Why Do Pro Gamers Tilt Their Keyboards?


As a gamer myself, I’ve always been curious why pro gamers tilt their keyboards.

To figure out exactly why they do it, I analyzed dozens of pro gamers and attempted the angled keyboard setup myself.

Here’s what I found.

Pro gamers tilt their keyboard to allow more room for their mouse. The extra space allows them to lower the sensitivity and make large sweeping motions when aiming to improve accuracy in FPS-based games such as CS GO.

Another benefit is saving space during LAN tournaments and competitions.

Does this setup make sense for the everyday gamer or should it be reserved for the pros?

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Tilt Your Keyboard When Gaming?

If you look at the top of any competitive sport, you’ll see patterns among the top players, such as gear and the techniques used when playing.

It’s no different when it comes to Esports.

Everybody wants to increase their chances of winning and remove any possible disadvantages.

When it comes to competitive gaming (especially FPS games) keyboard positioning can be a big factor.

The biggest reason pro players adopt a tilted keyboard style is to improve mouse accuracy.

More Mouse Space = Improved Aim

Keyboard TiltSpace Saved
45 degrees1 in (25.4 mm)
60 degrees2 in (50.8 mm)
75 degrees6 in (152.4 mm)
90 degrees12 in (304.8 mm)

It’s no secret that using a mouse with a lower DPI/sensitivity can improve accuracy.

Longer strokes with your mouse recruits more muscles into the movement. This helps develop muscle memory and hone in accuracy.

But to play with a low sensitivity requires more space to move the mouse.

This is where tilting your keyboard comes in.

With a tilted keyboard, you take up a lot less real estate on your desk. This allows more room to move the mouse for those large sweeping motions.

Depending on the degree of tilt your board is at you can save a lot of space. The more aggressive the angle, the more space you have available.

With a full-sized keyboard tilted to 90 degrees, you give yourself an extra 12″ inches of space, that’s an entire foot of extra room! With a 45 degree angle, this amount is dropped to an inch.

More extreme players will even put the entire keyboard in their lap to devote their entire desk space to the mouse.

You don’t want to run the risk of accidentally bumping your mouse into your keyboard when gaming. That could be a shortcut to losing.

LAN Parties & Tournaments

With the rise of Esports, competitions at venues and LAN parties are more popular than ever.

In these cramped spaces, you often barely have enough room for your gear.

Imagine dozens of people packed into a tiny room, that’s what it looks like.

If you let your keyboard take up the entire space, you’re saying goodbye to at least a foot of precious space.

To get around this, players look for anyway possible to save space. This includes tilting their keyboards to avoid bumping into the person next to you.

The tilted keyboard style works great in a variety of gaming environments because space becomes less of an issue. You can fit an extra person next to you or even have enough room for a drink.

While the primary benefit of a tilted keyboard is improved accuracy, the extra space is a nice as well.

Comfort and (Possibly) Ergonomics

The reason some gamers use the tilted keyboard style is more simple then you may imagine. It’s comfort.

Playing with your keyboard tilted could be more comfortable for long play sessions.

I typically play with an ever-so-slightly angled keyboard because I find it more comfortable.

Writing this article encouraged me to try a more aggressive angle, and almost instantly my wrist started to hurt.

While I personally am not able to play at a 90 degree tilt, others could find this incredibly comfortable. As a casual gamer, I don’t have a need to adopt such an intense style.

If you’re a casual gamer like me, the end of the day, your decision making should come down to whether or not tilting your keyboard is comfortable.

If you’re a pro, you’re more likely to put your body at risk in return for a chance at winning. The stakes are higher.

The Game Genre Matters

In FPS games, Battle Royales, and other shooting genres, tilting your keyboard is needed more often because teammates have very little space between them and need to maximize space for their mice.

On the other hand, in MOBA games like DOTA or League of Legends, many of the contestants don’t tilt their keyboards as much. You don’t need as much mouse space.

FPS titles may get a lot of viewers and hype, but not all pros tilt their keyboards.

In genres where the gamer needs to move their mouse more, they naturally need more space.

If you’re an avid FPS player, you might need to be more willing to adopt an aggressive keyboard tilt.

It Comes Down To Preference

The choice to tilt your keyboard depends entirely on preference.

When you are gaming, you will play your best when you are comfortable. If tilting your keyboard is comfortable for you, why not do it.

Not to mention, people have different styles. Some may slouch, lean on their desk, sit closer to the monitor, etc.

There is too much variation to give a one-size-fits-all when it comes to the keyboard tilt amount.

Your preference may also be decided by your environment. If you have a small desk, tilting your keyboard at an aggressive angle will be the best use of your environment.

There are varying degrees that one can tilt their keyboard. A good thing to do is to test different levels of tilting your board while also playing with no tilt and finding what suits you best.

Overall, the key point is that what is comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for you.

Pro Gamers That Tilt Their Keyboards

If you watch pro gamers either streaming or in tournaments you probably have seen a lot of them tilting their keyboards.

Many streamers tilt their keyboards but almost all professionals, depending on the game genre, will tilt their keyboards at different angles. This habit often continues and retired pros can be seen still tilting their keyboards just because they are so used to it.

You will see famous gamers such as Tfue, Shroud, Ninja, Buealo, and Myth tilting their keyboards.

Tfue, for example, tilts his keyboard at a 90-degree angle but others may use a less aggressive curve. The most common angles are 45 to 70 degrees.

Smaller Keyboards Are Easier To Tilt

Due to the wider size of full-sized boards, tilting your keyboard can result in part of it hanging off your desk..

This can make the board uncomfortable to use while tilted, because you may need to put pressure to keep it on the desk. Plus, it can press into your stomach while playing.

Nobody wants their keyboard to be hanging off the desk.

Smaller keyboards are much more space efficient. You can save a TON of desk space with these smaller layouts. That’s why Ninja uses the Ducky One 2 Mini.

For this reason, 60% keyboards are recommended for gaming.

Another factor to consider is smaller boards usually have less mass so they are physically easier to move around. This is great for portability and taking your gear with you to LAN parties and tournaments.

Overall smaller boards are usually easier and simpler to tilt.

They physically have the advantage over bigger sized keyboards when it comes to gaming.

If you’re interested in checking out smaller keyboards, read about our favorite 60% keyboards.

Conclusion

Professional gamers need confidence and comfort while gaming for playing under pressure for long hours.

Tilting your keyboard can have multiple benefits like improved desk space, better accuracy, and a more comfortable setup.

The additional desk space is especially useful for more room for the mouse. Not having enough mouse space can hold you back from playing properly.

Although tilting your keyboard has multiple benefits, it mainly comes down to preference. Just because something suits how a pro plays, it does not necessarily mean that you will like the same setup. Finding what is right for you is the most important thing.

Casual gamers will need to experiment a bit to find what’s most comfortable.

Good luck and happy gaming!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

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