How to Choose an Esports Keyboard

How to Choose an Esports keyboard - featured image

Choosing the right esports keyboard is an important part of ensuring you have the optimal setup, but also an aspect that is sometimes overlooked. Nevertheless, when it comes to competitive gaming, having a great gaming keyboard can be the difference between success and failure, and can eliminate a lot of the frustration that can develop as a result of having a less reliable keyboard.

Read on to learn more about how to choose the right sports keyboard and don’t forget to check out ViewSonic Elite and some of the best gaming monitors on the market. 

Many people who become involved in competitive esports overlook the importance of selecting the right esports keyboard, with their focus instead being on factors like finding the right graphics card or computer monitor. Yet a keyboard is an essential component, which is used as a primary control method in many games; a gaming keyboard that is designed for this purpose can make a substantial difference to your overall performance.

However, when it comes to actually choosing between the different options, there are a number of important factors to consider, including size, features and pricing. Your choice may also depend on whether you are going to be the sole user, or whether you are buying the keyboard for use as part of an esports team or for other purposes. In this article, we take a more in-depth look at some of the major factors that will influence your decision.

Esports keyboard - Keyboard

Mechanical or Membrane Keyboards

One of the biggest decisions you will need to make with regards to finding the ideal esports keyboard is whether to opt for a mechanical or membrane keyboard. In simple terms, a membrane keyboard relies on an electric current passing through plastic membranes, while mechanical keyboards have mechanical switches under each key, helping it to register key presses. As a general rule, mechanical keyboards tend to be the more expensive option of the two.

In terms of performance, a mechanical keyword will outperform a membrane keyboard when it comes to durability and registering keystrokes, and will usually provide a ‘click’ sound to indicate that a keystroke has registered. Membrane keyboards are more of an entry-level option. They are slightly more likely to cause problems like input lag, and performance may suffer in terms of ghosting too, but they are still perfectly viable if you are on a tighter budget.

Razer produces a number of gaming keyboards, including both mechanical and membrane options, and these are all available at different price points. Taking the time to explore these options may help you to understand the differences, not only in terms of function but also in terms of how different keyboards are priced.

Eports keyboard - mechanical vs. membrane

Number of Keys on a Gaming Keyboard

The other major issue to consider when selecting a gaming keyboard is the size, and this will largely be determined by the number of keys on the keyboard. A full-size keyboard will have somewhere between 104 and 108 keys, depending on region. This will include the standard QWERTY keys, directional keys and a dedicated number pad, and a standard full-size keyboard is the most popular option for most esports players.

However, some gamers do prefer a smaller keyboard and the most popular option here is a “tenkeyless” keyboard, which will feature all of the standard keys, with the exception of the 10 keys on the dedicated number pad. This can help to reduce the distance between the main QWERTY keys and your mouse, which some people do find beneficial.

On the other hand, some gamers actually opt for keyboards that are larger than a standard full-size keyboard, featuring additional keys. Examples here include keyboards that feature diagonal direction buttons, or keyboards that feature “spare” keys that can be configured to perform certain actions within games, without sacrificing another key.

Additional Esports Keyboard Features

There are a number of additional features that are worth looking out for when selecting your esports keyboard too. For instance, backlighting may seem like a completely optional extra, but it does provide some tangible benefits, especially when it comes to providing visibility late at night, or in the early hours of the morning. Some keyboards also allow different areas of the keyboard to be lit differently, which can be a useful visual cue.

With that said, full RGB backlighting can significantly add to the cost of your esports keyboard, and the benefits are not as significant as something like switching from membrane to mechanical keys, so it may not be the best thing to prioritize if you are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Furthermore, it is important to focus on esports keyboards with anti-ghosting capability. Keyboard ghosting occurs when a keyboard does not register that a key has been pressed or held down, even though it has, and it is especially common when four or five keys are being pressed at once. Some keyboards protect key areas, such as the W, A, S and D keys and the directional arrow keys, while others go further and protect all keys from the effects of ghosting.

Esports keyboard - Features your keyboard needs

Final Thoughts

When creating the ideal esports setup, a lot of people overlook the importance of their keyboard. Yet, investing in one that suits your needs and preferences, not only in terms of function, but also in terms of size, can help you take your gaming to the next level and can help to prevent some of the common causes of gaming frustration.

Also, don’t forget to check out The Best Esports Setup: A Complete Guide and ViewSonic Elite to double check that you got everything you need for the perfect esports setup.