Best Split Keyboard For Gaming

The split keyboard is gaining popularity amongst gamers - here's the best of the bunch

kinesis split keyboard

Split keyboards are often favored in the working environment, offering typists an ergonomic option to keep any repetitive strains at bay. For gamers that do more than just load up the latest AAA title, an ergonomic split keyboard could be ideal for both working and gaming.

Traditional keyboards were designed in an era where health concerns were often overlooked, with even the basic QWERTY layout boards being refined to offer a bit more support and comfort when being used.

The stress on your health can build up over time and affect you in later life, so if the keyboard is something you sit in front of daily maybe it is time to check out what a split keyboard can do for you.

Split keyboards feature a strange appearance and are certainly something that will take a lot of getting used to. As you can tell by the name, a split keyboard is usually split into two halves. The two halves give the user various options as to where they can position the keys, allowing you to comfortably line up your wrists when working or gaming.

Let’s take a closer look.

Our Top Picks

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EDITOR'S PICK
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KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge

The Best Split Keyboard For Gaming
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SMALLER FORM FACTOR PICK
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Koolertron SMKD62

The Best SFF Split Keyboard For Gaming
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100% PICK
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Cloud Nine C989M

The Best Full-sized Split Keyboard For Gaming
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Best Split Gaming Keyboards: First Look

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EDITOR'S PICK
The Best Split Keyboard For Gaming
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KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The Kinesis Gaming Split Keyboard brings ergonomics and gaming features all into one package. This board features RGB, accurate and reliable Cherry MX Switches, and a sturdy build.

The Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge is a solid performing split keyboard for gaming. This board comes in a variety of switch types, features RGB, and comes with a built-in padded palm rest. this versatile split keyboard is great for gaming and the simple design is actually quite pleasing visually.

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SMALLER FORM FACTOR PICK
The Best SFF Split Keyboard For Gaming
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Koolertron SMKD62

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The Koolertron is as reliable as it is stylish. This keyboard features a very unique look, with a borderless edge giving the keys a floating appearance. This highly reliable and well-built split keyboard is perfect for both gaming and working!

This Koolertron split keyboard is one of the most stylish available. While it is fairly subtle with its colors and looks, the unique design is one to be marveled at, making this look superb on any desk. It doesn’t just get style points though – this board features highly reliable mechanical switches, and you can separate the segments as much as 20 inches apart!

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100% PICK
The Best Full-sized Split Keyboard For Gaming
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Cloud Nine C989M

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The C989M from Cloud Nine is the perfect 100% split keyboard for gamers. This board is packed with key gaming features, like responsive Cherry MX brown switches, RGB lighting, and macros.

The Cloud Nine C989M split keyboard is great for both gaming and typing thanks to its ergonomic layout and features. This board sports a rather subtle and simplistic design, but it does feature RGB backlighting to spice things up a little. The board features Cherry MX Brown, switches which are a perfect middle ground between fast linear Reds and loud clicky Blues.

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How We Choose

Choosing the right split keyboard for gaming can be a long and tricky task, especially when you consider the number of different options out there.

Making sure you get the right keyboard for your specific needs is crucial – you don’t want to waste your cash. That being said, the process can often require almost seemingly endless research, comparisons and user reviews. Don’t worry though, WePC is here to help.

We go through all that research before finally narrowing down our selections and bringing them all into one place.

How We Test

Whether you are buying a new ergonomic mouse, a comfortable chair, or the latest monitor, knowing what to look for is a vital part of the process. This applies to when buying a split keyboard for gaming too, as you want to ensure you get the best product for your specific needs.

We are going to run through a few key factors for your consideration to make sure by the end you can choose a great keyboard for your hard-earned cash.

Things To Consider

From gaming mice to split keyboards, we like to get hands-on with all the peripherals we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.

Products must pass our testing, which is largely a lot of gaming with some other boring stuff involved – but most (if not every) recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.

With a split keyboard, especially mechanical ones, we need to assess build quality, construction, performance, and finally, value.

This process enables us to provide you with an accurate take on how well a keyboard performs and, ultimately, if it’s worth your hard-earned cash.

Health Benefits Of A Split Keyboard For Gaming

The health benefits are mostly for those that will spend hours typing on a keyboard; Whether you are an administrator or copywriter we can all get wrist pain from time to time. A split keyboard can alleviate some of the stress your muscles and joints may face, making it easier to get comfortable.

We are all different shapes and sizes, with different length arms and fingers, so having a bit of modularity with a keyboard actually makes sense.

It’s generally known that having your hand’s shoulder-width apart while typing is the safest for you and generally considered the comfiest position, and this is where the split keyboard comes in.

You no longer have to hunch over a specific area of your desk! You can simply layout the keyboard in various manners to best suit your own specific needs.

The use of a split keyboard for gaming or typing can help prevent typing-related injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also reduce the amount of strain you will inevitably get from repetitive tasks, while also reducing fatigue. Thanks to the spacing of a split keyboard, they can minimize the pressure on nerves and tendons too, preventing constriction of blood vessels.

Thanks to the health benefits of a split keyboard, productivity will naturally increase. Plus, they are more comfortable, making it easier to type accurately for longer at a much quicker pace.

Switches

We may be talking a lot about health benefits, but we are looking at the best split keyboards for gaming, so switches are a crucial thing to consider. The switch is the main aspect of any mechanical keyboard, whether it’s for gaming, typing, or both. The split keyboards in our list are all mechanical, so if you are a gamer that prefers membrane then you may need to look elsewhere.

Some of you may be wondering why you should choose a mechanical switch over membrane and while it could be considered subjective, the evidence of which is best points to the mechanical keyboard.

Mechanical Switch vs Membrane Switch

Mechanical switches are more tactile, with some types giving you a notable bump when a keypress has been actuated. Other types of mechanical switches, such as linear, provide a smooth keypress, with fast actuation for quicker results in-game. There are switch types for everyone to enjoy and the best part about mechanical switches is their accuracy, longevity, and reliability.

Do bear in mind that mechanical switches tend to be louder than their membrane counterparts but feel nowhere near as squishy. Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, tend to be much more affordable but with there being so many switch options these days this may not always be the case.

Aesthetics & Comfort

The aesthetics of a keyboard aren’t all that important, but some people would like their keyboard to stand out on the desk. Some boards might not have flashy RGB but if it doesn’t go with their setup they probably won’t buy it.

While these all have comfort in mind thanks to their design, some offer wrist support with padding and others bring RGB into the mix. What you choose is ultimately down your personal preference, so make sure you grab a board with features tailored to your needs.

Our Best Split Keybaords For Gaming

01
EDITOR'S PICK
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KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue

Backlight

RGB

Wrist rest

Cushioned palm support built in

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SMALLER FORM FACTOR PICK
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Koolertron SMKD62

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Red, Brown, Gateron Blue, Black

Backlight

N/A

Wrist rest

N/A

03
100% PICK
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Cloud Nine C989M

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Brown

Backlight

RGB

Wrist rest

Built-in palm rest

In-depth Review

01
EDITOR'S PICK
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KINESIS Gaming Freestyle Edge

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Red, Brown, and Blue

Backlight

RGB

Wrist rest

Cushioned palm support built in

Pros

Versatile design is great for gaming and typing

Simple and attractive design

Durable switches

Comfy palm/wrist rest included

Cons

No dedicated media keys

Kinesis and ergonomic design go hand in hand; This company was at the forefront of more comfortable keyboard options and this mechanical gaming keyboard follows suit.

If this wasn’t split you could say it was a TKL board, as it is lacking the numerical pad on the right. This board is split into two halves with up to 20 inches of separation. The left half of the board features 10 extra keys, eight being macros, and the other two made for advanced commands.

The design is fairly simplistic with pleasant RGB backlighting, letting you know this was built for gamers. This keyboard features three different switch types to chose from, Red, Brown, and Blue. This model we are showcasing today is the linear Cherry MX red version, the best switch type for gaming.

There is no software required to get the RGB shining and it feels robust and ready for anything, making this the best split keyboard for gaming in our round-up.

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SMALLER FORM FACTOR PICK
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Koolertron SMKD62

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Red, Brown, Gateron Blue, Black

Backlight

N/A

Wrist rest

N/A

Pros

Attractive minimal design

Great switch variety

89 fully programmable keys

Cons

Less keys than some gamers may require

With the Koolertron SMKD62 you are getting an 89 key split keyboard that simply looks fantastic. The sleek and simplistic design will be favored by many who dislike flashy RGB boards, with this looking great as part of any setup.

This is another option with no numerical keypad, saving space and generally making it more versatile for its primary use, gaming. The board splits into two halves and weighs just three pounds.

This keyboard comes with a variety of switch options from two different manufacturers, Cherry MX and the highly popular MX Clones from Gateron. The switch options are a little limited in terms of variety but they offer both gamers and typists great options.

This split keyboard comes with a 1m long detachable cable and features a mini USB to link the two segments. The board features anti-ghosting, and the switches are very accurate and responsive, giving you the best possible results.

This is a slick board and the superb design speaks for itself.

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100% PICK
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Cloud Nine C989M

Type

Split Keyboard

Switches

Cherry MX Brown

Backlight

RGB

Wrist rest

Built-in palm rest

Pros

Ergonomic layout

Reliable switches

Media controls

Cons

Mostly plastic

The Cloud Nine C989M ergonomic split keyboard comes with all the features a gamer could want. This split board will not only help eliminate those pesky pains and strains, but it will do so in style.

The board is split about 40/60, with the WASDA side for gamers getting some macros along the leftmost side. The split board can have a gap as wide as six inches, giving you enough room to maneuver this into the perfect position for your needs. This is backlit with RGB and features a handy volume control wheel in the middle of the split.

Aside from RGB lighting, the C9 board features Cherry MX Brown switches which are widely known for gaming performance and feature a tactile bump. Whether its gaming or typing, you are going to have a comfortable and satisfying experience with this board at all times.

This is a great split keyboard for gaming simply thanks to its versatility and it is the only one on our list to feature a full-size layout and a numerical keypad. Furthermore, you are getting a built-in palm rest with this product too, so get ready for some comfy gaming!

Final Word

Our featured selections are the best split keyboards for gaming.

How they stack up against the best keyboards for gaming, I’m unsure, as they certainly come with fewer features, but real-life performance is actually pretty close.

The best of anything comes with a hefty price tag, and so do these split keyboards. however, their innovative split design makes ergonomic gaming a much more comfortable experience for all.

The best split keyboard for gaming is the Kinesis Freestyle Edge board. The design is fairly simple but the board has a good amount of switch types to chose from, comes with RGB, and features a plush padded palm rest for maximum comfort.

For those looking for a split keyboard that is not only a bit smaller but looks incredible too, the Koolertron keyboard is the way to go. You can choose between Cherry MX or Gatron switches, this feels more luxurious than any of the others, and this can be split apart up to 20-inches wide!

For a full-sized 100% option, the Cloud Nine C989M split keyboard could be the perfect gaming companion. This board features RGB backlighting, an ergonomic layout, and volume control. Furthermore, the Cherry MX Brown switches give gamers and typists the best of both mechanical switch worlds.

Whether you need a split keyboard for gaming or typing, each selection will bring you the best in performance. Choosing the best split keyboards just got a whole lot simpler. What split keyboard do you currently have? Head over to the WePC community to let us know what your using and the switches you prefer.

The Author Who Worked On This Article