoy the game to the fullest, and to provide the best control of features.
A gaming keypad is an auxiliary keypad, whose sole use is in video games. It possesses a few of the keys present on a traditional keyboard, which are arranged so as to provide quick control of the keys.
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Keypads which come with a high degree of functionality and controls are the most preferred, as they allow the player to easily handle their on-screen avatars, and hit all the high scores.
With video games constantly developing and becoming more and more interactive, gaming keypads too, are becoming increasingly well-designed, better coordinated, sleek, and good-looking.
The advent of gaming keyboards has brought about a major change in the way some categories of PC video games are played.
These include massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) third-person action adventures, and first-person shooters (FPS).
TYPES OF GAMING KEYPADS
When buying a keyboard for gaming, buyers have the option of choosing from two major categories of keyboards.
This is crucial to in order to ensure gamers possess the board which suits their needs in the best way. There are keyboards which come with rubber dome switches, and those which are designed to carry mechanical switches.
Rubber Dome Switch Keypads
The design consists of a membrane, covered by a rubber dome present under each key. Upon pressing the key, the dome is made to flex downwards, and so the inner graphite-coated surface sends an electric signal to the computer. Releasing the key stops the signal, as the dome moves back to its original position.
Instead of rubber domes, these carry switches loaded onto springs, under every key. Pressing a key closes the circuit and sends a signal to the PC, and release of the key breaks the circuit, stopping the signal.
Pros and Cons of Both Types of Gaming Keypads:
If this feature is considered, then the point goes to mechanical type pads, as they provide a movement prior to activation which is smooth, while the compression of the dome can lead to a mushy feeling on the rubber dome pads.
Not having any movable mechanical parts works in favour of rubber dome keypads, as they are quite noiseless.
Having parts that are easily removable makes the mechanical keypads much easier to clean than rubber dome types.
The rubber domes gradually lose their elasticity, and over time the functionality of the keyboard is lowered. This is not a problem with mechanical keypads.
Rubber dome keypads are much cheaper, owing to their rather simple design and limited functionality, as compared to mechanical types. So, they can be a good option for amateur gamers who don’t want to spend too much money on their gaming equipment.
PRODUCT REVIEWS AND SWIFT SUGGESTIONS (Top 10 Product Reviews)
This ultra-small size portable keypad comes with 23 keys, all of which are programmable, to give the most important key functions, including the traditional 104 buttons, 8 multimedia controls, 8 buttons for web navigation, Windows locks and keyboard locks, among others.
Moreover, each button can be programmed to any of the above-mentioned buttons.
This keypad carries a total of 12 macro function keys, out of which, 12 are advanced macros, and the rest are quick macros.
Series use of macro functions is possible, and a total of 792 key commands can be supported, meeting many complicated use scenarios, like CAD/Ae/Pr/Ps shortcuts, Office/WPS or other software shortcuts, multiple user accounts/passwords, game quick tricks, and even basic programming codes.
Also, with the help of the built-in MCU, once the keys are set up, they get stored in the memory, and the keyboard doesn’t have to be reset, even if the PC is changed.
The ability to save up to 4-usage configurations makes this pad ideal for gamers, as well as video editors and designers, while also saving space. Even if this keypad and s conventional 104-key keyboard is attached to the same computer at the same time, they do not interfere with each other.
The aesthetic appeal of this product is enhanced by the customisable RGB backlight. The configuration process requires the computer to support a standard USB Type-A interface.
After the configuration is complete, Thunderbolt USB and HUB adapter can be used for the connection.
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Product Size: 5″x 3.5″ x 1.2″ (inches)
Package Contains 1 Keypad, 1 USB Cable, 1 Keycaps Puller, 65 Top Print Key Packs, 23 Blank Key Caps.
- Supports multiple key functions
- Can save up to 4 usage configurations
- Provides many macro functions
- Customisability is limited
- Does not contain buttons like Tab, Shift, Alt, etc buttons
The naturally contoured design of this keypad offers enhanced comfort to the player by following the natural shape of hands, while retaining good control. The Onboard memory supports up to 5 ready-to-play player profiles, saving your personal preferences.
The backlight is customizable, making it easy for the product light to be varied, and enhance visibility even in low-light. Each of the 25 keys is programmable, and combined with the programmable analog stick and three programmable modes, giving the player control over keyboard functions, while also allowing them to make macros, and providing up to 87 control ways.
This product also features a GamePanel LCD with high visibility, to display communications, gaming stats, and system information. The package comes with a 1 year warranty for limited hardware.
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.1 x 3.5 inches
Package Contains: Logitech Gameboard, along with a Quick-start guide, a Software CD
- The design fits really well the natural contour of hands
- The programmable keys, program modes, and programmable analog stick support 87 ways to control the game
- The LCD screen provides good display
- RGB backlight is not very bright
- Responsiveness may be low
The customizable RGB backlight of this keypad comes with 5 in-built colour options. Of the keys, eight are programmable, giving the player control over infinite commands.
The preferred skills, hotkeys, and macros can be combined to provide the best gaming experience. There are a total of 10 hotkeys, and 8 independent macro keys, which are activated by the FN button.
This keypad is 100% anti-ghosting, with all key rollover USB, preventing any hindrance to flow. The blue switches of this pad come with a good sense of rhythm, providing great control.
The lifetime of the buttons is ultra-long, and the service life is up to 50 million times.
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The palm rest and ergonomic design of the keypad prevent player fatigue. The keyboard switches to sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity, and can be switched back on by pressing any key.
Being compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Mac OS X, they keypad supports a variety of customer interfaces.
The 30 keys, which are fully programmable, allow many different functionalities. Moreover, the they thumb-pad supports 8 way movement. The product allows instantaneous switching between 8 key maps.
Product Dimensions: 12×3.25×8.5 inches
- Compatible with many computer systems
- Ultra-long life and service of the buttons
- Hotkeys and macro keys activated by FN button prevents flow hindrance
- Programmability of backlight colour is low
- Hand-rest not very comfortable
This product supports a number of game consoles, including the Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS3, and Nintendo Switch PC. This keypad is ideal for many different games, like Apex legends, Call of Duty, Black Ops 4, PUBG, Rainbow Six, Battlefield 5, Splatoon 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Anthem.
The keypad is wireless, with a maximum control range of 32.8 feet, due to the Agility X technology. Bluetooth allows connecting mobile phones to GCrux, helping adjust configuration.
The product also features a gaming Mouse, with 5 levels adjustable DPI, 4 levels polling rate, and configurable side buttons.
Low resistance and easy typing are provided by the 38 TTT Blue Key switches, and the palm-rest is detachable and slidable, supporting different gestures.
This console has two default key layout profiles, allowing easy switching between the WASD and D-pad modes. The battery is 1000mah, and there are a total of 10 HIP configurations.
Product Dimensions: 3.27×1.14 x 5.63 inches
- Compatible with multiple systems and games
- 1000mah battery
- Wireless with a control range of 32.8 feet
- Connecting multiple gadgets to the system may be difficult
This product, manufactured by one of the best gaming equipment companies in the US, features pressure-sensitive inputs through the analog optical switches, which respond to different pressures much like a joystick, and provide instantaneous response.
There are a total of 32 keys, all of which are programmable, to provide more hotkeys, and can be integrated into a creative workflow. Every key supports dual function, one triggering a partial keystroke, and the other causing a full keystroke.
The thumb pad supports 8-way directional movement, which allows for an ergonomic experience to players who are used to game consoles, by allowing a hand movement which is more natural.
The Chroma RGB lighting makes personalisation possible; the Razer hardware with Phillips Hue, and the gear from more than 30 partners, provides for 16.8 million colours.
Moreover, this keypad is compatible with most of the popular games. 8 different profiles can be managed easily, by using the toggle key.
Product Dimensions: 5.95 x 7.96 x 2.5 inches
- Optical switches provide instantaneous response to touch
- Fully customisable Chroma lighting allows up to 16.8 million colours
- May occasionally give a phantom input
- The size may be inconvenient
Manufactured by XFuny, this key offers the ultimate customisability, with all the keys being programmable, shortcut keys present on the side, no conflict between buttons, and suitability for a number of game environments, from PUBG to Fortnite.
The service life of the buttons can be increased to up to 50 million times, with the BOX mechanical shaft design. This also makes the functions much more powerful and fierce than any other product.
Moreover, the comfortable palm rest and the ergonomic design, allow for quick and flexible movements.
The RGB backlight is customisable to the colour preferred by the user, enhancing the visual and aesthetic appeal of this pad. The small size of this product makes it easy to carry and use. The aviation grade aluminum bases used in the design provide a more stable operation.
Adding to the good features of this product is the assured 180-day full refund, no questions asked warranty.
Note: The QR code on the box takes the user to the official website of this product, allowing them to download the firmware upgrade package and driver.
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 9.7 x 2.6 inches
- Programmable keys provide good customisation
- Comes with a 6 month warranty
- The mechanical keyboard increases the service life of the buttons to up to 50 million time.
- The size may not be convenient for some people
This keypad provides the user with endless number of macros and commands, while also giving the clicking satisfaction of the mechanical keyboards.
The Razer technology of mechanical switches possess a specialised set of actuation and reset points, giving the player unprecedented speed and responsiveness.
The product features 30 keys which are fully programmable, allowing many more hotkeys, skills, and macros. The thumb pad is 8-way directional and programmable and can be used as modifier keys, or for movement.
The hand, thumb and palm rest modules are full adjustable, allowing the player to customize it during marathon sessions, while reducing hand fatigue and improving ergonomic access. The Chroma RGB customisable backlight allows for up to 16.8 million colours, as per the user’s preference.
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.07 x 2.16 inches
- 30 fully programmable keys to provide more macros and hotkeys
- Chroma RGB allows 16.8 million colours
- The hand, palm, and thumb rest modules provide better movements while reducing fatigue.
- The Synapse program is prone to bugging
- The D-Pad can result in very intermittent commands being sent.
A quality product from Redragon, this product features a slim keyboard, with contains only the most important keys, getting rid of all the excess ones, thus keeping the package light.
Misclicking of keys is reduced by the clear tactile feedback of OUTEMU Blue Switches on the mechanical keyboard with audible clicky sounds. The 7 programmable macro keys allow binding of multiple commands and provide quick and easy activation.
All macro keys are capable of being assigned single or multiple keystrokes, saving time during battle.
There are a total of 5 RGB backlit modes, making up to 16.8 colours possible. The lights are easily visible, making usage easy even in the dark. The USB-pass through port is positioned to not interrupt the flow of game, and ready for connecting to mouse, wireless headset adapter, and any other USB device.
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The design has been created ergonomically, complete with a detachable wrist rest, making use more comfortable and preventing fatigue.
Product Dimensions: 11 x 2 x 9 inches
Package Contains: 1 x Redragon K585 mechanical keyboard; 1 x Typer-C Cord; 1 x User manual
- The quality is built to last, with functional keys
- Compatible to single-handed use
- The keys are not very glossy, making clicking easier
- Macro recording has limitations
- Unbinding of single keys is not possible, only group unbinding is supported
The recessed key cap design of this product makes clicking easy and faster. The design is ergonomic for more natural hand movements, and to allow increased portability, and comes with function keys and arrow keys.
This keyboard is multimedia friendly, with Web home, increase volume, decrease volume, ESC, and mute keys present on the two sides of the pad.
The product also has a group of four special keys coloured in red (WASD-type keyboard) for gaming, with a convenient to touch middle row, and rapid positioning of each button.
This makes the keypad friendly to single-handed use, and compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The backlight of the keyboard is LED, and comes with third gear brightness adjustment.
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.4 x 3.4 inches
- The USB cord is 4 feet long, providing good range of control
- The short cuts keys of the board make it really easy to use in photo editing, Photoshop, 3D software and more
- The keys are not programmable, and macros cannot be assigned
- The lighting is somewhat dim
The Razer Tartarus V2 makes it possible to bind commands and skills, making it easy to activate them instantaneously. The Mecha-Membrane switches guarantee high performance, and provide a tactical feedback akin to that from a mechanical keyboard, over the comfortable soft cushioned rubber dome switches suited for gaming.
The 32 keys provide for more hotkeys and actions and can be integrated into the workflow easily.
The device’s capabilities can be doubled easily, by making use of the Hypershift mode, which opens a set of secondary commands over the primary ones.
Moreover, Razer Hypershift allows the remapping of all keys and keypress combinations, to incorporate more complex actions.
The system is powered by the Razer Synapse, which allows the player to save profile configurations to cloud, assign macros, and even explore the activated capabilities of the keyboard.
The thumb pad supports 8-way directional movement, and paired with the ergonomic design, allows the hand actions to be much more natural, especially for players oriented to consoles.
The built-in Razer Chroma makes it possible to choose from 16.8 million colours, offering the ultimate keyboard personalisation.
Product Dimensions: 2.36 x 7.98 x 6.02 inches
- The Hypershift makes it possible to double the capability of the keyboard, and also allows remapping of all keys and keyshift combinations
- The Razer Synapse system makes it easy to store player profiles, assign macros, and much more
- Chroma RGB allows for up to 16.8 million colours
- The size is too big, especially for shorter hands
- The D-Pad is not very sturdy, and prone to breaking
- Can give phantom inputs on occasions
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A GAMING KEYBOARD: THE BUYER’S GUIDE
When on the lookout for the best keyboard to support your video or PC gaming endeavors, there a few things that you should always keep in mind. Here we’ve listed down some of the most ideal features which can make the product you’re eyeing, really the best on the market:
- Check whether your keyboard is mechanical or membrane: This is an important factor in determining how the keys to process being pressed, and how fast they respond to being pressed. It also affects the overall sound and feels of the keyboard while use and can have a psychological effect on the player. Membrane keyboards are easier to develop and cheaper, and the designs can be made really sleek since the silicone and rubber layer doubles up as an electric contact and a spring. However, they do not provide the clicky sound and can make it hard to decipher whether the button has actually been pressed and if the click has been registered. Moreover, their squishy feel can make hand movements sloppy and less accurate. Mechanical keypads, on the other hand, carry a mechanical switch under each key. They also give that distinct click sound when pressed, and the solid built of the keys provides for quicker response.
- Check if your keypad allows customizations, and if it carries macro keys: If your keyboard contains a dedicated set of buttons for setting up macros, or if it allows for normal keys to be customised to macros, then it can give you a massive edge during the game. Generally, mechanical boards are much better at providing macro functions and are customised easily.
- Check the number of rollovers supported by your keypad, and if it has an anti-ghosting system: Generally speaking, the higher the rollover number (or a number of keys which can be pressed simultaneously), the more functional the keyboard is. Additionally, the keyboard should possess a sound anti-ghosting system, by means of wires which avoid signals from adjacent keys.
- Backlighting: Apart from greatly enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the board, backlight also improves visibility in the dark, by combining different sets of keys commonly used together, and colouring them in different colours. A good keypad allows for good customizability of the backlight and offers lighting that is bright, but not too bright.
- Finally, the keypad size and shape: Generally, gaming keyboards are much smaller than the full-size ones, which increases the ease of carrying and use, and also makes single-handed use possible. Also, a keypad’s shape and contouring should allow a natural flow of hand movements.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GAMING KEYPADS
Can I use a traditional keyboard for gaming?
Tradition keyboards (with 104 keys) are too big to allow for rapid pressing of keys, and are too bulky to be portable. Additionally, the placing of keys is not optimised for placing the keys most commonly used together, adjacent to each other. They are prone to ghosting of keys, are limited when it comes to rollovers allowed, and cannot be customised. Macro keys are also absent. These make traditional keypads generally unsuitable for gaming.
Which is better between a membrane and a mechanical keyboard?
Generally, mechanical keyboards offer many advantages over mechanical ones, like easier pressing, more rapid response, clicking sound, improved customisation, better backlight, and more. However, they are much more costly.
Are wireless boards better than those with wires?
Wireless boards can offer you a much wider control range of over several feet, and are also easier to set up, due to the absence of too many cords. On the downside, the connection is more likely to break due to network issues, and it is difficult to connect multiple devices to same system, as the load on the Bluetooth may become too much.
In this review, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular gaming keypads, which come with some of the most cutting edge features and benefits, along with detailed descriptions and pros to cons analysis of each product.
When it comes to buying the gaming keyboard which best matches your needs and preferences, a number of considerations have to be kept in mind. One of the most important of these is the type of keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are generally better than membrane ones, despite being somewhat expensive.
The additional features, like customisation, macro keys, anti-ghosting features, backlight, also need to be considered. And that is the reason we have added a Buyer’s Guide segment in this review.
Every product has its strengths and weaknesses, and some keypads have an edge over others in certain areas.
We have also answered some of the frequently asked questions related to the purchase of gaming keypads, to help you make an informed decision about which keypad is the best for you.
While browsing for your ideal keypad, make sure to check this review out, to help you know what exactly you are looking for, and what you should be looking for.