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The best gaming keyboards you can buy
When you think “gaming keyboard,” a distinct look probably comes to mind: a flashy, angular design with bright, colorful lights, media keys, and some pretty sweet-looking keys. When it comes to looking for the perfect fit for you, however, the search is muddled by low-quality boards that range from half-decent to plain bad. Here, we’re going to break down the vast landscape a bit and point out the best gaming keyboards we can find, along with a few honorable mentions that are also worth looking at.
See also: The best keyboards you can buy
Buying the right gaming keyboard for your needs
For starters, the vast majority of gaming keyboards are mechanical. We recommend checking out our full explainer on what that means. Basically, these keyboards use switches with springs in them to provide a tactile feel, more travel distance, different types of noises, actuation distances, etc. If you’re new to this, definitely read up first. Here are some of the very basics:
- Red switches are quiet, not tactile, and require very little force to actuate.
- Blue switches are loud, fairly tactile, and require more force to actuate.
- Brown switches are similar to red switches but with some tactility and little noise.
There are too many variations of these switches for us to cover here, but many are covered in our explainer. There are many manufacturers of mechanical switches, but German company Cherry is the biggest and most mainstream, followed by Kailh and Gateron, who offer excellent alternatives. Some accessory companies like Razer and Logitech produce their own awesome switches as well.
Mechanical keyboards use spring-bound switches to enhance the experience, create tactility, or make noise.
Furthermore, the two most common form factors are 104-key and tenkeyless (TKL) boards, with the latter simply omitting the ten-key/number pad. TKL boards save a ton of space on desks and provide a sleeker look, but if you need the number pad, definitely get a board that has one. There are also some smaller boards out there, such as 75% and 60% boards that will save even more space, but possibly at the cost of key spacing, which can hinder the typing experience if your fingers aren’t that accurate on your keyboard.
Lastly, features such as media keys, USB passthrough, RGB, macro keys, and customizability are also under consideration. Obviously, you should get the keyboard that looks best to you but make sure it also fits the bill for the features you want to have.
Without further ado, let’s get into our list of the best gaming keyboards.
The best gaming keyboards
- Logitech G915: My personal bias may be showing here, as this is the one I use, but the G915 is a stellar gaming keyboard. I enjoy the subdued click of the low-profile switches on this board, and the overall clean and solid build is hard to beat.
- Razer BlackWidow Lite: This TKL board from Razer serves looks and is made with the company’s orange switches for silence and tactility.
- SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL: This keyboard is likely similar to the image you think of when you hear “gaming keyboard”. With a tall build, customizable RGB, and media keys, this is an all-rounder that is well worth consideration.
- ROCCAT Vulcan TKL: The Vulcan TKL is built like a slightly flashier G915. It has a metal top plate, tactile or linear switches, media keys, and will be a pleasure to play on.
- Razer Huntsman V2 TKL: How could we make a list of gaming keyboards without including Razer? This one’s hallmark is the blazing fast 8,000Hz polling rate, which means that the keyboard will respond to inputs faster than the standard 1,000Hz keyboard. Eliminating latency is critical in fast-paced games.
- Anne Pro 2 60%: This is the most miniature gaming keyboard on the list, eliminating the cursor control keys to create a smaller footprint.
- ROG Claymore II: Maybe you want the space savings of TKL but still need the number pad sometimes; ASUS has you covered. The Claymore II keyboard has a removable number pad, so you can freely switch between form factors or even place it on the left side for some extra functionality in games.
- Logitech G213: This is Logitech’s best budget gaming keyboard, hands down. It has everything you’ll need to get going with gaming-grade performance, plus spill resistance because we all need a drink in the heat of battle sometimes.
- Corsair K100: The K100 is built like a tank. Featuring a brushed aluminum look, 44 zones of RGB lighting, and Corsair’s Axon processing tech, the only concern you’ll have is what to personalize first.
- HyperX Alloy Elite 2: HyperX is a pretty well-known name in the PC peripheral space. The Alloy Elite 2 has everything you’d expect from a gaming keyboard, plus media keys and a USB passthrough.
Best low-profile gaming keyboard: Logitech G915
The G915 gaming keyboard is not a cheap keyboard, but this keyboard’s luxury matches the price. Logitech offers this wireless board in clicky, linear, and tactile varieties, plus a wired version (that’s technically the G815), as well as a white colorway.
I can personally attest to the grace of the clicky variant, as I use it daily. I don’t normally enjoy clicky/blue switches; usually, they’re too loud for me and become distracting. Logitech’s switches, however, have a much more subdued click sound yet still offer that excellent tactile feel that comes with the territory.
As stated above, this one isn’t cheap. Check our honorable mentions for a great alternative.
Find the perfect mouse to go with it: The best Logitech mice
Razer BlackWidow Lite
The Razer BlackWidow Lite is a beautiful, minimal take on the mechanical gaming keyboard. On brand with its aesthetics, it also features Razer’s orange switches, which are made to be tactile yet silent.
Furthermore, it supports Razer Synapse for key customization and macros for shortcuts. The cable is detachable so that you can pack it into a bag a whole lot easier. Razer also offers a black variant of this keyboard, though the way I see it, it doesn’t scratch the same itch.
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL
SteelSeries has garnered itself a reputation over the years with fantastic headsets, gaming mice, and keyboards. The Apex Pro shows exactly why that is; the actuation distance of the optical switches in this keyboard is adjustable from 0.4mm to 3.6mm. Being able to tweak that to your liking can be the difference between a win and a loss, depending on how competitive you are.
That stuff aside, the Apex Pro has brilliant RGB lighting, an OLED smart display for notifications, keyboard settings, and more, and includes a wrist rest. This is one heck of a package.
ROCCAT Vulcan TKL
Roccat’s Vulcan TKL gaming keyboard sports some pretty sweet looks thanks to the low-profile switches and keycaps. It reminds me in some ways of Logitech’s G915 with its aluminum faceplate.
The detachable cable also lends itself well to portability. ROCCAT offers the Vulcan TKL in tactile or linear varieties to match your needs and features media buttons for volume adjustments on the fly.
Razer Huntsman v2 TKL
Can’t have a list of the best gaming keyboards without mentioning Razer, am I right, folks? The Huntsman v2 features the same call to fame as the Viper 8k: an 8,000Hz polling rate. This means that your computer will respond faster to inputs on this keyboard than others, which poll at 1,000Hz.
That aside, Razer includes a wrist rest, detachable cable, and sound dampeners on this board. It is available in linear or clicky varieties and with optional different colored keycap sets to truly personalize it to your liking.
Looking for more mechanical goodness?: The best mechanical keyboards
Anne Pro 2 60%
A 60% keyboard is, you guessed it, about 60% of a standard 104-key keyboard. The Anne Pro 2 gets fantastic reviews for what it does in this highly compact form factor.
It is a Bluetooth gaming keyboard that offers various Kailh switches, USB-C charging, and up to four paired devices. You can also enable a set of pseudo-arrow keys on this board, just in case you need those back momentarily. This keyboard is made for travel, but gamers review the Pro 2 very well.
ASUS ROG Claymore II
As this list of best gaming keyboards transitions to full-size gaming keyboards, the ASUS ROG Claymore II is perfect for this spot. As shown in the picture above, not only can you freely remove the number pad when you don’t need it, but you can also place it on the left side of the keyboard for some accessible extra buttons.
This modularity makes this the most versatile gaming keyboard on this list. But that aside, it also features blue switches, wireless USB connectivity, fast charging, and a wrist rest, which we always love to see. ASUS products are known to be high-quality, so the admittedly steep price on this one will prove worth it.
Some people don’t see a reason to spend more than $100 on a gaming keyboard, and I find that perfectly reasonable. Logitech’s G213 is the company’s best budget gaming keyboard. It features customizable RGB, spill-resistance, media controls, and membrane keys that Logitech claims feel close to tactile mechanical keys.
There are no standout bells and whistles on this one, but it is a fantastic offering for little money nonetheless.
Read more: The best budget gaming keyboards
Whoever thought the bottom-center of the wrist rest was a great place for a vertical logo was wrong, but that aside, the aesthetics of the Corsair K100 are killer. It features a brushed aluminum frame with RGB not only on the face but also around the edge, equipping it with an additional 44 zones of customizable lighting.
It also has customizable macro keys, a 4,000Hz polling rate, and a 1mm actuation distance, making for some blazing fast response times. This is one of Corsair’s flagship gaming keyboards, and it shows.
HyperX Alloy Elite 2
Kingston-owned HyperX has long been known to provide some great gaming accessories to its customers, and the Alloy Elite 2 is an example of one of those great products. The call to fame on this board is the bright RGB lighting, with the company’s signature light bar up top, below the media keys.
While it may not be obvious from the pictures, the frame of this board is actually solid steel, helping it stay in place while in use. It also conveniently has a USB pass-through port at the top, great for connecting a wireless mouse.
That’s it for our list of the best gaming keyboards you can buy, but there are many that we didn’t cover. We also want to give a shoutout to the following gaming keyboards:
- HAVIT KB395L: I’ve used this one myself, and it is surprising how on-par this board is with the Logitech G915 for the price. The Kailh blue switches feel incredibly close to those of Logitech, and the metal faceplate greatly enhances build quality.
- Razer Tartarus v2: This gaming keypad is a peculiar thing, and I’d recommend watching videos that detail how it works in use. We love to see expanded accessibility, so this is a pretty cool accessory for those who have a hard time using standard keyboards and mice.
Complete your setup with the perfect accessories: