The Wooting 60HE retails for $174.99 and is the best gaming keyboard on the market. Reviewers say wild stuff to get your attention at the start of a review, but that’s precisely what this is as of today. You may know all there is to know about analog gaming keyboards because you’ve seen reviews of Wooting’s previous boards.
You may think that all gaming keyboards are large trash because they generally lack build quality. With the flexibility of a custom mechanical keyboard, you may only consider a 60% layout if you need dedicated arrows or a function row. Throughout this review, I’m going to reveal things that challenge all that, and I will show you the first peripheral I’ve seen in a long time that genuinely offers an advantage in the game that you can feel.
Features of Wooting 60HE
The keyboard, switches, mechanicals, and even opticals have one way of transmitting data. They’re either on or off. You push the button down on the way it hits the actuation point and sends the On data; you release the switch, it travels back up, and it changes the state to off fast. Gaming switches or fast gaming keyboards are generally marketed to gamers in one of two ways.
First, they hit the actuation point faster and return faster by physically limiting the travel. The best example of this is the Cherry MX Speed Silver versus the Cherry MX Red. The MX Red travels four millimeters from top to bottom. It actuates at 2 millimeters halfway down. In contrast, the MX Speed travels 3.4 millimeters total, 0.6 millimeters shorter, and it actuates much earlier at 1.2 millimeters. So you’re sending that on data faster, and the switch is returning more quickly.
The other way fast switches are commonly marketed to gamers is by being optical. A beam of light is interrupted instead of a physical mechanical leaf making contact. This mechanism is faster because of something called debounce. A delay is programmed into boards to prevent traditional mechanical switches from double-sending the information.
Optical switches don’t need a debounce delay because there’s no mechanical leaf actually making contact. This would be like switches you’ve seen from Razer or the Corsair OPX. The actuation and travel points are similar to a Cherry MX speed, but with the benefit of no debounce delay. Opticals should be the fastest switch until you get to switches in boards using the hall effect.
The hall effect switches use magnets to transmit data at any time during travel. The first prominent example of this that made waves was the SteelSeries Apex Pro with its OmniPoint switch. This technology allowed users to set their actuation point anywhere from 0.4 to 3.6 millimeters. They recently released their own 60% board, the OmniPoint 2.0, allowing adjustments anywhere from 0.2 to 3.8 millimeters.
Wooting 60HE Lekker Keycap
Wooting uses a switch called Lekker, which Gateron makes. This allows for actuation at 0.1 millimeters all the way to 4.0 millimeters, and like the SteelSeries, you can do this on a per-key basis. Based on all that, an analog board is likely faster than a traditional mechanical or optical switchboard.
But that in itself is not new or groundbreaking. Wooting, SteelSeries, and Razer all have analog boards in the market now. Even though Razer uses analog optical, which measures light instead of magnets, this next part is new. The Lekker switch bottoms out 0.2 millimeters further than the Omnipoint 2.0.
Wooting 60HE RapidTrigger
Based on the info I’ve given so far, even though it activates 0.1 millimeters faster, it should technically be slower than OmniPoint because it travels further. So Wooting now has a feature called RapidTrigger which sends the On data at the actuation point you set, but it sends Off data wherever you release and resets the actuation point.
That means you don’t have to bottom out, and you don’t have to wait for the switch to pass the actuation pointing to send the data. You press down, it hits the actuation point, sends the On data, the microsecond you release, and that switch begins to travel up, it’s off.
Valorant players know that maximum accuracy is achieved when you’re not in motion. Rapid trigger allows you to start and instantly move, then stop. RapidTrigger is crazy fast, and it’s available on a per-key basis. It’s no longer a setting that affects the entire board, though it can if you want.
This feature is a real deal game changer for any game that requires really subtle micro-movements, especially Valorant. Please correct me in the discussion below, but no competing analog board currently has this feature. Also, if you hate having a 60% on your desk, even though it offers you a lot more mouse space, all of the software-based features are available on all Wooting boards, including their full-size Two HE.
The main reasons people avoid 60% boards is because they either need that dedicated F row up top or they need dedicated arrows. I can’t help you with the F row, but the arrows here are handled amazingly, thanks to a feature I don’t see in any other analog keyboard.
They don’t just focus on the switch’s speed but have fully custom firmware and a Tachyon mode that disables RGB and prioritizes inputs.
It lowers the latency of the board itself to under one millisecond. As a human, I can’t test latency claims like that, at least not yet. I might have something that will allow me to test stuff like that. Keep reading for that.
Wooting 60HE Gamepad
Wooting 60HE features analog gamepad emulation like an Xbox controller, allowing gradual movement on a key press in the same way you will get gradual movement on a controller’s analog stick. This feature can be great for driving games or any title where you are on foot and driving or piloting a vehicle at other times.
However, there are still some issues with this, which is why it’s primarily dismissed as a gimmick, and you haven’t heard anyone talk about it.
The first issue is that the actual usefulness of this GamePad feature is highly game-specific. Some games like Call of Duty, for example, are not coded to allow you to simultaneously use the keyboard, mouse, and gamepad. So you pick gamepad input, and then your mouse doesn’t function.
The second issue is sometimes it requires you to have multiple profiles set up for the same game, one for on foot, one for driving, that you have to select depending on what you’re doing at that moment in that game. They make this as easy as they can.
The board stores four profiles, one basic digital profile for everyday use that allows you to change the actuation and use RapidTrigger. Another three analog profiles for gaming will enable you to access analog movement and some advanced controls like those arrows I mentioned above. You can always hot-swap between shapes or right back to the digital profile, regardless of which one you’re in.
The third negative is that games that allow you to use a keyboard, mouse, and gamepad input at the same time often have difficulty deciding which input prompts to show you on screen, like in Far Cry 6. If I touch the keyboard, it will give me Xbox prompts. When I touch my mouse, it’s back to keyboard inputs.
It’s not a big deal if you know that game well, but it can be confusing and annoying if you’re trying to learn a new game. Some games like Fortnite have a way to lock which one they’re going to display for you. Wooting 60HE is a powerful keyboard for Fortnite players because it allows analog angles and double movement.
But my biggest issue is that most of us need to be trained to interact with our keyboards this way. If you’ve been gaming for any length of time on multiple devices, you have a strong sense of how to move an analog joystick with your thumb.
It’s probably second nature, but most of us use a keyboard simply by pressing the switch until it stops and then releasing it. How many of you could reliably duplicate pressing a key switch to a certain point and no further? How many of you could do that in the heat of competition?
Wooting 60HE Mod Tab
It’ll take some practice. That’s where the Wooting mod tab feature comes in, and any switch can be assigned to do one thing when you tap it and another when you hold it for a second. So you tap to crouch or hold to go prone, tap for a non-lethal grenade, or hold to throw a frag. It’s the same key to function, so you’re moving your fingers off less.
This is the same feature that allows us to take the little section and turn it into tap arrows, like you may have seen on pro keyboards before. You don’t have to worry about holding a function key down. You tap it for an arrow or hold it for the function shown on the key. This is the same idea we see in the new SteelSeries board, but that requires you to press with a certain pressure for one action and a harder press for another.
The idea of simplifying that to just tapping is easier to duplicate in-game.
Wooting 60HE Toggle Key
There’s another feature called the toggle key that allows you to toggle the on-off state of a key with a tap. So say a game only lets you crouch while holding the key down, and there’s no option to change it to toggle crouch.
With this feature, you could tap, and it would hold that crouch state until you tap again, releasing it. You don’t have to install their utility software on your computer. You can use any Chrome-based browser and make adjustments there, and it saves the setting to the memory on the keyboard.
While using the software, you can design infinite profiles and browse the community for gaming profiles other users have already tweaked. So it is up to you to install the software or use Google Chrome to change the setting for your keyboard.
Wooting 60HE Dynamic Keystroke
You can have up to two additional layers for custom rebounds if you are the kind of crazy keyboard guide that can reliably detect where you are in that key press; they have a feature called DKS or Dynamic Keystroke.
This is similar to SteelSeries implementation, but it allows you to trigger two key presses on your way down at your actuation point and 3.6 millimeters, and then two more going back up. There’s so much going on with this keyboard that I had to do this review differently than I usually would. It’s wild that we’ve got this far only talking about features.
Wooting 60HE Design
We have yet to talk about the physical design aspects of the board, so let’s discuss it.
The housings are straight MX clone variety, so you can use all the same openers and techniques to lube them, and it does make a difference to the sound and feel. The stabilizers are another high point here for a pre-built board.
The keycaps are plate mounts which is why they fit very snugly in the plate, which is good to see. Inside elements are standard stuff, so you can lube them with a syringe if you need to or remove them and work on them because all the switches are removable with any standard switch bullet. So the Wooting 60HE can be hot-swapped, but only for the Lekker switch.
You can’t put any other switches on this keyboard, and you can’t use the switches on any other keyboard. You have intense shine through on the keycaps and nice RGB LEDs. The PCB is water resistant, the keycaps are pretty smooth, and all the legends look nice and crisp.
The case is ABS plastic and has this off-white inspired nylon carry handle. You also have a couple of layers of sound dampening inside the keyboard. It is also a standard tray mount config, meaning you can remove the entire keyboard module from the case with just a few screws.
Then you can put this module in any custom aluminum, 60% tray mount case that uses Universal mount, so a tofu 60 or even something a little more exotic like the Wilber and Salva because 60 is the standard layout.
You can switch up the keycaps to most sets out there with no issue at all. Enthusiasts know that GMK Keycaps may have interference on north-facing switches where they don’t bottom out correctly, so they don’t sound quite right. That is the case here too. But because these switches don’t use mechanical contact pens, You can pull the keycaps out and rotate them 180 degrees to be south facing.
They still work perfectly because the magnet is centered, so you can use any GMK set you want. This benefit is huge because you can finally have one board that’s a custom mechanical keyboard but also has industry-leading gaming tech under the hood.
So you can mod this board like crazy, like change the sound dampening and main case, lube the switches, tune the stabilizers, change the stabilizers, and switch the key. You can even switch the case I have never seen in a gaming keyboard. The only thing they don’t want you to mess with is the plate. It’s steel, and this board mustn’t have much flex because the hall effect lives and dies by having a consistent distance between the switches and the PCB.
Conclusion on Wooting 60HE
Keep in mind that Wooting as a company has a singular mission: to build the keyboards. No mice, no headsets, or other accessories. All their innovation, refinement, and community feedback, which they listen to, gets funneled back into improving the keyboards. It is the fastest on the market, even without all the analog controller bells and whistles.
It has the most advanced firmware feature set that doesn’t require any software to live on your system. They cut corners nowhere on the components and standardize the assembly so you can completely mod it out to complete custom keyboard levels without sacrificing gaming performance. This is a lot of information today, so it’s important to clarify that the adjustable actuation point, the RapidTrigger, and the Tachyon mode are compatible with every game out there.
The analog modes are more effective in some games than others, but you’ll find little ways to achieve things specific to you in your main game. It’s like a sandbox of high-end tools inside your keyboard. Wooting 60HE is an incredibly rare case where I have nothing to critique for its intended market unless you need a wireless keyboard.
Wooting 60HE is my highest recommendation for a gaming keyboard for anyone looking to be at the forefront of staying competitive.