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A powerful PC will run your video games smoothly, but without a great gaming keyboard, you won’t be able to enjoy your experience to its full potential. This is particularly true when gaming online.
Gaming keyboards were once considered a luxury computer peripheral, but due to the competitive nature of online gaming, they have quickly become as important as gaming mice. They provide faster response and better durability than regular keyboards to enhance the user’s gaming experience.
Best Gaming Keyboards Reviewed
We’ve selected the 6 best gaming keyboards in the market based on their performance, comfort while typing, features, and overall appeal.
To help you with your purchase, there’s also a buyer’s guide after the reviews that details the types of switches and how they affect performance, what factors you should consider, and answer a few frequently asked questions.
Our Top Pick
HyperX Alloy Elite manages to strike the right balance between price and performance while only making a few sacrifices. For this reason, it gets our top pick.
Expensive keyboards with fancy lighting are ubiquitous, but our favorite is one that is neither unfairly expensive nor has trippy lighting. The HyperX Alloy Elite simply does what a great gaming keyboard should do: deliver reliable performance at a price that won’t make you have buyer’s remorse.
The simple aesthetic belies its true capability as a fantastic gaming keyboard. Packing Cherry MX Brown, Blue, or Red switches (it’s your choice), this keyboard is responsive, fast, and very comfortable to type on. It is equipped with dedicated media controls, USB passthrough, a detachable wrist rest, and red backlighting.
The set also includes extra silver keycaps for WASD and the first four number keys for more customization. There’s no macro panel here and the lighting is limited, but the combination of great pricing and fantastic performance make this the best gaming keyboard you can buy.
- Great set of features
- Well priced
- Great feel and design
- No dedicated macros
When it comes to keyboards there is a lot of questions regarding the switches, but SteelSeries Apex Pro solves it all with its advanced new switch.
This is a serious problem when choosing what keyboards to go for, of course, the sound matters as well, but when it comes to actuation, you do not need to worry anymore as the SteelSeries Apex Pro will give you the option to adjust it. The OmniPoint Adjustable switches allow you to adjust between 0.4-3.6mm, for you to find the best suited for your gaming needs.
There is also an OLED smart display on top which gives you options to change settings, adjust macros and even get info about music and messages from gaming apps like discord. Pretty sweet right?
The wrist rest is magnetic, so it is easily removable, it is also very comfortable. You get USB pass-through port, which helps you in placing the keyboard where you like without worrying about where the wire will go. The body is aircraft-grade aluminum, meaning sturdy and light on the SteelSeries Apex Pro.
The RGB on the SteelSeries Apex Pro is beautifully done, you can adjust the colors and settings according to your needs. It also has a roller volume adjust right beside the OLED display, so this thing wins the gamer aesthetic round for us as well.
- Amazing build quality
- Incredible RGB lighting
- Adjustable Actuation
- Comfortable Palm Rest
- Dedicated Macros Keys not available
Aliens have arrived on Earth and they’ve come in the form of the Roccat Vulcan 120. This beautiful, uniquely designed gaming keyboard is a breath of fresh air in an industry where so many gaming peripherals are looking the same.
The Vulcan 120 abandons the Cherry MX switches for custom ones. Called the Roccat Titan, these are unique floating chiclet mechanical keys that feel great to type on and have tactile feedback that is ideal for gaming. The switches are also quieter than most other gaming keyboards.
Roccat Vulcan 120’s unique design makes the keyboard lighting pop like no other. It’s elaborate and eye-catching without being gaudy due to its wonderful build and finish. You get all the programmable keys you would need as well with this monster board, and its performance combined with design make it one of the best gaming keyboards money can buy.
- Gorgeous design
- Feels great to type on
- Lots of programmable keys
- Beautiful lighting
- Limited availability
Functionally, the Razer Huntsman Elite is one of the best keyboards on the planet. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware that has all the programmable keys and psychedelic backlighting you’ll want. However, the key feature of the Razer gaming keyboard is its special keys.
These are optomechanical switches. This means that each key has an integrated optical sensor built into it to detect your input the moment you press it firmly enough for it to move. This makes the Razer Huntsman gaming keyboard the fastest keyboard in the market.
Functionally, the tactile feel and comfort offered by this keyboard make it great for typing. It does require two USB cables for power with no passthrough. You get on-the-fly macro customization, a programmable and multifunctional digital dial, and storage for up to 5 different profiles. You also get free cloud storage for your profile configurations.
- Fastest keyboard on the planet
- Great for typing
- On-the-fly macros
- Beautiful RGB
- Requires two USB ports to power with no passthrough
- Very expensive
Corsair is a name you hear a lot when it comes to gaming hardware and gaming peripherals, the K series of keyboards is a huge success when it comes to functionality and durability, the K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE is part of that series that we fell in love with.
It has all the functionality of a top-tier keyboard, with Cherry MX Speed switches, which as the name defines is the fastest in the Cherry MX switch line up. You get the best RGB experience from this keyboard using the iCUE software by corsair. The K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE has 8mb memory for profile storage so you can map your macros to the keys you want since it does not have dedicated macros on it.
The palm rest is comfortable, easily detachable, it also has a USB pass-through port for attaching your mouse or headset, which frees up space on your IO port. You also have media keys with a roller for volume, which is a sweet addition.
The WASD keys, the heart of the game movement, are textured, these keys are by default used for movement in all FPS shooters and RPGs, so having them textured helps finding them if you are focused on the screen. The K70 RGB MK.2 RAPIDFIRE keyboard’s spacebar is also textured as well.
- Sturdy body
- Great RGB
- Reliable Cherry MX switches
- Dedicated Macro Keys not available
Not too long ago, gamers would shiver at the thought of using wireless computer peripherals from fears of latency, dropped connections, and unreliable setups. Wireless technology in peripherals has come a long way since then, and most of it is thanks to Logitech.
They’ve done it successfully with their powerful gaming mice, and now they bring it with the G613. This is hands down the best wireless gaming keyboard out there. It features the much loved Logitech Romer-G Tactile switches that feature a travel distance of just 3mm with a very subtle tactile bump. The switches are quieter than most gaming keyboards, which make them excellent for gaming and typing.
With this Logitech gaming keyboard, you get 6 macro buttons and dedicated media controls. However, there is no backlighting in this keyboard, nor do you get USB pass-throughs. The wrist rest is also fixed in position and quite large. Logitech skimps on these features to provide true wireless experience with sustained connectivity at a reasonable price tag.
- Best wireless performance among keyboards
- Logitech Romer-G switches are excellent
- Good build quality
- Lacks many gaming features
- No backlights
- Wrist rest is large and not detachable
Gaming Keyboard Buyer’s Guide
The main reason most gamers buy a gaming keyboard is because of switch type. Switches (or keys) are of various different designs, but they come in two main categories: membrane switches and mechanical switches.
Membrane switches are more common in regular computer and laptop keyboards. They use a thin membrane or rubber dome that is pressed under the key when you press one. It provides very little tactile feedback and the key travel is quite shallow.
Mechanical switches fix this problem by being more tactile and having a larger travel. They are also much more durable and have a faster response.
Many companies release their own type of mechanical switch, though the most common is the Cherry MX switches. You should research on the switch type and its ease of use for both gaming and typing before buying a gaming keyboard.
Ease of Use
No matter how many features and lights a keyboard has, it’s not good enough if it’s going to make your wrists sore after 30 minutes of use or wake up the neighbors with its noise. These factors come in a broad category of ease of use, and it’s not something you can determine just by looking at a gaming keyboard.
You should either test one out yourself to get the feel of it, or thoroughly read reviews if you’re buying online. Mechanical switches have a disadvantage of being very noisy doing to their clicky nature, but companies tend to integrate workarounds to dampen this noise.
Additionally, many gaming keyboards are simply enormous in size due to the extra keys and control options. Make sure you have sufficient space for your gaming keyboard of choice before you checkout.
Though not essential, lighting on your gaming keyboard can accentuate your entire gaming rig, and it’s a feature a lot of gamers go for. Most gaming keyboards will feature some sort of lighting, and the more expensive ones will have RGB lighting that really makes the peripheral pop. RGB gaming keyboards are much more expensive.
We recommend only going for RGB lighting if you feel it is needed to match the rest of your setup. Otherwise, you can find excellent gaming keyboards without RGB lighting for better prices.
Why do I need a gaming keyboard?
Gaming keyboards offer better response and comfort during gaming. Regular keyboards have shallow travel, aren’t tactile, and use membrane switches which don’t feel great for gaming. You can also get additional features with gaming keyboards such as full media control, USB pass-throughs for easier connectivity, and more.
Are programmable macros important?
Macros are useful for gamers who play a lot of MMOs. Many shooters can make use of them too, but they aren’t essential, and most competitive setups ban macros for shooter games. MMOs are where macros are most important. They are no a necessity for general games or singleplayer titles.
What is USB passthrough?
USB passthrough is simply when there is a USB port on the keyboard. This allows for easier connections of other devices such as mice, USB headsets, and more to your keyboard.