The numeric keypad portion of the traditional keyboard has long been disregarded by the gaming community. Most people with gaming keyboards simply don’t use them unless they need to call up a quick calculator on the screen or drop out of a game and do some work on their keyboard. 

Although a numpad isn’t necessary to play games, many people still wouldn’t have a setup without one.

Do Gaming Keyboards Have A Numpad?

A gaming keyboard with a numpad

There are many great full-size gaming keyboards that come with a numpad, such as the ROG Claymore 2, but seeing as a numpad is not considered essential for playing games on a PC, there are also many smaller-sized gaming keyboards that do not feature number pads, such as the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini.

Gaming keyboards come in full size (100%), TenKeyLess (80%) and compact (60%+). It is usually only the full-size, 100% keyboards that feature a numeric keypad. The good news is that there are tons of great options for gaming Keyboards in a range of sizes, from compact to full.

The only questions are, do you need a number pad and how much space do you have on your desk?

Controlling most of the movements and viewing angles on most games, from a set of four keys buried in a mass of other keys is kind of silly. But it’s been that way for so long that gamers only recognize that method and are quite good at using it. 

As complex as games have become over the last decade or so, it requires gamers to be very familiar with their keyboard layout to compete at a high level. However, it also turns off potential console gamers from making the jump from consoles to PC gaming, unless they get their hands on a PC controller.

If you’re used to having a numpad on your gaming keyboard and use it all the time for entering numerical data, switching to a smaller keyboard with a row of numbers along the top will definitely slow you down and frustrate you at first. But it’s just a matter of building up new muscle memory for inputting numbers in a new way.

You could also buy an external number pad, if you can’t find a gaming keyboard you like that incorporates one.

Is A Numpad Necessary For Gaming?

A numpad isn’t necessary for gaming at all. In fact, most gaming keyboards don’t have a numeric keypad. If you want to remap your keys and take advantage of the fact that the number pad is tightly condensed, you can always pick up a standalone number pad.

There are a lot of them out there, including ones that are designed for gaming, such as the Ducky Pocket. The Ducky Pocket and comparable number pads come with programmable keys, RGB backlighting, a number of color aesthetics, and a built-in calculator (in case you need it).

Though not essential for PC gaming, a number pad can still be useful for games like CS:GO where you can bind number keys to more easily buy weapons and armor with just the press of a button, instead of pressing B and having to go through the wheel.

Related Article: Are One-Handed Keyboards Good For Gaming? (Answered!)

When Would You Need A Numpad On A Gaming Keyboard?

While there is never a point where you would “need” a number pad for gaming, the argument can be made that using a number pad would make you more productive and give you an advantage with certain games. This is true whether you purchase one separately or buy a gaming keyboard that also has a numpad.

If you also use your gaming keyboard for IT work or other types of jobs that rely heavily on numerical data entry, you are going to want a number pad in some form. 

You will have more options purchasing a separate mechanical numpad rather than finding a solid gaming keyboard with a left-handed layout that also includes a number keypad.

The DSI Left-Handed Mechanical Keyboard could easily be used for gaming but it isn’t a “gaming” keyboard so to speak.

There is, however, one gaming keyboard that offers a complete solution to the whole number pad thing. The ROG Claymore II Wireless Gaming Keyboard features a detachable number pad that can be used independently or attached to either the left or right of the keyboard.

If you don’t have much desk space, the Claymore II could be a good option as you can take off the numeric keypad when you don’t need it, connect it to the left or right of the keyboard and use it independently.

Other than the above, if you’re looking for a gaming keyboard that’s left-handed, and want to try remapping the keys to see how it works, there are a few options out there but they aren’t huge sellers. 

Only the first two are even traditional keyboards. The latter two are keypads, so you can see how difficult it is to find a good, solid gaming keyboard designed with a left-handed numpad.

Bottom Line

While many gaming keyboards lack a number pad, there are a few good ones out there that have them. Of the few that do, even fewer are used as the primary control versus the WASD keys. However, if you are of a mind to ever remap your keys to a left-hand numeric keypad, there just may be an advantage there you’ve never considered before.