So your kids have been begging you to buy them a custom keycap set and, well, you have no idea what they’re talking about. We didn’t get it either (at first) but here’s everything you need to know about this latest trend.
While custom keycaps have been around for a while now, they’re totally going mainstream thanks to all the gamers out there (young and old) and, of course, all those TikTok videos. You know the ones.
Our nephew requested we get him one that allowed light through (and glowed with all sorts of colors) for his birthday and because he’s basically the coolest 10 year old we know, we obliged. Of course, we weren’t sure what he was asking for or why, but upon further research we totally get it.
In total layman’s terms, custom keysets are a fun way to replace some (or all) of the keys on your regular mechanical keyboard or gaming keyboard. Some allow light to shine through, making your RBG backlight even brighter. You can usually choose from a wide variety of color options, themes, and more. Apparently kids and gamers are big fans of the translucent options that light up with bright colors. It really helps with making their overall gaming that much more immersive.
Since everyone has been quarantining for what seems like a lifetime, most are either working from home or learning from home. As adults we may set up a home office, but all the kiddos on computers (desktop) have been adding a little extra fun and color – making remote learning at least 1% more bearable. Ugh.
One main takeaway is that these are so tough to find in-stock online right now. Basically everywhere we looked was sold out. There are some really great options (most in stock) on Amazon and we, of course, went direct to the leader in the custom keycap industry, Drop, and found some amazing picks there too. So if you’re in the market for these, snag them while you can!
Ok, so here’s our overall trend verdict. If it’s specifically for us? Screw it. We’re not gamers and we don’t own a mechanical keyboard. And, well, we know we’re not the target demo anyway. However, if you’re a gamer, a teen or tween, or just want to add a little life to your boring keyboard, we definitely say do it!
If you’re looking to give this a go, check out our picks for some of the best custom keycaps and keysets (so far) in 2023.
HyperX Pudding Custom Keycaps
Amazon Ratings: +4,400
For the Gamer
One of the top sellers from one of the top brands, HyperX, this translucent option has a dual layer design so it allows even more light to come through, but still allows you to see each letter/number clearly. This one even comes with an easy-to-use tool so you can get each one on and off without trouble. Learn more here!
The Pudding Recap Set
Amazon Ratings: +1,000
For the DIY’er
A great pick for the gamer-at-heart because it’s super durable and can pretty much take a beating (which, it will). It’s compatible with some of the most popular mechanical keyboards (just double-check to make sure it’s compatible with what you have). It also comes with a key remover tool so you don’t have to worry about trying to flick these on and off with your finger or screwdriver (please, don’t). Learn more here!
HK Gaming Keyset
Amazon Ratings: +500
For the Teen-to-Adult
If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated and adult in nature this may be a great option for you. It comes with 139 keys (included in that are 39 different key modifiers) and is even compatible with Cherry MX. They don’t let light shine through like some of the above options, but if that’s not a deal breaker for you, give it a try! Learn more here!
YMDK Carbon Top Print Set
Amazon Ratings: +510
For the Budget Seekers
Decently priced (lower than many others of the same quality/style), this one has become an instant fan favorite due to the simplicity, natural color combos (especially if you’re over the rainbow look), and fun orange pops of color. Definitely great quality, especially for the price! Learn more here!
Drop MassDrop Keycap Set
Amazon Ratings: +40
For the Tenkeyless Fans
This one made our editor’s pick, quite honestly, due to the color. We’re not overly into multi-color and nothing too bright. We really like the pop of electric blue and totally appreciate the durability of them too (Doubleshot ABS). Choose from two different blue options! Learn more here!
Crystal Crown Keycaps
Amazon Ratings: +280
For the Simplistic Gamer
If you’re looking for high-quality, yet no frills (and a cheap price) definitely check this one out. It has a clear and transparent design, which helps brighten up the RGB backlighting and is Cherry MX Stem compatible. Learn more here!
Drop Novelty 3-Pack
Starting at 12.95
For the Starter
While this isn’t for the entire keyboard, everyone has been obsessing over this cute novelty 3-pack. It’s perfect for beginners, funny little joke gift ideas, or just when you want to add a little extra fun to your mechanical keyboard. Learn more here!
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