Ducky keyboards are some of the most prominent mechanical keyboards on the market. They rival brands like Corsair, Razer, and others in terms of quality and build. However, while their flashy aesthetics and consistent quality shine bright, they do have their downsides. Most notably, they’re not the best in terms of software customization because they’ve only recently incorporated the feature. That said, should you buy Ducky keyboards despite their limitations? Let’s find out.
What Are Ducky Keyboards?
The Ducky company mainly produces accessories and peripherals for gaming rigs and setups, with keyboards being its main product. So what is a Ducky keyboard like? Well, the company is well-known for producing highly customizable keyboards that can suit all kinds of gamers. They come in a variety of switches, including Cherry MX, Kailh, TTC, and Gateron.
In addition, Ducky keyboards are known for having unique and unabashedly colorful aesthetics. Oftentimes, you’ll even find them with Chinese zodiac designs on their spacebars. Moreover, they’re available in numerous sizes, from 60% to full-sized keyboards, so you’ll have tons to choose from.
On the other hand, while Ducky keyboards do have these qualities going for them, they also have their downsides. We’re mainly referring to their lack of software customization options that can further make the aesthetics unique. Nonetheless, Ducky keyboards are a good option for people who want their gaming rig to stand out.
Review of Ducky Keyboards
What makes Ducky keyboards good? Most of these keyboards have similar features and, therefore, only differ in small ways. With that said, let’s examine what you’ll more or less get from Ducky keyboards if you choose to buy one.
Ducky keyboards come with a plethora of features – some models having more than others. Generally speaking, however, Ducky keyboards come in a variety of switches, colors, and sizes, and most of them are highly customizable. Each purchase will provide a keycap puller so you can change the Ducky keycaps and add variety to the design.
In addition, most Ducky keyboards – especially those advertised for gaming – come with full RGB backlighting. Hence, you’ll get the full experience and shouldn’t miss out on anything other gaming keyboards have to offer.
Furthermore, the function of the keys of Ducky keyboards is usually customizable. This allows you to reprogram and assign macros to most of the keys. There are also two layers of hotkeys you can usually access, making for great flexibility. Lastly, you can switch the placement of the Windows, FN, and Caps Lock keys on most Ducky keyboards as well.
Are ducky keyboards good? For the most part, we’d say the typing experience on these Ducky keyboards feels excellent. Sure, each keyboard comes with different switches and keycaps. Regardless, their keys are well-made and have great travel. Whether it’s for gaming or office use, you’re sure to enjoy typing on Ducky keyboards.
Of course, we do want to point out that there may be some exceptions. For example, the Ducky mini keyboards like the Ducky One 2 Mini V2 have relatively high latency. Hence, it’s not ideal for gaming despite being a wired keyboard. It’s more for the office than anything else.
With that said, is Ducky good for gaming? Yes, they are – if you purchase the ones built specifically for the task. Moreover, most Ducky keyboards are very well-spaced out so you shouldn’t make too many mistakes or typos. However, we do recommend trying Ducky keyboards for yourself to see whether you like the way they make mechanical keyboards.
Build Quality & Durability
How long do Ducky keyboards last? It depends on the keyboard. Some keyboards are more durable than others, providing double-shot PBT keycaps and a sturdy frame. The Ducky MIYA Mechanical keyboard and the Ducky One 2 Skyline Mechanical keyboard are great examples of this.
Of course, while other Ducky keyboards don’t provide double-shot keys, that doesn’t mean they’re not durable. Generally speaking, Ducky keyboards are fairly sturdy overall and last quite a while. However, we do want to draw your attention to one consistent flaw we’ve seen in Ducky keyboards: their cheap cables.
While the cables that come in the box are USB-C, they’re usually made of cheap, generic material. Hence, they get damaged pretty easily and retain scuffs and marks. On the other hand, the bright side to this is that their cables are usually detachable and generic. Thus, you can easily switch them out with something more premium from a third-party supplier.
Are ducky keyboards hot-swappable? Yes, for the most part. This is because most Ducky keyboards come with standard keycaps and sizes. Unlike other brands like Razer, you can choose more generic keycaps from other companies and slap them onto Ducky keyboards.
As a result, you can customize your keyboard’s design any way you want. Of course, Ducky keyboards are already well-known for being aesthetically quirky and unique. Nonetheless, if you want to give your keyboard a makeover and make it more distinct, you’re free to do so.
Unfortunately, where customization is lacking is in the Ducky keyboard software. The brand doesn’t exactly focus on providing a great software experience. Sure, some models will come with dedicated software to help you customize the RGB lighting. However, the software that these models come with won’t allow you to set macros.
Hence, you’ll have to manually program each macro key directly through the keyboard using the manual. You might say this isn’t a big deal because you can still program macros. Still, some users may have a hard time, especially if they’re not used to reprogramming keyboards themselves.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many bells and whistles to Ducky keyboards. Sure, you can get them in a variety of sizes, colors, and the like. However, most of the keyboards are wired. Finding a Ducky wireless keyboard will limit your options, so you should consider that when shopping for a Ducky gaming keyboard.
With that said, Ducky keyboards aren’t the best option if you want something for on-the-go use. You can’t travel with Ducky keyboards as easily unless you’re prepared to deal with wires. Moreover, it’s not as good of an option for pairing with mobile devices as most of them lack BlueTooth connectivity.
Top Ducky Keyboard Models
Looking for the best Ducky keyboards for your gaming or office setup? Here are a couple of options we can recommend that might pique your interest.
1. Ducky One 2 Mini V2
Ducky Mini keyboards are the best we can recommend for users who lack the space required for larger versions. The Ducky One 2 Mini V2 is one of the greatest ones in the lineup. What is it, and how does it feel to type on?
Firstly, this Ducky one keyboard is one of the best ones you can find if you’re looking for something compact. That’s because it employs a 60% layout without compromising all the functionality you need from a gaming keyboard.
It has customizable keys and RGB backlighting that doesn’t require tinkering with any software. Moreover, the Fn key’s location is changeable because the keyboard employs DIP switches underneath. To top it off, one of the best things about this keyboard is that its typing experience is stellar. It’s light, responsive, and lets you choose between Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches.
On the other hand, there are downsides to the Ducky One 2 Mini V2. For example, despite being a wired keyboard, its latency is pretty high so it’s not as responsive as other models. Hence, it might not perform as excellently in fast-paced shooters or time-sensitive games.
Furthermore, like most Ducky keyboards, this one comes with a cheap-feeling generic cable. Of course, you can switch it out and use something more premium. Nonetheless, it’s something we wish we wouldn’t have to do, to begin with. With all that said, is the Ducky One 2 Mini good? Overall, yes it is. It’s a great compact keyboard for everyday use or casual gaming.
2. Ducky One 2 RGB TKL
Ducky keyboards are great at performance and durability all around and come in varying sizes. If you’re someone who wants a more substantial size than 60%, then we recommend the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL.
As the name implies, this keyboard is Tenkeyless and comes with an 80% layout. It’s an impressive performer and has a fast response rate, so gamers shouldn’t experience any delay. Moreover, it’s well-designed and feels solid and sturdy despite being built with plastic. The double-shot PBT plastic keycaps also only contribute to the durability and make it an all-around durable keyboard.
Apart from this, the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL also comes in different colors and designs. It has RGB backlighting and lets you choose between Cherry MX and Kailh switches. Regardless of which you choose, the keys should feel tactile, light, and responsive enough for any game you play.
On the other hand, like other Ducky keyboards, this thing has one major flaw: its cheap cable. It’s generic and feels like it won’t be durable enough for the long term. Thankfully, it’s not stuck to your keyboard so you can replace it with something better from a 3rd-party brand.
However, unlike the cable, we can’t provide a workaround for the lack of customization the accompanying software provides. Hence, you can’t customize anything but the RGB using the software. To reprogram keys or set macros, you’ll have to manually do so by following the manual’s instructions. However, you can save custom profiles onto the onboard memory so you won’t have to repeat the process.
3. Ducky One 3 SF
One of the best Ducky keyboards is the Ducky One 3 SF. It’s the long-awaited successor of the Ducky One 2 SF and brings quite a few great updates to the line. Firstly, it comes in many different colors and form factors that are a signature part of the series. Of course, the colors are most beautifully showcased through the full-sized versions. However, the smaller Ducky 65 keyboards and 60% versions also do it justice.
Apart from aesthetics, the Ducky One 3 SF also provides different switch options. You can choose from the Cherry MX Clear RGB switches and more, depending on your preferences. These are also hot-swappable, adding more points to the keyboard’s score if this review was rated. Moreover, they’re built with Doubleshot PBT plastic, so they’re very durable overall.
On the other hand, the RGB lighting on the Ducky One 3 SF isn’t as prominent as it is on other models. They act more like accents to the whole aesthetic and don’t overshadow the keyboard’s other features.
Additionally, the Ducky One 3 SF comes with all the things you’ll ever need for a mechanical keyboard. This includes a user manual, a switch remover, and a USB-C cable. Meanwhile, the keys themselves feel responsive and tactile. They’re also highly programmable – making for great flexibility.
Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t have dedicated software even for remapping lights. Nonetheless, because you can remap keys, set macros, create custom lighting, and add profiles without it, it’s still excellent. Lastly, the new Quack Mechanics and overall typing (and gaming) experience on the keyboard truly elevates it as a keyboard. There’s no doubt you’ll love every bit of it regardless of the variant you get.
4. Ducky Shine 7
Back in the day, the Ducky Shine 3 keyboards were all the rage when they first came out. Fast forward a few years, and we have the product line’s successor, the Ducky Shine 7. Is the Ducky Shine 7 a good keyboard?
Like most Ducky keyboards, the Shine 7 boasts amazing build quality and Doubleshot PBT keycaps. These qualities make the product more durable overall so it should last pretty long. The keys are stable, have great spacing, and come in a full-size layout. Hence, you can enjoy all the conveniences a conventional NumPad, dedicated media keys, and arrow keys have to offer.
As for the typing experience, it’s truly not bad. Typing on it for long periods feels comfortable – although it doesn’t come with a wrist rest included. Despite that, however, it’s a pleasure to type on. The Cherry MX keys feel clicky and responsive, allowing you to type with ease and satisfaction.
Apart from this, the keyboard also provides DIP switches. This allows users to switch the Fn key’s placement or choose between the N-key or 6-key rollover. Best of all, each key on the keyboard is reprogrammable, so you can assign macros to any of them. However, like other Ducky keyboards, you can only do so manually. No software will help you as it’s only good for customizing the RGB.
Lastly, like other Ducky keyboards, the Ducky Shine 7’s largest flaw is its USB-C cable. It feels cheap and generic, so it will retain kinks and is more prone to damage. Nonetheless, the cable is removable, so you can easily replace it with something else. Overall, the Ducky Shine 7 is a great mechanical keyboard if you’re looking for something built for work.
Ducky Keyboards vs Other Brands
Are Ducky keyboards not your thing so far? Here’s a quick comparison between Ducky keyboards vs other brands and what gives each one an edge.
Now, Ducky keyboards may be one of the industry standards when it comes to mechanical keyboards. However, Razer offers products that can be just as compelling because of their laser focus on gaming performance. With a Razer keyboard, you can easily set macros through the software – something Ducky keyboards sorely lack.
In addition, they come with wrist rests and have more versatile features like wireless connectivity. However, the biggest downside with Razer’s keyboards is that they’re only available with one switch type. Hence, customizing your keys isn’t as easy to do on Razer keyboards. Moreover, there’s less variety overall.
Ducky keyboards may be prominent in the mechanical keyboard space, but they don’t corner the market when it comes to non-mechanical types. On the other hand, Corsair makes both types and offers more variety to consumers. Hence, if you don’t like the clicky mechanical switches, you can always opt for a regular membrane Corsair keyboard.
Apart from this, Corsair also provides many versatile features. For example, they have more wireless models, and their full-sized variants usually provide dedicated macro keys. Moreover, the iCUE software it provides is available on both macOS and Windows. As a result, it’s friendly to almost any type of user, regardless of the operating system. However, the biggest edge Ducky keyboards have over the brand is that Ducky keyboards are usually more well-built.
Should People Try Out Ducky Keyboards Today?
With all that said, are Ducky keyboards worth getting despite many other competent brands offering equally compelling models? Well, that depends on you and your use case. While other brands like Razer or Corsair have more variety in their product lines, Ducky keyboards are more consistent. They all have similar features and only differ in minor details. Hence, you’ll know the quality you’ll get with a Ducky keyboard, and there’s less risk of buying something unsatisfactory.
In addition, Ducky keyboards are more flexible and customizable in both switch types, keycaps, and colors. Their hot-swappable nature and standard switch sizes make this incredibly easy, too. If dedicated software and subpar cables aren’t problems for you, then we highly recommend them. Just make sure you know where to buy Ducky keyboards to get a good deal before you make a purchase.