Personalizing a gaming setup or “battlestation” is a large undertaking. There are countless options out there that allow gamers to tailor their battlestations down to the keycaps. Rubberized keycaps have added another layer of personalization that gamers have become infatuated with this year.
Rubberized keycaps are more-or-less what they sound like—keycaps that are coated in rubber, but with texture added to the top of them. The caps look similar to something a user might find when opening a Corsair keyboard box, which typically holds extra WASD caps that have texture and are a different color. With rubberized caps, this idea is taken to the next level.
The rubber coating allows for better finger grip when playing and can benefit players who are making the jump to PC gaming for the first time. Having a rubber coating provides users with a bit more forgiveness in terms of “fat-fingering” the wrong key during a gaming session.
It’s safe to assume that almost every player out there has accidentally burned an ultimate in Overwatch or stun-grenaded their own teammate in Rainbow Six Siege because they fat-fingered the wrong key. With rubberized caps, it may be a bit easier for some players to avoid those mishaps due to the added texture and grip that the coating provides.
Practicality aside, the caps also come in a wide variety of colors to allow deeper personalization for players looking to up their battlestation clout. Tai Hao, the most popular and in-demand manufacturer of rubberized keycaps, gives consumers a wide variety of colors to choose from. The color range includes anything between neon green and pink to the more subdued black and grey options. There’s an option for everyone looking to add another layer of personalization to their battlestation, which makes the caps even more appealing to consumers.
Part of the hype surrounding rubberized keycaps comes from the spotty availability, much like the Finalmouse Air 58 Ninja. Mechanicalkeyboards.com, a large and trusted retailer, is often out of stock for popular options. The retailer provides shipment estimates and allows for waves of pre-orders, but they still can’t keep them in the warehouse.
Consumers can always roll the dice on eBay, but the shipment estimates are far less transparent—the actual estimated shipping dates are often hidden in the hard-to-read fine print. Another viable option is to buy directly from Tai Hao’s website, but shipping alone doubles the price of an otherwise-cheap product.
The bottom line for these keycaps is that they aren’t for everyone. If someone is immune to the hype, then these might seem pretty pointless. Other people may be turned off by the lack of cohesion on their keyboard.
The hype still persists and the stock remains short, but if people have the patience, this may be the missing piece to an otherwise complete battlestation. The market for these keycaps continues to grow as more gamers learn about them, so the style won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.