Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Max/Mini Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Mar 02, 2023 at 12:13 pm
ROCCAT Vulcan II Max/Mini Picture
9.2
Gaming
2.7
Mobile/Tablet
7.7
Office
7.6
Programming
5.4
Entertainment / HTPC

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max and Vulcan II Mini keyboards are wired mechanical models designed primarily for gaming. These keyboards use ROCCAT TITAN II OPTICAL switches and have full RGB lighting backlighting for each key. Specific keys have an additional dedicated LED to indicate when secondary functions are active, and you can customize the lighting on a per-key basis and synchronize it with other ROCCAT peripherals. The keycaps also have a low profile that showcases the keyboard's lighting.

We bought and tested the ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Max, which is the full-size version, but there's also a smaller-size version available called the ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Mini. For more details about the differences between each version, see the Differences Between Variants section below.

Our Verdict

9.2 Gaming

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are outstanding for gaming. They have exceptionally low latency, and the linear optical switches on the unit we tested feel light to press and have short pre-travel, making them feel very responsive in-game. These keyboards have outstanding RGB lighting showcased by the low-profile keycaps. Using the customization software, you can also customize the lighting on a per-key basis. Unfortunately, while the build quality of these keyboards is good overall, the keycaps are made of lower-quality ABS plastic, prone to develop shine and get slippery over time. Unfortunately, the frame also exhibits considerable flexibility compared to many similarly-priced options.

Pros
  • All available switch options are light to actuate and have low pre-travel.
  • Exceptionally low latency.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • Good ergonomics.
Cons
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced models.
2.7 Mobile/Tablet

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are wired-only models not designed for use with mobile devices or tablets.

7.7 Office

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are good for office work, though they aren't designed specifically for this use. Overall, these keyboards have good build quality, and the typing noise is relatively quiet with the linear red switches on the unit we bought and tested. The full-size Vulcan 2 Max unit includes a translucent wrist rest for added comfort, but the smaller compact (65%) variant doesn't include a wrist rest. Unfortunately, the ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap, and the frame is a bit more flexible compared to some similarly-priced options.

Pros
  • Good ergonomics.
  • The linear red optical switches are fairly quiet.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced models.
7.6 Programming

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are good for Programming work, though they aren't designed specifically with this use in mind. These keyboards have good overall ergonomics, especially the full-size variant, which has an included wrist rest. You can also program macros to any key, and the low-profile keycaps do a good job of showcasing the RGB lighting, which is fully customizable on a per-key basis. Unfortunately, while the build quality is good overall, the frame exhibits more flexibility than many similarly-priced models. Also, the keycaps are made of lower-quality ABS plastic that tends to develop a shiny finish and get slippery over time.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • Good ergonomics.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • Overall build quality isn't as good as many similarly-priced models.
5.4 Entertainment / HTPC

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are inadequate for entertainment and home theatre PC setups. These keyboards are wired-only models, so you'll need to sit very close to your setup to use them. On a more positive note, these keyboards have good build quality overall and dedicated media keys. They also have full RGB backlighting, meaning the keys are easy to see in a darker room.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • 9.2 Gaming
  • 2.7 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.7 Office
  • 7.6 Programming
  • 5.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Mar 02, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Feb 23, 2023: Early access published.

Check Price

Black Vulcan II Max
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Black Vulcan II Mini
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
White Vulcan II Max
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
White Vulcan II Mini
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are available as either the full-size ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Max or the compact (65%) ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Mini. Both keyboards are available in either black or white colorways. You can see more details about the differences between these variants in the table below. We bought and tested the ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Max in black for our review. You can see the label for our unit here.

We expect the test results in this review to broadly apply to all variants of these keyboards.

Name Size Available Switches Types Included Wrist Rest Colorways Notes
ROCCAT Vulcan II Max Full-Size (100%) ROCCAT TITAN II OPTICAL RED, ROCCAT TITAN II OPTICAL BROWN Yes Black, White Has 24 multi-function 'Smart Keys' with dual LED lights
ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Compact (65%) ROCCAT TITAN II OPTICAL RED No Black, White Has 30 multi-function 'Smart Keys' with dual LED lights

Compared To Other Keyboards

The ROCCAT Vulcan II Max and ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini are wired mechanical keyboards designed for gaming. These keyboards use proprietary ROCCAT TITAN II Optical switches, which feel light to press and have short actuation distances, which are well-suited for gaming in any genre. While many gaming keyboards in this price range have full RGB lighting that you can customize on a per-key basis, these keyboards stand out for having low-profile keycaps that allow more light to shine out from the LEDs under the switch housings. Additionally, these keyboards feature what ROCCAT calls 'Smart Keys', which are select keys outfitted with dual LED lights that show when secondary functions are active.

For more options, see our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

ROCCAT Vulcan Pro

The ROCCAT Vulcan II and the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro are wired gaming keyboards with low-profile keycaps. The Vulcan II is available in full-size or compact (65%) sizes and ROCCAT Titan II Optical Switches. On the other hand, the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro keyboards are available in full-size or TKL (80%) form factors and are only available with linear red ROCCAT Titan switches. The Vulcan Pro has slightly lower latency, but both keyboards are more than suitable for competitive-level gaming in any genre.

Corsair K100 RGB

The Corsair K100 RGB and the ROCCAT Vulcan II are wired gaming keyboards. The Corsair is available with Cherry MX Speed or OPX optical switches. It has higher-quality PBT keycaps and feels considerably sturdier overall. It also has a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz and lower latency. On the other hand, the ROCCAT Vulcan II keyboards are available in a full-size or compact (65%) form factor and linear Red or tactile Brown ROCCAT Titan II Optical switches.

SteelSeries Apex 9

The ROCCAT Vulcan II and the SteelSeries Apex 9 are wired mechanical gaming keyboards. The ROCCAT boards are available in a full-size or compact (65%) form factor, with linear Red or tactile Brown ROCCAT Titan II Optical switches. On the other hand, the SteelSeries boards are available in a TKL (80%) or Compact 60% form factors and use OptiPoint optical switches. These keyboards have higher-quality keycaps and better build quality overall. They also have lower latency, though both the ROCCAT and SteelSeries keyboards offer exceptional gaming performance.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

The ROCCAT Vulcan II and the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro are mechanical gaming keyboards with comparable gaming performance. The ROCCAT Keyboards use ROCCAT's Titan II Optical switches and are available in a full-size or compact (65%) form factor. On the other hand, the Razer is a wireless model that feels sturdier overall. It's available with linear, tactile, or clicky Razer mechanical switches. The Razer has marginally lower latency, but both keyboards deliver exceptional gaming performance suitable for gaming in any genre at any competitive level.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
1.3" (3.3 cm)
Width 18.2" (46.2 cm)
Depth
6.0" (15.3 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
9.3" (23.5 cm)
Weight
2.27 lbs (1.030 kg)

The ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Max is a full-size keyboard. It's fairly heavy for its size, and it takes up a considerable amount of desk space with its translucent wrist, although you can detach the wrist rest if you prefer.

There's also a smaller version of this keyboard called the ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Mini, which has a compact (65%) form factor. It doesn't include a wrist rest and takes up significantly less space. While we haven't measured it ourselves, the manufacturer advertises the Mini version to have a height of 3.1 cm, a width of 32.4 cm, and a depth of 11.6 cm.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

These keyboards have good build quality overall construction and an aluminum top plate. The top plate is made of aluminum, but the rest of the keyboard's chassis is plastic. While these keyboards are fairly stiff overall, the unit we bought and tested needed to be flexed and straightened out slightly before it would sit flat on our desk during testing. Otherwise, the keys and stabilizers are stable, and there aren't any ratting sounds while typing. The low-profile keycaps are of decent quality, but they're made of lower-quality ABS plastic, which is prone to developing a shiny finish and getting slippery over time.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
4.5°
Maximum Incline
Wrist Rest Detachable

These keyboards have good ergonomics. There are plastic feet on the back of the board that provide two incline settings. The full-size Vulcan II Max comes with a translucent silicone wrist rest that has a smooth matte finish and provides good support. This wrist rest can also be removed if you prefer. The smaller-sized Vulcan 2 Mini does not include a wrist rest.

9.6
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Poor
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

This keyboard has outstanding RGB lighting that you can customize on a per-key basis using the customization software, and the low-profile keycaps that come stock do a great job of showcasing the lighting.

Uniquely, these keyboards also have a set of keys that ROCCAT refers to as 'Smart Keys.' Instead of only one RGB LED light, these keys have an additional dedicated LED light that shows when secondary functions are active. The full-size Vulcan 2 Max has 24 'Smart Keys,' and the smaller Vulcan 2 Mini has 30.

Additionally, The full-size version also has a set of LED lights on the keyboard's front edge that are diffused through the transparent silicone wrist rest, while the smaller version does not have this set of LEDs.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
No
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Max has a thick braided cable with two USB-A connectors to ensure the keyboard has enough power for its RGB lighting.

The smaller ROCCAT Vulcan 2 Mini version includes a detachable USB-A to USB-C cable.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

These are wired-only keyboards.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel Yes
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

These keyboards have a variety of extra features, many of which are fairly standard on gaming keyboards at this price point, including the ability to program secondary shift functions to your keys, on-the-fly macro creation, full key NKRO and anti-ghosting, and onboard storage for your custom profiles.

These keyboards also have additional unique features, including the ability to apply sounds, like typewriter or sci-fi laser sounds, when you actuate keys. Additionally, many of the keys are what Roccat calls 'Smart Keys.' these keys have a second LED light that shows you when certain secondary functions are active and can provide visual information, like when your microphone is muted or when the battery level of other paired ROCCAT peripherals is running low. The full-size Vulcan II Max version has 24 'Smart Keys' while the smaller Mini version has 30.

Design
In The Box

  • ROCCAT Vulcan II Max
  • Detachable silicone wrist rest
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
ROCCAT Titan II Optical Red
Mechanical
Yes
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
46 gf
Actuation Force
47 gf
Pre-Travel
1.8 mm
Total Travel
3.8 mm

These keyboards use ROCCAT's proprietary Titan II Optical switches. The Linear Red switches on the ROCCAT Vulcan II Max keyboard we bought only require light force to actuate and have a short pre-travel, making them feel responsive and well-suited for reaction-based gaming. The full-size variant of this keyboard is also available with tactile Brown Titan II optical switches, which the manufacturer advertises to have a similar operating force and pre-travel values. Still, they have a satisfying bump to overcome to let you know when you've actuated a keypress. Note that the smaller version of this keyboard is only available with the Red switch option.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

These keyboards provide good typing quality. All alphanumeric keys feel stable, with very little wobble, and the keys are well-spaced. The modifier keys are also fairly stable and don't emit any rattling sounds while you type, although the spacebar feels a bit looser than other keys, and it sounds fairly different depending on where you strike it. Unfortunately, the keycaps are lower quality ABS plastic, making them slippery and prone to developing a shiny texture over time. These keyboards have low-profile keycaps, allowing more RGB lighting to shine out from the switch housings below. That said, ROCCAT also advertises that you can replace the stock set of keycaps with any standard MX-style third-party keycaps if you prefer.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

These keyboards are fairly quiet to type on with the linear red switches installed, but we expect the tactile brown switches to be a bit louder.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
2.0 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

These keyboards have outstanding latency that's more than capable of delivering a responsive-feeling experience in all game genres for casual or competitive play.

Software and Operating System
9.3
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name ROCCAT Swarm
Account Required
No
Profiles
5
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software and Onboard
Ease Of Use
Okay
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

These keyboards use ROCCAT's Swarm software. This software provides many customization options, including creating custom profiles, recording macros, adjusting RGB lighting effects, and programming secondary shift functions. Unfortunately, this software isn't very intuitive or well laid out.

Similar to the software options from other major manufacturers, ROCCAT's Swarm software receives criticism from the broader community. We didn't experience any issues with the software during testing; however, many users online criticize this software for requiring frequent updates, taking up disproportionate system resources, and a host of other complaints. You may find this software frustrating to work with if you prefer more lightweight software options or no software at all.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

All default functions work in Windows. There isn't any compatible software option for macOS or Linux systems, but most keys work as intended apart from windows-specific keys like Print Screen and Scroll Lock. Profile hotkeys are also useless without the software.

Discussions