2.6 C
Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Best Gaming Keyboards of 2023

Must read

A good gaming keyboard is often the difference between a win and a loss, which is why we picked the Corsair K70 RGB Pro as the best overall gaming keyboard of 2023. But there are tons of other great options to help you up your K/D. Click here to jump to detailed looks at the best gaming keyboards, or check out our list below:

TL;DR – These are the Best Gaming Keyboards:

You’ve invested in a solid gaming PC, and now it’s time to grab the rest of the peripherals to ensure you get a leg up on your opponents. You might opt to use a controller some of the time, but a gaming mouse and a good keyboard are essential to a proper PC gaming setup. A good chunk of your time will be spent using a keyboard. From the ease with which you can type on it to its split-second responsiveness, the best gaming keyboard offers a well-rounded experience that lives up to its role as a centerpiece in your gaming setup.

But, gaming keyboards come in all shapes and sizes, and your needs can play a huge role in which keyboard ends up being the right one for you. A wireless gaming keyboard might give you more flexibility with your setup and a tidier desk space, but a high-end wired keyboard might tote a better feature set and avoid the fuss of recharging. Some prefer a clicky mechanical keyboard offering a consistent experience and enjoyable feel, but you might prefer something quieter — and cheaper — like a membrane keyboard if you share a living space.

All of these factors go into making a keyboard that's not just great on its own but also great for you. We've tested a wide range of keyboards, figuring out which truly stand out as champs in different categories. Below are all the keyboards worth your consideration, so you can find the best fit for the ultimate gaming setup you desire – and click here to see them in the UK.

Best Gaming Keyboards

Corsair K70 RGB Pro

Best Gaming Keyboard

Corsair K70 RGB ProCorsair K70 RGB Pro

The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is an updated version of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2, and it’s ready to take on all of the intense action in your favorite games. This wired gaming keyboard comes geared up with optical-mechanical switches, ensuring speedier actuation and a longer lifespan than traditional mechanical switches. That means you’ll have a competitive edge, while a polling rate up to 8,000Hz and super low latency let you go even further.

Naturally, the Corsair K70 RGB Pro offers all the other features you’d expect in a quality gaming keyboard, including anti-ghosting and N-Key Rollover for accurate inputs and dedicated media keys to quickly dial in the volume or skip a track. There’s even 8MB of onboard memory, letting you store up to 50 profiles to take your custom keymaps and macros on the go. It doesn’t miss out of style points either, thanks to per-key RGB lighting that shines through the reliable double-shot PBT keycaps

SteelSeries Apex 5

Best Budget Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries Apex 5SteelSeries Apex 5

Sure, you can get cheaper keyboards than the SteelSeries Apex 5, and you can even get cheaper mechanical ones, but the quality compared to price make it the best budget option. SteelSeries uses hybrid switches in this design, which offer a similar tactile feel to mechanical switches and the smoothness of membrane switches while saving on the cost. Those keys are housed in a sturdy aluminum frame built to last.

By keeping the price of the switches low, SteelSeries manages to offer some great value everywhere else. You get a magnetic wrist rest, full RGB lighting that you can customize on a per-key basis, an OLED screen to display game info and messages, and dedicated media controls. All of that is housed in a sturdy aluminum frame built to last. You won't find many other keyboards offering this much for under $100, which is why it's the best cheap gaming keyboard money can buy.

Roccat Vulcan II Max

Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Roccat Vulcan II MaxRoccat Vulcan II Max

Roccat’s Vulcan II Max is a standout in both looks and functionality. You get Titan II Optical Mechanical switches for long-lasting durability and incredibly-fast actuation to give you a leg up on opponents. The keys are remappable, and you can make custom macros, storing up to four profiles on the keyboard. There’s even a button duplicator technology called Easy-Shift+ to make it simple to swap key functions.

To say that the Vulcan II Max is stunning would be a gross understatement because rather than having keycaps that cover up the key switches, this keyboard only has keycaps over the top of the key, leaving the rest exposed. Therefore, the keys look like they’re just floating above clear switch housings full of RGB lighting, like some sort of cyber-age typewriter. It doesn’t stop there, as the translucent wrist rest further illuminates the keyboard, while 24 programmable dual-function keys offer dedicated LEDs to specify when using the secondary function.

Razer Ornata V3

Best Membrane-Mechanical Hybrid Gaming Keyboard

Razer Ornata V3Razer Ornata V3

A quality option for gamers on a budget is the Razer Ornata V3, thanks to its membrane-mechanical hybrid switches that help keep the costs low while still providing a tactile, pleasant user experience. That switch combo offers the feel of a mechanical keyboard with its snappy feedback while each keystroke remains accurate and smooth, like your average keyboard.

Beyond those hybrid switches, you’ll find the Razer Ornata V3 makes some changes to its predecessor, the Ornata V2, by offering slightly lower-profile keys for a more ergonomic typing experience that may also help with quicker actuation. All the keys are also fully programable with durable fade-resistant caps, and dedicated media controls are on board which is surprisingly handy once you get used to it. Plus, it’s a Razer keyboard, so there's no shortage of RGB LEDs to make it shine.

Roccat Magma

Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard

Roccat MagmaRoccat Magma

Roccat has really spiced up the budget-keyboard market with the Roccat Magma. The price is kept down by the membrane key switches that are quiet, yet responsive and reliable. However, the light shines up through each keycap to clearly illuminate the board. And, given the Magma name, you get a hint at the effects in store from this keyboard. Roccat has built it around a semi-transparent top plate that lets the five-zone RGB lighting glow through almost the entire top surface of the keyboard. So, if you go red and orange, it’ll look like magma.

While the Roccat Magma lacks dedicated multimedia keys and macro keys, Roccat has put some extra control right at your fingertips while gaming. With the Easy-Shift button, you can map a number of secondary inputs to a bunch of keys in the WASD area, where your hand will typically sit while gaming. You also get a palm rest for ultimate comfort during gaming marathons. All that for $60 feels like a pretty good deal.

Asus ROG Azoth

Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard

Asus ROG AzothAsus ROG Azoth

For an exceptional high-end gaming keyboard that untethers you from your computer, the Asus ROG Azoth is a hard-to-beat wireless option. A USB dongle connects to your computer, letting you use ROG’s SpeedNova wireless technology for a keyboard that feels as responsive and reliable as its wired counterparts. You also get multi-host Bluetooth, making it easy to switch between gaming on your phone, tablet, or computer, and a wired USB connection is available. The 2,000 hours of battery life with RGB and the OLED screen disabled also ensures you can game for a long time before charging up.

The Asus ROG Azoth’s frame is built using aluminum and steel, while the keycaps are made from PBT plastic, making for a sturdy and durable keyboard with a premium feel. Pre-lubed mechanical ROG NX switches are under those keycaps for smooth actuation and satisfying sound. Keyboard enthusiasts will especially appreciate the lube kit it comes with. The keyboard’s switches are hot-swappable, while Asus’ software lets you customize all the keys along with record and assign macros. You can also program lighting effects and adjust the settings of the handy OLED screen.

Logitech G Pro X

Best Tenkeyless Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G Pro XLogitech G Pro X

Tenkeyless gaming keyboards are a great option for gamers who don't need a numeric keypad or have a lot of desk space, or simply want to play with their hands closer together. The Logitech G Pro X is a stand-out option in its class in part thanks to its detachable key switches. This allows you to install a mix of clicky, tactile, or linear switches anywhere you please—even on the arrow keys. You can even customize commands for the F1-F12 keys. And, all the keys shine with the programable RGB lighting, which can be used to highlight important keys or add a bit of flair to a live stream.

Beyond the astounding level of customizability, the Logitech G Pro X keyboard is built like a tank. This keyboard is meant to tote along to gaming events with its fully detachable cable and inner steel frame. Stable feet with three angles to choose from let you find the ultimate position to annihilate your opponents. All the while, you don't have to worry about banging this keyboard up on your way to LAN parties and tournaments.

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless

Best Wireless Gaming Tenkeyless Keyboard

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL WirelessSteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless

If you’re looking to live a tether-free life with a tenkeyless keyboard for more portability or extra desk space, then the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless is the way to go. Going with this compact mechanical keyboard doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice functionality, as you get mechanical switches with a near-instantaneous response and an adjustable actuation distance. You can even program two actions to a single key, which is then registered based on the pressure you place on the key.

It’s simple to use the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless thanks to a wireless dongle for a lag-free, reliable connection to your PC or laptop. Bluetooth support makes for an easy connection to your phone or tablet to get in some mobile gaming, too. Speaking of mobile, this keyboard is ready for travel, as it’s built with a durable aluminum alloy frame. And somehow, SteelSeries squeezes in RGB lighting and an OLED display to show vital information, like GPU stats and gaming profiles.

Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Best Customizable Gaming Keyboard

Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming KeyboardGlorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Most gaming keyboards have you choose between a single key switch and live with it for the rest of your peripherals life. However, the Glorious Modular Mechanical Gaming Keyboard — or Glorious GMMK for short — is one of the few that lets you swap out your mechanical keys whenever and however you like. This keyboard may only come with Gateron Brown switches, but you can easily swap any of them out for Cherry, Kailh, or other types of Gateron switches.

The Glorious GMMK features hot-swap bays under each key switch, making replacing them as easy as adding a custom keycap set. Aside from not having to disassemble or solder anything, the easy swap capacity of this keyboard also lets you mix and match different types of key switches right next to each other. These keys live on a strong platform with full LED backlighting and an aluminum faceplate. You even get full macro programing on all the keys to take the customizations one step further.

Razer Huntsman V2

Best Optical Gaming Keyboard

Razer Huntsman V2Razer Huntsman V2

So, you're looking for a gaming keyboard because you want to go fast and get a competitive edge? Mechanical keyboards are a strong start, but the Razer Huntsman V2 lets you go even further with optical switches and an 8,000Hz polling rate. By using optical key switches, Razer avoids one of the main things slowing traditional mechanical keyboards down: debounce. Debounce can add a few milliseconds of delay to a mechanical switch registering an input, and in competitive games, every millisecond counts. Instead, the Huntsman offers two optical switch options; clicky for a snappy response and satisfying sound or linear for a quieter and smoother typing experience.

Of course, the Razer Huntsman V2 goes well beyond having technically excellent switches. It offers up a solid design that looks dazzling on your desk with custom RGB lighting options for each key. You’ll find a comfortable plush wrist rest on deck as well, though it attaches with magnets, so you can easily add or remove it as you please. There’s even enough onboard memory to store up to five profiles, and you’ll be able to make quick adjustments to your audio with dedicated media controls.

Corsair K100 RGB

Best High-End Gaming Keyboard

Corsair K100 RGBCorsair K100 RGB

Corsair knows how to make a gaming keyboard with all the high-end features you could ever want. The Corsair K100 RGB continues that tradition, bringing you the best performance possible. Rather than your typical 1,000Hz polling rate seen in the majority of gaming keyboards, Corsair bummed its polling rate up to 4,000Hz. This means you’re in for unmatched responsiveness with virtually no lag, giving you a big leg up in AAA games. The powerful onboard processor also ensures all of your inputs are registered even when you’re taking advantage of the full, per-key RGB lighting.

The Corsair K100 RGB offers up two switch options; Cherry MX Speed RGB Silver switches or Corsair's own optical-mechanical switches. In either case, you're getting a fast performance. There are also dedicated media controls, macro buttons, and special integration with Elgato Stream Deck. A USB passthrough offers the perfect spot to plug in your mouse, and a plush wrist magnetically attaches to the keyboard, giving your palms that extra bit of luxury.

Wooting two HE

Best Analog Gaming Keyboard

Wooting two HEWooting two HE

Optical keyboards are cool and all, but if you want to go in the opposite direction with a solid analog keyboard for insanely smooth gameplay, look no further than the Wooting two HE. With it, you get all the analog precision and control you love, but in the form factor of a keyboard. You can carefully adjust your moving speed in a stealth game, turn rate in racing games, or how far you lean in a first-person shooter. The whole system simulates the analog control of a gamepad without the need for an actual controller.

The Wooting two HE’s analog keys register inputs as fast as possible, and everything is completely customizable. With the Lekker switches, small magnets are used to sense presses between 0.1mm and 4mm. The slightest touch can be registered, but through Wooting’s intuitive software, you can set the actuation point of each key. You’ve even got the power to remap the keys to function as a gamepad. It’s important to note that though this keyboard is loaded with functionality, it's a fairly niche product, so don't expect all PC games to support it.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

Most Customizable Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries Apex ProSteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is a unique entry into the gaming keyboard world. Instead of using mechanical or optical elements, it uses SteelSeries’ proprietary OmniPoint switches. With this technology, magnetic fields can track the position of each key and essentially tell how far you've pressed down, which in turn allows you to set the actuation distance of every key. That includes your main WASD keys and the other important letters surrounding it to the seldom-used arrow keys. At 0.4mm, each key can act as a hair-trigger, meanwhile, you can set 3.6mm as the longest actuation distance if you find yourself bottoming out all the time.

Fancy key switch tech aside, the Apex Pro is a responsive, well-designed keyboard made of sturdy aluminum to withstand all your wild tapping. At the top right, there's an informative OLED screen, which you can use for changing profiles and settings. Speaking of profiles, five can be stored onboard. Dedicated media controls also make for easy adjustments to audio, while customizable RGB lighting makes this keyboard shine.

Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

Best Ergonomic Gaming Keyboard

Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGBKinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

PC Gaming can be hard on your hands, and RSI is a terrible thing to experience. If you've ever felt fatigued or pain while playing, take a break and consider getting an ergonomic gaming keyboard like the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB. It's split into two parts to let your hands naturally sit at an angle rather than parallel with one another. Additionally, if the keyboard feels too flat with your table to comfortably use, you can also buy an optional $30 lift kit that raises the keyboard halves at 5, 10, and 15-degree angles.

Ergonomics aside, the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB is still a full-on gaming keyboard with your choice of either Brown, Blue, Red or Silver Cherry MX mechanical switches for reliable and responsive keys. You also get fully programmable macros — up to three macros on any key— and can store profiles on board. To make this keyboard really shine, there is even per-key RGB illumination.

Razer Turret

Best Couch Gaming Keyboard

Razer TurretRazer Turret

Gaming PCs aren’t the only devices that let you game with a keyboard and mouse, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One both support them, so you can ditch the controller every once in a while. The Razer Turret has been designed specifically for Xbox — it’ll also work with any PC, too— and ultimate couch gaming. On its underside, the keyboard features a soft, waxy material that helps prevent it from sliding around on your lap. On the right side, you can pull out a mousepad tray that’s also slightly magnetized, so the included gaming mouse won’t slip off.

Since it’s meant for couch gaming, the Razer Turret is a wireless keyboard, so you won’t be limited to where you can play. A 2.4 GHz dongle just plugs into your Xbox or your PC, and you should be off to the races with a reliable and low latency connection. Razer’s fantastically clicky Green switches and fun RGB lighting round out this smartly designed keyboard for Xbox and PC gaming on a couch.

Where to Get the Best Gaming Keyboard in the UK

Completing your set up with the perfect gaming keyboard could be one of the most important steps. Thankfully, those in the UK have plenty of brilliant keyboards to choose from, as the vast majority included in the article are also available from select retailers.

K70 RGB MK.2CorsairK70 RGB MK.2 Best Gaming Keyboard£109.00Apex 5SteelSeries Apex 5 Best Budget Gaming Keyboard£109.09Vulcan 121 AimoRoccatVulcan 121 Aimo Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard£128.29Ornata V2RazerOrnata V2 Best Membrane-Mechanical Hybrid Gaming Keyboard£72.99MagmaRoccat Magma Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard£41.99G915Logitech G915 Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard£159.99K63 WirelessCorsairK63 Wireless Best Wireless Gaming Tenkeyless Keyboard£152.32Huntsman V2RazerHuntsman V2 Best Optical Gaming Keyboard£200.11K100 RGBCorsairK100 RGB Best High-End Gaming Keyboard£199.98Apex ProSteelSeries Apex Pro Most Customizable Gaming Keyboard£199.04MK850Cooler Master MK850 £366.43

What to look for in a Gaming Keyboard

Before you even start looking at gaming keyboards, you should consider what type of key switch you want, after all, you’ll be typing and gaming with this peripheral every day.

When it comes to key switches there are two major types: membrane and mechanical.

Membrane keyboards employ a rubber or silicon dome at the end of every key press to register a keystroke and provide the user with a small amount of tactile feedback. Due to the simplicity of a membrane keyboard, they usually are more affordable than mechanical keyboards, so they're suitable for users on a budget. On the flip side though, the rubber or silicon used as a membrane will inevitably break down faster than a mechanical switch.

Mechanical key switches are known for delivering a much stronger and more satisfying amount of feedback. Unlike membrane switches, this type involves many more components including a stem, spring, and metal contact leaves, the last of which is what actually registers a keystroke.

There’s a wide variety of mechanical key switches to choose from, so we’ll start by looking at the most common ones available, Cherry MX.

  • Cherry MX Red: Linear action that delivers fast actuation with very little tactile feedback.
  • Cherry MX Black: Cherry’s other linear switch that offers a bit more resistance.
  • Cherry MX Silver: Otherwise known as Cherry MX Speed, this type of key switch offers linear action with a shorter actuation height and lower resistance than a Cherry MX Red.
  • Cherry MX Brown: This type of switch actuates with a tactile bump for a noticeable amount of force feedback.
  • Cherry MX Blue: Actuates with an even greater amount of tactile feedback and an audible click.

At this point though almost every major gaming hardware maker has moved on to developing its own key switches including Razer, Logitech, SteelSeries, Cooler Master, and Roccat. All these companies have developed their own keyboard switches designed specifically for gaming. They all have varying actuation force and points as well as a distinct travel distance. For the most part, all of these unique key switches all act like variations of Cherry MX switches usually with shorter debounce rates that make them feel faster.

Another thing to consider about gaming keyboards is the height of your keycaps. For the most part, keyboards use full-sized or regular height keycaps, which sort of require you to curl your fingers over to reach the top of the keys. Mid-height keycaps like on the Razer Ornata give you a slightly more relaxed typing experience. Lastly, low-profile keycaps as found on the Logitech G915 or Corsair K70 MK.2 Low Profile are perfect for users who prefer to have their fingers hovering over their keys like they would on a gaming laptop.

Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

- Advertisement -

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article