The 10 Best Gaming Keyboards For PS4
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Sony's PlayStation 4 is one of the top gaming platforms in the world, and its accompanying controller is regarded as one of the best available for consoles. But there are quite a few instances where an actual keyboard makes input much easier. These PS4-compatible selections make it simple to navigate menus, log into accounts, and issue scathing, text-based trash talk. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 29, 2020:
We wanted to update our ranking here as much as possible, and in doing so, we found it necessary to remove the likes of the Rottay TH-306 and the Logitech K400 Plus, neither of which offered the kind of performance for their price that others could. That gave us the room to include the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro in addition to the upgraded Razer Cynosa V2.
Now, by most metrics, the BlackWidow is the superior keyboard, but it took a back seat to the Cynosa for three primary reasons. First, the Cynosa is spill-resistant, and nothing spoils a brand new keyboard like a bath in Jolt Cola. The second reason is that the BlackWidow sports a USB Type-C connection, which would be a bonus in any other grouping, but here it necessitates a wireless connection to the console, as the PS4 does not have any USB-C ports. It is a forward looking choice for anyone planning to upgrade to the PS5 when it comes out, as it looks like that will have USB-C ports, but if you're sticking with the PS4 it might not be the smartest buy. Third is the price, which is quite a bit higher than many other models, and which — when taken into account with the slightly limited PS4 connectivity — knocked it out of a top spot.
We also saw upgrades in the Redragon K589 Shrapnel, which is an expanded model offering 104 keys to its predecessor's 87 (mostly through the addition of a numeric keypad), and in the HyperX Alloy Elite 2, which may be the best-rounded gaming model for the most reasonable price considering its specs. Its added features, like an RGB light bar and a convenient volume wheel, put it over the top.
January 07, 2019:
Most PS4 games don't natively support keyboard use, but there are a few titles that do. Aside from just gameplay, having a quality typing surface helps with navigation, setup, chat, and web browsing. If you're looking for an ultra-reliable unit that you can customize with new keycaps down the road, it's hard to beat anything by Royal Kludge, while the miniature option listed from Gamers Digital is perfect if you want to let your thumbs do the talking in the middle of a match. Redragon makes a slew of respectable models, and the Visnu here is one of the few overall that claims IP67 dust- and waterproofing. Logitech's wireless releases are great all-in-one solutions, as they're also ideal for maneuvering various streaming apps and media collections. Razer, HyperX, and to an extent, Rottay, are all renowned for their high-level construction and switches, and should realistically provide better performance than the PS4 can even take advantage of.
WASD V3 104-Key Custom This company allows you to customize a tremendous amount of your keyboard, starting with the switch type, a list of which includes everything from Cherry MX Blues to Silvers, as well as a Zealio 67G option. You can choose your board and key color, print specific legends on the keycaps for other languages or programs like Illustrator or Photoshop, and even add sound dampeners if you prefer. A full custom job will cost you, but if you're using it daily, it might be worth it. wasdkeyboards.com
The Best-Selling Console Family Ever
The first PlayStation was released on September 9, 1995 to critical acclaim.
The PlayStation is one of the most iconic gaming consoles in history, and it almost didn't happen. After Nintendo unexpectedly backed out of a contract to co-produce a next-generation console, Sony officials were stunned, and spent years trying to enter the market. When Ken Kutaragi pitched the idea to the board of directors, CEO Norio Ohga decided on his own that this project would put Sony on the path to redemption against their fellow Japanese electronics powerhouse.
The first PlayStation was released on September 9, 1995 to critical acclaim. Sony had amassed an impressive number of third-party software developers, so there was no shortage of new 3-dimensional worlds to explore on the new console. In fact, the massive library of games has always been a hallmark of the PlayStation line. The year 2000 saw the introduction of the PlayStation 2, which has since gone on to become the best-selling console of all time. The third-generation console reached over 87 million units, while the PS4 has topped 100 million. All told, the PlayStation family has sold over 400 million units, and there's reason to believe Sony may add quite a bit to those numbers before all is said and done.
Take Every Advantage Possible
Console controllers are relatively easy to learn, but they aren't perfect. There are only so many buttons on the Dual Sock 4, any many games have hotkeys, navigational options, and other control options that controllers simply don’t have room for. Plus, they don’t really allow for the best fast-twitch reaction times.
Second, they usually let you take advantage of the auto-aim functions that are intended to benefit those using handheld controllers.
Keyboards, on the other hand, have always been an integral part of installing and operating the newest and most complex computer software. They once used serial and PS/2 ports to connect – no, not that PS/2, but rather a 5-pin connector commonly found on home PCs decades ago. Now, of course, we have the universal serial bus, and in this particular instance, the PS4 just so happens to use the same Type-A connector as the vast majority of keyboards.
There are two ways to use a keyboard on the PS4. Most work fine when plugged directly into the PlayStation; if you’re mainly concerned with streamlining text entry and menu navigation, then you have plenty of options to choose from. The major caveat to native keyboard support is that few games have it. There are some very popular titles on the list, but there's no guarantee that your favorite game offers a plug-and-play keyboard experience. If you have your heart set on 104-key control of a particular game, though, there is another option.
There’s a handful of adapters available that translate your keystrokes into controller-friendly signals, simulating keyboard support on nearly any title you choose. This offers two distinct gameplay advantages. First, adapters let you program macros, which can make complex in-game actions especially easy. Second, they usually let you take advantage of the auto-aim functions that are intended to benefit those using handheld controllers. If the first advantage is somewhat controversial, the second is downright scandalous. If you play a lot of multiplayer games, be aware that using a keyboard may be either frowned upon or even banned, depending on the developer's programming decisions. In tournament and professional play, you can rest assured that you won't allowed to use a mouse or keyboard.
What You’re Plugging In
Keyboards, of course, come in many shapes and sizes. The cheapest ones generally use a membrane for resistance and a large, flat matrix of connections pressed onto a thin-film transistor. These are inexpensive, quiet, and rather durable, but they aren’t ideal for gaming. They tend to offer a mushy feel, inconsistent travel distance, and mostly unsatisfying tactile experience. Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly get by with a membrane keyboard, but if you’re serious about gaming, consider a mechanical keyboard.
They tend to offer a mushy feel, inconsistent travel distance, and mostly unsatisfying tactile experience.
Mechanical keyboards have a separate switch for every single key, and there are quite a few types of switches to choose from. Cherry’s well-known MX line of switches brought color-coded parts that exhibited different characteristics such how much noise they make and how much force they require to active. The tactile feel is another one of the most important parts of a switch’s profile. The classic Cherry MX Red, for example, is a linear switch, meaning there’s no tactile bump or click during its entire operation. This is especially great for gaming because it can cut milliseconds off your commands, and in many high-intensity games such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive, a few milliseconds can mean life or death. While the industry was first dominated by Cherry, gamers (and typists) have a variety of switch choices today, with additional companies like Kailh and Razer producing a range of interchangeable models with varying actuation forces, sounds, and appearances.
There are a couple more reasons why it’s important to find a performance-oriented keyboard. Cheap typing surfaces are sometimes unable to pick up more than a few keystrokes at once, but gaming-focused devices usually offer what’s called n-key rollover, which means you can press any number of keys (“n”) at once, and it should register all of them. If you’re playing an MMO, consider one that can store its own onboard macros, which can really help you out in complex games such as RPGs. From a functional standpoint, many high-quality keyboards are built to resist damage from splashes, spills, and debris; some, in fact, even claim to be waterproof. Also, it usually doesn’t hurt to have a backlight, and cosmetically speaking, fancy RGB lighting has never been more effective than it is now.
You can look to major office equipment manufacturers for gaming peripherals if you’d like, but the truth is, there are many smaller companies out there that do very interesting things with performance keyboards, and their products often cost significantly less.