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
Perfect Balance of Price and Performance
The HyperX Alloy Elite gaming keyboard lets you choose between Cherry MX Brown, Blue, or Red switches. It features all the essentials you will need from a gaming keyboard except macros and fancy RGB lighting, and comes at a great price.
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.
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
Amazing Design and Performance
With the K95, you’re getting some of the best RGB lighting in combination with incredible performance and build quality. It has all the essential gaming controls and features you need, though it does come at a hefty price.
Corsair’s premium keyboard, the K95, is packed with all the features you’ll ever want from a gaming keyboard.
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
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 gawdy 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
The worst thing about good gaming keyboards is they cost a lot, right? Wrong. If you’re not interested in fancy backlighting, macro panels, or any of the additional bells and whistles and just want a fast mechanical keyboard dedicated for gaming, the Redragon K552-N is the best budget choice.
It comes in at less than $30 and provides a great entry point for anyone looking for their first gaming keyboard without spending a large sum. Given its price tag, its devoid of all the bells and whistles you’ll find in more expensive gaming keyboards such as backlighting, passthroughs, macro panels, and media controls.
Instead, you get barebone mechanical performance with its Cherry MX Blue clone switches, called the Otemu Blue. It has a metallic backplate and double-injected keycaps. This is a great keyboard for those on a budget, but it’s not going to serve you for countless years like more expensive models would.
- Great value
- Compact and portable design
- Good build quality for the money
- Lacks many gaming features
- Loud clicks
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 passthroughs. 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
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is the Rolls Royce of mechanical keyboards. This offering from Corsair is built to last and has some of the best RGB lighting out there.
Make no mistake, this Corsair keyboard is huge. It has a larger footprint than the majority of its high-end competitors. You can reduce the footprint be removing the wrist rest, but it’s still going to take a lot of space. The rubberized wrist rest attaches magnetically and has two contrasting textures.
Feature-wise, this thing is packed to the brim. The most striking is its gorgeous RGB lighting that inundates the keys as well as the outer rim of the metal backplate through some beautiful frosted glass. It packs Cherry MX Speed, Brown switches that are fast, tactile, and offer great gaming and typing performance. You also get a USB passthrough, a metal volume wheel, and extra set of textured keycaps for the WASD keys for all your first-person shooter needs.
- Fantastic build quality
- Incredible RGB lighting
- Great speed and features
- Very large
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 are 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.
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 a 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 passthroughs 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.