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How to Find the Best Gaming Keyboard – All You Need to Know!

As gamers, we can agree that there’s a very particular and satisfying feeling in watching an FPS counter hit 60FPS and above. Seeing that buttery framerate alongside 4K resolutions is a breathtaking but, PC Gaming is much more than pure processing power and how much TFLOPS your graphic card behemoth can pull.

Gaming is relaxing with a fresh harvest on Stardew Valley, getting competitive on an Overwatch or League of Legends match, persevering through the harshest areas of Dark Souls, and experiencing that rush of adrenaline and mixed sensations of accomplishment and longing once credits are rolling and your journey has ended.

To experience all this plethora of enjoyment that gaming can provide, performance is key, of course, but so is something we sometimes overlook when building that perfect rig: comfortability. 

This is only achievable through the right input hardware, finding a keyboard that fits not only your gaming needs but also your day on day typing needs will make a huge improvement on how you experience all that power your rig brings to the table. This can be the difference between ending relaxed and delighted after a long gaming session or ending or frustrated due to unresponsive hardware.

In a sea of options, where do we start?

Like all hardware, you need to have in mind what is exactly you are aiming for in your daily driver. Getting clear on what this keyboard is going to be doing for you is crucial.

You need to take into account if you are only going to be scoring a top place on the Battle Royale of your choice or if you’re also going to draft long papers for college or going to manage a large database or spreadsheet for the company you work for.

Typing and gaming are very different tasks, and you certainly want to make sure your keyboard can deliver on both of those needs. Balance your decision towards what you do and care for the most.

Membrane or Mechanical? Clicks or Silence? There Lies The Dilemma!

Once you know what the usage for this new device looks like, you can start to think on what is the experience you want to have, are you happy with a regular membrane keyboard and that works enough for the platform games you play, or are you a little more exigent and demand speedy accuracy on every keycap hit? How firm do you want each keystroke to feel, are you into the “clicky” sound of mechanical keyboards or would you rather have a silent mechanical?

Keyboards come in such a variety of flavors when it comes to their build; you will find the cheaper end of membrane keyboards or hybrids of mechanical feeling with membranes built into them.

There’s also a variety of Switches; some provide a tactile bump feel with no audible feedback like the Cherry MX Brown switches, and some other do provide a pleasant, yet annoying to some, audible feedback.

best gaming keyboard

To determine what is the best choice for you in regards to “feel,” I would recommend you visit a store and try to test out keyboards that have different switches and membrane types to determine which works best for you.

If they don’t have the model you want in stock or prices are too high, worry not; you just want to make sure that you test out what type of switch you’re going for or if the membrane works just as well for you.

mechanical keyboard

As a recommendation for typists, I would recommend switches that offer little resistance to pressure such as the Cherry MX Red, and for gaming only intended purposes, a little tactile feedback is great like the Romer-Gs switches or the Cherry MX Browns.

Auditive feedback is a personal preference; some find it relaxing and some others loud and annoying so, try it and see if it works for you and those around you; a conscious gamer is a good gamer!

Affordability and Durability

The budget is next once you are sure of what specs you would like on a keyboard. When you know exactly what features and what experience you expect from your next hardware, its time to decide on prices. Based on the budget, you can start cutting off or adding features accordingly.

By having straight priorities, you can get the model and brand that would give you the best bang for your buck. Have in mind that some features like RGB, wireless support and premium build materials such as aluminum raise the price of a keyboard dramatically and, if it’s not the main factor on your feature list, can be left out to focus on what you care for.

Pro-Tip: Cyber Monday and Black Friday will do marvels for your wallet if you are close to any holidays, be patient, and save big time.

The One Keyboard

We have crafted a list of the best keyboards available and sorted them out on affordability; this would make choosing a lot easier and would narrow your options to a small range of options based on your needs and expectations.

All the following are a great build, performance, and bang for the buck option; it will depend on what you ultimately want in your dreamed keyboard that will make you pull the credit card shot on any of them.

*All prices are considered at the moment of writing and might change with the course of time.

*Some keyboard models in the list are produced with several switch options from the manufacturer, and you might encounter this to either decrease the price or increase it on some occasions.

Saving is Key!

Gaming Keyboards Under $90

1. Turtle Beach Impact 100 ($37.00)

Turtle Beach Impact 100

Turtle Beach has one of the best heavy hitters in this category, giving you a great bang for every dollar. This is a hybrid, meaning that it is not mechanical but, it has an improved keycap sleeve to emulate the sensation of a real mechanical keyboard.

After one single keystroke, you would be able to determine this is not mechanical entirely, but it is a pleasant sensation nonetheless, and very great add on for a price tag that doesn’t even reach the $40 range.

The Impact 100 looks good, and even though the design is a bit plain and lacks the flare of others in the list, it has a red accent all around that hints the idea of this one being used for gaming aside from the typical typing.

This is a plastic built, but a strong one on that front. Keycaps are also high quality and will not wear off easily over time. This model lacks media keys but provides a decent numerical pad and a braided cord.

Overall, Turtle Beached aimed for a good build keyboard that provides great mechanical feeling (even though the membrane is used), they ended up close, with great built-in quality and a close but not quite there yet mechanical feeling.

PROS

  • Great value for an entry keyboard.
  • Keycap sleeves are decent enough.
  • Durable built.

CONS

  • No media keys.
  • Plain design.

2. Corsair K63 Wireless ($89.99)

Corsair K63 Wireless

Corsair managed to pack two items that are present in most of the requirement lists of gamers when it refers to getting a new keyboard, and they managed to keep it all under the $90 tag. The K63 is both mechanical and wireless. It sports Cherry MX Red switches and a wireless 2.4GHz 1ms response time dongle, and it is capable of Bluetooth and wired USB connections as well.

The Cherry MX Red switches on this particular model are silent and offer very little resistance to each keypress, meaning that it is great for typing with ease, and it will be great for easy and fast keystrokes while gaming. Corsair included a detachable wrist rest for added ergonomics and blue backlight per key.

The K63 has dedicated media keys and additional function keys; it is also small, and it’s heavy enough not to feel cheap. On the not so bright side, it lacks a numerical pad.  Corsair also has an additional lapboard of you’re interested in using this keyboard for couch gaming. It has nothing similar to a compartment in the keyboard itself to store the dongle, so you will need to be careful and try not to lose it.

PROS

  • Wireless and wired capabilities.
  • Cherry MX Red at a great price.

CONS

  • No numerical keyboard.
  • Included Corsair software, for it is not great in terms of personalization.

2. Logitech K840 ($59.99)

Logitech K840

Logitech decided it was going to separate itself from the competition and bring their own tech to the table, so they created their own proprietary switches, the Romer-Gs. These are similar to the Cherry MX Browns with a tactile feedback a less of an additive one. Cherry MX purists might not be into this, but the quality and built of these switches is great and worth a shot (especially for how affordable they are).

The K840 packs Romer-Gs and aluminum construction. You can reprogram keys via the included software and have access to function multimedia keys. Aside from this, there’s not much to say, really. This keyboard is intended to be an entry keyboard that can be used as a daily option for work and has decent enough switches and response time to be used for gaming as well.

There’s nothing flashy here, no RGB or even backlight, no famous switch names, or any gaming denoting qualities. This is just a plain-looking keyboard that does a great job at, well, being a keyboard; in that sense, it does provide a good gaming and typing experience without you having to shell out an extra hundred for the “full-extras” of other brands. You get a full keyboard, with a complete numerical pad and mechanical switches for less than $60. 

PROS:

  • Mechanical switches do a great job.
  • One of the best mechanical options for that price.

CONS

  • No macros.
  • No backlight.

Key to Great Value!

Gaming Keyboards Under $150

1. Cougar 700K ($105.00)

Cougar 700K Review

The Cougar 700K screams gaming through and through; it’s brushed metal design and defined angles on the included wrist rest make it clear this is hardware intended for gaming.

It includes Cherry MX Brown switches, and Cougar also produces them in Black, Blue, and Red switches if you favor those instead. It’s not RGB, but its orange backlight has five brightness settings and suits the overall design very well.

It comes with a full numerical pad and five programmable keys, there is a 6th one that can be used for this purpose, but it is basically half of the space bar since it is split into two keys. It allows macro recording and then switch to 3 programmable modes with the press of a dedicated button.

Software included allows a great variety of settings based on the type of games you play, but it might be a little too cumbersome for some to navigate through it.

For a typing perspective, you have the plus of several switch options (prices will vary depending on your choice, of course), but it might be a bit awkward for some to adjust to the split space bar. It has no dedicated media functions or dedicated keys, and it has a weird placement on the left side for the Windows key.

PROS

  • Gaming design from functionality to aesthetics.
  • Lots of customizable keys and functions.

CONS

  • No dedicated media keys or functions
  • The weird key placement has a learning curve.

2. HyperX Alloy Elite RGB ($139.99)

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

RGB isn’t in the name just for the sake of marketing in this HyperX creation. The Alloy Elite shows off RGB not only individually on each key, but it also has a customizable RGB lightbar. If you’re into RGB, this is a great way to go, and for the price tag, it also includes Cherry MX Blue switches with tactile and audible feedback.

The included software allows you to program three different modes for the keyboard that can be accessed easily with dedicated keys; on that same front, it has dedicated volume, multimedia keys, and a full numerical pad.

The software could use a bit of work here and there as it is not as intuitive, and a dedicated macro key would have been a nice addition as well. The overall built quality top-notch, this also applies for the included wrist rest.

If you are into neat cable management, this model has a 2.0 USB passthrough that can easily help you with your mouse or another small device. If you’re not a fan of the MX Blues, this model also comes in MX Reds and MX Browns (might slightly change price); there’s even a membrane option if mechanical is not your thing. Additional keycaps with different colors and textures are also included.

PROS

  • Great design and functionality.
  • As good for gaming as it is for typing.

CONS

  • No dedicated macro key.

3. SteelSeries Apex M750 ($109.99)

SteelSeries Apex M750

We have reached the proprietary switch of this category of our picks, SteelSeries’ QX2. These switches are very comparable to Cherry MX Red switches and have an actuation response that is nothing short of great for gaming.

This is an RGB keyboard with individual key backlight, a numerical keypad, and multimedia function keys. There are no dedicated macro keys, but the software included allows you to create them and remap anything as you please. The QX2 switches here are transparent, so there’s a lot of light bleeding from every key, creating a unique effect.

One of the main selling points of this keyboard is the software it contains. It allows some games to interact with the lighting on the keyboard and response to certain events such as low health or enemy attacks, this, of course, is not for every game and has a lot of limitations. It even includes an integration with Discord that allows light notifications in the keys.

On the crazier side, its software even lets you choose a gif, and the keyboard will emulate the gif as a light pattern on its keys. Its something really not beneficial or game-changing in regards to your typing duties or gaming needs, but it is a cool detail that you will enjoy if you are into RGB and gimmicky hardware. All in all, this is a nice and effective keyboard that has tons of customization and gimmicks.

One Key to Rule Them All!

Gaming Keyboards Above $150

1. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum ($159.99)

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Speed and precision were taken into account every step of the way at the moment this design was conceived. Corsair packed the K95 with Cherry MX Speed switches (Silver switches), this type of switch allows a faster response time, which is always welcomed in gaming, especially when it comes to FPS or MOBAs in a competitive scene.

These switches are linear, meaning that they have no tactile feedback, which makes them very soft for typing. If that is your preference, this would come in as a reliable option for long typing sessions.

From an aesthetic point of view, this model has an aluminum built that is both easy on the eyes and durable. RGB is individually customizable per key, and the front of the keyboard also has a multi-point RGB bar for ornamentation.

The key layout is also great, with a full numeric pad, dedicated keys for three customizable modes, media, and volume. For gaming or other work tasks, it also has six programmable keys.

If you are looking for the best gaming keyboards, this is one of the best solutions on the market thanks to its great layout and Cherry Speed switches; for typing, it is comfortable for long workdays for the linear nature of the onboard switches and for the soft and effective wrist rest that is included. Oh, it also has a handy USB passthrough!

PROS

  • Gaming and productivity are safe with this one.
  • Fast Cherry MX Speed switches.

CONS

  • The price tag is a bit steep, and a dedicated macro key could have been a great addition.

2. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO ($159.99)

best gaming keyboard Roccat

Roccat prides itself on its German design, and they have reasons to be proud of it. This keyboard is elegant and sleek. It is thin and refined. It denotes its gaming roots, but it doesn’t look flashy or over the top. Keycaps are designed in the same form and factor, slim and attractive yet durable and sturdy.

There’s no Cherry MX in this one; everything here its proprietary, and the switches are not the exceptions. They use a technology that acts on the same electrical principles as the Cherry MX; the switches are named “Titan.” The feel is rewarding as a Cherry would be, and it feels on the same level of premium tactile feedback and durability that you would expect from a high-end keyboard.

The Vulcan 120 AIMO comes in with dedicated multimedia keys, a volume knob, and a full numerical pad; sadly there’s no dedicated macro key. The software included with the keyboard is way better than most other companies; it makes it easier for you to set everything according to both your typing needs and gaming requirements.

This keyboard justifies its price tag in every sense, with a unique and polished design, switches that match the needs of both typists and gamers alike, and an RGB that brings its design together instead of just being gimmicky. You can’t go wrong with this one.

PROS

  • Elegant and functional design.
  • Terrific proprietary switches.
  • Great for both gamers and typists alike.

CONS

  • No dedicated macro keys.

3. Logitech G513 Carbon (Romer-G Tactile) ($149.99)

Logitech G513 Carbon best gaming keyboard

Romer-G earns another spot on our list with the Logitech G513 Carbon. This Logitech keyboard retains the aluminum body and aesthetics of the K840, but this time it brings full RGB and software to customize it (even if it’s not in the most intuitive way). 

Logitech wanted to make sure this was an all-terrain device; this keyboard would look amazing on any office desk while also looking nothing but appropriate next to a gaming rig.

The same applies to performance, this version has Romer-G Tactile switches (same as the K840), but this model also has a Romer-G Linear (similar to Cherry MX Red) and GX Blue (similar to Cherry MX Blue) versions.

It comes equipped with a full numerical pad and a very comfortable wrist rest. On its front, there’s a very useful USB passthrough. Logitech also includes 12 additional “gaming” keycaps to transform the serious look it has to a more gaming ready device.

RGB is very focused on each key and has little light bleeding, which makes it look unique in comparison to other keyboards. You get a sturdy, elegant and original keyboard from this Logitech’s offering, you will be satisfied if you’re an avid typist or a dedicated gamer.

PROS

  • The appropriate design for gaming or office use.
  • Switch variety.

CONS

  • A bit pricey for proprietary switches.
  • Software included could be more intuitive.

We have gone over the basics of keyboards and their features and characteristics that set them apart. It takes a while sometimes to get adjusted to a new keyboard, but It helps a lot if you’re informed about the product you are buying and what to expect from it on a daily usage scenario.

Make sure you check your local stores for a possibility of trying out as much variety of keyboard switches and membrane as possible, take your time, sit and type at least for 3 to 5 straight minutes on each type to make sure that it feels right for you.

Take your time and seek out the best prices, never go for the first one you see (unless it is a limited time offer and it is heavily discounted from prices you have scouted before), be patient and compare both local stores and online to snatch the best deal possible.

Be open to several brands and switch types; only then you will be able to find the right fit. Always keep in mind that many brands use the same switches, and you can get better prices if you open to as many brands as possible.

With all that in mind, you are ready to go and pick the right keyboard for you! Go explore, raid some tombs, survive the wastelands, avoid getting some arrows on the knee, or you know, just go wild and write the next New York Times bestseller!   

Keyboard Model

Input Type

Switch Type

Num Pad

Backlight

Wireless Capability

Price

Turtle Beach Impact 100

Membrane

Keycap Sleeves

Yes

None

Wired

$37.00

Corsair K63 Wireless

Mechanical

Cherry MX Red

No

Blue Only

Wireless

$89.99

Logitech K840

Mechanical

Romer-G

Yes

None

Wired

$59.99

Cougar 700K

Mechanical

Cherry MX Brown

Yes

Orange Only

Wired

$105.00

HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

 

Mechanical

Cherry MX Blue

Yes

RGB

Wired

$139.99

SteelSeries Apex M750

 

Mechanical

QX2

Yes

RGB

Wired

$109.99

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

 

Mechanical

Cherry MX Speed

Yes

RGB

Wired

$159.99

Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO

 

Mechanical

Titan

Yes

RGB

Wired

$159.99

Logitech G513 Carbon

Mechanical

Romer-G Tactile

Yes

RGB

Wired

$149.99

 

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