If you’ve just spent a ton of money on the one of the best gaming PCs, even making sure that you have one of the best graphics cards on the market, the only thing you have left to do is to pick up one of the best gaming keyboards. Trust us, we know that it’s tempting to just head out to best buy and pick up one of those cheap keyboards on the clearance rack – but seeing how you just dropped a thousand bucks on a new PC, why would you do it the disservice of pairing it with a mediocre keyboard? Not only will the best gaming keyboards actually make you better at the games you play, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about illuminating your entire room with RGB lighting.
Using a cheap membrane keyboard for gaming is ill-advised to say the least. The best gaming keyboards will allow for much deeper and accurate travel, so you never have to worry about accidentally killing your teammate when you’re just trying to reload. And, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention RGB lighting – the golden feature for any gaming peripheral.
So, here is our list of 10 of the best gaming keyboards available in 2018. And if you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry, because here at TechRadar, we make sure that every product we recommend strikes a balance between price and performance. You can be confident that all of the MLG typewriters on this list not only will get you through countless games, but will be affordable as well. You won’t find any overpriced nonsense or cheap, flimsy keyboards here – all of the keyboards on this list has been tested by us in-house.
This beautiful keyboard has been lovingly engineered for a lightning-fast actuation point of 1.5mm and this alone makes the Logitech G413 Carbon a force of nature. This mechanical power-house is defined by its extremely affordable price tag in addition to its use of Logitech’s Romer G switches, which have time and time again proven to be all but equal contenders to the switches made by Cherry. It also manages to keep a low profile, thanks to its stealthy frame and its nigh silent keys.
Read the full review: Logitech G413 Carbon
Hoping to find a gaming keyboard that matches the rest of your Chroma-lit accessories? Then this is the one you want. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma V2 carry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps further in the process. Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 supports 16.8 million colors worth of LED lighting as well.
Read the full review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. For only $10 USD more than its predecessor, you’re getting media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.
The Realforce RGB is a multi-talented keyboard that feels incredible to type on due in part to its capacitive Topre keyswitches, which offer superior tactile feedback compared to their Cherry MX equivalents. Boasting high-quality PBT keycaps and depth from 1.5mm to 3mm, the Realforce RGB is a hugely versatile keyboard that suits whatever task you’re doing at the time. Yes, even typing since its keyswitch stems are compatible with both Topre and Cherry MX keycaps.
- This product is only available in the US and Australia at the time of this writing. UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite
Like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire before it, the K95 RGB Platinum is a gaming-first mechanical keyboard with plenty of versatility to get the job done, whatever that job may be. It even packs in 8MB of memory dedicated to storing the profiles of its six macro keys. This keyboard is not only backlit by up to 16.8 million colors, but it’s the perfect travel buddy too, made better by its military-grade aluminum finish, including the wrist rest.
For too long there’s been a divide between mechanical and membrane keys but now Razer has finally brought the two together with its ‘Mecha-Membrane’ Ornata keyboard. These new switches pull from everything Razer has learned over the years. The result is a grand typing experience with shorter keys, the tactile feel of the green switches from the Black Widow X Chroma and a loud audible click.
Lending it to fast response times, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 is defined by its Cherry MX Red switches, hence the make and model. However, because the keys are positioned fairly close together they’re excellent for typing in addition to gaming. What’s more, housed in an eye-catching aluminum chassis, the MX Board 6.0 certainly doesn’t feel cheap and its blood-red key lighting is deliciously ominous.
- This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HyperX Alloy Elite
Sporting Logitech’s own Romer G switches, which aren’t quite as squishy as Cherry’s various switches, the G810 possesses a snappier feel than other gaming keyboards whether typing or gaming. And, with smart media keys that work equally well on both Windows and macOS, this board is a solid all-round offering. If you’re fed up with the weird markings, LCD screens and strange parts that come with competing “gamer-focused” keyboards, the G810 might be for you.
Unlike most gaming keyboards in its class, the SteelSeries Apex M500 gets straight to the point, omitting unnecessary additives along the lines of RGB lighting and discrete media controls in favor of a compact design that wastes no space. Although the M500 neglects to let you choose your key switches beyond the standard Cherry MX Reds and Blues, these are damn fine options for a mechanical board in this price range.
Because it packs an extremely durable, rugged aluminum body, the Cougar Attack X3 RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy if you’re on a tight budget. Equipped with Cherry MX switches and RGB backlighting that can be customized to illuminate up to 16.8 million colors, this keyboard is a steal considering it doesn’t come close to the price of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2. N-Key rollover and a 1,000Hz polling rate are merely a bonus.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article