Ducky manufactures gaming peripherals with its primary focus on mechanical keyboards. Their keyboards are highly customizable, and you can purchase them in a variety of Cherry MX, Gateron, TTC, and Kailh switches, depending on what model you're interested in. Ducky keyboards stand out against the competition with their unique and colorful aesthetics, and they often include Chinese zodiac-branded spacebars. Most of their keyboards have very similar features, and they're available in a variety of 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 180 keyboards, with nine of them being Ducky, and 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. While it isn't available on Amazon or Best Buy, you can find this model on MechanicalKeyboards.com, which is an official Ducky sales partner. This full-size unit has a durable plastic bottom with a solid zinc alloy top plate that adds a nice bit of weight to the keyboard, so it stays firmly in place on your desk. Like all Ducky models, the Shine 7 also comes with PBT keycaps that have a nice texture that feels very nice on the fingertips. These keycaps are shine-through, so the RGB backlighting comes through nicely to illuminate them in the dark. As a nice touch, Ducky includes a patterned space bar with a shine-through design etched into it to add a little extra pizzazz.
Where this keyboard shines (pun intended) is in its versatility. Its latency is incredibly low and well-suited to competitive games, making this a great choice if you want one keyboard to use 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 up the RGB backlighting, it still offers more in-depth customization than having to use hotkeys. However, while many keyboards in Ducky's lineup have a hot-swappable circuit board, the Shine 7 doesn't, so you'll have to find a variant of the board with your preferred switch style as changing the switches requires deconstructing the keyboard and de-soldering the switches.
If you're alright with swapping a metal case for a bright, plastic one, then the Ducky One 3 is an excellent choice for a Ducky keyboard. This colorful unit comes in a variety of sizes, including a compact (60%), a TKL (80%), both of which are great for gaming, and, of course, a full-size (100%) classic model if you want something with a Numpad. As an improvement over 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 plucking them out and replacing them with your preferred switches to truly customize your typing experience.
However, there are a few minor trade-offs for this improved gaming performance and the ability to customize the switches to your liking. The Shine 7 has software for customizing the RGB backlighting, while any customization on the One 3 has to be done using hotkey combinations directly on the board, limiting your customization ability. Plus, 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 very minor shortcomings, the One 3 is a reliable, high-performing unit that adds a great splash of color to any setup.
The Ducky One 2 Mini V1 may be an older model, but that doesn't mean its performance is outdated. This little unit has even better latency than the more recent version, the Ducky One 2 Mini V2. Its latency isn't as low as the Ducky One 3's, so it isn't as well-suited to competitive, reaction-based games, though it's perfectly fine for casual gaming or regular productivity tasks. Like the other keyboards in this list, the One 2 Mini V1 still offers the same solid build quality and satisfying typing experience. Despite its compact size, it doesn't feel cramped to type on as the keys are very well-spaced.
However, the downside to its compact size is that it loses the dedicated volume keys, arrow keys, and navigational cluster that are found on the full-sized Ducky Shine 7 and One 3. That said, it might not be a great option if you tend to work with a lot of spreadsheets and data entry, but it's great if you're a casual gamer who wants more space freed up on your desk for mouse movements.
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 to use for both working and gaming. However, Razer keyboards have software for in-depth customization whereas only a few Ducky models have companion software that only allows you to adjust the RGB backlighting.
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, whereas Ducky only makes wired-only keyboards. That said, Ducky's keyboards, while similar across models, have higher build quality as they use PBT keycaps and their keyboards very rarely suffer from deck flex.
Other major companies, like Razer and Logitech, have bigger lineups compared to Ducky. However, you know what you're getting with a Ducky keyboard since most of them are so 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.
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.
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.
Jan 07, 2022: Verified product availability and made minor alterations for text accuracy; no changes to our picks.
Sep 09, 2021: Updated text for clarity and accuracy.
May 12, 2021: Replaced the Ducky One 2 Mini V1 with the Ducky One 2 Mini V2 since it's the upgraded version of the same board.
Overall, Ducky produces highly customizable keyboards, and you can purchase them in a variety of 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. Taken together, these qualities all but guarantee that you can find a Ducky keyboard that suits your needs.