There’s a somewhat arguable topic for gamers and their keyboards. The debate is whether it’s better to play with a tilted keyboard or keep it straight. It seems like the more hardcore gamers have solid reasoning behind positioning their keyboard sideways, whereas some of the more casual gamers are more concerned about hurting their wrist, rather then getting a better KDR.
I can definitely see some benefit in gamers playing with their keyboard at an angle. I can also see some negatives. Of course, there are alternatives as well and I will be going over all of these topics in this article.
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Why do Gamers Tilt their Keyboard?
So why exactly do Gamers tilt their keyboards? There are a few reasons why gamers use their keyboards at an angle. It could be out of habit or it could be out of comfort. Professional gaming tournaments are usually pretty crowded with minimal desk space. To be competitive, gamers have to be creative. This results in gamer’s playing with their Keyboards at an angle.
Pro gaming tournament environments may not always be so cramped. However, Gamers simply get used to using a tilted keyboard and as we all know it’s hard to break a habit.
To my interest, some gamers claim that having their keyboard tilted is actually more comfortable. Even if they had a bigger desk to play on, they say they would still prefer to tilt their keyboard.
Not only is it more comfortable but there are many great advantages that come with tilting your keyboard. If you want to be a competitive gamer you need every advantage you can get.
If you’re not a competitive gamer, and rather more casual, then maybe you don’t care about the advantages. Maybe you’re more concerned about the downside.
What is Pro Gaming and eSports?
If you’re a casual gamer you may not be too concerned about “maximizing your advantage” by using strategies like tilting your keyboard, but there are many people that are into this type of thing.
It started in the 2000s, the popularity of gaming increased and gamers came together and created something amazing. It’s now an official competitive event that many people follow and watch just like football, basketball, and other sports. By the 2010s gaming had exploded in popularity and was excepted commercially.
Why does this Matter?
Think about it, gaming is now considered a sport. People are associated with recognized brands, earning sponsorships and winning tournaments is a big part of the business. Money is literally on the line here.
It takes hours upon hours of practice to even stand a chance in the big leagues. You will be surprised if you ever watched one of these tournaments. It’s truly amazing
That being said, it’s not always enough to “just practice”. You have to think outside the box sometimes and come up with unique tricks to perform better. Just like every football team has its own playbook, every eSport gamer has their tricks up their sleeve. In this case, tilting their keyboard.
I’m not a Pro Gamer
If you’re not a pro gamer that’s perfectly fine. You might just enjoy being competitive at home as a hobby. If that’s the case, you could still enjoy some of these cool tricks performed by the pros to impress your friends. You might start seeing more wins and less fails if you follow the eSports professionals and learn from them.
Of course, just because you see it on TV doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea. It’s important you do your own research and make sure it actually makes sense to do something before you do it.
In the following sections, I will go over both the positives and negatives of using your keyboard sideways.
Benefits of Tilting your Keyboard
You may be wondering if there’s actually any real benefit to using your keyboard sideways. The fact is there are multiple benefits.
The first benefit is that you can maximize your space. If you have a small room with a small desk then this is very important. Also, a lot of keyboards designed with gaming in mind are extremely large. Sometimes it just makes sense to angle them out of the way.
When playing an FPS type game, such as Fortnite, Csgo, counter-strike, or maybe some others, it requires a lot of rapid Mouse movement. If you’re cramped up on a little desk and a jumbo keyboard, there’s a chance your mouse could slam the side of your keyboard. If this happens you’re sure to lose the game. This is when angling your device could really make a difference.
Reach more keys with one hand
To be competitive in the gaming world it’s all about quick movements. You need to be faster than your opponent in order to win. The best way to do this is by creating less distance from your hand to the keys. When you tilt your keyboard it actually makes it a lot easier to reach multiple keys with one hand. It also makes it a lot easier to hit the ctrl button which is a common button used in gaming.
Less strain on your wrist
This one is debatable, but some people say that it’s actually better for your wrist if the keyboard is tilted. Their argument is that the keys are not aligned perfectly straight therefore the keyboard should not be positioned straight either.
However, if you actually see a player using their keyboard sideways, it just looks painful. Though, even if it were proven to be bad posture, do you think a pro-gamer would care? Most of them are prone to injuries later on anyway, with their backs hunched over their desks, and their heads sticking out looking like a turtle.
Why you Shouldn’t Tilt your Keyboard
I’ve pretty much already said why you shouldn’t angle your keyboard in the previous sections. It mostly comes down to bad posture. Most people reading this probably don’t care about that, but you should probably be aware that playing with your keyboard tilted should probably be kept to a minimum. The reason being is that having your wrist cocked sideways for long periods of time could cause excessive strain on your wrist. I’m not sure if it will cause any serious injuries or anything. It could, or not. In any case, I would just be aware and be careful.
Related Article: Keyboard and Mouse Position for Gaming: Complete Guide
Alternatives to Tilting your Keyboard
If you like the idea of having the advantages of a tilted keyboard, but the dangers scare you, then lucky for you I’ve come up with a few alternatives and solutions.
Get a bigger desk
I’ll just start with the obvious, it may not be something that you can do right now. Maybe you can’t afford it or you don’t have room for it but you should definitely consider it for the future. Invest in a bigger desk and forget about the Tilted keyboard shenanigans.
Lose the number pad
If you can’t get a bigger desk then the next best option is a smaller keyboard. The easiest way to achieve this is to get one without a number pad. you don’t really need one of these because there are numbers on the top of the keyboard. However, some people like to use those for macros.
Aren’t macros cheating though? I think it’s a fine-line. I’ll let you decide on that one!
Get a half keyboard
The other alternative to tilting your keyboard is getting your hands on a half keyboard. No, I don’t mean to cut your current keyboard in half!
I’m talking about an actual half keyboard.
Click image to check price on Amazon
This interesting invention by Edgar Matias is basically a full qwerty keyboard split through the middle. Nobodies know where the right side went, you only get to use the left side of the keyboard.
With that being said, you can hold the space button to change the software so that the keyboard mimics the right side. I can see how going through this process over and over could be really annoying for typing, but you won’t really need to switch back and forth when gaming. If you were trying to play your video games on a small desk, it would be perfect!
To summarize, the main reason gamers tilt their keyboards is to have an advantage. There are so many advantages to tilting your keyboard it’s unbelievable. the only downside I can think of is the excessive strain it puts on your wrists. The question is, do you think most Gamers care about this? I don’t think they do.
There are other reasons why they play with their keyboards sideways, such as having limited space, or force of habit from when they had limited space in a cramped, tournament environment.
There are alternatives, of course, you could get a bigger desk or get a keyboard without a number pad or even a half keyboard. Though you might be on a tight budget, and the truth is, it’s a lot more affordable – in fact, it’s free! – to just change your keyboard position rather than buying a product.
Related Article: Set up mouse and keyboard on a console. With or without a Xim Apex