Gaming keypads are special accessories that are used by professional gamers besides the main keyboard and mouse.
For these kinds of games, you do not need the whole keyboard but just a couple of keys. And that is why we have reviewed the best gaming keypads in this article.
Keypads provide easy access to these button and different functions can be mapped to different buttons and used accordingly. Keypads also come with a couple of more features that you can opt for depending on your use.
A wrist rest is a common add-on that you can get, for example. This will support your hand and comfort it when you are playing a game for longer durations of time.
Keypads are as advanced as modern keyboards and come with features such as displays and to give you important information upfront. You can also get LED indicator lights that also reveal valuable information. Some keypads also come with scroll wheels and joysticks for additional usability.
Top-Rated Gaming Keypads Comparison Table
The following are all the keypads that we are going to talk about and some of their features that you might be interested in learning about at a glance:
|Keypads||Programmable Keys||Key Type||Wrist Rest|
|Razer Tartarus V2||32||Mecha-membrane||Detachable||Check Price|
|Razer Orbweaver Chroma||30||Mechanical||Adjustable||Check Price|
|Logitech G13||25||Membrane||Adjustable||Check Price|
|Razer Nostromo||16||Membrane||Adjustable||Check Price|
|GameSir GK100||34||Mechanical||Detachable||Check Price|
|SADES One-Hand||35||Membrane||Adjustable||Check Price|
The Best Gaming Keypads of 2020
1. Razer Tartarus V2 – Best Keypad for Gaming
Razer is well-known for introducing top quality gaming accessories and peripherals and that is one of the reasons why the Razer Tartarus V2 is on the top of our list of the greatest gaming keypads that you should buy.
We mentioned that there are different types of keys and the main types are membrane keys and mechanical keys. The Tartarus V2 is supposed to be the best of both worlds and offers the softness of a membrane keyboard but the tactical feedback of a mechanical keyboard.
While there is a clear difference between a mecha-membrane key and a proper mechanical key this is still comfortable for gaming and will give you the satisfaction that you get from a decent gaming keyboard. This is a keypad so you get better access to all the buttons and you are less likely to miss a key.
The Razer Tartarus V2 is an impressive option keeping in mind the different kinds of keypads that are available on the market. The keypad has mecha-membrane keys that are as soft as membrane keys but have the tactile feedback of mechanical keypads. If you are on the market for a quality product but are not interested in spending too much money then this is an option that you can check out.
32 fully programmable keys can be mapped according to your preferences and there is an 8-way joystick that can be used for better accessibility. All the keys are individually backlit and offer 16.8 million colors so there are plenty of colors to choose from and customize your gaming keypad according to your mood or the rest of your build. All these colors can be set and adjusted with the Razer Synapse 3 software.
The Hyperkey allows you to map the same key to another function which adds to the functionality of the keypad even though the keypad already has plenty of keys that should be enough to meet your gaming needs.
2. Razer Orbweaver Chroma – Premium Gaming Keypad
Here we have another gaming keypad from Razer but this one has proper mechanical switches which makes it even better than the Tartarus V2. Mechanical keyboards have a tactile feedback and a click sound as well which is something that gamers like but can be frustrating for people that live with you. Each switch type is not the same and that is something that you need to keep in mind when buying a keypad.
This is another great keypad for gaming but this one comes with proper mechanical switches. Razer is known for creating great gaming peripherals and this one is no exception. If you are in the market for a new gaming keypad that has with plenty of features and mechanical keys then this is a great option to consider.
The Razer Orbweaver Chroma uses the Razer Green mechanical switches and comes with 30 programmable buttons that can be mapped according to your needs. The keypad also comes with an 8-way directional thumb-pad. The keypad comes with individually backlit keys and offers 16.8 million colors to choose from.
The hand, thumb and palm rests can be adjusted according to your preferences and guarantees that you will not feel tired even when gaming for a couple of hours.
3. Logitech G13 – Budget Keypad for Gaming
Logitech is well known in the gaming space for making great peripherals and the company creates some impressive products that not only function well but look impressive as well. Here we have the G13 Gameboard that comes with 25 programmable keys.
The Logitech G13 programmable gameboard comes with a couple of programmable keys and you can map them according to your preferences. The gameboard has onboard memory and will save up to 5 profiles so that you can keep the same setting when you plug it into some other device. This is a great option to consider if you are interested in getting a keypad with a premium finish but are not interested in spending too much money.
It comes with a display that can show vital information from your system or the game. It can even display messages from your crew when gaming so that you do not have to leave the game. The onboard memory can save up to 5 different profiles which allow you to take your settings with you and plug it into any system.
4. Razer Nostromo
This is a smaller gaming keypad for people with smaller hands or people that do not need the additional features that other products on this list offer. The Nostromo comes with 16 programmable keys which you can bind according to your preferences. You can use the software to customize the buttons and customize them according to your preference and the game that you are playing.
The fewer keys and minimal features might not be an issue for people that like simple designs and do not want the keypad to take up a lot of desk space. If these are features that you are looking for then the Razer Nostromo is an option that you should consider getting.
Read also: Best Gaming Keyboards Under $50
5. GameSir GK100
The GK100 comes with Mechanical switches which are backlit. The price is pretty competitive compared to other options on this list. The gamepad has 34 Cherry MX Blue keys that are great for gaming and you do not need to press them all the way in order for them to be registered. This is great when playing competitive online titles.
Equipped with 34 gaming-level mechanical blue switches, are the GameSir GK100 an excellent budget pick. 4 side keys are also fully programmable to any hotkey. The keypad comes with a detachable palm rest as well.
It also comes with a detachable wrist rest which ensures comfort when gaming for long durations of time. The installation process is pretty simple. All you need to do is plug it in and that is pretty much all there is. No drivers are needed to configure the device.
6. SADES One-Hand
The SADES one-handed keyboard is what you would call half a keyboard as the layout is pretty much the same. The ergonomic design makes it easier to get to the keys faster and ensures that you do not miss a key. The integrated wrist rest provides comfort and allows you to be able to game for as long as you want.
There are 35 keys and while there is no RGB there are 7 different colors that you can choose from. This will allow you to play games in low light conditions and with the lights off. The keypad is made of metal and ABS which makes it durable and stable. The keys are not mechanical and that is one of the reasons why the price is so low.
It can be used with Xbox and PC and supports older versions of Windows and Mac OS so compatibility is not an issue.
Read also: Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100
What to Look for in Gaming Keypads
There are two main kinds of keys that you need to know about membrane keys and mechanical keys. Here we are going to look into both of them and what they have to offer.
Membrane vs Mechanical Keys
There are generally two kinds of keys, a membrane keys and mechanical ones. Each has its own pros and cons and you should consider both before deciding which one you should get. Here we are going to look into both types and walk you through what you need to know about them.
Membrane keys have different membrane layers which are used to send a signal to the PC that a key has been pressed. There are certain pros and cons of getting membrane keys.
Advantages Of A Membrane Keyboard
Membrane keys are great to type on and while mechanical keys are said to be better, the advancement of technology has left a small gap between them. If you have a decent membrane keypad then it will be hard to tell the difference.
Another advantage of using membrane keys is that they are rather silent when compared to a mechanical ones. Mechanical keys have a rather loud clicky sound when pressed and while that is something that some gamers like, it can be rather distracting for other people that might live with you. There are different kinds of mechanical switches and some are louder than others but membrane keyboards are generally quieter.
While there are exceptions, membrane keypads are usually made of plastic which means that they are light and if you are on the move you can easily take one with you. A general trend is that these keypads are also less expensive when compared to mechanical ones which is one of the reasons why they are commonly used by gamers.
Disadvantages Of A Membrane Keypads
Moving on to all the things that are negative about membrane keyboards, some people find the keys mushy and that it affects the typing experience. Membrane keyboards often require more force to press a button which is something to keep in mind if you spend most of your time on a PC, working or gaming. It will affect you in both cases.
I myself spend most of my time in front of a PC. When I am not gaming, I am typing and I often feel that a mechanical keyboard provides a much decent typing experience as compared to a membrane keyboard. I have messed with a couple of keyboards and in my experience, even cheaper mechanical keyboards from reputable companies are better than most mid-range membrane keyboards. That is what I feel and you might have different thoughts regarding the matter, so do let us know what you think and prefer.
Keypads these days are pretty durable and can last months if not years but generally membrane keypads wear out sooner as compared to mechanical options. The membranes just wear out and the keys feel mushy. That can happen to pretty much any membrane keyboard after extensive use. Cleaning can also be an issue. Membrane keypads do not commonly come with removable keycaps, which is an option on most mechanical keypads.
Mechanical keypads use switches to transfer typing signals and there are different kinds of switches with different kinds of properties. Each switch performs differently and that is why you need to check the type of switch before you make a purchase decision. The most common switches that you will find in a mechanical keypad are Red, Blue and Brown. Some require decent force to activate while others don’t and some make a clicking sound when pressed while others don’t.
Advantages Of A Mechanical Keyboard
There are plenty of advantages of getting a mechanical keypad over a membrane keyboard. Mechanical keypads often come with removable keycaps which makes them easier to clean and customize. You can get all kinds of key caps which can be used to replace existing ones or to customize your keyboard according to your preferences.
Since there is no membrane, mechanical keys are more durable as compared to membrane keys and will last you a long time provided that you take proper care of the peripheral. They also stay pretty much the same from day one till when you dispose of the keypad because there is no membrane that wears off over time.
Mechanical keys do not require a lot of force to activate and this can be a major advantage when typing or gaming. You will be able to press plenty of keys quickly without missing a key. With a mechanical keypad, you do not need to press the key all the way down in order to register it. This can be a major game-changer if you do a lot of typing or play competitive online games that require faster response time.
A mechanical keypad uses switches and that is why it is going to be a bit heavy as compared to a membrane keypad. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you are used to and what you look for.
Disadvantages Of A Mechanical Keypad
Now that we have got all the advantages out of the way, let’s look into the cons of a mechanical keypad. They generally use better technology and expensive materials that is why these are more expensive as compared to membrane ones.
Depending on the kind of switch you go for, the keypad can be pretty loud. While some switches are louder than others, mechanical keys are generally louder than membrane keys. This is something that gamers like. The tactile and audio feedback is something that I personally enjoy but this can be seen as a major con especially if you live with other people.
Mechanical keypads come with switches and better materials and that is why they are generally heavier as compared to membrane ones. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you look for in a gamepad or what you are used to.
These are all the keypads that we can recommend so far into 2020. We have also walked you through the main differences between the different key types. This should be enough for you to decide which option is the best for you and which one suits your needs. Remember that mechanical keys are going to feel better and last longer but are also a bit expensive. If you are on a budget then you can go with membrane keys instead.
While you might get additional features for an additional cost, you should get the keypad that has the features that you need. Do not spend money on features that you are not going to use. You might regret doing that down the line. At the end of the day you are getting what you paid for and if this is a long-term investment then you might want to spend some more money on a better gamepad. I hope that all this information is enough for you to make an informed decision.