Whether you're a casual or serious gamer, looking for a gaming keyboard that suits your needs can be challenging, especially if you're on a tight budget. We've compiled a list of picks to help you find the best gaming keyboard under $100, and although some won't have extra features like more premium models, they're reliable for playing all your favorite games. When looking for a gaming keyboard, it's important to consider which types of switches you're most comfortable with, as some come in a range of mechanical switches while others have rubber dome switches.
We've tested over 215 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best budget gaming keyboards available to buy. All of these picks are suited for gaming, so if you're looking for budget keyboards that aren't gaming-focused, you can check out our picks for the best cheap keyboards. Although many of these picks are mechanical, you might find something better suited to your needs in our recommendations for the best budget mechanical keyboards. Otherwise, feel free to check out the best keyboards for gaming.
The best budget gaming keyboard we've tested is the Razer Huntsman Mini. This board uses optical switches, available in linear or clicky varieties. These switches feel like standard mechanical switches but use a beam of light to register keystrokes. Combined with how lightweight these switches are, the result is an extremely fluid and responsive-feeling gaming experience. Like other options on this list, this keyboard offers all the standard customization features with Razer's Synapse 3 software, including macro programming, per-key RGB backlighting effects, and onboard storage for custom profiles.
The build quality on this keyboard is also excellent, and it feels very sturdy even compared to more premium options in Razer's catalog. Another major selling point for this keyboard is its compact size, which takes up very little room on your desk, giving your setup a minimal look and leaving plenty of room for dynamic mouse movements. Unfortunately, this board has a fairly tall profile and doesn't include a wrist rest, so you may consider buying one separately for the most comfortable gaming experience.
If you need a traditional full-size layout with a Numpad, we recommend the Logitech G413. While it's an older model by peripheral standards, its performance isn't outdated. Thanks to its exceptionally low latency and sensitive Romer-G Tactile switches, games feel responsive and fluid while you play. It also comes with a few additional features, including a USB passthrough so you can plug in a device, like a headset or mouse receiver, directly into the keyboard for better cable management.
If there's a downside to this keyboard's age, it's that it isn't up to speed with all the most recent customization options. So, it only comes with one switch type, and its backlighting is limited to only one color. That said, it's a standout choice for gamers who only care about raw performance, as this unit is about as simple as it gets.
Until recently, we've focused on recommending wired-only keyboards since high-performance wireless options usually have a price tag much higher than $100. Enter the Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED. This full-size wireless unit has remarkably low latency and uses the same sensitive Romer-G Tactile switches as our full-size recommendation, the Logitech G413. These switches have a smooth tactile bump that feels very responsive while gaming. There are also quite a few extra features packed into this already impressive board, including dedicated media keys, a column of dedicated macro keys, and even a built-in wrist rest for better ergonomic support. However, there are some trade-offs. It lacks backlighting, making the legends on keys hard to see if you like gaming in a darker environment.
If this is a deal-breaker for you, check out the Obinslab Anne Pro 2, which has full RGB backlighting that you can customize on a per-key basis. However, its latency is only good enough for gaming when used in a wired mode. The latency is best suited for casual gaming if you use it with Bluetooth. It also isn't a full-size keyboard, so the G613 LIGHTSPEED is a better option if you need a Numpad.
Mechanical options often hog the spotlight, but non-mechanical gaming keyboards have advantages. Take the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT, the best non-mechanical budget gaming board we've tested. It uses membrane switches hidden under a piece of solid frosted plastic, a bonus for the folks who like to eat and drink by their keyboard as it's more resistant to spills and crumbs since there aren't any exposed moving parts. These switches are nearly silent during use, making it a great choice for people who game late into the night or have to game in tight, shared spaces.
In terms of its performance and features, it has almost every feature a gamer could want. It includes RGB backlighting that's customizable on a per-key basis, dedicated macro keys for easy access, extremely low latency, and a detachable wrist rest for ergonomic support during those marathon sessions.
Jul 25, 2023: We've gone through this article and confirmed the relevance, availability, and pricing of all our recommendations but haven't made any changes to our lineup with this update, as all picks continue to represent the best options for their categories.
May 29, 2023: Replaced the Razer Huntsman TE with the Razer Huntsman Mini as the top pick; it performs slightly better but costs less. Also removed the 'Best Compact' category, as the Huntsman Mini is a compact board. Removed the Razer Cynosa Chroma from the Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Razer Cynosa V2 due to availability.
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.