The usual gaming setup nowadays involves a gaming mouse, a gaming keyboard, or a controller. These main gaming staples are what allows gamers to play, enjoy, and dominate their favorite games due to the ease of control they offer. The mouse and keyboard combo, for example, offer a competitive edge than, say, a console controller due to the level of accuracy and precision these two units offer over the steep learning curve of a controller.
But what if designers took it to another level? Too late, as they already did. Gaming keypads are a niche product in the market that has not caught up to the majority of the gaming population, and it’s a big question why.
But first and foremost, what is a computer gaming keypad?
What are Gaming Keypads?
Akin to the number pad usually found at the rightmost part of the typical keyboard design, a gaming keypad follows the same form factor more or less but in a standalone layout. This provides you the benefit of having more desk space for your mouse to move in, as well as a compact solution to bind your macros that work in a variety of game genres – from highly-competitive first-person shooters to skill-spamming MMOs and MOBAs.
Apart from that, gaming keypads also sport an ergonomic design. This is important for hardcore gamers who grind their hours away for levels or in-game loot, where comfort is a deciding factor on which peripherals are the best for extended usage. As such, keypads usually have wrist rests, special contours, and adjustable height profiles to cater to a wide variety of users.
But what sets gaming keypads apart from their keyboard counterparts are the extra buttons/controls that come integrated. These usually come in the form of scroll wheels or D-pads that were once mice or controller-specific features, improving a gamer’s control layout for a more streamlined experience.
With that aside, if you are looking for the best pc gaming keypad, we’ve rounded up a list for gamers this 2020.
The Best Gaming Keypads of 2020
Features We Love:
- 25 programmable keys
- Up to 5 profiles can be saved
- Comfortable design
- GamePanel LCD improves the immersive experience
First on our list is the Logitech G13, from the esteemed brand that brought gamers some of the best peripherals in the market. And just like its relatives, the Logitech G13 sports a high level of craftsmanship with its premium look and feel, which is quite important as the keypad will be subjected to your incessant hammering when gaming.
Speaking of which, it won’t be a problem as this keypad sports high-quality, relatively silent membrane keys that can hold their own versus advanced mechanical counterparts. It is also designed to match the natural contours of the hand while the plush wrist rest provides additional comfort for the user.
This gaming keypad comes with 25 programmable keys that you can customize via software according to your specific needs, whether it be for quick MMO hotkeys or specialized shooter keybinds that can win you the game.
With the included onboard memory, you can store up to five gaming profiles which you can cycle through so you can jump into your game in a matter of seconds. It also has a joystick unit by the lower right which you can use for camera panning or games that benefit from it, such as racing simulators.
The Logitech G13 also features a built-in LCD panel that shows readout for game stats, system information, current profiles, and even in-game messages from fellow players. Moreover, this gaming keypad has a customizable backlighting feature that you can tweak to match the in-game ambiance or assist clarity in darker room setups.
Features We Love:
- Responsive mecha-membrane keys
- Comfortable ergonomics
- 32 programmable keys that can be doubled up with Hypershift
- Premium build quality
Another contender for our list of best gaming keypads is the Razer Tartarus V2. This offering from the enthusiast peripheral brand doesn’t let you down as it is built well from the ground up, sporting a premium build quality thanks to the robust matte housing that gives it durability without sacrificing style at all.
Speaking of design, the Razer Tartarus V2 has an ergonomic profile that follows the natural contour of the human hand thanks to the detachable soft palm rest with two adjustable positions to let you choose between a comfortable resting position.
The Razer Tartarus V2 hosts 32 mecha-membrane keys, which is more than you’ll usually need for shooters or casual games but is heavily advantageous for MMO players that carry a dozen of skills and item keybinds on their characters.
While there is still a discernable difference between a mecha-membrane and a purely mechanical switch device, this gaming keypad’s performance in terms of response speed and tactile feedback is eerily close to the latter’s operation. Set at a mid-height switch profile, you can barrage your enemies with a ton of spells without worrying about delays or misclicks.
Apart from the usual key layout that these peripherals often offer, the Razer Tartarus V2 also has a handy ridged scroll wheel and an 8-way directional pad to add versatility to your setup should you want to tweak control options to their fullest potential.
Moreover, while you can set keybinds and macros as you wish via the proprietary software, Razer’s own Hypershift feature allows you to set a secondary command to any key and button on the keypad, essentially doubling your keybinds if you really need the extended set of commands. As a cherry on top, this keypad boasts the vivid Chroma RGB lighting to spruce up your gaming setup with sparkly lights where you can choose from over 16.8 million unique hues.
Features We Love:
- Super affordable gaming solution
- Decent build quality
- Mechanical switches
- USB pass-through to aid cable management
If you are looking for a cheap gaming keypad, you can dip your toes into this new world of gaming functionality with the affordable Redragon K585 DITI.
While it is priced relatively cheap in comparison to some of our suggestions, this gaming keypad has a rugged build quality that can take a beating even under everyday use – although it’s worthwhile to note that the plastic does feel a bit unrefined to the touch. It comes with a detachable wrist rest that connects via magnets, which help elevate your wrist height, but the lack of a cushion might be a deal-breaker for some.
It comes with a total of 42 keys but only seven macro keys are programmable from the bunch, which might be a letdown for some that really need the flexibility from a fully programmable keypad. Other than that, the Redragon K585 DITI offers a mechanical keyboard experience as it comes with Outemu mechanical switches, which are great options for gamers in the budget section.
You can choose from either Blue or Brown variants, the former offering tactile feedback and audible click while the latter forgoes the clickiness for a more silent mode of operation. It also features anti-ghosting so you won’t suffer from lost clicks when mashing them during high-intensity situations.
Other added features include 5 RGB backlighting modes where you can choose from over 16.8 million colors while improving key visibility in darker setups and a USB pass-through port that can take in any USB-powered or connected device for that seamless, no-frills setup that won’t cost you an extra port on your gaming machine.
Features We Love:
- Affordable option
- 59 mechanical keys
- Decent Backlighting
- Improved customization experience
For those who have more than a pair of hands, the Aula EXCALIBUR works great with its high key count that we might as well call it a keyboard instead of keypad. Kidding aside, this gaming keypad not only boasts an affordable price but also a whopping 59-key layout in which 30 of them are fully programmable.
You can bind your favorite skills to easily-accessible keys and take full control of your macro arsenal with the help of 8 keymaps which you can switch from one profile to another on the fly.
To augment that, the Aula EXCALIBUR is equipped with Aula’s very own mechanical switches that provide a responsive and fast click operation to give you the competitive edge over your opponents, featuring a 50g actuation force to improve accuracy and deter any misclick in critical moments.
To top it off, these mechanical switches come with rugged double-shot keycaps that extend their service lifespan by a considerable amount. This gaming keypad also hosts a 100% anti-ghosting feature to ensure that all your keypresses are registered no matter how simultaneous they may be, allowing you to land spells and abilities without fail.
As for build quality, the outward appearance of the Aula EXCALIBUR is mainly due to its outer key layout but apart from that, the keypad is well-built. It is also surprisingly comfortable to use. The main functional keys and backlighting can also be controlled via software, although the keypad does come pre-programmed with 5 backlighting modes out of the box and caters to 5 custom lighting profiles as well.
Features We Love:
- Minimalist design
- 43 fully-programmable mechanical keys
- Versatile key operation modes
- Great for office productivity as well
It isn’t rocket science to tell how gaming keypad aesthetics are geared towards, well, gamers. Flashy lights, futuristic designs – not everyone is going to appreciate it. Luckily, the minimalist, professional-looking Koolertron Gaming Keypad is up for grabs.
It basically looks like a miniature keyboard due to the inconspicuous corners and neat aesthetics that totally belongs to the office setting, but don’t be fooled as this keypad is no slouch when it comes to gaming at all.
The Koolertron Gaming Keypad features a mechanical switch layout, in which you can choose from a variety of options including the premium Cherry Blacks, Reds, Blues, and Browns, or the cheaper and lighter Gateron variants. This provides users with a wide variety of responses and feedback, allowing them to choose what comes most naturally to their finger feel.
Armed with 43 programmable keys, this gaming keypad allows you to mix up your own cocktail of macros and keybinds that suit your gaming needs excellently, although we do admit that this works incredible with content creators such as video editors who need shortcuts for their suite’s functions.
Furthermore, the Koolertron Gaming Keypad supports 9 modes of key operation like Normal, FN-Shift, Mouse, and more to complement your use case effectively. It also has a built-in memory module in which you can store your desired gaming key pad profile and configuration without having to redo it once you turn off or reboot the computer. You also get a single backlighting function to add illumination to the setup without being too intrusive with color profiles.
Features We Love:
- Neat minimalist design
- Full 38-key programmable feature
- 100% anti-ghosting performance
- Water-resistant adds durability to the unit
Another budget-friendly option for our thrifty gamers out there is the NPET T20 gaming keypad. Apart from the typical RGB backlighting that plagues most gaming peripherals nowadays, this keypad shies away from the frills and excesses of gimmicks with its surprisingly neat, minimalist design.
It does feel cheap to the touch, but for what it’s worth – which isn’t a lot – the build quality is decent and looks like it can take some level of punishment, especially in the hands of a hardcore gamer.
This budget gaming keypad boasts a modest 38-key membrane layout, all of which are fully-programmable to allow gamers to tailor their control set up according to specific games with ease and reliability.
Three dedicated macro keys are tucked away at the sides to avoid accidental presses without sacrificing accessibility at all. To augment this, the NPET T20 features 100% anti-ghosting features to ensure all of your keypresses are registered no matter how quickly they are laid out for accurate, fool-proof deployment of game-winning spells and abilities.
The NPET T20 also boasts decent water-resistant features so you can eat and drink while you game, while a built-in wrist rest aids your carpal area with a support platform to keep it comfortable during extended hours of use – although a padded version would greatly improve this experience.
Also, the gaming keypad hosts 8 backlighting modes and numerous color profiles that can augment your man cave’s aesthetics at the touch of a button.
Features We Love:
- Super affordable option
- 42-key layout
- Ergonomic design
The Delux T9 is another budget-friendly option for gamers out there who don’t want to spend a ton of dough on a gaming keypad. This gaming keypad doesn’t shine in terms of build quality as the cheap-feeling plastic on the housing and keycaps are evident upon use. That being said, it does feel rugged and looks like it can weather hundreds of hours of usage despite the unrefined quality it comes in.
Another downside to the Delux T9 gaming keypad is that none of its keys are programmable, which probably won’t sit well with hardcore MMO gamers due to its inability to remap keys for rapid spell executions.
If you’re willing to overlook this fact, however, and don’t have any need for customizing keybinds, this gaming keypad is enough for basic gaming needs like first-person shooters, casual titles, and even esports games out of the box. Dedicated multimedia keys also allow the user to manage volume controls on it. The gaming keypad offers a 46-key layout, all of which are membrane-based to give it a responsive yet relatively silent operation.
It also comes with an ergonomic wrist rest that has a non-slip surface to provide a decent amount of grip even when sweat is a constant factor. Moreover, the Delux T9 has an LED backlighting feature that spices up its simple aesthetics a bit with three presets available to switch to. While certainly not the best among the bunch, this gaming keypad offers a decent gaming experience for a price you can’t resist.
Features We Love:
- Budget mechanical keypad
- Has anti-ghosting features
- Fully programmable layout
While not on par with known brands in terms of popularity, the ACEPHA T9 Pro gaming keypad delivers a respectable experience that can go toe to toe even with our premium suggestions in this list.
This gaming keypad comes with a simple, no-frills design that has minimal gaming accents to keep it relatively low-key in terms of aesthetics. Build quality is decent as well as it certainly doesn’t look or feel cheap and even comes with an ergonomic wrist pad with a gripping surface to improve comfort while keeping your hands where they’re supposed to be.
The ACEPHA T9 Pro comes with a conservative 29-key layout laid in a standard QWERTY configuration – it basically looks like it was cut out from a full-sized keyboard and modified to fit the keypad form factor.
Its keys are powered by mechanical switches to give you the edge in speed and responsiveness, not to mention the satisfying tactility and feedback of these switches. Apart from that, the entire suite is also fully programmable to cater to a wide variety of games such as shooters and MMORPGs with its level of versatility.
This gaming keypad also has anti-ghosting features, albeit a bit limited at the 16-key rollover. What this means is that you can press up to 16 keys at the same time and have all of the keypresses register without fail.
While this might be an issue for hardcore gamers who need a wide range of keys for simultaneous activations, but this probably won’t matter for the average user who only wants to map a handful of macros. It also comes with key and side profile LED backlighting with seven profiles to choose from to complement your setup’s aesthetic.
Features We Love:
- Clicky and tactile mechanical switches
- Durable design
- The majority of keys are programmable
- 100% anti-ghosting features
Another great option from a non-mainstream brand is the GameSir GK100, which combines practical features and functions at an affordable price. While not as aggressively designed like the Razer options on this list, this gaming keypad’s aesthetic does lean towards the gimmicky side with its edgy accents and contours.
To be fair, the build quality is decent and looks like it can last months or even years of use. It comes with an ergonomic wrist rest, but only aids in keeping your carpal area in level with your hands. Comfort-wise, you only get a hard, flat surface to plant your wrists on, not much different from the surface of a typical gaming desk.
The GameSir GK100 has 34 keys in total, all of which are equipped with mechanical blue switches. Blue switches are clicky and have tactile feedback to let you know that a keypress has registered. 29 of these are fully programmable, along with 4 dedicated macros so you can seamlessly assign multiple keybinds and shortcuts in a manner.
The keypad has 100% anti-ghosting so you won’t need to worry about lost keypresses, while the LED backlighting allows you to customize its looks with lighting accents.
Features We Love:
- Premium feel and build quality
- Analog-optical switches offer a competitive edge
- Comfortable design
- Impressive customizability
Truly a weapon of the pros, the Razer Tartarus Pro outshines most of the competition with its plethora of features that belongs in the competitive scene. Just like our other Razer suggestion, this gaming keypad doesn’t need any introduction when talking about build quality.
Premium, sleek, and ergonomically-contoured, the Razer Tartarus Pro is one, if not the best gaming keypad available in the market right now. It comes with the standard plush adjustable wrist rests so you can configure its position to provide the maximum level of comfort thanks to the anatomically-conforming design.
Unlike most gaming keypad offerings that sport membrane, mecha-membrane, or mechanical switches, the Razer Tartarus Pro has proprietary analog-optical switches that work the same way as analog joysticks via a pressure-sensitive operation.
Apart from that, its entire 32-key layout is fully programmable to allow you to customize controls and keybinds for different games with ease, augmented by Razer’s Hypershift feature to give you double the remapping capabilities versus conventional keypads.
The Razer Tartarus Pro also has extra controls like a tactile scroll wheel and an 8-way directional thumbpad for camera settings and console-like experience, respectively.
You can also tweak the keypad’s actuation via software, while a utility button by the side allows you to toggle from 8 quick keymap profiles so you can switch from game to game without having to manually reconfigure everything.
And as expected of a Razer product, RGB is taken care of its Chroma lighting, where you can choose from a multitude of colors and effects that fit your aesthetic vision.