Wireless vs. Wired Keyboard for Gaming: The Ultimate Showdown


Choosing the right keyboard plays a big part in creating the perfect gaming setup. Maybe you like the clean aesthetic look of a wireless keyboard, but you aren’t sure how it will perform. Maybe you’ve heard that wired is the only way to go when it comes to gaming. So, which is better for gaming, a wired keyboard or a wireless one?

As a general rule, those who participate in competitive gaming tend to prefer wired keyboards because of the fast response time and reduced latency. However, with recent updates in technology, more and more gamers are choosing to go wireless.  

So, which is better? It tends to come down to each individual user. Below, we will go over the pros and cons of both wireless and wired keyboards so you can decide which type will be best for you and your setup. 

Is A Wireless or A Wired Keyboard Better for Gaming?

In terms of gaming, wired keyboards are better if you need something really responsive. Most people’s primary area of contention is whether wireless keyboards are fast enough for gaming.

With video games being more competitive than ever, you’ll want a keyboard that doesn’t limit your ability in any manner. Professionals who require reliable and rapid reaction times, as well as gamers who cannot tolerate input latency, choose wired mechanical keyboards. 

However, not all gamers will see a difference between a wired and wireless keyboard. It really comes down to the type of games you play and how the keyboards react differently. 

What Are the Differences Between Wired and Wireless Keyboards?

Wireless keyboards take an extra 79 milliseconds to respond. While that may not seem like much for most people, it can have quite an impact on games that require speedy reaction times, such as Valorant, Call of Duty, and League of Legends. 

If you are more of a casual gamer or focus more on turn-based games, a wireless keyboard will treat your just as well as a wired one. 

Below we will compare the pros and cons of wired and wireless keyboards so you can get an idea of how each one will work for you. 

Pros and Cons of Wireless Keyboards

 Wireless keyboards are often overlooked in terms of gaming setups. While wireless keyboards can offer convenience and clutter-free space with the lack of a cord, this comes with the sacrifice of response time that many gamers hold dear. 

However, wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, causing more and more gamers to turn to wireless keyboards. 

Pros:

  • Clutter-free: You don’t have to worry about tangled wires taking up extra space on your desk.  
  • Portability: Wireless keyboards are easy to pack and take on the go.
  • Aesthetic: Much of choosing a keyboard often comes down to how it looks on the desk. Wireless keyboards create a tidier aesthetic and pair well with any setup. 
  • Adaptability: Your wireless keyboard isn’t just limited to your CPU. You could easily connect it to your smart TV or tablet if the situation arose. 

Cons:

  • Slow response time: This is the most obvious downfall of wireless keyboards. However, technology has been improving recently, so this really only affects competitive gamers. 
  • Interference: Like many wireless devices, you are bound to run into interference with the 2.4GHz connection. This doesn’t happen often, but it can be frustrating when it does. 
  • Setup: Depending on the keyboard you get, you may have to mess with the settings a bit to pair the device. However, once it’s paired, it shouldn’t be much of an issue. 
  • More expensive: Wireless keyboards tend to be more expensive. If you want a quality wireless keyboard, expect to pay more. 
  • Charging is required: Whether your keyboard has rechargeable batteries or disposables that need to be replaced, you’ll need to make a habit of making sure your keyboard has charge, so it doesn’t die mid-game. 

The main benefits of purchasing a wireless keyboard are convenience and aesthetics. Wireless gaming keyboards used to be sluggish and unstable, making them unsuitable for gamers.  Even with recent advancements, they just don’t compare to their wired counterparts when it comes to competitive gaming.

However, a wireless keyboard might be quite handy for a casual player because response speeds and precision are not as important. Regardless, a wireless arrangement is always beautiful, and the lack of clutter is something everyone can appreciate. 

Pros and Cons of Wired Keyboards

The majority of gaming keyboards on the market are wired since they provide advantages to players. A cable keyboard is more stable, does not require charging, and typically has a lower price point. 

However, this doesn’t mean they work best for everyone. 

Pros: 

  • Reliability: This is the ultimate reason most gamers go with a wired keyboard. Since it’s plugged right into the computer, there is no need to worry about latency or interference. 
  • Lower cost: You can get the same functionality and specifications found in top-rate wireless keyboards at a lower rate when buying wired. 
  • Power: Your keyboard is always connected to a power source, so no charging is necessary. The only time you have to worry about your keyboard losing power is if your CPU loses power. In that case, you’ve got bigger issues to worry about anyway. 
  • Security: Since it plugs directly into the computer, there is no chance of anyone hacking into your wired keyboard. 

Cons: 

  • Looks messy: Cords just don’t look as tidy as wireless devices. If your desk is scattered with various wires, it can feel cluttered and ruin the aesthetic you’re going for.
  • Not as portable: Hopefully you don’t plan on using your keyboard across the room from your CPU, because it’s not going to happen. Using a wired keyboard restricts you to a certain distance. However, this isn’t typically a concern for many people. 

One of the most significant disadvantages of connected keyboards is their lack of mobility. Wireless keyboards allow users to use them anywhere they choose. However, high mobility in a keyboard isn’t necessary for most gamers. 

What To Look for in A Gaming Keyboard

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With so many different types and brands of gaming keyboards on the market, picking which one to buy may be difficult.

Here are a few things to think about when purchasing a new gaming keyboard, regardless of whether it has a wire or not:

  • Key rollover: This measures how many keypresses your keyboard can register at one time. It’s best to look with a keyboard with a minimum of 6-key rollover to avoid ghosting (aka unregistered keypresses).
  • Switches: This is what registers a keystroke. Mechanical switches are the best for gaming, as they are the most durable and offer more variety. However, these often come with a higher price tag. 
  • Durability: You want a keyboard with switches that have a high lifespan. Again, mechanical keyboards work best, as they typically have a lifespan of around 50 million keystrokes compared to the 5 million keystrokes of membrane keyboards. 
  • Customization: Many gaming keyboards allow users to reprogram the function of any key. This is useful for activating skills and abilities in-game.  
  • Price: Keyboards can range anywhere from $20 to $300. You don’t want to go too low or too high. As a general rule, a $100 wired keyboard will perform just as well as one that is double or triple the price. However, keep in mind that going lower on a wireless keyboard will cost you quality. 

It’s critical to strike a balance between pricing and the features that are most essential to you. Figure out how much you are willing to spend, then work on narrowing down your choices. 

Keep in mind that a gaming keyboard, unlike an office keyboard, will be subjected to a great deal of abuse through rapid and powerful presses. This is especially true while playing highly competitive games.

If you want the most bang for your buck, look for durability, 6-key rollover, and switches rated for 10 million keystrokes or more.

Best Wired Keyboards for Gaming

Even if you’ve narrowed down the type of keyboard you want in terms of wired or wireless, there are still countless models to choose from on the market. Finding the best wired gaming keyboard for your needs typically comes down to personal preference. However, here are a few options to take a look at that are considered among the best. 

Corsair K70

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Corsair’s best-selling mechanical gaming keyboard has a brushed aluminum frame and Cherry MX speed switches. The lightning-quick reaction and 100% anti-ghosting technology of RAPIDFIRE allow you to strike with speed and efficiency, while the textured and contoured keycaps provide maximum grip and feel.

With multi-color RGB backlighting, color customization and control are practically endless. 8MB profile storage with hardware macro and lighting playback allows for on-the-fly access to up to three saved profiles without the need for extra software.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

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The Apex Pro mechanical keyboard has a Series 5000 metal frame that is built of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy for unrivaled durability, toughness, and IP32 water resistance. 

A built-in OLED smart display with onboard storage serves as your integrated command center for real-time information from your game, music, or Discord, as well as software-free customization for altering and storing your preferences. Furthermore, the keyboard’s Omni point mechanical switches can be customized to your desired actuation, allowing you to play more accurately.

Logitech G413

The Logitech G413 is designed for professional-grade performance, responsiveness, and durability. It features clean, sharp red lighting through the keycap to guarantee that keys are always visible, Romer-G switches for unrivaled speed and responsiveness, and an aluminum alloy top case for a compact, blade-like design.

The keyboard’s backbone is the brushed 5052 aluminum alloy top casing and includes 12 extra keycaps that can be changed out quickly and easily. 

Best Wireless Keyboards for Gaming

If you thought picking a wired keyboard was hard, finding a wireless one is often a challenge for many. This is typically because there are fewer options out there, and, as we mentioned earlier, the price tag for a quality wireless keyboard can be a bit on the higher end. 

Nevertheless, here are some great options that might make your search a bit easier. 

Logitech G915 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

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The G915 is a compact device with an aluminum-on-plastic construction that is exceptionally strong. The low-profile design includes mechanical switches, dedicated macro keys, media controls, and complete per-key RGB lighting.

This keyboard also has a 30-hour battery life and full RGB brightness on a single charge. Turning off the RGB lights significantly increases its life, allowing it to operate for up to 100 hours without needing to be recharged.

This Logitech wireless keyboard is a bit on the higher end in terms of prices, but it comes with a surprising collection of features for those who can afford it. 

ASUS Rog Falchion Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

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This ASUS wireless keyboard is designed to provide compact functionality without compromise. The innovative touch panel allows users to adjust volume, create shortcuts, and program macro keys for more intuitive gaming. 

With a 450-hour battery life, you’ll get the stability you need for long gaming sessions. Cherry MX switches provide the ultimate gaming experience, delivering optimal actuation and speed with every press. 

Corsair K63 Wireless Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K63 is a lightweight mechanical keyboard with a battery life of 15 hours. The compact size makes it easy to move from room to room, with a no-slip lapboard that keeps you comfortable during long gaming sessions. 

Cherry MR Red switches provide fast, precise key presses, while the 128-bit AES encryption mode keeps your keyboard and personal data safe.  

Final Thoughts

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Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether a wired keyboard or a wireless keyboard is better suited to your needs. If you don’t want to bother with input latency, interference, or battery life, a wired keyboard is the way to go. Meanwhile, wireless keyboards are an excellent alternative if you want to eliminate cords or use your keyboard from a great distance.

Hopefully, this article left you with some insight and recommendations so you can choose the best keyboard for you and your price point. 

Sources: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko-owfzn4c8&t=300s&ab_channel=TaeKeyboards

http://www.technical-direct.com/en/bluetooth-keyboard-performance-test/

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