As a gamer, you know that having the right gear makes all the difference in your performance and enjoyment. One important piece of equipment that is often overlooked is the keyboard. Investing in a mechanical keyboard can provide a more responsive, satisfying, and comfortable gaming experience compared to your average board, also known as a “membrane board”.
The Ultimate Guide to Mechanical Keyboards for Gaming
February 17, 2023
What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a certain type of computer keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches to register key presses. These switches provide a tactile feedback and satisfying "click" sound when activated, as well as a longer lifespan compared to membrane keyboards.
Membrane boards, on the other hand, use a thin rubber sheet that's easy to manufacture inexpensively, but it leads to an inconsistent, mushy typing feel, and a muted sound. Mechanical keyboards are often preferred by gamers and typing enthusiasts due to their durability and precision.
Benefits of Using a Mechanical Keyboard
- Faster Responsiveness: Mechanical keyboards record and send your actions to the computer much faster than membrane keyboards. This makes them ideal for fast-paced games, where sometimes victory and defeat are decided in milliseconds. This is also a huge benefit for typists who need to write quickly.
- Better Typing Experience: Mechanical keyboards has a tactile response thanks to the switches that activate the keys. Each press produces a satisfying “click” sound that gamers and enthusiasts enjoy. By swapping out different kinds of mechanical keyboards, you can customize the feel of your build. More on this in the next section.
- Better for PC Gaming: Gamers normally prefer mechanical keyboards over a membrane keyboard for many reasons. As mentioned earlier, they provide a faster response time and are way more durable than standard keyboards. However, another big benefit is that they allow gamers to activate multiple keys simultaneously, known as N-key rollover. So, a mechanical keyboard that allows you to activate 6 keys at the same time has a 6-key rollover.
Types of Mechanical Switches
Find yourself asking what switches should I choose? Well, there are three types of mechanical switches: Clicky, Linear, and Tactile. Choosing the right switch is a completely personal preference. Keep reading to see which switch is best for you.
- Clicky switches are just like the name implies. When typing, you will feel a satisfying bump that produces an audible "click" with each press. Many typists and keyboard enthusiasts enjoy the satisfying sound of clicky keyboards. Just be mindful of typing in quiet spaces!
- Linear switches are the polar opposite of clicky switches. They are usually quiet (or silent), and have no tactile bump when pressed. This lack of tactility makes them easier to press quickly, making them a favorite amongst gamers who value split-second speed. Our custom Lynx Linear switches are designed for smooth and precise operation.
- Tactile switches can be considered a hybrid between clicky and linear. They feature a snappy bump, but feature a moderate noise level. This makes them great for gaming as well as productivity. The Glorious Panda Switches have been voted one of the best in the market by numerous sites, including The Gaming Setup and Switch and Click.
Still don’t know which one would be best for you? You can always opt for a switch tester sample pack, and get a variety of switches to try out until you find the one perfect for you.
Benefits of Glorious Keyboards
- A Better Investment: The switches in mechanical keyboards are designed to keep working after tens of millions of keystrokes. Moreover, since membrane keyboards are one cohesive unit, a malfunctioning key may require replacing the entire board. With mechanical keyboards, you have the ability to replace only the part that needs fixing. This can save you money in the long run, as you won't have to replace your keyboard as often.
- Top Quality Materials: One of the big differentiating factors of Glorious keyboards from other brands is their build quality. From the GMMK collection, the GMMK PRO is the premium-grade board, which has a solid aluminum body for durability, includes dual-layered sound dampening material for satisfying acoustics, among other top-tier features. The more cost-effective option is the GMMK 2, which has an aluminum top frame, and also has the same sound-dampening material, giving you more bang for your buck.
- Complete Customization: The entire GMMK collection is completely customizable. You can modify the color of its top plate, the removable cable, the keycaps, and the knob (on the PRO) to meet your exact preferences. The GMMK collection are also all hot swap keyboards, which means you easily swap between different switches to customize the tactility of your build. This detailed guide that walks you through how to replace switches on a mechanical keyboard.
Here are some links to our guides and resources on common mechanical keyboard customization and modification topics:
Is this keycap set compatible with my mechanical keyboard?
In this guide, we provide tips on how to determine if a keycap set is compatible with your mechanical keyboard. Read mode about keycap compatibility with mechanical keyboards.
Can you remove mechanical keyboard keycaps and switches by hand?
Learn how to safely remove keycaps and switches from your mechanical keyboard in this tutorial.
Are coiled keyboard cable better?
Coiled keyboard cables offer several benefits, including a cleaner desk setup and improved durability. In this article, we discuss the top 5 reasons to consider using a coiled cable for your mechanical keyboard.
What is a hot swap PCB?
A hot swap PCB allows you to easily swap out switches on your mechanical keyboard without the need for soldering. In this guide, we explain what a hot swap PCB is and how it works.
- How do I lube switches?
Lubing your switches can improve the feel and sound of your mechanical keyboard, but it's important to do it correctly. In this article, we discuss 5 common mistakes to avoid when lubing your switches.
- What are mechanical keyboard O-rings?
O-rings are a popular mod for mechanical keyboards that can help reduce the distance that keycaps travel when pressed. In this beginner's guide, we explain what O-rings are and how to install them on your keyboard.
- How can I improve my mechanical keyboard?
From optimizing your layout to using specialized software, there are several tricks you can use to improve your mechanical keyboard experience. In this article, we highlight 5 essential tricks to consider if you want to get the most out of your build.
- Why should I use a deskmat?
A deskmat is a large mouse pad that can provide a protective surface for your keyboard and mouse, as well as add a touch of personality to your desk setup. In this guide, we discuss the benefits of using a deskmat and how to choose the right one for you.
- How do I clean my mechanical keyboard?
Proper cleaning is important to maintain the longevity and performance of your mechanical keyboard. In this guide, we provide tips on how to effectively clean your keyboard to keep it in top condition.
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