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With stunning RGB lighting and a satisfying clack to the keys, the Roccat Pyro is well worth a buy for burgeoning PC gamers.
For an affordable option, the Roccat Pyro does remarkably well, with a wide range of RGB lighting options and a very satisfying 'clack' to the keys. Hardcore gamers might wish for trendy features like unique WASD key textures or USB passthrough, but the Roccat Pyro is a great choice for anyone that just wants a keyboard that looks and feels fab.
Whether you’re new to the world of PC gaming or looking to improve an existing setup, picking the perfect keyboard is never an easy task. The Roccat Pyro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of the mid-range options that may well tempt you this year.
Roccat has been making reliable PC peripherals - not just keyboards, but headsets, mice and mouse mats too - since launching in 2006. In 2019, the company was acquired by the highly-acclaimed Turtle Beach Corporation, making Roccat even more impressive in the eyes of computer-based gamers.
The Roccat Pyro is one of the company’s main keyboards for 2021, falling into the ‘mechanical’ keyboard category - that means it has old-school switches beneath the keys rather than a slim, soft membrane.
And so, hoping for good things, RadioTimes.com tested the Roccat Pyro out to see whether it’s worth recommending to our readers. Keep on reading, and we’ll break down all the essential details and spell out our opinion in full!
Boasting colourful and customisable RGB lighting, alongside some chunky keys that pack a satisfying ‘clack’ sound, the Roccat Pyro is a very strong choice for gamers that want a sturdy mechanical keyboard. And it won’t break the bank, either, with a price point that sits in the mid-range of the market. It may lack some bells and whistles, but it will 100% get the job done.
The Roccat Pyro is a mechanical gaming keyboard that connects to your laptop or PC using a USB cable. It also comes with a detachable palm rest, which is a nice touch - if you have enough room on your desk for it, this handy addition will allow you to play with a bit of extra support for your wrists. This should allow you to game for longer without RSI kicking in, which is always a bonus.
Although the original RRP of the Roccat Pyro keyboard was set at £89.99, several big-name retailers seem to have knocked around £10 off that price, making the current cost around £79.99 if you know where to look. Considering that some gaming keyboards cost upwards of £200, this is a nice mid-range option - better than a £10 jobbie from Amazon but cheaper than the properly high-end options, which is sure to be a sweet spot for newcomers in the PC gaming space and anyone else that doesn't want to break the bank.
In terms of the overall visual effect, the Roccat Pyro certainly looks the part. Despite having a somewhat chunky form factor, the black colour palette keeps this keyboard looking sleek, and the RGB lighting that permeates from every pore really does look great while you play.
The keys are obviously an important element, and Roccat has got TTC’s linear red switches under the hood on this one. They really do feel great to press down on, with a very satisfying clack sound - if chunky, noisy keys are your cup of tea, you’ll really enjoy whacking away on these. (On the flip side of this, if you’re more of a soft-and-squishy key sort of person, you’d probably be better off with the membrane-based Roccat Magma).
Another nice touch is the audio control dial, located in the top right corner, which you can twist at any time to adjust the overall sound levels coming out of your system. If you’re playing a game with quiet dialogue scenes mixed with eardrum-shattering explosions, this dial can be a real life-saver.
In terms of negatives, some gamers might be disappointed to see that the WASD keys - traditionally used to move your character around in a game - are just standard keys like all the others. Some fancier keyboards might give these keys a special texture or a different colour, but here they simply match everything else.
The keys are all smooth and sleek, which looks nice, but for some gamers might not be ideal. If you want extra grip, you won’t find it on these keys. There is a good amount of grip on the palm rest, though, which should mean your hand doesn’t go flying off course during a tight game.
Gamers who are planning to work using this keyboard, as well as play on it, will be happy to see the inclusion of a full number pad on the right-hand side of the Roccat Pyro. Whether you’re doing quick maths or typing in passcodes, this inclusion will save you some valuable seconds.
All in all, then, the design here is solid and dependable, especially for a mid-range option. You’d get snazzier flourishes with a more expensive option, but for most gamers, the Roccat Pyro will do the job nicely without making a fuss.
Getting into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth noting that the Roccat Pyro’s TTC linear mechanical switches (with 2.0mm actuation) have been vigorously tested to such a degree that the manufacturers promise a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes.
Five of those keys have been assigned to media control functions, meaning that you’ll easily be able to skip between music tracks or mute the volume at a moment’s notice. And all of them have vivid RGB options, which you can customise to your heart’s content using the free Roccat Swarm software.
Swarm has a number of pre-baked options for you to choose from, with each of them illuminating your keys in unique ways, or you can get into granular details if you wish and set each key’s light show to your own whims and fancies.
You can also customise the keys functions themselves, mapping each corner of the keyboard to your own desires - so if you’ve got a special layout you love to play with, it shouldn’t take too much fiddling for you to set it up on the Roccat Pyro.
The keyboard also has a reinforced aluminium top plate just beneath the keys, so it’s designed to be rather durable. It should last you for a good long while. And since it’s wired, you don’t need to worry about batteries running out.
There is one feature missing that some gamers won’t be happy with: there’s no female USB port for you to connect to another device (a popular function known as ‘USB passthrough’) which certain people will see as a negative. For us, though, this didn’t cause any issues. There’s always plenty of spare USB ports on our PC, or nearby plug sockets, for whatever other peripherals, chargers or kitchen appliances we need to plug in.
Similarly, some people may have moved onto wireless keyboards in this day and age, and the Roccat Pyro does nothing to cater to that crowd. It's wired through and through, but that's exactly what it promises on the tin, so you should look elsewhere if you're trying to minimise your use of cables.
Basically, it can’t make a cup of tea for you, but the Roccat Pyro can do pretty much everything you’d expect from a mid-tier gaming keyboard. Again, for the price point, it’s really hard to fault what’s on offer here.
We put the Roccat Pyro through its paces for a number of hours, across a wide array of different games (plus a few non-gaming tasks), and we were really impressed with how it performed. It may not have every design flourish or fancy feature that you could think of, but the Roccat Pyro feels great to use - it's almost like it's more than the sum of its parts.
The keys feel just right under your fingertips, offering just the right amount of resistance to make the experience satisfying (without tiring out your digits too quickly). That clack sound is just right, everything is exactly where you'd expect it to be, and the volume knob is incredibly handy for on-the-fly audio changes.
Even the WASD keys, which we slammed earlier for being too uniform (matching the design of everything else rather than standing out on their own), are easy to find and intuitive to use. It won't take you long to get used to this keyboard and welcome it into your gaming rig.
And if RGB lighting experiences are your thing, you won't be disappointed - the Roccat Pyro always looked the part while we were using it, and some of the pre-set configurations are really fun to try out (there's one called 'Snake' that sends Nokia-like patterns trailing across your keys). Honestly, we couldn't fault the way this keyboard performed.
Setting up the Roccat Pyro couldn’t be easier. If you simply want to plug in and play, all you need to do is connect the keyboard’s attached USB cable to your laptop or PC of choice. It’ll work straight away!
If you want to update the internal software drivers or fiddle around with the RGB settings and set your own custom key mappings, that’s easily done as well - you can download the Roccat Swarm software for free off the company’s website, and it’s very self-explanatory once you’ve got it installed.
The set-up is easy peasy, then, and the Roccat Pyro won't require much in the way of maintenance either. Once you've got it set up just the way you like, this easy-to-use keyboard will be a trusty part of your gaming setup for quite some time.
If you’re looking to spend around £80 on a gaming keyboard, the Roccat Pyro is a really strong choice. Unless you’re the kind of person to get hung up on a lack of USB passthrough or unimaginative WASD key design, you’re likely to be very pleased with this purchase.
The set-up is remarkably simple, the RGB looks great, whichever settings you choose to deploy, and the keys always feel wonderful under your fingertips. At this price point, you couldn’t really ask for much more!
Overall star rating: 4.5/5
The Roccat Pyro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is out now, and it received quite a wide release in stores and online. Many of the major UK retailers are still carrying the Roccat Pyro, and you can take a look at some of your buying options below. Happy shopping! You can't go far wrong with this one.