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The 3 Best Ducky Keyboards of 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best Ducky Keyboards

Ducky manufactures gaming peripherals with its primary focus on mechanical keyboards. Their keyboards are highly customizable, and you can purchase them in various switch types from popular manufacturers, including Cherry MX, Gateron, TTC, and Kailh. Ducky keyboards stand out against the competition with their unique and colorful aesthetics, often including Chinese zodiac-branded spacebars. Most of their keyboards have very similar features and are available in various sizes, from 60% compact to full-sized variants. However, Ducky lags behind other companies in terms of dedicated software, as they've only recently released software to customize the RGB lighting but lack software that allows for more thorough customizations like macro programming or key remapping.

We've tested over 200 keyboards, including nine keyboards from Ducky. Below are our picks for the best Ducky keyboards.

Updates

Best Ducky Keyboards


  1. Best Ducky Keyboard

    The Ducky Shine 7 is the best Ducky keyboard we've tested, thanks to its superb build quality and excellent typing quality. You can find this model on mechanicalkeyboards.com, an official Ducky sales partner. It's a full-size keyboard with a durable plastic bottom and a solid zinc alloy top plate that adds a good amount of weight to the keyboard, so it stays firmly on your desk and feels very solid. It also comes with PBT keycaps that are slightly textured and aren't slippery, so they feel nice to type on. These keycaps are shine-through, so the RGB backlighting comes through to illuminate them in the dark. Ducky includes a patterned space bar with an etched, shine-through design.

    The standout feature of this keyboard is its versatility. Its latency is incredibly low and well-suited to competitive games, making this a great choice if you want one keyboard for both work and play. It's also one of the few units from Ducky to have dedicated companion software. While this software is limited to changing the RGB backlighting, it offers more in-depth customization than hotkeys. However, while many keyboards in Ducky's lineup have a hot-swappable circuit board, the Shine 7 doesn't. You'll likely want to find a variant of the board with your preferred switch style since changing the switches requires you to take apart the keyboard, de-solder the old switches, and resolder new ones.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Ducky Keyboard

    At a mid-range price point, we recommend the Ducky One 3. This keyboard comes in a variety of expressive colorways as well as several sizes, including a (60%) and TKL (80%), both of which are great for gaming. There's also a full-size (100%) classic model if you require a Numberpad. As an improvement over our best pick, the Ducky Shine 7, this keyboard has improved latency for even more responsive in-game performance. It also has a hot-swappable circuit board, so you can change the stock switches by simply popping them out with the included switch puller and replacing them with your preferred switches to customize your typing experience.

    However, a few minor trade-offs exist for this improved gaming performance and hot-swappable board. The Shine 7 has software for customizing the RGB backlighting, while you have to do any customization on the One 3 using hotkey combinations directly on the board, limiting your customization ability. The keycaps aren't shine-through, so you'll have to rely on the glow between the keycaps to read the legends in a dark environment. Despite these minor shortcomings, it's a reliable, high-performing unit that can add some style and flair to any setup.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Ducky Keyboard

    We recommend the Ducky One 2 Mini V2 if you want to spend a little less. This keyboard is now called the 'One 2 Mini RGB' on Ducky's website. It's still named the Ducky One 2 Mini V2 on some retailers, but they're the same model. This keyboard is an updated version of Ducky's original Ducky One 2 Mini V1, which they've since discontinued, so Ducky removed the 'V2' part of this product's name.

    This compact unit is a great option for smaller desks or if you prefer more space for sweeping mouse movements. Like the other keyboards in this list, this one still offers the same solid build quality and provides a satisfying typing experience. Despite its compact size, it doesn't feel cramped to type on since the keys are very well-spaced.

    This keyboard also has considerably higher latency, so while it's still a good choice for everyday browsing, productivity, or casual gaming, it isn't suitable if you exclusively play fast-paced, competitive games. Also, the downside to its smaller size is that it doesn't have dedicated volume keys, arrow keys, function keys, or a NumPad. It means it isn't a great option if you work with spreadsheets or data entry—or if you're a programmer who likes having a dedicated function row.

    See our review

Compared To Other Brands


  • Easily customizable.
    Ducky keyboards are very customizable. You can purchase them in various switches, colorways, and sizes. Each keyboard comes with a keycap puller, and you can buy different colored keycaps on their website, allowing you to design your keyboard how you like. Most of their boards have a hot-swappable printed circuit board (PCB), meaning you can change out the stock switches without having to solder.
  • Excellent typing quality.
    These keyboards usually come with lightly textured PBT keycaps that feel great on the fingertips. The keys are stable and well-spaced, so Ducky keyboards have one of the best-feeling typing experiences on an out-of-the-box unit.
  • Tons of features.
    Ducky keyboards are loaded with extra features. Every key is macro-programmable, and you can access two layers of hotkeys. DIP switches allow you to change the location of the Windows, Fn, and Caps Lock keys rather than using companion software for these tasks.
  • Limited software.
    Most major manufacturers have customization software for gaming keyboards to create custom profiles, set macros, and reprogram buttons. Ducky doesn't have similar software, though some models have software to change RGB lighting settings. On Ducky keyboards, all macro programming is done directly on the keyboard, which can be hard to learn for some people. That said, some people feel the software options from many other manufacturers are too invasive and consume unnecessary system resources, so you may prefer the ability to record macros without installing additional software on your computer.
  • Cheap USB-C cable.
    Even though the keyboards are typically very well-built, Ducky usually includes a cheap, generic USB-C cable. It retains kinks easily and may even have generic markings on it. Luckily, it's detachable if you want to replace it.
  • Only purchasable via third-party.
    Unlike many other keyboards sold directly by the manufacturer or found readily available on popular online marketplaces like Amazon, Ducky keyboards are limited to select vendors depending on your country. It means they can be a little unintuitive to purchase as you'll have to go to their website, find a sales partner, and purchase from there.

Ducky vs Razer

Razer keyboards are designed primarily for gaming use, so they often outperform Ducky's models in terms of latency. However, Ducky's keyboards are a bit more versatile thanks to their switch options and typing experience, making them a better choice if you're looking for one keyboard for both working and gaming. However, Razer keyboards have software for in-depth customization, while only a few Ducky models have companion software that only allows you to adjust the RGB backlighting. You can see our recommendations for the best Razer keyboards here.

Ducky vs Logitech

Logitech's range of products is significantly wider than Ducky's, as Logitech makes budget-friendly scissor-switch boards, high-end mechanical gaming units, and everything in between. Logitech also makes wireless units, while Ducky only makes wired-only keyboards. That said, while similar across models, Ducky's keyboards have higher build quality as they use PBT keycaps, and their keyboards rarely suffer from deck flex. To compare the brands' offerings, check out our recommendations for the best Logitech keyboards here.

Ducky vs Keychron

Keychron has an extensive lineup of mechanical keyboards in different form factors, switch types, and layouts. They have many more models available than Ducky. They're more productivity-focused and feature wireless connection options, while Ducky keyboards are wired-only models designed primarily for gaming. You can check our recommendations for the best Keychron keyboards here.

Other major companies, like Razer and Logitech, have bigger lineups than Ducky. However, you know what you're getting with a Ducky keyboard since most are similar; they're all well-built, and quality control is excellent. Ducky offers more customization options in terms of aesthetics and switch types. If you don't mind the lack of dedicated software, Ducky's options are as good as the competition's.

Lineup

Zero Series: The Zero series is the entry-level product line in Ducky's lineup. Zero models are cheaper than the One Series keyboards, but that's reflected in their inferior build quality and non-detachable USB cable.

One Series: Ducky's One series is a mainstay in their lineup, with higher-numbered models indicating a newer generation model. They're available with a wide range of Cherry MX switch types, colorways, and in full-size, TKL, or compact (65%) and (60%) form factors.

Mecha Series: Ducky's Mecha series is similar to the One series, but they feature an aluminum case instead of the latter's plastic body, yielding a more premium feel. They're available with several different Cherry MX switch options, colorways, and in compact (65%) or (60%) form factors.

Shine Series: The Shine series is Ducky's flagship product line, with a zinc alloy top case and shine-through keycaps. They're available in many colorways and with various Cherry MX switch types, but only in a full-size form factor.

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 18, 2023: We've updated our 'Best Budget Ducky Keyboard' recommendation from the Ducky One 2 Mini V1 to the updated and more widely available Ducky One 2 Mini V2.

  2. May 16, 2023: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for user needs.

  3. Jan 17, 2023: We've confirmed all our choices are in stock and remain the best picks for each category, and we've added a new segment with information on how Ducky keyboards compare to those from Keychron. We've also adjusted some of our phrasings and made some minor tweaks for clarity.

  4. Sep 19, 2022: Overhauled article to better reflect the current Ducky lineup of products and align with user expectations. Updated the compared to sections for relevance and added a new "con" about purchasing availability.

  5. May 04, 2022: Replaced the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL with the Ducky One 3 as 'Best Ducky Keyboard For Gaming' as the One 3 has better latency and is more readily available.

Conclusion

Overall, Ducky produces highly customizable keyboards, and you can purchase them in several color variants, giving your gaming setup a unique aesthetic. They have outstanding typing quality, which is great if you also want to use them for the office, and they're very well-made. These qualities all but guarantee that you can find a Ducky keyboard that suits your needs.

Test Results