When shopping for the best gaming keyboard, it's hard not to be confused by all of the options and switches available on the market right now. Some models use standard mechanical switches like the Cherry MX or Kailh, while other companies create their own. Generally speaking, a mechanical keyboard is better for gaming, but it might not be for everyone. Taking your needs into consideration when looking for the best keyboard for gaming, it's also important to consider the build quality, your preferences in terms of switches, and how comfortable the keyboard is for long gaming sessions.
We've tested over 120 keyboards, and here are our recommendations for the best keyboards for gaming. See also our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best wireless keyboards.
The best full-size gaming keyboard we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It has a sturdy-feeling aluminum body and a detachable wrist rest, and it has full RGB lighting with individually lit keys. Its companion software is easy-to-use, offers plenty of customization options, and is compatible with Windows and macOS. It's also available in a TKL size if you prefer, but we just tested the full-size version.
What makes it unique is its proprietary SteelSeries OmniPoint linear switches. You can tune the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis through the companion software so that the keys can feel more or less responsive, depending on your preference. It also has exceptionally low latency, and all the keys are macro-programmable. Some extra features include dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough, and a small OLED screen that you can program to monitor system information, play custom gifs, or use an in-game HUD for supported titles.
Unfortunately, the wrist rest tends to attract dust, and the keyboard feet open vertically, so they may fold back if you accidentally nudge your keyboard forward too much. The linear feel of the switches may be too sensitive for typing. That said, it offers outstanding performance and has loads of extra features, and it's the best full-size gaming keyboard we've tested.
If you prefer mechanical switches that provide tactile feedback, check out the Razer BlackWidow Elite. It doesn't have the adjustable pre-travel distance keys of the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it has better typing quality with low pre-travel distance and good spacing between keys. Our unit has tactile Razer Orange switches, but it's also available with clicky Razer Green or linear Razer Yellow switches, so you can get the switches you want. It also has exceptionally low latency and good ergonomics, including two incline settings and a detachable leatherette wrist rest. It has full RGB backlighting bright enough for well-lit environments, and its companion software allows you to reprogram keys, set macros, adjust lighting, and save custom profiles onboard.
If you want a gaming keyboard with linear switches and adjustable pre-travel, check out the SteelSeries. If you'd prefer mechanical switches with tactile feedback and a better overall typing quality, go with the Razer.
The best gaming keyboard available in a compact size is the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. It's a versatile keyboard that's excellent for gaming but also good for other uses, like if you need a keyboard for your mobile devices. It can connect with up to four devices at once via Bluetooth, but you can also use it wired if you prefer for gaming.
It's available in a variety of switches from Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh, including tactile, linear, and clicky ones, so you can get whichever you prefer. We tested the Gateron Brown switches, which are very light to press while still offering good tactile feedback. Latency is really low if you're gaming with it wired, and even though it increases over Bluetooth, it's still fairly low. It comes with the ObinsKit software, which allows you to set macros, customize the RGB lighting, and save profiles to the onboard memory.
Sadly, it's limited on ergonomics as it doesn't have any incline settings or a wrist rest. It has a small profile, and due to its compact size, it may take some time to get used to at first. Once you do, the typing quality feels amazing as the keys are stable. All in all, if you want a compact option, this is the best gaming keyboard we've tested.
The best wireless keyboard for gaming that we’ve tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. This full-size model is mostly made out of plastic, but it has an aluminum faceplate, giving it excellent overall build quality. The ergonomics are also good thanks to the included wrist rest and two incline settings. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, which is great for playing in dark rooms.
You can connect it via Bluetooth or with its USB receiver, and you can pair it with up to three devices, easily swapping between them with a switch on the left side. Typing quality is great overall, and it shouldn’t cause any fatigue or pain even after long periods of use. We tested the variant with clicky Razer Green switches, which feel light and very responsive, but it's also available with linear Razer Yellow switches.
Unfortunately, the clicky switches on our unit are fairly loud, which may bother people around you. If you're concerned about noise, you may prefer the Razer Yellow switches, which should be quieter. Also, the companion software is only available on Windows, and a few buttons don’t work on macOS. That said, it has outstanding low latency and a bunch of extra features that make it one of the best gaming keyboards we've tested.
The best keyboard for MMO gaming that we've tested is the Corsair K100 RGB. It feels very well built, with a metal top plate that adds rigidity, and it has good ergonomics with a detachable wrist rest and multiple incline settings. The keycaps are doubleshot PBT and very stable, and the feet are thick and grippy, so you're unlikely to collapse them moving the keyboard.
It has full RGB backlighting with individually lit keys, six dedicated macro keys, and dedicated media keys. The companion software allows you to reprogram or set macros to any key, adjust lighting effects, and save custom profiles to the onboard memory. The unit we tested has linear Cherry MX Speed switches, which have very low pre-travel distance, making them feel very light and responsive. If you're interested in another switch type, it's also available with linear Corsair OPX optical switches, advertised as having an even shorter pre-travel distance.
Unfortunately, certain keys don't function in macOS or Linux, and because of the low pre-travel distance of the Cherry MX speed switches, you may make more unintentional keystrokes before you get used to them. That said, this is a remarkable keyboard with exceptional performance and plenty of customizability, making it the best keyboard for MMO gaming that we've tested.
The best gaming keyboard in the budget category that we've tested is the Logitech G413. It has a simple and straightforward layout and exhibits virtually no flex with an aluminum plate atop its plastic frame. It has grippy rubber feet, one incline setting, and is fairly comfortable to use despite not having an included wrist rest.
It comes with proprietary Romer-G Tactile switches with short pre-travel and a small bump before actuation, and it feels good overall to type on, though the keys feel a bit stiff. Each key is individually lit with red backlighting, and you can easily change the brightness and set some effects through the Logitech G HUB software. The keyboard also features a USB passthrough to make connecting peripherals easier, a Windows key lock to prevent accidentally minimizing sessions, and fantastic low latency which should be great for competitive games.
Being in the budget category, however, its doubleshot ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap and might shine easily with regular use, and the incline feet feel a bit loose. Some people may also dislike the red-only backlighting. Also, you can only program macros onto the function keys, and you can't save profiles onto the keyboard since it lacks onboard memory. Nonetheless, it has many great features and is an excellent budget option for gaming.
If you prefer something with non-mechanical switches, then check out the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT. The typing quality feels worse than on the Logitech G413 because the ABS keycaps feel slippery, and the rubber dome switches feel mushy, but that's expected if you're not going to get mechanical switches. However, the Corsair comes with a wrist rest, has dedicated macro keys, and unlike the Logitech, you can reprogram any key. It has full RGB lighting with individually lit keys, but there are only five customizable zones, which is disappointing. The rubber dome switches have a bit higher pre-travel distance than most mechanical switches, but they're still not too heavy to press, and the latency is really low.
If you want the best gaming keyboard available for cheap, you can't go wrong with the Logitech, but if you prefer something with non-mechanical switches, the Corsair is a good alternative.
Jun 11, 2021: Removed the SteelSeries Apex 7 as 'Best TKL' and added the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 as 'Best Compact'; replaced the Razer Ornata V2 with the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT and moved to an alternative; updated Notable Mentions.
May 14, 2021: Added Corsair K70 RGB TKL to Notable Mentions. Updated text for clarity.
Apr 16, 2021: Verified availability and updated the text for accuracy; no changes to picks. Added the EVGA Z20 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 19, 2021: Verified picks and availability; no changes to recommendations. Added Razer Huntsman V2 Analog to Notable Mentions.
Feb 17, 2021: Updated text for clarity and structure, no changes in product picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best keyboards for gaming for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper product wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no keyboard that is difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our gaming keyboard reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no product is perfect for every use, most keyboards are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. Be sure to know your key switch preferences before choosing.