Actions per minute (APM) is a useful metric to improve in some real-time strategy and fighting games. Gaming keyboards can help increase your APM through macro creation and extra buttons.
Are you aiming for a 300+ APM score? Check out some of the best gaming keyboards to increase your APM in 2020.
The Keyboards at a Glance:
Das Keyboard 4 Professional Gaming Laptop | Credit: daskeyboard.com
Many of the gaming keyboards on this list are borrowing their design from Das Keyboard. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is the latest in this line of amazing mechanical keyboards. Das Keyboards use Cherry MX switches and feature dedicated media controls and an over-sized volume knob.
The anodized aluminum panel feels sturdy, and no drivers are required to start using this mechanical keyboard. Hate all the drivers and software that come with gaming keyboards? Opt-out of that without sacrificing function with this keyboard.
Razer Cynosa Chroma RGB | Credit: razer.com
Mechanical keyboards aren't for everyone. The Razer Cynosa Chroma features soft membrane keys. These tend to be a little mushier than mechanical keyboards, but the Razer Cynosa Chroma doesn't have that problem.
The keyboard itself has better housing support than traditional rubber dome keyboards. That keeps each keypress feeling solid, rather than wobbly, like most membrane keyboards. Every single key on the Cynosa Chroma is reprogrammable with macros using Razer Synapse.
Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Keyboard | Credit: logitechg.com
The Logitech G915 Lightspeed is one of the first genuinely wireless mechanical keyboards available. Logitech uses custom mechanical switches that feel slightly different from Cherry MX switches. GL Clicky, GL Tactile, and GL Linear are similar to Cherry MX switches, but the switch itself is smaller. The design of the keyboard is an ultra-thin 22mm.
Logitech says its LightSpeed wireless technology is what makes this ultra-responsive mechanical keyboard possible. The keyboard features a 1ms response, making it just as fast as a wired keyboard. The G915 keyboard is also fully functional when charging via USB cable.
Roccat Vulcan 122 Aimo Mechanical Gaming Keyboard | Credit: roccat.org
Roccat has moved away from featuring Cherry MX switches in its keyboards in favor of in-house design. The Roccat Vulcan is the first keyboard to feature its in-house Titan Switches.
The switches feel different from Cherry MX colors, but that's not a bad thing. They feature 1.8mm actuation available in both tactile and silent. Roccat says the keycaps for the Vulcan are 50% lighter than traditional double-shot PBT keycaps. Also, every single key on the Vulcan is remappable using Roccat's software.
The keyboard itself features a detachable palm rest and dedicated media keys with a smooth volume knob.
Logitech G Pro X Gaming Keyboard | Credit: logitechg.com
The Logitech G Pro X features user-swappable GX mechanical switches. It's available in GX Blue Clicky, GX Red Linear, or GX Brown Tactile. You can instantly swap your switches based on the game you're playing. Prefer clicky switches for typing and tactile switches for gaming? It's possible to have both with the Logitech G Pro X.
The G Pro X features a tenkeyless design to make it ultra-light and portable. The keyboard's rubber feet are also adjustable to three different angles for comfort while gaming and typing.
Asus ROG Strix Scope Gaming Keyboard | Credit: asus.com
The ASUS ROG Strix Scope keyboard borrows much of its design inspiration from Corsair's keyboards. ASUS says its keyboard is for FPS gamers, with a wider CTRL key and 'greater FPS precision.'
A quick toggle switch offers instant switching between a typing profile and a gaming profile. It quickly switches the keyboard's Function keys from their media or keyboard functions. The keyboard also features a stealth key, which hides all apps and mutes all audio.
Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard | Credit: razer.com
Razer also moved away from Cherry MX switches on its mechanical keyboards. The new Razer Huntsman Elite features their new Razer Optical Switch – available in Clicky Purple and Linear Red. Razer says the optical sensor included in its switches allows the keypress to happen instantly.
Razer's Clicky Purple switches have an actuation point of 1.5mm, much less than Cherry MX switches. Its Linear Red switch features an actuation point of just 1.0mm. It's the shortest of the linear mechanical switches featured on any keyboard.
The Huntsman Elite also features a dedicated multi-function digital dial and three media keys. Each of these is also programmable using Razer's Synapse software.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Gaming Keyboard | Credit: hyperxgaming.com
The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB takes a lot of inspiration from Corsair's mechanical keyboard design. It features a solid steel frame and media controls and a volume wheel in a similar position as the Corsair keyboard. The HyperX NGenuity software allows any key to be reprogrammed with macros. The keyboard itself supports up to three profiles so that you can have a custom gaming profile.
Cherry MX switches to power the keyboard, with options for blue, brown, or red key switches. The keyboard also features a wrist rest and extra keys with a textured top for WASD and the arrow keys.
Corsair K95 Platinum XT Gaming Keyboard | Credit: corsair.com
The Corsair K95 Platinum XT is one of the best mechanical keyboards for gamers who want higher APM. It features six programmable macro keys that are just to the left of the CTRL-key. These buttons are easy to hit and can be programmed with a variety of functions. Give yourself an advantage in-game by writing a macro to perform commonly completed actions.
The keyboard itself features an anodized aluminum frame with a 104/105-key setup. The keys are made from double-shot PBT plastic to reduce wear and tear on the keys. The Corsair K95 uses Cherry MX Silver switches with a linear 1.2mm actuation. A palm rest and a smooth volume wheel with media controls round out this keyboard's features.
SteelSeries Apex Pro Gaming Keyboard | Credit: steelseries.com
The SteelSeries Apex Pro offers adjustable mechanical switches for per-key sensitivity settings. It's the first of its kind feature on any mechanical keyboard. SteelSeries says the Apex Pro uses an OmniPoint Switch with a 0.4mm actuation point. But that actuation point can be adjusted from 0.4mm up to 3.6mm to the gamer's preference.
It's the ultimate mechanical keyboard experience, with individually adjustable switches. The Apex Pro also features a built-in OLED smart display for adjusting settings, changing profiles, and displaying updates. It's also compatible with Discord, to show the name of the current speaker and view text messages. Custom macros can adjust actuation distance on the fly.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of mechanical keyboard choices for 2020. If you prefer tuning your keyboard to your experience, you may prefer the SteelSeries. Gamers who prefer dedicated macro keys should look at Corsair's offerings.
Each of the keyboards highlighted on this list will help increase your APM. How much your APM increases depends on the macros you write for your game.