An RGB keyboard is a computer keyboard with LED keys displaying various colors and patterns. The term “RGB” originates from the three fundamental colors: red, green, and blue.
By blending these three colors differently, the keyboard can produce an extensive range of millions of hues.
But hey! We won’t just stop at the definition of RGB keyboard. In this article, we’ll answer your query, “Is an RGB keyboard necessary for gaming,” and “How it differs from an LED keyboard.”
We’ll also provide a roundup of the top RGB gaming keyboards on the market. But first, let’s tackle the most important query, “What are RGB keyboards used for?”
- What Are RGB Keyboards Used for?
- Is RGB Keyboard Good for Gaming? 4 Reasons to Make RGB Keyboards Part of Your Gaming Setup
- What Is the Difference between RGB and LED Keyboard?
- Best RGB Keyboards for a Gaming Setup
- FAQs – RGB Keyboards
What Are RGB Keyboards Used for?
If you’re wondering, “Why do people buy RGB keyboards? What purpose do they serve, after all?” let us break it down for you. People buy RGB keyboards because they serve multiple purposes in home, office, and gaming setups.
They are used for visual assistance, content creation, highlighting hotkeys, esports branding, and to notify about system health and in-game events. In addition, they allow you to personalize your office and game space and enhance visibility while working or playing games at nighttime or under low-light conditions.
Here’s a detailed outlook on the use cases of RGB keyboards by gamers, programmers, office workers, home users, students, and content creators:
1. Game Integration
Gamers use RGB keyboards to create a unique environment for an immersive gaming experience. They synchronize the keyboard lights with specific in-game events, which in turn trigger corresponding color patterns. This lets them know when their character is safe and in danger.
Some players take it a step further and use RGB lighting as visual cues during gameplay. They assign different colors to important keys, like WASD for movement or QWER for abilities, making it easier to find and press them during intense gameplay.
Additionally, RGB keyboards allow gamers to assign different colors to indicate various status effects like health, mana, or stamina in games. This is a quick and easy way for players to see their current stats during gameplay.
2. Highlighting Hotkeys
Graphic designers use RGB keyboards by assigning different colors to shortcut keys used in software, tools, modes, or commands.
This allows them to navigate through their design tasks quickly. Moreover, office workers use RGB keyboards to assign colors to keys based on different work tasks. This makes it easier to differentiate and execute tasks efficiently.
3. Visual Assistance
Programmers also use RGB keyboards by assigning keys to different coding languages. This provides them with visual assistance while switching between languages. Similarly, students program RGB keyboards to change colors as visual cues for study time, breaks, or assignment deadlines.
4. Content Creation
Individuals who create music on their computers configure RGB keyboards to mimic a piano keyboard or a MIDI controller. Different colors can indicate various octaves or modes. In addition, many content creators, especially those who edit videos, customize their RGB keyboard lights.
This helps them highlight the keys they use for different editing functions, making remembering and accessing them easier. Additionally, live streamers often use RGB keyboards as an interactive element in their streams, setting the lights to respond to comments or likes.
5. Functional Indicators
Gamers and office workers utilize RGB keyboards as functional indicators for system health and memory usage. This enables them to get a quick and easy overview of their system’s status instead of opening monitoring apps or checking BIOS.
6. Esports Branding
Esports teams and organizations also make use of RGB keyboards to showcase their brand. They might incorporate their logo or team colors onto the keyboard or create dynamic lighting effects representing their team’s identity.
7. Low Lighting Setup
Individuals who frequently work or play games in low-light conditions rely on RGB keyboards. This improves visibility in dim environments, eliminating any potential issues with work productivity or accuracy in gameplay.
Is RGB Keyboard Good for Gaming? 4 Reasons to Make RGB Keyboards Part of Your Gaming Setup
Yes, an RGB keyboard can significantly enhance your gaming performance and setup by improving visual aesthetics and providing customization options. It allows color coordination with other RGB peripherals and aid in better visibility and focus during gameplay.
Here are four reasons to make an RGB keyboard a part of your gaming rig:
1) Provides Customization Options
With an RGB keyboard, you’re not stuck with a single color scheme. With 16+ million colors, you can assign different colors or color schemes to various key groups, change their brightness or animate lightning effects.
For instance, while gaming, you can adjust the WASD keys to be more vibrant and easily distinguishable from the rest of the keyboard. You can also personalize the key colors to match your gaming setup.
2) Improve Gaming Performance
If you play fast-paced games, an RGB keyboard can improve your gameplay. For instance, you can color code specific keys to light up in a particular color when your abilities are ready for use. This way, you can easily keep track of cooldowns and ensure you use your abilities at the right time.
Some RGB keyboards also offer features like N-key rollover and anti-ghosting. N-key rollover allows you to press multiple keys simultaneously without any missed inputs. While anti-ghosting prevents multiple key presses from being registered as a single press.
These features can give you an edge in competitive gaming. After all, what is the benefit of an RGB keyboard if not to help you defeat enemies faster, right?
3) Enables Color Coordination with RGB Peripherals
You can synchronize your personalized RGB keyboard lighting with other RGB peripherals like your mouse, mousepad, and headset for a cohesive effect.
For gaming, you can choose a specific color combination, like a bold red or a glowing orange. You can even create different color schemes for various games based on your preferences or game genre.
4) Enhance Visibility
Regular keyboards can be difficult to see in a low-light gaming setup. However, this is not an issue with RGB keyboards. Even in a dimly lit gaming setup, you can clearly see each illuminated key’s imprint and customized color scheme. This will help you press the right keys for specific functions without any guesswork.
Additionally, you can set the keys to pulse or cycle through different colors, which adds a visually appealing element. This dynamic lighting can help keep your attention focused on the keyboard and minimize mistakes while gaming.
What Is the Difference between RGB and LED Keyboard?
It’s quite common for people to confuse RGB keyboards with LED ones because they both have LED lights. However, both offer distinct features and functionalities.
To clarify the differences, we’ve compiled a comparison so you can have a better understanding of just how different RGB and LED keyboards truly are:
1. LED Lighting
LED keyboards feature one LED per key, which means they emit light in a single color, such as red, blue, or green. The lights have no range of colors and effects.
On the other hand, RGB keyboards come with three LED lights per key, where each key can light up with a full RGB spectrum. You can choose any color you want for each key.
2. Customization Options
LED keyboards offer limited customization options. You may have basic control over the brightness levels or turn the backlighting on and off. But the color options are limited to the single color of the LEDs.
In contrast, RGB keyboards come with dedicated software, allowing you to customize each key’s color, assign different lighting effects, and create profiles. You can also synchronize the lighting with other RGB peripherals or even program custom lighting patterns.
3. Gaming Synchronization
LED keyboards do not offer synchronization with games or external software. They function independently and are not designed to react to in-game events or provide an immersive gaming experience through lighting effects.
In comparison, RGB keyboards feature gaming synchronization capabilities. They can integrate with gaming software or platforms and respond to in-game events or actions. For example, when playing a first-person shooter, the keyboard might light up in red when your character is low on health or flash in various colors during intense moments.
4. Macro Functionality
Macro functionality refers to the ability to assign complex commands or actions to a single key or a combination of keys. LED keyboards usually have limited or no macro functionality. You may be able to program a few basic macros, but the options are minimal.
On the other hand, RGB keyboards come with advanced macro functionality. They provide dedicated macro keys or allow you to program macros using the software. This feature comes in handy in fast-paced games where you can execute multiple commands with a single press.
RGB vs. Backlit Keyboard: An Objective Comparison
|Term||RGB Keyboard||Backlit Keyboard|
|LED Lighting||Offers full RGB lighting with individual key illumination and a wide range of colors and effects.||Typically features single-color LED lighting or limited preset lighting effects.|
|Customization Options||It provides extensive customization options, allowing users to personalize lighting effects, create custom profiles, adjust individual key colors, and synchronize with other RGB peripherals.||Limited customization options, usually offering only basic lighting presets or no customization at all.|
|Gaming Synchronization||Supports synchronization with compatible gaming software, enabling dynamic lighting effects based on in-game events or actions.||Lacks gaming synchronization capabilities, resulting in static or manually adjusted lighting.|
|Macro Functionality||It often includes dedicated macro keys or programmable keys for recording and assigning complex commands or sequences.||It may or may not have macro functionality, depending on the specific model. But some LED keyboards have limited macro support through software.|
After going through the comparison, you might start wondering, “What is better, RGB or LED?” Well, it all depends on your preferences and needs. If you want lots of colors and customization options, go for RGB keyboards.
But if you’re on a budget (RGB keyboards are expensive) or don’t need all the colors, LED keyboards are a good option.
Best RGB Keyboards for a Gaming Setup
If you’re in the market for a gaming keyboard with RGB lighting, we have some top picks for you. Check out our list of the best RGB keyboards for gaming in 2023. These keyboards offer fantastic features and functionalities to improve your gaming experience:
1. Corsair K100 RGB – It offers 44 RGB zones, customizable per-key lighting, Cherry MX Speed Silver switches, dedicated media and macro keys, and a programmable iCUE wheel. Also, with Corsair’s iCUE software, you can synchronize the lighting with other Corsair devices for a cohesive gaming setup.
- The Corsair K100 RGB is the pinnacle of Corsair keyboards, offering the cutting-edge performance, style, durability, and customization that gamers need to stand above the rest
- The centerpiece of your gaming setup, the Corsair K100 RGB boasts a refined design bolstered by a durable aluminum frame, dynamic per-key RGB backlighting, and a 44-zone three-sided LightEdge
- Powered by Corsair AXON Hyper-Processing Technology, enabling Corsair’s most advanced gaming keyboard experience by delivering up to 4x faster throughput with native 4,000Hz hyper-polling and 4,000Hz key scanning, while simultaneously driving up to 20-layer lighting effects
2. Razer Huntsman Mini – One of the best budget mechanical RGB keyboards featuring double-shot PBT keycaps and RGB backlighting that you can customize with Razer’s Synapse 3 software. The keyboard is ideal for fast-paced gaming due to its clicky opto-mechanical switches that are highly responsive and provide low latency.
- Faster Than Legacy Mechanical Switches: Razer Optical switches use light-based actuation, registering key presses at the speed of light (30% shorter actuation distance than other clicky switches at 1.5 millimeter) with satisfying, clicky feedback
- Ultimate Personalization and Gaming Immersion with Razer Chroma: Fully syncs with popular games, Razer hardware, Philips Hue, and gear from 30 partners; supports 16.8 million colors on individually backlit keys
- Quality, Aluminum Construction: Covered with a matte, aluminum top frame for increased structural integrity
- Oil-Resistant Doubleshot PBT Keycaps: Made of textured, high-grade PBT for a more durable and textured finish less prone to long-term grime buildup
- Fully Programmable Macros: Razer Hypershift allows for all keys and keypress combinations to be remapped to execute complex commands
3. ROCCAT Vulcan II Max – This RGB keyboard features tactile optical switches, a wrist rest, 24 keys, and a dedicated LED for secondary functions. It provides ample customization options for per-key lighting and synchronization with other ROCCAT peripherals through the accompanying software.
- TITAN II Optical Mechanical Smooth Linear Switches
- HD AIMO RGB Lighting
- Translucent Detachable Palm Rest
- Easy-Shift [+] unlocks a second function layer
- Smart Keys with dedicated LED indicate when secondary functions are active
- Dedicated Media Controls
- Durable aluminum top plate
- On-board storage for up to 4 user profiles
- 3rd party keycap compatibility
4. Logitech G915 TKL – It is a wireless keyboard with low-profile switches and keycaps that are highly responsive and tactile. The keyboard has low latency and features dedicated media controls, macro keys, and fully customizable advanced LightSync RGB lighting. Moreover, it also offers an impressive battery life.
- LIGHTSPEED wireless delivers pro-grade performance with flexibility and freedom from cords. Creates a clean aesthetic for battlestations. Delivers 40 hours on a single full charge.
- LIGHTSYNC technology provides RGB lighting that synchronizes lighting with any content. Personalize each key or create custom animations from ~16.8M colors with Logitech G HUB software.
- Low Profile mechanical switches offers the speed, accuracy and performance of a mechanical switch at half the height The GL Tactile switch produces a discernible bump at the point of actuation. Comes in 3 options: GL Tactile, GL Linear or GL Clicky.
5. HyperX Alloy Origins – It is a wired gaming keyboard with impeccable construction, vibrant RGB backlighting, smooth HyperX linear switches, macro-programmable keys, and minimal pre-travel distance. Moreover, it provides three adjustable angles and full RGB customization with HyperX NGENUITY software.
- HyperX Mechanical Switches rated for 80 million keystrokes
- Full aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Compact, portable design with detachable cable
- Dazzling RGB lighting with dynamic effects
- Advanced customization with HyperX NGENUITY software
- 3 adjustable keyboard angles
- Onboard memory for 3 profiles
- Game Mode, 100% anti-ghosting, and N-key rollover functionalities
FAQs – RGB Keyboards
Is RGB Keyboard Good for Typing?
It depends on the RGB keyboard’s quality, layout, and key design rather than just the RGB lighting. However, an RGB keyboard can be good for typing if it comes with mechanical switches.
Each key uses an individual switch to provide a more tactile, comfortable, and responsive feeling while typing. Mechanical switches are also more durable than membrane ones.
Why Do Mechanical Keyboards Have RGB?
Mechanical keyboards have RGB lighting for aesthetics and customization purposes. They have individual key switches for each key, allowing for greater flexibility in implementing RGB lighting effects. Mechanical keyboards also provide more customization options than membrane ones.
Why Does Your Keyboard RGB Stay On When the PC Is Off?
When your PC is off, the RGB lighting on your keyboard may remain on due to a feature called hardware lighting. This feature allows keyboards to retain and control lighting settings independently of the connected computer.
Do RGB Keyboards Drain Laptop Batteries?
Yes, RGB keyboards do drain laptop batteries because switching colors consume power. In general, you can expect each lit key to drain around 2-3% of battery power. So, if your laptop lasts 6 hours on battery, having an RGB keyboard may reduce the battery life to around 5 hours.
How Long Can Keyboard RGB Last?
RGB keyboards can last around 30,000 to 50,000 hours, which is over 10 years if you keep the LEDs on for 12 hours daily. So, if you were wondering, “Do RGB keyboards burn out?” that pretty much answers your question.
But remember that using an RGB keyboard in a hot environment or keeping it lit for a long time will burn it out quickly. Poor-quality LEDs will also affect the keyboard’s lifespan.
How Do You Turn Off RGB on Your Keyboard?
The most common method to turn off the RGB lighting on your keyboard is to use keyboard shortcuts such as the Fn key. Depending on your keyboard model, you’ll need to press the Fn key along with another key like F5, F9, or F11.
Another option is to access the BIOS settings and disable the keyboard lighting from there. If your keyboard has dedicated software, you can also use it to turn off the RGB lighting.
RGB keyboards are pretty rad, especially if you’re into gaming or just love spicing up your computer use. They’ve got dynamic lighting effects, customizable options, and improved functionality that you can tweak to boost your gaming performance.
Besides, knowing the difference between LED and RGB keyboards lets you choose one that’s perfect for your gameplay and won’t break the bank. So, grab yourself an RGB keyboard that’s all about your gaming needs and supercharges your game time!