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 keyboards use standardized switches like the Cherry MX or Kailh, while other companies create their own. Generally speaking, a mechanical keyboard is better for gaming, but might not be for everyone. Taking your needs into consideration when looking for the best keyboard for gaming, it's important to take the build quality, your preferences when it comes to switches, and how comfortable the keyboard is for long gaming sessions into account.
We've reviewed over 65 keyboards so far, 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 mechanical keyboard for gaming we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's a full-size keyboard that features unique omnipoint switches, allowing you to customize the actuation point and the actuation force to suit your taste. This means that you can set a shallow actuation point to increase the responsiveness for gaming, or set a higher one to improve typing accuracy for productivity tasks. These switches are linear, so they don't provide any tactile feedback when typing and they don't cause much noise. It comes with a very comfortable wrist rest that attaches magnetically and it has one incline setting.
In addition to its great typing quality, this keyboard has an incredible number of features. It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, dedicated media controls, and an OLED screen that you can customize to show anything you want. There's a USB passthrough that you can use to charge your mobile devices, or you can use it to plug in another peripheral such as your mouse, giving you greater control of the cord so you can move the mouse freely. You can reprogram or set a macro to any key, but unfortunately, it doesn't have any dedicated macro keys for MMO games.
In terms of customization, SteelSeries' Engine software offers tons of options and it's available for Windows and macOS. You can customize the backlight and the OLED screen, reprogram keys or set macros, and you can save as many profiles as you want. There's onboard memory as well, which makes it easier to carry your settings over to a new computer. This keyboard works on Linux, you just won't be able to customize it due to the lack of software support. Nonetheless, this is a feature-rich keyboard that should satisfy casual and serious gamers alike.
If you prefer switches that provide tactile feedback, then check out the Razer BlackWidow Elite. Like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, it's a full-size keyboard that comes with tons of features. The unit that we reviewed has Razer Orange switches, which are comparable to Cherry MX Browns; however, it's available with Razer Green (tactile and clicky) and Razer Yellow (linear and silent) switches as well. It's comfortable to type on, it's easy to press the keys, and it feels incredibly responsive. It provides clear tactile feedback so you can be sure that the key press is registered, and it makes very little noise. It has dedicated media controls, a USB passthrough, and full RGB backlighting. Every key is programmable and customization is done via Razer's Synapse 3 software. Unfortunately, there's no software support for macOS and Linux, but most keys function as they should on those operating systems.
Overall, the SteelSeries is a better choice as it has more features and is more customizable; however, if you prefer tactile switches, the Razer is an outstanding alternative.
The best TKL keyboard for gaming that we've tested so far is the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition. It features proprietary Razer Linear Optical switches, which have a low actuation point, are easy to press, and provide an excellent gaming experience.
This keyboard is designed to be a gaming keyboard and that's exactly what you get with it. It has full RGB backlighting, excellent build quality, and every key can be set to a macro. The Razer software is highly customizable but it's only available on Windows. Since you can save up to five profiles on its onboard memory, macOS or Linux users can create a profile on Windows and switch computers. There's also a key directly on the keyboard that allows you to set macros without using the software.
Unfortunately, since the keys are so easy to press, they're very sensitive and don't provide a good typing experience, so for most people, this isn't a good choice for office use. However, if you choose to type on it, it doesn't cause any fatigue when typing for a long time. Overall, this is the best TKL gaming keyboard we've tested so far.
If you want a more versatile keyboard, such as for office use, then check out the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. Its keys have more pre-travel distance than the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition, but even though we tested the variant with tactile switches, it's also available in linear and clicky switches, which isn't the case for the Razer. The keys are stable, and they have a fairly standard spacing, which is great for typing accuracy, but they also feel less responsive, as they don't spring back as quickly. Keep in mind, if you prefer to game in a quieter setting, it can be loud if you choose the clicky variant. On the plus side, it has full RGB backlighting and macro programmable keys. The higher-end version of this keyboard and our main pick, the SteelSeries Apex Pro, is also available in a TKL version, although we didn't test this.
If you prefer to use a TKL keyboard with a low actuation point and easy-to-press keys, the Razer is the best option, but if you prefer a more versatile option that can be used with linear and clicky switches, go for the SteelSeries.
The best wireless keyboard for gaming that we've tested so far is the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED. It's a full-size keyboard that's packed with features such as dedicated macro keys, multi-device pairing, and full RGB backlighting. It's a superb wireless mechanical gaming keyboard that features three low profile proprietary switches: tactile, clicky, or linear. We tested the tactile variant, which provides feedback without producing a significant amount of noise.
One of this keyboard's most impressive features is the outstanding connectivity options. It can connect via its wireless unifying USB receiver or through Bluetooth, and it lets you pair to two devices at the same time for easy multitasking. This keyboard also comes with the G HUB software, which allows you to save up to three different profiles, for a total of 15 macros. To switch between the profiles, you can use the M1, M2, and M3 buttons at the top of the keyboard.
Unfortunately, while it's great that there are dedicated macro keys, only those keys can be programmed. On the bright side, the backlighting can be customized for each individual key, and Logitech's G HUB software has a clean interface that's easy to use. Overall, this is the best wireless keyboard for gaming we've seen so far.
The best gaming keyboard for MMO games we've tested so far is the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. This is a large keyboard that you can get in three types of genuine Cherry MX switches: brown, blue, or speed. We reviewed the Cherry MX Blue variant, which offers tactile feedback along with audible clicks.
Of course, the most important feature for MMO players is the column of dedicated macro keys. You can program them through Corsair's iCUE software, which is well-designed and offers plenty of customization options. It also allows you to customize the keyboard's full RGB backlighting, as well as create and save multiple profiles. There's onboard memory to save profiles in case you need to switch computers, and if you regularly stream, this keyboard has full integration with the Elgato Stream Deck. It also has dedicated media controls, a USB passthrough, it comes with extra textured keycaps for FPS players, and it has a plushy wrist rest.
Unfortunately, the clicky switches we tested had a high actuation force, which could get tiring to use, and they're loud. Luckily, it feels incredibly well-built, the keys are stable, and the doubleshot PBT keycaps will keep the key legends from fading over time. All in all, if you play MMO games often, then this is the best MMO gaming keyboard we've tested.
The best budget keyboard for gaming we've tested so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. This very affordable keyboard is surprisingly well-built and features mechanical switches, which is great at this price point. It comes in a variety of clicky, tactile switches, which might not be for everyone. It's also a TKL design without a NumPad, which provides more space for your mouse (see our recommendations for the best gaming mice).
Our unit has Outemu Blue switches, which have a small bump before actuation and require a bit more force to actuate. They provide a very satisfactory audible clicky feedback at each keypress, which can get pretty loud. This keyboard also has full RGB lighting, but since there's no official software, you'll need to make all customization changes directly on the board. On the upside, you can control the backlight of individual keys.
Unfortunately, no software support also means that you can't save different profiles. It also doesn't have a wrist rest, which would have made it a bit more comfortable to use. Nevertheless, it's very affordable for a mechanical gaming keyboard, making this the best budget keyboard for gaming.
If you don't like mechanical switches, the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard that we've reviewed as of right now is the SteelSeries Apex 3. This membrane keyboard uses rubber dome switches and has a good build quality despite its budget price. The keyboard comes with a nice magnetic wrist rest, which is very similar to the one included with the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's compatible with SteelSeries Engine, where you can create different profiles and customize the 10-zone RGB backlighting to your preferences.
One thing to keep in mind with membrane keyboards is that the rubber dome switches have a noticeable bump before the actuation point, which requires quite a lot of travel. On the positive side, the keys are very stable and don't wobble at all, but they do feel a bit mushy. If you are someone who likes to type long messages or chats while gaming, the typing on this keyboard is decent. However, it can be difficult to tell if a keypress was registered at times, as the tactile feedback is not as obvious.
On the downside, it doesn't have any dedicated macro keys, but you can program all its keys, so this shouldn't be that much of an issue for most people. Overall, for its budget price, this membrane keyboard is one of the best non-mechanical keyboards for gaming that we've tested so far.
08/07/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
07/09/2020: Added the Glorious GMMK to Notable Mentions.
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 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.