Gaming Keyboard vs. Regular Keyboard

We may earn a commission when you purchase using our links.

Gaming Keyboard vs. Regular Keyboard cover

Gaming and regular keyboards have both dominated the keyboard market for many years. And while they both serve different purposes and are marketed towards different kinds of audiences, it is still inevitable for people to compare their performance and ask which one is better. 

Gaming keyboards are made to be better than any other keyboard. To meet the high expectations of the gaming community, gaming keyboards need to cope with these expectations resulting in a very competitive, capable, and reliable keyboard that brings countless gamers around the world to success. 

Although it is evident that gaming keyboards are better than regular keyboards, it is still significant to have knowledge regarding the former. It may help you if you are in the market for a high-quality keyboard. In fact, gaming keyboards may be the most optimal choice if you are a person who uses a computer in their work and games. With that, this article will help you know more about these two keyboards as it answers some of the most asked questions between gaming keyboards and regular keyboards.  

“Gaming” Keyboards (Mechanical keyboards)

Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard front
Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

What Makes a Keyboard “Designed For Gaming”?

Technically speaking, there is no keyboard exclusive for gaming. The moniker found its way in the community as it saw the need to have computer peripherals that perform better in helping a gamer input their mechanical skills in-game accurately. With that as its foundation, brands have pioneered to engineer peripherals such as mice and keyboards designed for gaming. In other words, a keyboard is designed for gaming if it allows gamers to actuate their in-game skills with no lags and delays. 

Gaming keyboards are, in a way, your regular keyboards that are upgraded to suit the needs of gamers – both professional and casual alike. Contrary to popular belief, it does provide a significant advantage if we compare one that uses gaming peripherals to another that uses your regular mouse and keyboard. Of course, skills would not lie, but the difference as to the quality of the gears they are playing with already sets a significant difference before the game begins. 

Gaming keyboards are popular because of how reliable it is in providing the needs of a gamer and convenience through their added features such as programmable keys, media controls, RGB backlighting, and many more. 

Do Gaming Keyboards Actually Provide an “Unfair Advantage”?

multi-colored keyboard. mechanical keys. Multi-colored professional gaming mechanical rgb keyboard on the table background

A gamer’s gaming performance does not solely rely on their keyboard and/or gaming gear because at the end of each tournament, what matters the most is their knowledge and skill. It is a fact that gaming keyboards can provide many advantages. However, never neglect that a gamer’s skill ultimately decides the game’s outcome. Thus, gaming keyboards do not necessarily provide an “unfair advantage.” 

Are Gaming Keyboards Worth It? 

Gaming keyboards are certainly worth it and definitely worth the hype. The fact that it is still in demand right now is proof that gaming keyboards continuously satisfy their users and customers. Who wouldn’t want a keyboard that is not only reliable and competitive but also aesthetically pleasing and satisfying?

In addition to that, gaming keyboards offer a wide variety of choices from its brand itself. Various companies established their name in the gaming industry through gaming keyboards, and some of these famous keyboard brands include Razer, Logitech, Steelseries, Corsair, G-skill, and more. 

Whatever you wish your keyboard has, you can easily find them equipped with a gaming keyboard, or you can personalize a gaming keyboard yourself by buying custom mechanical keyboards. 

Regular Keyboards (Membrane Keyboards)

Close Up View of Membrane Keyboard in white background

Regular keyboards are membrane keyboards widely known in the keyboard industry to have a bad reputation because of their quality. But then, it is essential to know that high-end membrane keyboards are also reliable and competent.   

Basic Structure of a Regular Keyboard 

Since membrane keyboards are the keyboard that almost everyone has tried using, it is also referred to as regular keyboards. A regular keyboard has a big difference from a gaming keyboard especially, in its structure.

Regular keyboards made use of rubber or silicone to process. Regular keyboards have three layers, and two of these layers consist of thin membrane layers that also have conductive traces on them. The other layer is called the “spacer,” located in the middle of the two mentioned layers. Overall, regular keyboards work through the electrical contact that has been made between the keyboard surface and the underlying circuitry. With that, in using regular keyboards, the activation occurs when keys are properly pressed. 

The structure of a regular keyboard is entirely different from gaming keyboards mainly because gaming keyboards have their switches under every key. 

Can Membrane Keyboards Be Used For Competitive Gaming?

HyperX - Alloy Core RGB Wired Gaming Membrane Keyboard with RGB Lighting
HyperX – Alloy Core RGB Wired Gaming Membrane Keyboard

Like any other keyboard, membrane keyboards have advantages that can be used for competitive gaming

Some of these advantages include the quiet keypresses as well as its affordability.

In essence, it is safe to claim that membrane keyboards can be used for competitive gaming. Although restrictions and limitations might be imposed in using membrane keyboards, nothing can beat a gamer that knows their keyboard all too well, including how to use this type of keyboard to their advantage.

“Membrane” Gaming Keyboards

Membrane keyboards are basically your regular rubber dome keyboards that are architectured to be used for competitive gaming. Various keyboard companies exerted effort to enhance and upgrade the regular membrane keyboard to a membrane gaming keyboard. 

Today’s membrane gaming keyboards are made to mimic not only the sound that mechanical gaming keyboard provides but also the typing feel it provides that has attracted various keyboard enthusiasts as well as gamers around the world. Also, membrane gaming keyboards are upgraded to have the same functionality and layout as mechanical gaming keyboards, which means that: they can perform like various high-end mechanical gaming keyboards but not as excellent. 

Gaming vs. Regular Keyboards 

Both gaming and regular keyboards have features that make them stand out and worthy. But when it comes to durability/longevity, specific features, and switches, which among them stand out the most?

Durability / Longevity

Cougar 200K Scissor Gaming Keyboard Black and Yellow
Cougar 200K Scissor Gaming Keyboard

Regarding durability/longevity, gaming keyboards have the upper hand. The fact that gaming keyboards are built to withstand intense gaming situations is enough for gaming keyboards to be more durable than regular keyboards. Since regular keyboards are mass-produced, these keyboards are made with the most generic materials since this keyboard is mass-produced. 

In addition to that, gaming keyboards are very easy to repair since you only need to focus on a specific area and fix or replace a key. While on regular keyboards, it does not work the same. In order to repair a part of a regular keyboard, you need to open and disassemble the whole keyboard to fix the problem, which often takes time. That is the very reason why when regular keyboards break. Instead of fixing them, the user would rather buy a new one.

Of course, this does not apply to the entirety of regular keyboards. Still, since most of the regular keyboards available in the market work this way, regular keyboards have become infamous when it comes to durability/longevity.

Features (N-key rollover, RGB, connectivity, etc.)

Gaming keyboards are superior to regular keyboards when it comes to overall features. Although regular keyboards are upgraded nowadays to match gaming keyboards’ performance by incorporating some of their features to regular keyboards, nothing still beats the original. 

The N-key rollover feature that allows its user to press multiple keys at the same time is a huge advantage when it comes to gaming. That is why it is present on almost all gaming keyboards. While only a few keyboard companies successfully incorporated the N-key rollover feature into their regular keyboard mainly because of its rubber dome technology. On the other hand, when it comes to aesthetic appeal, both gaming keyboards and regular keyboards were able to offer RGB effects as well as their different types of connectivity (wired, wireless, Bluetooth, etc.)

As mentioned, the regular keyboards nowadays are made by incorporating the features of gaming keyboards. Thus, it is not surprising that they almost have the same features, but then again, the features that gaming keyboards have are features to match and please all types of gamers around the world.  

Switches (Mechanical vs. Rubber Dome/Membrane Switches)

Gaming keyboards are geared with mechanical witches, while regular keyboards have membrane or rubber dome switches. Mechanical switches work differently from membrane switches. In mechanical switches, the keys have their individual switches under them, which are different from membrane switches that use rubber that serves as the electrical contact point along with its spring.   

Construction of a typical notebook computer dome-switch keyboard.
Image Credit: Asiir at English Wikipedia via Creative Commons

The majority of people love gaming keyboards because of their switches. Aside from the fact that mechanical switches are way faster to actuate than membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards are known for the satisfying typing feel and sound it provides.

Not to mention how fast and easy for its user to fix or replace a specific key and how customizable these switches are.  Thus, gaming keyboards with their mechanical switches have the advantage when it comes to switches. 

Which is Better, Gaming or Regular Keyboards? 

Overall Quality Inc. Features

Overall, a gaming keyboard is far better than a regular keyboard in almost all aspects. Gaming keyboard’s top tier features such as N-key rollover, RGB, programmable keys, customizable, and more are the very reason why it has dominated the keyboard market for a long time now. It is also why it is recommended that if you can buy a gaming keyboard, immediately purchase one and show off your gaming skills hand-in-hand with your keyboard. 


Of course, if convenience and being practical is your priority, as of the moment, resorting to regular keyboards is the best way because of their affordability and availability. After all, regular keyboards are still keyboards that can do the job they were primarily meant to do.