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. 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 good to consider your preferences in terms of switches, how comfortable the keyboard is for long gaming sessions, and the latency.
We've tested over 130 keyboards, and here are our recommendations for the best keyboards for gaming. See our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best wireless keyboards.
The SteelSeries Apex Pro is the best gaming keyboard in the wired category that we've tested. It's a unique high-end keyboard with a bunch of gaming features. It's available in both full-size and TenKeyLess (TKL) variants, but we tested the full-size model, and we expect our results to be valid for the TKL model too.
The stand-out feature is how you can adjust the pre-travel distance of each switch. Setting it higher provides better accuracy for typing, and at its lowest setting, the pre-travel distance and operating force are both very low. It also has very low latency for a responsive gaming experience. It has full RGB backlighting, all keys are macro-programmable through the SteelSeries Engine software, and it has onboard memory if you want to save your settings.
Unfortunately, because the switches are linear, they don't offer any tactile feedback, which isn't ideal if you're going to use it for typing too. It comes with a comfortable wrist rest, but it attracts dust easily. It has dedicated media keys, and there's even an OLED screen on which you can display anything. All in all, it's the best mechanical keyboard for gaming if you don't need wireless versatility.
The best wireless gaming keyboard we've tested is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. You can use this full-size model either wired or wirelessly, and it can pair with up to three devices simultaneously via Bluetooth or its proprietary receiver. It has incredibly low latency and should feel very responsive while gaming, although it's a little higher over Bluetooth, but that's to be expected.
Using the Razer Synapse 3 software, you can remap functions, set macros to any key, and customize the RGB backlighting on a per-key basis. It has dedicated media keys, a volume control knob, and a Windows lock key to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your game. While we tested the clicky Razer Green switches, the board is also available with linear Razer Yellow switches.
Unfortunately, it comes with ABS keycaps, which are prone to developing shine, and some keys don't work on macOS. Also, the software is only available on Windows; however, it does have onboard memory, so you can save settings and use them on a computer that doesn't have the software installed. All in all, this is an outstanding gaming option if you want a full-size wireless board.
If you want more space on your desk to move your mouse, check out the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. It's a 60% compact wireless board that can pair with up to four devices at once via Bluetooth. It has an incredibly low latency when used wired, although it's high over a wireless connection. You can set macros to any key on the board, and you can enable some of the keys to act as arrow keys. It's available in several Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches, so you can get the feel you prefer.
If you want a full-size wireless keyboard with a wrist rest and incline settings, go with the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, but if you prefer a compact wireless board, get the Obinslab.
The Corsair K100 RGB is the best MMO keyboard that we've tested. It's a premium model with a ton of features, including six dedicated macro keys on the left side. You can reprogram or set macros to any key on the board, and those extra ones give you more commands at the end of your fingertips.
The Corsair iCUE software is excellent because it's user-friendly and allows you to customize settings on the keyboard, including the full RGB backlighting. The K100 even has onboard memory that Corsair claims to hold up to 200 profiles, but we don't test for that. It's available in two types of linear switches; our unit has Cherry MX Speed switches but you can also get it with optical Corsair OPX switches. The Speed switches provide a light and responsive gaming experience, and the latency is very low.
Sadly, the linear switches may be too sensitive to some for typing and may cause some unintended keystrokes. Still, if you're going to use it for typing you shouldn't experience much fatigue and it comes with a comfortable wrist rest too. All things considered, it's one of the best keyboards for gaming.
The Logitech G413 is the best budget gaming keyboard that we've tested with mechanical switches. Although you won't be getting the same extra features as higher-end keyboards, it still offers fantastic gaming performance that most casual and beginner gamers should enjoy.
It's available in two different color schemes and both are only available with the tactile Romer-G switches. They're light and have a short pre-travel distance, and the low latency helps provide a responsive gaming experience. Typing quality is good and the ABS keycaps are stable, but they can also feel stiff at times. It's a well-built keyboard with an aluminum plate on top which feels solid with almost no noticeable flex.
Unfortunately, customization is somewhat limited because you can only set macros to the function keys and not any other key. Our unit has individually lit keys with red backlighting, and the other color variant has white backlighting instead, but neither are available with RGB. It has good ergonomics with incline feet, but it lacks a wrist rest. If these don't bother you, it's one of the best cheap gaming keyboards you can find.
If you prefer something with non-mechanical switches, check out the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT. The Corsair comes with a wrist rest, has dedicated macro keys, and you can reprogram and set macros to 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 higher pre-travel distance than most mechanical switches, but they're still not too heavy to press, and the latency is low.
If you want the best gaming keyboard available for cheap, you can't go wrong with the Logitech G413, which has better typing quality and the switches feel less mushy. If you prefer something with non-mechanical switches, the Corsair is a good alternative, and all keys are programmable.
Sep 03, 2021: Moved the Razer BlackWidow Elite to Notable Mentions because it's hard to find; updated text for clarity.
Aug 06, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Glorious GMMK Pro and Ducky One 2 Mini V2 to Notable Mentions.
Jul 09, 2021: Made the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 a Compact Alternative to the 'Best Wireless Keyboard For Gaming'. Added the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini HyperSpeed to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.