Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboards
Top 10 Mechanical Keyboards for Gamers
Mechanical keyboards are favored by typists and gamers alike because of their snappy keys and increased durability. The ones marketed to gamers usually offer additional features like anti-ghosting, macro buttons, and onboard profiles. Although these computer peripherals come at a higher price, most gamers enjoy the satisfying tactile feedback and faster response time so much that they never go back to the "mushy" membrane and scissor-switch keyboards.
This list will help you find a good gaming keyboard with mechanical switches. These devices can range from inexpensive and basic ones to top-of-the-line products with every feature under the sun. Many enthusiasts see non-mechanical switches as a negative, so gaming gear manufacturers are offering more and more mechanical keyboards in various price ranges.
#1. Razer BlackWidow (Ultimate Edition)
Top mechanical gaming keyboard from Razer, featuring their own proprietary switches
Razer is one of the most popular names in PC gaming, offering all sorts of fancy peripherals to give you an edge over the competition. BlackWidow is their best gaming keyboard, featuring mechanical keys which give you that satisfying tactile feedback and have a low actuation distance for fast response, which is great for rapid double tapping. Other features include customizable profiles, 5 macro keys, individual backlighting with adjustable brightness, and more.
#2. Logitech G710+
Logitech's flagship gaming keyboard with quiet mechanical keys and 26-key rollover
The company's G-series peripherals are very popular among gamers, and the top mechanical keyboard among them is the G710+. Although it doesn't come cheap, its responsive, low-noise switches (45 g actuation force, 4 mm travel distance, actuation is half that) are a joy to use. The keyboard also includes 6 programmable G-Keys and allows you to create macros on-the-fly using Logitech Gaming Software.
#3. Corsair Vengeance K95
18 additional programmable keys makes it a great for MMO gaming
Vengeance K95 from Corsair features a sturdy black aluminum chassis and laser-etched keys for increased durability. It uses Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches, which are highly recommended among pro gamers because they are silent and have very low keypress resistance. 18 dedicated G-Keys make this keyboard an ideal one for MMORPG players, or for anyone who uses macros and custom keyboard shortcuts frequently. Onboard memory will come in handy when you want to use your customized settings on another computer.
#4. CM Storm QuickFire Rapid
Compact and affordable tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard
QuickFire Rapid from CM Storm series uses the well-known Cherry MX switches. There actually are 4 different models of this keyboard available, allowing you to choose between Black, Blue, Brown, and Red, depending on what kind of tactile feedback you prefer. It also features full n-key rollover (NKRO) in PS/2 mode, completely eliminating key blocking. CM Storm QuickFire Rapid is one of the cheapest mechanical gaming keyboard around, and while it doesn't have a lot of features (there are no macro keys or numpad), it doesn't skimp on quality, either. If you need macros, on-board profiles, or a numpad and want a product from the same company, consider CM Storm Trigger instead.
#5. Tesoro Durandal Ultimate
Full NKRO, 5 profiles, macros, multimedia keys, and red backlight
Tesoro Durandal Ultimate is one of the best mechanical keyboards to get if you want the full package of features: 5 profiles (128 kb onboard memory), programmable macro keys, dimmable LED backlight, separate multimedia keys, and jacks for your headphones and microphone. The bottom is rubberized to prevent slipping, and a palm rest is included for increased comfort.
You can also buy a non-Ultimate version of the Tesoro Durandal which, while lacking some of the bells and whistles, saves you nearly $40.
#6. SteelSeries 7G
High-quality gaming peripheral with a large hand rest
If comfort is your biggest concern, you will probably like the wrist rest that comes with the SteelSeries 7G. If you'd rather have more space on your table, remove the wrist rest and you'll be surprised at how compact this gaming keyboard is despite its size. Like other top gaming peripherals, it features mechanical keys with rapid response time, braided cord, and anti-ghosting. In fact, SteelSeries claims that 7G can recognize and process simultaneous commands from all keys at once. This keyboard includes media control keys, but no macros or backlight.
#7. Zowie Celeritas
Durable keyboard with adjustable keystroke repeat speed
Zowie is well known for their gaming gear, focusing on function and reliability rather than flashy LEDs and marketing fluff. Their Celeritas gaming keyboard features Cherry switches and laser-etched nylon keycaps. It boasts 0.2 second response time and "Zowie RTR" technology, which allows you to quickly increase or decrease the character repeat rate when connected via PS/2. According to Zowie, this helps you increase your APM in RTS games.
#8. Tt eSports Meka G1 Illuminated
1,000 Hz polling rate, detachable palm rest, and anti-ghosting keys
Tt eSports Meka G1 Illuminated is pretty basic as far as gaming keyboards go, but it has all the essentials like mechanical switches, multimedia hotkeys, and anti-ghosting. The only premium feature here is the backlighting for each individual key. Thermaltake also emphasizes the sturdiness of the cable, which might matter if you move your keyboard a lot or take it to LAN parties.
If you need more fancy features such as USB hub or even a built-in soundcard, check out Thermaltake's other peripherals, such as MEKA G-Unit (Cherry MX Red switches). Just keep in mind that they are also pricier than the more simple G1.
#9. Das Keyboard Model S Ultimate
One of the best mechanical keyboards with no key labels
Das Keyboard isn't marketed as a "gaming keyboard" and doesn't have macro keys, on-board memory, or fancy LEDs. However, it is still a very solid product which boasts NKRO (PS2) and 6KRO (USB), making it more than viable for use in video games. You can choose between Cherry MX Blue and Brown key switches, Browns being softer and quieter, and, as such, better suited for gaming. One of the most awesome things about this legendary keyboard is its lack of key labels, allowing you to show off your touch typing skills.
#10. Azio Levetron Mech5
Eye-catching keyboard with detachable numeric keypad and macro D-pad#
Like most other mechanical gaming keyboards, Azio Levetron Mech5 features anti-ghosting, programmable keys, and a way to disable the Windows key while gaming. Its unique features include a moduler design with two detachable modules - your everyday numeric keypad (which can also be attached to the left side of the keyboard instead of the right) and a slidable Macro D-Pad, which gives you 6 additional buttons to work with. Azio also claims that the keyboard is water-resistant and won't die even if you spill some liquid on it. This beast of a peripheral will certainly stand out compared to a regular keyboard.