Whether you need a keyboard with RGB backlighting for dark room gaming or just want to give your setup a personal touch or some flair, it's clear that the RGB craze is still going strong. From the most expensive keyboards on the market to budget options, it's possible to find a keyboard with great RGB backlighting and excellent customization options.
We've reviewed more than 25 keyboards, and below are our recommendations for the best RGB gaming keyboards that are available for purchase in 2020. For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards.
The best full-size RGB keyboard we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex Pro. It's a wired mechanical keyboard with an excellent build quality, and it comes with a comfortable wrist rest that attaches to the keyboard magnetically. It uses proprietary linear omnipoint switches that provide a light typing experience and shouldn't cause any fatigue over time. You can customize the actuation point to your liking through SteelSeries' Engine software, which is great if you prefer a lower actuation point for a responsive gaming experience, or a higher one to avoid unintended keystrokes from being registered, which helps with typing accuracy.
This keyboard comes with some extra features that are quite convenient, such as a dedicated media control key, a volume rocker, and an OLED screen that you can customize to show whatever you want. Also, you can customize the backlight of each key individually or just choose from one of the available presets. There's also a USB passthrough that you can use to charge your mobile devices or to plug in another peripheral such as a headset. Unfortunately, the Engine software is only available on Windows and macOS, so Linux users won't be able to customize the keyboard, though all the keys function properly.
On the whole, this is a feature-packed keyboard that should satisfy most gamers.
If you like the features on the SteelSeries Apex Pro but you need dedicated macro keys for MMO games, check out the Corsair K95 PLATINUM. It's a full-size keyboard that features Cherry MX Speed switches and an added column of dedicated macro keys. The switches are linear and don't have a tactile bump to indicate when a keystroke is registered, and their actuation point is quite low, which can lead to more typos if you're not used to them. Corsair's iCUE software lets you customize the RGB backlight of each key individually, and you can reprogram any key on the keyboard and save profiles. The keyboard also has onboard memory, making it easy to switch to another computer that doesn't have the software installed. It comes with a reversible wrist rest with a different texture on each side, as well as some extra textured keycaps designed for FPS players.
Overall, the SteelSeries is better, but if you need the extra macro keys, then go with the Corsair.
The best tenkeyless (TKL) keyboard with RGB backlighting that we've tested so far is the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL. It has similar features and build quality to the SteelSeries Apex Pro, but it uses SteelSeries' proprietary switches instead. These switches have a tactile bump that feels very much like Cherry MX Browns, but some may find them a bit mushy and not as responsive, as they don't bounce back as quickly after pressing a key. On the upside, the keys are stable and there's no sign of rattling at all.
This keyboard is compatible with SteelSeries' Engine software, where you can reprogram any key on the keyboard, set macros, and of course, customize the backlight. You can also customize the OLED screen to show anything you want, and save your profiles for different games. If you tend to use different computers, you can save your profiles on the keyboard's onboard memory, making it easy to carry them over without having to install the software. There's also a cloud sync option available, though it requires an account with SteelSeries.
If you want to save some desk space but still want a fully-featured keyboard, this is the one for you.
If you like the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL but have limited desk space or you prefer an even smaller keyboard, take a look at the Obinslab Anne Pro 2. This is a wireless Bluetooth keyboard that doesn't have a NumPad or any navigational keys. It has a hard plastic frame that feels solid and durable, and it has doubleshot PBT keycaps, so you won't have to worry about key legends fading or chipping over time. Its proprietary Gatreon Brown switches give a smooth but somewhat mushy tactile feedback, but you can get the keyboard with different switches. Unfortunately, the keyboard has a fairly high profile and it doesn't come with a wrist rest.
This keyboard can be customized using the Obinskit software. It lets you control the backlight of each key, and you can reprogram any key on the keyboard. While this keyboard works with all desktop operating systems as well as mobile devices, the software is only available for Windows and macOS users.
Overall, the SteelSeries has more features and feels better to type on, but if you need a compact keyboard that won't take up too much desk space, get the Obinslab.
The best budget RGB gaming keyboard we've reviewed so far is the Redragon K552-RGB. It's a wired tenkeyless keyboard with impressive build quality despite its budget price. Its clicky mechanical switches are similar to Cherry MX Blues, which provide satisfying tactile feedback. Typing on this keyboard feels light and responsive, but the typing noise can be bothersome if you use it in a noise-sensitive environment. Sadly, it doesn't have any customization software, so all customization needs to be done on the keyboard itself. That said, you can still customize the backlight of each key individually, though the process can be a bit complicated. Also, without software support, you won't be able to save different profiles or set any macros.
The keyboard has a high profile, but it doesn't come with a wrist rest if you need the extra support. There are hotkeys for media control, and there's also a Windows lock key to prevent accidentally minimizing your game. While this keyboard works with all desktop operating systems, some keys don't work on macOS.
Although this keyboard doesn't have tons of extra features, it's still a great choice if you want a basic budget mechanical keyboard with great RGB backlighting.
The best non-mechanical RGB keyboard we've reviewed so far is the Razer Cynosa Chroma. Its all-plastic construction feels rather mediocre, but it has doubleshot keycaps, which is great for the longevity of the key legends. It has rubber dome switches that feel light to type on, however, these switches have a fairly high pre-travel distance, making them feel less responsive for gaming.
Typing noise on this keyboard is very quiet, so it's suitable for use in a quiet office setting. Every key can be reprogrammed through Razer's Synapse 3 software, the only downside is that it's only available for Windows. This software also lets you customize the backlight of each key, and you can save a large number of profiles as well, though there's no onboard memory if you want to use the keyboard with another computer.
If you don't like mechanical keyboards or you prefer the quiet typing noise of a membrane keyboard, the Razer Cynosa Chroma is a good option.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best RGB keyboards for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
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 keyboard is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.