The Roccat Magma gaming keyboard is good for those budget gamers who want flashy RGB lighting and some standard gaming features. With that being said, its plastic construction build quality can leave a lot to be desired, which may turn some users off completely.
- Decent key action
- Cool top plate lighting
- Swarm provides good software integration
- Cheap-feeling grooved plastic shell
- Bendy frame
- Novelty features in software
- UKRRP: £49.99
- USARRP: $59.99
- EuropeRRP: €59.99
- Wired connection:A wired connection ensures there’s no delay for the on-screen action.
- Membrane switches:These switches are generally quieter than the mechanical counterparts found with more expensive boards.
- Semi-transparent deck:The RGB lighting backlight shines through the deck for a uniquely flashy effect.
The Roccat Magma is a membrane gaming keyboard, lacking the crunchy feel of a mechanical ‘board, but comprising with an ultra-affordable price.
And with a semi-transparent top plate, the entire keyboard will flash up in your chosen colour, making it more eye catching than some of the very best gaming keyboards out there.
But with a number of design concerns here, is the Roccat Magma a worthwhile option, even at this budget-friendly price?
- Semi-transparent top plate results in a flashy look
- Relatively hard-wearing plastic construction
- Slightly bendy frame with some deck flex
Unlike some of its more wallet-friendly counterparts, Roccat’s Magma board doesn’t look particularly cheap. With its grooved plastic construction and open housing, it doesn’t look out of place up against some of their mechanical counterparts that would set you back twice the price of this one.
There’s plenty here on the design side that gamers will love, with its rounded edges and entirely grooved underside that then extends into the included wristrest. The plastics that Roccat have employed here feel relatively hard wearing, and the two flip-up feet on the underside work well for those who need them.
With that being said though, the overall construction of the Magma isn’t necessarily the best it could be. Where competitors from Razer retain the military-grade construction of their more expensive counterparts, the Magma chassis feels noticeably cheap, seeing a fair amount of deck flex under heavy load.
Keycaps feel good under finger, but I will say they can feel a little shiny and could end up being a smidgen greasy after extended periods of use. They do allow for the Magma’s oodles of backlighting to shine through though, as does the semi-transparent top plate which makes the RGB backlight visible under the deck for a dazzling effect. This is the first time I’ve seen such a feature employed.
Roccat have been generous enough to include a wristrest with the Magma, which attaches in an intuitive fashion and makes this board that little bit more comfortable. Do be wary though, its grooved plastic can feel comfortable for some time and then feel a little jagged after extended periods of usage.
Don’t expect to find anything out of the ordinary when it comes to connectivity as the Magma is bequeathed with a standard length, non-braided cable with a USB-A connector, meaning compatibility isn’t an issue at all.
- Membrane key action provides a satisfying typing experience
- Whisper-quiet keystrokes
- Packed with gaming features
On the switch front, the Magma makes use of good old rubber domes. These provide a decent performance, but are incomparable to the benefits associated of going mechanical. I suggest only settling for these membrane switches if you’re on a strict budget.
For day-to-day stuff, the membrane keys work pretty well, offering a defined tactility when the domes collapse. This is particularly useful if you need to bang out some work over the course of a day. However, after long stretches of use it can feel like typing on a wet sponge, but this isn’t the fault of Roccat – just the membrane system in general.
The Magma is more of a gaming keyboard than its competitors though, offering some 26 key rollover in comparison to 10 with the Razer Cynosa. The actual keystrokes are pretty quiet and dampened for a membrane board, making this ideal for late night gaming.
This is reinforced by its Game Mode feature that converts the Caps Lock into an Easy Shift, activating secondary functions for numerous keys when held down. This is a good alternative to having dedicated macro keys, although it’s still a shame that there are no multimedia keys to speak of.
Software & Lighting
- Swarm provides some great functions
- RGB lighting is crisp and interesting
- Some novelty features included
It’s really on the lighting side where Roccat has pushed the Magma to be an all-conquering budget keyboard, and it’s fair to say that the lighting is at least a little different.
Out of the box, the Magma makes use of a semi-transparent top plate which allows every single piece of RGB goodness to shine through. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but rest assured that it’s plenty bright enough to fit with any RGB you already have.
This is largely thanks to the fact Roccat has bundled in their brilliant AIMO lighting engine, which works well on other peripherals such as the Roccat Kain 200 AIMO mouse I’ve reviewed previously.
Roccat’s Swarm software also comes bundled in with the Magma to help those first-time PC gamers take advantage of the latest addition to their setup. I’ve been a fan of Swarm for a while given its feature set, and for this board, you can set up secondary functions for keys, fiddle with inputs and adjust the lighting.
There’s even a rather gimmicky feature that allows you to add a sound that’s emitted from your PC whenever you type. It’s a nice novelty piece, but could easily get annoying quickly.
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Should you buy it?
You want to game on a budget
Aside from the flashy appearance, the strongest aspect of this keyboard is that it’s available at a very affordable price. If you’re on a strict budget, it’s worth considering.
You want mechanical switches or good build quality
With no mechanical switches, this keyboard lacks the satisfying crunchy feel of more expensive options. The sub-par build quality will also remind you that this is a budget board.
For those looking for a pretty standard membrane keyboard with some crisp lighting and great software, the Magma is a great option. It’s well priced too, and by comparison to other gaming boards, is unlikely to burn a hole in your wallet. That being said, if you want something mechanical or a keyboard that’s built like a tank, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
The Roccat Magma is a wired gaming keyboard
No, it uses membrane switches instead.
Slightly, but quieter than most mechanical boards.