Guide to Buy the Best Gaming Keyboards in 2021
Ultimate Gaming Keyboard Buying Guide
- A gaming setup is incomplete without a proper gaming keyboard.
- Gaming keyboards help uplift the gaming experience with features like low latency, RGB backlighting, gaming-centric modes, and much more.
- We have summarized a list of gaming keyboards across various categories to help you pick the right one.
Gamers spend most of their time on their gaming desktops and are always looking to equip their gaming PCs with the latest graphics cards, processors, and more. But one thing that is often neglected is a good gaming keyboard. A gaming setup is incomplete without a good gaming keyboard. Gaming keyboards enhance the gaming experience with features like low latency, RGB backlighting, gaming-specific modes, and more.
But with so many options available, sometimes it’s hard to choose. Do not worry; we have compiled this list in different categories to help you choose the right one. Let us take a detailed look at the best gaming keyboards below.
How to Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard?
First, you need to decide whether you are looking for a wired or wireless gaming keyboard. Once you have decided, depending on your gaming needs, the next thing you should do is choose the type of keyboard. It would be best if you decided whether you are looking for a membrane keyboard or a mechanical keyboard.
If you choose a mechanical keyboard, you need to choose the right keyboard switch type. Finally, the keyboard should offer good battery life, low latency, macro keys, and more.
Membrane vs Mechanical Keyboards
1. Membrane Keyboards
Membrane keyboards are a very popular and common type of keyboard. The keys on a membrane keyboard are covered with a soft, thin rubber-like layer and are generally lighter than their mechanical counterparts. They also operate much more quietly than mechanical keyboards. However, membrane keyboards also have their pitfalls.
For one thing, they can easily get dusty, and cleaning is comparatively more time-consuming. In addition, the lifespan of membrane keyboards is generally shorter than that of mechanical keyboards. The only outstanding advantage of membrane keyboards is their affordability, as they are comparatively cheaper than mechanical keyboards.
2. Mechanical Keyboards
Mechanical Keyboards, on the other hand, have spring-loaded individual switches. These offer better tactile and clicky feedback compared to membrane keyboards. The keys are easily removable and can therefore be cleaned relatively easily if dust or dirt gets into the keys.
You can also customize the keys on a mechanical keyboard, which is not possible on a membrane keyboard. However, these advantages come at a price, as they are more expensive than membrane keyboards.
Before we turn to the best gaming keyboard list, let us first take a look at the different mechanical key switches.
Types of Mechanical Keyboard Switches
Many manufacturers now have their custom key switches for a mechanical keyboard, but basically, there are 3 types of switches.
1. Linear switches
Linear key switches are the simplest type of key switch. These keys usually function like other keys and have little tactile feedback or sound compared to other switches.
2. Tactile switches
Tactile, as the name suggests, is designed for gamers who love tactile feedback on their keystrokes. When you press the key, you get tactile feedback that confirms that the keystroke was successfully registered.
3. Clicky switches
These types of switches make a clicking sound when you hit the actuation point. The main advantage of such buttons is that you do not have to press the button all the way down and can release it as soon as you get feedback.
Best Wired Membrane Gaming Keyboards
1. Redragon S101
Redragon is known for making some of the best gaming accessories around, and the Redragon S101 is no different in that regard. The S101 is one of the most affordable gaming keyboards on the market, and it does not compromise functionality. You get a complete RGB keyboard with seven different lighting effects that allow you to customize the keyboard lighting to your liking.
The keyboard features a full numeric keypad and a gold-plated, corrosion-free USB connector. Additionally, the company supplies an RGB gaming mouse with a keyboard for the ultimate gaming experience. Since it is a wired keyboard, latency should not be an issue either. It is sold in 2 color options – black and white. A nice budget gaming keyboard we recommend for those who don’t want to break the bank.
2. Razer Cynosa V2
The next keyboard on the list is from the popular gaming PC maker – Razer. Razer makes a variety of gaming accessories for PCs, and the Cynosa V2 is a gaming keyboard from the company. You get a fully RGB-enabled keyboard with individually illuminated keys. It is designed to withstand common liquid splashes with ease. The keyboard has over 13000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7 stars. Also, you can get this keyboard with a mouse pad, so you do not have to order it separately.
3. HyperX Alloy Core
HyperX Alloy Core is another popular membrane gaming keyboard on this list and is also Amazon’s choice. As with the other keyboards on this list, you get RGB backlighting with a signature RGB strip on top of the keys. A keyboard lock feature also locks keyboard inputs without having to disconnect the keyboard from the PC. This full-size keyboard can come with a gaming mouse, headset, wrist rest, or mouse pad. If you’re looking for the best cheap gaming keyboard, this is a fantastic option.
Best Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboards
1. HK Gaming GK61
GK61 is a pretty interesting gaming mechanical keyboard from HK Gaming and is quite affordable, considering it is a mechanical keyboard. It is so inexpensive because it has 61 keys and forgoes a Numpad and few other keys. It is probably the one with the most key switch options. You pretty much get all the key types like black, blue, brown, red, yellow, and silver.
It has full RGB backlighting with different lighting modes like music, rainbow, and a few more. The keyboard is available in six color options – Black, Red, White, Lavender, Malibu, and Prism Pink. Gk61 is the choice of Amazon and has over 13000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.7 stars.
2. Corsair K100
With a starting price of $199.99, the Corsair K100 is undoubtedly in the premium class of wired mechanical keyboards. The keyboard features an aluminum frame and an ICUE control wheel. This single wheel on the keyboard allows you to control various aspects such as backlighting, media controls, and more.
Corsair claims that the k100 offers 4x faster throughput than other mechanical keyboards on the market thanks to Corsair Axon Hyper-Processing technology. It also features an integrated wrist rest for a more ergonomic gaming experience. As for the key switches on this keyboard, it uses exclusive Corsair OPX optical switches. You have an option to choose Cherry MX Speed switches with a great tactile bump if you want.
3. HyperX Alloy Origins
The Alloy Origin is a mechanical gaming keyboard from HyperX and is a pretty exciting offering. Just like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, HyperX claims that the Alloy Origin offers an aircraft aluminum chassis. The best thing about this keyboard is the detachable USB Type-C cable, which makes routing cables so easy compared to other mechanical gaming keyboards available on the market.
The keyboard is RGB-enabled, and you can easily set 3 profiles on the keyboard. Moreover, you can also set different tilt angles according to your preferences. The HyperX Alloy Origins is available in three separate key switches – Red, Blue, and Aqua. Sadly, it doesn’t come with a USB passthrough port (for easily plugging in another accessory, like your gaming mouse)
iv. Logitech G PRO
Logitech also makes gaming keyboards, and the Logitech G Pro is a mechanical gaming keyboard from the brand. The keyboard is equipped with blue click switches that are supposed to provide a better tactile feel and listening experience. Please note that the keyboard does not have a Numpad if that is what you are looking for.
This classy-looking keyboard can be had with a gaming mouse, a blue Yeti microphone, and a few other components. Also, like the HyperX Alloy Origin, it comes with a detachable micro USB cable.
Best Wireless Membrane Gaming keyboard
1. Redragon K503
The Redragon K503 is very similar to the K1010, but it is a wireless membrane gaming keyboard. The company claims that the Redragon K503 can last up to 30 hours on a single charge with RGB turned on and up to 300 hours with RGB turned off.
It also charges via USB Type-C, which is always a welcome addition. You get six different lighting modes and four levels of backlighting for the ultimate gaming experience. The keyboard is also splash-proof, so a few splashes of water will not harm the keyboard.
2. KLIM Chroma
KLIM Chroma is one of the most affordable wireless membrane gaming keyboards money can buy. For the price of $33.97, it offers some exciting features. These include 8ms response time, a fully backlit RGB keyboard with Numpad, and more. It would help if you plug the USB dongle into the USB port on your PC, and you are good to go. The keyboard has over 8000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 stars.
3. CORSAIR K57
Corsair K57 is a premium wireless membrane gaming keyboard on this list. With a starting price of $93.99, it is significantly more expensive than its competitors. But why is it as expensive as its competitors? The simple answer is < 1ms response time, which is the lowest among all wireless gaming keyboards. Some latency is to be expected with wireless keyboards, but the Corsair k57 is one of the fastest wireless gaming keyboards around, according to the company. The company tries to combine the best of both worlds with the Corsair K57 - the convenience of a wireless keyboard and the performance of a wired gaming keyboard. Additionally, there is an integrated palm rest for a more comfortable gaming experience. Buy Corsair K57 on Amazon.com | Amazon.in
Best Wireless Mechanical Gaming keyboard
1. Logitech G915
The Logitech G915 is one of the most popular wireless mechanical keyboards on this list. The keyboard features RGB lighting like all the other keyboards on this list, but it looks very classy. Logitech claims that the G915 can last up to 40 hours on a single charge and can be recharged in less than 3 hours.
The company also says that the keyboard is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy for durability. So do I have to stop gaming when the keyboard runs out of charge? Do not worry; Logitech has that covered. You can play and charge the keyboard at the same time when it’s connected via USB. Plus, the keyboard offers low latency of just 1ms for fast gaming sessions. It is available in four different key types – Clicky, Linear, Tactile and Tactile white. Low-profile mechanical switches are an added bonus. If you have the opportunity to test various types of switches before you purchase (e.g. Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Red, etc.), I highly recommend it.
2. RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61
Are you looking for an inexpensive wireless mechanical keyboard? The RK ROYAL KLUDGE RK61 looks to be just that. Priced at $49.99, it is slightly cheaper than any other wireless mechanical keyboard on this list. With the built-in 1450mAh battery, the keyboard lasts about 13 hours with the backlight set to maximum.
However, the keyboard only has 60 mechanical keys, so you have to sacrifice a Numpad and a few other keys. Furthermore, the keyboard can be paired with three devices simultaneously and quickly switch between them. It has nearly everything you would want from a compact keyboard.
3. Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
All gaming accessory lists seem incomplete without Razer. The Razer BlackWidow is a popular wireless mechanical gaming keyboard from the company and the choice of Amazon. There are 3 ways to connect the keyboard – Bluetooth, wireless, and via the Type-C cable.
The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is available with two key switches – green (tactile and clicky) and yellow (linear and quiet). You can also purchase the keyboard with a gaming mouse or wrist rest for an even better gaming experience. The Razer Black Widow V3 Pro is the best wireless gaming keyboard for you if you want the same experience as a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard but without the cord.
4. GameSir GK300
GameSir is pretty good when it comes to making gaming accessories for our PCs. The GameSir GK300 is a budget mechanical keyboard, but it comes with all the modern-day bells and whistles. It features a full RGB backlight array with blue key switches.
Speaking of battery life, GameSir claims that the keyboard can last up to 30 hours with the backlight on medium and 300 hours with the backlight off. You can connect the keyboard to your PC via 2.4Ghz or BlueTooth.
5. Corsair K63
The next wireless mechanical gaming keyboard on the list is the Corsair K63. Just like the Razer, the keyboard can connect via wireless 2.4GHz, Bluetooth, or the traditional wired route. Unique to the Corsair K63 is the 128-bit AES encryption that Corsair uses to protect your keystrokes and prevent personal data.
The keyboard features cherry red mechanical keys and can run for up to 15 hours on a single charge. Corsair software allows you to control various aspects of the keyboard, such as the backlight and more. The only downside to the keyboard is that it does not support RGB lighting.
Best Ergonomic Split Keyboard
1. Cloud Nine C989M
Would you like to play more ergonomically? Then you should take a look at the Cloud Nine C989M. It’s a split keyboard that provides better ergonomics since you can position the keyboard the way you think is more comfortable and easier to use.
This RGB-enabled keyboard features Mx Brown keys and works over USB. There is also a built-in wrist rest to support your wrists while gaming for a longer duration and better ergonomics.
2. KINESIS GAMING Freestyle
The KINESIS Freestyle is an alternative to the Cloud Nine keyboard. While the Cloud Nine keyboard is only available with MX Brown keys, the Freestyle keyboard is available in Mx Blue, MX Red, MX Brown, and MX Silver. This keyboard also connects via USB and features a removable palm rest. Also, the Kinesis can withstand up to 50m clicks, which makes it pretty durable for the price.
Best Gaming Keyboard (Overall) – SteelSeries Apex Pro
Let us say you are looking for the ultimate gaming keyboard. The SteelSeries Apex Pro seems to be the one for you. The company claims that the Apex Pro is the fastest gaming keyboard in the world and is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which should make it one of the most durable keyboards on the market.
Do you know what the most outstanding feature of this keyboard is? It features an OLED display on the keyboard! How cool is that? However, keep in mind that it is a very small display that only shows important gaming information. You get all the standard keys and dedicated multimedia control keys.
The keyboard comes with a large wrist rest bundled with the keyboard to avoid wrist pain during long gaming sessions. You can get this keyboard with red, blue, or brown key switches. There is also an adjustable Omni key switch, which SteelSeries says has an even faster response time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I purchase a gaming keyboard over regular keyboards for gaming?
There are several reasons why you should buy a gaming keyboard for gaming. The main reason is low latency. When latency is important in gaming, the gaming experience will not be pleasant if latency is high. Also, many gaming keyboards have RGB lighting, which improves the overall gaming experience.
Other extra features include macro keys, programmable keys, and more. The specific needs of gaming keyboards make them a perfect option for gamers looking to improve their equipment setup.
Some people will argue that normal keyboards are just as good for gaming purposes due to the fact that they already have all the necessary buttons on them for playing games. However, to get the best experience while playing games, you need a well-designed keyboard with specific features like backlit keys and macro controls.
2. How does a wireless keyboard connect to a PC?
Wireless keyboards are often the choice for gamers because they are not tethered to the PC. In addition, it provides an easier way to use a keyboard in a living room or den while sitting on the couch.
Most wireless keyboards connect via a 2.4 GHz wireless dongle or BlueTooth. Bluetooth-enabled wireless keyboards are better than 2.4 GHz wireless keyboards because of lower latency, lower battery consumption, and higher reliability.
3. Can I use a wireless keyboard on my Smartphone?
Yes, you can actually connect your wireless keyboard to your smartphone. Just turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone, select the keyboard, and you are good to go.
4. Can I turn off RGB lighting on gaming keyboards?
Gaming keyboards often come with RGB lighting, which can be distracting to some people. The good news is that the RGB lights can be turned off depending on the keyboard model. Most keyboard manufacturers offer the option to disable RGB on their keyboards. Here is one example:
1) Press and hold Fn and home key together
2) Scroll down to the option “cooling mode” or “light effect.”
3) Choose between “cooling mode” or “Light Effect.”
4) Hold Fn and press any of the arrow keys up, down, left, right to turn your desired option on or off
5. What are Macro Keys on gaming keyboard?
Macro keys are a set of keyboard keys that allow users to record and playback macros. A macro is a command or series of commands recorded by the user to execute in one keystroke. It allows the player to execute many different actions without using the mouse, saving time and effort.
The macro keys on most gaming keyboards are located at the bottom left and right corners, with the spacebar bar sitting in between them. This is because most games use these two rows of keyboard keys for navigation and other in-game controls, freeing up these other keys for use with macros.
6. What keyboards do pro gamers use?
Gaming keyboards usually have a few extra keys that are commonly used in video games, such as the W, A, S, and D. The keyboards also come with very high-quality and sometimes programmable keys.
There are many different types of keyboards on the market today for various types of pro-gamers. Some pro gamers use mechanical keyboards, while others prefer using membrane keyboards instead. Steelseries Apex Pro that we have mentioned above is one of the most popular keyboards among pro gamers.
7. What brand has the best keyboard for gaming?
The best gaming keyboards are those that provide a lot of customization. As we all know, gaming is an individualized experience, and finding a keyboard that offers the perfect customization for your needs can make a huge difference in gameplay.
Gaming keyboards are a hotly contested accessory market. There is no single brand manufacturing the best gaming keyboard.
Different brands also have different features. Razer’s keyboards are known for their programmable macro keys and Chroma lighting, which is customizable to your favorite colors. Logitech and Corsair both have fully customizable RGB lighting to match your personal preferences. And SteelSeries keyboards offer a simple design with comfort in mind as well as LED backlighting options.
So if you’re looking for a gaming keyboard, it really does depend on what you need from the keyboard – but there are plenty of high-quality options available!
8. What keyboard do Esports pros use?
Every Esports pro-gamer has their own favorite keyboard. But a popular choice is the Razer BlackWidow keyboard which claims to redefine gaming excellence by providing gamers the unfair advantage with a solid range of variations and switches.
9. What keyboard do pro CS:GO gamers use?
A keyboard for CS:GO should have certain features that will make the gaming experience more enjoyable and increase performance.
These features can be:
-Laser-etched keycaps (to reduce wear)
-Anti-ghosting (allows multiple keystrokes to register simultaneously)
-Mechanical keys (actuate faster than rubber dome keyboards)
-Narrow bezel (makes it easier to clean and provides better mouse control)
HyperX Alloy FPS is one of the most popular keyboards for CS:GO pros. The other option is the Logitech G Pro X mechanical keyboard and, of course, the SteelSeries Apex Pro.