Let’s be honest.
Stock PC keyboards suck when it comes to gaming.
On the other hand, a gaming keyboard increases responsiveness, looks appealing and often comes with exciting customization features.
With so many options on the market, it is hard to find the right one.
But don’t worry. Whether you want a budget, wireless, mechanical or compact keyboard, this guide will help you pick the right one.
Here are the best gaming keyboards for the money:
Best Gaming Keyboards - At a Glance
- 1SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 2Razer BlackWidow Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 3Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 4HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Gaming Keyboard
- 5Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro Mechanical Wireless Gaming Keyboard
- 6Razer Huntsman Elite Gaming Keyboard
- 7Razer Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard
- 8SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Gaming Keyboard
- 9HyperX Alloy Origins - Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- 10CORSAIR K57 RGB Wireless Gaming Keyboard
Best Gaming Keyboards
Are you looking for a full-sized keyboard rich with user-friendly features? If yes, the SteelSeries Apex Pro is a compelling option. It is well-built and features aircraft grade aluminum construction which makes it durable and stable on any gaming desk.
It has a magnetic wrist rest that allows you to play for long hours without feeling sore in your wrists. Your palm can fully rest and allow you to stay comfortable - a feature that sets the Apex Pro apart from other keyboards.
The keyboard comes with OmniPoint adjustable switches that allow you to customize actuation distance according to your preferences. You can adjust the actuation distance from 0.4 mm to 3.6 mm. A low actuation distance allows you to have responsiveness while gaming, while a higher actuation distance helps with accurate typing for your professional tasks.
Note that the switches are optical with linear feedback, they don’t have tactile feedback. Linear switches are quiet and don’t have the slight tactile bump that you feel in tactile switches. This is how linear switches improve responsiveness while gaming.
The keyboard has RGB backlight with 16.8 million colors available for each key. It has an OLED smart display which helps you adjust settings and track data from your game, spotify or other apps.
Razer BlackWidow Elite is for those who want optional tactile switches to get feedback during gaming. This keyboard doesn’t have the option to customize pre-travel distance like the SteelSeries Apex Pro. But its typing is of better quality and it comes with multiple kinds of switches.
The keyboard comes in three variants - Tactile & Clicky Green, Linear & Silent Yellow and Tactical & Silent, Orange.
Tests of the tactile variant reveal that the switches are easy to press and feel quite responsive for gaming.
On top of that the keyboard has amazing features such as media control keys, a volume control wheel and Windows key lock button. The keyboard also allows fully programmable macros and also programmable RGB lights to make gaming immersive and fun.
One of its best features is the magnetic wrist rest, made out of leatherette to help you play for long hours without feeling any pain or soreness. The keyboard itself is well-built, its top plate is made out of military-grade metal.
Note that its software is not compatible with MacOS, only compatible with Windows. But it comes with memory on board so you can save your configuration when switching to another computer.
If you prefer tactile feedback over customization of pre-travel distance, the Razer Blackwidow Elite keyboard is for you.
Best Keyboard for MMO Gaming
Corsair K100 RGB keyboard is a high-quality keyboard with durable construction. Its build consists of a metal top plate, aluminum frame, and solid plastic base. What differentiates it from other keyboards is that it comes with an incline setting and a removable wrist rest to provide unmatched levels of comfort.
Its keycaps are built with doubleshot PBT material and are very sturdy. Its incline feet keep it stable in a single position for effective gaming or typing.
Its keys come with an actuation distance of just 1.2 mm, which helps provide a responsive gaming experience. However, this low actuation distance may cause unintentional strokes to be registered - something that you will get used to with time.
We like that it comes with six macro keys - it helps you customize things as you want. It also has full RGB backlighting and media control keys to make everything accessible - a iCUE control wheel allows you to control these functions and do more.
On the downside, the iCUE software of this keyboard isn’t fully compatible with Linux and macOS. On the macOS, you can’t use three keys including PauseBreak, Scroll Lock and PrintScreen.
Note that the keyboard is available in two variants - Cherry Mx, with linear switches that provide no feedback and Optical, that comes with optical mechanical switches with smooth linear travel.
Overall, this is an excellent gaming keyboard with versatile features and good responsiveness for gaming.
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is a compelling keyboard that comes with many interesting features. It is built with a solid steel frame that makes it durable in the long-term. It also sports a detachable wrist rest that allows passionate gamers to play for hours on end without getting their wrists tired. The wrist rest has a soft touch coating to eliminate any friction and allow smooth contact.
It comes in three styles: Cherry MX Brown, Blue and Red. It doesn’t come with dedicated macro keys but it allows you to store up to three lighting and macro settings. There is a light bar on top that makes it “come alive” and looks slick when used in dark settings.
The volume wheel is a bit heavy and the stock keys come with matte coating. The keys are of standard size so you can easily replace them after they get worn out.
The keyboard comes with media controls to make gaming immersive, USB passthrough to enhance connectivity and full RGB lighting to make things cool. The keyboard has N-key rollover, so you can be sure that each key press will be registered.
It comes with silver keycaps for the WASD keys and the first four number keys. Overall, this is a wholesome keyboard with responsive keys and a range of features for an immersive experience.
If you are looking for the best wireless gaming keyboard, the Razer BlackWidow should be your choice. The V3 Pro comes in three variants: green switches with clicky keys, yellow switches with linear keys and orange switches with tactile keys.
For this review, we will consider the tactile keys variant. It comes with low actuation distance and light actuation force which makes it responsive for immersive gaming. The keyboard has full RGB backlighting and programmable macro keys - a hard-to-get feature in gaming keyboards.
The V3 Pro also offers amazing connectivity - it supports Bluetooth and the company’s Hyperspeed technology with its dedicated receiver. It also has a USB-C port for wired connectivity to your other devices. We like that the keyboard comes with two incline settings and a wrist rest, so that gamers can play for long hours without feeling sore or pain in their wrists.
The keycaps are built with doubleshot ABS plastic that has a soft touch and feels comfy while gaming. Note that the keyboard design is rather straight, which may not go well with some gamers. The keyboard top plate is built with military-grade metal and can last up to a whopping 80 million clicks.
Most responsive gaming keyboard
The Razer Huntsman Elite is an amazing gaming keyboard. It comes with Razer’s opto-mechanical switches, which are available only in its Huntsman series.
The optical switches are far ahead than regular switches in terms of technology. They don’t rely on metal contact for actuation. Instead, they rely on the firing of a light beam that occurs when the switch is pressed. This makes them more responsive than regular mechanical switches. Users feel as if the keyboard is “broken in” because of this feature.
The keyboard comes with a magnetic wrist rest and a whole catalogue of media controls to give you entertainment on your finger tips. It also has a multi-function dial with versatile uses including changing volume to browsing through millions of colors on offer.
It has onboard memory to store your preferred settings that can be used when you use the keyboard with a different computer. The keyboard comes at a premium price but it is well-made too: it is built with aluminum top frame with matte finish. The keyboard comes with a two-year warranty, which shows how sturdy this keyboard is.
It has fully programmable macro support so you can remap keys and key combinations to work for your intended commands. On the downside, the typing on this keyboard can be loud, so it is not fit for office use.
Razer Cynosa Chroma is a quality gaming keyboard with unique features. Its stand out feature is its full membrane typing functionality. Its low profile membrane keys are responsive and also pleasant to touch. It has Razer’s fully loaded RGB lighting to bring your gaming setup to life. The lights can be programmed for each key or for a set of zones. You can choose from preset lighting effects or customize your own.
It allows fully programmable macros so that you can map all keys and combinations to a specific required function. The keyboard is spill-resistant, so if you get excited, you can restart your game without any guilt. This spill resistance also enhances the life of the keyboard. The keys come with a 10-key rollover so they can execute 10 commands at the same time.
The keyboard is a great budget buy for those who want full membrane keys. It doesn’t come with any fancy features such as a magnetic wrist rest, USB connectivity passthrough or versatile media controls, but it delivers high value for its price.
Best TKL Keyboard for Gaming
SteelSeries Apex 7 is the best TenKeyLess keyboard for gaming on the market. It comes with an aluminum top plate construction that makes it stable and durable. It has a detachable wrist rest to make things ergonomic and comfortable. Its adjustable incline function allows you to type for hours without getting tired.
It is a feature-rich keyboard and made for hardcore gamers as well as enthusiasts who want to use it for typing as well.
It comes with dedicated macro keys and a wide range of media controls. It also has an OLED screen that gives you instant access to your game’s profile and other settings without having to navigate deep into the game’s menu.
It is loaded with full RGB backlighting that allows you to play in dark settings. The keyboard comes in three variants with - clicky, tactile and linear switches. Its tactile switch variant has keys with low actuation force requirement, but they lack responsiveness. It comes with superb software support to sync it across all devices.
It has some drawbacks too - there is no Windows key lock so your game can be minimized with an accidental key press. However, this isn’t a deal breaker - it just takes some time to get used to.
HyperX Alloy Origins is a great gaming keyboard with solid build quality and a compact design. It feels premium to use and its RGB backlighting is perfect for a dark-themed gamer’s den. The keyboard comes in three variants so you can choose from linear, clicky or tactile switches.
It comes with great ergonomic features - it has a three-level rear height adjustment which allows you to position it perfectly for long hours of use. It also has onboard memory and three profiles that can be programmed with your preferred lighting and other control settings. It has an N-key rollover function so that each key press is registered accurately. It also prevents ghosting, to avoid registering any extra keys when multiple keys are pressed together.
Even at a significant price, the keyboard doesn’t come with dedicated media controls or programmable macro keys. Its small 1.8 mm actuation distance is more of a gimmick when compared to 2mm that is seen in most keyboards.
Best Affordable Wireless Gaming Keyboard
Corsair K57 RGB Wireless is an excellent gaming keyboard for those looking for a wireless keyboard at an affordable price. It comes with full RGB backlighting to allow hardcore gamers to play in dark settings. It connects with slipstream wireless low-latency bluetooth technology with a response time of less than 1 ms. It has three types of connectivity - the company’s slipstream wireless connectivity, low-latency bluetooth or wired USB connection.
Its RGB backlit system is brighter because of capellix LEDs that are brighter and consume less power than regular RGB LEDs. Even at an affordable price, the keyboard comes with six programmable macro keys so that you can customize your own commands as you please.
It comes with a detachable wrist rest that ensures you don’t get tired from long hours of gaming or typing. It also has dedicated volume and media controls to have easy access to controls without minimizing your game.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard
While buying a gaming keyboard, check for the following things:
Gaming keyboards come in different types of switches - mechanical switches require metal contact for actuation, i.e. registering a key press. Optical switches actuate on the basis of firing of light upon a key press. Gamers generally tend to prefer mechanical switches.
Keyboards can also come with membrane switches that pass an electric current through two plastic membranes. Membrane switch keyboards are cheaper and also less responsive or accurate than optical and mechanical keyboards.
Feedback and Noise
Keys come in different types - linear, tactile and clicky. Linear keys are quiet, smooth and consistent. Tactile keys bump on each key press, make moderate noise and have good feedback which is good for beginners. Clicky keys also bump on each key press, have loud noise which is good for beginners but may be annoying for pro gamers.
Gaming keyboards come in different sizes: from full-length and TenKeyLess to 60% or mini keyboards. TenKeyLess keyboards (80% size) exclude the number pad to reduce the size. The advantage of full-size keyboards is that they often come with a whole lot of features.
Some keyboards come with programmable macro keys that allow you to customize or remap each key and key combination to a certain command of your choice.
Dedicated Media Controls
Keyboards often come with a multi-function dial that allows you to control various game settings such as audio without having to minimize the game.
USB and Audio Pass through
Gaming keyboards often come with USB passthrough that allows you to charge and connect other devices like smartphones and tablets. Similarly, an audio passthrough can help you plug in your headphones.
Gaming keyboards can have wireless, bluetooth or USB connectivity to provide seamless connection with other devices.
Some keyboards come with a magnetic wrist rest and even multiple incline levels to help with ergonomics. Gamers can play for hours on such keyboards without getting tired.
No matter which keyboard you buy, make sure it is made with a sturdy material like aluminum or another metal. Some keyboards even come with spill-resistant keys and matte finish to extend durability.
Gaming keyboards come in various types and sizes. Each gaming keyboard in this list is best in its own right.
Our top pick is the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mechanical gaming keyboard. It allows you to customize pre-travel distance - a rare feature in gaming keyboards.