Mechanical keyboards are great to use for gaming for a multitude of reasons and are incredibly fun to play with. While mechanical keyboards are slightly more expensive than traditional keyboards, they are definitely worth the price.
Mechanical keyboards are better for gaming because they offer faster response times, better durability, N-key rollover, tons of customization, and are incredibly satisfying to use.
There are a ton of other cool features included in mechanical keyboards, so we’ll go more in-depth and talk about each one. We listed out 10 reasons why we think mechanical keyboards are better for gaming.
1. Programmable Keys
An awesome feature that comes with some mechanical keyboards is the ability to program certain keys. This will allow you to set commands and shortcuts to keys of your choice. If you constantly use a combination of keys, you can set that to a programmable key that is easy and fast to press in the middle of the action. You can also customize the controls in certain games to a more efficient layout that improves your competitive level.
Make sure when purchasing a mechanical keyboard that they have programmable keys, because not all keyboards have this feature. It usually requires the keyboard to use special software and certain companies have better software than others. Before purchasing a keyboard with programmable keys, do some research to make sure the software is reliable and easy to use or else it can be a headache to set up.
2. Extremely Durable
Mechanical keyboards are known for their incredible durability and superior build quality when compared to the traditional rubber dome/membrane style keyboards. For mechanical keyboards each key gets its own independent switch, so for each keystroke there is a dedicated switch to register the movement. The way these keyboards are built allows for a very consistent and responsive gaming experience.
The mechanical switches used in the production of mechanical keyboards are often rated for 50 million keystrokes, with some companies such as Cherry are rated up to 100 million keystrokes. This means you can use your keyboards for years before you even start to notice any wear and tear or a drop-in performance. Many of the first mechanical keyboards, such as the famous IBM Model M, are still in working condition to this day and they have been used for almost 40 years.
3. N-Key Rollover
Do you ever have the issue when typing where you press two keys at the same time and only one of them registers? Well with N-key rollover that problem is totally resolved. You can press up to a certain number of keys at the same time and all of the keystrokes will register. This is usually referred to as N-key rollover, a keyboard that has 6-key rollover allows you to press up to 6 keys at the same time and they will all register. Many mechanical keyboards offer this feature, so make sure to check the product description before purchase.
N-key rollover is incredibly useful for gaming. In the middle of a game, you want to make sure all of your keystrokes register so you’re able to operate the controls in the most accurate way possible. If only half your keystrokes are actually taken by the system, your performance will undoubtedly suffer. N-key rollover is also very useful for people who are fast at typing and get up to a speed where they need to press two keys at virtually the same time. N-key rollover makes typing more enjoyable experience when you know the keys will always register.
4. Better Response Time
Mechanical keyboards offer a much faster response time than other types of keyboards. Response time is the amount time it takes from when the key is pressed to when it is registered by your system. Mechanical keyboards offer unparalleled response time due to the design of the switches. This allows you to get an immediate response when pressing a key instead of having a small lag time between the keystroke and the registering of the movement.
There are certain types mechanical switches that offer better response times. Optical switches are a type of switch that give milliseconds better time when pressed. There are also low-profile switches that lower the actuation distance of the switch to make each key press faster. Keep in mind, these switch types offer faster response times, but they are usually not as enjoyable to type on, so there is a trade-off for using low-profile or optical switches.
5. Customize Switches for Competitive Advantage
As we briefly mentioned before, there are a ton of different mechanical keyboard switches to choose from. You are able to choose between tactile, linear, clicky, heavy, and light switches. If you enjoy getting feedback from your keyboard you can use a tactile switch. If you like a smooth keypress, you can use linear switches. If you tend to press down hard on your keys, you can use a heavy switch to help protect your fingers from impact. There are a ton of different ways to customize your keyboard with different switch types.
Don’t be afraid to test out several different switch types to figure out what you enjoy the most. Keep in mind, linear switches are generally considering the best for gaming. This doesn’t mean you can’t use tactile switches, a lot of gamers just feel that the tactile bump can be distracting when trying to game so they prefer linear switches. Many gamers use linear switches for the WASD & arrows keys and then do tactile switches for the rest of the keys to get around this issue. I can be helpful to have a keyboard with hot-swaps to make it easy to change out the switches.
6. More Comfortable for Long Play Sessions
Mechanical keyboards are much more comfortable to type on than normal keyboards. You are able to choose the type of switch that properly supports your fingers so you can type for long sessions and avoid fatiguing your hands. It’s also possible to purchase ergonomic mechanical keyboard designs to help with wrist and arm pain. Some split keyboards can be great to use for long play sessions or keyboards that properly support your wrists.
You can also purchase a wrist rest separately if you experience wrist pain. With mechanical keyboards, the sky is the limit when it comes to customization, so you can make your keyboard extremely comfortable and enjoyable to use. We also recommend checking out different keycap sets because they can change the overall shape of keycap to make typing and gaming better. The switch type is also important as mentioned before as they can help from pressing the keys too hard.
7. As quiet or loud as you want
When most people think of mechanical keyboards, they think of loud and clicky switches but there are also silent switches out there as well. Some people enjoy louder switches because it lets them get audible feedback from their keystrokes, but for others the noise can be distracting. Loud switches can also be irritating if you speak over a microphone to friends or if you have other people in the same room as you. If that’s the case, we recommend checking out some different silent switches, you get all the benefits of a normal switch except its extremely quiet and less distracting.
There are other factors that affect the keyboard sound levels. You can always install O-rings to your keys to dampen the sound levels if you feel your switches are too loud. Another factor is the design of your keyboard case, if the case is plastic or assembled poorly, the keyboard will rattle when typing which can be quite loud. We recommend getting a keyboard with an aluminum case to avoid the rattle or make sure the plastic case is solid and well put together.
8. Splash and water resistant
Many of the newer mechanical keyboard designs are splash resistant so you don’t need to worry about your keyboard breaking after spilling water or soda on it. If you tend to drink water, soda, or other drinks while playing games this can be great feature to have because chances are, you’ll eventually spill something on your keyboard no matter how careful you are. Keep in mind the keyboards are splash resistant, not fully waterproof, which means you can’t fully submerge the keyboard and expect it to work. The keyboard can only withstand liquid that spills onto the keyboard.
If you’re anything like me, you can be a little messy every once in a while. Getting a mechanical keyboard that is splash proof is an excellent preventative measure to make sure you can avoid breaking your keyboard next time you have butter fingers.
9. Gaming at Night is Better
If you play video games late into the night, it can be difficult to see all of your keys and the legends. Getting a mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting, will backlight your keys and make them more visible while playing games. Not to mention RBG lighting is can be pretty fun to use in general as it allows you to customize the lighting effects and look of your keyboard. Using RGB lighting can make viewing your keyboard legends easier and put less strain on your eyes, especially for late night sessions.
Of course, not all mechanical keyboards have RGB backlighting, so make sure to look for one that does come with this feature. Also, I would make sure the keyboard has some strong software as well, because usually the preset lighting effects are either boring or very distracting. I personally like to customize the lighting to something I enjoy.
10. More Fun to Use
Let’s face it, having a mechanical keyboard is just way more fun than a normal keyboard. The switches feel way better and make playing games or doing any sort of typing at your desk is a much better experience. Of course, we’re a little biased since we have an entire blog dedicated to talking about mechanical keyboards, but if you should definitely try it out. On top of the advantages they bring to gaming, mechanical keyboards are superior in almost every way to a normal keyboard.
Just wait until you are able to try out a ton of different switches, keyboards, or even build your own. You’ll get to see for yourself why mechanical keyboards are so much fun to use. The amount of fun you have with a keyboard is subjective, but there is just something incredibly satisfying about clicking a key and getting audible and tactile feedback.
Well, that wraps up our list for the top 10 reasons why mechanical keyboards are better for gaming. We hope you learned some interesting facts about mechanical keyboards. Some of the features we included on the list you are able to find on normal keyboards, but they can be rare or difficult to find. However, on mechanical keyboards those features are much more commonplace and easier to get. We hope you take your gaming experience to the next level and invest in a gaming mechanical keyboard.
From better durability, N-key rollover, switch customization, fast response times, RGB lighting, there are just so many cool features that come with mechanical keyboards. It’s hard to justify not using one. We have a lot of great keyboard reviews on our blog so if you’re interested be sure to check those out. A piece of parting advice- avoid the typical “gaming” mechanical keyboard companies as they tend to price gouge a bit because they sell keyboards based off of company name, not the actual quality of the keyboards. Avoid brands such as Razer and Corsair, instead look at keyboards focused more around an enjoyable typing experience.