The DeathStalker V2 is Razer’s new flagship gaming keyboard, and it’s excellent

After initially finding success with the iconic BlackWidow and then tweaking the competitive gaming keyboard layout with the Huntsman, Razer is making a change with its next line of flagship keyboards. The Razer DeathStalker V2 family of keyboards brings a new look to the gaming peripheral giant by using low-profile optical switches and a slim chassis to usher in the sleekest and arguably most stylish keyboard Razer has ever created. The Razer DeathStalker V2 comes in several different models, with the core design being the DeathStalker V2 Pro, which is available now.

If you’re familiar with Razer’s various families of peripherals, DeathStalker may sound familiar. That said, the V2 bears little resemblance to the original, which was Razer’s membrane gaming keyboard. The DeathStalker V2 comes with Razer’s high-quality optical switches. You can choose between “Linear” and Clicky”, though the linear switch model is the only one available now. This is Razer’s first keyboard with low-profile optical switches, and they make a marked difference in the looks department while feeling just as cool. Strong and durable like traditional Razer keys and switches.

The DeathStalker V2 has three different models: the Pro, Pro Tenkeyless, and the regular V2. The Pro is a full-length wireless keyboard with a number pad. The Tenkeyless has the same design but drops the keyboard. The regular V2, meanwhile, is simply a wired version of the full-body model. The Tenkeyless model will only be available with linear switches, while the other two will support linear or clicky switches.

Death Stalker V2 Pro

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Low-profile keys and a slim aluminum-alloy chassis make the DeathStalker V2 compact enough not to need a wrist rest. That’s a bit weird with modern gaming keyboards, as many of them come with wrist rests to improve ergonomics. The V2 has ergonomic sound out of the box. I wrote it all day with my legs up for over a week and never felt any discomfort. The DeathStalker V2 is just 21mm thick at the front and 26.6mm at the rear. That’s about half the height of the Huntsman V2.

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A big part of the reason I’m impressed with the DeathStalker V2 is because it looks and feels like a keyboard you can use for both productivity and gaming. I’ve never liked using a gaming keyboard for work in the past; In my opinion, many gaming keyboards do not offer a pleasant typing experience. The DeathStalker’s low-profile linear switches feel much closer to a conventional keyboard you’d find on a laptop than most gaming keyboards. They are quiet but still provide satisfying feedback.

Of course, it’s primarily a keyboard aimed at gamers, and it doesn’t disappoint there either. Linear Optical Switches are extremely lightweight, requiring just 45 grams of force and 1.2mm of actuation to click. They can travel fully twice as far, up to 2.8mm. The clicky switches have 1.5mm of actuation per click, travel the same distance, and require slightly more force at 50 grams.

DeathStalker V2 Pro Keyless
DeathStalker V2 Pro Keyless

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If you’ve used a Huntsman keyboard, you’ll be familiar with the clicky and linear optical switches. These are the same switches found in the Huntsman line, just in a low-profile form factor. I’ve only tested the linear model, but I can say that despite having the same actuation point, travel distance, and force requirements, the DeathStalker V2 offers a smoother typing experience than other Razer keyboards with these optical switches. Maybe it’s because I’m used to low-profile keyboards for typing, but the sleek key layout increased my speed compared to the Huntsman keyboards, both when gaming and typing. As is common with gaming keyboards, the V2 has an N-key shift for precision and accuracy.

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The wireless versions of the DeathStalker V2 have multiple forms of connectivity; Razer Hyperspeed 2.4GHz technology and Bluetooth 5.0. By offering Bluetooth, with up to three device profiles, in addition to the gaming-focused Hyperspeed connection, the V2 further solidifies itself as a versatile keyboard that suits both the office and the game room. The DeathStalker V2 Pro and TKL models run for 40 and 50 hours, respectively, between charges via USB-C.

It wouldn’t be a Razer keyboard without the Chroma RGB backlighting, which unsurprisingly looks great on the DeathStalker V2. Razer cleverly placed the keys’ secondary functions next to the primary function, so each key is clearly visible and backlit. Legends are laser etched into the keys and the keys have a durable coating that Razer claims will prevent the print from fading. The switches are rated for 70 million clicks.

The DeathStalker V2 naturally has a few key features designed just for gaming, including Razer Synapse support. With built-in memory and cloud storage, you can save up to five control profiles. It has a dedicated “game mode” key for reassigning inputs and creating macros. In the upper right corner there is a handy media button and a roller.

The DeathStalker V2 Pro with Linear Optical Switches is available now for $250 from Razer and other major retailers. Keyless ($220) and wired ($200) models with linear switches launch in August. If you prefer the clicky model, wireless and wired versions of the DeathStalker V2 with optical clicky switches will launch in Q4 2022.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a portion of the proceeds if you purchase something featured on our site.

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