Includes a built-in mouse pad on the right for the most convenient setup, although you can disconnect the pad. Keyboard has high-end backlighting features that you can configure to meet your needs. Made of high-quality materials.
Expensive. Some find key responsiveness a little disappointing considering the higher price.
Keys have a blue backlight with 6 brightness settings. Includes 3 programmable keys near the space bar for special gaming functions. You can connect other ROCCAT devices to the unit and control them with the keyboard.
May be too cluttered with programmable keys for some people's needs.
You can illuminate each individual key differently for extreme customization. Includes processors and flash memory in the keyboard for fast recall of settings. With the shift-plus feature, you can assign a secondary function to any key.
Price is higher than average. Software can be tough to learn to use to its fullest.
Users enjoy 6 backlight brightness levels as well as red, green, or blue color options. Offers 3 dozen programmable macro keys, including 3 near the space bar. Pressure-sensitive keys for additional gaming options.
Software could perform better and be easier to use. Tough to dial in best results for pressure-sensitive keys.
Uses shift-plus technology so you can easily program 3 dozen macro keys. Additional macro keys near the space bar for use with thumb. Has a comfortable wrist rest for long gaming sessions. Backlight has 6 brightness levels.
Some keys seem to stick after using the keyboard for a while. Software could work better.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
The gaming industry is worth over $100 billion, and chances are you’re a part of it — whether you play games on your phone or enjoy multiplayer video games. Early games like Pong have evolved into full-blown MMOs, such as first-person shooters like Call of Duty and battle royales like Fortnite. PC gaming now dominates up to 30% of the market, and if you want to play, you need a gaming keyboard. ROCCAT makes some of the best.
It’s no surprise that ROCCAT delivers keyboard technology that is on par with the rapidly developing game industry. Its keyboards are built for intense gameplay, with the splendor of a fully customizable experience. Gamers can set hot keys and macros and build entire key layouts around a character’s skills. Advanced n-key technology improves accuracy and precision even with rapid keystrokes. ROCCAT also brings the best in comfort with its ergonomic design and wrist rests.
Whether you’re a casual gamer or serious esports competitor, ROCCAT keyboards will exceed your expectations. Our shopping guide takes you through the basics, including a few of our favorites.
Selecting the right ROCCAT keyboard depends on the level of programmability and customization your gaming experience requires. Casual gamers who play infrequently can enjoy one of ROCCAT’s less-expensive models. At this level, customization is more a preference than a necessity. For more advanced or competitive gamers, the range of options is important to accommodate as many games and in-game features as possible.
ROCCAT keyboards are designed to be used with most PC games, though some are more suited to certain types of games than others. You play first-person shooters, MMOs, and battle royales differently. An advanced key layout and the level of programmability can maximize and transform your gameplay experience.
Keyboards come in two styles: mechanical and membrane. The ROCCAT keyboards we examined were mostly mechanical, although some models feature the option to choose between the styles.
Mechanical: Mechanical keyboards use switches to send signals as you type so they record every keystroke. They are more tactile and responsive, meaning it takes less effort for a keystroke to register. This is sometimes described as a keyboard’s degree of “clickiness.”
ROCCAT leverages this feature in mechanical keyboards with n-key technology, so commands perform in the order in which they’re keyed. Mechanical keyboards also have a longer lifespan due to better construction with higher-quality components. Individual keys can be removed for easy cleaning and maintenance, too.
ROCCAT keyboards feature n-key rollover, also known as an anti-ghosting function. This technology registers every keystroke, regardless of the speed or how many keys are pressed simultaneously. N-key rollover is an important feature for gamers, particularly those who engage in dungeons, raids, or player-versus-player (PvP) matches. Some characters have unique moves that are executed through a combination or succession of keys as opposed to a single keystroke.
ROCCAT keyboards are as attractive as they are functional, thanks to the backlit keys. Some gamers opt for backlit models for the aesthetics, while others configure the feature to coordinate with commands. The illumination aspect also aids visibility, because the icons, letters, and numbers are lit up instead of being painted on the keys. It’s a smart design, especially considering paint or stickers wear away with extended use.
Another ROCCAT keyboard feature appreciated by gamers is the programmability. This provides the user with the ability to set up commands and hot keys throughout the board. Not only does it allow gamers to reach frequently-hit keys with ease by assigning them to a new area, it provides the flexibility to experiment with popular key clusters as well.
A wrist rest is a standard feature on most ROCCAT keyboards, and some are detachable. It’s typically constructed of the same dense material as the rest of the keyboard. While they’re not soft or gel-lined like the wrist rests on some other keyboards, they’re designed with superior comfort in mind. According to some gamers, the benefit of a firm wrist rest is that hands don’t sink or shift during gameplay.
ROCCAT’s Swarm software, a peripheral management system, lets users customize settings not only for keyboards but also for other compatible ROCCAT devices. Once installed on your computer, you can control illumination effects, set macros and hot keys, and define commands on your keyboard. ROCCAT also has an Swarm app to view settings on your phone.
While there aren’t too many colors available for ROCCAT’s keyboards, certain models have unique color combinations to distinguish them from the rest. Some feature two-tone styles that contrast the keys with the rest of the board, and others simply rely on the backlight feature for color variety. For backlit models, the light is either limited to one or two colors or spans the color wheel through an illumination transition feature.
ROCCAT offers keyboards for gamers of all levels. Prices range from $60 to $160 and depend on the number of features you need.
Inexpensive: At the lower end of the range, you can find an illuminated keyboard with a fair amount of programmable features, though the construction is lower quality. These keyboards will withstand gameplay but could have a shorter lifespan than others.
Mid-range: The $90 to $125 range delivers more advanced programmability, as well as a variety of backlight colors and brightness levels. These keyboards are also better constructed with sturdier materials, some with reinforced power cables.
Expensive: The keyboards in the $130 to $180 range are top performers whose designs set them apart from the less-expensive keyboards in ROCCAT’s product line. In addition to top-grade materials, such as aluminum plates, these keyboards have the highest level of programmability.
Program macros for games you play often. You can customize your experience for each game you play. You can save them in ROCCAT Swarm, and you’ll be able to transition between games in seconds instead of reprogramming every time.
Check keys to see they’re properly secured. Keyboard keys sometimes pop up slightly without coming off completely, which can affect your keystrokes during a game. Gently brush your hand across the board to locate any unsecured keys. This usually does the trick, but if you still can’t feel any lifted keys, get eye level with the keyboard and look up toward the top corners to see if any keys look out of place.
Try left-handed key settings. If you’re left-handed, visit gaming forums to see if there are any recommended settings or layouts that are more comfortable for southpaw players.
Defer to professional gamers for keyboard hacks. Professional gamers, such as the ones active on Twitch and social media, often share gaming hacks. They include ways to program keys for optimal gameplay, particularly in new releases.
Clean your keyboard. It’s not unusual for dust to accumulate beneath the keys. Use a can of compressed air to clean the keyboard regularly. For some models, you can gently remove the keys for a more thorough cleaning. As for cleaning products, ROCCAT has guidelines and best practices on its website.
Drink from weighted glasses. If you insist on drinking around your computer, cut down on spills by drinking from heavier glasses or mugs. Flimsy cups, cans, or bottles are easily spilled, so make sure you have good-quality, weighted beverage containers.
ROCCAT has about ten keyboards in its product line, and its Vulcan 100 Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard is an impressive member of the family. This model was built to last through marathon gaming sessions. It has a DJ-turntable feel with a futuristic aluminum board and pronounced volume dial. The simple design has well-engineered keys with the tactile Titan Switch technology, exclusively designed by ROCCAT to make this mechanical keyboard one of the most responsive on the market.
At the higher end of ROCCAT’s price range, the Vulcan includes — and improves upon — the best of the company’s other keyboards. We’re also fans of the ROCCAT Suora FX RGB Frameless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It’s a decent streamlined model without the additional surface area of extended key areas or wrist rest. Some gamers like the metal base, citing the keyboard doesn’t slide across the desk during a game. It’s ideal for gamers who like to keep it simple but still want to enjoy the benefits of programmability and illumination.
Q. Can I use my ROCCAT keyboard with a macOS?
A. Yes, some ROCCAT keyboards, although the Swarm software isn’t compatible with macOS yet. That means you can still use the keyboard, but you’ll be unable to use some of the programmable features.
Q. Can I change the language of my keyboard, or do I need to buy a separate one? Mine is in American English.
A. If you’d like to use foreign characters or symbols with your keyboard, you don’t need to purchase a new one. Simply adjust the language settings on your computer to accommodate them, either by switching the language format or by programming individual keys. The ROCCAT website also lists different layout options for various languages.
Q. Do I have to program my keys for every game I play?
A. You don’t have to, since game tutorials typically tell you which keys perform certain moves. If you’d like to change the commands or set hot keys, you can usually do it right in the game as opposed to changing your PC keyboard settings.