Why opt for a "gaming" keyboard over a standard one? (Hint: it's not just RGB lighting). The answer is quite simple: functionality, features, and durability.
What makes a gaming keyboard different from a standard keyboard?
A gaming keyboard is built to withstand the unique needs of gamers beyond simple typing. This means making sure the keyboard is extra durable for millions and millions of keypresses, and can keep up with the lightning fast, simultaneous inputs required by competitive gaming. Gaming keyboards of course also have lots of additional features like RGB, unique switch types and speeds, and many more customizations to meet your needs.
Watch our CTO Tino talk about it here:
Let's dive in to a bit of what Tino touched on regarding the creation of the gaming keyboard:
N-Key Rollover (also known as "anti-ghosting")
On many standard and most membrane keyboards, pressing several keys simultaneously can cause inputs to be lost because the keyboard can't process multiple inputs at the same time. Gaming keyboards utilize rollover / anti-ghosting to prevent keypresses from being dropped:
Laptop with 2-Key Rollover vs. Apex with N-Key Rollover
Most standard keyboards aren't rated for tens of millions of keypresses; the average user might not come anywhere near that number, so it's overkill for the average typer. But when you think about gaming and the sheer number of times that you press W, A, S, and D, R, etc., the need for longer-lasting durable switches becomes more apparent.
Some standard membrane keyboards are only rated for as few as 1 million keypresses. Alternately, the Apex Pro keyboard is rated for 100 million keypresses. Our new Apex 3 TKL is a great, affordable option without the numpad.
A gaming keyboard needs to not only be rated for an insane number of keypresses, but the entire board needs to be durable enough to withstand the uh, "gamer" lifestyle. Sometimes a fist meets the keyboard. Sometimes a drink spills. That's why our keyboards have features like full aluminum frames and IP32 water resistance.
In addition to input functionality and durability, gaming keyboards also have plenty of other features that might be useful and relevant for gaming.
To name a few game-focused features:
- Extensive software customization to set up game macros, settings, etc.
- Adjustable keypress actuation to change at what point a keypress registers
- Reactive RGB lighting for your games and music
- Programmable OLED screens to show Discord messages, game info, and more
Want to learn more about our history with gaming keyboards, mousepads, mice, and much more? Watch the full interview with Tino Soelberg, the mastermind behind SteelSeries' gaming products on YouTube.