ROCCAT Vulcan Pro Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 30, 2020 at 10:40 am
ROCCAT Vulcan Pro Picture
9.2
Gaming
2.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.9
Office
7.6
Programming
5.4
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is an outstanding gaming keyboard that's also available in a smaller, TenKeyLess size. It features proprietary ROCCAT Titan Linear Optical switches, which offer a low pre-travel distance and are light to press for a quick gaming experience. It's well-built with full RGB backlighting that shines through the transparent switches. You can reprogram some keys, but not every key is macro-programmable, which may be disappointing to some. The ROCCAT Swarm software is only available on Windows and allows you to customize the backlighting and set macros. It has good ergonomics and the typing experience feels great, but it may take some time to get used to the keycaps' shape, and the low pre-travel may cause an increase in typos.

Our Verdict

9.2 Gaming

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is outstanding for gaming. The proprietary optical switches are light to press and have minimal pre-travel distance, great for a quick gaming experience. It has full RGB backlighting and you can set macros to some keys, but not all. It's also well-built and it has good ergonomics.

Pros
  • Linear switches are light to press.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Good ergonomics.
Cons
  • Only a certain set of keys are macro-programmable.
2.9 Mobile/Tablet

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is wired-only and can't be used with mobile devices.

7.9 Office

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is good for office use. It provides a great typing experience, but the linear switches may lead to an increase in typos because they're so light to press. It has good ergonomics with a detachable wrist rest, and you shouldn't feel fatigue typing on it. It's also quiet and shouldn't bother those around you.

Pros
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Quiet typing noise.
Cons
  • Light switches may cause typos.
7.6 Programming

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is good for programming. You can set macros to a certain set of keys, but not every key is macro-programmable. It also has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. It offers great typing quality, but the linear switches are so light to press that it may cause unintended keystrokes.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Quiet typing noise.
Cons
  • Only a certain set of keys are macro-programmable.
  • Light switches may cause typos.
5.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 9.2 Gaming
  • 2.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.9 Office
  • 7.6 Programming
  • 5.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Apr 22, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  2. Updated Nov 30, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Nov 24, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.3" (3.2 cm)
Width 18.1" (46.1 cm)
Depth
6.3" (16.0 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
9.2" (23.4 cm)
Weight
2.05 lbs (0.931 kg)

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is a full-sized keyboard that takes up a fair amount of space on the desk. There's a TKL variant available if you want to save some space, and it's known as the ROCCAT Vulcan TKL Pro.

7.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro has great build quality, very similar to the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO. The frame is plastic with a brushed metal plate on top, and the wrist rest is plastic. It flexes quite easily, but the metal plate helps keep it stable and you shouldn't have to worry about it. The ABS keycaps are fairly stable and the larger keys don't rattle, but you might still notice some wobble on some keys. There aren't any obvious loose parts, either. The feet underneath keep it in place and you shouldn't have to worry about it sliding around with the wrist rest attached, as it provides a good amount of grip.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
Wrist Rest Detachable

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro has good ergonomics. There's one incline setting, and it has a wrist rest that attaches magnetically. The flat profile of the keys may take some time to get used to.

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

This keyboard has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. You can customize the RGB settings through the dedicated software and it's compatible with the AIMO Intelligent Lighting engine to sync the RGB lighting with other devices. The keycaps sit flat and light easily comes through the transparent switches.

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

The included cable is braided and generic-feeling. Sadly, you can't remove it and replace it with something else; however, the TKL variant has a removable cable.

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

This is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly.

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

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro has a few extra features. There are media hotkeys, a dedicated volume wheel in the form of a dial, and there are mute/unmute buttons next to the wheel. You can activate Game Mode by pressing Fn+Scroll Lock to disable the Windows key so you don't accidentally minimize your game. The Game Mode also enables any of the macros you set to the M1 through M6 keys located above the arrow keys. There's an Easy-Shift[+] function while in Game Mode that allows you to set macros to the alphanumerical keys to the left of the board, including 5, T, G, and B. This gives you an extra set of macros when you hold onto the Caps Lock button. The rest of the keys aren't macro-programmable, but you can reprogram them to a certain list of functions. If you'd prefer a keyboard where every key is macro-programmable, consider the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB.

Design
In The Box

  • ROCCAT Vulcan Pro
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Quick start guide

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
ROCCAT Titan Linear
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
45 gf
Actuation Force
44 gf
Pre-Travel
1.5 mm
Total Travel
3.8 mm

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro features proprietary ROCCAT Titan Linear Optical switches. These are similar to the Razer Linear Optical switches on the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition, except they have a higher pre-travel distance. Still, they don't require much force to actuate and they provide a quick gaming experience.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro has a great typing quality. The linear switches are light to type on and shouldn't cause much fatigue, but they may cause more typos than usual because they lack tactile feedback. The keys are well spaced out, but the flat, square shape of the keycaps may take some time getting used to. The keys are quite stable, but you may still notice a bit of wobble on some of them. Despite having a matte finish, the keycaps feel glossy and build up oil easily. Overall, if you're a fan of linear switches, you should enjoy typing on this keyboard. For a similar board with regular shaped keys, check out the ROCCAT Pyro.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The typing noise is quiet and shouldn't bother those around you.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
0.7 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A
Software and Operating System
9.1
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name ROCCAT Swarm
Account Required
No
Profiles
5
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

The ROCCAT Swarm software offers great customization options. It's not the easiest-to-use but allows you to set macros and customize the backlighting. The AIMO Intelligent Lighting engine is part of the software and allows you to set a sound effect to each keypress. The keyboard has onboard memory, so you can save your settings and use it on another computer without the software.

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

This keyboard is fully compatible with Windows. The software isn't available on macOS or Linux, and some keys don't work on either. The Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, and the FN+F5-F8 hotkeys don't work on macOS, and only the calculator button doesn't work on Linux.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the full-sized version of the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro, and it's also available in a TenKeyLess size, sold as the Vulcan TKL Pro. It's only available in black with the ROCCAT Titan Linear Optical switches. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is an outstanding gaming keyboard with linear switches that are light to press. It's an upgrade over the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO, but there are other options available where you can set macros to any key, such as the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition. Also see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best keyboards.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is better than the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro. The SteelSeries has unique optical linear switches that allow you to customize the pre-travel distance, for a quick and responsive gaming experience. Every key is also macro-programmable. However, the ROCCAT's wrist rest isn't a dust magnet like on the SteelSeries.

ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro is a bit better for gaming than the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO. Both keyboards are similarly built and have the same features, but the Pro has linear switches that are lighter to press. However, the AIMO has tactile switches that offer better feedback.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is slightly better for gaming than the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro. The Razer feels better-built, and its switches actuate quicker thanks to the very short pre-travel distance. You can also program macros on all its keys, which you can't do on the ROCCAT. However, the ROCCAT has a much better typing quality, and it has better ergonomics because it has a wrist rest.

Corsair K100 RGB

The Corsair K100 RGB is better than the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro. The Corsair provides a better typing experience, every key is macro-programmable, and it feels better-built. On the other hand, the ROCCAT is smaller and takes up less space on your desk.

ROCCAT Pyro

The ROCCAT Vulcan Pro and the ROCCAT Pyro are similar wired gaming keyboards, but the Vulcan Pro has a significantly lower latency. The Vulcan Pro is available with proprietary Titan Linear optical switches, while the Pyro has linear TTC Red switches. Both have an Easy-Shift[+] function, which lets you set a second layer of macros to the alphanumerical keys on the left side of the board for as long as you hold it.

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