Choosing The Right Keycaps For Your Gaming Keyboard

Keycaps are an integral part of a gaming keyboard, as they protect the mechanical switches and create a comfortable experience for the user. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors and materials, making it possible to customize your keyboard to suit your individual needs. With their wide variety of options and benefits, keycaps have become something of a phenomenon among gamers around the world.

To evoke curiosity in the audience and inspire them to explore new possibilities, this article will help readers understand how to choose the right keycaps for their gaming keyboard.

From providing a better typing experience to enhancing aesthetic appeal, keycaps can have a huge impact on how you use your gaming keyboard. This article will provide an overview of different types of keycaps available on the market today and discuss some important factors that should be kept in mind when selecting keycaps for your gaming keyboard.

It will also explain the various benefits that come with having custom-made or aftermarket keycaps and offer tips on cleaning and maintaining them effectively so you can maximize their performance over time.

Introduction to Keycaps

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Selecting the appropriate keycap for a computer keyboard is an important step in optimizing user experience. Keycaps are usually made of plastic, often ABS or PBT, and come in different shapes and sizes. Characteristics such as profile, stem type, size, legends/sublegends, surface texture/finish play a part in choosing the right keycap for one’s gaming keyboard.

Apart from these characteristics there are also differences between materials used to make keycaps that should be taken into consideration when selecting a compatible set of keycaps for one’s gaming keyboard. Keycap material comparison is based on factors such as cost, sound dampening qualities, thickness, color fading resistance and overall feel of the cap when typing or pressing keys on the keyboard. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is generally more affordable but is prone to shining due to its thin walls whereas PBT(Polybutylene Terephthalate) has thicker walls making it more resistant to shine over time but slightly pricier than ABS.

Each material offers distinct advantages and drawbacks depending on what kind of user experience one is looking for from their gaming keyboards. While some users prefer louder clicky sound with RGB lighting effects produced by thinner walled ABS caps others may opt for quieter typing experience with no light bleeding through provided by thicker walled PBT caps. Aspects like cost effectiveness and durability must be considered while comparing different types of keycap materials available in the market before making an informed decision about which type of cap would best suit one’s needs and preferences when it comes to gaming keyboards.

Moving onto types of keycaps available today…

Types of Keycaps

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Determining the type of keycaps for a keyboard is an important factor in personalizing the gaming experience. Keycaps come in a variety of styles, shapes, and materials. The most common types of keycaps are those made from ABS plastic or PBT plastic. ABS is a cheaper material but can wear down quickly over time, while PBT is more expensive and durable.

There are also ergonomic designs that help reduce fatigue during long gaming sessions by providing cushioning and custom shapes for comfortable typing. Additionally, some keycap sets offer backlighting effects to add color to the keyboard as well as translucent options for a unique aesthetic look.

The profile of keycaps refers to their height and shape which affects how they feel when pressed. Common profiles include OEM (original equipment manufacturer), Cherry MX, DSA (double shot abs), SA (spherical angled), XDA (extreme double shot abs) and DCS (dye-sublimated). Each has its own unique characteristics which make them suitable for different preferences and playing styles.

OEMs have a flat profile with uniform height across all keys, while Cherry MX has raised keys with varying heights depending on the row it belongs to.

The next step in choosing the right keycaps for your gaming keyboard is understanding the various profiles available on the market today and what makes them suitable for different users’ needs. Different factors such as comfort level, cost effectiveness, style preference should be taken into consideration when making this decision so that gamers can find their perfect fit in order to make their keyboards truly stand out from all others out there!

Profile of Keycaps

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The profile of a keycap refers to its shape and height. Keycaps are available in three main profiles: OEM, Cherry, and DSA.

The OEM profile is the most common profile and features a curved surface that is sculpted for comfort and uniformity; Cherry profile provides more pronounced tactile feedback than OEM; while the DSA profile is characterized by uniform keycap sizes with no angles or curves.

OEM Profile

OEM Profile keycaps are an important factor to consider when selecting a keyboard. This type of profile refers to the shape, angle, height and size of the keycap, allowing for a variety of design options. The OEM profile is one of the most popular types due to its combination of comfort and durability.

Keycaps with this profile have a slightly curved surface that fits perfectly in your hand, making typing and gaming easier and more comfortable. Furthermore, they are made from high-quality materials that are resistant to wear and tear, ensuring that they will last for years to come.

When comparing profiles it is important to note that OEM profile has a shorter total height than other designs such as Cherry Profile, while still providing excellent ergonomics and aesthetics. As well as offering custom designs with unique colors or patterns, these keycaps can also be used in conjunction with other components on keyboards such as backlighting or switches for an even more personalized gaming experience.

With all these advantages combined, OEM Profile keycaps offer an ideal solution for gamers looking for comfort and customization without sacrificing quality or performance.

The next step in choosing the right keycaps is looking at Cherry Profile – a different type of profile which offers an alternative set of benefits compared to OEM Profile.

Cherry Profile

Cherry Profile keycaps offer a distinct design with its angled surface, providing an ergonomic experience and aesthetic appeal. This type of keycap offers users the best of both worlds – comfort and style. Along with being comfortable to use for extended periods of time, these keycaps also come in a variety of colors and designs, allowing for an aesthetically pleasing look.

The pros of Cherry Profile include its ergonomic shape which is more natural to the hand than a standard flat profile, as well as its customization options. However, there are some cons associated with the Cherry Profile. One con is that they require more maintenance due to their stepped design which can trap dirt or debris between keys easier than other profiles. Additionally, they are typically more expensive than other types of profiles such as OEM or DSA.

Despite this, Cherry Profile remains one of the most popular profile types among gamers because it offers comfort and style without sacrificing build quality. With that being said, transitioning into the next subtopic about DSA Profile would be a logical conclusion to this discussion on Cherry Profile keycaps.

DSA Profile

DSA Profile keycaps are notable for their uniform shape, providing a consistent feel and look across all keys. These keycaps feature a low profile design with a shorter height than other popular profiles, allowing gamers to take advantage of the reduced size when creating backlighting effects.

Additionally, DSA Profile keycaps offer a variety of sizes to choose from that range from 1u to 2.25u, allowing gamers to customize their keyboards in more ways than ever before. Furthermore, these keycaps provide an excellent base for creative backlighting effects because they have no surface protrusions or deep inset legends that can interfere with light diffusion and create shadows.

The uniformity and low profile of DSA Profile keycaps make them ideal for those who want to create custom keyboards using different types of materials like ABS plastic and PBT plastic. With this type of customization available, gamers can find the perfect combination of colors and textures that will bring out the best in their gaming experience while making sure their keyboard looks unique and stands out amongst others.

Keycap Materials

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Keycap materials are an important factor to consider when selecting the right keycaps for a gaming keyboard. Common materials used to construct keycaps include plastic, aluminum, wood and rubber.

Each material offers their own unique advantages in terms of durability, feel and sound profile which should be taken into consideration when making the choice.


Plastic keycaps are a popular choice for gamers due to their affordability and wide variety of designs. For example, a gamer might choose a type of plastic keycap with an iconic design featuring the logo of their favorite video game franchise.

Plastic keycaps come in a wide price range, so they can be beneficial for those on tight budgets or those who want to splurge on custom designs. Additionally, compatibility issues are rare with plastic since most gaming keyboards can accommodate them without any issue.

The tactile feedback of plastic keycaps is often considered less satisfying than other materials like aluminum or metal alloys, but the tradeoff is that they tend to be quieter in operation. This makes them ideal for gamers who prefer quieter environments where they won’t disturb others while playing.

Furthermore, many modern gaming keyboards feature RGB lighting underneath the keys which can be brought out even more by using transparent plastic keycaps instead of standard opaque ones. Thus, offering an additional level of customization and personalization for gamers looking to make their setup stand out from the crowd.


Aluminum keycaps offer superior tactile feedback and durability compared to plastic, making them an ideal choice for those looking for a more satisfying typing experience. Aluminum Benefits include enhanced light dispersion, increased longevity, and an aesthetically pleasing design.

Maintenance of aluminum keycaps is relatively low; they can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth or compressed air canister to remove dust and debris. Additionally, since aluminum is resistant to corrosion and wear, these keycaps are highly durable and will last much longer than their plastic counterparts.

For those who desire a higher level of performance from their gaming keyboard, the improved tactile feedback and durability provided by aluminum keycaps make them an attractive option. Transitioning into the next section about wood without writing ‘step’, it’s important to note that these materials have their own sets of benefits as well as drawbacks depending on user preference.


Wood keycaps offer a unique look and feel, with no two sets being exactly alike due to their natural variations, making them an ideal choice for those looking for an unparalleled aesthetic experience.

Wood keycaps provide a distinct texture, often featuring a grain finish that differs from one set to another. Moreover, they come in various colors, ranging from natural shades of browns and tans to bolder hues such as reds and blues, allowing users to customize their keyboards according to personal preferences.

Intricate woodgrain finishes, rich color palettes, and a unique tactile experience make wood keycaps the ultimate customization experience for gamers who want to add an extra layer of sophistication and flair to their gaming setup.

Their elegant textures combined with the broad range of colors available make wooden keycaps the perfect way to upgrade your keyboard’s aesthetics while also improving its functionality. With these features in mind, it is easy to see why wood keycaps are becoming increasingly popular among gamers looking for ways to stand out from the crowd.

Transitioning seamlessly into the subsequent section about rubber caps, this type of keyboard accessory offers its own set of advantages as well.


Rubber keycaps provide a unique tactile experience that allows users to customize their gaming setup with an elevated level of comfort. The soft, spongy material helps absorb stress and fatigue from long gaming sessions, providing users with improved tactile feedback.

Rubber’s flexible texture is also beneficial when it comes to the design options available; rubber keycaps can be found in various colors and shapes, allowing gamers to express their personality through customization. By adding a layer of protection over the keys, rubber keycaps not only increase the user’s comfort but also protect against dust and dirt build-up in between uses.

Color and design options are endless, offering gamers an array of ways to personalize their keyboards for maximum performance while simultaneously expressing themselves.

Color and Design Options

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With a range of colors and designs available, finding the perfect combination to accentuate one’s gaming setup can be an exciting endeavor. From flashy RGB lighting to subtle tone-on-tone designs, there are numerous options for individualizing one’s keyboard.

Some of the most popular design trends include:

  • Custom keycaps with 3D printing capabilities
  • Laser etched or double shot details for a stylish appearance
  • Color choices that range from classic black to vibrant shades of blue and green

When deciding on the ideal color and design for your gaming keyboard, it is important to consider how they will work together to create a cohesive aesthetic. For example, if you have chosen a neutral palette then opting for colorful keycaps will provide just enough contrast without overwhelming the space. On the other hand, if you are going for a more daring style then selecting bright colors and bold shapes will help create a statement look. Moreover, customizing your own keycaps allows you to tie in any personal elements that make your setup truly unique.

With so many options available at various price points, anyone can find their perfect set of keycaps no matter their budget or preferences. From sleek silhouettes that offer timeless appeal to vibrant hues that make an instant impact – selecting the right color and design is essential in setting up an unforgettable gaming experience.

Custom Keycaps

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Creating custom keycaps with a range of materials and finishes can add an extraordinary level of personalization to any gaming setup. When considering the purchase of custom keycaps, it is important to consider the size and shape that best suits your keyboard layout, as well as the type of material that will last through long gaming sessions. Additionally, there are many customization options available for creating unique designs on each individual keycap. A buying guide can help you select the ideal combination for your needs.

The variety of materials used in custom keycaps include ABS plastic, PBT plastic, metal alloys and resin-casted molds. Each material offers its own unique features and benefits such as durability or texture feel when typing or gaming. Depending on what you are looking for in terms of aesthetics or functionality, one material may be better suited than another. For example, if you prefer a softer touch when typing then PBT plastic could be ideal whereas metal alloy might provide more stability during intense gaming sessions.

It is also possible to customize the design itself by adding symbols or various colors using different techniques such as dye sublimation printing or pad printing processes respectively. With regard to color selection, there are literally hundreds of shades to choose from ranging from subtle hues to bright neon shades that will truly stand out amongst your fellow gamers!

Overall, selecting the right combination of materials and design features come down to personal preference but having a good understanding about what’s available can make it easier to make informed decisions when purchasing custom keycaps for your gaming keyboard setup.

The Benefits of Keycaps

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Keycaps are an important component of gaming keyboards as they provide comfort, durability, and aesthetics.

Comfort is a key factor in choosing the right keycaps; they must be ergonomic to ensure users can type quickly and accurately without discomfort or fatigue.

Additionally, keycaps should be durable and able to withstand regular use with minimal wear and tear.

Finally, keycaps come in a variety of colors, textures, and designs that allow users to customize their keyboard for improved aesthetic appeal.


Comfort is an important factor when selecting keycaps for a gaming keyboard. Keycaps that are ergonomically designed to fit the hands and fingers can improve the gaming experience for users who spend extended periods of time on their keyboards.

The shape, size, texture, and position of each individual keycap should be taken into account when choosing the right ones for your gaming keyboard. For example, large keycaps in a concave shape can provide comfortable support during long periods of typing or gaming sessions.

In addition, some gamers might prefer textured keycaps with raised textures that allow them to quickly locate specific keys without looking away from the screen or taking their hands off the keyboard.


Moving on from comfort, durability is an important factor to consider when choosing keycaps for your gaming keyboard. Keycaps are exposed to significant wear and tear with frequent use, so it’s important to choose a material that can stand up to heavy typing over long periods of time. Durability testing should be done before any purchase is made in order to ensure that the keycaps won’t become worn or faded too quickly.

When considering durability, here are five things you should look out for:

  • Weight: Heavier materials tend to last longer than lighter ones due to their increased resistance against wear and tear.
  • Surface finish: Smooth surfaces like those found on double-shot ABS keycaps are more resistant to fading caused by friction than textured surfaces.
  • Material composition: PBT plastic is more durable than ABS plastic and also provides better sound dampening.
  • Compatibility with cleaning products: Make sure the material used in the keycap won’t react badly with any cleaning products you plan on using.
  • Thickness: Thicker keycaps provide more protection against damage from outside sources such as dust and spills while still remaining comfortable enough for long-term use.

Choosing a durable set of keycaps for your gaming keyboard will help ensure that they look great even after extended periods of use, making them an important aspect of creating a visually pleasing setup for gamers who take pride in their workstation aesthetics.


Aesthetics are an important factor to consider when selecting keycaps, as they can contribute significantly to the overall look and feel of a gaming setup. Keycaps come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, materials and colors, so it’s important for users to find what best fits their style while also staying within their desired price range. The aesthetic impact of keycaps can be further accentuated by customizing them with stickers or paint. This allows gamers to truly personalize their keyboards and make them stand out from the rest.

As such, aesthetics should not be overlooked when choosing the right set of keycaps for your gaming keyboard. In addition to aesthetics, it’s important to keep in mind that different types of mechanical switches require specific types of keycap compatibility. This should also be taken into account when making a purchase decision as incompatible keycaps may not fit properly or result in poor performance due to incorrect installation. With this in mind, gamers must ensure they select compatible keycaps before finalizing any purchase decisions.

Keycap Compatibility

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When selecting keycaps, compatibility is an important factor to consider. The type of mechanical switch a keyboard uses determines what kind of keycap can be used with it. Most modern gaming keyboards use either Cherry MX or Topre switches, although some rarer models may have other types.

For example, Cherry MX switches are compatible with most types of aftermarket double-shot and dye sublimated keycaps, while Topre switches require their own specific type of top mount caps. It is important to make sure that the keycaps are compatible with the type of switch used in the keyboard before making a purchase.

Keycap compatibility also involves ensuring that any special keys on the keyboard fit the replacement caps correctly. Many gaming keyboards come equipped with specialized keys for macros or media controls which may not fit standard sized caps due to their unique shapes and sizes.

Additionally, certain keyboard layouts such as 65%, 75% or 96% will require different sized sets than full-sized boards in order for all the keys to fit correctly. Therefore when choosing custom keycaps it is essential to check that they are suitable for your particular layout and any additional features your board has before buying them.

The quality of materials used in manufacturing keycaps should also be taken into consideration when looking into compatibility issues. Low quality plastic options may not be able to withstand heavy use or offer good resistance against wear over time compared to higher grade materials such as PBT plastic or metal alloy caps. This means that users must research how durable each material used is prior to purchasing new sets so that they can make informed decisions about which option best suits their needs and budget accordingly.

Transitioning into cleaning and maintenance, it is important for users to protect their investment by properly caring for their keyboards and replacing worn out parts regularly if needed.

Cleaning and Maintenance

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Regular cleaning and maintenance of keyboards is essential to ensure proper functioning and longevity. It is important to be educated on the most effective cleaning and maintenance tips for keycaps in order to make sure that they stay looking like new for a long time.

Cleaning should be done regularly, with gentle solutions such as wiping the keys with mild soap and water, using compressed air for dust removal, or using a damp cloth. For tougher stains, rubbing alcohol can also be used but it must be applied carefully as it can damage the keycap lettering or coating if left on too long.

It is also important to take care when maintaining your keyboard’s keycaps by avoiding any abrasive cleaners which can scratch them or erode the coating over time. Additionally, avoid spilling liquids onto the keyboard as this may cause damage to both the keycaps and other components of your gaming keyboard. Lastly, try not to touch the surface of the keycap letters with your fingers as this may leave behind oils from your skin which will attract dirt over time.

The above steps are beneficial in keeping your gaming keyboard’s keycaps clean and well-maintained for a prolonged period of time – ultimately allowing you to get many years of use out of them without worrying about needing replacements any time soon!

To sum up then, choosing suitable keycaps for your gaming keyboard requires careful consideration regarding compatibility issues; while regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary in order to keep them looking like new over extended periods of use.


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By taking into account compatibility issues, as well as providing proper cleaning and maintenance, it is possible to ensure that keyboards remain functional and attractive for many years. Selecting the right keycaps can be a fun process of personalization that allows gamers to create an individualized experience while maintaining quality control. This is especially true when considering the various material options available, such as ABS plastic or PBT plastic, which determine the durability and feel of each keycap.

Moreover, there are a variety of shapes and colors at one’s disposal which can contribute to making one’s gaming keyboard stand out from the crowd. Keycaps also provide other benefits beyond aesthetic appeal or ergonomics; they can increase typing speed by allowing gamers to reach their desired keys with greater accuracy. Additionally, some keycaps come equipped with sound dampening technology which helps reduce noise levels during gameplay without sacrificing feedback or responsiveness.

Ultimately, selecting the right keycaps for one’s gaming keyboard is essential in order to enjoy an optimal gaming experience that combines comfort and performance. With these considerations in mind, choosing a set of keycaps should involve a careful balance between functionality and personalization goals; this will help gamers get the most out of their keyboard setup while ensuring long-term satisfaction with their purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboards?

Mechanical and membrane keyboards are two distinct types of computer input devices. While mechanical keyboards feature non-tactile switches that offer a tactile feedback when pressed, membrane keyboards rely on rubber domes to provide an ergonomic typing experience.

Mechanical keyboards usually require more force to activate the keys, but they also tend to be more durable and have a longer lifespan than membrane keyboards. On the other hand, membrane keyboards are typically more affordable and quieter than mechanical models, making them ideal for office environments where noise levels must be kept low.

Ultimately, the right keyboard for your needs will depend on your budget, preferences for tactile feedback, and intended use; however, with a wide variety of options available today it is easy to find one that meets all your criteria.

How do I know which keycap size is compatible with my keyboard?

When exploring the various profiles and colors of keycaps available for keyboards, it is important to determine whether a given size is compatible with a particular keyboard. This can be done by researching the specifications of both the keycap and keyboard, comparing the measurements between them.

In general, most gaming keyboards will adhere to one of three main sizes: full-size (104 keys), tenkeyless (87 keys), or 60% (68 keys). However, there are many variations which may fit other sizes as well.

Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the keycaps chosen will fit properly on a given keyboard before making a purchase.

What is the most durable keycap material?

Imagery of a glowing keyboard under the hands of a gaming enthusiast can transport one to an immersive world. Evaluating materials in order to consider durability is key when choosing keycaps for a gaming keyboard.

PBT, or polybutylene terephtalate, is widely regarded as the most durable material for keycaps due to its resistance to abrasions and solvents; its low thermal expansion rate also ensures that it will not distort with prolonged use. Additionally, PBT has a unique texture which provides feedback during typing, aiding gamers in their pursuit of precision and accuracy.

All these features make PBT the optimal choice when considering durability in keycaps for gaming keyboards.

Are custom keycaps more expensive than standard keycaps?

Custom keycaps are often more expensive than standard keycaps due to their additional features and design options. Custom designs allow users to personalize their keyboards with a variety of color options and unique shapes which can improve tactile feedback when typing or gaming.

Furthermore, custom keycaps can be made from higher quality materials such as PBT plastic or metal alloys, providing better durability over standard ABS plastics. As a result, custom keycaps offer an increased level of customization for those seeking to make their keyboard stand out from the rest.

Are keycaps easy to install?

Keycaps are generally quite easy to install, depending on the type of material used and the manufacturing process.

Some keycaps are made from materials that are chemically resistant, such as ABS plastic or PBT plastic, which can be installed without any extra adhesive or special tools.

Other types of keycaps, like those made with double shot molding, may require a bit more effort but can still be installed relatively easily with some patience and care.


In conclusion, keycaps are a critical component of any gaming keyboard setup. They provide not only aesthetic appeal but also improved tactile feedback and durability.

When selecting keycaps, it is important to consider the profile, material, color, and design options to ensure compatibility with the keyboard. Proper cleaning and maintenance should be taken into ensure longevity of the product.

To summarize, selecting the right keycaps for your gaming keyboard requires careful consideration of multiple factors to maximize performance and satisfaction with your setup. With so many options available today, there’s something for everyone – no matter what your style or budget may be – so you can find something that fits like a glove in more ways than one!