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What Makes a Good Gaming Keyboard: Key Features

When it comes to gaming keyboards, there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

This article breaks down the essentials: why strong materials and well-designed keys make a difference, how the size and shape affect your play, and the perks of having a keyboard that responds well to every press. You’ll discover the key factors that turn a regular keyboard into a gamer’s best tool.

Get ready to learn what elevates a gaming keyboard from good to exceptional, enhancing both your comfort and your gaming skills.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Mechanical switches in gaming keyboards offer precise feedback and are built to last, often exceeding 50 million keystrokes.
  2. N-Key Rollover (NKRO) and Anti-Ghosting are crucial for accurate keypress registration, especially for complex commands in gaming.
  3. The right keyboard layout (full-size, ten-keyless, or compact) is key for ergonomic comfort and functionality in your gaming setup.
  4. High-quality gaming keyboards use durable materials like aircraft-grade aluminum and PBT keycaps for long-term resilience.
  5. User-friendly software in gaming keyboards enables easy customization of keys, lighting, and game-specific profiles.

Mechanical Switches

Gaming keyboard with mechanical switches

Mechanical switches set a high standard in gaming keyboards, prized for their sharp, consistent response and enduring quality. Each key operates with its own switch, delivering immediate and precise feedback, a vital trait for gamers executing rapid and complex commands.

In contrast to membrane keyboards, where keys can feel less distinct and wear out faster, mechanical keyboards offer a variety of switch types — linear for fluid, uninterrupted strokes, tactile for a noticeable bump in feedback, and clicky for both tactile response and auditory click. This variety allows gamers to tailor their keyboard to their specific gaming style and preferences.

The durability of mechanical switches also stands out, often surpassing 50 million keystrokes. This longevity, combined with the distinct performance advantages, makes mechanical keyboards a valuable choice for gamers seeking reliability and precision in their gaming setup.

N-Key Rollover and Anti-Ghosting

Gaming keyboard with Anti ghosting feature

A good gaming keyboard is defined by its ability to keep up with the user’s every command, especially during the fast-paced action of most games. This is where N-Key Rollover (NKRO) comes into play.

NKRO is a feature that registers each keypress independently, no matter how many keys are pressed at the same time. For gamers, this means your multi-key combos will be captured just as you intended, every time.

Anti-ghosting complements NKRO by ensuring that when you’re pressing multiple keys, ‘ghost’ keystrokes—those you didn’t press but that might be registered—don’t occur. It’s about precision; when you hit two keys, the game responds to those two keys and not to any others you didn’t mean to press.


TKL Gaming keyboard

The right layout on a gaming keyboard is crucial for both comfort and functionality. It needs to harmonize with the user’s desk space and hand size, ensuring all keys are comfortably within reach without causing strain during extended gaming sessions.

Whether it’s a full-size, tenkeyless, or compact layout, each design has its own advantages and caters to different user needs and preferences.

Full-size keyboards offer a complete range of keys, including a number pad, making them ideal for gamers who also use their keyboard for work. Tenkeyless models are also great for gaming as they ditch the number pad, offering more desk space for mouse movement, a favorite among gamers with limited space.

Compact layouts go a step further, saving even more space while focusing on the essentials for gaming.

Build Quality

Gaming keyboard with metal plate

The resilience of a gaming keyboard hinges on the materials and design. High-quality keyboards are typically crafted with a robust metal frame, often aircraft-grade aluminum, which provides a sturdy base capable of enduring the rigors of intense gaming.

Keycaps, the most interacted-with part of a keyboard, come in two main types: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). ABS keycaps are more common and cost-effective, but they tend to develop a shiny patina over time due to wear and the oils from your fingers.

PBT keycaps, on the other hand, are more resistant to wear and maintain their texture and appearance even after extensive use. This makes PBT the preferred choice for gamers looking for long-term durability and a consistent feel at their fingertips.

User-Friendly Software

The software included with a gaming keyboard plays a crucial role in personalization and functionality. It should have an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for users to remap keys, program macros, customize lighting options, and set up unique profiles for different games.

This level of customization is what elevates a standard keyboard to a powerful tool in a gamer’s arsenal. It’s not just about having these features, but also about making them accessible and straightforward to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy.


Wrapping up, we’ve learned what makes a gaming keyboard great: durable switches, the right size and layout, quality materials, and easy-to-use software. Each part is important to improve your gaming experience while staying comfortable.

Now, we’re curious to hear from you! What’s the most important feature for you in a gaming keyboard? Drop a comment and let us know.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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