Pick one of these keyboard models to help you reach your peak gaming potential.
Many gaming keyboard brands offer similar features, but serious gamers know what sets the best keyboards apart. We looked at the features listed below, along with style, feel, and cost, to bring you our top picks for eight focused categories.
Switches: Keyboard switches — which sit underneath each key — pick up what you put down. Most gaming keyboards come equipped with one of a variety of different options for mechanical or membrane switches. The switches register your keystroke, so you want to make sure they function with speed and accuracy.
Type: Mechanical keyboards are sturdier, offer a more instant reaction, and tend to be the preferred option for gamers. Membrane keyboards are ideal for quieter performance and quicker movement across the keys.
Anti-ghosting: Anti-ghosting technology (i.e., the ability to capture simultaneous keystrokes without any hiccups) has become a standard on gaming keyboards, and all the gaming keyboards highlighted below come equipped with some form of anti-ghosting technology. The difference between the keyboards is the number of anti-ghosting keys that can be used simultaneously, as some keyboards are more restrictive than others.
Backlighting: Gaming keyboards come equipped with either single color backlighting, multi-color RGB (Red, Green, Blue) backlighting, or no lighting at all. Some gaming keyboards even feature backlighting options that allow you to synchronize the lighting with the action on your screen to create the ultimate gaming atmosphere.
Additional features considered include ergonomics, customizable macros, design, and, of course, cost. The first step is to determine what your gaming priorities are, and whether they are specific to your favorite game or are more in line with budget or versatility. Then use this guide to pinpoint the perfect gaming keyboard to meet your unique gaming needs.
Fast acting keystrokes • Multiple backlighting options • Macros on the go • Gaming mode
Price tag • Can be noisy • Minimal number of anti-ghosting keys
The Razer Huntsman Elite is in the upper class of mechanical gaming keyboards.
1. Razer Hunstman EliteThe Razer Huntsman Elite is in the upper class of mechanical gaming keyboards.
- Key type:
9.22 x 17.64 x 1.42 inches
Opto-mechanical switch, key stabilizer bar, magnetic wrist rest, multi-function digital dial, gaming mode, hybrid on-board memory and cloud storage, Razor Chroma-powered underglow
The Razer Hunstman Elite lives up to its name in the hierarchy of mechanical gaming keyboards.
The standout feature on the Razer Hunstman Elite is the Razer Opto-Mechanical Switch, which uses an optical light sensor to reduce the actuation distance by 30 percent compared to standard mechanical switches. The result is unmatched speed in response to your keystrokes. You still get the same feel and sound as a standard mechanical keyboard, but with improved response times. The Razer Opto-Mechanical™ Switch also features a stabilizer bar that eliminates any inconsistencies resulting from variances in finger placement on a key.
The 10-key rollover will help prevent ghosting; however, ten keys is on the low end for anti-ghosting technology. This may prove to be a non-issue for most games, but may be insufficient for certain games.
The Razer Hunstman Elite also comes packed with backlighting features that use Razer Chroma technology to offer 16.8 million customizable color options and full 4-side underglow. You can set the colors based on personal preference or match the aesthetic to the gameplay in real time. An ergonomically sound magnetic wrist rest also includes 20 customizations for underglow lighting.
Additional features include on-the-fly macro customization, a multi-functional and programmable digital dial, enough storage for up to five profiles, and cloud storage for all profile configurations. You can also turn on Gaming Mode to ensure that you don’t accidentally hit the wrong key — Windows or Menu, for example — and interrupt your progress.
The Razer Huntsman Elite costs about $50 more than the standard Razer Hunstman model, but the higher price tag is in line with all the added features available on the Elite model.
Price tag • Sturdy build • Anti-ghosting keys
Loud typing sounds • No number pad
The Redragon K552 RGB provides gaming quality for the price of a basic keyboard.
2. Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard RGBThe Redragon K552 provides gaming quality for the price of a basic keyboard.
- Key type:
13.9 x 4.8 x 1.5 inches
Custom mechanical switches, rainbow LED adjustable lighting, metal and ABS construction, gold-plated USB connector, mechanical keys, 87 standard conflict free keys, multimedia keys, splash-proof design
The Redragon K552 is one of the best-selling mechanical gaming keyboards on Amazon, and for good reason. You can’t beat these features at this price point!
At just $34.99, the Redragon K552 RGB is built to survive all the wear and tear of intense gaming. The keyboard even boasts that the base is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum.
The Outemu Red custom mechanical switches match the sound and tactile response of some higher-end keyboards, less the hefty price tag (though we’ve seen some complaints about the noise level). The switches and plate-mounted keys are also designed for durability.
All 87 keys are equipped with anti-ghosting technology and include rainbow LED backlit lighting effects and game modes. The Redragon K552 RGB also features 12 multimedia keys, as well as a gaming mode to disable the Windows key. The keyboard does not include a number pad.
The adjustable rear feet are designed to avoid any slippage during gaming. Also, added bonus, keys can be easily removed for cleaning.
Solid build • Customizable • Options galore
Takes up a lot of desk space
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT has style and is built to last.
3. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XTThe Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT has style and is built to last.
- Key type:
CHERRY® MX SPEED Silver
18.3 x 6.7 x 1.4 inches
6 dedicated macro keys, anodized aluminum frame, media controls with volume wheel, USB 2.0 pass-through, N-Key rollover, detachable wrist rest
At first glance, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT could be featured under a Best Aesthetic category. Corsair’s iCue configuration software in conjunction with the multimedia and profile control buttons that sit at the top of the keyboard and six fully mappable macro keys on the left side allow for maximum customization of lighting effect options. The XT can store five customized profiles that can be saved directly on the keyboard’s onboard memory.
Look closer and the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT was built for maximum customization across the board. Corsair’s iCue configuration software allows customization of game mode and macros. The keyboard also supports Elgato Stream Deck integration for when you want to shift from gaming to streaming. You can set up to five profiles using the memory on the keyboard. Options abound with the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT. You can purchase the key switches in Cherry MX Blue, Brown, or Speed Silver. The keyboard also comes with textured, more durable double-shot PBT keycaps titanium-colored keycaps.
Look again and find that at its core the Platinum XT was built for quality and durability. The keyboard is constructed around an anodized aluminum frame, which makes for a stable gaming experience and a keyboard that will last.
N-Key rollover and anti-ghosting technology comes standard on this keyboard. The USB 2.0 pass-through allows you to connect your peripheral accessories to the keyboard. The media buttons include a large volume wheel, as well as buttons for controlling the brightness, lighting effects, Windows Key Lock, and game mode settings.
To house all the features, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is on the larger end compared to other gaming keyboards; however, we feel that it is a small sacrifice when considering all the features provided.
For gamers who prioritize budget over style, consider the less expensive HyperX Alloy Elite 2, which has ABS keycaps and no wrist rest.
Quiet • Reactive to in-game experiences • Durable
The membrane switches on SteelSeries Apex 3 provide a quieter gaming experience.
4. SteelSeries Apex 3The membrane switches on SteelSeries Apex 3 provide a quieter gaming experience.
- Key type:
Whisper Quiet membrane switches
5.94 x 17.52 x 1.57 inches
10-zone customizable RGB lighting, IP32 water resistance, 20-million key press durability, magnetic wrist rest, Discord in-game lighting notifications
Experience gaming without the noisy click, click, click of your keyboard. The SteelSeries Apex 3 offers softer sounds with its low-friction, SteelSeries Whisper-Quiet membrane switches. The durability of the keyboard, price and complementary features bring it to the top of our list for quiet keyboards.
SteelSeries advertises that the keys will last for 20 million clicks. Unless you’re a 24-7 gamer (get some sleep!) that’s a long life for a keyboard. The keyboard is built with water-resistant construction, so you will reach 20 million even with some accidental spills. With 24-key rollover, that durability does not come at the expense of a smooth gaming experience.
The RGB backlighting is customizable in 10 separate zones, and responds in real time to your in-game experience by utilizing Game Sense reactive lighting. You can also integrate the keyboard with Discord Chat to receive notifications through the keyboard any time you receive a message.
With a a full-sized keyboard with a tenkey number pad, the Apex 3 is big even without the magnetic wrist rest. The keyboard has enough space for a volume wheel and a dedicated media button in the upper right corner. SteelSeries Engine software allows you to customize the most intense macros.
Moderately priced • Very customizable • USB pass-through • Vibrant LED illumination
No wrist rest provided • Some software complaints from reviewers
The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 gives you a great deal at a decent price.
5. HyperX Alloy Elite 2The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 gives you a great deal at a decent price.
- Key type:
HyperX Red linear switches
17.5 x 6.9 x 1.5 inches
Low-noise switches, customizable lighting and function keys, game mode, media controls, HyperX Ngenuity gaming software, N-Key rollover, USB pass-through
The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 offers enough features for serious gamers at a price that won’t put a serious hurt on your wallet.
The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 comes with the company’s own HyperX Red linear switches and durable ABS “pudding” keycaps that allow for more light.
HyperX’s Ngenuity configuration software will allow you to assign custom macros (three onboard profiles and as many as you can come up with in the software) to simplify frequently used command sequences. You can also disable keys, including the Windows key, which is pre-programmed to shut off while in game mode. Additionally, backlight options can be set specific to individual keys.
Multi-media controls that include dedicated media buttons and a roller bar for adjusting the volume, 100% anti-ghosting, N-Key rollover, USB pass through, and a braided cord for durability help to round out the many features of the moderately priced HyperX Alloy Elite 2.
Smart tools for notifications • Bright RBG • Durable build
Plastic keys • No USB pass-through
The Das Keyboard X50Q is a “Smart” choice for versatility.
6. Das Keyboard X50QThe Das Keyboard X50Q is a “Smart” choice for versatility.
- Key type:
Gamma Zulu mechanical switches
17.77 x 6.63 x 1.28 in
Soft-tactile switches, Smart Keyboard Q Software, ultra-enhanced brightness, Detachable palm rest, media controls, programmable
The gaming features are not sacrificed on this versatile keyboard, which features Gamma Zulu mechanical switches that offer a tactile feel and operate quickly. The Das Keyboard X50Q boasts that the switch will last for (Dr. Evil voice) 100 million keystrokes. The ultra-bright RGB lighting under each key is designed to display in the daylight, and unlimited, customizable lighting profiles are available.
Full N-key rollover, a detachable wrist rest, and solid aluminum build will keep your game play flowing. The keys are made from ABS Plastic, a quality material for the price point.
Amazon customer says:
“This keyboard has quickly found its way in front of the gaming computer, which is also occasionally used for light office duties. It’s been utterly exceptional at both of them, and I honestly wish we’d bought it a year ago. The kids love playing minecraft on it as it’s super responsive.”
Mobile • High speed connection • Sophisticated keystroke technology
Lapboard a separate purchase • Some reviews say battery life could be better
The Corsair K63 Wireless is the best in user mobility at an affordable price.
7. CORSAIR K63Game from the couch without missing a step with the Corsair K63 Wireless.
- Key type:
CHERRY® MX Red mechanical
14.4 by 6.8 by 1.6 inches
High-speed wireless connection, Gold contact CHERRY® MX Red mechanical gaming key switches, detachable soft touch wrist rest, rechargeable battery, blue-lit LED, Corsair Utility Engine for macros and lighting effects
Wired keyboards have built-in advantages for gamers: there’s less lag, they’re more responsive, and mobility isn’t typically a sought-after gaming feature. Still, there are those who do want the portability, or just can’t stand a messy tangle of wires. The Corsair K63 Wireless offers mobility with little sacrifice in responsiveness.
You can connect the Corsair K63 Wireless via 1ms 2.4GHz gaming-optimized wireless technology, high-speed and low latency Bluetooth, but also have the option to use wired USB when you don’t need to be mobile. The rechargeable battery will give you up to 15 hours of action if you are connected through Bluetooth, which has a radius of about 33 feet. The tenkeyless design allows for a more portable size.
The Gold contact CHERRY® MX Red mechanical gaming key switches ensures your keystrokes are instantly actuated, and the full-key rollover provides full anti-ghosting technology. The keys are backlit by blue-lit LED lights and are designed with large fonts. You can assign macros to your keys, and adjust the lighting effects, through the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE).
The keyboard comes standard with a detachable, soft touch wrist rest. For additional comfort, a lapboard can be purchased separately.