Cell PhonesComputersConsumer ElectronicsGraphic Design & Video EditingHome Theater & AudioIndustrial TechnologyInternet

Best RTS and FPS Mechanical Keyboards for PC Gaming 2016

Updated on October 03, 2016
toptengamer profile image

I left my Finance job 6 years ago to work for my dream boss, myself. I've never looked back. I focus on tech, gaming, and hardware reviews.

I recently reviewed both the K95 and K70 Mechanical Keyboard from Corsair. While these two make the cut there are several other keyboards that do as well. Find out my picks and vote for your favorites below.
I recently reviewed both the K95 and K70 Mechanical Keyboard from Corsair. While these two make the cut there are several other keyboards that do as well. Find out my picks and vote for your favorites below.

Having used a mechanical keyboard for the last five years I can tell you that once you make the switch, you'll never go back. While it may not win games for you, its tactile feedback and responsiveness seems to give me an advantage while playing FPS and RTS style games.

Why Choose a Mechanical Keyboard?

There are three main reasons why I always go with a mechanical keyboard. First, mechanical switches outlast the cheap rubber-dome ones that you typically find on common keyboards. In addition, they register more quickly and have a tactile feedback that can help you get rid of typos and ultimately be more accurate with your keys. Lastly, some mechanical keyboards register more quickly because they don't require you to completely bottom out before they register.

Cherry MX Switches
Cherry MX Switches

What Type of Mechanical Switch is Best?

Red vs Black vs Blue vs Brown

When I'm playing FPS or RTS genre games I try to get every advantage I can get. Depending on the games you play or your personal style you may find that one switch gives you better results than another. Ultimately you may need to test various types of switches in order to know what's right for you. That being said here's some of the advantages and disadvantages to each.

Cherry Red MX Switch:

This color of switch is probably the most popular among FPS gamers, though blue and brown are also widely used. The cherry red MX switch requires the least amount of force to push down and has less tactile feedback than the other switches. Because it's so easy to push down it's also simple to double click.

Cherry MX Black Switch:

This is basically the heavier version of the red switch. Like the red, the black doesn't have an actuation point you can feel, but your keystroke registers when you're pressing about halfway down (2mm out of 4mm).

Cherry MX Blue Switch:

If you're looking for a clicky switch, then this is the one you should get. Compared to the red and the brown, it's a little bit heavier to push down. Because the actuation point is higher than the release point it's a bit difficult to do a lot of double clicking. Overall, it's still pretty common in mechanical keyboards mostly because it's used in Razer's BlackWidow Ultimate. If you're going to use your keyboard at work and work near someone else, then this switch type may be one to avoid.

Cherry MX Brown

The Cherry Brown switch is meant to be a hybrid of other mechanical switches. Essentially it takes more to press it down than a red and less than a blue or black. For tactile feedback it sounds similar to a black switch, and overall has more feedback than a red and less than a blue.

An above view of the Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Keyboard.
An above view of the Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Keyboard.

5 Good FPS Mechanical PC Gaming Keyboards 2016

There are a lot of really good options in the mechanical keyboard space that I won't be mentioning here. If you'd like to highlight one that you like in particular, then be sure to let everyone know by leaving a comment. That being said the seven following keyboards are not only my favorite, but also the favorites of many in the gaming community.

Corsair Vengeance K95 and K70 Mechanical Keyboard

When Corsair originally released the K90 and K65 a few years ago they weren't exactly what gamers were expecting. Good and inexpensive, yes, but overall they weren't 100% mechanical.

Corsair's Improvements Over Previous Models:

With the K95 and K70 Corsair corrected this problem and truly made what I consider a near-perfect mechanical keyboard. The white, red, or blue LED backlighting isn't overbearing, and optional features like USB pass through to achieve 20-key rollover really make this keyboard stand out. In addition, you have the option to light only the keys that you'd like.

K95 vs K70 Mechanical Keyboard:

The K95 is for those of you who want lots of programmable G keys. It costs around $20 more and is built extremely well. I recently had the chance to use one and noticed that the G keys were a little far off for me. I ordered the K70 instead which doesn't have the G keys. If you don't need programmable keys, then it might be advisable to do the same. Both use red mechanical switches.

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit RGB LED, Cherry MX Red
Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit RGB LED, Cherry MX Red

The RGB version of the K70 allows for 16.8M multicolor animation, but costs $40 to $50 more than the basic model which is available in blue or red LED backlighting.

 

Mechanical Keyboard YouTube Review

The BlackWidow ultimate is a favorite of gamers, but ultimately may not be ideal if used in an office setting.
The BlackWidow ultimate is a favorite of gamers, but ultimately may not be ideal if used in an office setting.

BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical PC Gaming Keyboard

If you're looking for a blue switch, then this is probably the gaming keyboard to get. The BlackWidow is, overall, probably the most popular keyboard on the market today. That being said it's important that you understand the pros and cons of a blue switch before you get it (see above).

I like the additional features that Razer has added with the BlackWidow. These include USB pass-through for better registering of keys, five G keys, a one-year parts and labor warranty, and a pretty sleek green backlight.

For additional customization in backlighting also consider Razer's Chroma version of the BlackWidow.

The Ducky Shine Mechanical keyboard allows you to customize your backlighting and MX switch options. The Ducky Shine III is already in the works.
The Ducky Shine Mechanical keyboard allows you to customize your backlighting and MX switch options. The Ducky Shine III is already in the works.

Ducky Shine 1 and 2 Mechanical Keyboard

If you've never heard of the company name before, then you might chuckle. That being said Ducky is no joke. Their keyboards are some of the favorites among gamers because of their build quality and accuracy.

Order whatever color or switch you want:

With the Ducky Shine 2 you can order it in red, yellow, blue, green, white, and yes, even pink. The backlighting can be adjusted between fully lit and 60%. Also, it allows you to have up to two personalized profiles. In addition, you can order it in any color of MX switch you'd like.

A picture of the Das Keyboard (above) and the SteelSeries 6GV2 (below).
A picture of the Das Keyboard (above) and the SteelSeries 6GV2 (below).

Das Keyboard Professional and Quiet

This German keyboard is super popular among professionals and typists and also an extremely viable option for gamers. This keyboard is available in professional and quiet versions in blue, brown, or red.

It comes with a PS/2 adapter for full n-key rollover, or if you don't need it you can use six-key rollover while using USB 2.0.

SteelSeries 6GV2 - A good Budget Mechanical Keyboard Option

If you're wanting something inexpensive that works well, then I strongly recommend you take a look at the 6GV2. It's built like a tank and is available in black and cherry red switches. Like the DAS you can use a PS/2 converter with it for full NKRO.

CM Storm QuickFire - No Number Pad

Another mechanical keyboard I didn't mention was the CM Storm Quickfire Rapid. It's available in every switch type and is desirable because it has the numpad removed from the base of the keyboard. This can make your keyboard a little easier to manage overall.

What's your favorite mechanical keyboard?

You can help me and our readers out by voting for your favorite below:

See results

Final Thoughts:

These are a few you should definitely consider, but ultimately what feels best is up to you. Be sure to vote in the poll below which has a few other mechanical keyboards of note. Also, don't forget to look at my profile for additional gaming-related posts and see my YouTube channel for up-to-date video reviews.

© 2013 Brandon Hart

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tamanizer 8 months ago

      How About Steelseries Apex m800?

    • Gal 10 months ago

      Corsair K65 Very nice one!

    • PurpleKush430 3 years ago

      BlackWidow Ultimate 2013, is what I've been using for a very along time. But I need a new keyboard, now I don't know if I want any of these. But should I just go with an " IBM model M " it's Old school just like me xD

    • VinnieJones 3 years ago

      Not sure why it isn't meantioned but the Q-Pad MK-85 is my pick. Expensive, but a serious keyboard.

    • Mr. Internet 3 years ago

      I like the Logitech G710+ better. Don't know why, I just do.

    • mynamrerasmus 3 years ago

      ducky shine 3

    • esperfet 3 years ago

      Honestly,

      My favorite mechancal keyboard is the IBM "M" series; if you're lucky enough to find one in working condition, they're probably the best out there.

    • SS4 3 years ago

      nice review once again.

      I'm looking for a good mechanical keyboard that could combine these 3 elements if possible.

      1 : A big enter key not a sausage shaped one, i hate those

      2: Some media key at the top (doesn't need the full spectrum but at least a few would be nicer than none at all)

      3: Textured WASD key (so far ive only seen those on cheap keyboards like the sharkoon skiller, although i see different colored ones often) I just think the different feel makes it so much easier when your moving you hands around a lot in some games to get right back on WASD.

      Anyway, cant seem to find any keyboard that combine those 3 elements. I also speak french but i can use french/billingual layout on any keyboards since i type without looking anyway so i don't care what the keys shows lol

    • Erik 3 years ago

      My favourite is the Logitech G710+. It's (at least) just as good as a Corsair. The G710+ is as good as mechanical keyboards get.

    • Markus 3 years ago

      I have a Ducky shine 2 blue swicthes, but recently I've been looking at Zowie. I am using their mice which are really good, hope I can get my hands on one of their Keyboards as well!

    • toptengamer profile image
      Author

      Brandon Hart 3 years ago from The Game

      John,

      If you buy a laser etched key keyboard, then this won't happen. A good example of that would be like the Das Keyboard or my favorite right now the Corsair Vengeance K70 or K95.

    • John hegers 3 years ago

      I want advice on back lit keyboards because i am on my second sidewinder keyboard and the keys wear of after 5 months of use and become indistinguishable. So any advice on a keyboard with durable keys please.

    Click to Rate This Article