Mechanical switches have been around for decades. The Cherry MX switch was developed and marketed in the 1980s, so it kind of makes you wonder why a technology that’s been around for so long has seen so little improvement in terms of gaming performance. Here, in this content, you will acknowledge the Bloody B975 Light Strike Gaming Keyboard.
Optical switches would sound like the new cutting-edge technology, but the surprising fact is that they’ve been around since the 1960s! However, the purpose was to make typewriters less noisy, as opposed to using light speed for gaming advantages.
Turns out, optical switches in keyboards might be catching on. Bloody, who has a logo that matches its name really well, has personally designed its switches in-house to tailor a competitive gaming edge with the B975 Light Strike.
Packaging and Specifications
Let’s start by asking the first important question: Does this keyboard come in a box? Why, yes it does! I’m glad we got that out of the way. On a more serious note, the packaging looks pretty nice.
All of the components are nicely protected, but I’m surprised that the B975 has so many accessories included. Bloody is allowing the user to have a variety of customization options in one package. There are 8 keycaps in red and clear to replace your typical gaming layouts for Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, and F. There’s also a key puller provided, which is always nice.
The specifications put the key actuation point at 1.5 mm with a travel distance of 3.5 mm, so the switches shouldn’t feel too radically different from other mechanical keyboards. The latency, however, places the switches 30ms faster than a traditional mechanical switch. Bloody is bragging the only input lag you should expect is pressing the key from 0 to the 1.5 mm actuation point, resulting in 0.2 ms between what you want to do and when it happens on screen.
Structurally speaking, the keyboard is not made of cheap parts, but it does feel lighter than the average mechanical keyboard. Expect an aluminum top with a solid plastic base. The typeface of the keys is legible. I shouldn’t have to say that, but manufacturers seem to think fancy type will sell their keyboards. On the other hand, I’ve seen keyboards with no symbols or letters on them at all, though that’s probably a bit rare in the gaming world.
The risers have a good build, and the hard rubber feet don’t look like they are going anywhere. Whether you are for or against wrist rests, two screws are all that stand between you and ergonomics. While this is easy to appeal to both sides of the wrist rest fence, it might add some slightly unnecessary cost to those who don’t like the rest. Personal opinion, I’m not against wrist rests, just unstable wrist rests. That is not a problem here.
The two screws that are on the bottom of the actual wrist rest are for an interchangeable piece. This allows you to go with Red or black on the section right below the main set of keys.
One thing that’s a little hard to show without disassembling the whole keyboard is water resistance. Not only are the switches inherently defended from water, but the keyboard itself is designed to drain LARGE amounts of water through channels and drainage holes. The keyboard PCB is also coated to help prevent water damage to the electrical parts.
Taking a closer look at the keycaps, you can see a scheme I’m using for Battlerite. The WASD keys have clear ones to accent the movement keys, and the RF keys are for rare charge-up abilities. It’s a nice visual queue to help find the right-hand position. Once again, Bloody includes a simple key puller and you can get a view of the switch after the key cap is pulled off. Nothing major to see, but worth pointing out nonetheless.
If you want to learn more about the 600K & 500K gaming keyboards then you can go through this article.
The first page of the software is an informational page that detects the keyboard. If you need a second Bloody keyboard, you can go to the store.
As with most keyboard software suites, you have the option to change what a keypress can do. We begin to see though that some of the steps involved are not as intuitive as they could be. Some of the drop downs and titles are phrased in ways that aren’t common to terms a user would be familiar with, but it isn’t that hard to make a few clicks and get the result you want either.
This screen is from the M button for the screen memo. This allows you to make an onscreen notification for a key press. The detailed options are pretty good here. You can pick the exact spot on the screen you want it to be, color, font size, and time to display on the screen. However, it would be a bit more intuitive if I had some preset graphical options to choose from as well.
Here’s the launch page for the RGB settings. I already covered the animator options, but here’s where you can apply new profiles to new key combinations.
It wouldn’t be a gaming keyboard if it didn’t have a macro option. As usual, you have the ability to record key presses, save profiles, and edit options. I’ve rarely found uses for macros in my life, but it looks like Bloody has a comparable option to others I’ve seen.
Super Combo almost looks like a game hack. This is a way to automate common abilities to either repeat, perform a combo, or hit and run. You see why I say it looks a bit like a hack. Of course that all depends on how it’s used. In the case of an RPG raid that requires damage based on optimal builds, this could work great to keep your rotations rolling consistently, allowing you to focus more on load-outs and skill trees.
Finally, I have a small tidbit about the company. The software is designed to elevate our user experience, and I see how that can work out. Some interface optimization and wording improvement would help, but this is a great start for Bloody.
Does this keyboard actually feel like it has a competitive edge? On an average gaming level, I wouldn’t say I notice 30 milliseconds. Unless I can afford the proper equipment to put official numbers on a key press, I can’t prove the claims Bloody makes. On the other hand, I do spend most of my gaming time playing competitive games. I’m not sure why, since they can be frustrating, but I’ve held on to a platinum ranking in Battlerite for 3 seasons. I don’t have the time to be a genuine pro, but I can feel some minute differences.
After playing enough Battlerite to get a feel for the optical board, key presses felt consistently accurate. When comparing attacks side by side with a mechanical keyboard, the space bar was a great key to sense the feel. I wanted to jump, but the mechanical keyboard felt like it had to think about the request at certain moments. There was an occasional disconnect between the action pressed and the action represented.
Part of this may also be that the space bar on the Bloody B975 Light Strike is reinforced well, so the key press from any position on it feels the same. That said, I felt an ever so slight advantage from the optical switches. It’s not something I bet my life on, but there were moments in the competitive play where I felt like I had a better advantage than I did before using the optical keyboard.
As always, I like to mention typing as well. I don’t see any advantage to the feel of optical switches in casual gaming or work tasks. The linear switch is not my favorite when typing out a review, but great for gaming. The optical advantage didn’t carry any weight in my typing experience. Even the consistency issues I noticed in Battlerite were unnoticeable for work. I wouldn’t recommend spending more for optical switches if typing is your main goal, but I would recommend thinking about the water resistance advantage. That’s worth quite a lot in just about any circumstance.
To say the B975 is “Bloody” fantastic would be a bad pun I won’t allow here (even though it’s true). On the plus side, the optical keyboard is a great device. I firmly believe it has a competitive gaming advantage, yet the water-resistant feature is great for anyone wanting a keyboard to last a long time.
It’s not the strongest feeling mechanical I’ve ever felt, but it has really good quality regardless. It even looks great with its RGB lighting effects. I may think there’s room for improvement on the software, but I wouldn’t put it into a category as a negative either.
As a result of cutting-edge technology, the keyboard is right at $150 on Amazon and Newegg. That price is steep, but considering the features and accessories it’s actually a competitive price. I feel like Bloody is doing a good job of matching what their competitors offer, with the exception of the Light Strike switches.
Those are just better. I won’t quite go to a Must Have Award, but the Bloody B975 Light Strike Optical Gaming Keyboard is certainly deserving of the PureOC Editor’s Choice Award. Go out and get some optical switches for your competitive gaming!