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, as well as some info on the available switch types.
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.
But 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: 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 honestly recommend you to go for a tenkeyless 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
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 (which is somewhat of a rarity on full size keyboards) 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, 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
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro
Razer BlackWidow Chroma
SteelSeries Apex M500
2. 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. We can’t confirm whether or not that’s marketing speak since we haven’t done an in-depth test of this keyboard (let us know if you’d like us to!) but even without the super scan technology this is one nice gaming keyboard.
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.
3. HyperX Alloy FPS Pro
TKL version of the FPS Pro
There really aren’t many differences between the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro and the regular FPS. The full size version has a USB passthrough port that the pro version doesn’t have, but other than that they’re exactly the same boards, except for the fact that the Pro doesn’t have a numpad of course.
One other interesting difference here is that you can only choose between two different Cherry MX switches if you’re going for the Pro version, namely Blues and Reds. It’s kind of weird that HyperX doesn’t offer more options here (certainly because the full size version offers an additional choice in the form of the Cherry MX Browns) but it is what it is.
This board is an ideal option for people who like the simplicity and no-nonsense attitude of the Alloy FPS but don’t need a numpad on their keyboard, or for people who struggle to find enough space on their desk to move their mouse around.
4. Razer BlackWidow Chroma
To the point performance
Razer is one of the most popular peripheral manufacturers in the world, and so it’s no real surprise that we see one of their keyboards pop up here. The BlackWidow comes in two variations, namely the regular version and the Elite version (which we’ve reviewed here) but the version that’s presented here is the regular one. What you get here is a very nicely made basic keyboard (there’s definitely a pattern here with the pros going for basic, no-nonsense keyboards) with onboard memory, customizable RGB lighting and 10-KRO.
The Elite version gives you the choice between two more mechanical switches, and it also comes with USB passthrough, an audio jack, a leatherette wrist rest, and dedicated media controls. So if you don’t need all that you can go for the regular BlackWidow, and if you’re after more of a tricked out plank there’s the Elite version.
The regular BlackWidow Chroma is only available with Razer’s Green switches. The Elite can also be ordered with their Orange or Yellow switches.
5. SteelSeries Apex M500
Another straightforward performer
SteelSeries has long been a very well-represented brand in the CS:GO world, and even though their influence in the mouse market has been dwindling over the past couple of years we can still see their headsets and keyboards pop up here and there.
The Apex M500 is a simple, but reliable gaming keyboard. With its thin bezels it won’t take up a ridiculous amount of space on your desk, and thanks to the steel backplate it’s a very sturdy and reliable board as well. It features 104KRO and blue backlighting so that you’re never gonna mistype or accidentally use the wrong buttons, even in dark environments.
There’s nothing really special to this board, but it’s a compact and reliable board and that’s really all you need for competitive CS:GO.
The Apex M500 is only available with Cherry MX Reds.
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 on this list are full sized boards as well, and that could be 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. We hope that this list has been informative for you.
Thanks for reading!