Razer's Huntsman V2 Analog's pressure-sensitive keys are literally game-changing

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,971   +789
Staff member
In brief: Razer just released its newest mechanical keyboard, which uses analog optical switches. The unique mechanics bring new possibilities to KB/M gaming. Variable movement speed, adjustable responsiveness, and dual-function keys stand to change the way you play your favorite games.

On Wednesday, Razer announced the Huntsman V2 Analog gaming keyboard. From a physical design standpoint, Razer's newest mechanical keyboard is identical to the excellent Huntsman Elite. The difference between the two comes down to the switches. The Huntsman V2 Analog replaces the Elite's linear optical switches with pressure-sensitive analog mechanisms. These new actuators bring a few key features to the table.

The first is adjustable responsiveness. The keys on the newest Huntsman have a max travel distance of 3.6mm by default. However, using Razer's Synapse software, users can adjust keystrokes to as short as 1.5mm. Razer says, "At shorter actuation heights, the switches become lighter and more responsive, making them ideal for game genres where reaction and speed are critical." It's important to note, though, that this does not change the feel of the mechanics.

A second advantage that analog switches bring is analog control. Adjusting movement speed with one key is as easy as varying the pressure you apply, just like an analog joystick. By lightly pressing the key, players can make their character walk, and as they increase pressure, the game can respond with faster speeds up to a sprint. This new mechanic is more granular than the traditional walk/run toggle, and might take some getting used to, but it could be a game-changer. Razer says that the Huntsman V2 works with any title that is compatible with an analog gamepad.

Finally, the Huntsman V2 Analog offers what Razer calls "Dual-Step Actuation." This feature allows users to program two functions to one key. The first will execute with a light press and the second with full pressure. For example, if you have two skills in a roleplaying game that you always use in rapid succession, you can program one key to trigger them. Razer's announcement video (above) shows another example where light pressure equips a grenade, and a full press throws it.

A few other features set this keyboard apart from the Huntsman Elite, including Razer's "Doubleshot" PBT keycaps, customizable RGB backlighting, and USB 3.0 passthrough. For now, the Huntsman V2 Analog is only available through Razer for $250. Amazon and Best Buy are scheduled to carry it starting February 9.

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Nobina

Posts: 3,050   +2,845
It's not gonna replace a gamepad. I remember seeing some reviews of other analog keyboards and the impression is they are weird, and as previous comment says, no reason for people to try to get used to alternatives when gamepads already do the job.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
Every year a slew of "newer than the last new" keyboards and mice and each year they fail to impress, even the super video's are becoming a yawner ..... now if you want to impress let's see some digital semifor flags or maybe a new and improved Morris code ...... hmmmm, come to think of it there really isn't anything new under the sun, eh?
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,041   +958
Thanks but no thanks. Why try to touch the nose from around the back of the head?
My gamepads are good enough for me. The comfort of using gamepads on any couch or sofa beats sitting with a table with the keyboard and mouse sprawled on it.

Besides, with gampads, I can FEEL when I'm knocking an arrow and shooting or firing a gun or when I am hit or bitten from behind.

And $250 for a keyboard??? I would rather get a high capacity SSD.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,456   +4,023
This sounds fantastic for those of us who can't stand the agonizingly slow turning from gamepad joysticks and don't have enough keys for all the functions some games demand. Even so, the price is much too high. Get it to under $125 and we'll talk.
 

MarkHughes

Posts: 273   +229
You can have my Logitech G13 when you pry it from my cold dead hand. I won't be buying anymore Razer products, They look nice buy I have found them to be unreliable.
 

Roxxas049

Posts: 9   +7
This sounds fantastic for those of us who can't stand the agonizingly slow turning from gamepad joysticks and don't have enough keys for all the functions some games demand. Even so, the price is much too high. Get it to under $125 and we'll talk.
Look up the Wooting brand keyboards, same switches, less expensive. Switches are replaceable. The TKL Wooting ONE is sold out and they're not going to make any more but you can still find them here and there.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 443   +304
As someone who's bad at fast typing, I'm gonna stick with red-linear switches, it's like an Ouija board...Popular, unpredictable and worthless :D
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 299   +431
If it's anything like my past experience with Razer....

Synapse software causes some conflict with the hardware - Synapse software is uninstalled, but conflict remains. Synapse is then scrubbed from the registry and conflict vanishes.

Use hardware for a couple months and hardware isn't functioning properly. Contact Razer - they say install Synapse software. Software installed, issue is resolved.

Using hardware for a couple months and find out a software update on Synapse is causing issues with the hardware and also causing my GPU to run at 3D clock speeds all the time. Uninstall Synapse - issues still remain, scrub the registry again and issues vanish.

Use the hardware for a few months (now around 22 months of ownership, almost end of warranty) - button issues arise. Razer says Synapse software needs to be installed. Install software, button issues went away.

Just over 2 months later buttons fail to work and no software removal or install fixes it. Hardware is now out of warranty by 2 days and Razer won't do anything to fix it. So sorry, out of warranty.

Screw Razer and their shitty software and hardware.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,095   +703
For $250? No thanks. At my age, I no longer have the time, eyesight, or reflexes to benefit from these gimmicks.
 

herpaderp

Posts: 187   +49
The unique mechanics bring new possibilities to KB/M gaming. Variable movement speed, adjustable responsiveness, and dual-function keys stand to change the way you play your favorite games

Yeah nah, this isn't going to change anything. It does nothing that my Wooting One hasn't been able to do for the past ~4 years.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 97   +101
Me and a friend bought the same mouse (Razer Deathadder) back in 2013 if I remember correctly.
Hist died during warranty. Mine immediately after.
Only after reading a ton of reddit posts and forums we realized that Razer doesn't give two shits about quality. So I switched back to Logitech and never had issues with them.
Still using the same G502 since 2014. And a mechanical keyboard from Steelseries. 6Gv2. I've also bought people G502 as presents. And they love them.
I'm not an expert, but my honest advice: buy quality products "for a lifetime", pick the best price/quality without bells and whistles. Personally, I won't consider ANYTHING from Razer again. Too many fails, too little care for the customers. Nope. Not for me, thanks.
 
Why on earth are people commenting about it "not gonna replace a gamepad" ?

It's not meant to - it would benefit PC games that are played on mouse/keyboard you bell ends.

Imagine your favourite FPS where you can creep by gently pressing the key or run by pressing all the way down, no more holding down no more holding down shift....strafing at differnt speeds to fool your enemy........or maybe a light touch to chuck a grenade and a heavy touch to lob a handful....etc etc....even scrolling around a map on your favourite city builder would be easier and smoother....and you could even have a feature to put a capital or lower case letter by hitting a single key....

Use your imagination!
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,041   +958
Why on earth are people commenting about it "not gonna replace a gamepad" ?

It's not meant to - it would benefit PC games that are played on mouse/keyboard you bell ends.

Imagine your favourite FPS where you can creep by gently pressing the key or run by pressing all the way down, no more holding down no more holding down shift....strafing at differnt speeds to fool your enemy........or maybe a light touch to chuck a grenade and a heavy touch to lob a handful....etc etc....even scrolling around a map on your favourite city builder would be easier and smoother....and you could even have a feature to put a capital or lower case letter by hitting a single key....

Use your imagination!
Looks like you never used the analog gamepads (all new gamepads have analog sticks as standard), what with all the imagination you talked about... that's what gamepad users have already been experiencing all this while. All the light touch is already implemented long ago on gamepads. Plus, the vibration feedback greatly enhances the immersion. As I have mentioned above, the gun recoils, the tension of arrow knocked back on the string of the bow, when you get hit - all you can feel them.

And yes, creeping with gamepads already been implemented long ago.
 
Looks like you never used the analog gamepads (all new gamepads have analog sticks as standard), what with all the imagination you talked about... that's what gamepad users have already been experiencing all this while. All the light touch is already implemented long ago on gamepads. Plus, the vibration feedback greatly enhances the immersion. As I have mentioned above, the gun recoils, the tension of arrow knocked back on the string of the bow, when you get hit - all you can feel them.

And yes, creeping with gamepads already been implemented long ago.

Of course - but who plays COD/Metro/Quake/Battlefield/Cities XL/Settlers etc etc with a gamepad? I don' think it's meant to be replacement for that those games...

Fifa/Mortal Kombat etc - of course I use a pad.

As for Razer's products though, no idea....they seem to have a lot of negative reviews.