High-performance gaming keyboards are essential for any competitive game environment, and SteelSeries is One of the top gaming keyboard brands out there without a doubt.
SteelSeries makes some pretty good keyboards, some are even featured in MSI’s gaming laptop range.
Finding the best SteelSeries keyboard to purchase can be tricky, given the many options and varieties available. In fact, that it’s hard to tell why one is worth choosing over another.
In this post, we’ve listed a number of SteelSeries keyboards and have rated them based on their price and feature set to help you find the right option.
In our comparison, we looked at factors like switch type (membrane or mechanical), backlighting, macro key support, dedicated media keys, software customization options, and so on.
By understanding what each model offers in comparison to its counterparts, you can be well-equipped to make an informed purchasing decision and choose the right keyboard for you.
SteelSeries, founded in 2001, is a Danish company that specializes in producing innovative, high-quality gaming peripherals and accessories.
With a focus on developing products that enhance the gaming experience, SteelSeries has become a leader in the industry, garnering a loyal fanbase among professional gamers and enthusiasts alike.
Their product lineup includes gaming headsets, mice, keyboards, mousepads, and controllers, all designed with attention to detail.
SteelSeries’ dedication to pushing the boundaries of gaming technology has resulted in numerous awards and collaborations with top eSports teams, solidifying its reputation as a reliable and cutting-edge brand.
Tips for Choosing the Right Steelseries Keyboard
When choosing a Steelseries keyboard, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure that you make the right choice. Consider the following tips when selecting a keyboard:
SteelSeries keyboards now come in three major form factors: Full-size(104 keys), Tenkeyless (87 keys, 80% percent) and 60 percent (68 keys).
Full-size (100%): These have 104, 105 or even 108 keys. Generally the alphanumerics, navigational cluster and number pad are separated horizontally, with the F keys running along the top.
Full-size keyboards have enough space for extra conveniences, such as dedicated media buttons and sexy volume dials. The downside to full-size keyboards, however, is the sheer size of the things.
Tenkeyless: Tenkeyless or TKL is the most common compact SteelSeries keyboard layout. This layout is just a full-size layout without the number pad, resulting in 87 or 88 keys with about 80% of the width of a full-size keyboard .
60% (Mini Version): 60% is perhaps the most common layout after full-size and TKL. As well as ditching the number pad, 60% keyboards also lack a F key row at the top and the navigational cluster on the right — you just get the alphanumeric zone.
Different keyboards feature different switches; choose the one which provides a comfortable typing experience according to your preference between membrane, mechanical or optical switches.
The main difference between membrane and mechanical keyboards is how they feel. Membrane keyboards have a distinct “mushy” type feel when you press down on their keys due to the rubber underneath them.
Meanwhile, mechanical keyboards feature spring-loaded switches under the keycaps that actuate smoothly when you press them, responding with an audible “click” sound.
Mechanical keyboards give better overall feedback to the user than membrane ones do when typing because of this design, but they’re also much louder compared to the relative silence of membrane keyboards.
Membrane keyboards are generally more affordable and quieter, making them a good option for those who value a softer typing experience.
Optical switches are faster actuating and more durable than mechanical switches, which makes them better for ultra-competitive games where you need the extra millisecond advantage.
Types of Mechanical Switches
There are three types of mechanical switches: linear, tactile, and clicky. They each have a distinct feel when pressed and are made for different kinds of users.
Linear switches are the most straightforward option and offer smooth keystrokes without any feedback or click.
Tactile switches offer a small “bump” sensation, allowing you to know when a key has been pressed without having to bottom-out your keystroke.
Clicky switches are designed to provide a satisfying sound each time they hit their actuation point. And they are fun to use and offer great feedback.
Make sure the keyboard materials are durable enough to withstand long-term use.
Those made from durable plastic or metal should provide users with years of use before needing to be replaced.
PBT keycaps are high-quality and durable, which have excellent touch experience and long serving time.
ABS keycaps are used on both affordable and high-end keyboards because they are cheaper and easier to produce.
ABS keycaps are good for RGB lightning, shinier but also less durable than PBT keycaps. And they are prone to develop shine from your finger oil over time.
In the vast majority of situations, there’s no difference between using a keyboard with a wireless connection and a standard wired one.
In general, wired keyboards are cheaper than their wireless counterparts. Without the need for wireless connectivity, there’s no additional cost for components.
A wired keyboard is better for gaming. Because it provide a reliable and stable connection with zero latency.
A wireless keyboard is a keyboard that can send input from its keys to another device through 2 means: Bluetooth Technology or through a 2.4GHz Wireless Receiver.
A wireless keyboard does not need a wired connection to a computer, which can drastically cut down on clutter on a computer desk.
Usually, there isn’t much difference in input lag between the wireless receiver and wired connection, but the Bluetooth connection was much slower than the other connections!
Consider which connection method works best for your devices and usage preferences prior to making a purchase.
It gives you lighting options to suit your gaming needs as well as add a stylish look to your setup. You can customize it with vivid colors and dynamic effects to stand out from the rest.
Many keyboards feature backlighting technology allowing users to type more accurately in low light settings or customize their backlighting setup according to their own preference.
Programmable Macro Keys
Other than RGB lighting, some models will also feature built-in media or macro keys.
These additional keys allow you to quickly access certain frequently used commands or perform certain actions without having to type them out each time. They can also be programmed and customized with different commands, depending on your usage needs.
This technology allows keys pressed simultaneously to be registered without conflicts or errors caused by regressing gaming capabilities due to the ghosting effect most commonly found in rivals’products available in the market today on certain key combinations during intense moments of use.
Detachable Palm Rest
There’s a detachable palm rest on many models offered by SteelSeries which adds extra comfort while gaming or typing consisting of long hours at your desktop station.
6 Best SteelSeries Keyboards to Buy in 2024
To make sure you find the perfect option for your needs, we’ve carefully examined 6 of SteelSeries’s most popular models and compared their features side-by-side.
whether you’re looking for a high-end gaming keyboad, a wireless option, or a budget-friendly option, this guide will help you find a SteelSeries keyboard that will suit your needs.
1. Steelseries Apex Pro
The SteelSeries Apex Pro comes ready to go as the best mechanical keyboard for gaming, typing and navigation.
This keyboard uses OmniPoint switches which rely on magnets to register keypresses rather than a fixed physical mechanism. This technology allows you to precisely adjust the actuation point, or sensitivity, of every single key.
It has an aluminum frame that feels very solid. It has great ABS double shot keycaps that feel durable too. But ths ABS keycaps aren’t good for those with oily or sweaty hands.
The Apex Pro TKL also comes with an included wrist rest, a USB pass-through port, elegant cable routing, an OLED screen, dedicated media keys, and a volume wheel , completing the premium look of the keyboard.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro features bright RGB lighting, which is fully configurable on a per key basis.
The SteelSeries Engine 3 software is fairly easy to get to grips with. It lets you customize the backlight, set macros, and save 5 onboard profiles.
If you really like the idea of the fancy features of the Apex Pro, it’s still a very competent gaming keyboard with two size options at full size and tenkeyless (Apex Pro TKL).
There is also a 60% version – SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, which is even more compact, thinner and portable.
2. Steelseries Apex Pro TKL 2023
SteelSeries has also released the 2023 version of this SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL keyboard, featuring the OmniPoint 2.0 switches.
These have the ability to program two actions to one keypress (press a key lightly to walk, press it harder to run, for example) and their actuation point can be customized between 0.2mm and 3.8mm.
Additionally, while the previous-generation models have lower-quality ABS plastic keycaps, this keyboard has doubleshot PBT plastic keycaps with a pleasant textured top for added grip.
There is also a wireless version available called the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023), which allows you to play lag-free with a 2.4GHz wireless connection for ultra-smooth gaming, and use Bluetooth 5.0 for a variety of other devices.
This compact keyboard drops the num pad and other editing keys that you rarely use to give more room for mice and reduce the number of overall keys that don’t serve many purposes.
Feature-rich and a great performer, the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL is an excellent gaming keyboard.
3. SteelSeries Apex 9 Mini
The SteelSeries Apex 9 Mini offers all the benefits of a small and fast gaming keyboard in a solid overall package.
A 60% form factor keyboard that is designed for speed and, as such, is great for gaming and works well in tight spaces.
What’s more, it has fantastic build quality: Aluminum Alloy Frame, Double Shot PBT Keycaps, detachable braided USB cable, and a wonderful Full RGB light design.
Rather than the magnetic hall effect switches found in the Pro models, the Apex 9 uses optical switches produced in conjunction with Gateron.
The cool dual-actuation height optical switches harness light to detect the registration depth of your keystroke for super light actuation force and a lightning-fast response time.
The switches are also hot-swappable, so you can change for different switches or replace broken ones – although the outlay for this is substantial.
On PC, this is backed up by the comprehensive customization available through the SteelSeries GG app. With five profiles, there’s plenty of room to make full use of secondary functions or tailor a layout per game, per genre, or activity.
The SteelSeries Apex 9 Mini is fast, responsive, and durable. But If you use function row, arrow, and navigational keys a lot, Then the TKL version – steelseries apex 9 tkl is more suitable for you.
4. Steelseries Apex 7
The SteelSeries Apex 7 Keyboard is a solid choice for gamers, thanks to a great combination of value and performance.
Like the Apex Pro, the Apex 7 features an attractive design, durable key switches and gorgeous RGB lighting. But it lacks the OmniPoint switches and their per-key actuation customization options.
The Apex 7 uses their 2nd generation QX2 mechanical switch, similar to Cherry in design, which offers three switch types to choose from: linear Red switches, tactile Brown switches, and clicky Blue switches.
The keyboard also comes in two different layout sizes: tenkeyless(TKL) or full-sized. You can choose according to your needs and preferences.
It’s made mostly of plastic but has an aluminum top plate that makes the keyboard feel very sturdy. The keycaps are double-shot PBT and feel more solid than the stock ABS caps on the Apex Pro.
There’s a detachable magnetic wrist rest, and a tiny OLED screen. You can use the OLED screen to manipulate lighting and record macros without needing to open the SteelSeries GG software.
The Apex 7 offer full RGB backlighting customization, with a variety of presets and effects, or the ability to customize your own.
5. Steelseries Apex 5
The Apex 5 is an outstanding midrange gaming keyboard with unique hybrid switches.
It combines the smoothness of a membrane switch with the added durability, performance, and satisfying tactile click of a blue mechanical switch, for a premium gaming and typing experience.
The only downside to the hybrid switch is the durability is not rated as quite as high. The hybrid switch only lasts for 20 million keystrokes in comparison to Cherry MX’s 100 million.
The Apex 5 is full size and features all the bells and whistles, including the tactile volume wheel, media key and OLED screen.
Thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame, the APEX 5 feels well built and sturdy, . With the included wrist rest, the keyboard is comfortable work with all day.
Unfortunately, The keycaps are thin and less durable, painted and lasered ABS will accumulate oil and dust very quickly. But they are good for RGB lightning.
The SteelSeries Apex 5 has full RGB backlighting, and it can be customized using SteelSeries’ Engine software. Plus, Each key can be adjusted individually.
6. Steelseries Apex 3
SteelSeries is well known for making some of the best gaming keyboards, but many of them are pricey. This is where the SteelSeries Apex 3 swoops in.
The Apex 3 uses membrane instead of mechanical switches to cut costs, which still provides a decent typing experience that isn’t fatiguing, but some people might find the keys slightly mushy and that they lack distinct tactile feedback.
Additionally, These rubber dome switches provide a quiet typing experience, which is ideal for gaming environments where you don’t want to disturb others. It even comes with a nifty Premium magnetic wrist rest for comfortable typing and gaming.
The Apex 3 has a fully plastic frame that exhibits a decent amount of flex, and the keycaps are made of ABS plastic with a soft finish. The overall build quality feels slightly worse than the rest of the Apex lineup.
One of the standout features of the Apex 3 Keyboard is its water-resistant design, which means that it can withstand accidental spills and splashes without damaging the keyboard’s internal components.
Another notable feature of the Apex 3 is its dedicated media controls and a rare volume wheel. This feature is very convenient and allows you to easily manage your media while focusing on your game.
The Apex 3 has a macro recording function that will allow you to record and save macros on the device’s built in memory.
It’s also equipped with 10-zone RGB lighting, which allows you to customize the lighting effects and colors to your liking. But you won’t be able to customize each key individually.
The Apex 3 SteelSeries has two versions: TKL and full-sized. While it’s not the best, But with an affordable price, the Apex 3 is almost the perfect budget gaming keyboard.
All of SteelSeries’s keyboards above are awesome, and each one will fulfill a different need or desire.
They all offer something special, including superior mechanical switches and vibrant lighting options.
Whether you’re looking for a relatively economical option or an expensive gaming beast, there’s a SteelSeries keyboard available to suit your needs.
Choosing the perfect one is crucial, as ideally, you’ll be using this keyboard for years to come.
No matter which of the aforementioned options you decide to go with, you can rest assured knowing it won’t go wrong.
We hope this article has made your decision easier!