Which is the best gaming keyboard?
Searching for the best gaming keyboard? These options offer an arsenal of benefits, including programmable macro keys, reactive key switches and snazzy RGB lighting. Recent advances in wireless models also mean you aren’t always tied to your desk either.
Deciding which is the best gaming keyboard for you can be a tricky task though, with every company under the sun offering a variety of products at radically different price points and for various types of player.
Don’t worry though, as we’ve created an in-depth buying guide to explain the differences between each type of model. We’ve also tested all the latest keyboards to offer a comprehensive list of the best currently available in each category.
How we test gaming keyboards
Every keyboard we test is used for at least a week. During that time we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces playing a variety of different genres. These include MOBAs, FPS, strategy and ARPG titles. We’ll also check its software to see how easy it is to customise and setup.
1. Roccat Vulcan 100 Aimo
The best overall keyboard for serious gamers
- Slick mechanical action
- Funky design
- Practically dust and spill-proof
- Strong RGB backlighting
- No wireless support
If you’re serious about gaming and money is plentiful, then we’d recommend the Roccat Vulcan 100 Aimo in a heartbeat. This fantastic keyboard comes with wrist support, while the keys are tall enough to necessitate some kind of support, although any kind of wrist pad you happen to have lying around should work fine.
The metal board boasts a unique skeletal design, premium mechanical construction and RGB backlighting with 16.8 million colours on offer. It’s expensive, sure, but you get what you pay for. And in the case of the Vulcan 100, you get some serious quality and an excellent gaming experience.
- Read our full Roccat Vulcan 100 Aimo review
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2. Logitech G213 Prodigy
The very best gaming keyboard you can buy for under £50
- Great value for money
- RGB lighting looks great
- Excellent for gaming
- Not mechanical
- A little chunky
- No USB passthrough
If you’re on a strict budget then the Logitech G213 Prodigy is a great gaming keyboard that offers spectacular value for money.
It aims to offer buyers a number of key features traditionally only seen on significantly more expensive boards. Highlights include fully RGB backlit keys, dedicated media controls and endless software customisation.
Its membrane switches – which Logitech has ‘tuned’ for gaming – aren’t quite as responsive as fully mechanical keys, but they’re more than good enough for most gamers and a significant step up on most regular keyboards.
All-in-all, although professionals will miss mechanical keys, it’s unlikely that you’ll find better for less than £50.
- Read our full Logitech G213 Prodigy review
3. Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile
The fastest mechanical gaming keyboard we’ve tested
- Fast, reliable, snappy typing
- Smart, slick physical design
- Plenty of extra features
- Reliable build quality
- Slightly different feel to full-height keys
- Flimsy wrist-rest
- Uses slow USB 2
The Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile is one of the best keyboards we’ve tested recently, offering low-profile and super-quick Cherry MX Speed switches, which depress more fully and actuate more quickly than other Cherry MX switch types, and are quieter than full-height keys to boot.
Indeed, it’s the fastest gaming keyboard with mechanical switches we’ve seen. As the Corsair K70 Rapidfire switches are mechanical and don’t feature laser actuation systems, like the Razer Huntsman Elite and HP Omen Sequencer, it’s not quite as quick off the mark as its rivals here.
But, the speed difference is marginal and in terms of price, the Corsair K70 Rapidfire is a good, cheaper alternative to the Razer Huntsman Elite. Media controls, RGB lighting options that you can control with Corsair’s iCue application, and sync with other Corsair gear, like the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless, and great overall build quality make the K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile a very attractive proposition.
- Read our full Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile review
4. Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate
This minimalist keyboard is an absolute dream for touch typists
- Satisfying tactile feel to keys
- Sleek, minimalist design
- 2 USB 3.0 ports
- Touch typing requirement may alienate some users
‘Think you’re a pro gamer, huh? Why don’t you PROVE it?!’ That’s what the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate all but screams at you.
The idea behind blank keyboards like the Keyboard 4 Ultimate is that you’re so on it with your keyboard shortcuts and commands, you don’t need to look to see where your WASD keys are. You instinctively know, because your muscle memory and typing accuracy is that good.
Besides being a keyboard for touch typers only, how does the Das Keyboard Ultimate 4 fare? Pretty well – the Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches give you a firm and fast typing experience. There’s no key wobble at all and those switches practically fire the keys back at you, allowing you to build up a serious head of steam. NKRO support means that should you ever scramble to execute proper key combos during heated matches, the Keyboard 4 Ultimate should help out when you falter.
True to its minimalist, no-nonsense approach, the Das Keyboard Ultimate 4 doesn’t support RGB lighting. Because, of course, if you’re a proper gamer, you’re not interested in such frivolities.
The good news is, as well as this all-black, no letters keyboard, there’s also a more forgiving Professional edition, which is exactly the same, except for there’s all the lettering and marking you’d expect. So if you wanted to buy that instead of the proper, hardcore version, you could. We won’t tell anyone, we promise…
- Read our full Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate review
5. Logitech G413
Looking for a cheap gaming keyboard? This is the best option for under £100
- Attractive design
- Quality key switches
- USB passthrough is useful
- Single-colour backlighting
- No dedicated macro keys
The Logitech G413 was the best £100 keyboard when we reviewed it back in 2017. Remarkably it’s still on sale now, but for around the £50-£60 mark. If you want to snap up a bargain, you’ll need to hurry.
The Logitech G413 ticks all the boxes for a keyboard that’s going to be used for both work and play, and its attractive design means it won’t look out of place in a more subtle desk setup, either.
The full-size ‘board uses Logitech’s Romer-G switches. No, they’re not Cherry MX switches, but the mix of tactile feedback and relatively quiet performance means you can fire away nicely without giving your colleagues/flatmates too much grief.
There’s a USB passthrough for peripherals, which isn’t always a given at this price, and Logitech’s Gaming Software is fairly basic but gets the job done as far as macros go. Our only slight reservation are the single-colour backlights; we’re not fans of the bright red on the black model, but that’s down to personal taste. All in all, Logitech’s latest mid-range gamer is a mighty success.
- Read our full Logitech G413 review
6. Corsair K63 Wireless
One of the best keyboards for those who want to game in the living room
- Ideal for gaming
- Strong and sturdy build
- Responsive switches
- Plenty of media controls
- Only one key-switch option
- No RGB lighting
- Flimsy wrist-rest
- Lacks lighting synchronisation
If you’re a lounge PC gamer looking to enjoy the benefits of a proper gaming keyboard, you’ll struggle to do better than the Corsair K63 Wireless.
Bluetooth connectivity means it will work with pretty much any device without the need to free up a separate USB port.
It’s also no slowpoke with regards to performance, coming loaded with Cherry Red MX switches and a lightning-fast 1ms response time in 2.4GHz mode.
If you’re after an all-in-one mouse and keyboard setup similar to the Razer Turret, the K63 Wireless is also compatible with Corsair’s Lapboard, which can be used to create an entirely wire-free gaming experience from your couch.
The only potential downside is its lack of RGB lighting, which will put off some flashier gamers.
- Read our full Corsair K63 Wireless review
7. Razer Huntsman Elite
One of the most flashy and stylish gaming keyboards around
- Great mechanical action for both typing and gaming
- Comfortable wrist-rest
- Easy to clean
- So many lights. So. Many. Lights.
- No USB passthrough
- No macros
- Requires two USB ports
It’s all about style with the Razer Huntsman Elite, blinged out with more lights than a Christmas tree and featuring a wrist-rest that ensures comfort for long stretches of typing or gaming.
Of course, the Huntsman Elite has the performance to match the looks too. The keys are almost just as satisfyingly clicky as MX Cherry Blue switches with near-instant actuation that should no doubt please FPS fans.
If you’re not bothered about the absent macros keys and the fact that it requires two USB ports, the Hunstman is one of the best no-nonsense keyboards out there. Just bear in mind that you’re paying a premium for those flashy looks.
- Read our full Razer Huntsman Elite review
8. Roccat Suora FX
A fully customisable gaming keyboard that offers a premium experience
- Individual RGB lighting
- No gaps to collect debris
- Smart software
- Fast mechanical keys
- No palm-rest
With pretty much all the same advantages as the Vulcan 100 Aimo, the Roccat Suora FX features virtually everything you’d want from a gaming keyboard. The mechanical keys are super springy, ultra responsive and can withstand a bashing no matter how foul your temper.
If you’re of the opinion that WASD needs a shake up, you’re free to change the function of any of the keys on the Suora FX too. The customisation doesn’t stop there either, as you can play around with the individual key lights with over 16.8 million colours to choose from. You can even create custom presets if you fancy switching up the light show between games.
The only significant difference between the two Roccat keyboards is the design, with the Aimo sporting a more skeletal finish. But if you’re not too fussed about that, then opting for the Suora FX instead could save you around £30.
- Read our full Roccat Suora FX review
9. Asus ROG Claymore
A luxury gaming keyboard for those who aren’t afraid to flash the cash
- Quality metal body
- Wide choice of switches
- Aura Sync RGB lighting
- Compact design
- High price
- No USB passthrough or wrist rest
- Number pad can come loose
The Asus ROG Claymore sits at the luxury end of our round-up, and it is an essential entry here.
It’s a beautiful thing, with a robust plastic and metal build, lack of bezel around the edge and fancy RGB lighting that can sync up with Asus Aura motherboards and graphics cards. There are some features missing, including both a wrist rest and USB passthrough, which are surprising omissions given the price.
There’s a wide variety of Cherry MX switches available, so gamers of all stripes should at least consider the Claymore.
- Read our full Asus ROG Claymore review
10. SteelSeries Apex M500
A great value mechanical keyboard for eSport gamers
- Excellent typing experience
- Smart, solid design
- Intuitive software
- No USB passthrough or wrist-rest
- Only CherryMX Red available
The SteelSeries Apex M500 is one of the more basic mechanical keyboards around, but it does its job well and looks great.
It includes proper CherryMX switches, a robust design and stylish blue backlighting, along with excellent customisation software.
It doesn’t have a passthrough or any of the macro keys you’d get from more advanced keyboards, which is something to take into account if you value gaming-specific extras.
You don’t have to spend too much more to find yourself at one of the other keyboards on this list, but if you don’t care about extra features, there’s not much point in spending an awful lot more.
- Read our full SteelSeries Apex M500 review
11. HyperX Alloy FPS
A simple and cheap gaming keyboard with proper Cherry MX key switches
- Proper Cherry MX key switches
- Customisable red backlighting
- Great build quality and compact design
- Textured replacement keycaps
- MX Blue switches are noisy
- No software or profiles
- No RGB lighting
The HyperX Alloy FPS is HyperX’s first attempt at a gaming keyboard, and it’s a solid first effort. It’s also an old model from late 2017 – which means it’s now available for less than the original £100 RRP, but stock is low.
There’s no denying it’s a basic keyboard, but there’s a lot to like. The nearly bezel-less design means it won’t take up much space on your desk while still having enough room for a number pad.
Elsewhere, it’s a fairly basic keyboard with single-colour red key backlighting and no extra buttons for macros or media. But in this case, simplicity is its strength, and means it doesn’t cost the earth, either.
The braided USB cable is removable and it comes with a drawstring bag for easy LAN party transportation. There’s also a USB port from which you can charge devices, such as a smartphone.
You get spare key caps in the box for the WASD and 1234 keys for extra grip when gaming. It’s mostly superficial, but it looks good.
A basic keyboard, but the Alloy FPS is a decent deal, and as prices come down it’ll get even better.
- Read our full HyperX Alloy FPS review
What is a mechanical keyboard?
Mechanical switches are very different to the switches you’ll find on cheaper keyboards. They provide much better feedback and a more satisfying action. They’re not for everybody, though, so it’s worth trying before you buy.
One of the most confusing elements of a mechanical keyboard are the colour-coded Cherry switches, which you’ll find on most brands. There are a few exceptions, however – some keyboard manufacturers, such as Razer and Logitech, have their own custom mechanical switches.
Related: The ultimate gaming PC build guide
Cherry manufactures six distinct types of MX keyboard switch, named after colours.
Blue and Green switches are similar. Blue switches give a tactile click the moment the button becomes activated, meaning you get instant feedback for every keystroke, which is very satisfying. Green switches are similar, but require more force than the Blue switches to activate. These are fantastic for typing but are exceptionally loud – so if you’re in a shared workspace, or have thin walls, then they’re best avoided.
MX Brown switches are similar to Blues but the tactile click is far less pronounced. They’re also less noisy than their Blue and Green siblings, feeling more like a bump than a click. MX Clear have a less pronounced click than the Brown switches, and require less force to activate. These switches are a good middle-ground for gamers who also type a lot.
MX Red switches have no tactile click and instead have an extremely smooth keystroke all the way to the bottom of the board. These are the most common switches on gaming keyboards due to their exceptionally easy and quick operation. They’re less comfortable for long periods of typing, and the lack of feedback can prove discomforting for some. MX Black switches are very similar to Reds but require more force to activate.
Finally, there are the new MX Speed switches, which have a very small actuation point of just 1.2mm.
Descriptions are all well and good, but you really need to try them out to determine which is best for you. You can buy MX switch samplers, although these cost in excess of £10, so you should probably try your local PC store first and get them to unbox some for you.
Since Cherry MX switches are interchangeable (usually not by the buyer), many of the keyboards on this list will offer multiple specifications with different MX switches.
Non-Cherry keyboards are becoming more common, with the likes of Logitech and Razer choosing to ship keyboards with their own custom switches. As you’ll see below, Cherry still dominates the list but alternatives are becoming more popular.
Many gaming keyboards also have extras that set them apart from the crowd. For example, some will come with USB passthroughs, meaning you can hook up USB peripherals to your keyboard directly, without having to plug them into your PC.
Some will also come with extra buttons for gaming shortcuts, which can be programmed through software that you can download from the manufacturer’s website.
You should also look out for coloured backlighting. Some keyboards will ship with a single colour, others will offer customisation options. This will no doubt add to the cost, and if you don’t like garish flashing lights, then you’re better off steering clear.