When you’re a gamer, you’ll realize the importance of a high-quality gaming keypad to maximize your potential. Whether you’re playing a real time strategy or an intense FPS on a virtual battlefield a gaming keypad could be the difference between winning and losing.
Gaming keypads, a high-quality keyboard and a proper mouse (like the ones in our top FPS mouse guide) will make a huge difference to your performance. If you’ve ever had the wrong keyboard or pad for your needs, you’ll know exactly how frustrating it can be.
Getting the right type of gaming keypad for your needs will improve your response time with certain game functions right at your fingertips. In addition, they can even reduce your chances of developing the dreaded “gamer’s thumb”, carpal tunnel that come with hardcore gaming.
When it comes to buying the best gaming keypad for your needs, we have done the hard work for you. Here is our list of 9 gaming keypads to make sure that you’re buying one which suits your gaming style.
The 9 Best Gaming Keypads
1. Razer Tartarus V2 – Overall Best Gaming Keypad
From a distance the Razer Tartus V2 looks a little bit like an updated version of the Power Glove. Of course, it was built this way to follow the natural curve of your hand making it comfortable to use for prolonged periods of time.
Overall, this design means that the Tartarus is a lot easier to use – and you don’t have to crane your fingers in any weird ways to get to any of the keys, which can be the case with a lot of gaming keypads.
What’s cool about the Tartarus V2 is the fact that it has a slight raised profile – enough to make it a lot more comfortable for your fingers.
Other than this, it has what they call “chroma lighting” – in other words, cool, pretty, customizable lights. It looks great when you’re playing in a badly-lit area and will tie in nicely with the RGB lighting you may have coming from your computer.
2. Logitech G13 Programmable Gameboard with LCD Display
Logitech is a pretty trusted brand when it comes to gaming, and this makes it a default option for a lot of gamers who are brand-loyal. However, first, ask yourself how much the brand-name really matters to you before you automatically side with Logitech, and realize that this particular setup still isn’t perfect.
If you’re after features that are a little better than just programmable lights, then the G13 gameboard is a good choice. It comes with a useful LCD screen that really makes you feel like you’re really in control. And yes, it still has the lights.
The G13 gameboard looks like something from the Enterprise – but it still follows the natural shape of the hand for better grip.
This one allows you to program several different user profiles so that you don’t have to worry about anyone messing around with your programmed settings.
How many keys? 30, which will be more than enough for even the most complex of games.
3. AULA Excalibur
This one is almost worth buying just for the name – and the answer you get to give when people ask you what the heck you’re holding.
But how does it perform when it comes to features is more important than this, of course.
This one has 30 programmable keys, where other models listed here tend to have. However, the number of keys you need will depend on what your needs might be. Whether you’re using the keyboard only for gaming or for something like graphic design.
It’s also hard to “scale down” to less when you’ve gotten used to having a certain number of keys in a specific place.
Up to eight different configurations can be saved into the memory – and in case you were wondering about this at all, this models still gives you the lights.
4. Razer Orbweaver Elite Mechanical PC Gaming Keypad
Razer makes a few excellent quality (and professional-grade) keypads as well as a range of other gaming gear.
Here’s another option for a gaming keypad, and it brings us right back to the kind of keypad that mildly resembles a glove.This one has a very slight Matrix-esque feel about it, which can be perfect depending on just what your needs are.
If you prefer to have something angled way up to spare your wrists or elbows, usually due to some kind of existing gaming-related injury, this is an excellent option for you. While this keyboard rest has the ability to slide in and out, it does it a lot more practically than a lot of other models on this list.
It’s priced somewhere in the middle if you were to put all of the options on this list on a pricing scale. In addition, it performs better than a lot of the higher priced models and definitely performs better than the cheaper models.
Unfortunately, we’d have liked to see more light on this one – it’s never great when you have to feel your way around the keyboard in the dark.
5. GameSir GK100
First, and no bad words meant to anyone who made or designed this in the first place, but it’s pretty damn ugly.
You don’t get the shape of a hand, you just get some kind of shape – and it either works for you or it’s the worst thing you’ve ever tried.
Glad to say that this one wasn’t nearly as bad as initially imagined when going by the way it looks, and this is actually tolerable – but not for all gamers, and not for all games.
It has the option of 34 different keys, and what they call a “sliding rail palm rest”, which basically just means that you can slide the rest in and out. But it would have really helped if they added padded.
Their idea of a rest isn’t great – and most types of rests are at least mildly padded. This one is just a random slab of plastic that attaches to this thing or doesn’t.
Of course, you still get the option of lights with this one – but it looks more like an 8-bit nightmare than the softer lighting of some other models on this list.
6. Delux T9 46-Key Singlehanded Wired Gaming Keyboard
If you need a lot more keys, you’re looking at your potential perfect gaming keypad right here.
Instead of coming with the option of 20 or 30 keys to program like most of the options on this list. You get an impressive 46 programmable keys with the Delux T9 keyboard.
When it comes to things like gaming or graphic design, this keypad goes to the top of the list for different functions – and even volume can be set separately.
The most commonly used gaming keys are right there, and it even gives you the option of a rest. However, it might not be a comfortable fit for everyone’s hands. Try it first when you have the option.
For some odd reason, they’ve chosen to color some of the keys red – and not just red, but really bright red.
It would have been easier (and likely better for the eyes) if this had just been replaced with something that lights up. Or with anything that’s not extremely bright red that hits your eyes every time you look at it.
While this is a keyboard that performs pretty damn well when compared to others, it’s only true if you can stand to look at it.
7. NPET T10
The NPET T10 is loved by a lot of gamers. However, their idea of an ergonomic design might not be one that fits your hand. If you don’t have “average” hands, you might be better off looking elsewhere for a gaming keypad.
And yes, we like this one especially because we’re right back to having one with lights which look great.
This one has been set up pretty well in terms of making sure that any strain to your hands is avoided. Also, the key placements help prevent you from accidentally pressing the wrong the keys while you’re typing.
In addition, it also comes with a 24-month guarantee. Although we would expect it to last well past the warranty with the high-quality finish.
For some types of games, this one just isn’t ideal and it’s likely that you’ll find something else that meets your needs better. But personally, we’d say that this one was pretty well designed and another great option. It is a great “meet in the middle” option for pricing and features.
8. Koolertron Cherry MX Eed Programmable Gaming Keypad
We’re not sure what to think of this one when we see it. Some of the models on this list are clearly designed to fit comfortable in your hand. Others didn’t really resemble any kind of shape we’ve seen before and was kind of just a bunch of shapes thrown together. In the case of this one, it’s a definite shape – but unfortunately the shape they chose was a rectangle.
There’s no rest included (and no explanation for why in the description). However, it has 46 programmable keys, which is the joint top on this list – and might even be enough keys to warrant its standard keyboard like shape.
Nonetheless, this might be a good choice for someone that actually likes playing on a normal keyboard but travels a lot.
This keyboard is pretty simple – and it has only a backlight that you can turn on and off.
It’s not so great if you’re looking for impressive ergonomic design, but it’s great if you want practical.
9. Acepha T9 Pro Gaming Keypad
The Acepha T9 Pro Gaming Keypad isn’t the highest option up on this list by any means.
We can start by pointing out that there are better and higher-end keypads than this one – that much is obvious.
However, it’s not that bad if you don’t go for very top of the range immediately. This can be a great go-to gaming keypad, or it can serve as a great, portable backup that you keep around only for certain games.
It has an ergonomic glove like design, and it has a practical type of rest that supports your wrist while in use.
One possible drawback is that it only comes with 29 keys which is one of the fewest in our list. Depending on what kind of gaming you’re into and how many keys you’re used to, this one is either perfect for you or too limited in terms of keys.
In addition, it also comes with lights and a brightness setting which is a nice little feature for users that like that look.