Reviews You Can Rely On

How We Tested Gaming Keyboards

Tuesday June 11, 2024

To find the best gaming keyboard, we surveyed gaming reviews and word of mouth, identified the best keyboards, and then bought the products to test side-by-side. We developed five testing metrics: lighting customization, performance, ease of programming and macros, convenience, and palm rest quality. The following is a summary of how each test was conducted.

Lighting Customization

Lighting customization is a crucial aspect when evaluating high-performance gaming keyboards. To assess this metric, our rigorous testing process examined various factors that contribute to the overall lighting experience. Firstly, we assessed the overall ease of customizing, taking into consideration the user-friendliness of the keyboard's software or onboard controls.

There are numerous lighting customization possibilities available for this affordable keyboard.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The level of customization offered by each keyboard wsa another essential aspect of our evaluation. Top-tier gaming keyboards provide a wide range of customization options, allowing gamers to express their creativity and match their setups to their preferences. From basic color changes to intricate patterns and effects, keyboards with extensive customization capabilities garner high marks in this category.

We also assessed whether the keyboard offers Zone or Individual (per-key) customization. Per-key lighting customization empowers gamers to create unique configurations for each key, highlighting specific keys for different games or functions. On the other hand, zone lighting allows for broader lighting effects across designated areas of the keyboard. Striking a balance between zone and individual customization enhances the overall lighting experience, which results in a higher level of personalization.

We also considered the number of presets available in the keyboard's lighting settings, color options, and where the colors light up on the keyboard. Preset configurations allow users to swiftly switch between various lighting setups without reconfiguring them from scratch.

Seamlessly change your keyboard's color profile with a push of a button.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


For our performance metric, we evaluated each keyboard's N-key rollover/anti-ghosting and latency. In this case, we implemented specific software for testing and repeated the same procedure on each keyboard to get accurate results. We also considered how each keyboard performed on specific games that require responsiveness and specific key combinations. While it is difficult to obtain objective data from the latter form of testing, it is relevant because, like a car, you need to take it for a drive to see how well it drives with your hands on the wheel.

When assessing N-Key rollover/anti-ghosting, we investigated the keyboards' ability to accurately detect and process multiple simultaneous key presses without any signal conflicts or missed inputs. This feature is crucial, especially in fast-paced gaming scenarios where precise and swift combinations of keystrokes are essential for success.

Latency is the time it takes for the keyboard to register and transmit keystrokes to the computer. Swift keystroke response is paramount for gamers seeking a seamless and lag-free gaming experience. We employed advanced testing methods to assess how quickly each keyboard translated key presses into on-screen actions, ensuring that the keyboards delivered optimal responsiveness.

What made the Redragon truly remarkable was its exceptional latency performance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


We carefully considered the convenience factor that each gaming keyboard provides to its users. We take into account the available switch types, how easy it is to swap keycaps, whether there are dedicated media controls, and the presence and functionality of a USB passthrough. By appraising these factors, we provide gamers with valuable insights to help them choose a keyboard that is convenient and meets their individual needs.

gaming keyboard - the ducky one 3 mini has many swappable key types giving gamers...
The Ducky One 3 Mini has many swappable key types giving gamers remarkable versatility.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Key Assignment and Macros

We conducted thorough testing to assess the ease of programming and editing macros with each keyboard. We gauged the general impression and ease of use of each keyboard's programming software or onboard controls, ensuring that gamers could customize and program their desired macros. We also examined the number of programmable buttons and how straightforward it was to assign specific functions to each key. Additionally, we assessed whether the keyboards offered on-the-fly macro making, specific macro buttons, and the capability for individual event editing.

gaming keyboard - a simple keyboard can make gaming so much easier.
A simple keyboard can make gaming so much easier.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Palm Rest

A good palm rest is essential for comfortable gaming. Our evaluation is based on the material and approximate angle of the palm rest while considering the ideal hand size for a given palm rest. We noted how the palm rest felt during our gaming sessions, how it felt to type for extended periods, and how the material felt to our skin.

Some palm rests are detachable from the keyboard.
Credit: Abriah Wofford