Out of the box, the Roccat Magma RGB gaming keyboard doesn’t exactly make for the best first impression. When paired with the included palm rest, the Roccat Magma will take up a fair amount of real estate on your desk. The build quality also feels a bit of the cheap side initially, being made of much lighter, hollow feeling material than we anticipated.
Our mixed feelings only continued once the Roccat Magma was connected. The keyboard’s RGB lighting is made visible through a large membrane plate that sits under the keys. The effect is honestly quite overwhelming at first, and may be a bit much for some who prefer a more subtle RGB profile.
On the other hand, the quality of the RGB lighting is admittedly great. By default, the Roccat Magma uses the company’s AIMO lighting feature. This setting dynamically alters the RGB lighting’s colors and patterns based on the programs you’re using. It’s honestly pretty mesmerizing and does allow the Magma to stand out in the RGB crowd.
That initial impression of the Roccat Magma feeling cheap also washes away as soon as you start typing on the keyboard. Keystrokes are impressively quiet, and the individual keys are spaced enough that inaccuracy is actually quite rare. This makes the Magma a solid alternative to noisier mechanical keyboards, and is also a fine choice if you’re a fast typer.
At £49.99 (around $70 / AU$90), the Roccat Magma also won’t break the bank. This makes it a superb choice as an entry level keyboard, especially if you’re choosing peripherals for your first gaming PC build, for example.
This is much more affordable than the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro, which retails for £149 ($159, AU$239), and while the Magma misses out on the Vulcan’s premium features like its gorgeous gunmetal finish and tactile floating keys, the overall typing experience is superb on the Magma for its relatively low price point.
Moving over to gaming, the Roccat Magma performs admirably. Individual keys don’t give any unnecessary resistance. As such, moving and performing actions was swift and responsive, which provided a boon during intense multiplayer gameplay.
The Magma does miss out on the satisfying feel of a mechanical keyboard, however. That tactile, clicky feedback missing from the Magma might turn more experienced PC players away. On the other hand, keystrokes are relatively quiet, making the Magma pretty ideal if you like to game well into the night without waking up housemates, your significant other, or the kids.
What you might not get from the Roccat Magma, though, is a significant competitive edge. Unlike more specialized gaming keyboards like the Corsair K70 TKL, the Magma’s WASD keys aren’t raised or textured, a physical feature that often helps with competitive shooters like Valorant or Overwatch.
The Magma also doesn’t feature more bespoke gaming keyboard options that could help it stand out from the crowd, like a dedicated tournament mode to comply with esports play. It also lacks the tight form factor of tenkeyless gaming keyboards - that bulky numpad and RGB faceplate adding significant real estate to the build.
That being said, the fact the Magma is lacking the finer features of more advanced gaming keyboards by no means makes it a bad choice. On the contrary, the simplicity of the Magma makes it a perfect choice for entry-level PC gamers, especially if you’re on a tight budget after shelling out on a brand new gaming rig.
What the Magma does boast is its nifty Game Mode feature. As an example of its use, Game Mode converts the Caps Lock to an Easy-Shift feature by default. This prevents the Caps Lock from activating while in Game Mode, eliminating those all-caps chat box mishaps we’ve all experienced in multiplayer games. This combines with 26-key rollover, which should eliminate most possibilities of ghosting to give an overall solid gameplay experience.
If you’re into customizing your keyboard experience, the Magma is supported by Roccat Swarm, all-in-one customization software that allows you to alter RGB effects, individual key bindings, shortcuts and character repeat delay when holding down a key, among many other options. Multiple profile slots are also supported, as well as a range of key press sound effects, if that’s your thing.
Swarm, unfortunately, isn’t quite as robust as Corsair’s iCUE software, and there are some gimmicky options it could have done without, such as the aforementioned sound effect option. However, it’s still a good bit of software for beginners to have a play around with, and the ability to change default keybinds is certainly a very welcome accessibility option.
Buy it if...
You're testing the gaming keyboard waters
The Roccat Magma is a fine first choice when it comes to gaming keyboards. It’s not the best in its class, but makes for a solid start if you’re just getting into PC gaming, or buying for someone who is.
You're a multitasker
The Roccat Magma is an ideal choice for gaming with its built-in Game Mode, but this can be toggled at any time to ready the keyboard for non-gaming tasks like word processing.
You're on a budget
You won’t break the bank when buying the Roccat Magma. Its price tag is higher than that of basic office keyboards, but is relatively affordable as a gaming keyboard compared to others in its class.
Don't buy it if...
You want something more premium
If you’ve got the budget, other gaming keyboards are available at a higher price that beat the Roccat Magma on design, functionality and features like the Corsair K70.
You like your RGB a bit more subtle
While the Roccat Magma’s RGB can create some lovely visuals, the effect can be a bit overpowering for some users.
You want a mechanical keyboard
The Roccat Magma feels great to use, but those after the clicky, tactile and instantly responsive feel of a mechanical keyboard may want to look elsewhere.
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