The Switch version of “Skyward Sword” is visually enhanced and features vital quality of life improvements. Loading times, menus, and mandatory conversations are quicker, speeding up the overall pace. As with all Nintendo Switch games, “Skyward Sword HD” is also optimized for portable play, and it no longer requires motion controls.
As a Wii exclusive, the original “Skyward Sword” made unique use of the console’s motion controls and required an additional device called the Wiimote Plus. These design choices polarized fans who preferred the series’ classic control scheme, but “Skyward Sword HD” gives players the option to choose between motion controls or a new button-only layout.
‘Skyward Sword’ is the beginning of the ‘Legend of Zelda’ storyline
“Skyward Sword” is the first game in “The Legend of Zelda” chronology, giving players background on key story elements that continue to recur throughout the franchise.
Players control Link, a knight in training on a floating island called Skyloft. There, Link and his friend Zelda discover they’ve been chosen to fulfill an ancient legend to save the world. Link journeys back and forth from Skyloft to the world below, exploring new areas of the surface and clearing dungeons to find key items for his quest.
‘Skyward Sword’ mixes classic Zelda dungeon crawling with features that inspired ‘Breath of the Wild’
Like other Zelda games, “Skyward Sword HD” offers a mix of adventure and puzzle solving with a gentle learning curve. “Skyward Sword” separates itself from other games in the series with its incorporation of motion controls, which are optional on the Nintendo Switch.
Players control the direction of Link’s sword slashes by swinging the right Joy-Con controller, or by using the right analog stick. Other weapons like the slingshot and bow can be aimed using motion controls too, and solving certain puzzles requires specific player movements.
Fans of “The Legend of Zelda” will recognize gameplay elements that inspired “Breath of the Wild,” the critically acclaimed title that launched alongside the Switch in 2017. “Skyward Sword” was the first “Zelda” game to feature a stamina meter and a crafting system for improving items. However, some of the mechanics used for platforming and motion controls in “Skyward Sword HD” still feel rough around the edges.
A new button-only option makes ‘Skyward Sword’ more accessible, but the motion controls are surprisingly accurate
Adding a button-only controller option to “Skyward Sword HD” makes it work on the portable Switch, but much of the game was designed with motion controls in mind. Puzzles and fights require precise movements, regardless of whether you’re using the controller’s analog stick or waving your arm with a Switch Joy-Con in hand.
Personally, I prefer using button-only controls due to my familiarity with past Zelda games, but I still find myself frustrated at times when trying to control the camera. The motion controls in “Skyward Sword HD” are surprisingly accurate but you’ll spend a lot of energy swinging and aiming during the more than 30 hours of gameplay.
“Skyward Sword HD” also gives players the option to mix button-only and motion controls, so you can aim or move the camera by pointing at the screen, but still use the right analog stick for controlling weapons and other actions.
The visuals of ‘Skyward Sword HD’ still look great thanks to unique art design
As the title implies, “Skyward Sword HD” improves the game’s visuals from 480p standard definition to a full 1080p high definition image. The frame rate has also been increased to 60 frames per second to offer smoother animations than the original release.
While some animations look a bit stiff 12 years later, the game’s art style and presentation still hold up well after all these years. Nintendo also improved the pace of “Skyward Sword” by adding an auto-save feature, automatically skipping over repetitive text, and making mandatory conversations quicker than before.
“Skyward Sword” doesn’t offer the full open-world exploration that made “Breath of the Wild” a modern masterpiece, but it does have one of the largest Zelda worlds to date. Te dungeon designs are also notably more complex than the shrine puzzles in “Breath of the Wild.”
‘Skyward Sword HD’ revives a great game for a new generation, but it’s not the best Zelda on Switch
“Skyward Sword HD” is an excellent update to a classic action-adventure game, though it shows its age at times. We recommend it for any Nintendo Switch owner, and it’s one of the best Switch exclusives of 2021.
Fans of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” should feel right at home and players who skipped out on the mandatory motion controls of the original “Skyward Sword” will be able to experience the game without issue.
However, the controls can still be a bit cumbersome, so newcomers to the “Zelda” franchise might want to try “Breath of the Wild” or “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening,” a redesigned version of a series classic on the Switch.
You can find ‘Skyward Sword’ in stores now, along with these other Zelda collectibles from Nintendo
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” is available now for the Nintendo Switch. The games carries a list price of $60, but we’ve already seen some physical copies go on sale for $10 off. A digital version is also available to download directly onto your Switch from Nintendo’s eshop.
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Wireless gaming mice have become technogically sophisticated and accurate enough to live to their steep prices.
Wired gaming mice can be had for a reasonable price, however, and are largely unmatched in terms of response time.
Our pick for the best gaming mouse is the Razer Viper Ultimate.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
For decades, computers (PCs) have been powerful and fun tools, and for just as long we have wanted to play games on them. From games that are uniquely suited to PC to those best realized on robust hardware, PC gaming covers a broad range, and it attracts all kinds of players.
While game controllers are still prevalent at esport events, it’s the computer mouse that continues to let the best players excel as they vie for dominance in games like League of Legends, Overwatch, Starcraft, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The domain of gaming mice isn’t limited to just PCs either, as console games like Fortnite and Call of Duty now allow players to use mouse and keyboard setups-let me say, the advantage is real. It’s completely worth becoming a keyboard and mouse user for multiplayer games that support them on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
As a former game designer, I can tell you that most games are born and developed on PCs. The whole idea of aiming a weapon in a game, of selecting units, building defenses, and clicking on a target are PC and mouse centric. Accuracy, response time, muscle memory, reflex, etc. – these tend to make the difference between playing well and losing, and it all gets funneled from the player and into the game via the mouse.
Below are the best gaming mice I’ve tested for 2021 so far, broken down by subcategory and led by a pick for the best gaming mouse overall.
The Razer Viper Ultimate is wireless and has the best mix of sensitivity, grip, weight, look, and feel.
Pros: The feel when moving, lightweight (74g), enduring battery life, subtle but cool look (with RGB), truly ambidextrous shape, surface texture, color options
Cons: Unnecessary charging dock, bloated Razer software suite, high price
My current favorite gaming mouse is the Razer Viper Ultimate, and aside from a few small qualms (like the pushy software), it offers a premium gaming mouse experience while still hitting a nice weight at 74g to provide an overall responsive and enjoyable feel.
In order to meet the needs of different gamers’ grips, Razer offers a variety of models (including the Basilisk and DeathAdder), and the Viper Ultimate is the company’s ambidextrous, wireless, and premium gaming mouse. It’s not only a great feel, weight, and responsiveness, but also a welcome texture that varies between the palm and sides of the mouse.
As part of the ambidextrous design, the Razer Ultimate has a two-button cluster on both sides. It also has a compartment on the underside where the USB dongle can be stored for travel and such. The battery life is good and extended smartly with a rating of up to 70 hours.
In addition to the standard black design, a few different color options are offered (Quartz/Pink, Mercury/White, and Cyberpunk 2077/ Yellow), and Razer includes a matching Razer Mouse Dock Chroma (RGB). I think the dock is superfluous as the mouse can be charged (and used while charging) with just the USB cable, though I suppose the dock helps give the mouse a premium feel. (A cheaper version without the dock is available, but only directly from Razer.)
The standard black is like a reinvention of the classic Razer style: sedate when off, but spiffy when the Razer logo lights up and breathes on the palm wrest.
Being the best overall gaming mouse, the Viper Ultimate is at home playing a first-person shooter (FPS) or a real-time strategy (RTS), running wired or wirelessly, and even outside of games. It feels complete without any corners cut and its weight is low enough to be an ultralight without that being the central feature.
Viper Ultimate (button)
The best wired gaming mouse
With its gaming-quality responsiveness, grip, buttons, and lighting, the Logitech G203 Lightsync is the essential wired gaming mouse.
Pros: The distilled shape, clicky buttons, well set scroll wheel, four available colors, low price, lightweight (85g)
Cons: G203 Lightsync adds more RGB options, but G203 Prodigy has plenty for less; plain cable for a gaming mouse
Unlike the Razer Viper Mini, which is too compact for me, the Logitech G203 manages to have a wonderful shape at a good weight. The sensor is not as fancy as many gaming mice, but the feel, glide, and wired performance are nevertheless gaming grade.
It has six buttons and a scroll wheel, with the sixth button letting the user select the mouse’s DPI sensitivity. It’s a nearly ambidextrous shape with only buttons four and five on the left side limiting its utility for left-handed gamers.
The Lightsync part of the name refers to its prominent RGB features, and the lit G logo and light band are the flashiest aspects. But really, the G203 Prodigy seems to be the same stalwart mouse as the G203 Lightsync. Both G203 models are relatively inexpensive ways to upgrade a gaming setup. Whether you want to play online with friends leisurely, or actively spend time training your accuracy and speed, the G203 can well meet your needs.
The cable is plain and far from the nylon/paracord cables common to gaming mice, but that might only be noticed when transporting the mouse. The G203 can usually be had at a low price, and it’s a great first gaming mouse.
The best budget wireless gaming mouse
The G305 Lightspeed is an excellent, AA-battery-powered, wireless gaming mouse that should please nearly everybody not concerned with RGB or weight.
Pros: Quality shape and materials, four available colors, simple to use, great battery life
Cons: Heftier weight (99g), no RGB lighting, no internal battery or play charge option
The Razer Viper Ultimate is the best overall gaming mouse, but for a wireless gaming mouse that’s a little more straightforward and utilitarian, the cheaper Logitech G305 Lightspeed just nails it. Among wireless mice, the G305 is simple to get going and easy to use. This is also a rare case where I don’t think the software is really necessary, because the G305 is very much ready to go out of the box. DPI levels and battery life are easy to adjust and monitor without software.
Pop the G305 open, insert the included AA battery, remove the small USB dongle, and pop the cover back on. The USB dongle goes into the PC, and it’s time to flick the power switch (on the mouse’s underside) to on. What’s left then is to hit the DPI button located on the top between the great scroll wheel and the lone LED light, and dial in to the desired comfort zone via the desired DPI sensitivity. (Of course, the software is there if you need to reassign buttons or update firmware.)
From there, the G305‘s excellent shape and strong, welcoming build takes center stage. Because this mouse is so easy to set up and use, and because it lacks RGB or anything visually that screams “gaming mouse,” the G305 might not immediately stand out in a sea of gaming mice. But in use, it’s excellent all-around. The G305’s one real concession towards style is to offer blue and lilac shell colors to go with the more standard black and white.
In addition to accuracy, responsiveness with satisfying clicks, the requisite six buttons, and stalwart battery life, the G305 even promises to hold up better than most against abuse (including abuse from traveling). This mouse is perfect both as a first wireless gaming mouse (before getting into the premium territory) and for outfitting a new esports team. If there is one thing that holds the G305 back, it’s the weight, which is listed at 99g (I measured 97g). Those with a light touch, and those that often pick up the mouse may find it a touch too heavy. Then again, it’s tougher and simpler than most gaming mice.
G305 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse (button)
The best ultralight gaming mouse
Glorious nailed the wired ultralight category with the Model O, a purpose-built mouse with the right amount of gaming flare.
Pros: Pleasing Pixart sensor, welcoming shape, four skates that ensure a nice glide, flair, lightweight (67g), fair price
Cons: The software is functional but needs some real TLC, side buttons are just ok
These days, the weight of a gaming mouse is a specification that is just as important as size and sensitivity. It’s almost like we are deep in the midst of the rise of the ultralight mice. It’s a trend whose merits are fairly easy to test out, as comparing two similar gaming mice that are mainly separated by 20-40g in weight will show very noticeable differences, even to the point of affecting play.
It’s in this weight-focused zone that the wired Glorious Model O fits so well. Sure, it looks like gamer hardware with its honeycomb shell, generous RGB lines (even in the scroll wheel) and bearded Glorious logo, but it has the internals to match its looks. The 67g weight and Pixart sensor pair well together in a light and pleasing design.
It’s a good shape, the RGB is not too distracting, and the cord is a nice change from what has been standard for gaming mice. No details have been overlooked, though the software isn’t my favorite (at least the software isn’t bloated).
With style, lightness, and solid performance in hand, what’s left to be concerned about in this ultralight category is durability. Fortunately, unlike some newer mice, the Model O has been on the market and in the hands of a demanding community long enough to inspire confidence in its build, and since it is a wired mouse, there is a lot less to worry over. (Wired mice users don’t have to deal with wireless signal strength, battery life or even a lost or broken USB dongle.)
The Model O succeeds at everything it set out to do, which helps to make it a nice alternative to some of the mice from bigger brands. I would stick with the matte black or white and avoid the glossy variants as glossy shells don’t wear as well and tend to show damage and dirt.
Model O (button)
The best MMO/MOBA gaming mouse
The Razer Naga Pro takes everything great about the Naga Trinity, improves it, and makes it wireless.
Pros: Modular design of the left button cluster and number of available buttons, sensor accuracy, battery life, suitable for larger hands and some different grips
Cons: Steep price, bulky weight (117g), three hot-swappable plates can become clutter
If you’ve been looking at the other picks in this guide, then you may have noticed a few trends such as lighter designs and ambidextrous shapes. The Razer Naga Pro has neither of these characteristics. Furthermore, unlike those other category winners, the Razer Naga Pro comes as part mouse, part mouse kit.
The mouse part of the Razer Naga Pro has the latest in Razer’s optical sensor tech as well as their wireless tech. (The Naga Trinity is the cheaper wired version.) It also has an internal battery with a battery life of up to 150 hours. It has a distinct right-handed ergonomic shape, but it’s weighty at 117g, and it’s the only mouse pick in this guide that offers a tilt scroll wheel.
It’s also the only mouse in this guide that is modular as it offers a trio of panels for its left side. On the left side, it can host two buttons, six buttons, or even twelve buttons. The twelve-button panel gives the mouse a whopping 20 buttons (including two from the tilt wheel and one on the underside), which is way too many for me but often desired in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).
The panels are affixed magnetically and can be changed quite easily. I prefer the multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA-friendly, six button panel, which is reminiscent of a Logitech G604 configuration. Underneath the modular panel is where the wireless USB dongle can be stored.
The Naga Pro offers that trio of configurations, making it a truly premium, semi-modular wireless mouse. The Naga Pro supports a charging dock but it isn’t included, which is addition by subtraction in my mind as the user can still use the included cable to charge or play over a wired connection. In addition to the standard and important 2.4Ghz wireless connection available through the USB dongle, the Naga Pro also offers a Bluetooth connection for those times when mobility and battery life are more important than performance.
While the modular left side and plethora of button options set the Naga Pro apart from smaller mice, it’s also a promising option for those with larger hands, especially if they tend to rest their palm completely on the mouse.
Naga Pro Gaming Mouse (button)
What else we considered
In this guide I’ve talked a lot about wireless gaming mice, and at each turn, the weight of the gaming mice was always a concern. Thus, one category that might be missing here is the ultralight wireless gaming mouse category. Wireless ultralight mice are very much on the cutting edge, and several ultralight wireless mice have recently hit the market. Here are three that we considered and liked but ultimately did not make the cut.
The Aerox 3 Wireless is a snazzy wireless ultralight. It has the feel and the looks, but it’s less polished all-around than I would like. For example, it has a power-saving feature that I dislike greatly. The mouse will sleep after one to 20 minutes. This is adjustable in the software (5 minutes default, 20 minutes max) but cannot be disabled. The part that bothers me is that in order to wake the mouse, I have to click a button whereas other mice wake on being moved.
Still, it has a fun take on RGB with a thin light ring on the bottom that comes through the holey shell, and it uses a well-designed USB-C cable. (Many mice require a proprietary micro-USB or USB-C connection while the Aerox 3 is meant to be used with other USB-C cables.) It also has an IP54 rating for dust and water protection.
Pros: SteelSeries shape with an ultralight style and weight, impressive gaming performance, good for everyday use outside of games, supports play-charging and fast-charging, internal battery, Xbox One support, price
Cons: Various settings depend on the PC app, fresh but not necessarily distinct in look, right-handed, click to wake battery management
The Pro X Superlight is cutting edge. It’s a wireless ultralight that pushes the extremes to get down to a rated 63g weight (closer to 61g really). It packs Logitech’s most efficient and most precise sensor without sacrificing battery life. It also manages to have a traditional mouse shell which ought to be good for anyone wanting a very light gaming mouse but also a sedate look. There is no RGB to be found on the Pro X Superlight unless you count the lone, usually dim LED on the top.
On the bottom of the mouse there is a great compartment which houses the USB dongle, and by removing the little magnetic door, the mouse can get even lighter. That said, this mouse might be too light. Parts of it feel excellent, like the scroll wheel, while other parts feel hollow, like the thin shell. I’ve also found that my main mousepad causes the Pro X Superlight to stutter.
Pros: Great feel, traditional shell design, impressive sensor sensitivity, supports play-charging, internal battery, long battery life
Cons: DPI adjustments are initially PC app-dependent, basic looks, finicky back thumb button, could take some getting used to, plain looks, price
The Glorious Model O Wireless is very much the wireless ultralight that Glorious has promised. Rated at 69g (I’ve got it just under 70g), it brings with it so much that was great about the wired Model O. It has a great shape that only falls short of ambidextrous due to the placement of the thumb buttons. A great lookin matte black (or matte white) with satisfying primary buttons and scroll wheel along with good thumb buttons. Happily, it does have a DPI button (up top) and a DPI light (on the underside) as well as the same, nice RGB lighting and logo placement as its wired cousin.
The new Glorious-developed BAMF sensor is different from the wired Model O, but the feel is consistently accurate. The battery life is not incredible but it’s ok, especially since it can charge while being used. The Model O Wireless is not without its quirks. The included USB-C cable has a right way up both when connecting to the mouse and when connecting to the USB-C dongle connector. There’s new software as well, the Glorious Core. It’s a step up from previous Glorious software, but it still raises an eyebrow when first run, when updating, and even when checking battery level; it’s slight roughness that I suspect will be smoothed out through updates. Still, I think Glorious delivered with the Model O Wireless. It’s great while gaming and happy doing day to day stuff. And let’s not forget the pleasing price. It’s only shortfall is that after much time spent with both mice, I prefer the more expensive Viper Ultimate’s shape.
Pros: Very purpose-focused, ultra-lightweight (67g), attractive design, the RGB lighting, the low price
Cons: Thumb button placement could be better, the software experience, the USB-C cable trident design, no storage spot in the mouse for the USB dongle
How to pick the best gaming mouse
Grip & feel: There is a lot of tech that goes into the design and manufacture of a gaming mouse, but ultimately, if gripping and moving the mouse doesn’t feel right, then look elsewhere. A brief period (from a few hours to a week) of readjustment may be necessary, but gaming mice are meant to be responsive and to glide with accuracy. Gaming mice are also meant to serve different kinds of hand sizes and grip techniques. Many gaming mice have the same sort of sensor and features, but offer a different shape. There is a range starting with the ambidextrous and symmetrical shaped mice on one end, the classic right-hand shaped mice in the middle, and the extremely hand-fitting ergonomic shaped mice on the other end. Those with larger, heavier hands may find ergonomic mice like the Razer Basilisk Ultimate to be suitable to their grip. Others will likely find themselves gravitating between the truly ambidextrous mice and the classic right-handed shape.
Of course, even with the right grip, if the buttons aren’t responsive, if the wheel isn’t consistent, if the tracking is too floaty, then it isn’t the right mouse.
Weight: A big feature for gaming mice of yore was adjustable weights. Modern trends, however, see gaming mice vying for lighter weight all around. Ultralight mice, a category of gaming mice that are under 80g in weight (and tend to be closer to 60g), are gaming mice focused on being light and responsive even at the cost of fancy features like modular buttons. But even those gaming mice that stay away from being called “ultralight” have shed weight. Weight affects the feel, and feel does affect performance as well as enjoyment.
Wired versus wireless: Gaming mouse technology is truly amazing, and wireless gaming mice can offer just about everything that a wired mouse can without much in the way of compromise. But why opt for a wireless gaming mouse over a wired one? To be precise, it is a comfort thing. Without a cable tethering the mouse, the mouse is more comfortable to use, and less likely to take you out of the game (or even your work zone) to fuss over the cable. Of course, wired gaming mice offer great features at a much lower price and without having to worry at all about power or even the rare signal concern. What’s nice for those of us who have a hard time choosing between the two is that many wireless mice offer the ability to use the mouse while charging with a cable or even with the mouse turned off. One could use the mouse with the cable until it became irksome and then switch to wireless mode.
Wireless power: If opting for a wireless gaming mouse, then there needs to be some consideration for how the mouse will be powered. Good wireless gaming mice are both power efficient when in use and smart about saving power when not in use. Finding that the mouse has a low battery or, even worse, a dead battery should be a rare thing, even as rare as once a month. Cheaper wireless gaming mice tend to use AA batteries while more expensive mice have internal batteries. Mice can be charged through their included cable (either micro-USB or USB-C) or in some cases through a charging cradle or even, in the case of the Logitech Powerplay, a charging mouse pad. As mentioned above, I like mice with internal batteries and the cabled play-charge option. I can go wireless until I hit low battery, plug in, and keep going.
Bluetooth vs USB dongle: Wireless gaming mice tend to use a USB dongle in order to connect via a 2.4Ghz wireless connection for maximum performance and ease of use. Often, the dongle can be stored inside the mouse to help keep it from getting lost during travel or storage. Many mice do, however, offer the ability to connect via Bluetooth. The idea here is to allow for a dongle-less connection, say to a laptop with built-in Bluetooth. This is an option when mobile, or I suppose if the dongle has been misplaced. The fancy performance of the gaming mouse will be restrained by the Bluetooth connection, but in many cases, the battery life will be extended considerably, which could be helpful when on the move.
Bundled software: Gaming mice are generally quite good at just working when connected to Windows, however, accessing and adjusting various features will typically require special software from the manufacturer. Even the Glorious line of mice uses software and should, out of box, have their firmware checked. Gaming mouse software is useful for adjusting RGB lighting and button assignments as well as power options for wireless mice. Adjusting DPI sensitivity out of the box can usually be done without software (by cycling through presets using a certain button on the mouse), but there is at least one instance I know where even that was relegated to the software. As with all such software, some apps are more focused and stable while others are more bloated and need regular updates.
Build: The mouse brands mentioned in this guide, including Logitech and Razer, have a good reputation for build quality. Just be reasonably good to a gaming mouse (don’t throw it against a wall, take it into a bathroom or to the beach), and it should provide years of excellent performance without issue. Aside from the buttons and scroll wheel, gaming mice have almost no moving parts, and the thing most likely to wear down first are the PTFE feet on the bottom that provide the glide. A mouse that gets dirty from messy food items should be cleaned and put back in service. If a button fails/is failing, the manufacturer should be contacted regardless of what the warranty states. When transporting a gaming mouse, be careful of the cable and buttons (an internal pouch on a backpack usually works).
Price: Wired gaming mice like the Logitech G203 and Razer Viper Mini are priced at $39.99 while the ultralight wired Glorious Model O is $49.99. The wireless Logitech G305 Lightspeed is $59.99, but premium wireless gaming mice with internal batteries range up to $149.99. While some people consider computer mice to be a free-with-purchase kind of thing, the $40-$150 range really isn’t bad for something that might be used all-day everyday while still lasting for years on end.
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Having a solid wireless router is one of the most important aspects of online gaming.
Some of the best gaming routers offer support for the latest version of Wi-Fi, multiple bands, and more.
Embracing these new technologies can give you the edge in just about any online game.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Most people are content to use the routers provided by their internet service providers. Those devices rarely support the most advanced networking technologies, such as tri-band mesh and more powerful processing, however, and some can barely keep up with everyday activities such as streaming video. Anyone looking to improve their online gaming experience should probably start by replacing that ISP-provided equipment with their own gaming router.
But it can be hard to figure out what router to buy. Does it have to support the latest version of Wi-Fi? What is the most recent version of Wi-Fi, anyway? How important is the number of Ethernet ports, wireless bands, or antennas? It’s no wonder so many people end up using whatever router their ISP provides when answering all these questions can be so overwhelming.
Preference also comes into play. Someone who wants to be on the leading edge of wireless networking has very different needs from someone who just wants to have a better time gaming online without breaking the bank in the process. There is some good news, though, and it’s that there are many routers capable of serving a wide variety of needs. These are some of the best wireless routers for gaming.
Pros: High data transfer speeds, extensive controls
Cons: Tedious setup, companion apps are slow to load
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 boasts a variety of features—Wi-Fi 6 support, Quality of Service (QoS) controls, and a companion mobile app—that should allow it to appeal to PC, console, and mobile gamers alike. It’s not the most powerful router on the market, but it’s a versatile device that offers an affordable way to improve your network’s performance.
Wi-Fi 6 offers several improvements over previous generations of Wi-Fi, including longer ranges, increased bandwidth, and improved transfer speeds. In my tests, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 stays close to the maximum 100 Mbps download speed afforded by my network from up to 45 feet away despite multiple obstructions. (It offers better Wi-Fi 5 performance than my existing router, too, which would be worth the upgrade by itself.)
Many of the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000‘s features are enabled via the DumaOS 3.0 software. The QoS controls allow you to prioritize the performance of specific devices on the network, which means you could automatically limit the bandwidth someone else is using to stream Netflix while preserving the quality of your gaming PC’s connection, for example.
Netgear also offers details about connections between the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 and other devices on its network via the Netgear Nighthawk mobile app. Unfortunately that app is more of a necessary evil than a valued companion. I find it slow to load, occasionally unresponsive, and somewhat vexing, but it is also the easiest way to update the router’s firmware.
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 does have a few shortcomings, however, such as the inclusion of just four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one USB 3.0 port. This should be fine for predominantly wireless setups, but the limited number of wired connections might prove frustrating for some.
Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 (button)
The best budget gaming router
The D-Link DIR-867-US is a step up from ISP-provided routers that doesn’t break the bank.
Pros: Affordable, offers basic quality-of-life features such as MU-MIMO support
Cons: Doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, lacks USB input
The D-Link DIR-867-US is an affordable router said to offer speeds up to 1,750 Mbps when a device is connected to both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It also boasts multi-user, multi-input, multi-output (MU-MIMO) support and Quality of Service (QoS) controls. The former provides better transfer speeds when connecting to many devices, and the latter offers controls to prioritize the traffic of some devices over others.
The DIR-867-US‘s wireless connectivity is complemented by four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that can offer a stable wired connection to compatible devices. The router doesn’t feature any USB ports, however, which means peripherals such as printers and other office equipment will have to rely on Wi-Fi or Ethernet to join the network. That means those four Ethernet ports could fill up faster than you might have expected.
There’s no denying that other routers offer many benefits over the DIR-867-US. It doesn’t support the latest version of Wi-Fi, it’s limited to just two bands, and its wired connectivity is lacking compared to other options. But it still offers better performance than many ISP-provided routers, and its low price makes it more accessible to people who are gaming on a budget.
The best gaming router for enthusiasts
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is a next-gen router with support for Wi-Fi 6E, 2.5GbE, and a variety of tools meant to improve in-game performance.
Pros: Wi-Fi 6E support, optional 2.5GbE connectivity, many features
Cons: Expensive, not as many Ethernet ports as some models
The ASUS GT-AXE11000 is the best gaming router for enthusiasts because it includes support for Wi-Fi 6E, which allows the router to offer faster speeds (up to 11,000 Mbps), improved bandwidth, and increased security compared to its predecessors. The router will have to be paired with other devices that support Wi-Fi 6E to provide all these benefits, of course, but anyone looking to experience the future of wireless connectivity should appreciate this offering.
In addition to Wi-Fi 6E, the ASUS GT-AXE11000 includes four Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports for local networking and two options for connecting to the internet. The first option is a 2.5GbE port that’s said to unlock Wi-Fi 6E’s full potential. The second option is to use two GbE WAN ports with WAN Aggregation to achieve a similar result. (Which option is right for a given network mostly depends on the ISP.) There are also two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to connect peripherals to the network.
ASUS crammed many quality-of-life features into the GT-AXE11000 as well. It supports Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, offers similar Quality of Service (QoS) features as other routers, and includes parental control settings. ASUS claims the router also offers “triple-level game acceleration,” which gives priority to devices connected via the dedicated gaming port, favors those devices over others on the network using adaptive QoS, and includes a 90-day free trial to the Outfox gaming network that claims to offer the fastest connection to many game servers.
ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 (button)
The best gaming router for wired gaming
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best router for wired gaming because of its bevy of Ethernet ports and 2.5GbE WAN connection.
Pros: Offers many Ethernet ports, supports Wi-Fi 6, includes common quality-of-life features
Cons: Somewhat expensive
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best router for wired gaming because it offers eight GbE (LAN) ports in addition to Wi-Fi 6 connectivity enabled by a 2.5GbE (WAN) port. Having that many Ethernet ports should make it easy to provide a wired connection – which is generally more stable than even the best wireless connection – to almost every gaming device nearby. (To say nothing of improved streaming on set-top boxes, a better Wi-Fi network enabled by multiple wireless access points, and other benefits enabled by setting up a wired connection.)
TP-Link says the Archer AX6000 offers maximum transfer speeds of up to 4,804 Mbps via the 5GHz band and 1,148 Mbps via the 2.4GHz band for a combined total of nearly 6,000 Mbps. Those are under ideal conditions, of course, and you’ll only enjoy those speeds outside your home network if your internet service provider supports them. Performance will also vary based on how many devices are connected to the network, but integrated Quality of Service (QoS) settings should make it easier to prioritize gaming hardware over other devices.
The Archer AX6000‘s other handy features include a mobile companion app called Tether that can be used to set up the router, parental control software, the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant, and built-in security tools. The router also features two USB 3.0 ports (one Type-A port and one Type-C port)that can be used to connect peripherals to the network.
All of those features, combined with the multitude of GbE ports and Wi-Fi 6 support, should make the Archer AX6000 a compelling option for people seeking reliable performance who don’t necessarily want to break the bank to buy a router with leading-edge technologies.
Archer AX6000 (button)
The best gaming router for wireless gaming
The Linksys Hydra Pro is the best router for wireless gaming because it offers Wi-Fi 6E support as well as mesh networking enabled by the company’s Velop technology.
Pros: Wi-Fi 6E support, 5GbE (WAN), mesh networking support
Cons: Expensive, limited wired connectivity
The Linksys Hydra Pro is the best router for wireless gaming because it complements its support for Wi-Fi 6E with a 5GbE port that should make it easy to take full advantage of the most powerful internet connections. Linksys says it can handle more than 55 connected devices at once with a maximum coverage area of 2,700 square feet and transfer speeds up to 6.6 Gbps. You probably won’t enjoy those speeds at the edge of the router’s coverage area, but Linksys says its Velop Intelligent Mesh technology is “designed to deliver gigabit WiFi speeds to every corner of your home or business,” so even far-flung devices should have fast connections — assuming you’ve built a network of Wi-Fi satellites.
This router’s main downside is its limited wired connections. It only offers four GbE (LAN) ports and a single USB 3.0 Type-A port. That should be enough to connect a few devices — presumably the PC or console you’re planning to play games on — but it does mean you’ll have to be strategic about which devices will enjoy the full benefits of a wired connection. The same goes for the single USB port; whichever peripheral is connected to that slot better earn its spot. If you aren’t planning to connect very many devices to this router via Ethernet, however, its support for Wi-Fi 6E and mesh networking should more than make up for its lack of ports.
Linksys also offers a companion mobile app to manage the Hydra Pro, and the router’s security features can be used to automatically install firmware updates, manage parental control settings, and establish a guest network. With just four external antennas, the router is also less ostentatious than some of the other members of this list, which could be an added benefit for people who don’t want their networking equipment to detract from their decor.
Another considerable downside of the Linksys Hydra Pro is its price. It doesn’t cost quite as much as the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, but it’s pretty close, and both routers cost hundreds of dollars more than the rest of the entries on this list. Whether or not Wi-Fi 6E is currently worth the premium over Wi-Fi 6 will likely be a matter of the Wi-Fi 6E-supporting devices you have or plan to connect to the network in the near future. If you want the best wireless performance possible, however, there’s no denying that Wi-Fi 6E is the way to go.
There’s no denying that the PlayStation 5 is a very big console. It’s not the kind of device you can take everywhere you go – but that doesn’t mean you need to leave your games behind.
PS Remote Play is a free feature that lets you stream your PS5’s screen to a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can also stream to another PS5 or even a PS4. It’s a great way to play your favorite games on the go.
Here’s how to set up Remote Play on your PS5, and then use it to play on a computer, phone, tablet, or another console.
How to use PS5 Remote Play
First, we need to set up Remote Play on the PS5 itself.
1. Turn on your PS5 and open its Settings app by selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home screen.
2. Select System, and then Remote Play.
3. Toggle on the switch next to Enable Remote Play.
4. In the left sidebar, scroll down and select Power Saving, and then Features Available in Rest Mode.
5. Toggle on the switches next to both Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning On PS5 from Network.
1. Once downloaded, open the PS Remote Play app on whichever device you downloaded it to.
2. On the screen that appears, click or tap Sign In to PSN and log into your PlayStation Network account (you just need an account, not a subscription). You might also need to enter a two-step verification code.
3. After you log in, you’ll be given an explanation of how to connect the PS5 controller to your device. You can do that now or later.
4. You’ll be asked which console you want to connect to. Select PS5.
5. Your device will take a few moments to detect, wake, and connect to the PS5. Once it does, your PS5’s screen will appear on your device, along with some on-screen controls. You can control it like this, or connect the DualSense controller.
When you want to quit, just close the Remote Play app. Or if you’re in the mobile app, tap the gear icon and then Disconnect.
Remember that streaming your PS5 to another device takes a lot of internet bandwidth. It won’t work over mobile internet, and even on fast Wi-Fi connections, you should expect some lag and quality drops.
Before you start playing your Nintendo Wii or Wii U, you’ll need to sync your Wii Remote to the console. If you’ve paired headphones to your phone via Bluetooth before, then you’re probably familiar with the general steps.
Here’s how to sync a Wii Remote with a Wii or Wii U, and what to do if they won’t connect.
How to sync your Wii Remote to a Wii
1. Turn on your Wii and open the SD card cover on the front of the console to find the SYNC button. It’s a dark red square.
2. Grab the Wii Remote you want to sync and remove the battery cover to find its SYNC button – a small red button below the batteries.
3. Press and release the SYNC button on the Wii Remote. The four lights on the front of the Wii Remote will blink.
4. While the lights on the Wii Remote are still blinking, press and release the SYNC button on the Wii console.
5. When the four lights on the Wii remote stop blinking and one light remains lit (indicating the player number, one to four), you’ve successfully synced the remote.
Repeat these steps for any additional Wii Remotes. You can pair up to four Wii Remotes with a console at once.
How to sync your Wii Remote to a Wii U
1. With your Wii U turned on, grab the Wii Remote you want to sync and remove its battery cover to find the small red SYNC button. If you have a Wii Remote with a hole in the battery cover that leads to the SYNC button, you can just use that.
2. Press and hold the SYNC button located on the front of the Wii U console for a few seconds until you see the sync menu appear on-screen.
3. Press the SYNC button on the Wii Remote. The four lights on the front of the Remote will start blinking, and once it pairs with the console, only one will remain lit. It’ll also appear on-screen in the 1 box.
Repeat these steps for any other controllers you want to pair. You can sync up to four Wii Remotes to a Wii U, but only one GamePad can be connected at any given time.
How to sync your Wii Remote with a PC
Your Wii Remotes and consoles connect using a Bluetooth connection. This means that your Wii Remotes can be connected to other devices – like computers.
If you want to connect your Wii Remote to your PC – to use it with the Dolphin emulator, for instance – here’s what you’ll do.
1. Open the Control Panel and select Add a device.
2. When your PC starts searching for devices to connect to, press the SYNC button on the back of your Wii Remote.
3. An option will appear in the list of devices labeled Nintendo RVL and a series of letters and numbers. Click this, and then click Next.
4. You’ll be asked for a passcode. Just click Next without entering one.
The game – made in collaboration with Tokyo-based animation firm STUDIO4°C – is playable directly in-browser using the arrow keys and space bar. It stars an adorable calico cat named Lucky who’s able to participate in a variety of sporting events.
A table tennis event and a skateboarding event were standouts in the short time we spent with the game, but there’s a whole bunch more game in there – at least seven games in total, in addition to “extra hidden challenges,” according to Google’s blog post.
If nothing else, do yourself a favor and enjoy the aggressively charming intro video right here:
Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.
Peloton is introducing a new fitness experience with an in-app game, the company announced in a press release this week.
Peloton’s Lanebreak is a gaming feature that transports the “player” to a virtual track to guide a wheel-shaped avatar through obstacles and challenges synchronized to musical beats, with a similar aesthetic to the popular VR game, Beat Saber. The player has the option to choose from a variety of playlists, workouts, and difficulty levels.
Peloton grew in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, while people socially isolated, with its popular trainer-led Peloton classes. Lanebreak is taking the next step in Peloton’s effort to broaden its content for users looking for a different fitness experience.
Players can earn points through staying in the virtual lane, staying within the cadence of the song, and through the energy output during the session, according to The Verge. The longer a player is able to stay on the beat, the more points they can accrue. Riders can later challenge their friends to beat their high score.
“Just like Alex Toussaint would challenge you to finish the last 30 seconds of a tough interval, games offer a way to not only cue you to do so, but to reward you in real time for your actions,” David Packles, senior director of Product Management at Peloton, said in the press release.
The game is currently in the beginning stages of development, but there have already been early play-tests with individual Peloton riders at their homes. A full-beta test is expected to be available to riders later this winter, CNBC reports.
Playpulse, a competitor to Peloton, has already come out with similar gaming features on its bikes with a variety of games already available to its users, but full versions of its games are limited to its premium subscription service.
The PlayStation 5 comes with 825GB of storage space. However, you can only use 667.2GB of that space – the rest is taken up by mandatory system files. This means that if you play a lot of games, it won’t take you long to run out of storage.
Luckily, you aren’t stuck with the default 825GB. If you need more space on your PS5, you can connect an external hard drive and move all your games onto it. You can even play PS4 games straight from the drive, meaning that they never have to take up space on your PlayStation again.
Here’s how to set up an external drive on your PS5 and expand your storage space.
How to set up your PS5’s external storage
Before you start, note that using your hard drive for PS5 storage will erase everything already on the drive. If there’s anything you want to keep, move it somewhere else before connecting your hard drive to the PS5.
1. Turn on your PS5 and plug the hard drive into one of the USB ports on the back. The USB port on the front doesn’t support hard drives.
2. Open your PS5’s Settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home page, and then select Storage.
3. Select USB Extended Storage, and then Format as USB Extended Storage.
Your PlayStation will format the drive and turn it into an extended storage space. Don’t unplug the drive or your PS5 until it’s done.
Once it’s formatted, your hard drive will be linked to the PS5. You can’t use it to store data from other devices until you unpair it from the PS5 (check out the How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage section below for more info).
How to move games to or from your PS5’s external storage
None of your games will move to the drive automatically, although any PS4 game you download from this point on will download onto the drive by default.
While the drive is connected, you can play any PS4 game on it without moving it back. If you want to play a PS5 game that’s stored on it, however, you’ll have to move the game back onto the console first.
To move your existing games, you’ve got two options.
Through the Game Library
1. Open your PS5’s Game Library. You can find it as the right-most option in the list of apps on your home page.
2. Scroll over any game you want to move and press the Options button on your controller.
3. In the menu that appears, select Move to USB Extended Storage.
4. A new menu will appear with a list of all your games, separated into two tabs: Move PS4 Content and Move PS5 Games. Go through these tabs and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.
Through the Settings menu
1. Open the Settings menu and select Storage.
2. If you want to move games onto the hard drive, select Console. If you want to take games off the hard drive, select USB Extended Storage.
3. In either menu, click Games & Apps.
4. The same menu with all your games will appear. Go through them and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.
How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage
Once again, you’ve got two options.
If you want to delete a specific game
1. Open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.
2. Click Games & Apps to open a list of everything on your external hard drive.
3. At the top of the screen, select the Delete Content tab.
4. Select all of the games you want to delete, and then click Delete in the bottom-right corner.
If you want to delete everything on the external hard drive at once
1. Once again, open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.
2. Click the three dots (…) next to the Safely Remove from PS5 option.
3. Select Format as exFAT.
This will erase everything on the drive, and return it to factory default settings. This means that if you want to use it with your PS5 again, you’ll have to set it up from scratch.
This is also the method you’ll use if you want to totally unpair the external hard drive from your PS5 and use it with another device.
China’s Tencent is buying Sumo, the video game developer behind Team Sonic Racing and LittleBigPlanet 3, for nearly $1.3 billion.
Shares in Sumo, of Britain, jumped 42% on Monday to a record high.
Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, is on the hunt to acquire foreign video game developers. It already has stakes in Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, Riot Games, and Ubisoft.
Sumo has accepted Tencent‘s offer of 513 pence (703 cents) cash per share, which values Sumo at £919 million ($1.26 million), the companies said Monday.
Sumo’s games include:
Team Sonic Racing
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Hood: Outlaws & Legends
Tencent already has an 8.75% stake in Sumo, making it the British developer’s second-biggest shareholder, Reuters reported.
If the deal goes through, Sumo will be the latest UK video games company to be purchased for more than $1 billion, following EA’s acquisition of Codemasters in February.
Sumo CEO Cavers said in a statement to Insider: “The three founders of Sumo, who work in the business, Paul Porter, Darren Mills and I are passionate about what we do and are fully committed to continuing in our roles. The opportunity to work with Tencent is one we just couldn’t miss.”
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Gaming keyboards can make or break your game, so we rounded up the best for you to choose from.
The best gaming keyboard overall is the Corsair K100 RGB, combining sheer performance with a deep feature set.
We’ve picked out the best mechanical, optical, and mini keyboards too, meeting every PC gamer’s need.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
When it comes to choosing a gaming keyboard – or even just narrowing down your choices, you might have your work cut out for you. Not only are there several types and sizes encompassing all price points, but every keyboard manufacturer boasts several models and versions as well.
We’re here to make it easier to find the best gaming keyboard for you. We’ve found and tested the best gaming keyboards for every need and even budget. More of an optical switch fan? We’ve got the best out there. Prefer a traditional mechanical keyboard? We found the one lauded by most gamers. Working with a small space? We have our pick of the best mini keyboard as well.
Of course, the final decision is still yours, which is why we’ve also included a short yet detailed guide to choosing the right gaming keyboard just below our list. When you’re done going through our picks, be sure to read through that. By the end of this guide, you’ll know in your gut the one that’s a perfect fit.
If you’re looking for a premium experience, the Corsair K100 RGB brings sheer performance that is only surpassed by its feature set.
Pros: Solid construction, top-notch performance, a host of great features
Cons: More expensive than most, takes up space, bulkier than others
Competitive gamers want the best, and the Corsair K100 RGB is the best. But, even if you’re more about getting the most features for your money, this gaming keyboard is also a win.
We’ve used it on games like Marvel Avengers, Death Stranding, and Cyberpunk 2077 – and it really delivers on performance. Touting Corsair’s impressive OPX switches and Axon Hyper-Processing technology, it boasts a 4,000 polling rate, 1 millimeter (mm) actuation point, and the N-key rollover with anti-ghosting. That means that it’s as fast as it is responsive, which matters in games where every fraction of a second and every key press count.
The Corsair K100 RGB is also one of the most robust and premium feeling gaming keyboards we’ve ever tested. You just know it’s going to survive years of button-mashing and pounding, as well as resist everyday wear and tear, swimmingly while staying elegant-looking and comfortable to use.
What gives the Corsair K100 RGB even more value, however, is its host of incredible features. Corsair really took advantage of its sizable footprint by stuffing it with a whole bunch of useful features.
There are extra media keys and six dedicated macro keys on top of its already fully-programmable design. There’s also a very accessible control dial that lets you cycle through five different functions and adjust their settings.
Passthrough charging via its USB port allows you to attach another device to your rig. And, its RGB lighting is also grouped into 44 zones, so you can get as creative as you’d like without spending too much time on customizations.
To really make it worth your money, Corsair also gave it an 8MB onboard memory so you can create up to 200 key remap, macro and RGB lighting profiles that you can take with you.
K100 RGB (button)
The best mechanical gaming keyboard
Touting premium features without the premium price, the Razer BlackWidow V3 is a terrific and affordably priced mechanical keyboard.
Pros: Great value, solid build, a whole lot of customization options
Cons: Sizable form factor, wrist rest is not comfortable, minimal keycap curvature
If there’s one thing the Razer BlackWidow V3 proves, it’s that those features we don’t pay much attention to really do matter. The minimal curvature in its keycaps and lack of foam on its wrist rest make this keyboard an adjustment to use, especially if you’re upgrading from something that keeps your fingers and wrist resting nice and comfortable.
Still, this full-sized keyboard is much-lauded and for good reason. Those green or yellow mechanical switches are not only very precise and solid with a rating of 80 million keystrokes, but they’re also extremely satisfying to use. In fact, we love typing on this keyboard as much as we love gaming on it. Of course, it’s in gaming where it really shines, boasting a 1,000Hz polling rate and N-key rollover that allows its performance to be as responsive and accurate as its pricier rivals.
There aren’t as many features here, sadly, with Razer putting its focus on making it among the best mechanical keyboards out there. However, it’s not bare-bones either – at that price, it better not be. You’re getting onboard memory for up to five profiles, a multifunction media button, a multifunction roller wheel, and a handy cable routing solution in the back.
Plus, as much as this keyboard belongs in the entry-level category of gaming keyboards due to its more stripped-down approach, it still has a robust set of customization options to match its excellent performance. Via the Razer Synapse software, you can personalize its RGB lighting (though not per-key), program per-key remaps and macros, and take full advantage of Razer’s Hypershift feature that basically gives you a whole new set of shortcuts and key reassignments.
Razer then rounds those out with the BlackWidow V3‘s keycaps and matte aluminum body, both of which feel like they can take their share of beating. Speaking of those keycaps, they’re labeled using a doubleshot molding process, which means you’ll never wear those letters off no matter how much button-mashing you do.
BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (button)
The best optical gaming keyboard
The Roccat Vulcan Pro packs robust performance and solid build in a beautiful and elegant design. If you’re looking for an optical option, you’ll fall in love with this one.
Pros: Aircraft-grade aluminum body, thin and light, excellent performance
Cons: Hard wrist rest, keypresses may take some getting used to
We cannot deny that we’re big fans of Roccat’s gaming accessories. The manufacturer has a knack for producing luxurious peripherals that masterfully combine robust performance and rugged build with sexier aesthetics.
The Roccat Vulcan Pro certainly doesn’t fall far from that high-class tree, and is the best performing and best feeling optical gaming keyboard we’ve ever used.
Optical keyboards are generally considered to be faster and more durable than the traditional mechanical ones. However, they tend to also have a bit more resistance. If you’re unfamiliar with optical switches, you should do your due diligence before buying.
If, however, you are a fan, then the Roccat Vulcan Pro is the one to get. We love the bounce its keys offer, as much as we do the curvature of those keycaps that are incredibly effective in keeping our fingers in place.
Gaming on this thing is a pleasure, which isn’t surprising. After all, it boasts an actuation point of 1.4mm, which is much shorter than other premium keyboards, a 1,000Hz polling rate, and a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 based processor for incredibly fast responses. And, its Titan optical switches are rated at 100 million keystrokes.
As far as features, you’re getting an onboard memory to save five profiles in, a set of mixer-style audio controls, and a detachable wrist rest that magnetically snaps onto the keyboard.
It’s beauty and brains in one, and there’s certainly a lot of beauty here. The floating keys on an aluminum plate aesthetic are designed to let that customizable RGB light up like the Rockefeller Christmas tree. And, even though it is a full-sized keyboard, its 3.20cm-thin profile makes it feel less in your face. So much so you won’t be embarrassed to use this at the office, especially because those keys are also elegantly quiet.
Vulcan Pro (button)
The best customizable gaming keyboard
Perhaps the most feature-rich and most customizable gaming keyboard we’ve ever tested, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog makes gaming incredibly seamless and easy.
Cons: Pricey, a bit of a learning curve with some features, heavy
The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog isn’t what most would call cheap, but it’s also among the best value gaming keyboards out there thanks to its treasure trove of features.
We’re not just referring to its unbelievably plush wrist rest that magnetically snaps onto the keyboard and makes your wrists feel like they’re resting on clouds or the USB passthrough that offers another port to which you can connect other peripherals or the underglow RGB lighting that extends to the wrist rest. Although those do add to this keyboard’s appeal.
Most importantly for gamers, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is incredibly customizable, offering per-key adjustments and remapping like you’ve never seen on other keyboards. Via the Razer Synapse software, you can toggle each key’s actuation point from 1.5mm, which is the default, to 3.6mm, so the keyboard responds to your presses exactly how you want it.
That’s nothing, however, next to the keyboard’s dual-step actuation function, which actually lets you assign two different functions at two different actuation points on the same key. It’s an incredibly nifty feature to have, as it gives you the ability to press fewer keys for similar game actions.
A great, if basic, example of this would be to keep the W key’s default forward action at 1.5mm actuation point while assigning the run action as its secondary function at 3.5mm in games like Valheim. It essentially eliminates the need for extra key presses and makes your gaming experience much more seamless, mimicking the dynamism of analog gamepads.
Of course, essentials like customizable RGB lighting, macro recording – which can be done on-the-fly, onboard memory for up to five profiles, media keys, and robust doubleshot PBT keycaps are on hand as well. That’s not to mention its super responsive and accurate performance thanks to its 1,000Hz polling rate, optical switches and N-key roll-over with anti-ghosting.
Huntsman V2 Analog (button)
The best TKL gaming keyboard
The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro stands out by combining elegance and style with sheer performance and durability, making it our tenkeyless champion.
Pros: Compact form factor, quiet operation, short actuation distance
Cons: Pricey, FN shortcuts take a bit of adjustment, bouncy feedback not for everyone
If you want the best tenkeyless (TKL; lacking a number pad) gaming keyboard, take a look at the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro, which is among our favorite gaming keyboards at the moment.
This optical option takes the classy route with its elegant and stunning aesthetic that features a floating keys approach on a brushed gunmetal finish. The whole thing seems to be designed to allow its customizable RGB lighting to shine brilliantly, which it does even in broad daylight.
Don’t let that elegant exterior fool you. The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is as robust as they come, boasting aircraft-grade aluminum and optical switches that are rated at 100 million keystrokes.
Speaking of those optical switches, they are Roccat’s Titan optical switches, renowned for not just being durable but also for being extremely responsive. With an actuation distance of 1.4mm, you don’t have to press those keys all the way for them to register — and accurately, we might add. In fact, we’ve typed up a song verse on this keyboard with very light presses, and it did not miss a single key. Combined with its 1,000Hz polling rate, you’ll find this keyboard a huge advantage when gaming.
Because it’s incredibly quiet, you’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that you can game late at night and not piss off your roommate with all the button-mashing.
Don’t worry about the more compact form factor, either. Its Function (FN) key shortcuts allow for quick access to media controls, settings, or RGB lighting presets, while the Roccat Swarm software lets you adjust keyboard settings, program key remaps and macros, and fine-tune the RGB lighting. There might just be an adjustment period — it’s the price you pay for compactness. However, you definitely won’t be missing out on full keyboard functionalities.
Vulcan TKL Pro (button)
The best 60% gaming keyboard
The Corsair K65 RGB Mini packs the performance, feel, and customization of the company’s flagship keyboards into this tiny 60% keyboard.
Pros: Very small form factor, fast performance, quality build
Cons: No dedicated arrow keys, software not user-friendly, thicker than most 60% keyboards
TKL and mini keyboards seem to be the latest trend in gaming keyboards, and for good reason. The Corsair K65 RGB Mini, for example, packs most of the quality, performance, and customization of the Corsair K100 RGB in one of the smallest form factors out there – 11.6 x 4.14 x 1.74 inches to be exact.
Performance-wise, it has an impressive 8,000Hz polling rate with a 1.2mm actuation distance, as well as N-key rollover and anti-ghosting. Essentially, it can keep up with you, whether you’re bashing away in Sayonara Wild Hearts or the latest stress-inducing e-sports game.
The Corsair K65 RGB Mini is also fully customizable. You can create a Macro for every key via the iCue software. And RGB customization is versatile, letting you cycle and adjust through a number of presets or use up to 20 different lighting layers to create your own psychedelic effects. Plus, thanks to 8MB onboard memory, you can take up to 50 profiles of customization on the road. All this versatility comes at a price however, since the iCue software comes with a learning curve.
A 60% size keyboard also comes with some inherent drawbacks. Only the most necessary keys are included. However, Corsair was clever enough to include a ton of built-in shortcuts to make up for all the missing keys you would have on a full keyboard. Still, having to press FN plus the H, J, K, or U for the arrow keys makes us miss dedicated arrow keys.
Luckily, there’s not much else to complain about. The Corsair K65 RGB Mini‘s profile might be thicker than other 60% keyboards but it is a tank. It looks and feels top quality from the durable key caps down to the removable USB-C cable.
K65 RGB Mini (button)
The best wireless gaming keyboard
It doesn’t just go by looks alone, however. Despite being one of the thinnest gaming keyboards out there, it also feels robust, its aluminum alloy top case supported by a steel-reinforced base. Meanwhile, its GL switches feel like they can take their share of button mashing.
There are a lot of other things to love here. Though it may not have an expansive feature set, it does come with its share. Those dedicated media keys, all round in shape, as well as the volume dial, are definitely useful additions. Meanwhile, the dedicated wireless, Bluetooth, game mode, and RGB brightness buttons are a boon to multitaskers who either use two devices at once or want to go from being productive to gaming in seconds.
Because, honestly, you’ll love using this keyboard for typing up documents and writing those work emails as much as you would gaming with it. Combining a 1 millisecond response time and 1.5mm actuation distance with its satisfying tactile feedback, it’s just as comfortable to use for work as it is responsive and accurate for gaming.
Of course, being our top wireless contender, there are a few noteworthy things here. It has two connectivity options — one via its Lightspeed USB receiver, the other via Bluetooth. This is something we often see with Logitech’s wireless keyboards, but it isn’t something we often see with wireless gaming keyboards.
While Logitech didn’t specify its Lightspeed USB receiver’s range, we’ve used this keyboard six to seven meters away from the laptop it’s connected to in another room with the door closed, and it didn’t miss a single keypress.
G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB (button)
The best gaming keyboard for less than $50
The Corsair K55 RGB may cost less than $50, but it still looks like a fully-featured gaming keyboard and boasts many of the same features.
Pros: Cheap, RGB lighting, customizable keys
Cons: Keys aren’t mechanical, not fully programmable,
This is the third time Corsair has featured on this list, though for good reason. Not only does the company build excellent top-tier keyboards, it also builds great affordable keyboards for the gamer on a budget. The best of those is the Corsair K55 RGB, which comes in at less than $50.
The Corsair K55 RGB, as the name suggests, offers full RGB lighting, making it look much more expensive than it really is. It also boasts a total of six programmable buttons, which can be programmed through the same great software you’ll get with the K95 Platinum. It also has dedicated media controls, and well-built keys.
So why is the keyboard so cheap? Well, those keys may be well-built, but they’re not mechanical keys, and as such, they may not be as satisfying to press or durable as other gaming keyboards.
Still, that doesn’t make this a bad keyboard, it’s just something to keep in mind.
K55 RGB (button)
When it comes to buying computer peripherals, gamers often need something a little higher quality than everyone else. After all, when you’re gaming, every millisecond counts, and the feel of a keyboard and mouse can have a pretty major effect on a gamer’s performance. Those are the things we test when deciding whether or not a particular gaming keyboard is a worthy addition to this list.
In terms of performance, we typically see what a gaming keyboard does in the face of the latest popular games, playing a good mix of game genres on it. For example, we tested our most current picks above on AAA games, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Resident Evil Village, as well as lower-budget but equally popular titles, like Valheim and It Takes Two. Of course, since most people often just use the same keyboard for productivity as they do for gaming, we’ve done our fair share of typing up emails and articles on these picks as well, which also helped us gauge each one’s comfort level, tactile feedback, and overall typing experience.
We also make sure to test the software every keyboard utilizes for customizations, especially when it comes to macros, remaps, and RGB lighting. After all, many gamers rely on those supporting apps to improve their gaming experience. Naturally, if a gaming keyboard is wireless, we test its range and amount of latency as well, typically by taking it as far as we can from the PC it’s connected to or in another room and using it like we normally would. Finally, we test specific features as well — for example, if a keyboard has some specifically for MMORPG and MOBA, we make sure to utilize such features for such online multiplayer games.