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The Best Gaming Keyboards for 2022

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Your keyboard is the most important weapon in your PC-gaming arsenal. Grab the right one with our advice and in-depth reviews, and dominate the competition.
If you’re a gamer, you probably take your choice of gaming keyboard very seriously. And you should. When your keyboard doubles as your game controller, it’s more than just a tool for typing. It is to you what the katana is to a samurai (or to a cyborg ninja): an extension of yourself, your interface with the digital world. If you care about PC gaming, it pays to know what makes a keyboard great, what differentiates one from another, and what’s on the market today. We’ve rounded up the best keyboards you can buy, along with a brief guide to help you find the one that’s right for you. Switch It Up! Understanding Mechanical, Dome, and Scissor Switches Most higher-end gaming keyboards these days use mechanical switches, which pair each key to its own spring-loaded switch. They are designed to provide superior audio and tactile feedback. Many of these switches use so-called „MX“ mechanisms from a company called Cherry, and are identified by color (MX Black, MX Brown, MX Blue, MX Red, and so on), each with a slightly different design, tweaked to provide a specific feel and sound while typing. Which switch you want depends on what types of games you play, and what else you do with your computer. Cherry MX Black switches have the highest activation force, which makes them ideal for games in which you don’t want to have to worry about accidentally hitting a key twice. This, though, can give them a stiff feel that’s not well suited for games that require nimbler response, so for those types of titles you may prefer hair-trigger Cherry MX Red switches. If either is too extreme for you, there’s a compromise candidate in Cherry MX Brown switches: They have the same actuation force as the Red variety, but add a tactile bump to aid with typing. If you need a keyboard that can switch back and forth between hard-core gaming and traditional work tasks, this is the kind to look for. Cherry isn’t the only switch maker in town, though. Decent Cherry MX imitations from makers such as Kaihua populate some budget mechanical keyboards. Also, some mass-market keyboard manufacturers have developed their own mechanical switches as an alternative to Cherry’s. Logitech’s Romer-G switches are available on many of its gaming keyboards, and the company claims they have a longer lifespan (up to 70 million keystrokes) and a shorter travel distance than Cherry switches. Razer, too, has made a name for itself with its Green (tactile and clicky), Orange (tactile and silent), and Yellow (linear and silent) key switches. What’s more, the green tri-serpent company now has an optical („Opto-Mechanical“) key switch that uses a light beam to detect a keypress rather than a standard metal contact point. (For lots more about mechanicals, see our picks for our favorite mechanical keyboards.) At the lower end of the gaming keyboard market, you will still find boards that make use of „rubber dome“ switches, which employ little bubbles in a silicone membrane, the material being the spring behind the switch. The result feels mushy and requires a full press with each keystroke, slowing down the speed at which commands can be entered. A slight variation on this is the scissor switch, which also uses a silicone membrane for springback but has a slimmer profile and adds a stabilizing „X“-shaped mechanism beneath each key.

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