With video games becoming more tactile and competitive, a reliable and fast keyboard is crucial. There are so many keyboards out there, which one do you pick for gaming? If you’re like most people, the main issue in getting a Bluetooth keyboard is whether it will be fast enough and that the keyboard’s potential failure won’t lead to utter defeat. But is a Bluetooth keyboard good for gaming?
Bluetooth keyboards aren’t the best option for gaming since they often have a slight latency and lag, resulting in missed or slow keystrokes. On average, there’s a 79-millisecond difference between a Bluetooth keyboard than a wired one.
Let’s take a look at this in more detail by looking at the pros and cons of a Bluetooth keyboard compared to a wired keyboard. Let’s dive in!
Is a Bluetooth Keyboard Good for Gaming?
The answer isn’t simple because it depends on your personal preferences, needs and budget. In general though, they do not have a quick reaction time, which isn’t ideal for gaming requiring lightning-fast speed. A wired keyboard is better for these kinds of games to ensure uninterrupted, continuous and drama-free play.
There are some gaming pluses in using a Bluetooth keyboard that you should consider:
- Portability – The main pro with having a Bluetooth keyboard is that it’s portable anywhere. You can use it in any location in your room or house. You can even transport it to another location, like a coffee shop or friend’s house.
- Wire; Cable Management – A wireless keyboard with Bluetooth capability reduces cable and wire clutter around your computer and gaming area. It provides a convenient way to manage pesky, knotted up cables.
- Device Switching – Many Bluetooth keyboards come with a myriad of fancy bells and whistles that allowing you to switch between multiple devices at once. So, one moment you could be using the keyboard and the next you could be accessing your tablet or smart phone.
- Typing Joy – Often, wireless keyboards with Bluetooth functionality offer a wonderful and enjoyable typing experience. Mechanical keyboards are highly prized but also come with a high price tag.
- Latency; Lag – Unfortunately, Bluetooth keyboards often have a slight latency and lag, resulting in missed or slow keystrokes. On average, there’s a 79-millisecond difference between a Bluetooth keyboard than a wired one. Although a minuscule amount of time, it can be a deal-breaker for gamers because one faulty keystroke can kill your win or competitive edge.
- Interference – Another downside is interference from other wireless tech in the immediate vicinity. This can present problems pairing and sudden disconnection, which would be maddening and frustrating in the middle of playing a game.
- Involved Interfaces – If your Bluetooth keyboard comes with controls akin to operating an alien spaceship, you’ll have to fumble around with the interface for a while to get things working. This may take up time you don’t have or want to sacrifice.
- Battery Power – Batteries and maintaining a consistent source of power can also present their own issues. If you run out of battery power, then there goes your keyboard and thus your whole game. This would make for a bummer of an experience if you’re on the precipice of victory.
- Expensive; Pricey – The purchase, maintenance and upkeep of a Blutooth keyboard can also get quite pricey. You have to take into account the cost of the keyboard itself (mechanical keyboards start at around $50) along with the price of batteries. Of course, rechargeable batteries are one way to save some money, but it will still be something of an expense.
- Bluetooth keyboards come with an added expense because either you have to find a keyboard with the function built in or you’ll need an adapter for syncing. This can end up reaching exorbitant amounts that far exceed your budget.
When Shouldn’t You Use a Bluetooth Keyboard in Gaming?
You don’t want to use a Bluetooth keyboard with games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, Valorant, Apex Legends and Fortnite. This is because most Bluetooth keyboards can’t handle the lightning-fast speed needed to play these games. The reaction is slow between clicks that make it seem as if you’re at an unfair disadvantage compared to other players.
Is a Bluetooth Keyboard Ever Useful in Gaming?
Story-based games or games with turn-taking are better for a Bluetooth keyboard. If relaxation is the name of your game, allowing you to kick back, then a wireless keyboard is perfect.
Games like Civilization, Age of Wonders, Heroes of Might; Magic and the King’s Bounty game series do not need a fast reaction time with improved play through the latency of a Bluetooth keyboard.
Why Should You Go with a Wired Keyboard for Gaming?
With wired keyboards, you don’t have to worry about running out of battery juice or wondering where the power went. There isn’t any interference from other wireless devices and installation is quick. All that’s required is plugging into a USB port.
Wired ones are cheaper and easier to find. Often there are no extra adapters, batteries or special functions you’ll have to buy to make it work. You don’t even need to use an interface or software to start using it.
For high-paced, competitive games, stick with the tried-and-true wired keyboard. It may be beneficial for you to invest in a keyboard with both wired and Bluetooth capabilities. This way you can have the best of both worlds.
How Much Does a Bluetooth Keyboard Cost on Average?
Any run-of-the-mill Bluetooth keyboard can cost as little as $25, but these are not ideal for fast-paced play. You’ll want to search for ones specific to gaming, which will run through the ballpark of $50 and up to $500.
There are fancier types that suck up battery juice, with some as much as $75 for a set of two rechargeable batteries. You’ll have to shop around and wiegh your options.
Weighing the Good Versus the Bad
When deciding to use a Bluetooth-capable keyboard for gaming, it’s really going to depend on you, the game you’re into and how much money is at your disposal. For serious gamers, using a wired keyboard is the only viable way to go. If you play a laid-back game, the latency found in Bluetooth keyboards shouldn’t be a problem.