Admittedly there are a lot of good mechanical keyboards out there. So, if you know what switch type you prefer, it’s almost as simple as finding a gaming keyboard that has the configuration and design you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure what I mean by the switch, I’ve included a quick guide at the bottom of this post with more information. For those of you who are familiar with the way that various switches feel, here’s a look at some of the top mechanical keyboards on the market along with my thoughts on each. Before you go, don’t forget to vote for your favorite mechanical keyboard to let our readers know your opinion.
Top Mechanical Keyboards for FPS Gaming in 2018 As Voted By Our Readers
As I mentioned above, there is no best mechanical keyboard for every single person. Some prefer more keys, some prefer an option without a Numpad, and some prefer one switch over another. Personally, the more keys you add to my setup, the worse I do. I prefer something with a small form factor that’s lightweight and easy to use. Extra side G-Keys especially make me play horribly.
So, the most important thing is to find the right layout and switch for your preference. Here are a few of my personal favorites. You can also take a look at my favorite FPS gaming mice here.
|Razer Blackwidow Chroma V2||Corsair Vengeance K70 Lux RGB||Logitech Orion Spark G910||Corsair K95 RGB||Das Keyboard 4||Azio Backlit MGK1-K|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Blackwidow Chroma vs Corsair Vengeance RGB
Looking for the difference between the Corsair Vengeance RGB and the Blackwidow Keyboard? Here’s a roundup along with a video that does a good job explaining it.
- Razer uses custom mechanical switches from manufacturer Kaihua in China. These typically have a bit more actuation force.
- Corsair Uses Cherry MX switches.
- K70 has a dedicated media key and volume key and includes extra keycaps.
- Both have 16.8 Million Color RGB lighting – Razer’s shine a bit brighter.
- Razer’s software is more intuitive.
Corsair Gaming K70 RGB and K95 Platinum
Clearly superior to the previous K90 in terms of its fully mechanized keys, the K95 is a good mechanical keyboard for those who want extensive G-key options. The red switches are light to press and accurate. Both of these keyboards are also available in Cherry MX Brown and MX speed or silver switches. The MX speed switches have a lower actuation (1.2mm) but are very similar to the red.
The K95 nice for those of you who like to use a lot of macros as it has 6 programmable G-keys for along with 8MB profile storage for various configurations. Miss clicks also rarely occur with the 20-key rollover and anti-ghosting.
That being said the keyboard I currently use is the K70. For me, I’d rather program the numerical keys and grip the left side of the keyboard with my pinky. Using the K95 often caused me to miss type; however, many people don’t have this issue at all. So, it really depends on whether you use your left hand for positioning.
As these keyboards are RGB you can pretty much match them to any color you’d like. This looks great alongside your gaming mouse, mat, and gaming PC.
- Speed Switches are a game changer
- USB Pass-Through
- Dedicated Media Keys
- Brushed Metal is hard to clean
- Software not as user-friendly as Razer’s Synapse.
In summary, these are two of my favorite gaming keyboards on the market. The K65 makes a great tenkeyless option as well.
Razer Blackwidow Chroma
In the last few years, Razer went away from its Chery MX switches in favor of its Razer Orange and Green switches. These are made by Chinese manufacturer Kaihua and mimic the feel of Cherry switches.
Cherry Blue vs Brown vs Razer Green vs Razer Orange
Cherry blue is the well-known clicky switch (you can read about it below). Comparing the Green switch to the blues the Green has a higher actuation point. Other than that, these are nearly identical. The Razer Orange is more like a Cherry Brown switch. It has a tactile bump and a single-piece slider design.
So, how does this change make me feel about the Razer Blackwidow? Honestly, I’d prefer a Cherry option. However, I know some mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who love the new switches. So, it really depends on you and your personal preference.
That being said going with a Chinese rather than German switch hasn’t made the Blackwidow any cheaper. If anything, it’s more expensive today than when they made the “switch” (pun intended).
- Metal Construction
- Lights Look great
- Razer Synapse really user-friendly
- Channels on Bottom of Keyboard Damages Cords
- Switches will be a con for some
Ducky Shine 6
Pure unadulterated function along with quality and a no-nonsense front make the Ducky Shine keyboards a favorite of many. The best part? You can pick what type of LED backlighting and MX switch you want. The Ducky Shine 6 has RGB LEDs on the side.
The slim profile, customization, and quality of the Ducky Shine set it apart from everyone else. If you’re looking for something that has good quality and is different, go with this great company. You can order their products directly off their website.
Overall, there’s something that just screams quality about these keyboards. So, if you’re looking for something a bit different, I highly recommend it.
Das Keyboard makes quality professional keyboards that are used by gamers and professionals alike. With some of the highest quality standards available, they’re ideal for those who put quality above bling.
There are ten types of Das Keyboard that you can customize based on what your personal preference is. This includes Cherry MX switches as well as Gamma Zulu and Greetech. The Das Keyboard 5Q is the more recent option with RGB keys and Gamma Zulu switches while the Das Keyboard 4, shown above, is your classic quality keyboard.
Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB
The Logitech G910 is another interesting entry into the mechanical keyboard market. It utilizes color mapping and allows you to colorize the keys in any way you see fit. The software is easy to use. Like the Blackwidow, this keyboard has a few programmable G keys on the left side, but also includes 4 more on top as well.
Not to be outdone by Razer, Logitech uses its own Romer-G mechanical switches from Omron. This is a departure from every manufacturer using German company Cherry’s keys. These new keys feature a 70M keystroke, require 40 grams of force, and actuate after 1.5mm of travel compared to Cherry MX’s 2mm. This is comparable and perhaps even an improvement of Cherry’s Red switches.
In addition to all of this Logitech has included a smartphone dock with media controls and includes the free Logitech Arx Control App. With it you can monitor performance like your PC’s CPU usage, temperature, and more.
As I don’t personally love any wrist rest this doesn’t appeal to me; however, the G910 also comes with 2 wrist rests so you can choose what you feel most comfortable with. Overall, this is a cool new choice from Logitech. If you’re thinking about buying it, be sure to read up on the tilted key caps as that may be offputting for some.
The SteelSeries 6GV2 is an inexpensive no frills type of keyboard for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that other keyboards come with. It’s a great option for those of you looking for MX Cherry blacks, but is also available in MX Cherry red switches.
The construction is so solid that SteelSeries has deemed it “Punch-Worthy” for those of you who game with a little built-up frustration. It also comes with a PS/2 converter for optional full NKRO. Keep in mind that if you go with the Cherry MX Black switches you may notice some finger fatigue at first.
Logitech’s first entry into the mechanical keyboard market was a successful one. The G710+ uses brown switches which are a crossover between a light actuation and a subtle feedback. With G keys on the top and side you have 9 programmable options that are less intrusive than other options on the market.
The G710+ also features dual-zone backlighting. This means you can adjust the brightness of your WASD buttons to be brighter or softer than the rest of your keys.
Overall the G7110+ is a good deal at just under $100 and certainly a K70 or Blackwidow alternative option that appeals to many.
A Good Budget Mechanical Keyboard
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, I’d recommend going with an inexpensive tenkeyless mechanical keyboard option or a budget option with Kailh switches like the Azio MGK1-K.
It’s a pretty standard design that comes with a detachable palm rest, LED backlight, and even a volume wheel. The MGK1 comes with $60 options in Brown and Blue and is nearly double the price for the RGB model. So, we recommend you save some money and go with the previous design.
A Custom Keyboard or DIY Kit
Not part of the list or practical I thought I’d also mention some keyboards and kits that definitely have the unique and cool factor. Ever thought about building your own mechanical keyboard or purchasing a custom one? Datamancer’s Site builds some of the neatest options I’ve ever seen.
The Difference Between Rubber Dome Vs. Mechanical Switches
There’s nothing wrong with a rubber dome keyboard. In fact, some of the most popular gaming keyboards on the market are made with rubber domes. Many of these provide additional features like LCD screens, backlighting, and programmable keys which you won’t find on a standard keyboard. Often their performance results vs mechanical keyboards are exaggerated. That being said I can’t help but like the feel and quality of a mechanical keyboard. Looking at current market trends, it seems that many other gamers agree.
Rubber Dome Keyboards
On a rubber dome keyboard, your input is registered when the key is bottomed out and it completes the circuit. Over time, rubber domes may become mushy leading to less than desirable performance, but can easily be replaced because of their low cost. Generally, these keyboards allow you to push from 2-6 keys at the same time.
There are many reasons for switching to a mechanical keyboard. Some of the major ones include better tactile feedback, accuracy, better durability, and, of course, increased responsiveness. Increased responsiveness comes from how mechanical keys register. This can vary quite a bit based on the color type of the MX switch. Mechanical keyboards most often can register up to 6 keys at once (usually enough). Some have n-key rollover which allows them to register all keys at the same time. This helps gamers to avoid miss-clicks when they’re pressing multiple buttons at once.
MX Switch Types – Which Should You Choose?
There are 4 main types of MX switches from Cherry typically used in gaming keyboards. Which one is best generally depends not only on the game you play, but also your typing style. For a quick look at the differences between these switches just take a look at this matrix by Ripster:
As you can see red cherry switches don’t require a lot of force or put out a lot of feedback while a black switch will require more force and a blue cherry will put out much more sound. Because they don’t have to completely bottom out, blue switches are usually the best for typists. Keep in mind that the sound is important especially in a work environment where your clicks can sound like a slamming door after a few hours. Trust me, I’ve been there!
Some other things to consider which are not on this chart are that the black switch makes it easier to double-click because the actuation and release points are in the same position.
Cherry MX Silver
Not included in this graph is the new Cherry MX Speed or silver switches. It’s a lot like the reds except with a lower actuation point. For me personally, I notice very little difference between the two.
Which mechanical keyboard switch is the most popular?
According to overclock.net blue, is the most popular at 32% followed by brown (28%), red (18%), and black (10%). The additional tactile feedback, as well as the popularity of gaming keyboards like Razer’s Blackwidow, probably make up the difference between blue and brown. While my personal choice is brown I do see reasons for both blue and red. The force required for black is appealing to few.
This year we’re seeing a lot more of what gamers want; keyboards which add speed and functionality to their everyday routines. No keyboard is perfect for all types, so I recommend you see whether you prefer a red, blue, brown, or even black switch before you make a purchase. Before you go be sure to vote in our poll above and leave us feedback with any insight you have.