It is not only about having a pleasant typing experience that the PC gaming community seeks when it comes to keyboards. Most people overlook the subtlety and elegance of productivity or enthusiast-level options, in favor of bolder and flashier designs that are complemented by features like lightning-fast laser or mechanical switches, macro keys, and deeply customizable RGB lighting to match the aura of your gaming rig.
Besides the build quality, there are additional things to consider, such as media keys, a wrist rest, or the convenience of a USB passthrough. In this post, you’ll discover our best choices from among the plethora of gaming keyboards presently available, which cater to users with a variety of budgets, connection needs, and layout requirements.
1.Best High-End Wired Keyboard
Although you’ll need big money to get the K100 RGB, Corsair’s continuous improvements to its flagship gaming keyboard have won it the top position in our high-end wired category once again.
The K95 RGB, Corsair’s predecessor, is still an excellent choice in its own right, but the company’s newest model has laser-activated, optomechanical keys for ultrafast actuation, which eliminates debounce delay and provides increased endurance over conventional mechanical switches.
Corsair also provides a little more inexpensive K100 with Cherry MX speed switches for gamers who do not want to upgrade to the more recent optical technology from their current setup. Both models have an upgraded design that incorporates even more RGB on the front and sides, as well as an in-your-face media control wheel powered by iCue.
The Corsair K100’s aluminum frame, PBT keycaps, six macro keys, removable wrist rest, USB 2.0 passthrough port, and dizzying 44-zone LightEdge RGB lighting make it the ultimate choice for gamers who don’t want to spill their drinks but still want to splurge on a high-end wired keyboard with premium features like lighting.
2.Alternative: SteelSeries Apex Pro
Although you are unlikely to need an OLED screen on your next keyboard, SteelSeries has incorporated one in the Apex Pro, which is both beautiful and functional. The contrast between the slim, aluminum alloy frame and wrist rest and the massive, RGB-lit keys that sit atop SteelSeries’ OmniPoint mechanical switches is strikingly effective.
With customizable actuation, gamers may input keystrokes across a range of 0.4-3.6mm in travel distance, depending on their preference. That’s a significant differentiator at this price range ($199), especially given that the Steelseries provides all of the same features as Corsair’s flagship, with the exception of optical switches and a pair of dedicated macro buttons.
Furthermore, the Apex Pro’s sleek magnetic wrist rest will not be as comfy as Corsair’s K100’s larger, plusher pad, which will be more pleasant for prolonged gaming sessions. SteelSeries, on the other hand, has one distinct edge over its competitor, and that is the ability to use TenKeyLess (TKL). The Apex Pro is also available in a smaller, more inexpensive variant that does away with the numeric keypad, which is ideal for users who are limited on desk space or who prefer this specific keyboard layout over others.
3.Best High-End Wireless
If you’re looking for a high-end wireless gaming keyboard, the BlackWidow V3 Pro from Razer should be at the top of your list. This $230 full-sized wireless keyboard and the newly launched $173 Mini HyperSpeed (65 percent smaller) are both compelling choices in terms of functionality, but you should expect to pay the typical Razer premium for either product.
Remember that the BlackWidow V3 Pro, like most wireless gaming keyboards, has not yet achieved feature parity with its wired counterparts. As a result, gamers looking to cut the cord should consider the convenience of using a wireless gaming keyboard as the deciding factor behind their purchase and should be prepared to make some concessions in other areas.
Tactile and clicky Green mechanical switches are available on both BlackWidow V3 versions, as well as linear and silent Yellow mechanical switches. They also include Doubleshot ABS keycaps, which provide a smooth typing experience, although one that will soon fade as the keyboard approaches the claimed 80 million keystrokes capacity.
While the lag and latency on this keyboard will only be apparent to the most professional of esports players, it is the battery life of the BlackWidow that will frustrate even casual gamers. With the backlight turned off, Razer says that you may use the laptop for up to 192 hours. The real battery life is about 25 hours with the usual cycling rainbow lighting feature turned on at 50% brightness, which we know will not be the case on a gaming workstation. If you intend to use the keyboard at its maximum RGB brightness, a single charge (through USB-C) should last you 13 hours at the very least.
Razer Synapse may be used to reprogram existing macro keys on the BlackWidow V3, which is also lacking in the USB passthrough and dedicated macro keys department. Unfortunately, it does not have separate media controls, but it compensates for this by including a textured volume dial, a plush wrist rest, Razer Hyperspeed connection through the included 2.4 GHz dongle, and multi-device compatibility via Bluetooth. In contrast to the triple-headed snake, Logitech’s G915 Lightspeed provides a new set of trade-offs at a similar price range and with the same 2-year guarantee as to its predecessor.
4.Alternative: Logitech G915 Lightspeed
When it comes to gaming keyboards, the Logitech G915 has a very modest and beautiful appearance that would look equally at home on an office desk as at a LAN party thanks to its muted RGB lighting. The low-profile mechanical switch from Logitech, which is offered in three different flavors: clicky, linear, and tactile, is the primary attraction of this wireless keyboard. The fact that these switches have a considerably shorter actuation distance of 1.5mm than conventional mechanical keys makes them more responsive than traditional mechanical keys, even if they take some getting used to.
Logitech has a long and illustrious history in the field of computer accessories, and the G915 Lightspeed, with its intuitive key layout, continues on that legacy. This keyboard, in contrast to the BlackWidow V3 Pro, has five dedicated macro keys, a distinct row of buttons on the top, as well as an edgeless volume wheel, and can last for up to 30 hours on a single charge when used at maximum brightness. It is likely that you will not need its micro-USB charging cord for at least a week if you turn the volume down a notch.
Unfortunately, the G915 does not have a wrist rest, which makes its $220 price tag a little more difficult to swallow. Some may also find the keyboard’s appearance to be a little too conservative, particularly if they’re looking for the usual showy look for their gaming setup, while others may not be comfortable with Logitech’s low-profile GL switches, which have a steep learning curve. The G915 Lightspeed is a strong wireless keyboard that can compete with the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro in terms of performance and features for gamers.
Best Budget Wired Keyboard
With its TKL-only architecture, the Redragon K552 RGB will not only save up valuable desk space for gamers, but it will also save them a significant amount of money. Because you get genuine mechanical switches, clicky RGB-lit keys with complete anti-ghosting, metal ABS construction, and a spill-resistant design for just $40, it is the best value for your gaming dollar.
The Outemu Blue switches on the K552 RGB are basically budget-friendly clones of the Cherry MX Blue switches, and they provide a clicky, noisy typing experience. It is similar to high-end versions from Corsair and Razer in that it mounts these switches on a metal plate and covers them with high-quality, curved keycaps to give the keyboard a solid feel.
The K552’s Redragon Zone companion software is rather limited in terms of customization, and the keyboard’s TKL layout precludes the inclusion of special macro or media playback buttons on the keyboard. There is also no wrist rest, although that is a reasonable omission given the price of the chair. The K552 RGB provides sufficient coverage of the fundamentals, and its straightforward, no-frills approach, along with a one-year guarantee, makes it the finest budget gaming keyboard presently available.
Alternative: HyperX Alloy Core RGB
In addition to using quiet membrane keys, the Alloy Core RGB from HyperX has a full-sized layout, a splash-resistant construction, and an attractive RGB implementation. Dedicated controls for media playing, brightness adjustment, cycling through lighting effects and activating Game Mode are all included on the controller (Windows Key Lock).
In comparison to the Redragon K552, the Alloy Core RGB provides everything via hardware and is not compatible with HyperX’s Ngenuity companion software, resulting in an even simpler user experience. In contrast to its more affordable competitor, the HyperX may also be ordered with a wrist rest for an additional $20.
The Alloy Core RGB from HyperX is a membrane-based keyboard designed for budget gamers who want to avoid the loud, clicky feedback associated with mechanical keyboards. It is one of the finest cheap gaming keyboards on the market because of its robust construction, full-sized layout with dedicated keys, and generous 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee.
Best Budget Wireless Keyboard
High-end wireless keyboards command a higher price than their wired counterparts, and the same is true for keyboards in the lower price range. As a result, Corsair’s K63 Wireless provides the greatest combination of features and trade-offs for budget gamers seeking to ditch their cable subscription.
The K63 Wireless TKL (about $100) makes use of the relatively quiet Cherry MX Red keys, which provide a linear typing experience with 4mm of travel and no clicky, tactile feedback, rather than the more common clicky, tactile feedback. Corsair’s per-key implementation and strong plastic provide consistent light distribution and little bleed, despite the fact that they only light up in the color blue.
A dedicated media key is there despite the smaller size, and the iCue software provides a few customization options such as the ability to set up macros and lighting effects. Corsair’s software is only compatible with the K63’s bundled 2.4 GHz dongle; however, the keyboard does allow multi-device connection through Bluetooth and is also compatible with the Lapboard attachment, which is designed for home theater/HTPC users.
Using a micro-USB charging cable, the K63 Wireless may be used for up to 75 hours on a single charge when the backlight is turned off. When the brightness is reduced to 75%, the battery life decreases to about 25 hours. Other features include a removable wrist rest — which is held in place by clips rather than magnets — a broad range of system compatibility and Corsair’s signature striking style.
Logitech G613 Wireless is an alternative.
When it comes to the Logitech G613 Wireless, there’s a lot to enjoy. A cheap price (typically $75) coupled with short-travel Romer G mechanical switches, multi-device connection, a full-sized layout, and dedicated macro keys makes this a compelling value proposition. Some may be disappointed by the lack of RGB lighting, or perhaps the absence of any illumination, in the game. Logitech made the concession in order for the G613’s two AA batteries to survive for a longer time (up to 18 months).
Despite the fact that the keyboard’s large form and proportions are uninspired and take up valuable space, it does have an incorporated plastic wrist rest to alleviate wrist strain. The G613, like the Corsair K63 TKL, offers a broad range of system compatibility and can interact with other devices through its USB receiver or Bluetooth.
However, despite the absence of RGB illumination, gamers can utilize Logitech’s G Hub companion software to set up macros and game settings, making the G613 a competitive wireless budget gaming keyboard in its own right.
Full-sized, high-end: Roccat Vulcan 121 AIMO
In a reasonably priced, high-end wired gaming keyboard with a sleek, low-profile design that sticks out from the crowd, the Titan mechanical switches provide a pleasant typing and gaming experience, while the brilliant AIMO RGB lighting adds a splash of color to the gaming experience.
It is a full-sized keyboard, but it is missing in terms of additional keys compared to the Vulcan 120. Dedicated macro keys are not provided; however, pre-existing macro keys may be programmed, and the buttons for media controls are limited to volume adjustments, with hotkeys given for playback. It also does not have a USB passthrough, and the wrist rest that comes with it isn’t the most comfortable you’ll find. Aside from these flaws, the Vulcan 121 AIMO is a well-constructed gaming keyboard that should go nicely with the rest of your gaming rig’s aesthetic.
Small and Premium: Razer Huntsman Mini
The Razer Huntsman Mini is designed to appeal to affluent gamers who are seeking a 60 percent keyboard that saves space while still appearing and feeling luxurious. It makes use of Razer optical switches for fast reaction, and it gives you the option of using clicky or linear keys.
In order to get the most out of this keyboard, players will need to utilize the cloud-based Synapse software, which is available for download on the Razer website. The fact that Razer charges an additional $20 on top of an already-exorbitant price tag for the pleasure of having a plush wrist rest is one example of how it may be irritating. Fortunately, there is no additional charge for selecting the Mercury White color scheme, which should make your matched gear seem even more stylish and modern.
Corsair K55 RGB Pro is a good value for money.
The K55 RGB Pro is a tempting full-sized wired keyboard for gamers on a tight budget who are willing to go without mechanical switches and RGB illumination, which are both available in the $10 more expensive XT model.
Features like dedicated macro and media playback buttons, anti-ghosting with selective key rollover (for improved performance), spill and dust resistance, and a removable wrist rest all contribute to the overall attractiveness of the keyboard.
It is possible to customize the iCue via the use of the iCue companion software (macros, lighting, and polling rate adjustment), but it also includes internal memory for assigning macros and immediately accessible pre-set RGB lighting effects.
Its build quality and typing experience will remind gamers of the K55 RGB Pro’s modest, cheap beginnings, but the silence of its membrane keys and the addition of helpful functions elevate it to the top of our list of the best budget gaming keyboards.