If you’re just getting started in the world of PC gaming, you’ll notice that a keyboard can either make or break the entire experience. And since the keyboard is almost like the “heart” of a gaming PC setup, you’ll want to spend time figuring out what keycaps are going to be most suited to you.
There are so many different types of keyboards on the market that it can be hard to choose which one is best. Not only do mechanical keyboards have many different types of switches, but you can also go with all sorts of different “keycaps”.
This can add a bit of extra confusion. But don’t worry - we’ll be taking a look at the different types of keycaps for your keyboard.
Once you have found the most ideal keyboard with the best keycaps, you won’t believe the amount of comfort that comes with not only gaming but simply typing.
ABS & PBT Plastic
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to defining different types of keycaps. One of the first things you’ll hear people talk about though is ABS and PBT plastic for the keycaps.
ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and PBT stands for Polybutylene Terephthalate - both are types of plastic.
ABS keycaps are cheaper and are the more popular option. It is durable and has a nice amount of resistance, but is mainly favored because of how cheap it is to produce.
Over time, the ABS keys may start to wear down, and the letters of the keys may start to fade. You also might notice a greasy shine - if they are extra cheap.
PBT keycaps are often more expensive to produce, and are of higher quality. PBT keys usually last longer than ABS keys.
PBT keys have a more textured or sandy-type feel to them, whereas ABS are smooth. They are sometimes thicker and matte.
When using PBT keys, don’t be surprised if you find things to be louder when typing. Overall, PBT keys are good if you are willing to dish out a little extra cash for something that automatically feels better quality.
Made in a more complex manner, doubleshot keycaps use two separate plastics that get injection molded. Their main purpose is so that RGB lighting can easily pass through the legends, making the lighting appear much clearer. Also, it ensures that things don’t fade over time.
Along with SA and DSA keycaps, OEM keycaps are one of the main design profiles for a keyboard’s keycaps.
OEM keys are the most common of the lot, as they are mostly seen in keyboards that are mass-produced. They’re more often than not going to be made of ABS and have the usual shape and color that people are used to.
OEM keycaps have a concave surface which will assist you in knowing where your fingers need to be when typing without looking at the keyboard.
These keycaps are taller, are also often much thicker and have a more defined and sculpted profile, with a spherical touch area. Most people who type a lot will prefer these types of keys as it makes the whole experience feel a lot more intuitive and comfortable.
Not only that, SA keys have a unique look that stands out from a lot of other keys because they are quite the underdog in the keyboard world. If you want to have a unique setup that is also quite comfortable to type with, then definitely consider going with SA keycaps.
If you type often, it is likely that you won’t like DSA keycaps. DSA keycaps are a low-profile type of keycap that is pre-formed to fit onto a key switch. They are quite flat and uniform in nature. This makes it a lot easier to clean them.
They usually go well with lots of minimalistic setups because of how plain and level they are.
Having trouble deciding on what keycaps to go for? Lots of gaming stores have all sorts of keyboards on display and welcome you to go up and try typing with them in order to get a feel for how things are.
Keycaps in general aren’t too expensive, so maybe just buy a few that you may be interested in and see what you think. It is important to try out all sorts of keys so you find the right one for you.