Whether you're a casual or serious gamer, looking for a gaming keyboard that suits your needs is difficult and they can get very pricey. Luckily, there are keyboards on the market for less than $100, and although most of them will lack the features found on higher-end keyboards, such as extra macro keys, better build quality, or sometimes even full RGB lighting, 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 feel mushier than mechanical ones.
We've reviewed over 50 keyboards so far, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards under $100 that are available for purchase in 2020. Also see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and best keyboards for gaming.
The best mechanical gaming keyboard under $100 we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It's a fantastic gaming keyboard thanks to its easy-to-press keys.
It uses proprietary Hybrid Blue Mechanical switches, which are a mix between mechanical and rubber domes switches, providing clicky, tactile feedback, similar to Cherry MX Blue switches. Each key is macro programmable through the SteelSeries Engine software, which is compatible with both macOS and Windows. This keyboard has full RGB lighting and you can also customize the individually-lit keys through the dedicated software.
Unfortunately for MMO gamers, it lacks extra macro keys, but it's an extremely well-built keyboard that comes with a wrist rest for those long gaming sessions. Overall, this keyboard offers fantastic value for its price, making it one of the best gaming keyboards under $100.
If you're looking for a smaller keyboard to have more space on your desk, such as for FPS games, then the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 is a great choice. It doesn't have good ergonomics like the SteelSeries Apex 5 Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, but it's a compact keyboard that is excellent for gaming. It has full RGB lighting and you can reprogram every key through the ObinsKit software. It's available with many different switches, including Gateron Brown, Cherry MX, or Kailh, so you can get the switch you prefer. Since it's a small keyboard, it unfortunately doesn't have extra features like media keys or a Windows Key Lock.
If you're looking for the best mechanical gaming keyboard under $100, check out the SteelSeries. If you want something smaller, look into the Obinslab.
The best wireless gaming keyboard under $100 we've tested so far is the Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED. You might find it at higher than $100, but it's been consistently on sale for less than $100 for most of 2020. It's a good gaming keyboard that uses Romer-G Tactile switches, similar to Cherry MX Browns.
The keys have a short pre-travel distance and the actuation force needed isn't very high, which is great for gaming. MMO gamers will also appreciate the six dedicated macro keys. The ergonomics are good, but the included wrist rest can't be removed, which might be disappointing to some.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any backlighting, so it might not be the best to use in a dark environment. Regardless, it provides good value for its price, making it one of the best wireless gaming keyboards under $100.
The best non-mechanical gaming keyboard under $100 we've tested is the SteelSeries Apex 3. Although it doesn't have the mechanical switches like other gaming keyboards, the rubber dome switches provide good feedback, but they're harder to press.
Each key is macro programmable through the SteelSeries Engine software, but since it has zone RGB lighting, you can't customize the lighting on a per-key basis. Regardless, it's still a good choice to use in dark environments, which should please most casual gamers. Since it's a full-size keyboard, it also has dedicated media keys for when you need to sit back and watch your favorite videos or control your music while you're playing.
However, it could get tiring using this keyboard for long gaming sessions, but fortunately, there's a comfortable wrist rest included. It has some good gamer-friendly features, and if you don't mind the rubber dome switches and want something non-mechanical, it's one of the best gaming keyboards under $100.
If you prefer a keyboard with individually-lit keys, then the Razer Cynosa Chroma is also a good choice. It doesn't have a wrist rest and the build quality is worse than the SteelSeries Apex 3, but the Razer also uses rubber dome switches that have good tactile feedback. Unfortunately, it could get tiring typing on this keyboard, but the doubleshot ABS keycaps feel solid and shouldn't have any wear-and-tear issues. The Synapse 3 software allows you to macro program every key and set the RGB lighting on a per-key basis.
If you're looking for the best non-mechanical gaming keyboard under $100, then check out the SteelSeries, but if you want individually-lit keys, check out the Razer instead.
The best cheap gaming keyboard under $100 we've tested so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. It's decent for gaming and has a great build quality due to its robust body, which is made out of hard plastic and metal.
This keyboard uses Outemu Blue switches, which provide clicky, tactile feedback similar to Cherry MX Blue switches. They don't require much actuation force and they have little pre-travel distance, which is great for gamers. Since it's a TKL keyboard, you'll have more space on your desk for your mouse when playing FPS games.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a dedicated software, so you can't reprogram any keys, but you can customize the full RGB backlighting on the keyboard itself. For its price, it offers a good gaming experience, making it the best cheap gaming keyboard under $100 we've tested.
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 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.