10 Best Gaming Keyboards | April 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Take your gaming to the next level with one of these high-tech and wicked-fast gaming keyboards. We've included mechanical models for the fastest response time as well as some more budget-friendly options. And for all you pro gamers, there's even a special one that will help you blow away the competition. Skip to the best gaming keyboard on Amazon.
10 Best Gaming Keyboards | April 2017
Overall Rank: 9
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The Redragon S101 Vajra is probably the best gaming keyboard you can find in its price range. It is splash-proof and has drain holes, plus interchangeable WASD and arrow keys. The WIN keys can also be disabled during game play if you prefer.
  • high-quality abs construction
  • comes with a gaming mouse
  • backlighting is too bright for some
Brand Redragon
Model ICTG0101
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
9
The Logitech G510s has an LCD screen to keep you updated with your game stats in real-time. It allows for custom color RGB backlighting, so you can personalize it, has 18 programmable G-keys, and offers an ultra fast response time.
  • independent audio and mic controls
  • resists fingerprint smudging
  • difficult to see key characters
Brand Logitech
Model 920-004967
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
8
The CM Storm QuickFire Rapid may look like a no-frills option, but that's because they focused on performance not aesthetics. It offers competition-quality response time and won't let you down during intense play. It even comes with extra keycaps and a key puller.
  • low-noise typing
  • utilizes a durable braided cable
  • has some key light leakage
Brand Cooler Master
Model SGK-4040-GKCM1-US
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
7
The HyperX Alloy is a compact, full-key option that isn't much bigger than most ten-key-less models. Conveniently, it comes with a protective carrying case, making it ideal for gamers who often travel to tournaments or like to play at a friend's house.
  • integrated usb charging port
  • colored and textured fps keys
  • doesn't offer full rgb lighting
Brand Kingston
Model HX-KB1BL1-NA/A1
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
6
The Razer BlackWidow Chroma features individually backlit keys for better lighting and less light bleed. Each key depression results in a distinct tactile feel, promoting fewer mistyped keys to keep your gaming skills on point.
  • available in a stealth key model
  • rated for 80 million keystrokes
  • quick access media and volume keys
Brand Razer
Model RZ03-01220200-R3U1
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
The Cherry MX-Board 6.0 has a lower profile than many other models, which makes it better suited to those who like to use a wrist rest when typing or gaming. If you like closely spaced keys, this is the best option for you.
  • ominous blood-red key lighting
  • processes signals in real time
  • quality made in germany
Brand Cherry
Model G80-3930LYBEU-2
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
4
The Corsair Gaming K70 Lux comes with a choice of blue or red LED lighting and has mechanical switches that register the slightest key depression. Its anodized, black, brushed aluminum chassis gives it a high-end look and makes it quite durable.
  • adjustable backlighting brightness
  • textured wasd keycaps
  • detachable full length wrist rest
Brand Corsair
Model CH-9000115-NA
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
2
With its unique combination of mechanical and membrane technology, the Razer Ornata Expert offers what few other models can: smooth and fast response times mixed with great tactile feedback and loud clicks for an optimal typing experience.
  • in-game macro programming
  • multiple lighting effects
  • wide-spaced keys
Brand Razer
Model RZ03-02041800-R3U1
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The SteelSeries Apex M800 is aptly named as it represents the apex of what a gaming keyboard can be. It utilizes competition-grade mechanical QS1 switches that can register keystrokes quicker than competitors. This translates into faster in-game reactions.
  • strategically placed macro keys
  • absolutely zero ghosting
  • individual key illumination
Brand SteelSeries
Model 64170
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Small Package, Big Excitement

The gaming keyboard comes with a few more bells and whistles than the average computer keyboard. It is streamlined, often mechanical, and built with a more ergonomic design. Some gaming keyboards come with the important keys, ‘W,’ ‘A,’ ‘S,’ and ‘D’ already highlighted and close together for easy game play. The best gaming keyboards optimize this layout and place other important keys near these.

Unfortunately, the mouse has been much more developed over the years than the keyboard for PC gaming. It has only been in recent years that the gaming keyboard has begun to catch up. Most gaming keyboards are mechanical in order to provide the fastest possible response times.

Even with the minimal number of advancements in this area, gaming keyboards are worth your time and money if you are a serious gamer. Their ergonomic design helps to reduce fatigue in the hands and cuts back on the risk of injury or carpal tunnel.

They are often built much smaller than average keyboards so they can be easily used while holding them in your lap or on small desktop spaces. They are ideal for serious gamers who live with roommates or are confined to small apartments or dorms with limited space.

Keyboards designed specifically for gaming offer more keys than the average computer keyboard. While they provide all of the standard keys, they also add additional keys for gaming use and place the keys closer together to make them more conducive to fast gaming.

They also provide extra amenities such as easy-to-access volume control buttons, quick keys, and USB and headset ports to create an optimal gaming experience.

How Serious Are You?

While your gaming keyboard options are more limited than what you will find when shopping for a gaming mouse, there are still a few things you will need to consider before you shell out the cash.

First, consider your intended use. Yes, we know you plan to use it for gaming, but what type of games do you play? If your PC game play is minimal or you only play the occasional online games, shelling out for a gaming keyboard isn't worth it. But if you enjoy strategy games or first-person shooters, a gaming keyboard can only enhance your experience.

Second, determine your price range. Budgeting is important when shopping for anything, but when shopping for a gaming keyboard (or other gaming accessories), it is easy to get roped into buying more than you actually need. Gaming keyboards range greatly in price from a basic keyboard on a modest budget to making it rain for all of the latest bells and whistles. The more you are willing to spend, the more features you are likely to get.

Third, decide if you want a membrane or mechanical keyboard. We will tell you right now, the mechanical keyboards are your better option for a high-quality gaming experience, but they tend to be more expensive. Membrane keyboards work by sending an electric current through plastic membranes while a mechanical keyboard works more like the original typewriters and is far more responsive and enjoyable to use. While there are decent gaming membrane keyboards on the market, we strongly recommend a mechanical keyboard.

Next, look into the types of available keyboards. Some look like your basic office keyboard with a few extra amenities and some attractive LED backlighting while others look as if they belong on a space station. Some are small and save space while others pull out all the stops with extra keys and one-touch access buttons.

Finally, and possibly not as important, is the backlighting option. You are only going to run into three basic varieties. Some gaming keyboards have no backlighting whatsoever. Others offer only one color. In this case, you will want to choose the color that best compliments your gaming setup. Still others offer the full spectrum of colors. Ultimately, backlighting isn’t always necessary, but some gamers appreciate the ambience that it creates.

A Brief History of the Gaming Keyboard

Henry Mill received the first approved patent for a typing machine in London, England in 1714. It was originally designed to create and prepare standardized legal documents.

Pellegrino Turri patented another typing machine in Italy in 1808. His machine was intended to help blind people write. Many other typing devices, including the Typowriter, were invented over the next several years, but none of them gained traction or public popularity.

The world’s first typewriter was invented in 1867 by an inventor named Sholes and a mechanic named Glidden with the help of a printer named Soule. It was commercially produced and sold to the public. Sholes and Glidden sold their invention to a clock-maker named Matthais Schwalbach who then commissioned Remington to manufacture and sell it. Remington removed the foot pedal, making the typewriter much smaller and easier to use in an office environment. Typewriters kept this standard appearance from 1910 until IBM produced the IBM Selectric in 1961.

These early typewriters gave way to the creation of computer keyboards as primary input devices. In 1986, IBM released the Model M keyboard. This keyboard design is used as a base model for modern day mechanical gaming keyboards.

By the mid-2000’s, more and more gamers began to realize the benefits of mechanical keyboards, and thus, the gaming keyboard was born. While many companies offer membrane keyboards specifically designed for gaming, it is widely accepted that high-quality mechanical keyboards are the best option.



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Last updated on April 23 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.