- 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.
|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
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.