Whether you're a casual or serious gamer, looking for a gaming keyboard that suits your needs is difficult, especially if they're pricey. Luckily, there are options on the market for less than $100. Although some of them won't have as good build quality or extra features as premium models, they're still reliable for gaming. When looking for a gaming keyboard, it's important to take into account which types of switches you're most comfortable with, as some come with mechanical switches while others have rubber dome switches, which could feel mushier than mechanical ones.
We've tested over 120 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards under $100 that are available for purchase. Also, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best keyboards for gaming.
The best gaming keyboard under $100 with mechanical switches we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Although it doesn't use typical mechanical switches, it has hybrid switches that give you the tactile feedback of a mechanical one and the soft touch of a rubber dome switch. They have low pre-travel distance and offer a responsive gaming experience.
It's excellent for gaming and comes with the same features as other SteelSeries keyboards, but for under $100. It has individually-lit keys, an OLED screen, and a scroll wheel. The SteelSeries Engine software is compatible with both Windows and macOS. You can also customize its RGB lighting, set macros, or reprogram any key, and it has onboard memory. The keys are easy to press, ensuring your actions are registered quickly.
Unfortunately, the keys are loud and will distract others around you in an office environment, but that shouldn't be a problem if it's for your at-home setup. Luckily, it's really well-built and comes with a wrist rest with good ergonomics. Overall, this is a very good model, making it the best mechanical keyboard under $100 we've tested.
The best gaming keyboard under $100 with a wireless connection that we’ve tested is the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This TenKeyLess mechanical model connects with up to two different devices at the same time, either via the USB receiver or through Bluetooth. It has good ergonomics as it’s a straight board with one incline setting, but the wrist rest feels a bit cheap.
It's only available with linear Cherry MX Red switches, which require a bit of force to actuate and offer no tactile feedback. The pre-travel distance is also slightly longer than other gaming keyboards, though the switches still feel very responsive and shouldn’t cause any fatigue. It has some extra features, like dedicated media keys and a Windows lock that prevents you from accidentally minimizing your game, and you can reprogram or set macros to any key.
Unfortunately, the backlighting is limited to a single blue color, but at least the keys are individually lit, and you can control the brightness directly on the board. The build quality is also only decent, as the frame is made out of plastic that feels a little cheap. If you’re looking for a gaming keyboard that’s both wireless and under $100, this is an excellent choice.
If you're looking for a smaller option, the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is an excellent alternative. It doesn't have dedicated media keys or even arrow keys like the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, but it uses more traditional mechanical switches and has a compact 60% design that leaves more room for mouse movements on your desk. All of its keys are macro-programmable, it has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and it's available with a wide range of Cherry MX, Gateron, or Kailh switches. You can connect it with up to four devices at once via Bluetooth. However, the ergonomics are mediocre because it lacks a wrist rest and adjustable incline settings.
If you want a full-size keyboard with dedicated media keys, get the Corsair. However, if you'd rather a smaller compact 60% keyboard with more traditional mechanical switches, go for the Obinslab.
The best gaming keyboard under $100 with non-mechanical switches is the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT. Unlike the other keyboards in this recommendation, it has rubber dome switches. They're heavier to press than typical mechanical keyboards and may not have the same tactile feedback, but they're still light to press overall and should please gamers.
It's packed with gaming-oriented features; you can set macros to any key, and it even has six extra macro keys on the left side. It has full RGB lighting with individually-lit keys that you can customize through the iCUE software, which is available on both Windows and macOS. Latency is also extremely low, which is great. The keyboard has one incline setting, and there's a wrist rest, so it shouldn't cause too much fatigue during long gaming sessions.
Unfortunately, the typing quality is mediocre. Although this may not seem like much of an issue for gaming use only, the ABS keycaps feel slippery and wobbly, which may lead to some accidental key presses. On the plus side, the keys are very quiet and shouldn't bother others around you if you want to use it in an open-office environment. Overall, this is the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard under $100.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, check out the SteelSeries Apex 3. It doesn't have RGB lighting with individually-lit keys like the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT, but it feels more solidly built and offers better typing quality. It has rubber dome switches that require a moderate amount of force to actuate and good ergonomics with an included wrist rest that attaches magnetically. It also has dedicated media keys, a volume wheel, and all of its keys are macro programmable. Unfortunately, the latency is only decent for a wired gaming keyboard, and the RGB backlighting is zone-lit, though there are a fair number of lighting customization options.
If you're interested in a keyboard with better latency and dedicated macro keys, check out the Corsair, but if you want something cheaper, look into the SteelSeries.
The Logitech G413 is the best gaming keyboard under $100 that you can get for cheap. It's a well-rounded keyboard that offers fantastic gaming performance and should please most entry-level gamers. Despite its low cost, it's still well-built with a plastic frame and a solid aluminum top plate, so you shouldn't have any issues with its build.
The G413 only comes with proprietary Romer-G Tactile switches, which have a low pre-travel distance and offer good tactile feedback while being not too heavy to type on. Speaking of which, the keyboard offers good typing quality as the ABS keycaps feel nice to touch and are stable. For gamers, it has really low latency, so you won't notice any delay when gaming. It has backlighting with individually-lit keys, but sadly it's only available in red.
Unfortunately, even though you can set macros to any of its function keys, but you can't set them to any other key. Also, the keyboard doesn't have onboard memory, but you can use the Logitech G HUB's cloud sync function to save your settings if you want to use them on another computer. All things considered, this is the best cheap keyboard you can get in this price range.
Jun 10, 2021: Replaced the Redragon K552 with the Logitech G413 because it has macro-programmable keys; replaced the Razer Ornata V2 with the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT because it has dedicated macro keys; moved the Obinslab Anne Pro to alternative to the Corsair K63.
Apr 13, 2021: Added the Logitech G413 as an alternative to the SteelSeries Apex 3 and replaced the Razer Cynosa Chroma with the updated Razer Cynosa V2.
Feb 12, 2021: Updated text for clarity and accuracy, no change in recommendations.
Aug 19, 2020: Added Razer Ornata V2 as Best Non-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, changed SteelSeries Apex 3 to an alternative, moved Razer Cynosa Chroma to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming keyboards under $100 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 keyboards we've tested under $100. 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.