Best Keyboard for CS:GO - The Ultimate Guide
CS:GO is a game where every little thing matters. The tiniest mistake can cause your team to lose a site and consequentially a round, and from there on out things can spiral out of control pretty rapidly. If you want to be at your best in a game like this it's important to be using gear that doesn't hold you back. We all know that a mouse is a vital piece of kit, but people often ignore the keyboard.
Getting the right keyboard for you can make your experience much more comfortable and it can even improve your performance if you're coming from a regular old membrane keyboard.
To help you pick the right keyboard for CS:GO we've been analyzing what the pros are using, and we came up with this list of the five most used keyboards in the pro scene. We'll go over each of them and give you a quick rundown of their features.
What makes a keyboard good for CS:GO?
CS:GO might seem like a simple game on the surface but it really is anything but simple once you really start studying the game. If you've ever watched a professional match you have no doubt noticed just how smooth and natural the pros seem to glide around the map. That's the result of hours upon hours of training, of course, but there's another factor at play here: all professional players use a mechanical keyboard.
The reason for that is pretty simple; a mechanical board is much more responsive than a regular rubber dome board, meaning that it'll allow you to be much more precise with your inputs, and we don't have to tell you how much of an advantage that can give you. We're not saying that getting a mechanical board is going to make you a pro player in a snap but there is a reason why all of the boards in this list are mechanical.
The advantages don't end with the responsiveness. Due to the great variety of form factors and available switches with these boards it's really easy to find a keyboard that suits your exact preferences, both when it comes to the size and the overall feeling of the board. Want clicky and tactile feeling switches? You got it. More of a silent switch fan? There's multiple options there too. In short: going for a mechanical keyboard gives you a great array of options so that you can get an experience that's tailored to what you want out of a keyboard.
As far as features are concerned: most of these boards are are pretty basic. There are no extra macro buttons or special add-ons because you simply don't need it for a game such as CS:GO. It can be handy to go for a keyboard with a numpad if you're someone who likes to have buy binds, but otherwise we would recommend you to go for a tenkeyless (TKL) model. The smaller form factor will give you more space on your desk for your mouse and the increased portability means that TKL boards are way easier to transport in case you're someone who goes to LANs or tournaments quite often.
Most used manufacturer
1. HyperX Alloy FPS / FPS Pro
Note: we counted the Alloy FPS and FPS Pro together. The full size version has a USB passthrough port while the TKL version does not, but other than that there are no differences to the build and overall features.
A lot of mechanical gaming keyboards try to dazzle you with extra features and impressive RGB backlighting, but the HyperX Alloy FPS doesn't do all that. It's made for (as the name obviously suggests) serious FPS gaming. It's made out of a solid steel frame and it has a detachable cable (even on the full size version, which is somewhat of a rarity) so it's going to be plenty durable and portable for the traveling gamer.
While there's no RGB show to be found here there's still (red) backlighting so that you can see what you're doing in dark environments. The board also has full N-key rollover (NKRO) so that you'll never have any issues with keys not registering, no matter how many you're pressing at the same time. The bezels of the board are almost non-existent as well so that the footprint of this board remains minimal (even for a full sized plank) so all in all you can say that this keyboard definitely is made for serious competitive gaming.
You can get the HyperX Alloy FPS with a variety of the widely lauded Cherry MX switches. You can choose between Blue, Brown (only on the full sized version), or Red.
That's not the greatest array of options on a keyboard, but it does cover the basics; you've got clicky and tactile (Blue), silent and linear (Red) and a mix between the two (Brown). If you want to learn more about the differences between all these switches you can check out our article here.
Most used keyboard
HyperX Alloy FPS / FPS Pro
Logitech G Pro X Mechanical Keyboard
SteelSeries Apex Pro / Apex Pro TKL
Xtrfy K4-RGB / K4-RGB TKL
2. Logitech G Pro X Mechanical Keyboard
Logitech's newest pro board
Logitech's G line of products is directed at professional and competitive gamers, so it's perhaps not a huge surprise that we see this G Pro X take up a spot on this list. In case you're wondering what the 'X' stands for: this is basically the same keyboard as the previous G Pro but the newest version has a hotswappable PCB, meaning that you can change switches without having to solder.
The G Pro X is a very compact TKL keyboard with a detachable cable, making it easy to carry around. Aside from that it's got a relatively small footprint with its thin bezels, and while the body is made out of plastic it is a sturdy board regardless, so you can definitely use this one as a travel type of board.
Because this is aimed at competitive gamers you won't find any additional features such as a volume dial or media buttons, though. You get a button to turn on gaming mode (which disables the Windows button etc.) and a toggle to turn off the programmable RGB backlighting, and that's pretty much it. That's no problem for competitive gamers though, and the lack of fancy features or design elements makes this product rather friendly on your wallet. The option to change up the switches on a whim makes it a great board for people who like to switch it up every now and again, as a set of switches is cheaper than an entirely new board.
The G Pro X is available with GX Blue, GX Red, or GX Brown switches. These basically mimic their more well-known Cherry MX counterparts.
3. Xtrfy K2-RGB
Need for speed?
Xtrfy advertise this keyboard as being the world's fastest keyboard thanks to their super scan technology which makes the signal hit your computer in 0.001 seconds. It's not like we've had issues with the signal speed of other quality mechanical boards but it is true that this is a very fast feeling keyboard. Even if you toss aside the super scan tech for just a second it's still a great board though.
It has N-key rollover, on-board customization (so you don't need to install software to customize the colors of the board or record macros) and on-board memory for that ultimate portability. It's no real surprise that this board is used by so many pro players; it's a pretty basic board but it does have all the features that you could possibly want out of an FPS gaming keyboard, and thanks to the sturdy design and pro gaming oriented feature set it's a great choice for all types of gamers.
The Xtrfy K2-RGB only comes with one switch, namely the Kailh Red switch. That's a switch that is very similar to the famous Cherry MX Red, though it requires a little more force to press.
4. SteelSeries Apex Pro / Apex Pro TKL
Note: we counted the regular and TKL version together since they have the exact same features and only differ in size.
Get your switches on point
When SteelSeries first announced the Apex Pro line, their unique selling point was their OmniPoint switches. These are switches that can be customized by the user, meaning that you can choose the actuation point yourself. This is interesting because it allows you to have different profiles for different games, and you can even set different keys to be more (or less) sensitive than others. If that's something that sounds like it interests you the Apex Pro is a fantastic keyboard to consider. The OmniPoint switches steal the show (as a bonus they're also quite smooth and thus pleasant to use) so if you don't really care for this feature it can be a good idea to look towards some other boards, since the Apex Pro does come with a premium price tag.
The Apex Pro can only be bought with SteelSeries' OmniPoint switches.
5. Xtrfy K4-RGB / K4-RGB TKL
Note: we counted the full size and TKL version together since they're both essentially the same board.
Budget Xtrfy board
If you like what you're reading about Xtrfy's boards but you don't necessarily need fancy features such like the Super-scan technology that's found on the K2 then the K4 line might be something for you. It has the same Kailh Red switches as its more full-featured sibling and the same reliable build quality, NKRO, and RGB functionalities, it just has less premium components and features.
The K4 can only be bought with Kailh Red switches.
Conclusion: the best keyboard for CS:GO
CS:GO is a simple game, at least when it comes to the basic gameplay. You have no abilities, you don't need to build stuff or any of that, so you don't need a super decked out board to play this game. The pros opt for minimal keyboards, with a sturdy build quality and a small footprint. That's important because tournament desks often don't allow for much room, so getting an absolutely massive board can be detrimental to their performance.
So in short: if we're to go by what the pros are doing you should get yourself a sturdy and basic mechanical gaming keyboard. Most of the keyboards used to be full sized boards, and that could've been because of the fact that CS:GO is such a customizable game that the numpad can become a handy addition instead of something that's in the way. You can make buy binds, for example, and bind them to the keys on your numpad. These days we see the professional CS:GO players moving towards smaller boards though. Of course the size of your keyboard is down to personal preference, but it's an interesting development regardless. We hope that this list has been informative for you.
Thanks for reading!