I am looking for a programmable gaming keyboard.

  • must be programmable.
  • multiple profiles.
  • must map a single key press and send multiple keys to my PC.

Here's the twist. Some game skills have a cooldown period.i.e when I use the skill, I can't use it again for X seconds.

I would like they keyboard to backlight such keys, to show that they are available. Turn off the backlight when I use them, then turn it back in X seconds later, to indicate that I can use the skill again.

Also, the timer period X varies for each skill/key.

Failing that, I could put a small microcontroller between a backlit keyboard and my pc, if I could find a keyboard that would accept external command to tell it to turn on or off the backlight on a specific key.

[Update] in the end, I decided to code my own and just run the code on the PC, which is better solution for me personally, since 1) I am a software developer by trade, and 2) I game on a laptop, so an extra keyboard would be cumbersome.

  • Re "put a small microcontroller between a backlit keyboard and my pc, if I could find a keyboard that would accept external command": The closest I have seen is in this video using a QFR ('Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid'), but only for older models of QFR, I far as I call tell (the newer models are probably too integrated by now (to save costs)). ... Jan 20, 2023 at 22:13
  • Cont' - That is, those older models are probably no longer produced or for sale anywhere (thus second hand would be the only option). The gist is that there is direct access to the keyboard matrix (and presumably also the RBG LEDs), because the controller board is a daughter board with pin headers, so it can relatively easily be replaced with another controller board based on, for example, QMK (which both has all the base software and full programmability). Though I don't know if it would actually work with the RGB LEDs. Jan 20, 2023 at 22:19
  • A few commercial keyboards, like Keychron Q3 QMK (the "QMK" in the name is crucial - e.g. Keychron K6 is not), are QMK-capable out of the box, but they tend to not be full-size keyboards (a must for general use as the only real option is to repurpose the numeric keypad for macros keys (having to use modifier keys or other kind of modes to activate macros defeats the purpose of macro keys, IMO)). Jan 20, 2023 at 22:53
  • The reason is probably the limited number of I/O pins on the microcontrollers used and consequently a more complicated PCB layout that would result with a full-size keyboard (a close-to-square keyboard matrix does not fit that well to the key layout). Jan 20, 2023 at 22:55
  • It is possible to use a full-size keyboard with QMK. I have repurposed an old Apple keyboard from the early 1990s (some say it is one of the best keyboards Apple has ever produced (and going downhill since in terms of the quality of their keyboards.)) by making the keyboard matrix close to square, 10x11, to fit the limited number of (usable) I/O pins by cutting some PCB traces and some rewiring (relatively easy with the single-singled PCB)... Jan 20, 2023 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


Okay so the Sharkoon Skiller SKG5 does not meet the backlight requirement, but AFAIK the macro's don't have a cooldown longer than the duration of the macro (which is like 0.1 sec for the longest one). It does have RGB backlighting for the main keys

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