Gaming has always been a difficult task for people who are on a tight budget. Not everyone can afford expensive peripherals for their computers. But we have you guys covered because we have reviewed a list of best budget gaming keyboards.
Most keyboards on our list have mechanical keys, except for the HyperX Alloy Core RGB. If you do not have a problem with membrane switches, you will really like it. The RGB on this keyboard is amazing, also even though it is membrane it is still a superb keyboard.
Before you pick up a gaming keyboard on the budget, we would like you to know about a few things. So before we head over to the list of keyboards we reviewed for you, a buyer’s guide.
Gaming Keyboard Buyer’s Guide
Gamers are really into RGB these days, so we tried to review keyboards that have it. Other than the exception of the Logitech G613 all keyboards are backlit, either with RGB or LED.
The RGB gives a real gamer aesthetic to your keyboard. If you have a rig that has RGB components and a tempered glass side panel showing it off, the keyboard will go well with it.
Most people prefer their gaming keyboards to have mechanical switches. There are many types of switches available in the market. There are switches with really short travel distance and actuation, while there are others with greater tactile feedback.
Most prominent switches available in the market have to be none other than Cherry MX switches. But Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G switches are also top-notch and made in Japan. They are made by Omron Japan, which is famous for making switches for big names like Logitech and Razer in the past.
If we are talking about other switches, there are the Cherry MX clones named Kailh switches. But big names like Logitech and Razer have started to produce their own proprietary switches. While others are still using Cherry MX or Gateron, while some cheaper brands use the clones.
Mechanical switches have a life of around 20-50 million clicks at least. So they are pretty durable and can last for a long time before you will have the need to replace it.
Membrane switches on the other hand are kind of squishy and do not give the satisfaction of mechanical ones. If you do want mechanical switches though you better be ready to pay for them as they are a tad bit expensive.
Most gaming keyboards have macros on it, some keyboards are tenkeyless for portability. Macros help you assign keys to them for unleashing combos during a game easier. They are keys that you can bind to actions in a game. They do not have a function other than that though.
While not having RGB as most gaming keyboards do, the Logitech G413 is affordable. It does have red backlit keys which do give it somewhat gamer aesthetics.
The G413 by Logitech is an elegant looking keyboard, with a brushed aluminum body. The keys feel really good and the actuation and the tactile feedback on the Romer-G switches feel just right.
The G413 does lack visible macros, but it uses the Function keys above the numeric ones for that purpose. It also uses function keys for media keys since it does not have any visible ones.
There is a USB pass-through on the keyboard with a USB 2.0 that provides 100% lossless power. You can use that to charge your devices if you cannot find any ports for the purpose.
With the help of software, the keyboard can program the function keys as macros. With it, you can bind keys to the macros for unleashing a powerful combo at any time during the game.
The G413 will not cost you a lot, the carbon version is available for around $75. If you find a good enough deal, we highly recommend you purchase it as it will last you quite a long time.
The tradeoff may seem very big for some, as gamers dislike membrane over mechanical switches. But for people who like a soft and quiet response from their keys will definitely love this keyboard.
Not everyone loves the tick-tack of a mechanical keyboard, for some, it may be very loud and annoying. For those, the HyperX alloy is a reasonable and very affordable option in the market.
If you feel like getting mechanical keys in this price range it will be very difficult. But the HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a great keyboard if you do not mind the membrane.
It has RGB light zones under the keys and a light bar on top that can be customized with effects. The membrane design allows it to be spill-proof as well, so you can have your drink without fear.
You can also find media keys on the right top corner of the keyboard which are a welcome addition. This keyboard costs as low as $40 on Amazon and BestBuy.
Romer-G switches and LIGHTSPEED wireless technology from the brand make this keyboard impeccable. It also has dedicated macros and media keys with a wrist rest, the only thing it lacks is RGB otherwise it is hard to find such a keyboard in this price point.
As we said above, this keyboard has Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G switches which are good for 70 million clicks. So unless you want to switch to another keyboard yourself, this one won’t die on you anytime soon.
The G613 has LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, which is one of the fastest wireless techs in the industry. It boasts great speeds and uninterrupted, less than 1ms response rates.
There are dedicated macros for binding your in-game skills to, this allows for quick access to combos of skills with ease. There are also multimedia keys on top right corner that can be used to switch tracks, turn the volume up and down and play music.
The rubberized wrist rest acts as a cushion to avoid strain from direct contact with the surface. It is also slip-resistant so you do not end up messing your game due to sweaty palms and slippery surfaces.
Lastly, the price tag on this keyboard regardless of all of its features is just around $75. At this price, we call it a steal if you do not mind the lack of RGB.
When you start going above the $100 price tag, there are many keyboards that have great mechanical keys and RGB. The Razer BlackWidow Elite, however, is just above the $100 price tag but has a superb look to it.
The dial at the top right corner where the multimedia keys are gives it a really cutting edge feel. It has the Razer Green switch, which is the brand’s own line of switches. You can also find other Razer switches if you do not like the feel of the green ones which is tactile and clicky.
The wrist rest is cushioned and helps you lose some stress on your wrists from constant gaming so you can game longer and harder. It has individually backlit keys so you can get the utmost RGB experience.
It also has a USB 2.0 and audio pass-through on the side for charging any devices and connecting your headphones. There are no dedicated macros in this keyboard, but with the Razer HyperShift, you can create profiles and map keys to ones you want.
For a price point of just $110 on Amazon and BestBuy, the Razer BlackWidow Elite is not the most affordable keyboard, but still a great buy if you can muster up enough money.
The Cooler Master CK552 has Gateron Red switches which have been said to be one of the best switches in the market. They are a bit quieter but have a great feel to them, people have often compared them to be better than Cherry MX reds.
Gateron Reds are well rounded and can be used for almost anything, gaming to the office or for casual home use. The Cooler Master CK552 has per key RGB and a brushed aluminum design on the body giving it great aesthetics. It looks pleasing to look at and use as well.
There are no dedicated macros on the keyboard, however, you can still map macros to the keys of your choice. With software, you can adjust the RGB effects and bind keys to your liking.
For just under $71 this keyboard is an actual steal if you look at the quality of the switches and features. Though dedicated macros and multimedia keys would have made this keyboard the best in the list.