Mechanical keyboards have gained massive popularity over the past couple of years. However, some gamers still cannot justify the high cost of mechanical keyboards. If you are still using a membrane keyboard, then you might be wondering whether or not they are good for gaming.
The answer is pretty simple. Membrane keyboards can also be good for gaming. After all, peripherals do not make you better at the game. However, membrane keyboards are quite barebones. They do not provide a satisfying gaming experience and do not have special features that can help your gaming experience be more efficient.
In this article, we will be diving deeper into membrane keyboards. We will check out its anatomy as well as its advantages and disadvantages. And by the end of this article, you should be able to determine if membrane keyboards are good at gaming.
What Are Membrane Keyboards?
Since they are easier to produce, membrane keyboards have become the default choice for most modern keyboards. They are what you see in schools, offices, internet cafes, and other public places. If you are born in the 2000s, these are likely the keyboards that you were introduced to.
What separates membrane keyboards from mechanical keyboards is the mechanism of their keys. Each key lies in a different part over a three-layered pressure-sensitive membrane. If you press a key, the keyboard will send the input depending on which area is depressed.
Advantages of Membrane Keyboards
This simplified approach to the keyboard has brought upon lots of improvements from its predecessors. The two key advantages are that it is quieter and more affordable.
Quiet Key Presses
Mechanical keyboards have a reputation for being loud. This is due to a lot of factors such as key switch choice, keycap choice, plate choice, and case material. However, since membrane keyboards do not utilize individual keys and do not have a complex build, they are overall quieter.
Of course, this will still depend on which membrane keyboard you are using. Some membrane keyboards were intentionally made to mimic the sound and feel of mechanical keyboards; therefore, they are still loud. But for the most part, most membrane keyboards are quiet enough to be used in public places.
As we mentioned earlier, the main goal of membrane keyboards is to significantly lower the cost of manufacturing. Since they have achieved this goal, they are able to mass-produce and sell keyboards at a low cost.
So if your keyboard breaks or if you need a new keyboard, then you can easily pick one up without even thinking about the cost. This can be crucial if you want to spend on other components of your gaming rig.
Disadvantages of Membrane Keyboards
Despite the advantages of membrane keyboards, they still have lots of problems. The main problem with this kind of keyboard is its typing feel.
They simply could not match the satisfaction that their predecessors could bring. Their lackluster feel is the reason why mechanical keyboards made a comeback.
Most membrane keyboards feel mushy. Each keypress does not feel quite as distinct as a mechanical keyboard. This hurts the typing experience and can even slow your typing down.
And since there is no reliable way to tell whether or not your keystrokes are being registered, you may make more typos with these kinds of keyboards. Also, most membrane keyboards do not have the optimal height for their keys. This can make typing significantly harder since the key travels are so short.
Of course, you can get used to the actuation force and feel of membrane keyboards. However, this does not change the fact that it offers a subpar typing experience.
Another key disadvantage of membrane keyboards is their durability. Since they do not feature individual key switches, the overall lifespan is shorter compared to mechanical keyboards. Also, if a single key breaks, it is highly likely that more than one key will also break.
Additionally, unlike mechanical keyboards, membrane keyboards are not easily repairable. You can’t just open up the keyboard and replace the faulty key. You will most likely have to replace the whole keyboard.
Due to how membrane keyboards work, you cannot press multiple keys at the same time. This is incredibly important in competitive games where you might need to press different keys at the same time.
This is not possible for most membrane keyboards, and it can end up costing your precious ranked games. Also, most membrane keyboards encounter an issue known as ghosting. This happens when the data of two or more keys get combined and actuates a button that was not pressed.
If you are not happy with the performance of your membrane keyboard, there isn’t much that you can do. You cannot customize the typing feel by replacing the switches and you cannot do modifications to make the sound of the keyboard better.
Additionally, it is unlikely that you can replace the keycaps of your keyboard. You are basically stuck with the look of your keyboard.
Can You Use Membrane Keyboards for Gaming?
Despite the many downsides of membrane keyboards, they are still perfectly usable for gaming. Many well-known players have used these keyboards before their professional debut. Also, many high-ranking players who play at internet cafes likely use membrane keyboards.
So if you are currently stuck with a membrane keyboard, you should not feel bad about it. It isn’t a perfect tool but it gets the job done.
But with that said, if you have the budget to upgrade to a mechanical keyboard, we highly advise going for it. It is vastly superior to membrane keyboards and will give you a more satisfying typing or gaming experience.
The KBE team is dedicated to sharing our knowledge and creating useful resources about computer keyboards. This article was written as a team collaboration, combining our knowledge and years of experience using, building and modding keyboards. Meet the team here.