BEST KEYBOARD FOR CS:GO

DISCOVER OUR TOP 5 KEYBOARDS

INTRODUCTION

You will likely be more than well aware of the impact a small edge can give you over your opponents in a game like CS:GO. Gaming peripherals exist largely for this purpose, to ensure that players are always able to perform at their peak levels. Obviously the most important peripherals to consider for the game are your mouse and headset; however, that certainly doesn’t mean that you should neglect all of the other accessories too. Keyboards don’t tend to offer a huge advantage between one model and another, but the best models out there are definitely worth spending a bit extra on.

Your main considerations when choosing a keyboard for first-person shooters should be based upon comfort and reliability. There are some additional features which are nice to have too, such as mechanical keys, anti-ghosting functionality, and backlit lighting to aid playing in the dark. Below you will find our favourite keyboards for CS:GO, these incidentally are also some of the most popular models used by professionals today. Make sure to read each of the products’ full reviews by following the relevant links.

TOP 5

1. HYPERX ALLOY ELITE

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

2. HYPERX ALLOY FPS

HyperX Alloy FPS RGB

3. LOGITECH G PRO X

Logitech G Pro X

4. LOGITECH G513

Logitech G513

5. STEELSERIES APEX PRO

Steelseries Apex Pro

1. HYPERX ALLOY ELITE RGB

Kingston are a brand which have been around since the very earliest days of personal computers. For the majority of that time they have been solely focused on producing memory, with no interest in the peripheral or gaming market. That ended when they launched HyperX and their first ever gaming product, the steel-framed HyperX Alloy FPS. This beautifully reliable, durable, and overwhelmingly simple mechanical keyboard became an industry staple overnight. Many professional players lauded the company for its build quality and HyperX’s popularity has skyrocketed ever since.

The HyperX Elite RGB aims to build upon its predecessors’ legacy. An initial observation might lead you to believe that there have been only minor cosmetic adjustments made in this iteration; however, this is absolutely not the case. The Alloy Elite RGB is a premium mechanical keyboard which boasts highly customisable RGB lighting, additional programmability settings, a soft-touch coating wrist rest, and HyperX’s new NGenuity software too. This stunning keyboard has superseded the original HyperX in style and it continues to be the weapon of choice for many of today’s professional CS:GO players.

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While the RGB lighting may seem like a gimmick, it has obvious benefits for those of us who play long into the night. The keyboard’s on-board memory options enable you to customise settings on-the-fly, and it actually comes with inbuilt lighting profiles for every game too. In a game like CS:GO, where a single missed keystroke can make all of the difference, you need to have a keyboard which isn’t going to let you down. HyperX have recognised this and included Cherry MX key switches, in a variety of flavours, so that gamers can customise the keyboard which suits them best.

Red switches for quiet clicks, blue for loud tactile clicks, and brown for a hybrid of the two. The HyperX Elite RGB combined N-key rollover with 100% anti-ghosting functionality to ensures that all key presses are registered accurately, a crucial element for first-person shooters. Don’t let this beautiful keyboard fool you, it is a serious piece of kit for the most serious gamers. Learn more about it by reading our full review by using the above link.

2. HYPERX ALLOY FPS

It should come as absolutely no surprise that the second mechanical keyboard on our list is HyperX’s original flagship model, the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro. As the name suggests, this keyboard was built with one thing in mind, professional level first-person shooters. This keyboard has been what I’ve predominantly used over the past year and so I’ve clearly got quite a soft spot for it. Kingston describe the keyboard as being a reliable and compact keyboard; it has been designed to maximise desktop space, with ten fewer keys than most keyboards and a detachable cable, it is the perfect model for travelling gamers.

The Alloy FPS Pro has been crafted from a single sheet of steel, ensuring that it will take a battering and age better than many of its plastic-based competition too. Unlike most other mechanical keyboards, this one hasn’t been fashioned to stand out with over-the-top fancy lighting. Its standout design feature is some minimalistic red backlit keys which help to ensure they remain visible in the dark.

HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Side
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Like some of the other HyperX mechanical keyboards, the HyperX Alloy FPS Pro comes with the revolutionary Cherry MX switches that are an industry staple today. There are three different options available: red, blue, and brown. Each of them has a different degree of tactile response and volume of click, so make sure to do some reading before you dive right in and choose one. These keys will also last for an incredibly long time too, each of them is rated at fifty million clicks and so you won’t need to be replacing them any time soon.

Additionally, this board comes with HyperX’s industry-leading anti-ghosting functionality to ensure that your keypresses remain accurate at all times. All in all, I personally believe that this board is well suited to gamers from any genre, its compact frame and tiny bezel makes it look great as part of any setup, and it isn’t the priciest option either. In the years that I have owned this keyboard, I haven’t really come across any significant issues with it. Continue reading about this beautiful board in our full review by following the link above.

3. LOGITECH G PRO X

Logitech are a brand now synonymous with high-end gaming performance, they are considered by many to be well-priced, reliable, and genuine industry innovators. The G Pro X keyboard has been, in Logitech’s own words, been designed by the world’s top esports athletes. As with many of the brand’s latest peripherals, this keyboard has a very clean and understated look. On the face of it, the G Pro X looks rather similar to the G Pro; however, this updated model has been condensed into a tenkeyless model. With no more unnecessary keys, this board takes up significantly less desk space, and we think it looks far sleeker for it too.

Reviewing keyboards in the more premium price bracket is difficult, because ultimately all of the top products are of more or less equivalent quality. For this reason, we feel that aesthetics should be a larger than usual role in your preferences. We were big fans of the highly customisable RGB keys on the G Pro X and didn’t think that they were overwhelming like some of the other premium boards out there. It comes with Lightsync technology which allows gamers to highlight individual keys, create specific lighting animations, and fine tune the brightness too. The bezel around the perimeter of the keys is very slim, which alongside the detachable cable and small dimensions, makes this keyboard ideal for travelling professionals.

Logitech G Pro X Keyboard Side
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The main selling point for the keyboard is undoubtedly the mechanical switches it offers: GX red linear, GX blue clicky, and GX brown tactile. Having a variety of options is an essential for any top-tier board these days, it is something that almost all other brands have. Indeed, having quality mechanical switches is one of the most fundamental considerations when it comes to choosing a keyboard for CS:GO, or indeed for any competitive game. After all, it is the defining feature which differentiates the more pricey products of today from the traditional membrane keyboards.

One feature that we particularly enjoyed with the G Pro X was the fact that it has a three-step adjustment to the legs. Many keyboards only have a single option of the legs being either up or down. This relatively small design feature is capable of having a huge impact on your comfort levels after playing CS:GO for a number of hours straight. Many players like to keep their keyboard at a consistent height, whereas others will alternate positions so that they do not get any form of repetitive strain injury. A lovely addition by Logitech. Find out more about the G Pro X in our full product review at the link above.

4. LOGITECH G513

It should not be suprising for anyone to see yet another Logitech keyboard on this list. While there are many brands out there producing quality competition to the brand, I think everyone will agree that Logitech really are a cut above most when it comes to keyboards. The G513 is the successor of the old fan favourite, the G413. We enjoyed both of these keyboards; however, their latest addition to the range has some seriously noteworthy improvements which make it very tempting to consumers. Logitech have included their Lightsync customisable RGB lighting, a leatherette memory-foam palm rest, and some different mechanical key switches too.

Unfortunately, the price has been upped and so the G513 is certainly not classified as a budget keyboard anymore. The top plate has been crafted using a single sheet of aircraft-grade aluminium metal and so we know that it is durable. This quality is consistent throughout and so we’re assured that it will out last many of its competitors. Logitech have kept things relatively simple from a design perspective, nothing too flashy. This keyboard has been built for serious gamers looking for that competitive edge, and for this reason we feel it would be a great fit for any developing CS:GO players.

Logitech G513 Side
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The same three distinct mechanical switches that were available on the G Pro X are available on the G513. These switches, designed and produced by Logitech, are more or less equivalent to the highly popular Cherry MX switches found on most other boards. Choosing between the two brands of switches is more of a personal preference and is unlikely to have significant implications on your performance in-game. For a first-person shooter like Counter-Strike, you simply want to ensure that your keys are activated exactly when you press them, and that is what these quality switches ensure with their low actuation points.

As with all of Logitech’s recent mechanical keyboards, the RGB lighting is controlled by the Logitech Gaming Software utility tool. We personally found that it was more complicated than it needed to be and that many other brands do it better. However, once you managed to get the board set up how you wanted it to be, it performed flawlessly time and time again. The G513 is a well priced addition to Logitech’s already excellent range of keyboards, we would highly recommend it for somebody looking for a top performing mid-range board. Check out our detailed review to find out more.

5. STEELSERIES APEX PRO

The Steelseries Apex Pro is billed by Steelseries as being the next leap in mechanical keyboards, which is quite the statement to make. Fortunately for consumers willing to pay the premium for this product, it does perform exceptionally well and we were not disappointed by it in the slightest. So what exactly is it that makes this keyboard stand out amongst the growing crowd? To start with, the mechanical key switches have a customisable actuation response which can be adjusted on the fly. This is something that we have never seen before on a board and it is a very interesting concept.

However, from a gaming perspective, and particularly for a game like CS:GO, we don’t see any potential benefits from this mechanism. The switches are also stated to have an eight times faster response, with a five times faster actuation than traditional mechanical keys. This is a validated claim, which indicates on paper that these switches are better than the everpresent Cherry MX switches used by many competitor brands.

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The adjustable switches can be configured from game to game, with the actuation point varying between 0.4mm and 3.2mm, a significant difference. This is not a gimmick, it is a notable shift which has a sizeable impact on how the keyboard feels to use. When we tested the board out on a few different games, we gravitated towards approximately 1.2mm, which incidentally is roughly equivalent to the Cherry MX speed switch.

Steelseries have stuck to their guns with the vibrant design of the Apex Pro, the fully customisable backlit RGB lighting provides significant ambient light in a dark room. We found the default setting to be quite over-the-top and easily managed to turn it down using the provided Steelseries software. The Apex Pro comes with an OLED smart display, which feels like a bit of a gimmick, but occasionally provides some useful information such as song names and keyboard brightness levels. Continue reading our thoughts in our full review by following the link above.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

To set the record straight, purchasing an expensive keyboard is absolutely not going to improve you ability to shoot heads on CS:GO. In fact, we would go as far to say that a keyboard would only have a minimal impact on performance across any genre of game. In Counter-Strike, there are only a handful of keys which are actually used, and so as long as you can consistently press these without error, then you are more than likely fine. Lots of models produced by the top peripheral manufacturers have created somewhat of a fascade, enticing gamers in to buy extortionately priced products with the promise of levelling up their skills. This, unfortunately, couldn’t be further from the truth.

We recommend that you should seek out a mechanical keyboard which is durable and appears to be comfortable for how you play. If you prefer a rest, then seek out one of those. If you constantly find yourself looking down at your keyboard for specific keys, then choose one which has customisable backlit keys so you can effortlessly play on in the dark. Avoid getting drawn into the hype over technical specifications, as for the most part there is little difference between the high end products, aside from the price.

BEST GEAR FOR CS:GO

MOUSE

MONITOR

HEADSET

KEYBOARD

MOUSEPAD

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