I get asked about WoW hardware strangely often, and I figured it was about time I at least shared my own opinions.

I’m certainly no expert and I have not gone out and tested every option out there (or even most). I have, however, had enough bad experiences that I have a decent idea of what to look for and what to avoid. At the very least I can tell you more than that in Soviet Russia, keyboard binds you!

Just remember, the best gaming peripherals are the ones that work best for you, not necessarily the ones that work best for me.

Mouse

razer-nagaRule number one for a WoW mouse is that you do not want wireless. A wireless mouse will eventually kill you — it’s not a question of if, just of when and how often. While the technology is perfectly sufficient for most office uses, when a hiccup of a second or two happens, that is enough to get you dead. And it will happen. Always at the worst times.

Personally I use the Razer Naga and this is without question the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used. It has a full number pad on the side, in addition to a couple of extra side buttons.

Now, with my giant ham hands, I can’t actually navigate all 12 numbers flawlessly during raiding, so I just use the middle button and the ones in the corners to ensure I’m not hitting multiple at once, but that still adds up to a heck of a lot more keybinds than a standard mouse. (It’s worth noting that it looks like some of the newer versions have a pronounced curve on the side of the mouse, which should make it easier to hit those side buttons without double-hitting).

I bind my strafing, aspect changing, and stopcasting to the mouse, letting the mouse handle movement while my other hand pew pews.

Keyboard

logitech keyboardSimilar to the mouse, you do not want to go wireless with your gaming keyboard. Nothing’s more frustrating than having the occasional keystroke fail to register. Now perhaps this is less of an issue who play with their keyboard closer to the sensor, but I tend to play with the keyboard in my lap (and my feet up on the desk).

In addition to WoW, I also do a lot of writing, so I prefer a keyboard that is at least somewhat ergonomic — hurts less and lets me type faster (once you get used to it). Alas I’ve never been able to find an ergonomic gaming keyboard, and in the battle of WoW vs carpal tunnel, WoW wins.

The two features you generally want for a WoW keyboard are a mechanical keyboard and backlit keys.

A mechanical keyboard just has a crisper feel to it (more like a mouse click) rather than the someway mushy feel that many standard keyboard have. Mechanical keyboards have a mechanical switch under each key, rather than a plastic membrane that spreads beneath the keyboard.

Backlit keys are essential if you play in dim lighting, and are just plain cool.

I have yet to really discover the perfect WoW keyboard, but I currently use a Logitech Illuminated keyboard that works well enough. I lost one of the keys however (number 2) due to a long story, but it makes firing a pain in the butt, so I’m definitely in the market if someone can suggest an awesome gaming keyboard — bonus points if it isn’t a perfectly flat one. It’s worth noting that Razer also makes a bunch of awesome non-ergonomic gaming keyboards.

Headset

logitech g35You only really need a headset if you’re on vent (or host a hunter podcast). When I was first getting a headset everyone told me the same thing: don’t skimp on the headset. I saw the price of the high quality headsets and promptly skimped and went for a vastly cheaper one.

It turns out everyone was right, and that headset was a nightmare. It’s not just quality of sound and mic you’re looking at — it’s comfort. That bloody headset hurt, and by the end of a raid my ears were in pain. Learn from my pain — don’t get a headset that is going to squash your ears; get one that fits over your ears, encases them in cushiony goodness.

The big decision to be made with headsets is digital vs analog. I’m told that analog gives you better sound, while digital gives you better mic. Not being an audiophile, I can report that I can’t hear the sound quality difference, but I do notice the mic quality difference — digital is significantly better. Being a podcaster, that settles the issue for me. But if you don’t care how you sound, analog is just fine.

Personally I use the Logitech G35 headset, which is pretty awesome. It was Hrist’s first recommendation to me (that I ignored, regretted, and then followed). The headset finally died after years of abuse (including being repeatedly knocked on the floor by the cat) and I after looking around some more, I got another one.

I particularly like that the volume & mute is right on the side of the headset (with a light at the mic end so you can tell if it’s muted or not) rather than those obnoxious dangly things that are attached to the cord. This headset is the peripheral that I’m most happy with — while I’d consider another mouse and am looking for another keyboard, I wouldn’t consider another headset at this point in the game.

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  1. DasFreshMaker says:

    Personally, I’m a fan of the:

    Keyboard
    Logitech G15 (now G510 http://www.logitech.com/en-ca/product/7246?crid=825)

    Mouse
    Logitech G700 (http://www.logitech.com/en-ca/product/wireless-gaming-mouse-g700?crid=825)

    Headset
    Turtle Beach PX3 (http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/pc-headsets/ear-force-px3/50)

    They’re a bit pricey, but the comfort of the headset (+ wireless when grabbing a drink) and the versatility of of they keyboard and mouse = comfort and combustibility. (note: the headset and mouse can be used while plugged in / charging)

  2. DasFreshMaker says:

    er: customization, not combustibility :D

  3. Gorgor says:

    I went with the Corsair M90 mouse since I thought the side button arrangement was better than the Naga’s straight grid. It features a blank pad circled by buttons.

  4. Arth says:

    Even if you don’t use the Naga – though that’s my choice as well and I love it – some kind of gaming mouse is a potentially MASSIVE upgrade in hardware. Outside of finding the WHU and theorycrafting community, it’s the single biggest improvement to my gaming ever.

  5. Neilaren says:

    My latest mouse is the WoW Gaming mouse from Steelseries — of course, I was considering a Naga but wasn’t sure how well they’d operate on a Mac.

    Well, in any case, no matter what mouse you use, if it’s got a lot of extra buttons it’s extremely nice! I haven’t tried a setup of strafing bound to mouse keys (sounds interesting though), but right now my setup is engineering toys (cloak, loot-a-rang, speed boost…) mounting, and Disengage (or for any other character I’m playing, their equivalent “get somewhere fast when it’s not a mount” button).

  6. Paulo says:

    As you i’ve never been able to find an good ergonomic gaming keyboard, and the gamming keyboards like Logitech G15 are just so HUGE for me.

    Actually i’m considering buying the Microsoft SideWinder X6 Gammimng Keyboard. The reviews are not so great but, although it is still not ergonomic, it seens to have a real good backlight system and it have a detachable number pad that you can eventually take off to make it smaller. :)

  7. Rhyas says:

    LOL keyboard binds you…

  8. Brekke says:

    I use a das keyboard. Mechanical keyboards offer much faster response time not to mention are just FUN to use.

    For my mouse I go with the R.A.T. MMO7 gaming mouse. Numerous customizable buttons and fully adjustable to any size hand.

    I prefer to go with web cam mic over headsets. That’s just personal preference though.
    I use a Logitech 500 series webcam with our Teamspeak3 voice chat and It’s always clear and allows me to use my surround sound speakers :)

  9. Chevonne says:

    I noticed my game play improved greatly when I spent some buck on my peripherals. My mouse is the G500 from Logitech. I have small hands, and this one is just about right with the placement of the extra keys. Been giving some serious thought to the Naga, I’ll have to see how the hand fits. The 500 is getting a bit quirky. Possibly from slamming it on the desk…I dunno.

    Keyboard is the G510. One of the things I like about a keyboard is quiet. The clacking is tolerable for me. I never successfully made the transition over to the G keys. So I use them for in game fun. /bow /cheer etc. is what I bound here. I suffer from carpal tunnel, too. Since I sit at my desk, its easy enough to slant the keyboard to give my wrist a straight shot at the important keys.

    Headphones I tried some cheap one, and gave them away. I currently use the Bose AE2 audio headphones. I love music, so they had to serve a dual purpose. Looking for a mic to add to the set up. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Ril says:

      the naga is rather small, i strongly recommend it. you’ll be able to use it better than some dustbin handed oaf :)

  10. Wolfshark says:

    My setup looks like this:

    Mouse: Razer 4000dpi Lachesis red LED
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/other/razer-lachesis/p8.jpg

    Keyboard: Logitech G110 with red backlighting
    http://www.everythingusb.com/images/list/logitech-g110-whole.jpg

    Headset: Sennheiser PC360 G4ME
    http://i.imgur.com/ekFKv.jpg

    This is the second Razer mouse i have owned, that had a failed middle mouse click other than that, this mouse has been GREAT!

    This particular Logitech Keyboard has a USB audio converter built in, so i can simply plug my analog headset and USB mouse into my Keyboard and be good to go, also i have spilled more soda/beer on this keyboard than i can remember, and it still functions 100%.

    As for my Sennheiser headset, i have been through multiple headsets from varying companies for gaming (Logitech,Plantronics,Turtle Beach, and even Steel Series.) Sennheiser is BY FAR the best i have EVER USED(coming from and audiophile), and possibly the most comfortable headset that has ever been placed upon my skull.

  11. Darpek says:

    Love my steel series merc stealth keyboard.

    • smawhorter says:

      ^This. The keypad on the left side is invaluable.

    • dethstalker says:

      ^ I have been using the Naga and Merc Stealth combo for several years now. I love both.

  12. Ril says:

    regarding headset, always consider separate headphones and mic. when one part dies (normally the mic dies first) you don’t have to replace the whole damn thing and it is in fact often cheaper to buy them separately for some reason.

  13. Bonamassa says:

    Maybe a stupid question… can a Naga be used by lefties? Do you use your thumb for the side-keys? Then the keys should be on the right side of the mouse. I think.
    Can anyone help me with this?
    I now use the number-keys above the keyboard, because I’m to clumsy to use the righthand keypad. And I smell a big dps-gain when i can move and shoot with 1 hand.
    (Yes, now I move with my mouse and also use the mouse tot the 1-2-3-keys…
    Due to a not 100%-functioning right hand it’s practicly impossible to train it.)

    • Methuus says:

      No, the Naga can’t really be used by left-handed people (at least, people who prefer to operate the mouse with their left hand).

      The extra buttons are on the left side of the mouse and are meant to be operated by the thumb of your right hand. If you held it with your left hand, the buttons would be under your pinky finger; which would, I expect be very hard to use.

      I’m not aware of any company that makes one of the Naga-style mice for lefties, sorry.

    • Methuus says:

      To keep your spirits up though, there are some good gaming mice that are designed as ambidextrous. Such as the Logictech g300 or the Razer Taipan:

      http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g300-optical-gaming-mouse
      http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-mice/razer-taipan

      They don’t have quite as many buttons as the crazy MMO mice, but they still have a half-dozen or more programmable buttons.

    • Chevonne says:

      The Razer Deathadder comes in a left handed version. My husband uses the righty version and likes it. He has moderately large hands, if thats helpful.

      FYI – I am a Bonamassa fan. That man can play a sweet blues guitar!

      • Bonamassa says:

        Thanks for the information. Gonna visit the gamesstore this afternoon.
        This Bonamassa just kills adds :) but is indeed named after Joe.

  14. Maravon says:

    I’ve been using the Razer Naga Epic for a while now. Quality mouse, my understanding is there’s a Logitech that does the same things, and Logitech is usually cheaper than Razer products.

    I’ve also just recently received the Razer Black Widow Ultimate Elite blah blah blah…quality mechanical keyboard, but it takes some getting used to. Muscle memory needs relearning as the keyboard is shaped/sized differently.

    With both a new mouse/keyboard you’re going to want to spend some time in LFR, on a Target Dummy, or just grinding Etc to retrain your hands before getting into a raid and risking making a mistake.

    Razer also makes some pretty good headphones. I had always purchased the cheap sets from Target/Best Buy, and recently shattered one. Bought a Razer Tiamat, and wow it’s nice. The mic slides up into the body to hide out of the way when not needed, sound quality is good and comfort is amazing. The only thing you’ll need to get used to with an over the ear headset is the muffling of your own voice when you’re chatting in vent.

  15. Flint says:

    My Mouse is a G9. I have been looking at a Naga, but I am that rare breed that still clicks. Anyone that has raided with me (Arth) knows I can keep up with clicking.

    Keyboard: G15. I have some Macros setup (Opening sequence)

    Headset: G35. I had the Carachias but the G35 is far better quality and fit.

  16. Hua says:

    Another +1 for the g700 mouse. I strafe with it and bind several oh shit buttons to it. i have a standard keyboard for general use but use the g13 for gaming. best pruchase I’ve ever made. ergnomic, keybinds, macros, backlit, it’s everything you could ever want, and you can still get an ergonomic keyboard for general use.

  17. smawhorter says:

    Just a quick note about keybinds and mice. Back in WoLK I learned to bind the strafe keys to my mouse buttons (the scroll buttons on a normal mouse work great for this and the 6 and 12 keys on a naga also work ok). If you can get used to this, your ability to strafe/move without dropping a GCD will be greatly enhanced and I highly recommend it.

    • smawhorter says:

      Also, if you can afford it (and at $300 that is a big IF)…the Bose QC15 (over-ear) headphones are incredible for raiding; the sound quality and noise cancelling on this headphone is incredible. My only issue with it is that I raid with my wife in the same room and I have to take one ear of the headphones off to hear her yell at me for not needing so much healing (I tank too..).

  18. Methuus says:

    Instead of, or in addition to, a keyboard, I used a keypad. The Logitech g13 in my case. And I heartily recommend it (if you don’t mind spending some money on your gaming peripherals).

    http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g13-advanced-gameboard

    As to how I use it, I keep my left hand on it all the time (except when typing in chat, of course) and I use the thumb-stick for movement: forward, backwards, strafe left/right (mouse for turning). This leaves me with four fingers to operate 22 keys which are bound to various abilities.

    I like this better than a keyboard because I find it makes moving and activating an ability at the same time easier, for me, than trying to hit the ‘W’ and ’8′ keys at the same time, for example.

  19. Pepprdgefarm says:

    I use the Razer Taipan as I also use the same mouse for normal work. It’s ambidextrous, which I like as I often use my left hand for normal day to day work (odd I know).

  20. f0nZi3 says:

    Regarding your recommendation for a replacement keyboard: http://www.daskeyboard.com/

    That’s the last keyboard you will ever need to buy. I have one at work and one I use for WoW at home, they are AWESOME! Now I know you said not flat and more ergonomic, but if you try this keyboard I guarantee you will fall in love with it. :-)

  21. f0nZi3 says:

    Oh… and I forgot to mention. FULL “N-Key” roll over when using the PS/2 Adapter.

    http://www.daskeyboard.com/

  22. Squishy_Grape says:

    I was also looking at the Naga. And the Logitech G600. But my fingers where too big for it.
    After that, as i also play alot of DoTA. I bought the Razer Naga Hex. And that is a great mouse. I get 6 new binds and it´s comfortable, instead of binding buttons to the side of a normal Razer Naga like you do Frost! I really recommend this mouse!

    • Chevonne says:

      That Hex looks interesting. Not sure I would use all the buttons the Naga offers. So much to go try! My Saturday is planned!

  23. Boil says:

    I am interested in the Razer line of products; but NOT the Naga for a gaming mouse…!

    I am thinking more along the lines of Imperator for mouse, the Orbweaver gaming keypad for the left hand (and the majority of key binds) and a Black Widow Stealth Ultimate in between…

    Probably Tiamat for a headset, as most of their other offerings are not very Mac friendly…

  24. Beergasm says:

    I’m at a crossroads for peripherals. I used to be a logitech guy but their quality has gone to shit in the last few years. I wish I had stocked up on their G5 model and bought like a dozen. I also happen to think Razer products are garbage. I think a lot of manufacturers are cheaply cashing in on the “cool glowy gamer peripherals” craze lately. Also, Razer’s hardware requires frequent updates with mandatory computer restarts. I want what their software engineers are smoking.

    Admittedly, that crazy WoW mouse looks interesting but I have big hands (I’m 6’4″) and I’d just press 3 or 4 buttons at a time trying to hit one of those things. My damage rotation would be interesting though.

    So I guess I’ll give corsair a shot. Their PC hardware is great and I trust them.

  25. Drupada says:

    I would look into a mechanical keyboard for anyone thinking about upgrading!

    I am using a Ducky keyboard at the moment (YotD with no 10key), buy the offer the shine 2 (or shining w, they are Taiwanese so the English is interesting. Taiwan is top class for keyboard production though.) It is similar to the dad keyboard but with backlighting and any key switch you could want. It matches the black widows price usually and is very nice!

    As for mouse I’m using a naga also which I like, but I love the death adder I have too. I would look into getting a cheap but good mouse pad for those that don’t have anything fancy, it really improves the laser and infrared mice’s tracking. I have a steel series qck mat I believe.

    For an headset I have a steel series Siberia v2 which is analogue and has a very nice mic, it is extremely light and comfortable. They have awesome tech support also.

    People looking for a cheaper but nice mechanical keyboard should check out cooler master.

    Tldr: Mechanical keyboards are fantastic!

  26. Muskogean says:

    I love the combination of the G510/G13 keyboard/keypad. I macro everything.

    I have the Naga but had a hard time getting used to the almost flat plain of the 4×3 pad. However, as a Photographer I’ve macroed PhotoShop keyboard shortcuts to it and still use it daily. The SteelSeries Cataclysm mouse is wonderful though. The keys are distinct and the build is a major improvement over the original WoWMouse. I’ve been using it daily since it released and it’s still clicking along, literally.

    Can’t argue with the choice of headset. I gave up my G35 for the G530 which is nothing more than the wireless version. One caution though. Taking a bio break and forgetting that you’re wearing the headset can be a bit disconcerting as voices from the nether penetrate your silent pondering.

  27. Kenriith says:

    http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-mice/razer-naga-hex/

    6 buttons works better for my sausage fingers than the full numpad. I find it easier to remember where stuff is mapped too.

    http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-anansi

    Not mechanical, but the keys are fantastic. It is lifted slightly and is very comfortable to type on. The 7 buttons below the space bar all act as a “shift” key. So the 3 I use, coupled with the 6 on the mouse gives me 18 abilities under the thumb without leaving the mouse. The macro buttons are awesome.

    http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-audio/razer-chimaera/

    I am a full convert to wireless headsets. It works perfectly with vent, and being able to listen in while getting a drink/bio is awesome.

  28. Nitestalkrr says:

    Nobody mentioned the Corsair K90 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, and I think it deserves mentioning. It’s built in an aluminum frame for strength, has 18 programmable keys on the LEFT side, with three memory banks, for a total of 54 programmable keys. Sadly, those are the only keys that aren’t mechanical. They’re supposed to have a fully mechanical keyboard now, the K95. For around $100, its a pretty great deal. I have their mouse too, but it’s crappola

  29. CaribaLd says:

    My 2 cents:

    Razer Naga took a long time for me to get used to, but once I was, there was no turning back. I’m never going to be able to play WoW again without a Naga. I even use it for Starcraft 2, makes hitting those 7-8-9-0 control groups very easy without having to relocate the keybinds.

    For keyboard I use Steelseries 6gv2. I recently acquired the Red Edition, and I’m very happy with it. The red switches are easier to press than the black ones, and I like the fact that they are linear, so red switches are definitely my favorite.

    Headsets are a nightmare for me. They break easily, they hurt the first week or so, and my current headset actually keeps hurting, at least on my left ear, which really sucks. I’ve got no recommendations for headsets, and I hope I’m more lucky next time :(

  30. Celila says:

    I don’t keybind on a keyboard at all because I have teeny hands (drawbacks of being 4-11). I use to be a clicker until I got the naga. I use it for everything and it easily doubled my dps =D I just use shift and control as modifiers so I have pretty much everything available.
    And it made jump shotting a breeze!

  31. download wow says:

    I’ve been using a logitech mouse which I bought 5 years ago and its still going strong. Always remember to buy quality at the time it was around £60.

  32. I use a Logitech G9x mouse and love it. Got the Call of Duty Modern Warfare II edition just because it happened to be cheaper than the regular edition; the only differences are the color of the top LEDs and printed graphics, but it works the same. Not a “lots of switches” mouse, but it has forward/back buttons on the side for mapping how you want (e.g. strafe), and more important, easily controlled DPI, no glitches, no tracking problems on any surface I’ve tried. Recommend.

    I don’t use a gaming keyboard, but do use a mechanical — a Unicomp, who are basically what happened to IBM’s internal keyboards division after they got rid of making PCs. Loudest keyboards on earth, probably, but the key feel is just wonderful to type on and, for gaming, the precision is great, knowing from feel when the key has activated is great, and the increased feedback means I can press the keys more lightly and quickly with confidence. Not backlit, though, but I have a small lamp that illuminates the keyboard area when it’s darker.

    Headset? Beyerdynamic MMX 300. Not cheap, at just a touch under $300, but very good. Excellent sound, they actually beat out my old headphones for music as well, and everyone loves how clear my voice is in Vent now. They are analog but come with a small USB sound dongle with audio controls, as well, which is what I generally use. Gives me a hardware mute button and volume controls.

  33. Brewnhilder says:

    I really have not ever shared this, but I only use the mouse and arrow keys with my occasional space bar thrown in. In towns I access my maps and bags with the keyboard– I am a mouse clicker. Have been my entire time in wow– May of 2005 I started on Kel’Thuzad. Confessions of a mouse clicker. By the way, both my keyboard and mouse are microsoft wireless– I am a hot mess :)

  34. f0nZi3 says:

    LOL @ Brewnhilder

    Well, I guess it’s whatever you are used to. If you have been doing it that long you are likely as fast as someone like me that has all his actions bound to keys. The only thing that could get you the “trifecta” of epic mess is if you are a keyboard turner as well. ;-)

  35. Baeon says:

    http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g13-advanced-gameboard
    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/support/gaming-keyboard-g110?crid=404&osid=14&bit=64
    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/performance-mouse-mx?crid=7
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dynex%26%23153%3B—Mono-USB-Headset-with-Noise-Canceling-Microphone/8525651.p?id=1186007538579&skuId=8525651

    these are the items i use. the g13 gameboard i use for extra buttons that i dont use in emergencies, but are still nice to have handy… (rdycheck, eat food, fishing, other situational macros)

    the G110 is nice, if you can find it, because it is relatively inexpensive, but still has 12 extra keys, with 3 different settings, giving 36 possibilities. I use mostly one set of 12 while fighting, but all of my best macros go here (assist focus, misdirect to focus, etc.) the lack of screen is ok for me, since the g13 has a screen (and i almost never look at it anyways for wow).

    the performance mx mouse is nice because it does have programmable keys, but not a ton of them, so it doesnt feel cluttered under your thumb. it is wireless, but i keep it plugged in, which removes any wireless issues. however, if i was to buy a new mouse today, i would probably try the http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g700s-rechargable-wireless-gaming-mouse as the buttons on it seem pretty well placed too.

    as for the headset, i only use it for vent/skype, so mono is fine, as it still allows me to hear my game and family while wearing it. for the price, you cant beat the call quality, the mic is great, and if you break it, its only $25 to replace.

  36. ProjectD says:

    Keyboard i use Filco MJ2 with MX reds
    Mouse its Razer Naga Epic
    Headset im using Logitech G930 just because its wireless and comfortable.

    Anyone looking for a backlit mech keyboard, check out the Ducky Shine II

  37. Rddragon says:

    For a mouse I use the steel series cataclysm edition. It has a lot of keys and they are placed in great positions for someone who has large hands (me). I do not recommend it for people with smaller hands because it really is almost like using an upside down cereal bowl. The Naga didn’t work for me because half of its keys were unusable due to the fact that they were simply too small and too close together. But to each his/her own.