Competitive gaming has been on the rise for several years now. More and more talented and skillful players are emerging day by day. We’re not just talking about PC players, the console audience has been seeing a rise in talent as well. Despite the limitations, people are still showing off their skills with a simple controller. However, it’s not easy for everyone.
For people who have been gaming on PC for a while, shifting to consoles is difficult. Mainly because handling and being skillful with the controller is different than using a keyboard and mouse. For people who want to get competitive on consoles, keypads are usually good for their gaming needs.
The point of a gaming keypad is to get rid of a controller so you can use it along with a mouse. A lot of consoles and games are adding support for this every day. It’s still a niche product, however. That’s why to save you the hassle, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite keypads out there.
At the top of our list, we have none other than Razer with their excellent Orbweaver Chroma Gaming Keypad. This premium keypad has been around for a long time, yet many people will tell you that it is still the best you can find in the market. We also tend to agree with that statement.
Design-wise, this is a very Razer-like product, as expected. The base has rubber feet so it doesn’t move around. There is an adjustable wrist rest, along with a joystick for your thumb at the right. Razer is using its signature mechanical green switches, which are loud and clicky. All the keys feel tactile, even the joystick.
The Orbweaver Chroma is much smaller than even your average TKL keyboard. It is much narrower than other keypads, so it doesn’t take up much space. People with large hands might be worried about this, but Razer offers a lot of customizability. You can expand the wrist rest further down to accommodate your palm, and the thumb button area can be moved further to the right as well.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Razer product without Chroma RGB lighting. This is adjustable in the software, though that software is obviously not available on most consoles. As for performance, this is the most comfortable keypad you can find. If you can look past the price, this is the best keypad on the market.
Do you love playing battle royale games? Well, the GameSir VX Aimswith is the closest thing you can get to a regular keyboard experience on a gaming keypad. It’s almost like someone decided to incorporate only the left side of a keyboard, and turn it into a keypad. Surprisingly, it works quite well.
It’s easy to get up and running with this keypad. Just plug it in the included adapter into your PC or console and it will be recognized as a regular keyboard, no drivers required. GameSir is using mechanical blue switches on this keypad, which give it a nice tactile bump. Keep in mind that blue switches are usually very loud, and this is no different.
The layout is very similar to a normal keyboard you’d see on most desks. It has the number keys, the function keys, and even a spacebar. All of your movement can be done with the WASD keys and you can jump with the spacebar. They also include a mouse so you can ditch that controller for good. The mouse, while basic, definitely gets the job done well.
The palm rest has a sliding rail, so you can adjust it according to your comfort level. The only annoyance I have with this keypad is the software. If you want to use the macro keys, you’ll have to use the frustrating software which takes a bit of time to fully understand. Apart from that, this is great for games like Fortnite, PUBG, etc.
Next up, we have another Razer product. This time it is the Razer Tartarus V2 Gaming Keypad. Razer calls this a mecha-membrane keypad, essentially making this a hybrid. We’ll get into that later. If you are a Razer fan but don’t want to shell out the cash for the Orbweaver, this is a great alternative.
It’s one of the most popular gaming keypads too. You can get either in the Classic Black color or the Mercury White option which looks very appealing. Razer says the keys are mecha-membrane, but despite having a somewhat tactile response, they feel like membrane keys for the most part. Still, they don’t feel as bad as a regular membrane keyboard
To the surprise of no one, this keypad obviously has RGB Chroma lighting. In all seriousness, it does look good and is adjustable in software. It also gets quite bright. There is a joystick on the right side, with a padded wrist rest at the bottom. Adjustability is present, but not by much. People with smaller hands might feel a bit uncomfortable here.
Surprisingly, there is a scroll wheel near the main keys. This could potentially help digital artists to zoom in and out. If you don’t want the hassle of a full-sized keyboard along with your drawing tablet, this could be a good replacement. Unless you can afford the Orbweaver, I think this keypad is enough for most people.
As I mentioned before, a gaming keyboard is no doubt a niche product. That’s why there aren’t a lot of them out there and the decent ones can get expensive. However, that’s not always the case and this Delux T9 Ergonomic Gameboard proves that. It’s one of the very few cheap keypads out there, so it’s worth taking a look at.
The Delux T9 Gameboard looks basic at first glance, but it nails down the essentials well. It’s a Chinese product, so the included manual is also in Chinese. Not that any of that matters too much since this is essentially a plug and play device. We have the usual function keys, WASD keys, and some extra multimedia keys.
Like other keypads, this cheap one also includes an optional wrist rest, which is great for the price. It’s a bit on the smaller side, but still comfortable none the less. There are a few important features missing, however. You can’t configure any macros, besides that, the Alt, Ctrl, and Shift keys have a weird layout. The buttons are membrane too, so they’re not that satisfying.
Sure, there are a lot of corners being cut here. But considering how expensive some keypads can get, and some are more expensive than regular keyboards, this is a great budget option for basic use.
Last on our list we have the AULA One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard. That’s just a fancier way of calling it a keypad, but this AULA keyboard does have a few tricks up its sleeve. While the design and build quality are a bit questionable, it does have some key selling points.
As I mentioned just above, the design is nothing to really write home about. It does have an ergonomic design with a palm wrist rest, and it is okay at comfort. The wrist rest is on the smaller side of things, so keep that in mind. The keypad has a rounded shape, and it takes up a bit more space than the Razer offerings.
It has RGB lighting, which is quite decent. They have opted for Blue Mechanical switches in this keypad, but they are definitely not Cherry MX. They are still pretty clicky and loud, which is a good thing. The font for the function keys is strange, I don’t who thought this was a good idea but it looks quite jarring.
The main selling feature is the sheer number of programmable keys. Not only do we have the main keys, but we have 30 programmable keys which can all be set according to your needs. For MOBA gamers and even designers, this is quite good. Apart from that, the build quality does leave a bit to be desired.