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I'm a keyboard enthusiast and this is the best gaming keyboard right now

Review: The wildly in-demand Wooting 60HE keyboard delivers the biggest shock to the PC gaming peripheral world in years.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer

Wooting 60HE gaming keyboard

5 / 5

pros and cons

  • Absurd level of customizability
  • Utterly friendly to lubing and other mods
  • The best companion software I've ever used
  • Stabilizers are a little rattly out of the box
  • Included fabric strap and black and yellow cable could be polarizing
  • Shipping times are still very long

Keyboards can be boring. To enthusiasts like me, tiny differences in switch feel, sounds, or actuation distances might induce excitement. But, for most, they're all pretty interchangeable. Even competitive gamers don't pay as much attention to finding the perfect keyboard as they do the perfect gaming mouse

It made sense. Aside from the variables mentioned above, there was little about keyboards that gave an advantage in-game. Then, Wooting suddenly changed all that. 

The small company disrupted the entire gaming keyboard industry with its 60HE, forever altering the perception of how much a keyboard could benefit your gameplay. It does this by letting you customize the variables above to ridiculous extremes, while also supporting your desires for how the board behaves, looks, and feels. Today, we'll look at how this one amazing little keyboard from a lesser-known company delivered the biggest shock to the PC gaming peripheral world in years. 


Form factor 60%
Switch type  Proprietary "Lekker" analog switches
Keycap type Black double-shot PBT with shine-through legends
Connectivity Replaceable USB-C cable (USB-C to USB-A cable included) 
Lighting Customizable per-key RGB with animated and interactive effects
Case material ABS plastic
Available layouts ANSI (US) and ISO (Europe)
Companion software Wootility (available as download, or web app)
Size and weight 30.2 x 11.6 x 3.8 cm or 11.89 x 4.53 x 1.5 inch | 1.33lbs

The Lekker switch

A closeup of the WASD cluster Lekker switches in the Wooting 60HE gaming keyboard

The switches use a standard Cherry stem, making them compatible with almost every after-market keycap you can find.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The unique switches in the 60HE are what makes it so different from other keyboards, so it makes sense to start with them. Unlike most mechanical keyboard switches, this model doesn't use movable metal leaves that complete a circuit when you press a key. Instead, Wooting's proprietary Lekker switch uses magnets.

The proximity of the magnet in the switch allows the 60HE's hardware to read not just an on-and-off state, but also the precise height of the key, down to 0.1mm of movement. This enables Wooting's excellent companion software (more on this later) to provide an absurd number of ways to customize exactly how each key works. 

Want a key to actuate at 0.1mm when playing fast-paced rhythm games? Easy. Want that same key to actuate at a much deeper 3.0mm while typing to prevent unwanted typos? Unlike almost any other keyboard, that's also possible with just a couple of clicks in Wooting's "Wootility" software. 

This flexibility is impressive enough, but it's made much more useful by a secondary functionality: The ability to recognize the instant they travel upward. Regular mechanical switches need to be near the top of their travel to reset for subsequent actuation. This slows down rapid key spamming and reduces response time. 

The Lekker switches used in Woothing 60HE gaming keyboard

You can see the tiny magnet built into the Lekker switches when viewing them from the bottom. It's what makes all their special abilities possible.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The Lekker switch, however, has a feature called "Rapid Trigger" which lets it reset the instant it moves upward, anywhere along its travel path. This lets you spam key inputs much, much faster than would be physically possible on other keyboards. 

Also: Best mechanical keyboards

To get an idea of how problematic this could be for your opponents, imagine your enemy in Valorant or Overwatch 2 A/D strafing faster than you thought possible while you're trying to land a headshot on them. Likewise, imagine instantly spamming skills in a MOBA or MMORPG faster than ever before. You should be starting to see how the 60HE can give you a legitimate advantage in almost any game. 

The Wootility 

The Lekker switch's potential would be wasted without the granular control provided by Wooting's Wootility software. It is, without exaggeration, the best companion software I've ever used. The first, and most important reason is the fact that you don't even need to install it. You can access every bit of its functionality via a web app.

Wooting's Wootility software's RGB lighting interface

This is from the web app version of the software, which has all the same functionality as its locally-installed counterpart.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

You never need to have software running in the background and never have to install incessant updates. Sounds like a dream, right?

Within the web app (or locally installed version, if you prefer) you can control everything you'd expect, and more. All RGB lighting is customizable on a per-key basis, including unique lighting effects that use precise key depth detection to create expanding pools or bars of light based on how deeply you press. It makes for the coolest-looking keyboard light shows I've seen in a long time. 

The switch actuation and rebound settings in Wooting's Wootility software
Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Per-key settings are also available for actuation depth (0.1mm to 4.0mm), and for the Rapid Trigger sensitivity. The latter even supports granular control of upstroke sensitivity versus downstroke sensitivity. If this sounds intimidating, don't worry. None of it is mandatory, and the default settings work extremely well. But, if you like precisely tuning your experience, the options are staggering. 

Also: Mechanical keyboards: A comprehensive guide

Other features include Tachyon Mode (a setting that makes keys respond as rapidly as physically possible), remapping options for each key, macros, and the ability to set "layers" of key bindings for use with the 60HE's Function keys. 

Wooting's 60HE with lights off

The 60% form factor might seem impractical for non-gaming use, but the 60HE's Fn layers solve that weakness.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

This last bit is important because it's what makes a 60% keyboard usable for me. While the compact nature of 60% boards is great for saving space, you sacrifice your arrow, home and end, delete, pg up and pg down, and other keys a writer like myself uses constantly. 

Thankfully, the customizability means I can set the caps lock key to become a function modifier key when I hold it (but remain caps lock on tap). This makes it possible to use the familiar WASD cluster as arrow keys for text editing, or backspace as delete. Of course, this takes getting used to, but the number of functionality customizations like this can squeeze from such a small footprint is staggering. 

Hardware and build

Wooting60HE gaming keyboard with RGB lighting enabled

The white backplate makes all of the RGB effects look well saturated and pleasantly diffused without being overly bright.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

I usually start reviews with this, but I've waited until now for it because it's simply less important to how good the 60HE is than it would be for most keyboards. Don't get me wrong, the 60HE's build is great, but also sort of unremarkable. 

Also: The best keyboards: Find your type

The plastic outer case is sturdy and well-fabricated but won't impress fans of weighty aluminum cases. Likewise, the trademark fabric strap will polarize some users. Cool accent or garish eyesore? Either way, Wooting made it a snap to install or remove. 

Wooting's 60HE with its included fabric carry strap installed

Those two screws can easily be removed, along with the fabric strap. Or you can skip installing it, to begin with, if it's not to your taste.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

That easy removal speaks to a philosophy Wooting built into this board. It expects you to make it your own, not just via software, but by modding the hardware itself. The company's highly useful YouTube channel even includes videos on how to swap the internal components of the 60HE into compatible 60% keyboard cases

The bottom of Wooting's 60HE keyboard

The rubber feet keep the board in place well, but no optional risers to change the default 6-degree typing angle are provided.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

For those with more modest ambitions, this is one of the easiest boards I've disassembled. The hot-swappable switches are easy to pop out and lube (be aware the Lekker switch can't be replaced by normal mechanical switches). More involved jobs like lubing stabilizers or swapping switch springs are also a snap, and Wooting even sells 10g lighter springs for those that prefer a lighter feel. 

The accessories included with Wooting's 60HE gaming keyboard

Wooting even includes a couple of extra plate mounting screws in case you lose one or two while modding the board. 

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

In short, this board is made to be modified, tweaked, customized, and even rebuilt. There's no better board on the market for making your own. 

Bottom line 

I can say, without hyperbole, that this is the best gaming keyboard on the market for almost everyone. Even if it isn't ideal out of the box, you can probably make it perfect with software tweaks or minor hardware mods. The amount of available customization, friendliness to modding, and excellent companion software combine to create one of of those moments that are almost disappointing to someone like me: When you realize you may never have a good reason to upgrade again.

Also: The 5 best gaming mechanical keyboards

The only downside to the 60HE right now is its availability. Wooting is doing its best to meet astonishing demand, but expect to wait for your order. I cannot stress how worthwhile that wait will be. Once you finally have it in hand and get its settings and options just how you like them, you'll be very glad you had the necessary patience. 

Alternatives to consider 

A 60% board from a well-known gamer peripheral maker. It doesn't offer the analog switch capabilities the 60HE does, but it's still very customizable, and significantly cheaper.

One of the few other off-the-shelf mechanical keyboards that's just as friendly to modding as the 60HE. It also uses a slightly larger 70% layout for those that must have their arrow keys.

The Apex 9 Mini also provides customizable switch actuation points, but not the same level of granular control over them. However, it's cheaper and more widely available, if you can't wait for the 60HE's superior customization options.

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