Even with the improvements in console technology over the past few years, many die-hard gamers still prefer playing on PCs.
And one component that’s hard to avoid in a PC setup is the keyboard. It’s the communication link between you and the player character in the game. You can’t understate its importance to your performance.
However, clicking on the keyboard for extended periods will ultimately take a toll on your health. So what is the best preventive solution to improve gaming comfort?
Today’s article delves deeper into the world of gaming keyboards with a keen focus on ergonomics. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
- Do Keyboards Really Matter for Gaming?
- Are Ergonomic Keyboards Better for Gaming?
- 4 Best Ergonomic Keyboards for Gaming
Do Keyboards Really Matter for Gaming?
Absolutely! a keyboard’s shape, weight, sensitivity, and latency will determine whether you enjoy the game or you end up frustrated. To play at the highest level requires a near-flawless keyboard.
Therefore, we shall look at what determines a keyboard’s value.
All good keyboards must be fast- meaning that there should be no input lag or latency in the keyboard. Nobody likes a slow keyboard, especially in fast-paced games whereby a millisecond delay will have catastrophic results that might derail your progress.
Wireless keyboards have a slightly higher latency than wired keyboards. You’ll be faster using a wired keyboard for gaming.
Bottom out is the act of pressing the keyboard keys until they can’t sink any deeper. When typing or playing a game for long periods, the energy used to press the extra distance for the keys to respond leads to tiredness.
With time, the effects of the extra effort will take a toll on your comfort.
For that reason, gamers prefer keyboards with mechanical keys over rubber dome/membrane keys. You must bottom out membrane keys for them to respond appropriately.
Additionally, mechanical keys are solid, robust, and very durable.
Actuation force is the force that’s required for a keypress to be registered.
Tactile keyboards have an advantage over linear keyboards since you only need half the force for them to register a keypress.
An actuation force of fewer than 50 grams is ideal for gaming, while any force close to 350 grams is tedious and strenuous.
For gamers, listening to keyboard sounds might be irritating.
If you hear the click sound after pressing your keyboard key, there’s a chance that you have a mechanical keyboard.
They’re noisier, whereas membrane keyboards have silicone or rubber cushioning that makes them quieter.
Unlike typing, gaming tends to be aggressive or use specific keys more often than others. And, once a key is no longer functional, the whole keyboard is at risk of being kept aside.
Cheap keyboards will tend to suffer a lot from broken keyboard keys.
Regardless of the price or manufacturer, mechanical keyboards outlive their membrane counterparts.
You can see that the type of keyboard is very crucial to how well you perform in a game.
Are Ergonomic Keyboards Better for Gaming?
Gaming station ergonomics is one crucial aspect determining how long you’ll play at the highest level.
It’s common knowledge that the state of your CPU, drivers, graphics cards, and game settings will affect your gaming performance.
However, little is being said about ergonomics, specifically keyboard ergonomics. So, this raises the question- are ergonomic keyboards better for gaming?
Yes! Ergonomic keyboards reduce the stress on your wrists and back while gaming, resulting in better comfort and productivity. However, no study links ergonomic keyboards to better gaming performances over a large sample of gamers. Their effect on gaming is down to a personal level.
Ways Ergonomic Keyboards Can Improve Your Gaming Experience
1. Reduces wrist and shoulder strain
Gaming consoles and keyboards rely mostly on wrist and finger movement.
Prolonged use of the standard keyboard is unhealthy and causes ulnar deviation, carpal tunnel syndrome, and injuries to the shoulders and wrists.
A relaxed position on your keyboard enables you to access most keys without strenuous shoulder, elbow, or wrist movement.
However, to access some keys on the keyboard, you’ll need to shift your wrist position. Shifting your sitting and wrist position repeatedly to avoid discomfort causes injury to your ulnar nerve.
2. Promotes better comfort and posture
Ergonomic keyboards’ design enables you to access the keys while your upper body is in its most natural position.
And if you’re tired of your gaming position, you shift the keyboard to a new position. That’s something you can’t do with the standard keyboard.
3. Faster response
The advent of online multiplayer games has driven the need for faster response times during games.
Decisions and reactions have to be made in a split second. When tired, woe unto you that has a standard keyboard.
Furthermore, the lateral rotation of your arms to squeeze both hands on the keyboard or to access different keys will ultimately tire and slow you down.
The human body tends to respond slower with fatigue or poor posture. To gamers, such results in inefficiency, which you can reduce with an ergonomic keyboard.
4 Best Ergonomic Keyboards for Gaming
Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB
- ERGONOMIC SPLIT DESIGN FOR TYPING AND GAMING: Move the right module out of the way and bring your mouse in close...
- 100% MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE: Genuine Cherry MX Red mechanical switches (low-force, linear...
- IMMERSIVE RGB LIGHTING FOR A CUSTOM LOOK: 16.8M color per-key RGB Backlighting with 10 customizable effects like...
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB has taken the split keyboard design to heights many gamers wouldn’t have imagined some years ago. You can split the keyboard into two and use both halves separately as long as they’re less than 20 inches apart.
As most gaming keyboards are shoulder-width in length, gamers usually have to turn their elbows outwards and their wrists inwards. And we all know that this is very uncomfortable and is one of the primary causes of lower back pains among gamers.
The Freestyle Edge RGB keyboards feature a flat keyboard with the front and back keys at the same height to improve gaming performance. The negative tilt reduces wrist elevation when accessing front keys.
If you’ve been playing for long and would like a negative or positive keyboard tilt, you’ll need to pop out the front or back legs, respectively. The keyboard also comes with efficient moisture-resistant pads to reduce friction between the mouse and pad during gaming.
The Freestyle Edge RGB features 100% mechanical Cherry MX switches available in Red, Brown, and Blue options. The switches are precise, accurate, and have a fast response time. They require low pressure to respond, lowering the energy needed for a keypress.
Also, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB has fantastic backlighting that aids while playing games in the dark. Each key is individually lit with an array of different colors and customization options to suit your liking.
Moving the keyboard’s suitable left or right module further gives you room to bring your gaming mouse closer. You can then opt to turn your modules to enable you to press the keys without moving your elbows.
Alternatively, you can use the tenting kits from Lift Kit or V30 Pro to reduce the strain on your forearms. By using the Kinesis Freestyle Edge, you’ll reduce the strain on your back that results from slouching significantly.
Logitech Ergo K860
- Wireless range:10 m (33-ft) wireless range
- Improved Typing Posture: Type more naturally with a curved, split keyframe and reduce muscle strain on your wrists...
- Pillowed Wrist Rest: Curved wrist rest with memory foam layer offers typing comfort with 54 per cent more wrist...
The Logitech Ergo K860 is a conventional keyboard available in wired and wireless options. The keyboard is a mid-range keyboard that has “scooped” keys to reduce sliding when pressing.
It might not be the best gaming keyboard out there, but it will help you transition to a more ergonomic setup while retaining your standard keyboard feel.
Additionally, what I like about this keyboard is its conservative layout. It resembles the standard keyboard, but it’s split down the middle for a sloping keyboard design.
It’s tented towards the middle and offers an additional non-detachable cushioned wrist rest to reduce wrist straining when playing games.
Its design reduces muscle activity in the shoulder and neck by 21%. The keyboard also has specially designed ergonomic tilt legs to enable tilting the keyboard according to your posture for greater comfort.
The king of customizable ergonomic keyboards is the ErgoDox EZ. The keyboard features a split design that enables you to position either half of the keyboard as you see fit.
Keeping both splits of the keyboard wider apart allows you to settle comfortably in your seat. Leaning back opens your chest and reduces the stress placed on the spine when typing or playing a game.
Additionally, it has an ortholinear column of keys to lower the time you’ll use moving your fingers across the keyboard.
On to the wrist support, the keyboard has a test kit that allows you to align the keyboard in an incline or angle you deem fit. The detachable wing wrist rest is good and enables you to place it at any distance from the keyboard.
Razer Tartarus Pro Gaming Keypad
- The NPD Group,U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Keyboards, Mice, PC Headset/Pc Microphone, Gaming Designed, based on...
- New, Pressure-Sensitive Inputs: Razer Analog Optical Switches register various levels of pressure similar to an...
- 32 Keys for More Hotkeys and Actions: Perfect for gaming or integrating into creative workflows with fully...
Not really a full-scale keyboard, the Razer Tartarus Pro Gaming Keypad is arguably one of the best one-handed keypads available in the market.
The keypad features an analog optical switch that allows variable input levels similar to analog joysticks. Rather than do or don’t keystrokes, the optical switch allows varying degrees of input which is vital in character movement.
You can also tune the keypad’s sensitivity according to your taste to enable you to gauge its responsiveness. Tuned sensitivity is an ergonomic feature that I haven’t seen in many keyboards.
If you have an injured wrist or finger, you can tune the keypad to enable it to respond even with minimal force.
The wrist rest is adjustable to lower the stress on your palm due to stiffness that may result if you restrict its movement.
I’d recommend this keypad for gamers suffering from lower back pains as it gives you a better posture on your seat while gaming.
Standard keyboards are outdated as gaming keyboards and were meant to suit the computer system rather than you. And, most ergonomic keyboards have shapes that don’t conform with the setup of most personal computers.
However, if you’re like me and clock more than 20 hours in a week playing games, you need an ergonomic keyboard.
Lower back pains, wrist pains, chronic fatigue, and reduced productivity drove me to ergonomic keyboards.
I can’t conclusively state that they’ll help your case, but for me, they’ve been fantastic. Give the ergonomic keyboards I’ve suggested a try if comfort while gaming is your top priority.