The gaming keyboard is an often overlooked peripheral when it comes to what can make a lot of impact with your in-game results. The fact is, the keyboard is crucial but what should you go for? Wireless Vs. wired, which is best for gaming? Well, the answer isn’t as black and white as you may think. Both types of boards will come with similar switch types, sizes, and flashy features like RGB but what about performance?
While wireless gaming keyboards can offer the almighty convenience of cutting the cord, it sits on your desk and isn’t as much of a positive as a wireless mouse or headset. Plus in the past wireless technology could suffer from interference and of course, run out of battery!
Despite these drawbacks, wireless technology has come forward leaps and bounds and can offer a similar level of performance to their wired counterparts, leaving the choice ultimately down to your own personal needs as a gamer, and well, your bank balance.
- Clutter-free for a clean setup
- Can be subjected to interference
- Will come with delay/ lag
- Needs charging
- Tends to be more expensive
The main reasons to get a wireless keyboard is for pure convenience and to keep your setup looking clean. The results of an entirely wireless setup always look impressive and the lack of clutter is something we can all get on board with.
Wireless gaming keyboards used to be less responsive with a noticeable delay, making them far too unreliable for competitive gamers. Despite this, the casual gamer could get a lot of use out of a wireless keyboard, as reaction times and precision are less important.
Latency is now marketed as being lag-free but the fact is there is still a delay when you compare a wireless keyboard to a wired model. Latency is a big deal if you need to make split-second reactions in-game. Some brands like Logitech, have impressive wireless technology that is reliable enough to enjoy at a high level but more affordable options on the market could leave you a keypress behind the enemy at all times.
If you plan on going for a wireless gaming keyboard, an important factor to check is battery life. If your keyboard begins to run low on battery this could spell trouble for the performance, so you are always going to want to keep that baby charged up to a good level.
Most wireless gaming keyboards will run on a 2.4GHz connection like mice and headsets, using a USB receiver. Despite manufacturers trying to tackle the issue of interference head-on, with so many wireless technologies often running in the same room, you are bound to run into interference. With high-quality products, this will rarely happen but it is important to note that it can occur and serious gamers may be put off by this.
- Never loses power
- Generally more affordable
- Cables can get in the way and look untidy
- Less flexibility (need to be used on the desk near to the power source)
If we simply take away the cons of a wireless gaming keyboard, you are left with the benefits of a wired keyboard. Wired gaming keyboards are the most common and offer unrivaled responsiveness that any gamer can rely on. A wired keyboard is stable, doesn’t need to be charged, and is generally cheaper.
The vast majority of gamers who aren’t too worried about a cable with their setup will have a wired keyboard on their desk. For pro games at the top of their respective title, milliseconds can be all the difference in a 1 v 1, so the responsiveness of a wired model can, in theory, always come out on top.
Wired Vs. Wireless, is there a price difference? Well, kind of. You will find top-level wireless gaming keyboards are going to cost you a pretty penny, even when compared to the best wired gaming keyboards on the market.
With wireless models, you are paying for extra technology and the convenience of having no wires but whether this is worth it is ultimately up to you.
To better understand this, take the SteelSeries Apex 7 wired mechanical gaming keyboard for example. This keyboard is arguably one of the best gaming models we have seen for some time, with unrivaled responsiveness, features, and a superb design too. The Apex 7 is a pricey board, yet still comes out around $50 cheaper than the top wireless gaming keyboard, the Logitech G915. $50! That’s a gaming mouse or money you could spend putting towards a better quality component.
The answer is still wired but this only really applies to you keen gamers that are at the top or are looking to get to the top. The fact is, the rest of us are barely going to notice the subtle differences in latency or interference, as our skills just aren’t as refined.
So with this in mind, which is best for gaming really becomes which is best for you and your money. If you can get over a cable going off the back of your desk, then just get a wired keyboard, there is far more choice and you are never going to have to worry about charging the thing!
Wireless Vs. Wired keyboards for gaming, what should you go for then? If money is no object and you are going for the ultimate Zen setup, sure, I can see the appeal of a wireless gaming keyboard, they do look fantastic. This also goes for the gamers out there that aren’t concerned with all this talk of responsiveness, lag, or interference too.
The truth is wireless technology will keep gaining strength to the point where there is no noticeable difference anymore and cutting the cord does look great.