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Preston S.


6 minutes

Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Gaming?

Could mechanical keyboards make you better at gaming? This short blog post outlines the benefits of using a keyboard and how they can be useful when gaming.

CF81 Pro Wireless with Candy Shop KeycapsCF81 Pro Wireless with Candy Shop Keycaps

CF81 Pro Wireless with Candy Shop Keycaps

When gaming keyboards became popular, the idea of a mechanical switch making you better at gaming was discussed. As time passed, we wondered whether this gave gamers a competitive advantage over using a regular membrane keyboard. Let's discuss it.

TG67 V3 with Hippo PBT KeycapsTG67 V3 with Hippo PBT Keycaps

TG67 V3 with Hippo PBT Keycaps

Now, your standard mechanical keyboard can feature different keycaps, switches, and an entirely different layout. All of these customizable options can help you find a keyboard that works best for you while gaming and this is one of the main reasons why people argue that mechanical keyboards are better for gaming. You can customize the keyboard to fit your personal preference, which, in theory, should lead to better performance. Other than the customizability, what else do mechanical keyboards have that could improve your gaming experience?

ASUS ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Gaming Keyboard (Credit: ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Gaming Keyboard (Credit:

ASUS ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless Gaming Keyboard (Credit:

One of the biggest things to consider regarding gaming peripherals is their latency. You might see the word “polling rate” get thrown around a lot when it comes to gaming keyboards in particular, and what that refers to is how long it takes for data from the keyboard to be sent to the device it's connected to. Right now, “1000Hz” is the gold standard, which pretty much means the keyboard sends data one thousand times per second, or 1ms, to your computer. We are getting more innovation in this area as time passes, as “Wooting” recently came out with their “80HE” Keyboard, which features an 8000Hz polling rate, which translates to only 0.125ms of latency!

Razer Huntsman Analog Switch (Credit: Huntsman Analog Switch (Credit:

Razer Huntsman Analog Switch (Credit:

Another feature that plays a big part in having a competitive advantage in gaming is the usage of analog switches. These switches have what is called an “adjustable actuation point.” The actuation point of a switch refers to how far down you have to press before your keyboard registers it as a keypress and sends the signal to your computer. You can adjust certain switches to be a lot more sensitive than the others so you can output your keystroke faster than other people can. A good example of this is in shooter games, where your inputs are recognized much faster, so you can crouch and move slightly faster than you would with a standard mechanical keyboard.

Another cool feature rolling out in many more modern gaming mechanical keyboards is something called “rapid trigger.” This makes your keys instantly activate when pressed and instantly deactivate when unpressed, eliminating any latency caused by the physical movements of the switch. These features sound awesome but aren’t readily available on many keyboards, as the Wooting 60He is constantly going out of stock, so what can you do to perform better with a standard mechanical keyboard?

Black TG67 V3 with Seal PBT KeycapsBlack TG67 V3 with Seal PBT Keycaps

Black TG67 V3 with Seal PBT Keycaps

Besides having a high polling rate, customizing the keycaps, and choosing a layout you prefer, finding a switch that works best for you is the best way to improve your performance. If you want more gaming-focused switches, finding switches with a low actuation force, that are lightweight, and that have a short total travel distance can play a big factor in providing you with a faster keyboard. These three features are commonly found in what is called “speed” switches, and two great options would have to be Akko V3 Silver Pros and Kailh Speed Gaming Switches.

Both of these feature what I mentioned above, but while these might sound compelling, at the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. If you are a heavy typer, switches that have a low actuation force and are lighter weight could actually lead to a worse experience when gaming as you might have a lot of miss-presses, so it is important to figure out how you type and what you prefer before deciding on a switch. If you want to play it safe, I always suggest the Gateron Yellows or Kinetic Labs Moon V2s for linear switches, and WS Heavy Tactile or Salmon Tactile Switches for tactiles. (Note: these are not gaming-focused switches, but are just very well-rounded).

In conclusion, some gaming mechanical keyboards can make you perform better but can be hard to find, so a great alternative to that is ensuring you have at least a 1000Hz polling rate, switches you prefer, keycaps you like, and a layout you like. All of this, in theory, can lead to better gaming performance, but at the end of the day, actual skill triumphs over all.