Best Gaming Keypads 2020
Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
With the computer hardware market evolving so rapidly, everyone wants the best gaming keypads that will ensure and guarantee not just performance but longevity as well.
Be it a disability or just a matter of personal preference, gaming keypads ensure that no one is left behind.
Top 10 Best Gaming Keypads 2020
The design and performance of these keypads are largely focused on providing the best performance to the users.
And due to the nature of their design, you may even call it a one-handed keyboard.
Important Read: Best Gaming Keyboard 2020
Choosing a new product brings about several new factors into play that you must consider, and no one wants to end up regretting their choice.
To aid you in choosing the right keypad, we’ve compiled some of the best gaming keypads in 2020 that will put you on the top. Without any further delay, let’s get started.
Design and Build
It is absolutely important that the best keypad for gaming check all boxes and the Tartarus does just that.
Despite being rather small in size, it has 32 programmable keys with matte black plastic finishing. Like the previous Nostromo keypad, the Tartarus also consists of an adjustable palm rest with faux leather padding. Additionally, there is also an 8-way directional thumb pad which allows for more neutral controls for navigation. Of course, Razer being Razer has thrown in that extra RGB flair as well.
Razer has equipped the Tartarus V2 with Razer’s Mecha-Membrane Technology instead of simple mechanical switches. In all honesty, that is the only place where the Tartarus V2 might lack behind for some. Mecha-Mechanical switches mimic the feel of the clicky mechanical switches but it’s just not that. The 32 keys are fully programmable and are made even more fun with a feature called, “Hypershift”.
Just like all of Razer’s products and peripherals, the Tartarus V2 is governed by Razer’s Synapse software. Through the Synapse software, you can customize the different programmable keys by assigning macros, remapping and rebinding and much more. Tartarus V2’s keys, like most Razer products, have individual RGB LEDs mounted under them. That lets you customize the RGB effects with 16.8 million colors at your disposal. With the Hypershift mode, the 32 keys are switched into a different set which you can program based on your personal liking.
The Tartarus V2 is the best “one-handed keyboard” that you can get in 2020. Razer has made significant improvements over their previous keypads and the Tartarus just about gets everything right. With all of these perks, the price is very decent.
Logitech G13 Pad - Keypad with a Display
- LCD panel at the top to monitor stats and change macros on the fly.
- 25 programmable keys with a left hand oriented joystick.
- It has on-board memory and can store 5 profiles.
- Features customizable backlighting.
- It comes with a 7-foot long cable.
Design and Build
With 25 programmable keys, the G13 is also a very customizable option for one-handed gaming. The keys are molded into a slightly curved shape to make them more easy to press and reach. The G13 has a rubber palm and wrist rest, however, there isn’t much padding about them. On the side lies a joystick and two buttons that can be reprogrammed. The main highlight of the G13 is, of course, the LCD panel. The panel can be used to have CPU stats displayed, changing macros on the fly and much more.
Logitech’s G13 has 25 programmable keys along with three different profiles for the keys. The contoured keys help match the curvature of the G13 keypad. While gaming, you need to reach the buttons instantly and therefore, the curvature helps achieve that. It makes it a good gaming keypad for games like Fortnite. The four center keys are mapped to WASD by default but that can be changed as well.
There are a few rough spots here and there but the G13 is a very well built and great performing keypad. The G13 will come to you with an installation disc containing the software which you’ll need to install as there is no plug and play functionality. It does have on-board memory to save your profiles but the software is needed anyway. The LCD panel will display any important stats that you might need to monitor without switching tabs.
The Logitech G13 has a few quirks that set it back but they’re minor compared to what it gets right. The G13 is ideal for not just portable gaming via a laptop but can be used with a desktop as well. Unfortunately, it will set you back because it does cost much more than the Tartarus.
Razer Orbweaver Chroma - Mechanical & Customizable
- It has 20 programmable buttons.
- Comes with Razer Green mechanical switches.
- Adjustable parts for more comfort.
- RGB backlighting can be customized with the Synapse software.
- Thumb buttons have ample force as to not register any accidental touches while still being easy to use.
Design and Build
The Orbweaver Chroma has immense customization options and it does not compromise on comfort and ergonomics at all. Everything about the Orbweaver Chroma has been constructed with ease of use kept in mind. It has a higher palm rest than the rest however, that’s not it. The palm rest, keypad and the thumb part with the joystick are all adjustable pieces. Its shape lets you play for hours without feeling any discomfort. There are 20 programmable buttons at your disposal and all the keys have backlighting in them with customization options available in Synapse.
Razer goes all the way with the Orbweaver Chroma as the keys are mechanical switches. The switches have very optimized actuating and reset points. All of the keys are backlit with 20 keys being fully programmable with Synapse. The thumb controls feature a joystick and two additional buttons. The thumb buttons have just the right amount of force about them that prevents accidental clicking.
The Nostromo featured a two-part palm rest whereas the Orbweaver adds on to that and gives the users several more adjustable parts. The thumb buttons can be independently positioned as well. All of these make for a very high level of ease of use. The Chroma edition of the Orbweaver lets you customize RGB lighting on your keypad. And with the Synapse, you can sync it with other Razer peripherals.
With the Orbweaver, Razer has made quite a few improvements over the previous Nostromo. Customization is not just on the software end because you can adjust the positions of the parts to make for a more comfortable gaming experience.
Delux T9 46-Key Pad - Affordable Choice
- It has 46 non-programmable keys.
- It supports plug and play functionality.
- More or less a substitute for the left side of a normal keyboard.
- A simple design with an affordable price tag.
- Wrist pad is big enough to have your hand comfortably resting on it.
Design and Build
The Delux T9 46-Key Pad is a little different from the previously mentioned keypads in the sense that it has no joystick. The Delux T9 essentially is just a cutout version of the left side of the keyboard. It has a few extra controls but that’s really what it is. The Delux T9 is a really compact keypad with all the essentials that you need. The padding is sufficient as to not put a strain on your wrist when you use it. And for the price tag, it is really comfortable too with that design.
As the name suggests, the Delux T9 has 46 keys that offer various functions like Escape, Volume Up and Down, Function Keys, etc. The keys are recess type keys which make them quite user-friendly. The Delux T9 sports a very friendly price tag but with that, comes the omission of extra features. The keys have defined functions and therefore cannot be used to assign macros. You can think of the Delux T9 as more of a half keyboard for gaming purposes.
Everything that the Delux T9 has to offer lies in its ease of use and simplicity. The keys have predefined purposes and therefore, you cannot use them to define any macros or remap them. It is simply a “plug and play” a gaming keypad. Perhaps, a half keyboard would be more fitting for this.
The Delux T9 46-Key gaming keypad is a very cheap and budget-friendly option for gaming keypads. Going up the price tag, you may find ones that are better than this but with a very low price, you get a keypad that is going to last you a long time.
Design and Build
The Nostromo gaming keypad by Razer was the one that really made a mark in the market for keypads. The Nostromo has three distinct parts- the wrist rest, keypad and the thumb controls on the side. And all of these parts ooze comfort. The wrist rest can be adjusted however, the process requires you to first pull off the wrist rest and then adjust it. Luckily, the Nostromo is built to last so it won’t take any damage off of that provided you handle it with care. The joystick is at an ideal position so that no matter your hand size, you will find the Nostromo to be comfortable.
The keys are made with a little glossy plastic and they are very easy to use. You’re already limited to a rather compact space should you choose to game with a keypad. However, the Nostromo proves that through ergonomics, it can be done with ease. The keys do not require very high force to be registered and it just feels right to the touch. The 16 keys are fully programmable and they come with a blue LED backlight underneath them.
The Razer Nostromo is an old keypad and there have been many additions to the gaming keypad market since then. But the Nostromo still manages to hold its own with what it offers. The 16 Hyperesponse keys are fully programmable and you can use Razer’s software to do that. You can switch between 8 different key mappings on the fly and 20 different profiles.
The Razer Nostromo has been a very popular gaming keypad and still is favored by many. The newer keypads do fill the gaps that the Nostromo left but you still can’t go wrong with this. It does cost a bit but you will not regret your choice.
Design and Build
Like the previous Delux T9 keypad, the ACEPHA T9 is a cutout of the left half of a keyboard. It has numeric keys of up to 6 other basic keys that you’ll find on a keyboard. The size of the ACEPHA T9 is quite compact so it can be carried around easily without any problems. The wrist pad is very soft but its size makes it so that your hand rests on top of it at all times. And on the right corner is a big button used as a substitute for the space key.
There are 29 keys at your disposal and 16 keys rollover means that all your button presses are registered at all times. Although this keyboard excels at MOBA games due to the keys available, the spacing of the keys and ergonomics make it suitable as a gaming keypad for Fortnite as well. The ACEPHA T9 might not look as flashy as others but it can definitely get the job done.
Although the layout of the ACEPHA T9 gaming keypad is that of a normal keyboard, the keys are fully programmable. And the keys have 7 different backlighting colors available. It’s not RGB but given the price, it is still quite amazing.
The ACEPHA T9 gaming keypad does not have a joystick so it isn’t exactly a perfect option for pure one-handed gaming. But for those who require only a few select keys when gaming will find this to be a great piece of hardware.
Design and Build
Despite half keyboards gaining popularity, not everyone is familiar with them. For those who’ve been using a full keyboard, a half keyboard seems like a step-down. But the SADES mechanical half keyboard helps people dip their toes in the waters. It is designed just as you would find a full keyboard except that this one only has the left half. The build quality is decent enough to not raise any concerns. Unfortunately, it does happen to slide around during rigorous gaming hours. But that can be worked around as well.
As the name suggests, the SADES Half Keyboard is a mechanical one. Its keys are Black Switches underneath. The Black Switches trigger fast with no debouncing and minimal delay. These switches make very little noise so that’s a bonus too. The keys are very well built and they’re slightly lifted above the surface, just how mechanical keys are. The keys are not reprogrammable but it is a good place to start for those not familiar with the half keyboards.
As mentioned above, the keys on the SADES half keyboard are not reprogrammable. But it’s a decent choice nonetheless. And this keyboard does support plug and play. That on top of its small size makes it a really friendly companion for just about anyone. It does have the RGB flair about it so it’s not totally bland. But the RGB lights can not be changed and they stay as-is.
Design and Build
This keyboard might not be as flamboyant as the rest of the big ones, but it still packs quite a punch. Just like how half keyboards are, the K50 RGB essentially mimics the left side of that of a normal keyboard. On the bottom is a large wrist rest that lets you game for long hours without feeling any strain. The wrist pad is a little bit in the shape of a hexagon with the space key right beside it. The space key is a little in an awkward position because it is lifted above the surface level. Your thumb might get a little tired depending on your hand positioning.
Despite being cheap, the keyboard does sport mechanical keys. That’s always a bonus. The 35 keys are Blue mechanical keys. They’re not as great as Cherry MX keys but for what the keyboard does and the price it rocks, it’s more than enough. Other than the main keys, you also have 6 Macro Keys labeled from G1 to G6.
The K50 RGB half keyboard does not have a tonne of things to show for but they’re decent. Due to the placing and spacing of the keys, things can get uncomfortable for some. But for a cheap gaming keypad, you can’t really complain much. The manual provides you with instructions on how to add and define the macro keys. There are 7 different colors and 5 different modes for backlit lighting to choose from.
This 35-key mechanical keyboard is a cheap option. Not everyone has the bucks to spare to spend on flashy stuff. It is not the most comfortable and durable of them all but it has 6 different macro keys and mechanical switches. That sounds like a pretty decent deal.
Design and Build
The GameSir GK100 is specifically optimized for games like Fortnite and PUBG. The keys are closely placed together, which ends up being a double-edged sword. The keys can help in you reacting faster but you may just end up pressing another key by accident. Additionally, it is a light keyboard so you will not have trouble carrying it around. The wrist rest can be detached by sliding it off, which steps up the portability game.
We again have a keyboard for those on a budget that comes with Blue mechanical switches. Along with the main keys, you also have 4 extra keys on the side which can be remapped. The Arrow Key mode can allow you to make use of the secondary keys as well which are labeled on top. It’s not the best and not the most reliable one but can it get the job done? If you want something basic but still clicky and tactile, then yeah.
This GameSir GK100 keyboard supports Plug and Play functionality. Just connect the wire and you’re good to go. However, if you want to assign macros or just do any customizations this keyboard offers, you’ll have to use the software. The keys can get noisy at times and that bugs people out.
The GameSir GK100 is a simple keyboard as well as the previous few mentioned. It is priced a little higher than some but it does not really offer anything better. It a simplistic one which some might be able to find a good use for.
Design and Build
The Jancal keyboard, well half-keyboard is just as you’d expect it to be. It is a cutout of the left side of a normal keyboard. There is a rather large wrist pad at your disposal which makes sure that your hand fully rests atop it. However, the wrist pad is not that comfortable. It is just a big block of plastic with a slightly tilted shape. Additionally, the keys are a little too widely spaced. For people with small hands, it might be a little problematic.
This Jancal keyboard has a total of 35 keys on it. Other than the addition of an Fn key instead of a Windows key, there isn’t much different from a normal keyboard. The Fn key allows you to use the Function keys on the top for different purposes. The keys are pretty generic but you won’t have any trouble with them if you’re just a light gamer with not many needs.
This Jancal 35 key keypad does not allow any redefinition of macros. Instead, there are predefined macro keys on the top that you can use with the Fn key. And, as the name suggests this keyboard does have RGB lights. This keyboard is really small and so it won’t take a lot of space on your desk.
This is a very simple keypad with not much flair about it. It’ll get the job done and comes across as a budgeted choice too. Additionally, you can use it with your PS4 as well so that makes it quite a good gaming keypad for Fortnite as well.
Design and Build
The Game Sir Z1 keypad has 29 keys on it, and it is a half keyboard. On the right corner are 4 programmable keys labeled G1 to G4. These can be used to assign macros and remap them. This keyboard has been designed with ergonomics in mind. It has a large detachable wrist rest and the space key is on the corner. The WASD keys are textured. Additionally, there is also a USB connection in the right corner.
This keyboard has 29 Cherry MX Red Key switches which are very tactile and responsive. All of the keys have an anti-ghosting rollover so that all of the keypresses are registered. The keys are all programmable using the software and you can also customize the lighting effects with that.
This keyboard can be used with a USB connection and with a Bluetooth connection. It has a 2000mAH battery which allows the wireless connection. Along with customizing the keys, you can also use this keyboard with a mobile. This keyboard converts the input signals to that recognizable to a mobile device. This will hardly be put to any use but it is there should you want a feature such as this.
The Game Sir Z1 keyboard does offer quite a bit of thing, but they’re not really what you need out of a one-handed keypad. The Cherry MX switches ensure that all your keys are registered with a quick response.
Gaming Keypad (One-Handed Keyboard)
You want to be able to get the best out of what you have without compromising anything.
But not everyone knows what to look for when stepping into this niche market.
So, let’s take a look at the things you ought to keep in mind when purchasing a gaming keypad.
Type of Switch
Whether you’re going for a gaming keypad or a full keyboard, the type of switch is very important and one of the first things you ought to look for.
Mechanical switches offer very tactile feedback with a low actuation force to press.
But, they are a little loud.
On the other hand, you have membrane switches which come at cheaper prices and offer silent feedback.
But, they’re not as swift as mechanical.
One-handed gaming is a tricky matter.
For that, you require a joystick because your gaming is not complete without it.
On the other hand, you have half-keyboards which are just cutouts of full keyboards.
So, deciding which keypad to go for also largely depends on whether you require a joystick or not.
No matter what type of gaming hardware you’re looking at, you always want to keep the comfort level in your mind.
Long gaming hours and sessions can leave you with muscle fatigue and if it really is that extreme, long term damage too.
You want to make sure that your hands are in a comfortable position throughout your gaming hours.
The placing of the joystick, the design of the keypad, the spacing between the keys, the type of wrist pad- all of these are important factors in determining how comfortable a keypad is.
So look for one that fits your needs and go for that.
Wired or Wireless
This often goes unnoticed and people end up regretting their choice if it isn’t what they wanted. Some people want to sit back and relax while they game. Others want to sit in a fixed position and make use of perhaps a table. Choosing whether you want to have the option of wireless or not depends on that. Not only that, but the length of the cable can also end up being a factor that disappoints people because they misjudge the cable length.
Macros and Profiles
The ability to customize and set up different macros is a dealbreaker. For some games, you want a straightforward setup for keybindings and that’s pretty much it. It remains static for most people. However, others want the option at hand which can allow them to customize their keypad according to different needs.
Say you’ve just finished your round for Fortnite where you had a very specific set of macros set up. And now, you’re hopping into World of Warcraft and you want something entirely different. The ability to have different profiles stored and be able to switch in between them comes out to be very important here. Should the feature be present, you can simply toggle a different profile dedicated to a specific game and do so with the press of a button.
It’s an agreed-upon statement among the gaming community that having RGB enabled increases your FPS and improves your gaming performance. Fact. The whole PC market is heading towards as many lighting effects as possible. From motherboards to mouse pads and even monitors. Having the ability to choose different levels and modes of illumination come down to a matter of personal choice.
For products like Razer and Logitech, you can sync your lighting effects and have all your peripherals show off one common type of effect. People who own products by the companies that support these should look into gaming keypads by these same companies. That can make things easier on the software side as well since you won’t have to adapt to an entirely new ecosystem.
In the end, it really comes down to that price tag next to the keypad that you want. Not everyone has the luxury to have a flexible and free budget. So, you should consider all those above points but do so in a fashion that you do not exceed your budget. If you do, there are cheap gaming keypads available that we’ve mentioned on the list. They will not promise the quality and performance as some of the more known ones, but they’ll get you through the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
A gaming keypad is just another type of device that you can use for gaming. There are different types of gaming keypads available and we’ve covered them in this list. Some keypads try to give the choice of experiencing one-handed gaming. They have not only buttons but a joystick available as well so that you have all the controls on just one hand.
The benefits of a gaming keypad are largely based upon what your needs are. Switching from two-handed gaming to one-handed is difficult. But there are many who’ve made their name known and done so with one-handed gaming keypads. On the other hand, you can also just sit back and relax while going for a wireless half keyboards.
The choice of going for a keypad with or without a joystick depends on what type of games you want to be playing and how you want to use your gaming keypad. Some people prefer to navigate with the gaming mouse but have a mini portable keypad. They’ll go for a keypad without a joystick. Whereas some require both buttons and navigation on one hardware.
Full-sized gaming keyboards have 84 to 100 keys. In fact, some are available with even more keys. With that, they tend to take up more space. The sizes in keypads do vary a little but it’s mostly based on shape. Keypads typically come with 20-35 keys.
PS4 does offer support for keypads. You can even play Fortnite on PS4 with a gaming keypad. Xbox, on the other hand, is a bit tricky. There are some games available on Xbox which support keypads whereas some offer support for only Text and Chat.
While it is true that smaller hands can end up with a more difficult time on larger keypads, it also comes down to how you adapt. There are only some good gaming keypads available. And even if you do have trouble due to the size of your hand, you can customize and rebind keys to what fits your style.
This comes down to two things- you and the type of keypad you have. No matter what type of keypad you have, it can’t be with you long if you are rough while using it. However, the build quality, type of switch and material do play an important role in the lifetime of a keypad. A decent keypad will last you 2-3 years if you use it with care.
After reading the above Buyer’s Guide and the FAQs, you should think about what you are looking for and decide based on that. A gaming keypad is not a complete substitute to a full keyboard, rather a smaller sized alternative for gaming.
The Buyer’s Guide should help you make a decision about which is the right fit for you.
So, go on ahead and find yourself the best one for you.
Do let us know in the comments below which one you liked the best.
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Affan’s undying love for technology, gaming and a passion for learning about as many things as he can have resulted in him always keeping himself in the loop for whatever is going on in the world.