Best Keyboard for DOTA 2 - The Ultimate Guide
Gaming competitively isn't just about grinding out the hours. It's also about making sure you've got the right gear for you. You don't want to game for an entire evening with a headset that annoys the life out of you, for example. If you're aiming at the highest ranks you won't want to use mouse that has a tendency to malfunction either. Getting gear that suits you and your preferences can not only greatly increase your performance but also your comfort levels.
Getting a nice and reliable keyboard is one way of personalizing your setup and making your grind more comfortable. In games such as DOTA 2 it can be really important to have a board that matches your style. If you're someone prone to fat fingering you can think about a keyboard with heavier switches, for example. If you want your keys to actuate at the lightest touch you can consider a so-called 'speed board'. In order to help you on your way we've been taking a look at the most used keyboards in the professional DOTA 2 scene, and armed with that knowledge we created this guide. We'll list five keyboards for you to consider and briefly go over their features so that you can make an informed decision on your next purchase.
What makes a keyboard good for DOTA 2?
Mechanical keyboards have been getting more and more popular in recent times, and not just in the world of gaming. Many people have discovered the customizability and almost endless amount of options that you get with mechanical boards, which culminated in a sort of 'mechanical keyboard boom' that started around two years ago.
One thing's for sure if we look at what our analyzed pro gamers are doing: you will want to go mechanical. Almost no professional gamer these days is using a regular membrane keyboard. That's because mechanical boards are simply superior. They not only offer a lot more options to make your board your own (even if you're not building your board yourself there are still a ton of sizes and switches to choose from) but they also last longer and just feel a lot more pleasant to use.
If you really don't have the budget you can get away with a membrane board of course (pressing a key is still very much a 1 or 0 sort of action, so the performance boost won't be the same as when you're going from an office mouse to a gaming mouse, for example) but considering the fact that there are some really enticing budget boards out there we do recommend at least considering a mechanical board.
If we take a look at what the DOTA pros are specifically using we notice a trend that's been happening in other analyzed games as well: more and more pros are using smaller form factor keyboards. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the custom keyboard scene (where a full sized board is extremely rare) has been exploding in popularity, making mainstream manufacturers spend more resources on their smaller boards, or maybe pros have started to realize that having a numpad isn't worth the loss of desk (and thus mouse) space for the majority of games.
In any case: we'd also strongly recommend you to consider a smaller form factor unless you really need the numpad. There are some great options to be found on that front these days, and the increased desk space is really handy.
1. Logitech G Pro X
Swap 'em out
As we said earlier, the custom keyboard market is growing at an explosive rate. With that growth also comes a wide variety of switches that you can choose from. Seemingly every week we see a new release, and while most of those releases are limited and only aimed at the hyper enthusiast market it's still cool to know that there are so many options out there and that those options are still growing.
One of the main selling points of Logitech's G Pro X keyboard is just that: you can swap out the switches on your board without having to solder. Just pull out the switch, replace it with any (compatible) switch, and boom: you're good to go. This means that there are a lot of options for you to make the G Pro X your own. You can even put a different switch underneath every single button if you're so inclined, though we wouldn't recommend that for obvious reasons.
Aside from the hotswap functionality it's also a reliable keyboard, made for professional and competitive gamers. It has small bezels to the side in order to maximize mouse space and doesn't have any media dials or knobs: this one is all business. Combine that with a detachable cable (which is a must for these competitive gaming-focused boards if you're asking us) and you have a portable, reliable board for the dedicated gamers among us.
The Logitech G Pro X keyboard is currently available with Logitech's GX Blue (clicky), GX Red (linear), or GX Brown (tactile). These switches can be swapped out for any 3 pin switch (or 5 pin if you clip the extra pins; this requires no in-depth knowledge) though.
2. HyperX Alloy Origins
What's in a name?
The HyperX Alloy line has long been loved by our analyzed professionals. The Origins FPS (and FPS Pro) line of keyboards is still one of the most popular boards in various pro scenes, though those boards are steadily being replaced by the Alloy Origins boards.
The Alloy Origins builds on what made HyperX keyboards so well-loved in the first place: it has a sturdy aluminum chassis, detachable cable, compact size, and a very decent typing experience. The main differences between the Alloy Origins line and the famous Alloy FPS line can be found in the switches (the Origins uses HyperX's own switches, and those feel great) and the fact that the Origins line has full RGB.
The HyperX Alloy Origins (which is the full size version) can be bought with HyperX Red, Aqua, or Blue switches, while the Origins Core (the TKL version) can only be bought with Red or Aqua switches. The Origins 60 (the 60% version) is currently only available with HyperX Red Switches.
3. SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL
We already said that the vast amount of options that you get with mechanical keyboards are one of the main draws, and SteelSeries have taken that up a notch with the Apex Pro (TKL). Within this board you'll find their OmniPoint switches, and you can change the actuation point (basically the point at which the switch registers a press; higher means more travel before registering) on those. That's particularly neat for gamers, as it allows you to have different profiles for different games, for example. Or in the case of DOTA 2 you can have certain keys set to a higher actuation point so that you don't accidentally press them. Whether or not this will be useful for you will depend on your personal preferences of course, but it's a cool feature regardless.
Aside from the OmniPoints the Apex Pro is a reliable board and, if you set the actuation at its lowest point, one of the faster boards out there, so if that's what you're looking for then the Apex Pro is a definite recommendation, but it needs to be said that the OmniPoints are a 'deciding factor' if you ask us. If you don't feel like you'll use their customizability a lot there are equal options out there that will be friendlier on your wallet.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL comes with SteelSeries' OmniPoint switches.
4. Corsair K70
One of Corsair's flagships
Corsair are one of the OG mainstream keyboard manufacturers and they are still going strong despite a growing number of competitors. Their K70 line is one of their flagship boards and even though the usage numbers of full size boards have dropped in the pro gaming scene we still see the K70 pop up quite often.
If you're after a full sized 'home battlestation style keyboard' this one is a great option. It looks great with its brushed aluminum finish, it comes with an included palm rest, and it has all the media keys (including a volume rocker) that you could want. Obviously this won't be it for people who want to maximize their mouse space or for people who are traveling around a lot, but not every keyboard needs to appeal to the 'strip it down for maximum performance' crowd.
The K70 Mk.2 comes with Cherry MX Speed, Red, Blue, Brown, and Silent switches. There's also the K70 Mk.2 Low Profile.
5. Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
Razer's BlackWidow line of keyboards is one of their most famous and well-loved lines of keyboards and it has gone through many iterations. The latest one, the BlackWidow V3 Pro takes all that makes this line so special and makes it wireless for the ultimate clutter-free experience. For this it utilizes Razer's HyperSpeed Wireless technology which is, as we know from their wireless mice, lag-free and faultless, though you can also use it in Bluetooth mode (for productivity: we wouldn't recommend that for gaming) and with the detachable USB-C charging cable.
The BlackWidow comes with Razer's very own switches (those have a longer lifespan than regular Cherry MX switches according to Razer, but these already last so long that it's nearly impossible to test for that) and has an aluminum construction for added durability. Complete with a very nice wrist rest and dedicated media controls, this might be the best choice for people who want a full-featured board and prefer a clutter-free desk.
The BlackWidow V3 Pro is currently available with Razer's Green and Yellow mechanical switches.
Conclusion: the best keyboard for DOTA 2
Looking at what the pros are using you will definitely want a mechanical keyboard (but we already established that) but beyond that there are a lot of options. What's notable is that, like we see in our other games, smaller boards are becoming the norm in DOTA 2, and most pros don't opt for a board with a lot of bells and whistles. Contrary to the shooter games that we analyze you don't need a ton of mouse space for DOTA 2 though, so it's definitely viable to go for a full size board if that's what you're after.
If you have any questions about any of these boards please don't hesitate to reach out to us in the comments of the relevant articles or on social media.
Thanks for reading!