What are The Advantages of a Mechanical Gaming Keyboard?

There are many advantages to using a mechanical keyboard over a membrane style.

Mechanical keyboards are one of the best choices to enhance your gaming experience, but they aren’t just for gamers. They’re also great for anyone who types on their computer or any other devices that they can connect to. 

Here’s the mechanical keyboard advantage over a traditional keyboard (a standard membrane keyboard)

Speed and Precision

Most mechanical keyboards respond within 1 millisecond, while most membrane keyboards take much more than that. This better response time means that you’ll be able to hit the right keys and have them register faster giving you a slight edge since you have better response times.

Many users who use these types of keyboards, find their typing speed and accuracy improves. Its easier to register each key press using mechanical keyboard switches than a membrane keyboard, so they can register a keypress using less force, and do it much quicker. Lighter keypresses can easily enhance your gaming session giving you a competitive edge while playing games, or even just your average typing sessions.

Programmable Keys

While many keyboards have programmable keys, a mechanical gaming keyboard will tend to have more macro keys. Any game can typically take advantage of those, and they save quite a bit of time. It could be setup to purchase items in game from a buy menu, or perhaps even to run a series of commands, buttons presses, or in-game actions.

N-Key Rollover (NKRO)

Typically, a standard keyboard will only allow a certain amount of keys to be pressed together. If more than a maximum number of keys are pressed, it can register more key presses even though those keys were not pressed (known as ghosting), or the extra keys over the limit aren’t registered (known as blocking). There are many versions of N-key rollover as well:

  1. 2-key rollover (2KRO)
  2. 6-key rollover (6KRO)
  3. 10-key rollover (10KRO)
  4. 14-key rollover (14KRO)
  5. 22-key rollover (22KRO)
  6. Full n-key rollover (NKRO)

More comfortable for long play sessions

It’s important to consider the size of the keyboard when buying a keyboard. There are quite a few different sizes, as well as ergonomic keyboards, split keyboards etc. Its all personal preference, and in some cases the video game you play will help to determine the keyboard you want to use. I’ve found that there is less strain with playing for prolonged periods.

The most common keyboard sizes are

  • Full-Sized (104 key)
  • Tenkeyless or TKL (87 key)
  • 60% (68 key).

There are other layouts too, some of the less common keyboard sizes are the

  • 75%
  • 65%
  • 40%.

As the keyboard gets smaller, the number pad, home cluster, function row, arrows keys, and numbers are removed.

Durability

These mechanical gaming keyboards tend to sport better build quality. Some mechanical keyboards have aluminum frames, while others have steel frames or acrylic. Again, its all personal preference on the look, but stronger materials will give you a higher durability.

If you need to replace a part, you can easily find replacement parts for a mechanical keyboard. All the switches, stabilizers, and key caps are replaceable, However, if you need to replace a membrane keyboard, you may have to buy a whole new keyboard.

How long do mechanical switches last?

Mechanical switches have very long lives. They rate the life span by the number of key presses, and for the most part, they are rated in the millions of key presses.

A better gaming, typing experience, and customizable too!

When you type on a mechanical keyboard, you’ll notice that each keystroke feels different than a normal keyboard. You can customize the keyboard to be as comfortable as you’d like it to be. The feel of the keyboard is difficult to describe, since every keyboard has numerous factors that go into it. You can customize every part of the keyboard – the switches, stabilizers, lube, keycaps, add sound dampening etc.

There are many types of designs available for mechanical keyboards. For example, you can choose between a full-size keyboard, a compact keyboard, a split keyboard, and even a laptop keyboard. You can adjust the sound level by using different switch types (each has a distinct clicking sound), or adding sound dampening materials. You can customize the lighting effects, colors, and sounds of your keyboard. Some mechanical keyboards have beautiful designs and come in all different colors. Many people think that mechanical keyboards make a loud clicking noise when pressed, but in reality, most mechanical keyboards do not make any noise at all. In fact, some models even come with silent versions.

Mechanical Switches

Mechanical Keyboard Switches are the most common type of keyboard switches in use today. They were invented by the IBM engineer William H. “Bill” Case and first used on the Model M, a mechanical typewriter that was introduced in 1975.

Nowadays, the four big players in the switch world are Cherry MX, Kailh/Kaihua, Gateron, and Outemu. Most of these are all similar and utilize similar color schemes. The only real difference is how they feel (or don’t) when you press them down.

Cherry MX switches have been around for a long time and have become synonymous with quality mechanical keyboards. They’re also quite expensive, but if you want to get into mechanicals, it’s worth the investment. The other three companies mentioned above are newer entrants in this market, but they’ve already made their mark on the industry.

We also have brand specific switches from Razer, Logi (Logitech), and other variants. You typically won’t find these switches to be purchased outside of buying the keyboard itself.

All in all there are more than 20 brands of switches, and then each has different types of switch styles (clicky switches, tactile switches, or linear switches), and activation forces, and compatibility factors (PCB – printed circuit board, keycaps, 3-pin or 5-pin switches etc). There are many differences between switches, you’d have to jump down into the rabbit hole to explore them all.

Mechanical keyboards are more durable and last longer

Unlike common membrane keyboards, a mechanical keyboard design is sealed off from outside elements. This helps protect them from dust and dirt. It also means that they’re less likely to be affected by moisture or other contaminants.

Mechanical key switches have a number of advantages over membrane switches. They offer better tactile feedback and more resistance to wear and tear. Mechanical key switches can also last longer than their membrane counterparts.

The downside is that mechanical keyboards tend to cost more than membrane ones. However, the extra money you spend on a good quality keyboard will pay for itself in the long run.

Why Do gamers prefer clicky keyboards?

It’s not really always about the click sound or the thock sounds (don’t get me wrong, in some cases it really is about the sound). It also depends on how much force you need to register a keypress. Gaming enthusiasts prefer mechanical keyboards for their speed, durability, and feel. The tactile feedback is the feeling you experience when pressing keys on a keyboard. When you click on a key, the keyboard makes a noise (or provides a tactile bump depending on the switch) and springs back into place. Saving time pressing keys will help get you an advantage over your competition. 

Is a mechanical keyboard good for FPS games?

Yes, they really are. The response time and general speed of registering keys are vital to beating your opponents in an FPS game. For FPS gaming, I generally like to use Cherry MX Red switches – a linear, very quick, low force activation switch.  

Can I use a gaming keyboard for regular use and typing?

You absolutely can. Mechanical keyboards aren’t only for gamers. In fact, I love to use my keyboards for regular typing use as it helps to get more familiar with how the keys operate. More usage will give you more muscle memory and get you better results than using it on and off.

So what are the advantages of a mechanical gaming keyboard?

If you’ve read through the article, you will notice there are many “advanced features” of a mechanical keyboard. For gaming, in my opinion, less delay in hitting the key, less delay in registering keypresses, RGB lighting (if you like that), and complete customization is a much more attractive keyboard and helps give you quite a few advantages over rubber dome keyboards.