Even with the best gaming PC, you need the right hardware and peripherals to accompany it. Our guide to buying the best gaming keyboard and mouse will help you accomplish that.
You could just buy a standard, commercial keyboard and mouse, but you’ll suffer lag from your mouse and the keys on your keyboard may not have the graded sensitivity that you need for certain games.
If you’re playing Minecraft every night, or even just the occasional round of League of Legends, a reasonable commercial keyboard and mouse should be ample.
If you’re serious about your gaming, you should upgrade your peripherals. Plus, you don’t get fancy lights on commercial models!
Sets incorporate both keyboard and mouse. In all honesty, if you have the budget, you would usually be better served buying these two separately.
You can choose the features of each that matter most, and there is a wider range of individual keyboards and mice available than are included in the sets.
We will go into greater detail on the features of the best gaming keyboards and the best mice for gaming in the future, but we have included some details of what to look for here.
The keyboard is the simpler option of the 2 when buying a gaming keyboard and mouse combo.
You will need to determine whether you want a membrane or mechanical keyboard, and the type of layout you want.
But beyond that it’s going to come down to personal choice on things like design and backlit keys.
Keyboards either use membrane or mechanical switches. A membrane keyboard uses two pieces of silicone membrane that activate when pressed together.
Mechanically switched keyboards have, as you would expect, mechanical switches under the keys instead of membrane.
These feel better, and they can also determine the sensitivity of key presses and is more reliable.
Mechanical keyboards typically cost more than membrane, but are worth the extra if you can afford it.
The layout of a keyboard is fairly standard.
There’s the QWERTY keyboard, with a row of numbers above it, and usually a row of functions above this.
Some models have a number pad on the right of the keyboard, and some gaming models also have macro keys.
Those without a number pad are called tenkeyless model and are light and easily transportable, while also usually being less expensive than full models with number pads.
Macro keys enable you to assign a series of button presses or a series of actions to a single key, which is especially useful when you’re trying to mine or farm in games.
You can find anywhere from 6 to 18 macro keys on gaming keyboards.
When you think of the best gaming keyboard and mouse models, you usually draw up an image of backlit keys.
As well as looking pretty, this lighting does serve the purpose of helping you find keys more easily, although in all honesty, the lights are really only there because they look good.
Lighting adds colour to keyboards, especially those with full RGB lighting.
Choosing a mouse is a more complex affair. There are different variants designed for MMO gamers as well as those for FPS and other play styles.
There are different grips, the type of sensor that is used can be a game changer in terms of performance, and you can once again opt for those with or without extra mood lighting!
Again, we are going to write a full guide on choosing the best gaming mouse but we have provided a brief guide, for now.
Laser or optical sensor is a hot debate. The long held belief is that gamers use optical mice.
They have more reactive sensors and they do not exhibit any lag. On the other hand, optical mice do experience some lag, and this can negatively impact your results.
However, more recently, optical laser technology has advanced massively and many gamers will argue that the lag is now virtually non-existent.
DPI is basically the sensitivity of the cursor movement. A high DPI means that you don’t have to move the mouse far for the cursor to move across the screen.
A low DPI means that you might struggle to move the cursor from corner to corner in a single swoop.
Most gamers argue that a minimum of 800 to 1,000 DPI is required.
And, so, we come to lighting.
To be honest, if you can’t see the mouse that you’re holding while playing, you’ve got bigger issues than choosing the best gaming mouse.
The lights can look great, but don’t let them distract you from the overall quality of the mouse and the genuine functions that it does or does not offer.
Corsair Gaming K55 Keyboard And Harpoon Mouse
Available for around £70, this combo from Corsair includes the K55 keyboard and Harpoon Mouse.
This is arguably the best gaming mouse and keyboard combo in the list, but it does cost a little more than some of the other models.
The keyboard includes 6 macro keys which can be programmed and assigned to any series of actions you choose.
It has a full number pad, and offers three-zone dynamic RGB lighting. The ergonomic wrist rest can be detached and reattached as required.
The Harpoon Mouse is an optical gaming mouse with a high 6,000 DPI and high-speed motion tracking and advanced tracking.
The mouse also has RGB backlighting to match the keyboard.
ASUS Cerberus Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
The ASUS Cerberus set includes a backlit keyboard and ambidextrous mouse and can be bought for a little under £60.
While we think the Corsair is a little better, the ASUS has more macro keys, is probably a little tougher, and the mouse gives you multiple programmable DPI settings which is great for FPS and fast-action titles.
The keyboard is made from a full metal plate to is durable and hardy. It is also splash proof so should survive most late night gaming incidents.
The keyboard also has fully rubberised feet, which means that it won’t slip and slide on any surface.
It has 12 macro keys, which can be assigned to combos or series of instructions. They can also be remapped.
The mouse has four customisable DPI settings, which means that you can swap from loose sensitivity that allows you to move the cursor rapidly across the screen, to precise and slow moving sensitivity, which is best used for lining up precision headshots.
The LED indicator lets you know which setting you are currently on. The mouse is symetrically designed, so it can be used in either the left or right hand and ASUS has improved the rubberised side grips so that your hand won’t slide off even during frantic gameplay.
Redragon K552-BB Keyboard and Mouse Set
Available for about £50, this set includes the K552 mechanical keyboard and the M601 programmable gaming mouse.
You also get a large gaming mouse pad, which is ideal for any game style. Redragon are gaining a reputation for manufacturing good quality and extremely affordable sets, and this is the best selection from them.
The red K552 gaming keyboard is a tenkeyless design, so has no number pad.
It is portable and compact, and works via USB so is even ideal for use with consoles.
It has cherry blue equivalent mechanical keys, the keyboard is made from over engineered metal and an ABS casing so will withstand just about any treatment it receives.
The M601 Gaming Mouse is equally rugged. It also has 6 optimised buttons and 5 programmable buttons, which are handy for MMO gaming.
The mouse has a 3,200 DPI sensor, and an 8 piece weight tuning set, which means that you can decide how heavy or light a gaming mouse you want.
Cooler Master MasterSet MS120
The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 gaming mouse and keyboard combo costs around £90 and combines a membrane keyboard and 6 button mouse.
The 3 models above offer better features at lower prices, though, so unless they’re unavailable or you fancy trying something new, you’re unlikely to buy this set.
The keyboard is durable and has a good feel to it, and Cooler Master have done a reasonable job of making the membrane switches feel like mechanical.
It has a number pad, and while the backgrounds aren’t programmable, the backlit LED does look attractive while in full flow.
The mouse has four DPI levels between 500 and 3,500 that can be adjusted using the control on the top of the mouse, making it suitable for any genre or style of game.
Redragon S101 Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
If you’re on a tight budget, but you know that you want a gaming keyboard and mouse to improve your natural skills, this second set from Redragon is a very strong option.
It costs less than £30 and includes an S101 gaming keyboard and M601 gaming mouse.
They might not be packed with features and extras, but what they do, they do really well, and you certainly shouldn’t shy away from this set at a third of the price of others.
The keyboard has a number pad but no macro keys.
It is splash proof and durable, however, and it has etched keys, which means that the letters won’t scratch off over time. It has rainbow RGB LED backlighting, too, just in case you lose your keyboard.
The mouse has 6 optimised buttons and 5 programmable.
It has a respectable 3,200 DPI sensor and an 8 piece weight tuning set that allows you to set the mouse up so that it feels exactly how you want it to.
Choosing A Gaming Keyboard And Mouse
Your options when it comes to choosing a gaming mouse and keyboard as a single bundle are somewhat limited.
There are many other choices of both keyboard and mouse, and unless you’re on a really tight budget, we recommend that you buy separately, so that you can choose the style of keyboard and the style of mouse that you prefer.
With that said, if you are on a budget, then you can save money with a top quality bundle like the Corsair K55 bundle, or save even more with the budget but still very respectable Redragon S101.
Remember, though, unless you are a competive gamer or you play all night every night, then you may be able to game perfectly well for your purposes on a standard but good quality commercial keyboard and mouse bundle.
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