To help you find the best gaming keyboards we purchased and tested 15 different models over the course of 20 hours of gaming. As we played all of our favorite games using each keyboard, we looked first and foremost at performance and input lag times. We also considered overall durability, customization and design.
After we tested each gaming keyboard, we started narrowing down our list and picked the Rii RK100+ as the winner of the top spot. With a solid rubber dome design that feels like a mechanical keyboard and high-end performance, the RK100+ consistently propelled us forward during our gaming sessions. Keep reading to learn more about the RK100+ and the other best gaming keyboards we included on our list.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Rii RK100+ is a high performance gaming keyboard with a unique membrane design that operates and feels like a mechanical keyboard. Pair that with its incredible affordability, and it’s easy to see why it occupies our top spot.
Read Full Review: Rii RK100+
The Rii RK100+ is one of the most unique gaming keyboards we tested for this list. For starters, the RK100+ is a membrane keyboard that performs and feels just like a mechanical keyboard with mechanical switches. This allows for greater affordability without sacrificing overall performance. Unfortunately, you won’t get as much versatility with this keyboard as you will with a true mechanical keyboard. You aren’t able to swap out keycaps or switches, but the keyboard’s overall design makes these seem like small inconveniences in comparison.
The Rii wired gaming keyboard features backlit keys with colors in a rainbow pattern. And while you can’t customize key colors, you can cycle the lights through different modes. A simple press of a button switches between on, dimmed and off. We were pleased with the keyboard’s performance as we played games. Response time was snappy and we didn’t notice any lag or latency. We love light up keyboards, which is why we have the best backlit keyboard.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: From one of the most well-known gaming peripheral companies, the Razer Huntsman is one of the most durable and well designed gaming keyboards we tested. The Huntsman also offers the most customization options on our list.
Read Full Review: Razer Huntsman Review
The Razer Huntsman features an aluminum body and one-of-a-kind opto-mechanical switches, making this the most durable keyboard on our list. The Razer Optical switches use light-based actuation to register keystrokes, which is faster by far than traditional mechanical switches. If you need more speed and more responsiveness, you can’t go wrong with the Huntsman.
You also get a ton of customization with this Razer keyboard, more than any other option we tested. You can swap out keycaps, change backlight colors for individual keys and program macros. The Razer Huntsman even features onboard memory so it can retain personalized settings no matter where you use the unit. Make no doubt about it, this is a premium gaming keyboard and it shows. To free up desk space you may want to look into the best keyboard stand.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The PICTEK RGB gaming keyboard is built extremely well at an extra-affordable price, making it the perfect option for anyone on a budget. With a comfortable crater architecture and anti-ghosting support, the PICTEK creates a stellar gaming experience with minimal mistaken key presses.
Read Full Review: PICTEK RGB Gaming Keyboard Review
If you’re on a budget when it comes to purchasing a new gaming keyboard, you can’t go wrong with the PICTEK RGB gaming keyboard. The PICTEK offers strong gaming performance with its anti-ghosting support and extended comfort with an integrated wrist rest and crater architecture. And while this isn’t a mechanical keyboard, it’s still great for gaming and comfortable after long periods of use.
You also get a good amount of customization options with the PICTEK RGB keyboard. It features 5 different backlight modes, including a single solid color, so you can set it to your own preferences with ease. We wish the keyboard had offered some kind of utility software for even great customization, but this works just fine for this keyboard’s price point. You also get a variety of dedicated multimedia keys for easier media control, which is a huge plus. For tablet use, you can read about the best tablet keyboard, which is not for gaming.
Award: Best Mechanical
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Redragon K552 is a mechanical gaming keyboard with several different modes for different applications, as well as a compact and extra-durable design. This keyboard will last you a long time, even through consistent, intense gaming sessions.
Read Full Review: Redragon 552 Review
Like many gaming keyboards, the Redragon K552 is backlit with a variety of bright, LED lights in a rainbow format. The keyboard offers tons of different lighting presets, including falling rain, flying birds and sparkling gems, much to our surprise. This is the most impressive light customization we’ve seen to date on a gaming keyboard, which more than makes up for the keyboard’s lack of individual key customization. The keyboard also offers 8 different gaming modes, including 2 user defined modes so you can always have the best key mapping for your favorite games.
We were also really impressed by the K552’s overall construction and design. It’s one of the more compact gaming keyboards we tested, but it still offers a durable metal frame and mechanical keys that are rated for millions of keystrokes without wearing out. All in all, the Redragon K552 is an excellent addition to our line up of the best gaming keyboards. For your TV needs try the best smart tv keyboard.
During our testing of the best gaming keyboards, we paid close attention to overall performance during gaming sessions of all different varieties. We tested the keyboards during high-octane shooters and slow-paced puzzle games to get a good gauge of how well each unit did its job. During our performance testing, we were mostly looking for fast response times to ensure the keyboard wouldn’t be the cause of any losses.
Of course, we also tested overall ease of use and installation. Plugging a keyboard in and playing shouldn’t be a complicated process. The same is true for customizing your gaming keyboard. The best keyboards for gaming offer easy-to-use utility software so you can easily switch up key mappings and LED backlight colors.
Finally, we considered each keyboard’s durability. Gaming keyboards can be a bit more expensive than standard keyboards, so you’ll want to make sure you get your money’s worth. This often comes in the form of a long-lasting and durable design. Your keyboard is going to get a ton of use, so buying a durable option is a must. Also, will it fit on your desk along with the best mouse pad.
And some are actually decent...
In general, most pro gamers use mechanical keyboards. This is because the switches on mechanical options give you more feedback and generally respond faster, which is crucial for those fast-paced battles. However, rubber dome keyboards are also great for gaming, as long as they’re made with fast response times and durability in mind.
Absolutely! Even though the default keyboard that came with your computer or laptop may seem good enough for gaming (and it probably is, to some extent), keyboards for gaming can take you to a level you hadn’t thought possible before. With faster response times, customization options and long-lasting durability, gaming keyboards are a solid investment for your gaming setup.
For the latest gaming keyboard reviews and advice on what features to look for in the best gaming keyboard, bookmark Gadget Review and check out our expert analysis and gaming accessory reviews. Gaming keyboards are just designed for expert control of all your favorite online gaming – they are also made to be a fashion statement, a fun accessory, and even an aid in improving your gaming life. From Razer and Corsair to Kinesis and Microsoft, Gadget Review will cover all the latest gaming accessories, find out what makes them worthwhile, and clue you in on any important deals. The best gaming products are only a few clicks away!
If you have experience in gaming keyboards, you probably know that they can get dirty quickly, especially when you aren't paying attention. That's why more and more brands are developing materials and surfaces that repeal coffee, soda, and other corrosive materials like never before. Keyboard backlighting is also evolving quickly, with more durable LEDs and more color options than ever before – not to mention all the innovative ways that hot keys are being used these days. For more on the best gaming keyboards, bookmark Gadget Review
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