If you attend competitive Esport tournaments or even just watch gaming streams online, you may have noticed that professional gamers often have their keyboards tilted at an angle. While it may look a bit strange at first, there’s actually a very good reason for this.
Pro gamers tilt their keyboards because it helps them create more space for mouse movement since each player has limited desk space. This improves their aim and gives them more advantages in tactical games like Valorant, and CS: GO, where you need to aim quickly and precisely.
When I first noticed this trend, I thought it was just a matter of personal preference. But after doing some research, I realized that there are some real reasons why many professional gamers have their keyboards tilted.
In this article, I’ll be discussing-
- The reasons behind this keyboard tilting trend,
- Are there any health risks,
- And whether or not it’s something you should consider doing yourself.
Pro gamers try various approaches to find what works best for them, and some swear by tilting their keyboard at an angle. Here are a few reasons why they might do this:
1. It saves desk space
In competitive tournaments and LAN events, gamers are provided with limited space.
The average table length in these events is around 10-12 feet, and the average number of gamers who sit at a table is 4-6. So, each gamer gets about 2-3 feet of space to work with.
Therefore, every player wants to have the widest possible field of view, which means they don’t want their keyboard taking up valuable real estate on their desk.
Tilting the keyboard at an angle gives them a few extra inches to work with. They can still see all the keys and have a comfortable typing experience, but they don’t have to worry about the keyboard taking up too much space.
How much space can you save by tilting the keyboard?
The amount of space you save by tilting your keyboard will depend on the angle at which you tilt it. The most common angles the pro gamers usually use is 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees. The more you tilt it, the more space you’ll save.
|Keyboard Tilt Angle||Space Saved|
|45 degrees||1 in (25.4 mm)|
|60 degrees||2 in (50.8 mm)|
|75 degrees||6 in (152.4 mm)|
|90 degrees||12 in (304.8 mm)|
According to SwitchAndClick.com, you can save up to 12 in (304.8 mm) of the surface area by tilting your keyboard at a 90-degree angle. That’s a lot of space for other gaming peripherals. (Source)
2. It allows more room for mouse movement
One of the most important aspects of gaming is having a fast and fluid mouse movement. The goal is to be able to move your mouse across the entire mousepad with ease so you can make those quick “flick” shots.
Pro gamers, especially first-person shooters (FPS), prefer using low mouse sensitivity because it smooths out the natural twitches and allows you to make smaller and more precise movements. (Source)
However, it requires you to make bigger mouse movements to make the same on-screen movement.
If you consider the average size of gaming keyboards, they’re roughly 16-17 in (405-431 mm) in width. So, your keyboard is already taking up a significant portion of your desk, limiting the amount of space you need to move your mouse.
Therefore, pro gamers often tilt their keyboard at an angle so they can have more space for their mouse. This gives them more mouse space and improves accuracy.
Here is a video made by Tfue (a pro ESport player), explaining how tilting the keyboard helps him with his mouse movement.
3. It gives you access to more keys
Another reason why some gamers tilt their keyboard is that it gives them better access to more keys. It can be the difference between winning and losing.
In some games, there are simply too many commands and shortcuts that you need to remember and execute quickly.
For example, If you have ever played Fortnite, you know that there are a lot of different building materials (wood, metal, and stone) and traps (spikes, bombs, and ceilings) that you can use.
Also, depending on the situation, you must keep switching between different weapons (shotguns, assault rifles, and sniper rifles). Additionally, there are keybinds for emotes, abilities, and consumables. For each of these actions, you need to press a different key.
In this case, if you keep your keyboard straight, you might have to stretch your fingers too much to reach certain keys (i.e. T, Y, B, N, H). This can slow you down and cost you valuable seconds.
But tilting your keyboard a bit can get you access to those keys (as you can see in the image below) and execute the commands faster. You can use your thumb to press the keys on the far right of the keyboard without moving your hand.
That’s why in competitive tournaments, pro gamers tilt their keyboard to find the sweet spot where they can reach all the keys they need without stretching their fingers too much.
4. It provides better comfort
If you ask the question to a pro gamer, probably the most common answer you’ll get is “it’s more comfortable“. And it makes sense.
That’s because our wrists are not straight when we type. They have a natural angle of about 20-30 degrees. When you keep your keyboard horizontally, your wrists have to be in an unnatural and uncomfortable position.
But when you slightly tilt your keyboard, it matches the natural angle of your wrists and provides better comfort. Pro gamers play for hours, so they need all the comfort they can get.
For a more practical example, I recommend you to watch this short clip-
However, tilting the keyboard too much is not good either, as it can strain your wrists. My favorite angle is around 15-30 degrees. I tried tilting it more (up to 45 degrees), but it felt weird, and I didn’t like it. So, you’ll have to experiment a bit to find the perfect angle for you.
5. Some pro gamers do it out of habit
Some pro gamers have been doing it for so long that it has become a habit. They’re so used to playing with a tilted keyboard that they can’t play without it.
In some cases, it might even be a psychological thing. They feel like they play better when the keyboard is tilted, giving them a mental edge over their opponents.
When I used to play games (Yes, I used to be a gamer. I still am but not as much as I used to be.), I tilt my keyboard all the time. It was just a habit. I don’t even remember why I started doing it in the first place.
But now, even if I am just typing an article or coding, I still tilt my keyboard slightly. It feels weird to me if the keyboard is not tilted.
Do all pro gamers tilt their keyboards?
No, not all of them. Some pro gamers don’t tilt their keyboard and play just as well. So, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If the player is comfortable with a horizontal keyboard, there is no reason to force them to tilt it. But if they feel like they play better with a tilted keyboard, there is nothing wrong with that, either.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you tilt your keyboard or not.
Pro gamers that tilt their keyboards:
Some of you might be wondering which pro gamers tilt their keyboard. I don’t know all of them, but I do know a few. Here they are –
- Slappie, and the list goes on.
These are just a few names off the top of my head. I’m sure there are many more pro gamers who tilt their keyboard.
Do pro gamers tilt their keyboards when at home?
No, they don’t. At least not all of them.
As I have already mentioned (in the first point above), the main reason why pro gamers tilt their keyboard is to save desk space. Because, in tournaments, they are often cramped for space, and they need all the desk space they can get.
But at home, they have all the space they need. So, there is no reason for them to tilt their keyboard.
Therefore, you’ll notice that most pro gamers don’t tilt their keyboard when streaming on Twitch or playing games at home. But when they are at a tournament, you’ll see them tilting their keyboard to save space.
Does tilting the keyboard cause any health problems?
Yes and no. Excess of anything is bad. There’s always a sweet spot.
The same goes for tilting your keyboard. Tilting your keyboard too much can strain your wrists and cause health problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. I have seen people tilt their keyboards so much that their wrists are at a 90-degree angle. That’s not good.
But if you stay within the safe range of 15-30 degrees, you should be fine. In fact, it might even help you avoid health problems like Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Let the pro gamers go crazy with their 90-degree tilt. You don’t have to do that.
Does tilting your keyboard make you better at gaming?
No, it doesn’t. There is no evidence to suggest that tilting your keyboard makes you better at gaming overnight. It might give you a mental edge because you feel more comfortable, but it will not make you a better player.
If you’re not good at a game, tilting your keyboard is not going to change that. The only thing that will make you better at gaming is practice. So, get out there and start practising.
Which keyboards are easier to tilt?
Smaller keyboards are usually easier to tilt. By smaller, I mean keyboards that don’t have a numeric keypad on the right side, like TKL (Tenkeyless), 60%, 80% keyboards.
TKL keyboards are a good option if you want to tilt your keyboard. They don’t have a numeric keypad, so they’re more compact and easier to tilt. The 60% and 80% keyboards are even smaller than TKL keyboards.
These keyboards are easier to tilt and more convenient to use in general. I personally use a 60% keyboard, and I love it. It’s small, portable, and easy to use.
Here are some of the best small keyboards that you can buy –
Pro gamers apply different techniques at competitive events to get an edge over their opponents. While some of these techniques may seem like common sense, others, like tilting one’s keyboard, are not as obvious.
So, why do pro gamers tilt their keyboards? Mainly because it saves space on their desks, which can be very cramped at tournaments. Also, it allows room for better mouse movements and gives you access to more keys.
If you are also thinking of tilting your keyboard, make sure you do it within the safe range of 15-30 degrees at first.
I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.