Update, 05/09/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have replaced our best 60% keyboard pick (the Durgod Venus) with the GMMK 60 Percent Compact keyboard.
Chances are high that you have used a keyboard at some point in your life. So, what separates a gaming keyboard from the keyboards that come packaged with your computer? There are a few important things to consider with a keyboard meant for gaming.
First, gaming keyboards are generally of higher build quality than a standard keyboard. A keyboard you pick up in your local electronics store is meant for general daily use, while a gaming keyboard should be built to withstand years of constant key-mashing and heavy use.
A huge factor in keyboard design is the difference between mechanical and membrane keys. Mechanical gaming keyboards have individual switches for each key and are generally preferred among hardcore gamers and even hardcore typists.
There are so many options out there for mechanical key switches, and they are usually color-coded based on their unique feel. Your preferences may vary, but if you don’t have much experience with the various kinds of switches don’t worry. There are plenty of guides online to help explain keyboard terms.
Many mechanical keyboards give you the option to swap the keys out for different ones. On top of that, you have to consider the build quality of these switches, and how long they will last. Most keyboards come with information on how many presses the keys are rated for. High-quality key switches are a key aspect of choosing the right keyboard.
The form factor is another important attribute of gaming keyboards. In recent years, smaller keyboards such as TKL and 60% boards have become popular among gaming fans. “TKL” stands for “tenkeyless,” and refers to a keyboard without a number pad. A 60% board is 60% of a full-size keyboard and is even smaller. They’re lightweight, cost-effective, and removing things like the number pad can free up precious desk space for mouse movement.
It practically goes without saying that a huge factor in buying a gaming keyboard is cost. Luckily, there are boards available at a wide range of price points. Some top-of-the-range keyboards may seem excessive or downright silly, but most manufacturers offer scaled-down versions of their products to fit any budget.
Last but not least, there are aesthetics. As we all know, half the reason to build a high-powered gaming PC is to have enough LED lights that it can be seen from space. As a result, most keyboards designed for gaming come with built-in RGB lighting.
These can get very intricate and downright outrageous at times. Sure, if you’re only interested in pure efficiency, RGB may not be a topic that concerns you. But in the world of gaming keyboards, this is important. Many of the top brands in keyboards put as much focus into RGB as they do into making great keyboards, so thankfully, this is a scenario where you can have your cake and eat it too.
With all of these topics covered, let’s talk about some of the best keyboards available today.
Best Gaming Keyboard Overall: Razer Huntsman V2
- ✓ Top of the line
- ✓ Multiple switches to choose from
- ✓ Offers every premium feature you'd ever want on a gaming keyboard
- ✗ Very expensive, arguably overkill
- ✗ Keys are quite loud
Razer crafts some of the most popular gaming peripherals on the market, so it should come as no surprise that one of its keyboards has claimed the top spot on our list. The Huntsman V2 isn’t just packed to the brim with features—it’s also one of the slickest looking keyboards money can buy.
This keyboard is basically Razer pulling out all the stops. It gives you top-quality mechanical keys with subtle but effective RGB lighting, as well as all the extras like dedicated media buttons and onboard memory to store unique profiles. It even comes with a magnetic wrist rest that clips onto the bottom of the board.
The Huntsman V2 is offered with either Clicky Optical Switches or Linear Optical Switches, giving you a chance to customize its performance based on your personal preferences. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll benefit from sound dampening foam that gives the keyboard a premium feel during intense gaming sessions—even if they’re still a bit loud.
Throw in an 8000Hz polling rate and Doubleshot PBT keycaps, and the Huntsman V2 is clearly a feature-complete keyboard. Premium features like this come at a premium price, so naturally, the Razer Huntsman V2 is among the most expensive on this list. You don’t get the best gaming keyboard without paying for it.
Razer Huntsman V2
The gold standard: a keyboard with all the bells and whistles. If you have the cash to shell out and want the best, the Razer Huntsman V2 is for you.
Best Keyboard Under $100: HyperX Alloy Origins Core
- ✓ Compact design
- ✓ High-quality build for an excellent price
- ✓ Keys have great feel and sound
- ✗ Tied to Ngenuity software which controls all RGB and macros
- ✗ Ngenuity application is only available through Mircosoft store and must always be running
A hundred dollars is still a lot to spend on a keyboard, but that’s about the price point you want to hit if you’re looking for something great without completely breaking the bank. For that, you’ll want the HyperX Alloy Origins Core.
Even at just under $100, you get your money’s worth with this compact tenkeyless (TKL) package. First of all, it looks fantastic. The RGB lights under the keys create some seriously cool backlighting, and there are plenty of effects to play around with to get the most out of the lights.
The board is built on an aluminum body, with HyperX’s own mechanical switches. If you can splash out the extra few bucks the aqua switches are a particularly great blend of tactile and smooth, as well as being rated up to 80 million clicks.
Overall the Alloy Origins Core is just a great deal, a very high-quality keyboard for a reasonable price. There’s a reason this keyboard has become so popular, and it would be wise to consider if you don’t want to pay Huntsman V2 prices.
HyperX Alloy Origins Core
A top-notch keyboard with excellent mechanical keys and customizable RGB, The Alloy Origins Core is a fantastic deal at a great price.
Best Gaming Keyboard Under $50: Corsair K55 RGB Pro
- ✓ Great value for the price
- ✓ Surprising amount of extra features
- ✗ Membrane keyboard, not as nice and won't last as long
For a gaming keyboard under fifty dollars, it’s rare to get as many features as you do with the Corsair K55 RGB Pro. It’s a full-size keyboard with dedicated macro keys and media keys. Throw in some nifty RGB and you have a great starting point for any PC gamer. You might not see many of these features on boards double that price.
Obviously, there is a reason why this board is cheaper than the others on this list, the primary one being that this is a membrane keyboard, not a mechanical one.
Membrane keys can often feel mushy and less responsive. They are not the preferred style for most gaming enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. For a starter keyboard, this is an excellent choice.
Corsair K55 RGB Pro
An excellent entry-level keyboard, and a great option for gamers on a budget.
Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard: Logitech G915 TKL
- ✓ Small form keeps the desk clean and clear
- ✓ Plenty of extra features
- ✓ Long battery life
- ✗ Though miniscule, wireless still has lag compared to wired
Wireless is often a dirty word in gaming peripherals. Anything that might bring more lag into the equation is quickly eliminated. However, wireless is convenient and cool, and none do it better than Logitech with the G915 TKL.
Maybe your PC is a bit far away, maybe you are planning to hook your PC up to your living room TV, or maybe you are just allergic to cables on your desk. For whatever reason you would like to go the wireless route for your keyboard, this should be your first port of call.
Were it a wired board, the G915 would be a top contender in the TKL market. The build quality is top-notch, the design is subtle but still very attractive, and still you get RGB keys and dedicated media buttons. Battery life is of major concern with any wireless devices, but with the G915 you get a pretty impressive thirty hours of use with full RGB before the board needs to be charged.
As a mechanical RGB board with best-in-class wireless connectivity, you couldn’t do much better than the G915 for a clean wireless setup.
Logitech G915 TKL
Wireless is always nice, and the G915 TKL pushes the boundaries of what a wireless gaming keyboard can do.
Best TKL Gaming Keyboard: HyperX Alloy Origins Core
- ✓ Great mechanical switches
- ✓ Compact, sleek design
- ✓ Very reasonable price
- ✗ TKL does mean no keypad
- ✗ Ngenuity Software is still in beta and shackled to the Microsoft store
A board so nice we chose it twice, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core is the best TKL gaming keyboard around. We’ve talked a lot about the tenkeyless form factor here because these boards are all the rage these days; they save on desk space, increase mouse space, all the while keeping most of the functionality of a full-size keyboard.
TKL boards just omit the number pad that would normally be at the right side of a full-size keyboard. There are many contenders for the top spot in this category, but from our research, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core ekes out the win here.
This really is a premium keyboard, with many tech experts and reviewers naming it as one of their favorites of the last year. As a TKL board, it is sleek and doesn’t take up too much room. The mechanical keys are top quality and are rated to last 80 million presses. The cable is a detachable USB-C type for even more flexibility.
This keyboard comes with gorgeous RGB lights with dedicated software (which is unfortunately shackled to the Windows store) to customize the lighting to your liking. It is among the best-built keyboards in terms of reliability, and as mentioned before, it all comes at a pretty reasonable price tag.
HyperX Alloy Origins Core
A top-notch keyboard with excellent mechanical keys and customizable RGB, the Alloy Origins Core is the best keyboard in an increasingly popular category.
Best 60% Gaming Keyboard: GMMK 60 Percent Compact
- ✓ Modular switch design
- ✓ Compatible with most third-party keycaps
- ✓ Available in both black and white designs
- ✗ Bit expensive for the class
- ✗ Lighting software isn't the most robust
This diminutive class of keyboards has come a long way over the past few years. What used to be a niche market is now flooded with high-end products from big-name manufacturers. And despite the stiff competition from bigger brands, the GMMK 60% Percent Compact is about as good as a 60% board can get.
The GMMK comes with preinstalled mechanical switches, although the modular keyboard lets you easily swap them out for others without any soldering or technical know-how. If you’re averse to soldering, that alone is worth the price of admission.
You’ll likely be more than happy with the included switches anyway, as the Gateron Brown Tactile Mechanical switches offer enough tactile feedback for gaming while also being quiet enough to not annoy your roommate or wake up the entire house.
Its unique, modular capabilities immediately put it ahead of most of the competition, but Glorious didn’t stop there. The GMMK Compact also includes a built-in stand, RGB lights, a full aluminum top plate, and a layout that’s compatible with most third-party keycaps—giving you another way to customize your keyboard.
The GMMK is available in both black and white variants, and it’s reasonably priced at right around $100. Sure, you’ll find more affordable keyboards in this class, but few can offer the firepower of this tiny-but-mighty beast from Glorious.
GMMK 60% Percent Compact
Its modular switch design makes it easy to customize the keyboard as you see fit, but it also comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a $100+ product. At the end of the day, there's little to complain about with this little, pint-sized keyboard.
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