(Image credit: Roccat, Corsair)
If you're looking to maximise your PC setup, getting hold of the best gaming keyboard should be a pretty high priority. As well as improving your performance in games via programmable keys and increased responsiveness, they're a delight to type with and look rad as hell to boot. Honestly, just have a go at a mechanical deck to see what we mean.
(Image credit: Logitech, Roccat, Razer)
Grab the perfect pointer to go along with your new keyboard right here.
But what's the best gaming keyboard for you? It all begins by figuring out whether you want a mechanical or membrane device. If you've got no idea what the difference is, don't worry - let us explain. The majority of 'normal' keyboards are membrane ones, and their keys sit on a single rubber strip. Pushing them presses down on this strip, and that's why these keyboards feel a bit 'squishy' to use. Even though that means they're not as accurate, they are quieter as a result and a fair bit cheaper too. At the other end of the scale are mechanical units. Each key has an individual mechanism (or 'switch') that allows for greater accuracy and speed, hence the name. They also provide a tactile bump when pressed and usually offer a cool 'click' sound like a typewriter unless you choose a silent option. As a result, they tend to be more expensive but are arguably superior. You'll find both kinds in our list below.
You'll also find a range of deals to save you money along the way. And make sure you check back every now and then; those prices are always being updated with the biggest discounts.
If you want to find out more about how we test keyboards, check out our testing guide here. It's also worth taking a look at our hardware glossary if talk of CPUs, GPUs, and other acronyms surrounding the best gaming PCs has you at a loss.
Best gaming keyboard
1. Corsair K95 RGB
The best overall gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: 6 dedicated macro keys, customizable RGB, detachable wrist rest, bonus keycaps
Aircraft-grade aluminium frame
For the PC gamer that wants it all, nothing provides more - be it faster access to abilities or a gorgeous premium design - than Corsair’s K95 RGB Platinum keyboard. The K95 takes almost everything great about the already-excellent K70 RGB Lux and slaps 18 dedicated macro keys on the left-hand side. These can be be used to trigger up to 108 macro commands.
Beyond that, the K95 features every bell and whistle imaginable. That includes dedicated media controls, a passthrough USB port, and a range of switches to customise how you want your keyboard to feel or sound in practice. If you've got the money to spare, the K95 RGB Platinum wins every time.
2. Razer Huntsman Elite
The best premium gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Dedicated media keys, opto-mechanical switches, customizable RGB, soft and detachable wrist rest
Opto-mechanical switches eliminate delay
Plush leatherette wrist rest
No USB passthrough or macros
The Razer Huntsman family is the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches. Why is that important? Because they blend the tactile, clicky feel of a standard mechanical switch with optical actuation. In short, actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered) is almost entirely eliminated. It also reduces the gap between the actuation and reset point to almost 0mm. In other words, striking a key multiple times or frantically spamming it is incredibly easy. These are some of the best switches we've ever tested, and they're incorporated into an excellent design as well.
The Huntsman Elite also features great quality of life touches. That includes the memory foam wrist rest and a digital dial that allows you to adjust brightness, volume, and other settings.
Yes, it's expensive. However, the quality on display here is absolutely worth the cost.
3. Logitech K840
The best budget gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Logitech Romer-G switches
No dedicated macros or passthrough
If you're keen to save your pennies and want a reliable 'starter' keyboard that doesn't cost a bomb, the Logitech K840 has you covered. Built in collaboration with mechanical switch experts Omron, this is a more traditional deck that still provides a satisfying gaming experience. You won't find any extras here like dedicated macros, RGB lighting, or USB passhthrough, but its affordable price makes the K840 a worthwhile investment nonetheless. It's also very handsome, which always helps.
4. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO
The best mechanical gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Durable aluminium frame, detachable wrist rest, dedicated media controls, customizable RGB
Great mechanical switches
Wrist rest isn't very useful
The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is the kind of keyboard that turns heads; it's absolutely gorgeous to look at thanks to a durable aluminium frame, exposed key stems, and vibrant RGB lighting that gives off a crisp, professional air. However, its performance is every bit as good. While the bottom row's unusual convex key-shape won't be for everyone, we found this deck both comfortable and satisfying to use.
What's more, its debounce switch "allows the firmware to reliably identify key stroke signals 20% faster than competing keyboards". Throw in an easy-clean design to avoid dust build-up and you're left with something special. Basically, it's one of the nicest keyboards we've got our hands on.
5. Corsair K57 RGB Wireless
The best membrane gaming keyboard
Type: Membrane (wireless, wired, Bluetooth) | Size: Full | Features: Six dedicated macro keys, dedicated media controls, detachable wrist rest, customizable RGB
Plenty of features
RGB up to 60% brighter
Lacks USB passthrough
Even though mechanical options take the lion's share of attention when it comes to great gaming keyboards, membrane alternatives are still worth considering. The Corsair K57 RGB Wireless is one of the best we've tried, and it'll light up any room with LEDs that are apparently up to 60% brighter than the competition.
That isn't what makes this deck stand out, though (well, in anything other than a literal sense). Its membrane keys are almost as tactile and satisfying as mechanical ones, but they don't have the distracting 'click' of the latter. Additionally, the K57 has all the features (like dedicated media controls, wireless functionality, and macro keys) of a much more expensive keyboard.
6. HyperX Alloy FPS RGB
The best gaming keyboard for shooters
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Solid-steel frame, customizable RGB, USB passthrough
Bouncy, responsive keys
A magnet for dust
There have been a glut of shooter-focused keyboards over the last year or so, but this is arguably the best of them all. Despite a sparse appearance and a lack of macro keys, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB makes up for it with exceptional performance.
As a compact and portable device, everything is within easy reach so you're not stretching to hit keys like the left shift. Secondly, its Kailh Silver Speed switches are both responsive and satisfying to use. For example, they're bouncy enough that your fingers will fly from key to key. A reasonable price and USB passthrough for charging your phone seals the deal.
7. SteelSeries Apex Pro
The best eSports gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Per-key actuation, OLED smart display, aircraft-grade aluminium alloy, USB passthrough, customizable RGB
Cool OLED screen
Tenkeyless version available
Switches aren't as satisfying
Built around the ability to set actuation individually per key, this offering from SteelSeries is perfect for eSports players who want to customise their experience. Need faster, more responsive keys for the likes of Fortnite? Would you prefer a slower and more deliberate action instead? The Apex Pro is able to deliver on both, and anywhere in-between.
As a neat bonus, the Apex Pro has a little OLED screen in the top right-hand corner as well. This lets you fiddle with media controls or certain actuation settings. It can even show off gifs. None of which is necessary by any means, but it's a really cool addition nonetheless.
If you'd prefer a more compact version, there's also a tenkeyless alternative for sale.
8. Corsair K63 Wireless
The best wireless gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wireless) | Size: Tenkeyless | Features: Wireless capabilities, tenkeyless, detachable wrist-rest, dedicated media keys, RGB
Satisfying to use
Short battery life
It isn't normally the best idea to go wireless when it comes to keyboards because of potential latency, but if you do, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the on to pick up. Its Cherry MX Red switches are satisfying to use, there are dedicated media controls, and its backlight is a calming shade of blue (though it'll last around 50 hours longer if those RGB lights are switched off).
Being tenkeyless means it's much more compact, too. There isn't a better choice if you want a wireless mechanical keyboard that doesn't take up much room.
9. Cooler Master MK850
Best keyboard for replacing your gamepad
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Aimpad analog controls, dedicated media keys, precision scroll wheels, USB passthrough, macro keys, customizable RGB
Aimpad mimics an analog joystick
Cherry MX Switches
Macro and media keys
High actuation force required
The Cooler Master MK850 is the best (and probably first) keyboard to really make the case that a mouse and keyboard setup can fully replace your PC gamepad. It takes advantage of Aimpad technology to duplicate the feel and functionality of an analog joystick; the WASD keys are capable of detecting how far you've pressed them down, rather than just detecting a single actuation point. It also does a great job of replicating the analog controls that certain genres, likes racing games or flight sims, make practically mandatory.
The MK850 isn't a one trick pony, however. It's loaded up with an impressive suite of other features. It's got dedicated macros and media controls, two precision scroll wheels, USB passthrough, and a comfy wrist rest. And (as is seemingly requisite in gaming keyboards these days) it's got an RGB rainbow with 16.7 million color combinations to splash against the anodized aluminium backplate.
10. Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB
The best ergonomic gaming keyboard
Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Split, tenkeyless | Features: Split design, ten dedicated macro buttons, customizable RGB, wrist rests, optional lift kit
Split design for ergonomics
Separate lift kit tilts the board towards you
Lift kit not included
Initial adjustment period
The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB takes the bones of an excellent split keyboard and improves upon them in very welcome ways. This new model adds comfortable wrist rests, a more natural layout, and a bevy of customization options on top of that.
That dual design means you can set each half of the board exactly at a shoulders' width apart. In essence, you won't hunching forward or straining your back and arms to position them in an unnatural way while typing. Furthermore, you have the freedom to set the right half out of the way when you're playing shooters, or park a flight stick in the middle if you want to get deep into Elite: Dangerous. You can add a 'lift kit' too (sold separately) to boost the two halves up to 15 degrees off your desk so they're angled out towards your hands.