Gaming can often involve being completely sedentary for hours at a time, and holding your hands in unnatural positions, which can cause strain on the wrists. RSI can be a common injury for gamers.
Therefore, an ergonomic keyboard can be a good way to prevent strain as it will hold your hands in a much more natural position, and allow you to enjoy longer gaming sessions without the risk of discomfort or injury. These keyboards will often have palm rests to support your hands so that they remain flat and straight.
You could also invest in a vertical mouse if you want to support your mouse hand.
Choosing the right ergonomic keyboard
The keyboard layout plays a significant role in how comfortable and efficient it is for gaming. Ergonomic keyboards can also come in unique layouts, such as split keyboards and curved designs.
These layouts are designed to mimic the natural position of your hands, wrists, and fingers. So, experiment with different layouts to see which one complements your gaming style.
Key switches are the mechanisms beneath each keycap that register your keystrokes. The type of key switches can have a significant impact on your gaming performance.
Mechanical switches are a popular choice among gamers due to their tactile feedback and quick response time.
Customisation options can greatly enhance your gaming experience. Look for an ergonomic keyboard that offers programmable keys.
This feature allows you to assign specific functions, macros, or key combinations to certain keys, so you don’t need to be stretching to reach certain keys.
Best ergonomic keyboards
Here are five of the best ergonomic keyboards on the market right now:
1. SteelSeries USB Apex 5
Many keyboards are available at a lower price point than the SteelSeries Apex 5, including mechanical ones. But, the SteelSeries Apex 5 is still great value for money.
This keyboard has hybrid switches while all being cost-effective. The keys are contained within a durable aluminium frame designed for long-lasting use.
It also comes with dedicated multimedia controls. These controls help you adjust the volume and settings on the fly.
Reasons to buy
- Hybrid mechanical gaming switches
- Dynamic per-key RGB illumination
- Sturdy and durable
2. Corsair K70 Pro
The Corsair K70 Pro is an improved version of the Corsair K70 RGB MK2. It has been equipped with optical-mechanical switches to offer faster actuation.
This keyboard has an exclusive advantage. Its polling rate can reach up to 8,000 Hz. Additionally, the latency is near zero, allowing you to excel even more.
The Corsair K70 Pro naturally has all the expected features of a high-quality gaming keyboard. It comes with anti-ghosting and N-Key Rollover for precise inputs.
Additionally, this keyboard maintains its stylish appeal with per-key RGB lighting. It also allows you to customise the volume and track skipping with its high-build media keys.
- Solid construction
- Double-shot pro keycaps
- 8x faster input than conventional keyboards
3. Razer Ornata V3
The Razer Ornata V3 is another popular choice because of its innovative hybrid switches. It offers an affordable yet satisfying tactile experience for users. The Razer Ornata V3 is a modified version of the previous Ornata V2. It features keys with a slightly lower profile.
The switches in this keyboard provide the tactile sensation of a mechanical keyboard. These switches offer quick and responsive feedback. At the same time, they maintain the accuracy and smoothness of a typical keyboard. It also has onboard media controls, which are pretty helpful for gamers.
- UV-coated durable keycaps
- Backlit dedicated media keys
- Magnetic soft-touch wrist rest
4. SteelSeries Apex Pro
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a top choice of gaming keyboards. Instead of using optical components, it has OmniPoint switches. This way, it allows you to personalise the actuation distance for each key.
Additionally, if you frequently find yourself bottoming out, it has the option to adjust the actuation distance to a maximum of 3.6mm.
Apart from its key switch technology, the Apex Pro is a highly responsive keyboard made from durable aluminium. Its onboard storage capacity can store up to five profiles, while the customisable RGB lighting adds to its visual appeal.
- High response time
- Bright and well-built keyboard
- Adjustable actuation switches
5. Razer Huntsman V2
The Huntsman provides users with a choice between two optical switch options. The first one is clicky, which offers a prompt response and enjoyable sound. And the second one is linear, which provides a quieter and smoother typing experience.
The Razer Huntsman V2 has a sturdy design that looks impressive on your desk too. It also features personalised RGB lighting choices for every key.
- Multifunctional digital dial
- Hybrid onboard memory and storage
- 8,000 Hz polling rate for near-zero latency
To further align the wrists in a natural position, some keyboards go as far as changing up the actual shape of the keyboard to make it more ergonomic.
The next two choices are ideal if you’ve already picked up an injury, and really need to take your hand positioning seriously.
6. Perixx 11524 PERIBOARD-512
As you can see from the photo, this keyboard is slanted to make sure your wrists are kept in a completely natural position. This keyboard is less of a gaming keyboard, so it won’t deliver the performance that the above options will, but you can be assured of comfort.
7. RedThunder G60
A lot of games don’t require a full keyboard to play them, particularly games that rely more heavily on the mouse such as Total War, so a one-handed keyboard could work for you.
The RedThunder G60 might be an ideal choice for you, and the size means you can position this keyboard much closer to your body and even more to the side, potentially easing the strain on your back as your posture is improved.
Let us know in the comments if you agree with our choices, or if you’ve had success with a different keyboard to support your positioning.
Check out our Hardware section for more top picks.