Buying the right gaming keyboard for your PC or console can give you an edge over your competitors and make gaming more fun. But how do you know you’re getting the best? With specs like high polling rates and variable actuation points – and with prices all over the place – the gaming keyboard realm isn’t the easiest nut to crack.
Whether you’re a seasoned PC gaming vet, or shopping for your first gaming keyboard, we’ve rounded up the best mechanical gaming keyboards currently available, each offering a wealth of keycap customization options. If you love tinkering with tech, some of our keyboard picks are compatible with aftermarket parts, allowing budding modders to replace switches with relative ease.
best gaming keyboard
Wooting 60 HE And 2 Maha These are exceptional gaming keyboards that offer excellent build quality with some unique features that you won’t find from other models at this price point. While there are some similarities between the two models, size isn’t one of them; The 60HE is a smaller 60% keyboard that strips away the arrow keys, number pad, and function keys, while the 2HE is a full-sized model.
Both keyboards have a layer of sound-dampening foam to reduce the audible “pinging” sound you get while typing, which you won’t find in most keyboards at this price. I also like that Wooting uses durable PBT keycaps, as they stay looking good after prolonged use compared to their cheaper ABS counterparts. While some may scoff at the lack of dedicated media controls for adjusting volume or skipping music tracks, they make up for it with RGB lighting, a detachable USB-C cable connection, and one interesting inclusion: magnets.
Wooting keyboards use magnets to activate Hall effect sensors with the company’s Lekker switches. Compared to a standard mechanical switch that can only exist in two states (on or off), each Lekker switch is completely analog, allowing you to assign a different input depending on how far the key is pressed . This is done within the browser-based utility software.
For example, you can register an action to be triggered with a gentle press of a key, while a slightly harder push may execute a different command. Additionally, the Lekker switches reset the moment you release them, allowing you to quickly change directions while strafing. These features help the 60 HE feel more responsive to your input than other keyboards.
Unlike other options on this list, there may be a bit of a wait to buy the Wooting keyboard; Orders are fulfilled on a first come first serve basis. At the time of writing, the 2HE and 60HE are available for purchase on backorder, with the 60HE expected to be in stock by the end of June, and the 2HE coming a little later in early July.
We have another recommendation if you like the concept of keys with customizable actuation points, but would prefer something a little less expensive. it is steel series apex pro miniWhich is usually available for around $140.
Like the Wooting model, the Apex Pro Mini has durable, wear-resistant PBT keycaps, and the keys aren’t unreasonably loud to press, even though this keyboard lacks sound-deadening foam. SteelSeries’ own OmniPoint switches provide multiple actuation points per key that can be mapped to different inputs using the SteelSeries Engine software. One minor gripe is that it lacks the quick reset functionality found with the Lekker switches, but I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Apex Pro Mini is also available as a wireless model. That keyboard originally cost $240, but it’s now not uncommon to find the Apex Pro Mini Wireless for closer to $180. The wireless version retains all the same functionality as its wired counterpart, but can be paired with devices via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz connection. It includes a detachable USB-C cable used for charging, as a third method of connectivity if wireless isn’t what you want at the moment.
We wanted to include a no-compromise keyboard here, and it is Asus ROG Azoth, It’s a chunky but compact 75% keyboard, so it includes arrow keys and a function row, plus some page navigation keys to its right. It’s pricey compared to other similarly sized models (currently $226 on Amazon), but we think the price is worth it, as using it feels like typing on a professionally modified keyboard.
The ROG Azoth can be plugged in via USB-C, or paired wirelessly over Bluetooth or with the included 2.4GHz wireless dongle. One of the keyboard’s most notable exterior features is the tiny OLED screen built into the top right corner. By default, the screen is programmed to show an animated GIF, but it can also display system metrics and custom images. It’s mostly cosmetic, but useful in some cases, such as showing a low battery warning.
Next to the OLED screen, there’s a small switch that’s set to control media playback by default. Sure, it’s not quite as nice as the huge dials offered by some other keyboards, but I like that it provides excellent haptic feedback, with a satisfying click when you press it up or down.
Like the best keyboards on our list, the ROG Azoth is equipped with sound-dampening foam. It one-ups the competition with pre-lubed switches, which means every key feels and feels great to type on. This keyboard is available in configurations with linear, tactile or clicky switches. Uniquely, it has a hot-swap PCB, so you can take it apart to put in your own switch. The Azoth comes packed with tools for taking it apart and lubing up more switches, which are small but nice touches that help it earn its high price.
We think $250 (or even a slightly discounted price) is a lot to spend on a keyboard, especially when there are some full-size keyboards available for less. However, if you’re looking for a premium typing experience and deep customization, then look no further than the ROG Azoth.
cheapest gaming keyboard
Keycron V1 QMK The best affordable gaming keyboard out there, offering a ton of features for under $100. Sure, you can go to Amazon and find gaming keyboards for less than $50 if you’re strapped for cash. However, none of them that we have used so far can match the design, features and compatibility of the Keychron V1.
The V1 starts at $84, but there are a variety of configurations that offer different switches, case options, and an optional multifunction dial. Importantly, none of them break the $100 mark. If Amazon doesn’t have the specific configuration you’re looking for, the Keychron storefront likely will. Keychron usually develops its keyboards assuming that you are going to modify them at some point. To this end, the cables, switches, keycaps, and even the case can be replaced with aftermarket parts to create something truly bespoke.
For this price, I love that the V1 QMK includes sound-dampening foam in the case, and has screw-in stabilizers, which are more stable than their clip-in counterparts (not to mention the fact that They make it easy to tweak hardware quickly).
The V1 features customizable e RGB lighting and a knob that can be used to control media playback. Those features, as well as all keys, can be remapped to other functions using Keycron’s web-based VIA software.
The V1 QMK doesn’t market itself directly to gamers like other brands, but don’t confuse its bland aesthetic for something basic; This unit matches many of the features you’ll find on more expensive models. If you’re looking for a reliable keyboard that won’t break the bank, it’s hard to go wrong with the V1, especially if you’re looking to replace a mechanical keyboard or build your own.
Best Full Size Gaming Keyboard
razer blackwidow v4 pro A full-sized gaming keyboard with a powerful suite of features and curb appeal. I would simply run out of breath if I had to list everything that is involved. There’s a dedicated media playback button, a volume wheel, five dedicated macro keys and a multifunction dial paired with three additional buttons on the side of the keyboard.
Unlike keyboards from most other brands, Razer’s only come with the company’s own switches. On top of that, you can choose between linear or clicky switches. You can customize each key to your liking, but their built-in switches can’t be modified.
That said, I’m happy to stick with Razer’s in-house switches, as they provide an excellent out-of-the-box feel, with sound-dampening foam and lubed stabilizers included. The aluminum housing and magnetic wrist rest also give the V4 Pro a premium look and feel that’s absent from Razer’s cheaper keyboards (as would be expected, given its $230 price).
The V4 Pro has one unique feature: an 8K polling rate. While most keyboards send and receive data based on key presses once every millisecond (1K polling rate) or less, this keyboard does it at eight times that rate – eight times per millisecond. Put another way, it’s 8,000 times per second. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s a feature primarily made for esports pros, who can benefit from millisecond gains, but it’s not something most people will see in real-world use. So don’t buy this keyboard for that feature alone.
In addition to its wealth of additional knobs and buttons, the BlackWidow V4 Pro includes per-key RGB lighting that extends around the perimeter of the wrist rest when it’s attached to the keyboard, all powered by the Razer Synapse software suite. it occurs. In that app, you can also assign custom functions to macro keys, and the multifunction dial can be used to do things like switch apps, scroll, or zoom without taking your hands off the keyboard.
The $230 price tag is steep compared to some of the other contenders on this list, but the BlackWidow V4 Pro has enough features to justify the price for a select few.
best tkl gaming keyboard
Many of the brands we’ve mentioned already make tenkeyless (TKL for short) versions of their popular keyboards, which rock a layout similar to a full-size keyboard, but stripped of the number pad. Let’s go my current favorite is Corsair K70 RGB TKL, which offers the best balance of features and quality components for the price. The K70 RGB TKL retails for $150, but some configurations are available for around $115.
The K70 RGB TKL has a clean, minimalist look, with a shapely brushed aluminum top plate, long-lasting PBT keycaps, and a detachable USB-C connection – all good stuff – plus, it comes with a number of different switch options Available with. In addition to the Cherry MX linear, tactile, or clicky switch options, you can choose silent linear switches for quieter performance, or Corsair’s own optical switches if you haven’t sworn allegiance to Cherry.
Despite having a compact TKL keyboard, this model wisely made room for the always-useful volume rockers and dedicated media playback buttons. The K70 also has the same 8K polling rate as the Razer Blackwidow V4 Pro. On a technical level, this is impressive, as it can send information to your PC at eight keystrokes per millisecond. However, for most people this won’t make a huge difference to the gameplay. One final feature I can appreciate are the raised keycaps, which make it very easy to clean off any accumulated grime.
The K70 RGB TKL’s per-key RGB lighting can be customized by Corsair’s iCue software suite, which, like the Razer Synapse, is capable of coordinating lighting themes across multiple compatible devices. If you really want to go all out with your smart home, the iCue can integrate smart lighting from Philips Hue or Nanoleaf.