The holiday season is upon us! Leading up to the massive sales of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all things pre-Christmas, we at MMORPG want to make sure you’re prepared to find the perfect gift for your PC gaming obsessed loved one. Want to know what peripherals and accessories to get to up their game? Read on to find out.
When it comes to keyboards, the first decision to make is mechanical, mem-chanical, or membrane. The difference here really comes down to price and how premium you want the typing and gaming experience to be. The three options descend in price and how they feel to type on, but not necessarily features (in most ways, anyway).
For the gamer who wants the best, we recommend picking up a mechanical keyboard. The three main switch types are important to know: blue (tacticle and clicky), brown (tactile, but not clicky), and red (linear, not clicky, and considered the best for gaming. Of the three, brown and red are safe bets, but blues are known to be quite loud, so beware if noise is a factor. Thankfully, most mechanical keyboards come with at least one switch option.
For cost effectiveness, the Cougar Ultimus RGB is a perfect RGB keyboard with fantastic build quality. If you’d like a single-color backlight, the Cougar PURI FPS keyboard could save you ever more. Stepping things up, Bloody Gaming’s B820R is fully RGB programmable and offers one of the fastest response times on the market thanks to its optical switches. The Roccat Suora FX is also an exceptional value, offering lots of programmability, a great typing experience, and excellent looks.
Best Value: Our best value choice is currently a tie between the Cougar Attack X3 RGB (with Cherry switches) and Creative’s Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 with proprietary, and very nice, switches from Omron.
On the highest premium end, one of the most interesting keyboards we reviewed this year was the Wooting One which marries analog control (like controller triggers) with fully programmable mechanical keyswitches. Not to be beat, Steelseries has offered one of the most user friendly and best looking mechanical keyboards this year with the APEX M750, which also comes in a TKL version. Razer refreshed their mechanical key lineup with the Blackwidow Chroma V2 in full-size and Tournament Editions. Cooler Master’s new flagship, the MasterKeys MK750 represents one of the best values at its $159.99 price point, and Logitech blew us away with their Orion Spectrum G910 RGB keyboard with their fast and quiet Romer-G switches.
Our Choice: Our best of the year, though, has to go to Corsair with their K95 RGB Platinum. It’s outstanding build quality, incredible programmability, and astounding looks truly make it stand out from the crowd.
Mem-chanical and Membrane
For the gamer who doesn’t need mechanical keys, the next best thing are mem-chanical keyboards. They feel close to mechanicals at a huge savings. You’ve likely seen the Razer Ornata on display in stores, and it provides a solid typing experience with per-key lighting. We were most impressed, though, by Cooler Master’s MasterSet MS120 keyboard and mouse set, which offers substantial savings for the pair.
On the membrane front, our recommendation has to go to the Razer Cynosa and Cynosa Pro. They both offer per-key lighting (uncommon in membrane keyboards), nearly identical looks to Razer’s much more expensive mechanical keyboards, and great typing experiences. The Pro version also offers slick underglow to add pizazz to any desktop.
We’ve reviewed our fair share of mice this year, and there’s a rodent for every type of gamer. For gamers who don’t need a ton of buttons, we were most impressed by Corsair’s Glaive, an RGB mouse with swappable grips and an outstanding 16K DPI sensor. If you’re shopping for a lefty, you also shouldn’t overlook ASUS’s ROG Pugio ambidextrous gaming mouse. For RGB fans, Roccat’s new adaptive RGB Kone AIMO mouse is one of the most unique mice we’ve seen this year.
If those are too pricey, Gigabyte's AORUS M3 is a solid choice, offering great performance, RGB illumination, and a modest price.
Best Value: Our best value standard gaming mouse goes to the Cougar 700M for it’s unique design, excellent ergonomics, and even better price.
If you’re shopping for a gamer who needs lots of buttons, three choices lead the pack. First we have the incredibly popular Razer Naga Epic, which has been a mainstay of MMO gamers for years (soon to be replaced with the Naga Trinity). Next, Roccat impressed us with the unique and high performing Roccat Leadr. The button layout is atypical, but perfect for gamers don’t want the usual thumb grid - and it’s one of the first wireless gaming mice we’ve used that performs like it’s wired; no small feat. For Roccat fans who do want a thumb grid, the Nyth is another solid option that also features a modular grid design.
Our Choice: Our choice lands squarely with the Corsair Scimitar PRO RGB. It packs all of the functionality of the Razer Naga with an stellar build quality, 16K DPI, an adjustable thumb grid for perfect comfort. It also integrates with CUE 2.0 and syncs with other Corsair devices.
Special Mention: Logitech deserves a special mention for their Logitech G Powerplay system, which allows their G703 and G903 mice to charge wirelessly directly through the mouse pad. We haven’t reviewed them for ourselves yet (coming before Christmas) but we’ve been impressed in our early tests.
Interested in headsets, gaming chairs, and other key accessories from this year? Click through to the next page to continue our guide!