You are a seasoned veteran of PC gaming. You have been through countless matches of counter strike. Been shot at, stabbed and blown up in COD. You have pressed the space-bar button so many times in Starcraft the key has disintegrated. You have paid your dues and now, it’s your chance. Your chance to up your game, your chance to step into the ring with the biggest baddest gamers on earth. And you are going to need everything you can get to compete. Because the big boys have the best toys.
A powerful PC is a given, if you haven’t got one, don’t even bother showing up. But that’s not all you need. You need a monster monitor that will let you take a whisker off a rat from 100 yards. You need the sound, the seat, the desk. You need it all. But most importantly, you need the right input device to transmit your badass gaming reflexes into on-screen action.
You Want To Compete? Then You Need The Best!
You are going to need the best mouse and keyboard you can get if you want to compete. If you don’t, you are going to be run over by the skill of your adversaries and left in their dust, s. You will never reach the gaming heights that you aspire to. And all because you didn’t invest in your control method.
Don’t let your tech hold you back. You competition won’t.
Unfortunately, most gamers always think they need a great mouse. to compete. This may make sense to a noob as a mouse helps you aim and shoot. And yes you do need a quality mouse. I’m not denying that.
But a quality mouse will only improve your skill so far. The only thing that will improve your aim is practice.
You Need A Quality Keyboard
But a keyboard will improve your game immediately.
But why? Well, a keyboard is the Swiss army knife of controllers. For starters, the sheer number of buttons a keyboard has gives you a huge amount of options. But the biggest reason: If you are using a poor keyboard it will limit your in-game reaction times. Compared to the competition, you will be running around in treacle. All the while they shoot you in the face.
A poor keyboard will always slow you down.
Your skill forever capped by the ineptness of your keyboard
But Salvation Is At Hand
Now that you understand the utmost urgency of getting a good keyboard. What you know need to know is what would be the best to buy. To save you the effort of getting lost in the labyrinths of the Internet, I have assembled a collection of the very best, most kick ass keyboards money can buy.
So read on to find the keyboard that is going to stop hindering you and start helping you to win tournaments.
The first keyboard on the list, the Logitech G910 Orion Spark may not have the reputation of some of the other industry big guns on this list, but underestimate it at your peril because Logitech have developed a world beater that deserves a place under any gamers monitor..
The first thing that threatened to sun tan my eyes was the blistering, bright, full RGB programmable lighting underneath each of the G910 keys. Go and check the website out, you will see that the Logitech offers many different installed lighting programs that dazzled and delighted my eyes with a photon dance.
However, I must warn you, the website does not do justice to how good looking the keyboard is in person. The lighting is really impressive and also surprisingly useful. Different keys have different symbols that can be lit up for quick recognition. And different in built patters will highlight the keys that are used for popular games. A great feature that always looks impressive.
Unfortunately, one drawback of the inclusion of the RGB lighting is Logitech’s apparent need to save money. For some reason that I am unable to comprehend, they have made the main body of the ’board out of plain old plastic. An unwelcome choice that did upset me a little bit.
But when I actually used the thing to play a game, a big cheesy smile spread across my face.
Why? Because Logitech developed a stunning keyboard. Plus their own proprietary Switch, dubbed the Romer-G, is absolutely sublime to use. Plastic body forgiven then. The Romer-G is a beautiful switch that comes in standard Cherry types, such as blue, ‘clicky’ or green, liner and silent. All very normal. But it’s in other areas that the Romer’ shines. The actuation speed is 25% fast than a typical Cherry MX Switch. The activation distance is reduced from the normal 2mm to 1.5mm. It may not sound like a lot, but the tiny distance your finger has to travel to activate a switch does make a difference in game and this 25% saving is welcome for gamers.
Outside of the impressive custom keys, the G910 differentiates itself in one more area. It comes with a technological curiosity in the form of software called Arx. Arx is an add on to the G910 that lets you collect statistics about your keyboard usage such as keys pressed or number of times pressed. Statistics that can really make a difference if you are trying to squeeze the last few percentage points out of your performance.
Overall the Orion Spark is a keyboard for the statistically inclined out there. It has a plethora of features and, apart from the plastic chassis, stands toe to toe with the best the industry has to offer.
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Programmable, 5 Macro Keys – Green Switch
We all know Razer, they make quality PC hardware and the Chroma V2 is absolutely no different. If you want a world class keyboard at a price that is slightly less wallet meltingly expensive, the Blackwidow should a be a keyboard to consider.
But first I have some bad news. Just like Logitech, Razer have made the inexplicable decision to make thier best, most expensive keyboard out of substandard materials.
Yes, that’s right, its made from plastic.
The Razer is a world class keyboard that feels as good as any other on this list. But unfortunately, again, we have a company that is skimping on build quality. Using plastic instead of metal to incorporate custom keys.
Note to Razer: You make amazing keyboards. Do them justice and use decent materials.
Anyway, now that is out of the way, I can carry on.
First of all, in all fairness to Razer, they have used some pretty high quality plastic. And it is smudge proof for all the good that will do. But underneath this plastic façade is a keyboard of genius.
For starters we have a full RGB matrix underneath each key which essentially means you could take a few hundred of these to a rave, strap them to all the walls, and job done, your dance floor lighting is sorted.
And to get the most out of your dance inducing keyboard, razer have included some cool software, Synaptic, that lets you re-program every key. Hue, brightness, color, fading, blinking, they are all under your control and will do anything for you. Well, nearly anything. You can get some mesmerizing light shows on the go. Chroma name Chroma by nature then.
And that’s not the only synaptic trick. The software can be used to create a huge number of macros and combinations for each key. Finding yourself constantly pressing the same sequences of keys over and over? The you need set up a macro so the combination will be done for you automatically.
But what is a keyboard without fantastic keys? Fortunately, the Chroma V2 comes with some of the best Mechanical switches in the industry. Using Razer’s proprietary green switches, these little gaming miracles can apparently last for up to 80 million presses. That’s 30 million more than the Cherry switches most other boards offer. Good to know in the heat of digital battle that your key won’t suddenly explode underneath your finger.
If you can ignore the plastic, and you really should, you will be getting a keyboard that is a super high end. It leaps and bounds over most of the competition like some cocky rocket jumper in Unreal tournament. You really want to kill him but you know, deep down, just like the Chroma V2 he and it are going to win.
Being the Corsair k95 smaller but just as capable brother, the Corsair k70 is a keyboard that will delight you with its high end features but make you smirk with gratification that you bought smart. Why? Because the k70 has 90% of the features of the k95 at 30% less the price.
On inspecting the k70 for the first time I could not help but notice how lush the body felt to touch. It was cold and had that distinctly aluminum feel to it. Running my fingers over the chassis’ sleek lines I could feel a paranormal hum and vibration my skin. A feel that I get with every aluminum electronic gadget I have ever used.
It felt beautiful, high quality and premium. Everything a plus $100 keyboard should feel.
Corsair haven’t skimped here. They know that gamers buying the best kit expect the best in every area and that included build quality.
Take note Razer and Logitech.
But these sleek metal lines don’t impress on their own. They are punctuated and accented by a, quit frankly, wonderful full RGB, per key lighting system. Almost industry leading, every light can be programed and set up any way your imagination desires. And with 16 million colors at your disposal, the colorful sky is the limit.
And the K70’s proves to be just as impressive on the inside as it is on the out. For example this is the only board on the list that uses the Cherry MX speed switches. These have got the smallest travel distance of any key, even smaller that the Romer-G switches. At just 1.2mm, they are that sensitive you can literally blow on each key to spell out your name.
Truly unimaginable sensitivity that is a real game changer for twitch first person shooters. When using the keyboard, it really feels like I’ve been plugged into the matrix with thought immediately transferred into action on screen.
Once you try a keyboard that reacts this quickly you will never want to go back to something else. All other keyboards will seem like an unnecessary hindrance.
The MX Speed keys are worth the price of entry alone. However, along with this you get a partially modular design. In other words you can take every key off the board and replace it with another one. Therefor, if you use a particular key more aggressively than others in your ingame killing sprees, you can just replace the one key instead of the entire keyboard.
So the K70 is one of the fastest most reactive keyboard on the market and will befit you greatly if you specialize in FPS gaming.
Corsair Gaming K95 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Aircraft-grade aluminum, Backlit Multicolor LED, Cherry MX Red
One of the best keyboards ever made, the Corsair k95 RGB Offers everything that the K70 does with a few extra niceties to sweeten the deal. So without repeating myself, lets have a look at what the K95 offer over the k70 and why you might want to buy it.
So what goodies do you get for the extra cash you have to pay up for this flagship?
First the design of the keyboard takes massive hike in quality with the incorporation of very high grade aerospace aluminum. This makes the keyboard almost to light to be real. Seriously, try picking it up, hamsters weigh more than this. The special metal, thats been scrapped off some poor plane, also helps to keep the ’board extra rigid, enabling it to stand up to your most furious outburst of anger when you loose.
The second feature that the K95 has over the K70 is the inclusion of 18 G-Keys on the left hand side of the main ’board. These macros keys can be assigned to do anything you desire using the CUE software included. They can be set up to do nearly any combination and can have an infinite number of keys assigned to them.
The final and most useful addition that the K95 has, over its smaller brother, is the inclusion of a tiny amount of memory hidden deep with in its clicky insides.
This conveniently and easily stores every setup you design for every game you play. So, when you take the keyboard out on a trip to show it off to your friends, all your settings go with you. All your different macros and lighting setups conveniently ready to show off to the world.
Saving to the on board memory is easy, its automatic, and you don’t have to think about it. It does exactly what it should do.
Easily one of the worlds best keyboards, the k95 only offers 3 distinct features that the k70 doesn’t have. But together these 3 features make the k95 worth the extras cash. The macro Gkeys, the aerospace aluminum and the on board memory are all great additions that add massively to the keyboard. Especially the ability to take all your setting with you with the built in memory. So the k95 is a step up from the k70 and for tournament goers, it is worth every extra penny.
Saitek Mad Catz STRIKE7 Modular RGB Backlit Gaming Keyboard with Customizable Metal Frame, 24 Programmable Macros, and LCD Touchscreen
Looking for a top of the range keyboard that offer world class performance and unique looks? Then take a look at the Strike 7. A keyboard that offers, ‘It looks like it’s from a cockpit’ looks with world class performance.
The first thing you will notice about the Strike 7 is that it looks bonkers. This would not look out of place as a set prop on Star Trek. And to be honest with you, your ether going to love that or hate it. But if you do love it – and come on admit it, you do – there is a lot here on offer.
The chassis is completely made from brushed steel. Not just the back plate but the entire keyboard. This gives is it a reassuring solid feel. It could also double up as a bat to hit a thief. If the need arose.
Looking beyond the metallic finish, the strike 7 incorporates a completely modular design. Any part of the board can be detached, and then reattached in any order. Just remember to put them back in order if you ever want to use thing to, you know, do some actual work.
Continuing on to a technical point of view, the Strike offers up world class performance that really challenges the likes of Razer and Corsair for the keyboard crown.
For starters, the keyboard comes with a fully programmable, per key RGB lighting setup. Which looks like Joseph’s Technicolor Dream Coat in beautiful, technological, ‘clicky’ motion.
Additionally each key has a proprietary key technology, which according to Saitek, incorporates the best of both worlds of mechanical and non-mechanical keyboards.
Whatever they used, it gives game enhancing feedback and lightning fast reflexive action. Everything you would want from a keyboard.
But one of the best features of the keyboard has to be the fully programmable LCD touch screen that comes as standard as part of the package. This LCD screen can be used for Many different things including setting up macros on the fly.
Additionally it can be used as a set of extra buttons, used for Team Speak, or even used as a second screen to show your ingame statistics. On top of that, any kind of keyboard statistics, such as number of keys pressed or number of times a key is pressed, can be show on the screen.
Though this keyboard does look slightly mad, it offers more features than any other high end keyboard and, after using it myself, is my pick for the best keyboard on the market.