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 dedicated software that allows for more thorough customizations like macro programming or key remapping.
We've tested over 215 keyboards, including nine keyboards from Ducky. Below are our picks for the best Ducky keyboards.
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 re-solder new ones.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and 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 and 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.
Origin Series: These are Ducky's more vintage-inspired keyboards with classic bezel designs, callback colorways, and layouts reminiscent of keyboards from the late 1980s and 1990s. While these keyboards look retro at first glance, they also have many of the same features as other popular custom keyboards on the market, including hot-swappable PCBs and double-shot PBT keycaps.
ProjectD: Ducky's ProjectD lineup takes more direct inspiration from recent trends in the custom mechanical keyboard space, with barebones kits, QMK/VIA programmability, hot-swappable PCBS, and gasket-mounting designs. These keyboards are available in various compact form factors.
Jan 12, 2024: We've checked all our picks for pricing and availability and aren't changing our lineup with this update. We've also added new information about Ducky's Origin and ProjectD keyboard lineups.
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.
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.
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.