Shopping for a gaming keyboard doesn't have to be a stressful task, even though there are tons of options to choose from. There are a few important factors to consider when purchasing a keyboard specifically for gaming use, like the latency (how responsive a keyboard is), switch types (the feeling of the keypress and the noise it makes), and overall comfort and feel. You should also consider any additional features you want like RGB backlighting, media controls, or software customization options that help to make your gaming experience as fluid and fun as you want. In general, most gamers look for mechanical keyboards as they typically offer more features, better build quality, and an elevated typing experience, so our recommendations lean more towards mechanical offerings.
We've tested over 185 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards for gaming with a non-mechanical option, if that's what you're into. If you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that isn't gaming-focused, check out our recommendations for the best mechanical keyboards or the best budget mechanical keyboards. Alternatively, if you're looking for a keyboard on a strict budget, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards under $100.
Compact keyboards are all the rage these days, and it makes sense why. When you're only using the left half of your keyboard, why take up a whole desktop with a bulky full-size unit with a Numpad? In the sea of compact gaming options, one easily rises to the top: the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless. This wireless unit is the compact version of the enduringly popular SteelSeries Apex Pro, and like its predecessor, it has an adjustable pre-travel distance feature, meaning you can set the sensitivity of your keypresses. Whether you want a nearly instant actuation point for competitive gaming or a longer pre-travel distance for general typing, you can customize each key individually within a pretty wide range to best suit your needs.
This keyboard also has a feature to allow you to program two inputs to a single keypress, which is an excellent time-saving feature for competitive FPS games. As its name suggests, it's a wireless keyboard that connects with a USB receiver or with up to three devices using Bluetooth. However, its battery life is fairly short, lasting only 30-40 hours, but this is normal considering how many features this little guy has packed into it. That said, there's also a wired-only version, the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini, so you don't have to worry about it dying mid-use.
The Logitech G715 stands out from all the other keyboards on this list for a very simple reason: it looks different. Rather than an aggressive black or grey color scheme, the G715 is matte white with lilac-colored media keys. Adding to its "soft" aesthetic is the frosted RGB lighting strip around the keyboard, which shows colors with a more pastel tone and a very comfortable cloud-shaped wrist rest. Although this unit doesn't have the same degree of customization as the SteelSeries Apex Pro keyboards, its very low latency and overall gaming performance are just as fantastic.
Whether you use it in a wired mode with the included USB-A to USB-C cable or wirelessly with its USB receiver, you'll be met with a responsive in-game experience with no noticeable delay, even if you're playing competitively. You can get this unit with your choice of Logitech's own GX switches in the usual offerings of clicky Blue, tactile Brown, and linear Red. It's worth mentioning that these switches do feel a bit scratchy, but with a bit of lube, you can improve their smoothness and feel.
At a mid-range price point, the Corsair K70 RGB TKL is the best keyboard you can buy. In addition to its under-the-hood performance, the K70 RGB TKL features excellent build quality with a hard plastic chassis, durable PBT keycaps, and ergonomic kickstands that open sideways, so you don't accidentally collapse them if you move your board. Performance-wise, its near-millisecond latency provides a very fluid and responsive in-game experience, especially when combined with the light-to-press Cherry MX switches. You can get this keyboard with either classic Cherry MX Red switches or Cherry MX Speed switches, and regardless of which you spring for (pun intended), you'll find a very light switch with a short actuation distance, so pressing a key feels like an extension of your finger.
This is part of a larger K70 lineup that features keyboards of different sizes with slightly different features. While we recommend the TKL size here, as it's considered the optimum size for gaming, you might prefer a larger board like the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2, which costs a little more but also includes a wrist rest. Additionally, it's worth a note that the Corsair is a wired-only keyboard, so you may prefer the previously mentioned Logitech G715 if you want a wireless unit.
The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition clocks in at a nice budget price point without compromising performance. This keyboard is an older model from Razer's flagship Huntsman lineup, so it features exceptionally low latency and gaming-focused optical switches that combine for a very fluid and responsive in-game experience. The Razer Optical switches have a linear feel with very short pre-travel distance and a feather-light actuation force. While these switches are excellent for gaming, you might find yourself making more typos while chatting away with friends.
However, since it's a budget model, it's missing a few extra features found on something a bit more premium, like the Corsair K70 RGB TKL mentioned above. For example, the Razer doesn't have dedicated media keys, a volume wheel, or a higher-than-average polling rate. So, if you don't mind the more stripped-down nature of the board, it's the best bang for your buck.
While the EVGA Z12 may be the cheapest gaming keyboard we've tested, it certainly isn't the worst. It's incredible how well this keyboard performs, considering it frequently goes on sale at a sub-$20 price point. Its latency is low enough for casual gaming, and the companion software allows you to customize the RGB backlighting in zones as well as program macros to any key. Plus, there's a column of dedicated macro keys on the left for easier access.
The EVGA uses rubber dome switches rather than mechanical switches. These switches are heavier to press and don't feel as snappy as mechanical switches, but they're nearly silent during operation, making them a great choice for kids or gamers in shared spaces like dorm rooms. Plus, the construction of a rubber dome switch eliminates any exposed moving parts, so if you tend to eat and drink in front of your keyboard, you won't have to worry about spills and crumbs damaging it.
While many of the above keyboards are packed full of extra hardware features like USB passthroughs or volume knobs, the Wooting two HE takes gaming keyboards in a different direction. Like the SteelSeries Apex Pro lineup, the Wooting two HE also uses proprietary magnetic switches that allow you to control the pre-travel distance. However, it takes this technology a step further by widening the range. You can set your pre-travel distance from an ultra-sensitive 0.1mm (so don't breathe too hard, or you'll activate the key) to a hard-bottomed 4.0mm (if you want to work out your fingers).
As an added plus, the companion software has a web-based version, so you don't have to load your PC up with bloatware to customize your keyboard. There are tons of software features to play around with, including not one but two multi-input features, handy for fast-paced games like Valorant and Fortnite, where every millisecond counts. On top of it all, this keyboard has an Analog Mode, which mimics the inputs of a gamepad controller, making it a great choice if you're also a fan of racing games or flight simulators. It's important to note that this keyboard sells in batches, so it isn't available through any popular online retailers. Instead, you'll have to pre-order the keyboard on Wooting's website.
Dec 02, 2022: Minor changes to the text for readability. No changes to picks.
Nov 02, 2022: Minor updates to text for clarity and accuracy. Added Obinslab Anne Pro 2 to Notable Mentions. No changes to picks.
Oct 03, 2022: Replaced the Corsair K100 RGB with the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless as the Best Gaming Keyboard, replaced the BlackWidow V3 Pro with the Corsair K70 RGB TKL, and added the Logitech G715 as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range' pick.
Jul 28, 2022: PM: Replaced the SteelSeries Apex Pro with the Corsair K100 RGB as the 'Best Gaming Keyboard' to better inform users of the range of available products. Cut Notable Mentions that were no longer relevant and added 'Best For Mac' and 'Best For Enthusiasts' categories.
Jul 06, 2022: Overhauled categories and picks to better reflect user expectations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mechanical 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.