A conventional keyboard is not bad at all for playing video games, but if you are a serious gamer, a gaming keyboard can give you a significant advantage (especially in combination with a good gaming mouse ).
Gaming keyboards have numerous advantages over their conventional counterparts . Perhaps the most striking are additional buttons, backlighting, and wrist rests. However, there are “under the hood” perks like Cherry MX switches and mechanical switches.
As part of the ” boom ” of gaming products (including headphones and even laptops ), we can find many keyboards designed to meet the needs of all types of gamers. Now, don’t let the colors fool you.
You don’t have to spend money on the most expensive, largest, and lightest keyboard . You just have to search for a keyboard with our 3 criteria in mind.
We are going to review 10 of the best gaming keyboards available on the market this year based on these 3 criteria.
We do not want someone to be left without at least one option, so the keyboards we review are perfectly valid for any type of player , although some gravitate towards certain genres or activities.
The Best Gaming Keyboards of 2021
Peripheral companies often exaggerate the usefulness of components or avoid technical details.
We don’t want to waste money, so we focus on three fundamental aspects of choosing a good gaming keyboard: the switches , the number of programmable buttons , and the type of transmission.
We know that design is also important. However, it is difficult to categorize this section, since each design appeals to different users. Only you can say which one is the best for you.
The type of transmission refers to whether the keyboard is membrane or mechanical . In some cases, it is a matter of preference. But mechanical keyboards are objectively more durable, more accurate, expensive, and easy to repair or customize, compared to membrane keyboards.
To repair a membrane keyboard, you will need to replace the membrane (which is expensive) or buy another keyboard. To repair a mechanical keyboard, you just need to replace the switches on the damaged key.
If you go for a mechanical keyboard, it will most likely have Cherry MX switches, the leaders in the switch department . They are categorized by color (red, blue, brown, gray, etc.) and this refers to their qualities, such as the feel, distance traveled, and the sound they make when pressing.
Our general recommendation is the brown Cherry MX switches , as they are perfect for both gaming and typing.
HyperX Alloy FPS Pro
HyperX is not as popular or well known as Razer, Corsair, or Logitech. However, they have an interesting collection of peripherals. The Alloy FPS Pro is one of their most compact products, and is optimized for FPS (“ First Person Shooter ”) games.
The keyboard layout is compact, with a length of 35.8 cm . How do they do this? The model is tenkeyless , or rather, without a numeric pad . This could be a problem for some, but the truth is that not everyone uses it.
In addition, the cable can be removed to facilitate the transport of the keyboard in a bag.
Despite its small size, the keys on the Alloy FPS Pro have some separation. The small space left allows you to avoid accidentally pressing keys, something very common in compact keyboards.
The keyboard is mechanical and uses red Cherry MX switches . These are the favorites of FPS players, as they are fast, they don’t make a lot of noise, and the time between each press is almost imperceptible .
Is it enlightened? Yes. But you cannot change the default red hue. You can change the effects, but up to there. Fortunately, the design and placement of the backlight is low-key.
Because it is a mechanical keyboard, its cost is a little higher despite being relatively simple. Either way, it is not that expensive , and its mechanical precision is very good.
Corsair K55 RGB
Corsair entered the gaming peripheral market recently, but their commitment to quality has elevated them to some standing. They have an extensive lineup of keyboards, and the K55 RGB is one of their cheap options (but good enough to place at the top of our list).
It’s not exactly compact, but it has a very manageable length of 19 inches. As we might expect from Corsair, it has a comfortable removable wrist rest, and in addition, a top band with the company’s logo, the buttons to manage multimedia, and the button to record macros.
It has 6 programmable macros, where you can “record” anything from a single key press to complex multi-key combinations . All without using additional software , since it is recorded by pressing the “MR” button (” Macro Record “, or “macro recording”).
In addition to this, it has buttons to manage multimedia , such as volume up and down, pause, forward, back, and stop. The keyboard gives you the option to lock the Windows key , preventing accidental startup deployment during a busy moment.
Despite being made of membrane, the keyboard is multi-touch . This gives you greater precision and ensures that the keys you press will be played.
It uses dynamic RGB backlighting in three different zones . You can choose more than 10 lighting modes with different effects, from static to surround.
The product is very affordable . It can be an option for a multitude of users, and its cost-value ratio is favorable .
Razer Cynosa Chroma
It may come as a surprise to some, but Razer has some affordable products. The Cynosa Chroma is an excellent membrane keyboard, and it can compete with mechanical keyboards whose prices far exceed yours.
The size is somewhat smaller than the common one, with a length of 46.2 cm.
The most interesting addition to this product is its liquid resistant design , so an accidental spill should not be the end of its useful life.
Aesthetically, the product is low profile, with no flashy shapes or lights . In our opinion, that is the best way to approach design.
Although the transmission is by membrane, the keys are quite precise, and its touch is padded for more comfort. Its mechanical precision performs at the height, since it has an anti-ghosting of up to 10 keys.
The keyboard has no additional buttons, but using the device setup program, you can change the button binding and assign macros with multi-key combinations.
This keyboard uses Chroma for feedback. You can choose from millions of colors, and assign a multitude of very pleasant effects to customize the aesthetic.
It’s not the cheapest , but it’s very affordable and has higher-end keyboard features for a lower price . The cost-value ratio is excellent.
Logitech G910 Orion Spark
Logitech has an almost immaculate reputation in the computer peripheral industry. The G910 Orion Spark is one of many high-quality devices manufactured by the company. It offers high functionality and mechanical precision.
The Orion Spark is somewhat large, with a length of 50.5 cm. The wrist rest is angled and in our opinion does not do any good. However, the unit has a parking space for your smartphone, which is very convenient, and makes it easy to use the Arx Control system (more on this below).
It is a mechanical keyboard, but it does not use the Cherry MX switches, but its patented Romer-G switches . They are of comparable quality to the Cherry MX in relation to precision, but they travel less distance, which makes them more responsive and durable .
The Arx Control allows the user to monitor system or video game statistics (if supported) through an iOs or Android device.
It has 9 programmable buttons, and 3 macro buttons, next to the record button . This and more can be configured in the system suite.
It uses dynamic RGB per key , which opens up very interesting opportunities, such as cataloging the skill buttons of a MOBA (“multiplayer online battle arena”) of one color, or the change of weapon buttons of another.
It already falls into another price category, making it a bit more expensive than what we have reviewed so far. However, it is still reasonable for its operation.
Corsair K63 Wireless
Again with Corsair, this time with a compact wireless model. The K63 offers unprecedented portability and convenience, all without sacrificing precision.
The keyboard is very compact, thanks to the tenkeyless design, with a length of 36.5 cm . The palm rest is simple, not padded, and unfortunately cannot be removed, so the keyboard depth is somewhat large (16.7 cm), but nothing problematic.
The keyboard is mechanical , with textured keys to the touch. Use red Cherry MX switches to improve performance in games that require fast key presses, such as FPS.
It works wirelessly , but the signal is strong and the encryption secure. The battery charge can last a long time after being fully charged and the adapter is small to avoid inconvenience.
Use an LED for blue backlight on the keys, but you can’t change the color, only some effects like intensity.
For what it is, the cost is fine. It is not expensive, and could even be considered affordable, when compared to products of similar functionality.
Razer Blackwidow Chroma v2
We already took a look at what a Razer membrane keyboard can do. The Blackwidow Chroma v2 comes to demonstrate the performance of the mechanic. It is an elegant, condensed, and very functional keyboard.
It has a modern and minimalist style , although it is somewhat large, with a length of 52 cm . The wrist rest is very comfortable, and if the size bothers you, it can be removed.
The keyboard is mechanical but does not use Cherry MX switches , but Razer proprietary green switches . They are tactile and make a “click” when going down to the bottom of the key.
It has two convenient ports to the right of the number pad, one USB and one audio.
It does not have additional keys, but it does have 5 programmable macros that you can configure in the device suite.
It uses the Razer Chroma system, which has tons of colors, various effects, and all this and more can be configured through the device suite. You can create and save profiles to give your personal touch to each situation.
If you have more Razer devices that use Chroma, you can sync them to share the same style.
This keyboard is expensive, as you might expect from Razer, but it’s reasonable. The device’s build quality and extensive functionality and precision are worth it, in our opinion.
Newskill Gaming Thanatos
This brand may take you by surprise, but this mechanical keyboard from Gaming Thanatos is very cheap. It’s even cheaper than some membrane keyboards!
At first glance, we noticed the modern and minimalist design of the keyboard. It is somewhat compact, as it is only 17 inches long . The best part is that it doesn’t sacrifice the number pad , and it’s pretty lightweight. Generally, a commitment must be made in favor of one or the other, but not in this case.
In addition, the unit comes with a useful tool that allows you to remove the keys to change the switches.
The keyboard is mechanical, but it doesn’t use Cherry MX switches, but red Kalih switches . They are not bad, in fact they are quite resistant, but they do not have the same tactile feel of the Cherry.
That said, the red switches are accurate and fast, which is great for FPS players . The keyboard has anti-ghosting on the most important keys like the “WASD” combination .
It has no additional buttons to program , but you can configure macros with any key without using additional programs.
It uses RGB lighting , a feature generally neglected on more affordable keyboards. You can switch between six different lighting profiles with varied colors and effects. You don’t need to use a configuration suite to make these changes.
The best part about this keyboard: its cost is very low. Considering the utility and mechanical precision, it can be an excellent option for those who want more for less on a reduced budget.
SteelSeries Apex M750
SteelSeries does things big … literally.
The Apex M750 is not only long, it has very interesting functions, especially in the lighting and macro section.
As we mentioned, the keyboard is somewhat long, with a length of 45.3 cm , but it has keys with a slight separation, which gives more security when pressing keys quickly.
The indication of each key is large and clear, without backlighting. For some, that’s a problem, but in our opinion, it helps with visibility.
The construction is made of an aluminum alloy , which gives it a very modern look, apart from being super resistant.
It does not use Cherry MX mechanical switches, but rather the company’s proprietary QX2 . In contrast to some Cherry switches, it has a low actuation point and is linear, not tactile. In terms of quality, they are quite reliable, as well as durable.
The macro system is robust , despite having no additional buttons.
RGB lighting is integrated with Discord, the popular instant messaging and calling software, allowing you to receive visual feedback with every message, call, or server notification.
In turn, you can configure the keyboard lighting to “mimic” a gif . You just have to upload it and the software will take care of the rest.
Not so good. The keyboard is somewhat expensive, although we can understand why. However, the functions are somewhat superfluous, and it does not have much impact on use.
The Havit brand has a very long line of computer peripherals. His style is modern, minimalist, and simple. The KB390L is a mechanical keyboard capable of blending into any environment, except perhaps its discreet blue lights.
It is light and thin, weighing around 520g, with a length of 35.4cm . The layout is tenkeyless , without the number pad, so it could be problematic for some. There is a model with a number pad, but it is more expensive.
The cable can be pulled out, which greatly facilitates transportation.
It’s mechanical, and it uses blue Kalih switches. The tactile feel is missed, but the Kalihs have a shorter travel distance, and the same durability. As a result, the keys are lower than usual keyboards , which may be a drawback for some, but a great addition for writers.
It has no additional buttons or macros , but the anti-ghosting of this keyboard is impressive, covering up to 87 keys at the same time.
It uses blue LED lighting, and it cannot be changed . But you can configure some options, like brightness or intensity, all without additional software.
For its functionality, it is expensive . However, the Kalih switches, minimalist, portable design, and understated lighting make it an attractive option.
It’s not very expensive , but you can get more features in that price category.
Logitech products have that intangible reputational edge. Sometimes it is dangerous to trust the fame of others, but the G413 is not bad at all. It is comfortable, durable, and mechanical.
It has a minimalist design, and a modern aluminum finish . The keys are spaced from the main board for better aesthetic consistency. The size is adequate, with a length of 44.5 cm despite the number pad.
Uses proprietary Romer-G switches . They are low travel and silent. Some writers will love the short distance, but will miss the sound.
On the front it has a USB port for connecting devices .
The unit has replacement keys, but no additional keys . However, you can configure macros using key combinations, or even map different keys.
It uses gray LED lighting. You have no option to change the color or effect, and it is only perceived through the keys. A useful addition for those who type at night, but nothing more.
It is a bit expensive, but not too much. The mechanical precision is excellent, and the functionality of the macros, backlight, and additional USB port make it a convenient tool.
Conclusion and Buyer’s Guide
They will not make you a professional player , but depending on the keyboard, and the use you give it, you will be able to position yourself on many.
If we go a little further, keyboards have uses outside of gaming. Whether you write, program, design, or do accounts, you use a keyboard in your day-to-day life , so acquiring one that makes your work and your hobbies easier is the most sensible thing to do.
We hope we have helped you! Follow these tips to improve your purchase:
Do you need the number pad and the multimedia keys?
We recommend that you analyze your situation. A number pad doesn’t just lengthen the keyboard, it raises the price . Unless you have a specific use that you can benefit from with one, you should ignore the number pad, and along with that idea we add the multimedia keys.
Do you have a Corsair mouse?
Don’t buy a Logitech keyboard.
Gaming peripherals, especially those with lighting or macros, require a configuration suite .
Each brand has its own for its product line, but if you use peripherals from different manufacturers you will end up with a multitude of programs on your computer.
Are your walls thin or do your family members hate noise?
Watch out for blue Cherry MX switches, or their derivatives.
The sound of each type of switch is different, but blue is the loudest of all . This makes him well-liked by full-time writers and certain gamers, but reminds him of the problems they can create with others.
It never hurts to check which switch the keyboard you want has and how it sounds.