Gamers need improvised everything from additional graphics to gaming keyboards to funky joysticks. That’s why I decided to create a list of Top 10 Best Gaming Keyboards 2016.
Among the long list of essentials, you can’t overlook gaming keyboards. When playing for long hours, you can’t help but appreciate the extra level of comfort it creates. Finest and smooth gaming experience are guaranteed along with it. Effortless play even in lengthy gaming durations is a real prospect.
Your gaming set up would stay unimpressive until the standard keyboard hasn’t been replaced by a gaming keyboard already.
Have a look at few other gaming beasts, we reviewed:
Best Gaming Keyboards 2016
If I was out there to buy a Gaming Keyboard, it would be Corsair K70.
After continuous research and testing it personally, I finally chose this one to be the best keyboard for gamers to buy in 2016. I am more than sure that you are eager to know the reasons, that why I had chosen the Corsair K70, as the best gaming keyboard 2016? Right?
Let me clear it for you.
- First and foremost, I researched for the most trusted gaming keyboard brand among Facebook gaming groups, Gaming Platoons and on forums.
(Found that Corsair is the #1 Gaming Keyboard Manufacturer).
- I researched for the Gaming Keyboards with the best rating on Amazon. I read the customer reviews and had a close look on Customer’s satisfaction and what actually the product is offering. I found this model (K70), as the best rated and most purchased keyboard on Amazon.
- I ask the Manufacturer to send me a keyboard for a limited time to review it, and I will include a “Buy Now” link back to your product in my article.
- I found Corsair Keyboards (K70 and Latest K95) listed at the top on some of the famous tech blogs out there including TomsGuide.
Differences in Different Keyboard Models
(Mechanical vs Membrane)
Different keyboard models include a different set of features. The only thing that stays the same is every gaming keyboard would bring lots of improvised options.
The primary differentiation in gaming keyboards should be the make of keys. The two categories in this regard are mechanical and membrane based keyboards. Membrane-based keyboards generate signals upon touch, with the help of conductive plastic. Whereas mechanical based keyboards use physical switches, which works far better.
Choosing between the two would be a classic example of cost vs. quality scenario.
Low-Quality Keyboards are worth Crap
Gaming keyboards are meant to make your gaming more enjoyable. Nevertheless not every gaming keyword is guaranteed to better the feel and simulation.
Only a few handful of gaming keyboard models gets manufactured every year.
From brands to type to model, quality of gaming keyboards varies widely. The broad range in regards to quality would mean there is a cheap set of electronics sitting there at the lower end of the spectrum. Making a purchase of such gaming component would only create more uneasiness.
That is exactly why we have compiled the list of best keyboards for gamers.
The predecessors of K70 enjoyed all the appreciation for their simplicity. The latest model would be worth more for additional features and great software end. Amongst all factors, its design would make an impression straight away.
K70 has successfully been the conceptual successor of K60. Though it doesn’t have all the features of K60 or K70 MX red, it still has most of it. Not many keyboards fit their billing along lines of succeeding the series.
What’s more desirable is K70 does more than just being a successor. It packs more features and looks fresh with full lit LED keys. Some extra features and aesthetics are contained in the design.
A four-way BIOS switch is located on the dorsal side of the keyboard. The first trick such a setup pulls is, reducing the polling rate to 50%. From 1000Hz to 500Hz to even stripping back to primary BIOS mode, every instant transformation is possible.
You have the option to keep wrist rest on and off. Gamers know the significance of an on and off wrist rest. 80-90% of it is made of plastic, which makes sense for gaming as well as productivity. The keys are also matted to make life easy for gamers, who sweat too much.
The cherry MX red switches make K70 feel light and responsive. These switches enable fast paced gaming. Every bit of the 45g actuation force contributes to intense gaming action. Curved inwards and being rubberized, K70 keys provide that distinctive feel. Their contoured WASD keys deserve a mention in every review.
Their contoured WASD keys deserve a mention in this review.
Our Final Verdict
K70 successfully achieves adding feel good factor, which is often ignored by manufacturers. K70 doesn’t boast a revolutionary design.
The design is something, where the brand has made incredible improvements to address the shortcoming of predecessors. This keyboard guarantees all-round fulfillment starting from being a 100% mechanized device. Corsair in all counts would be the first in the list.
2. Coolermaster Storm Quickfire TK – Clean and Minimal
Coolermaster has packed gaming keyboard and mouse together for mutually benefiting upsells. The design is expected to be basic at first look.
It’s one of the best mechanical keyboards from Coolermaster. You have options to choose both partial as well as complete illumination. Polling rate can be lower than 1ms. Three switch modes are available – Cherry MX Blue, Brown and Red.
The model has a compact dimension of 14.9×5.4×1.3 inches. Six feet cable comes along with the device to give you that extra bit of movability.
FPS gamers are going to be delighted with this one. Its compactness goes hand in hand with robustness, which would prove too good for gaming.
The keyboard boasts an intelligent system capable of reducing its size without losing keys. Controllable illumination and programmable mouse make the product irresistible. You may be forced to order a wrist rest, but that shouldn’t come as a significant drawback,
3. Razer BlackWidow Chroma – Top Sold Keyboard
The Razer BlackWidow Chroma is the best Gaming keyboard 2016 according to our views and managed to take the 3rd place in our article.
This keyboard is not that much great when it comes to built quality but every model do have some flaws. Its all plastic. At the same time, it has a lot of features that make it an amazing product and viable option.
The most exciting features in this keyboard are that you can customize the color combination to your taste. The keyboard do have macro keys, usb pass through and audio pass through. Its kinda expensive as compared to others but with low built quality. It is preferred to those gamers who value style with gaming.
Last words on Razer Blackwidow Chroma
No doubt that Razer Chroma is one of the finest Gaming keyboard out there.
Macro keys are available. Comfortable and programmable keys are there. The software is easy as compared to its competitor Corsair K70 RGB. It also has USB and Audio Pass-through.
The only thing I didn’t like in Razer chroma is it all plastic. What a shame! This keyboard is really expensive and yet comes with plastic body.
4. Tesoro Excalibur G7NL – Standard yet Strong
Appearance or design is not Excalibur’s strong suite. You don’t get glossy finishes and flashy designs with this one. Its design can be described as standard at best. You would know why this happens to be one of the Best Gaming Keyboards 2016 list, after reading this review.
Firstly, G7nl doesn’t have missed keys, thanks to N-Key rollover. Three switches are available- Red, Blue, and Brown. Its gaming grade mechanized keys account for 60 million key actuations. Rubberized bottom acting as anti-slip measure helps extreme gaming experience. It packs 512kB onboard macros memory.
Three switches help a great deal in gaming and productivity. Three LED patterns prove valid for all types of activities.
It’s quite easy to change instantly between the modes too.
When you are a busybody who loves to multitask, you can’t thank this feature enough.
If you rate on gaming experience alone, G7nl is just winning marginally. The switches hold excellent for intense tapping rate during gameplay. Gaming modes and macros keys do what is described. The option of switching between more than two LED modes should come handy.
Few Hiccups in Design
Adjusting G7nl on the desk can be quite challenging. The smaller legs, it uses for support folds back very quickly. For instance, when you move the keyboard forward or backward, they fold back undesirably. This adjustment issue could mean a distraction of few crucial seconds in gaming.
5. CM Storm QuickFire Rapid-i – Minimalistic Design
Individual backlighting would most probably be the first feature you would notice. Additional macros options are good, and it feels least intimidating even to the clumpy gamer. They have made it possible with the help of standard keyboard design.
It’s a mechanized keyboard fitted with Cherry MX mechanical switches. The design feels familiar with traditional ten button numeric pad. You got neat color options in Cherry MX, Red, Brown, Blue and more.
Though being minimalistic this design helps Quickfire to be one of the best keyboard available in the market.
CM Storm has tried to open up to a lot of options in this keyboard. Nevertheless, low profile configuration makes this keyboard limited across parameters. For instance, you are allowed to use five-set layouts only.
This would mean the individual backlighting feature has gone missing. As relief, you can individually color arrow keys and WASD keys. Additionally, you can manually configure every single button. Such presets can be saved as profiles for future use.
The first influential factor is it doesn’t require any software side efforts to save profiles. The 32 bit onboard ARM processor takes care of that.
It makes the keyboard readily portable across computers and laptops. CM has a reputation for building sturdy designs, and such toughness makes your investment worthy.
The CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i is powerful and smaller mechanical gaming keyboard with a lot of interesting features. Most important thing is that you don’t require any extra software to use the keyboard like other gaming keyboards in our list.
Well, thre are no macro keys and numeric pad is also missing and that’s the only reason that this keyboard is smaller and travel friendly.
Mechanized keys plus customized macros are what makes Orion Spark exclusive. The current keyboard would leave even the Logitech fans in surprise with all its unusual extras. From lighting to programmable features, you can tweak each and every technicality. This is the only Logitech’s device to be ranked in our Best Keyboards for gamers list.
The design is pretty standard like any other gaming keyboard. From full layout to mechanical switches to programmable macros, you have it all. G910 behaves highly traditional via its full QWERTY keyboard, built-in media controls, mode switches, ten key num pad, etc..
The keyboard only has a single USB port rather than a USB pass-through.
Logitech gaming software is the default driver for keyboard plus its features. In G910, it also acts as the extensive customization suite, which helps to adjust color, lighting, and pattern. It also generates analytic on how each and every key is frequented.
The provided application can function for your keyboard as well as an additional Logitech mouse at the same time.
Well shaped keycaps and its design favor gaming more, rather than typing. Touch typists may not appreciate the difference between keycaps on either side of the board.
They are almost always used as the alternate direction keys.
7. SteelSeries Apex M800 – Best ergonomic keyboard 2016
Steelseries makes plenty of customization available to gamers. Along with the aesthetics, it serves well through serious technology. Some might call it ultimate choice amongst the best gaming keyboards 2016 though it’s too early to say it.
Ergonomic design isn’t the first factor that compels you to buy this model. The illumination is, in fact, its best feature. It offers a plethora of illumination combination through 16.8 million possible colors. You are free to define your custom lighting scheme. For instance, make a few keys red and few green in sync with progress in the game. You can turn off illumination for all keys except one.
Your imagination is the limit to the amount of permutations possible.
What you need to know about firstly is the keyboard’s dual processor. The processor works exclusively to register key presses, with its prime focus on avoiding ghosting issues. Registering 256 keys pressed at once is a real prospect.
SteelSeries along with leading experts in switch technology made ends mate flawlessly through the QS1 switch. A quarter of cent percentage extra actuation and smooth linear action are made possible with the QS1 switch.
8. Razer DeathStalker Ultimate – For Gamers Only
An LCD panel replacing standard number pad is the highlight of Razer Deathstalker Ultimate. The biggest complaint is it’s pricey. However, the expensive keyboard model can undo it all with revised pricing in the latter half of this year. Therefore, the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate is a serious contender for this list.
Undoubtedly SwitchBlade, DeathStalker’s user interface is the standout feature in this keyboard.
The keys are set to do everyday tasks like logging into Twitter, launching a calculator etc. The options we mentioned, exists by default. Nevertheless, you can do a lot more with Synapse management software.
There are tons of game specific functions on offer through Razer Synapse.
Profiles help assign game specific commands from your keyboard. Employing a track panel of damage, health, weaponry is a real prospect. However, it is limited to only a handful of games at the moment.
The 4 inch LCD makes the track panel look crystal clear.
Nevertheless, amateur gamers would have trouble keeping up with keyboard analytics, whereas onscreen indications would be the default choice by instincts.
Wrapping it up
Ten programming LED keys and an elegant LCD touchscreen sums up the awesomeness of Razer DeathStalker Ultimate. But the SwitchBlade interface seems to disappoint gamers in practicality aspect.
Logging into social media account in one click shouldn’t give an enormous edge too.
The Razer DeathStalker Ultimate should be your choice if you pay attention to the keyboard as much as you do with the monitor.
9. Mad Catz STRIKE TE – Sturdy Designed Keyboard
This is the first Mad Catz keyboard to feature mechanized keys. TE or Tournament Edition use Kailh Brown switches instead of Cherry MX. Faster and flawless keystrokes make it a positive change.
This keyboard feels solid when you pick it up. It doesn’t flex or bend much when put to the test. Heavy duty plastic matte adds more sturdiness to the intelligent design. Without showing signs of tear or scratches, it can take up some abuse.
The only minus is, the Kailh Brown switches doesn’t allow to mold keyboard according to your preferences.
It’s a decent gaming keyboard which doesn’t lag much in typing capacity also.
It might produce a little delay in typing tasks, but it reduces error percentage by 25% at the same time. A solid gaming keyboard proving not so behind in typing prowess doesn’t happen frequently.
You can buy it for versatile usage.
On the back of sophisticated customization software, this mechanical keyboard is definitely the 9th best in our list.
Though the software side of the product feels limited, its durability makes up for it. It’s a durable keyboard flexible to every task you can think of. It can deal with typing and gaming, hand in hand.
Great backlighting and Kailh Brown switches make it a different product in this category.
10. ROCCAT RYOS MK Pro – Best Budget Gaming Keyboard
It falls into the affordable category, without too much of a unique design. The keyboard is intended to be the best budget gaming keyboard in the market. Nevertheless, this is by far best mechanical keyboard 2016 coming from RYOS series.
Why Roccat Ryos MK Pro?
Roccat Ryos MK Pro is the first mechanized keyboard coming from the reputed brand, Roccat. Availability of four key switch modes makes it a compelling buy. Individually backlit keys bolster the appearance overall.
Too many programmable options are present in this model. Built in USB and audio connections adds more value to an already excelling model.
The backlight cupboard seems almost empty, if not for the only option. Blue is your one and only choice for the backlight. Wrist rest is excessively bulky, making support feels awkward. To make matters worse, wrist rest cannot be removed.
The best part about its design is the keyboard would feel too handy for professional as well as amateur gamers. The allowed limit for programmable keys is vast, thereby making customizations available for lightning quick gameplay.
The design would feel too similar to Roccat Isku.
The best feature to look for is the dozens of macro options. By default, you have eight micro keys to start with. In gameplay, the keyboard functions smoothly. The mechanical switches are quick and highly responsive.
Final Words on this model
This is the first mechanical keyboard from Roccat. Without any doubt, this model packs too many features to work with.
The shortcomings and limitations are very few.
Without too many flaws, this keyboard easily ranks at top 10 Best Gaming Keyboards 2016.
Parameters I valued while creating our Top 10 Gaming Keyboards List
User experience should necessarily be your firsthand information you should look up to, before buying any product. Some brands just don’t fail to repeat creating amazing products time and again like Apple.
11. Razer Orbweaver Gaming Keypad – Worth a mention
This is not a keyboard but worth a mention here in this top 10 gaming keyboards article. The device is called as gaming keypad, and that should tell the difference.
This is your mouse, keyboard, and joystick, all rolled in one.
Gaming Keypads vs. Gaming Keyboards
Keypads take it to a different level with one hand gaming action. One hand gaming translates to super-fast and convenient gaming. There aren’t any real limitations when you get used to keypads.
As a gamer, you can appreciate the different feel associated with gaming keypad rather a keyboard.
Why Razer Orbweaver?
Orbweaver showcases 30 fully programmable keys available for hotkeys, macros, etc…
An eight directional thumbpad that has a dual role in being modifiable key makes it so versatile. You can hardly find backlighting better than this elsewhere. The mechanical switches would mean excellent feedback, actuation and a vast array of reset points.
Dimensions equate to 2.2 x 6.1 x 8.0 inches plus a 72 inch long USB cable.
It takes a lot less space on the desk than keyboards and other keypads. Higher palm rest in Orbweaver offers better support for gamers. You can make a million adjustments to three primary components – keypad encompassing 20 programmable buttons, two piece wrist rest, and thumb module.
The physical calibration is intended to cradle wrist and palm in a comfortable position.
Even in heavy keyboard associated games, controls were smooth and intuitive. The absence of differentiation of WASD keys might pose a challenge to keyboard users. Actuation force in thumb buttons is just perfect with accidental clicks avoided.
Joystick feels to be positioned well since the thumb module can be repositioned entirely.