Best Keycap Profiles for Gaming

A keycap profile is the shape of the keycap in a mechanical keyboard. This includes how tall it is, its angle, and the shape of the top. Each profile feels different under your fingers and can change your gaming experience. There are so many different keycap profiles out there that picking the best one for gaming can feel really confusing.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the specifics of keycap profiles. We’ll talk about why they’re important and how they can make your gaming better. We’ll look at popular keycap profiles, talk about the different materials they can be made of, and look at how you can customize them. This will help you choose the best keycap profile for your gaming setup. Let’s get started and see how the right keycaps can make your gaming even better.

What is a Keycap Profile?

Getting into keycap profiles might feel like a lot at first. But, in simple terms, ‘keycap profile‘ is just a fancy way of talking about the shape and design of the keycaps. Some keycaps are flat, others have a rounded shape, and there’s a whole bunch of different shapes in between. Some keyboard designs even make each row of keys a different height. This gives a nice curved or sloping shape to the whole set of keys. When you change the shape of your keycaps, you can totally transform the look and feel of your keyboard.

Looking at Keycap Profiles From the Side

Keycaps from side view

The image above gives you a glimpse into the world of keycap profiles. There are lots of different profiles and shapes to pick from. Even though we only showed a few in the picture, there are many more out there. Some are just harder to find because they’re not as common.

What to look for in Keycap Profiles for Gaming

When you’re choosing keycap profiles, there are a few things you need to think about:

  1. Comfort: Some keycaps are higher, some are lower. Some are flat on top, others are curved. You need to think about what feels good for your fingers to touch.
  2. Typing Style: Everyone types a bit differently. Some people might find it easier to type with tall keycaps, while others might prefer short ones.
  3. Sound: Different keycaps can make different sounds when you press them. If you like a quiet keyboard, you might want to choose keycaps that don’t make a lot of noise.
  4. Looks: Keycaps come in many different colors and styles. Think about what kind of look you want for your keyboard.
  5. Durability: Some keycaps can wear out over time, especially if you use your keyboard a lot. So, you might want to think about how long the keycaps will last.
  6. Price: Keycaps can vary a lot in price. Make sure to think about how much you’re willing to spend.
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Remember, the ‘best’ keycap profile is the one that feels the most comfortable to you and fits your needs the best.

In my experience, the Cherry keycap profile is top-tier for gaming. The Cherry profile’s shorter height means quicker keypresses, giving me an edge in fast-paced games. I also found the slightly angled design more ergonomic, reducing hand fatigue during longer sessions. The high-quality build of Cherry keycaps also promises durability, ensuring they can withstand heavy gaming use. Overall, for both comfort and performance, Cherry keycaps have proven to be the best choice for me.

Keycap ProfileDescriptionKeyboard Example
OEMOEM keycaps are high and curved, making them comfortable for typing. They’re often found on pre-built keyboards.Keychron K6 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard.
CherryCherry keycaps are shorter, which can improve speed and reaction time, perfect for gaming. They’re rounded on top for comfort.Varmilo VA87M Keyboard.
DSADSA keycaps are short and have a flat, round top. This makes them good for those who like a flat typing feel or change keyboard layouts often.Planck Mechanical Keyboard.
XDAXDA keycaps are also flat and round like DSA, but they’re slightly taller. This gives a unique typing feel that some users prefer.NovelKeys NK65 Aluminum Edition.
SASA keycaps are tall and heavily curved, providing a vintage look and feel. They’re good for typists who like a bit of a reach and a solid ‘clack’ sound.Drop ALT Mechanical Keyboard.
DCXDCX keycaps are medium height with a slight curve. This design allows for comfortable and accurate typing, suitable for both gaming and general use.No specific keyboards come with DCX keycaps, they can be purchased from Amazon.
Keycap Profile comparison table

Uniform vs Sculpted Keycap Profiles

Keycaps come in two main shapes: flat (uniform) or shaped (sculpted). Flat keycaps are the same height across all keys, and they don’t angle towards the user. On the other hand, shaped keycaps have a slight tilt for more comfortable typing, so you don’t have to stretch your fingers too much.

Many people prefer shaped keycaps as they feel more natural to type on. However, some enjoy the feel or look of flat keycaps better, especially when they come with cool designs. It’s all about what feels right to you!

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OEM vs Cherry Keycaps

oem vs cherry
OEM vs Cherry/GMK, source: keycaps.info

OEM and Cherry keycaps are popular among gamers. OEM keycaps are taller and have a curvy shape that some people find comfortable for long gaming sessions. Cherry keycaps are lower and less curvy, which might provide better speed for competitive gaming. Therefore, your choice between OEM and Cherry might depend on your gaming style, comfort preference, and the type of games you play.

DCX vs Cherry Keycaps

dcx drop vs cherry

DCX is a new keycap profile standard from Drop company. But it’s almost identical to Cherry keycaps as you can see in the image.

Checking if your Keyboard Works with New Keycaps

Before buying new keycaps, make sure they will fit on your keyboard. Here are some things you need to check:

  • Keyboard Layout: Some keyboards have a unique design, so all keycaps might not fit. Check your keyboard layout (full, tenkeyless, compact) and the keycap set details.
  • Keycap Mounts: Keycaps are attached to the switches using mounts, and these mounts need to match. The most common is the “cross” mount used by Cherry MX and similar switches.
  • Keycap Size: Some keyboards use non-standard key sizes, especially for the space bar, shift, and enter keys. Check the sizes of these keys in your keycap set to make sure they match your keyboard.

So, before you buy a keycap set, do a quick check of your keyboard. This will save you from the disappointment of getting a set that doesn’t fit!

What keycap profile is good for gaming?

The best keycap profile for gaming will depend on your personal preferences. However, most gamers prefer Cherry keycaps because they are sculpted for easier touch typing and have a good balance between speed and comfort.

Is XDA profile good for gaming?

The XDA profile is a uniform profile, which means all the keys have the same height and shape. Some gamers appreciate their flat, wide surface area for quick key presses.

Is OEM profile good for gaming?

OEM profile is one of the most common keycap profiles and is quite popular for gaming. It’s sculpted, which can make touch typing more comfortable.

Are low-profile keyboards bad for gaming?

Not necessarily. Low-profile keyboards can be great for gaming, particularly for games requiring quick key presses. However, some players might find them less comfortable for long gaming sessions.

What profile does Razer use?

Razer keyboards generally use a proprietary keycap profile that is similar to the OEM profile.

Is RGB keyboard good for gaming?

RGB keyboards can enhance the gaming experience aesthetically, and some gamers find the lighting useful for gaming in low light conditions. However, they don’t inherently improve gaming performance.

Marcus Richardson
Editor-in-chief

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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