There is more to a keyboard than QWERTY when it comes to gaming.
A dependable and comfortable keyboard is arguably the most critical tool in any gamer’s rig
A pro gamer’s keyboard can be in use hours at a time, so there are plenty of serious decisions to be made when investing in one.
What Keyboard Models Do Pro Gamers prefer?
Top-earning pro gamers all choose different brands of keyboard but with similar features (they are all backlit, for example) and similar styles.
So let’s take a look at their choices and why they made them.
#1. Ninja (Tyler Blevins) opts for the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL mini gaming keyboard. It features the standard backlighting you’ll find on gaming keyboards, it’s wired, and it also has a 60% form factor – you can even adjust the actuation on it.
#2. PewDiePie (Felix Kjeliberg) chooses the Corsair Strafe gaming keyboard. Or he used to when he gamed. He preferred the performance of this fully programmable keyboard, which features contoured keycaps for comfort and control.
#3. Preston (Preston Arsement), a popular Minecraft player and Vlogger, uses the Razer BlackWidow X Chroma keyboard. His choice of keyboard is again wired (I can’t think of a pro gamer who uses wireless) and features 10-key rollover, and you can choose between Razer green and orange switches depending on your gaming needs.
#4. Shroud (Michael Grzesiek) uses the Logitech G Pro X – Shroud Edition, as his gaming keyboard. The keyboard features pro-grade mechanical switches and he says it is easy to bring along to tournaments or trips. And it’s a solid nod in the direction of Logitech, too.
#5. DanTDM (Daniel Middleton), is popular worldwide for his Minecraft videos. He prefers the MagicForce Brown Switch which is a mini wired, 68-key mechanical gaming keyboard.
Why Do Pro Gamers Use Mechanical Keyboards?
Pro gamers use mechanical keyboards because they prefer the tactile feedback and even the more ‘silent’ keyboards give a satisfying click at the fingertip. This ensures that the gamer can physically feel that a keystroke has been registered.
Keyboards used by pro gamers also have to be capable of taking a lot of abuse – even outside “poor loser” tantrums. The keys can, and most likely will, take a hammering during heated gaming sessions. A membrane keyboard would fall apart in the same situation.
Mechanical keyboards simply do not have that problem, and even if you do smash a keycap or switch, you can just swap them out.
There’s also a certain amount of clout-chasing that goes along with using a specific model of mechanical keyboard for gaming.
Plus, they do look cool what with all the backlighting.
Gotta love it.
What Keyboard Switches Do Gamers Prefer?
Clicky switches are preferred by many pro gamers as they give good audio feedback when depressed. It’s that extra layer of response that means a gamer isn’t second-guessing themselves.
There are two other types of keyboard switches you can choose from though:
Linear switches are consistent, smooth, and have no bump or click. They have less audio feedback which might be seen as a positive for an office worker, but gamers prefer clickiness. Many standard gamers do prefer linear switches but as they move into pro gamer territory they tend to opt for the clicky switches for the audio and tactile feedback they provide.
Tactile switches have slower activations than linear switches. Tactile switches do offer great audio feedback but, being slightly slower than their counterparts, they’re not the obvious choice for a serious gamer.
Why Do Gamers Use 60% Keyboards?
The main reason a growing number of pro gamers use 60% keyboards is because of their smaller physical size. The smaller physical of a 60% keyboard leaves the serious gamer with more space on their desk for the mouse pad, speakers, and monitors and more elbow room for when they’re actually playing.
Pro gamers also opt for these smaller keyboards as they’re portable and easy to pop into a backpack when traveling to tournaments, gaming parties, etc.
FPS vs. MMORPG Keyboards
The major consideration to make, when choosing between these two types of keyboards, is the pace of the game being played.
MMORPG games take a lot longer to complete than an FPS game – they don’t ever really end, truth be told.
FPS games center on weapons and being able to complete a limited number of actions fluidly – weapon changes, reloads, sprints, leaning around corners, etc.
MMORPG gaming is all about being able to bind macros, so you need as many dedicated gaming keys or programmable keys as you can get on your gaming keyboard, and mouse.
So it’s highly likely that a pro FPS gamer would use a tenkeyless or 60% keyboard.
An MMORPG gamer on the other hand will need all the current keys on a keyboard, plus a few extra programmable keys if possible.
What Is The Best Selling Gaming Keyboard?
The best-selling brand name gaming keyboard according to Amazon – by units sold – is the Logitech G213, quickly followed by the Razer Huntsman Mini and Steelseries Apex 3.
The Logitech G213 being a best-seller was a bit of a surprise because Logitech is relatively new to the gaming keyboard market. But they have been part of the gaming industry since they released their first joystick in 1995 and their first mouse in 1982. No, that’s not a typo.
There are other budget gaming keyboards that sell in far higher numbers than the G213, but we’d actively discourage you from buying a gaming keyboard for $15 because you’re going to have to replace it in months and not years.
You get what you pay for.