How we test gaming keyboards

To determine the best gaming keyboard, we run each keyboard we review through a variety of tests. The first, and most important, test is to play through a number of different games, and see how the keyboard holds up. I usually like to try at least one FPS, RTS, RPG and MMO apiece, since these are the genres that benefit most from a good keyboard. (You can generally get away with a controller for most action/adventure titles.)

After that, we take a deep dive into a keyboard’s software suite, evaluating how easy (or difficult) it is to reprogram keys, set up macros, adjust lighting and create profiles for games. Particularly intuitive software gets high marks; convoluted software can lose some points, even if it’s very robust otherwise.

Finally, we make sure to use a keyboard for productivity for at least two or three days. Most gamers don’t swap keyboards in and out; what they use for gaming, they’ll need to use for work and general computing as well. The better a keyboard is at everyday tasks, the better its recommendation.

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