Mechanical keyboards are better for gaming because they provide tactile feedback, they have a lower actuation point, and they are more durable. They also come with a choice of key switches, and many mechanical gaming keyboards are packed with pretty flashing lights.
If you’ve pored over our list of the best gaming keyboards, you will notice that the majority of them, apart from some budget models, are mechanical keyboards. This means that they use mechanical switches, rather than rubber membrane switches. This type of setup costs more to manufacture, which means that they also cost more to buy – hence why you will see a lot of budget models made using membrane switches.
Why Are Mechanical Keyboards Better For Gaming?
- Tactile feedback – mechanical switches come in a variety of styles, some offering noise free and click free use, similar to the feedback offered by a membrane keyboard, while others offer a click that is both tactile and audible. While a lot of the choice will come to personal preference, switches with a greater degree of feedback are generally considered better for gaming because the user will be more aware of when the keys have been actuated.
- Choice of switches – mechanical switches come in a variety of colours, each representing the amount of actuation force and the specific actuation point, as well as the amount of feedback that is offered by the switch. This range means that every individual can choose the type of switch that best suits them. Whether you prefer a clicky keyboard or a silent one, one that requires a hard press or one with a hair trigger, and whether you want a keyboard for regular Fortnite sessions or to play the latest game on the Xbox Game Pass for PC, you can find a mechanical gaming keyboard to meet your preferences.
- Lower actuation point – the actuation point is the point at which the key actuates; the moment that a signal is passed from the key to the keyboard and processor. With a membrane keyboard, the user has to “bottom out” the key, which means pressing it right down. Mechanical keyboards have a lower actuation point which means that the user does not have to completely depress the key. This is considered easier on the fingers, more comfortable for regular and continuous use, and is the preferred style for gaming.
- More durable – although the exact numbers differ according to make and model of keyboard, most membrane keyboards are considered to have a lifespan of between 5 and 10 million keystrokes. In contrast, most mechanical keyboards offer at least 50 million keystrokes. What’s more, while a membrane key might wear out over time, and require harder presses, this rarely happens with mechanical switches.
- All them flashy lights – honestly, there isn’t too much benefit to backlit keyboards, other than the aesthetics, but if neon and LED lights are your thing, if you enjoy seeing the keyboard pulse in time with the heartbeat of your character, then a mechanical keyboard typically provides this visual feedback, and if you have a gaming PC with its incredible array of lumens, then you will probably consider a similarly lit keyboard to be an essential component for your gaming rig.