Top Pick for
Best gaming keyboard
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Finder's team of experts have tested and reviewed every gaming keyboard on this list. For each model, we consider the design, performance, features and overall value compared to other gaming keyboards on the market. The selection and order is not based on review scores. More detail on methodology below.
The Alloy Elite RGB sits in our prime position because it's a durable keyboard with a simple design that you get to pimp out with your choice of RGB patterns. Its actuation is exceptional and above all comfortable to use for those lengthy gaming sessions, which also means it crucially passes the test for being your everyday work keyboard as well.
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Want to strike the fear of God into your opponents with your aggressive keyboard play? Of course you do. Razer's Huntsman Elite is one of the loudest keyboards we've tested, but it does so with hybrid opto-mechanical switches that require less force to press and should have greater durability than classic mechanical types.
The Logitech Pro X doesn't look like much more than a simple gaming keyboard with the requisite RGB lighting installed, but as your mother used to tell you, beauty is more than skin deep. The secret that could make the Pro X compelling to you is that it features not only removable keys, but removable key switches.
Don't want extra-clicky hard keys any more? Swap them out, individually or all at once depending on your preferences. It's the absolute extreme end of customisable gaming keyboards. It won't be for everyone, but some folks will adore it.
The Razer Ornata V2 makes small yet smart improvements to the original Ornata Chroma which was released back in 2017. Like its predecessor, it's an excellent gaming keyboard that balances precision. Although the clean and simple style is largely the same, it now comes with a new multi-function wheel and media keys which are very welcome additions.
The custom mecha-membrane switches aren't quite as reliable as a mechanical keyboard but they're significantly more resilient than a traditional membrane version. If you're a fan of RGB lighting, the included app's Chroma Studio section is a great tool to tinker with, allowing you to layer individual lighting effects on top of each other with a wide range of speeds, colours and layouts to choose from.
If you can stomach the hefty price tag, the Logitech G915 is one of the best wireless gaming keyboards on the market. It benefits from a sturdy steel and aluminium chassis that's impressively thin for a mechanical keyboard. The design is mature and understated enough to double as a business keyboard. But the real stars are the low-profile switches – they're highly responsive while still providing solid feedback during online gaming.
If you're serious about PC gaming, you'll want to consider upgrading to a dedicated gaming keyboard. While it shouldn't be the first component that you level up (that honour goes to either your graphics card or your monitor), as your primary input device, you'll notice improvements to your performance with the right keyboard.
Gaming keyboards are designed to have faster response times and extra gaming-specific features like customisable hotkeys, and they nearly always come packed with enough pulsing colourful lights to deck out a nightclub.
There are two main technologies in the gaming keyboard space, each with different tactile qualities.
Membrane keyboards tend to be found in cheaper standalone gaming keyboards or built into most laptops. Inputs are registered when an electrical current is passed between the rubber membrane attached to the underside of a key and the larger rubber membrane that sits beneath the entire keyboard. Keystrokes are logged ever-so-slightly slower than on mechanical keyboards. Keys also don't spring back up as quickly, meaning that at the elite level of play, your potential actions per minute (APM) is lower. The upside, though, is that membrane keyboards are far quieter.
Mechanical keyboards function essentially like typewriters of old, with springs and levers being depressed. They're faster and more responsive, but the loud, constant clicking sound they make is borderline inconsiderate for office environments. However, f you're at home and more concerned about in-game performance than office etiquette, mechanical keyboards are the only way to go.
If you're after a top-of-the-line gaming keyboard, you could spend up to $350 on one. Premium models typically include ultra-responsive mechanical switches, ergonomic features that help with long play sessions by minimising hand and finger cramps, and all the neon-drenched aesthetic bells and whistles you could ask for. Most premium keyboards also allow for a high degree of customisation, like optional textured keycaps for the all-important WASD keys, and even the ability to set different actuation points (the amount of pressure that registers a keystroke) for each individual key. At lower price points you lose many of these premium features, but you can still find a quality keyboard in the $180-$250 range.
Let's be honest: much of the appeal of a gaming keyboard is in the fancy backlighting that illuminates the keys (and the surrounding room). The cheapest keyboards won't have this feature, but as soon as you move away from the budget tier, you'll begin to get single-colour varieties (most often red), then RGB (red, green, blue), and then, at the top end, keyboards capable of displaying 16.8 billion colours. If this sounds ridiculously excessive, that's because it is. While it can look fantastic, make sure that you have the ability to control the strobe pattern and to turn lights off/down, because the glare can be distracting in dark rooms.
If you're mostly an MMO or MOBA player, consider a keyboard with easy-to-access programmable hotkeys, especially if you don't own a gaming mouse with this feature. To program the commands assigned to each key (called macros), you'll need to use the driver software that comes with your keyboard. It's worth researching which of these programs people find easiest to use.
Comfort is determined by the size of your hands compared to the size of the keyboard, your playstyle, any medical conditions you may have and ergonomic features like palm ramps and special key configurations. Although user and critic reviews are useful guides, to a large degree, what you find comfortable will come down to personal preference, so we'd simply recommend heading into a computer store and getting hands-on if you can.
Gaming keyboards generally have larger footprints than standard keyboards because they've crammed in up to 15 extra keys and have ergonomic features like palm ramps. As a result, your desk real estate will be at a premium. If you know you don't need those extra macro keys, or even the number pad that typically sits on the right side of a keyboard, leaner models are available. You'll always be able to find a keyboard's dimensions on the manufacturer's website, so measure your desk space and see what you can get away with.
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