What is The Best Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard?

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A hardcore gamer needs a hardcore keyboard, and a stylish gamer needs a stylish keyboard. If you or someone you know fits both of those descriptions, then a retro mechanical gaming keyboard is the way to go. But which option is best? This guide will help you identify some of the best retro mechanical gaming keyboards on the market today.

What is a Gaming Keyboard?

Mechanical vs. Membrane

One of the key features of a gaming keyboard, as opposed to a standard keyboard, is that it is mechanical. With a mechanical keyboard, there is a spring and a switch under every key that records each keystroke. The mechanical switch creates a springiness and distinct feel that is valuable to gamers focused on precision.

Most standard-issue keyboards use a single rubber-like mat that runs underneath all of the keys rather than individual switches. Each key has a “dome” underneath it that makes contact with the membrane when the key is pushed. This provides a less tactile experience. It is fine for standard keyboard use, but the mechanical keyboards can provide an edge for gamers.

Faster Keys

The mechanical keys provide a faster response time, which can be critical to game performance. Among the mechanical key options, different switches have different distances to travel once they have been pressed in order to make contact with the electrical circuit. This is known as the “actuation distance” and for a typical mechanical switch that distance is 2 millimeters. For some of the highest-end switches, it can be as little as .4mm. “Cherry MX” switches are the standard-bearer, and they come in different colors (referring to the switch itself inside the key) that represent different tactile responses and actuation distances. If you want to dive into the details about mechanical switches, this article goes very deep into the technical aspects.

Another aspect of key speed is the ability to program macros. Macros enable you to execute what would normally be a series of keystrokes with just one push.

Why Go Retro?

This, of course, is all about your personal style. There is no doubt, though, that retro is chic, and for many people it provides an aesthetic that creates a fun contrast with the modern technology of the device itself. For keyboards, the rounded keys have a nice finger-feel. And in the case of the NACODEX keyboard listed below, the spherical keycap has more height and width for those who prefer it. Ultimately, though, we think these retro styles look really cool.

The Best Retro Mechanical Gaming Keyboards

Below are our Top 5 Retro Gaming Keyboards currently available on the market today.

DoubleW Typewriter Style Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The DoubleW Typewriter Style Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has blue-switch keys that offer medium resistance, audible click sound & tactile feedback. The vintage steampunk round keycaps look like a classical typewriter and provide a comfortable, stable touch. The ergonomic palm rest relieves pressure on your wrists during extended gameplay.

The keyboard panel was made of top-grade aluminum alloy material, with matte-finish texture, sturdy, and robust enough to protect it from scratches. There are 108 keys on this full-size keyboard, and all keys are non-conflict. Every keystroke is registered during intense gameplay and fast typing, no matter how many other keys are pressed at the same time. Enjoy high-grade games with a fast response.

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Basaltech Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo

This Basaltech Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has 30 LED-backlit modes. It is made of top-grade metal panel and heavy-duty plastic body, with matte-finish texture, sturdy and robust enough to protect it from scratch. The blue switch mechanical keys stand up to hardcore gaming. Fully removable keycaps, easy to change the switches to Red Switch, Brown Switch, or Black Switch.

If you are looking for a programmable keyboard to set up complex macros, this might not be the keyboard for you. If you don’t need the macros, though, there are a lot of positives to this keyboard, and you won’t find many options in this color and with this combination of lighting modes.

The inclusion of a Gaming Mouse makes this an excellent value combination, perfect for First-Person Shooter (FPS) games.

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NACODEX AK510 Retro RGB Mechanical Keyboard 

They gray and white design of the NACODEX AK510 Retro RGB Mechanical Keyboard is inspired by the first commercial typewriter set up in the QWERTY layout. The keyboard is also backlit, with 10 lighting modes available for your customization.

With 104 keys and macro programming capability, this keyboard will meet all of your needs. The mechanical switches are the equivalent of Cherry MS Blue switches, meaning they produce a “click” and provide tactical feedback. (Other models are available with different switch types.)

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Retro Steampunk Mechanical Keyboard

The Retro Steampunk Mechanical Keyboard has a 104-key rollover with anti-ghosting design to ensure the most accuracy of your commands in any scenario. When you press all the keys at the same time, all the keys will respond to the trigger, no matter how fast the action is in the game.

Black switch mechanics are optimized for fast command execution and durability. The aluminum panel has a smooth and comfortable touch. With 22 kinds of lighting effects, you can change the settings to match the game and your mood.

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Retro RGB Compact Mechanical Keyboard

The Retro RGB Compact Mechanical Keyboard is an 81-key compact keyboard for PC or Mac. If you are looking for full functionality but with a smaller footprint, this compact keyboard is a great choice.

With brown-switch or red-switch options, you can select a key response that works best for you. The keycaps have a round, floating design that provides a great aesthetic, and with 10 present backlighting modes, you can customize as you see fit. It is also water resistant.

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Product Comparison Chart

Retro Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSold ByNumber of KeysDimensionsWeightPrice
Typewriter Style Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with True RGB BacklitDoubleW108 Keys17.4 x 7.2 x 1.6 inches1.98 poundsCHECK IT OUT
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and Mouse ComboBasaltech104 Keys17.52 x 5.67 x 1.18 inches1.54 poundsCHECK IT OUT
NACODEX AK510 Retro RGB Mechanical Keyboard NACODEX104 Keys17.9 x 6.02 x 1.41 inches3.69 poundsCHECK IT OUT
Retro Steampunk Mechanical KeyboardCC mall108 Keys18.75 x 6.5 x 2.13 inches2.35 poundsCHECK IT OUT
Retro RGB Compact Mechanical KeyboardSpring in Original81 Keys12.2 x 4.84 x 1.4 inches1.6 poundsCHECK IT OUT

Be sure to also check out our guide to the Best Retro Mechanical Keyboards for Writers.

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