Finest gaming keyboards in 2021

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Best gaming keyboards

Whether or not it is lasers or magnets, the very best gaming keyboards have all of it.
(Picture credit score: Future)

The most effective gaming keyboard will accompany your gaming PC for a few years, and that is why it is so necessary to get a superb one. Mix it with a fantastic gaming mouse, and you have a recipe for a aggressive gaming setup that will not maintain you again.

There are myriad choices for the very best gaming keyboard, however as soon as you discover your good match, each interplay together with your PC will depart you brimming with phenomenological delight. To not confuse issues additional, however keyboard switches additionally are available in all flavors and colours, so here is the thin on the greatest mechanical keyboard switches round.

We have been over what model of keyboard is best for you, so test that out if you happen to’re tossing up between a full-size, TKL, or 60 p.c board. 

There are numerous combos, however these are our choose for the very best gaming keyboards you should buy at this time. Alternatively, if you cannot fairly justify the price of considered one of these dangerous boys, the greatest low cost gaming keyboards wont break the financial institution, however you might discover them missing a few of the options discovered generally right here.

Finest gaming keyboards 2021

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Corsair K100 RGB Optical

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Corsair K100 RGB Optical

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Corsair K100 RGB Optical

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Corsair K100 RGB Optical

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1. Corsair K100 RGB Optical

The most effective gaming keyboard

Specs

Change: Corsair OPX

Dimension: Full dimension

Backlights: RGB

Passthroughs: USB

Media Controls: Devoted

Wristrest: Removable

Keycaps: PBT double-shot

Causes to purchase

+Responsive optical switches+All of the RGB, on a regular basis+Premium construct high quality

Causes to keep away from

A number of software program

Once you need to go the additional mile and improve to the very best of the very best, it is laborious to discover a extra premium possibility than the Corsair K100 RGB. Be warned, although; it is a large keyboard: its monumental footprint nonetheless requires some desk clearing earlier than it may be nested comfortably. However feature-wise, the K100 RGB’s obtained all of it. Devoted media controls and a USB pass-through, a steel quantity wheel, RGB lighting. Talking of RGB, there’s an aggressive quantity of RGB on this keyboard.

Throughout our checks, we famous wonderful key responses, a good unfold of keys for many hand sizes, a satisfying tactile click on to every press, and splendidly dimpled keys that can assist you relaxation your fingers if you’re not really urgent down. Whereas this all appears fairly apparent, it exhibits that the K100 RGB nails the fundamentals, in addition to together with the flowery extras, and that is why it is high of the record. 

Learn the complete Corsair K100 RGB Optical evaluate.

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Mountain Everest Max

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Mountain Everest Max

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Mountain Everest Max

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Mountain Everest Max

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2. Mountain Everest Max

The most effective modular gaming keyboard

Specs

Change: Cherry MX Crimson, Blue, Brown, Silver

Dimension: Full dimension or TKL

Backlight: Per-key RGB

Passthrough: USB 3.2 Gen1

Media controls: Devoted unit

Wristrest: Magnetic, plush

Keycaps: ABS

Causes to purchase

+Absolutely modular+Easy, elegant model+Nice {hardware}

Causes to keep away from

Not sure about Base Camp software program

All issues to all individuals, that is virtually what the Mountain Everest Max gaming keyboard represents. And it is considered one of my favorite designs because it first landed on my desk. I do not at all times want the numpad on a full-size keyboard, but it surely definitely is useful generally through the work day. Once I’m gaming although, all I would like is a compact TKL board, to get my mouse and keyboard fingers nearer collectively and provides me extra desktop actual property to fling round my rodent.

That is what the Everest Max presents; the flexibleness to have your TKL cake and eat your numpad. Use your numpad. No matter. Mainly the magnetically attaching numpad module is ready to be hooked up to both facet of the bottom mechanical TKL board and is totally hot-swappable. 

The admittedly very costly $270 (£230) full Everest Max package additionally comes with an opulent magnetic wrist relaxation and a media module with discrete controls and an LCD display.

It is also a board for the keyboard fanatic too, with a base that lets you pull out switches at will and substitute them as simply as simply pushing them in. You can even go for the barebones board, selecting your personal switches and keycaps from the begin to create a very customized possibility.

My solely reservations with the Everest Max are its excessive worth and the preliminary immaturity I skilled with its config software program. That is been ironed out now for essentially the most half, and I am nonetheless utilizing my pattern on a day-to-day foundation because it completely fits how I recreation and work on my PC.

Learn the complete Mountain Everest Max evaluate.

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Razer Cynosa Chroma

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Razer Cynosa Chroma

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3. Razer Cynosa Chroma

The most effective gaming keyboard for membrane lovers

Specs

Interface: Wired USB

Keyboard backlighting: Per-key RGB

Programmable keys: All

Options: Per key RGB lighting, helps Home windows 7+ and OSX 10.8+

Causes to purchase

+Finest feeling membrane keys out there+Reasonably priced+Per key RGB lighting

Causes to keep away from

Membrane does not reside as much as mechanical

If even mecha-membrane keys do not swimsuit you, and also you demand a full membrane typing/gaming expertise, the Razer Cynosa is the deck for you. I do know there are individuals on the market preferring the tender embrace of a pure membrane change, and that is nice—every to their very own.

The Cynosa has a few of the greatest feeling, low profile membrane keys I’ve ever examined, and at a retail worth of $60, is without doubt one of the most inexpensive gaming keyboards on the market (effectively, previous a sure threshold of high quality). Whereas it could lack a few of the options a number of gaming boards pack in lately, stuff like a devoted wrist relaxation or media controls, it does boast Razer’s intensive RGB lighting, which will be programmed on a per-key foundation or utilized by zones.

It is a stable, no-frills, good trying keyboard that is the very best membrane possibility of an enormous vary that I’ve examined. There’s a step-up model of the Cynosa out there. Nonetheless, for $20 additional, the one actual addition is under-glow RGB, so until that sort of ‘floor results’ package deal is massively interesting to you, I like to recommend you save your money and put money into the bottom mannequin.

G.Skill KM360 gaming keyboard

(Picture credit score: G.Ability)

4. G.Ability KM360

The brightest, most inexpensive mechanical keyboard

Specs

Change: Cherry MX Crimson

Dimension: TKL

Backlights: White

Passthroughs: None

Media Controls: Built-in

Wristrest: None

Causes to purchase

+Reasonably priced+Dependable Cherry MX switches +Vibrant white LED 

Causes to keep away from

No RGB results

There’s a development in direction of $200+ gaming keyboards available in the market in the meanwhile, however that does not imply there aren’t high quality mechanical change boards out there at a extra affordable worth. Typically you will discover these extra funds oriented choices providing low cost switches from different producers, however the G.Ability KM360 comes that includes the basic Cherry MX Crimson linear change out of the gate.

If you cannot cope together with your gaming board not lit up like a rainbow then you might be dissatisfied with the single-colour possibility, however rattling, the white LEDs on this G.Ability board are the brightest I’ve ever seen. Usually I wish to maintain at max brightness all day lengthy, however the KM360 would burn out my retina if I did.

This TKL board is fundamental, however what it does, it does very effectively. It is stable, well-built, dependable, and appears fairly respectable too. There isn’t any wrist relaxation, no passthrough, or media controls, however I am going to fortunately give it a move in favour of inexpensive performance.

Logitech G915 gaming keyboard

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5. Logitech G915 Lightspeed

The most effective wi-fi gaming keyboard

Specs

Change: Logitech GL low profile

Dimension: Full dimension

Backlights: RGB LED

Passthroughs: None

Media Controls: Devoted

Wristrest: None

Causes to purchase

+Lag-free wi-fi+Nice battery life+Low-profile mechanical switches

Causes to keep away from

Macro key placement is odd to some

Should you should choose up a wi-fi keyboard then the Logitech G915 is a nice candidate. You will be required to spend that little bit extra for wi-fi performance over what we are likely to see for wired mechanical keyboards with comparable options—the Logitech G915 is $250 (£210). There is a barely cheaper TKL model, however not a lot so that we might immediately advocate it over the full-size mannequin.

What you get for that important money funding is a glossy and durable board plated in brush aluminium. There’s some sensible media controls within the higher right-hand nook of the board, together with a beautiful quantity wheel, and there is a handful of macro keys down the left-side of the keyboard. These will be programmed to no matter you see match on a per-app or per-game foundation from throughout the Logitech G software program.

Beneath that fashionable exterior lies fantastically responsive Kailh-made GL key switches. You may choose from linear, tactile, or clicky, and we advocate the latter if you happen to actually need to make a racket.

It packs in all this with out huge general footprint, too, coming in as one of many sleeker boards of the lot at this time. The wired Cherry MX 10.0 has it beat there, although, for higher or worse.

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

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6. HyperX Alloy Elite RGB

The gaming keyboard with additional flash and options

Specs

Change: Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Crimson

Dimension: Full dimension

Backlights: Crimson

Passthroughs: USB

Media Controls: Devoted

Wristrest: Removable

Causes to purchase

+Nice function set+Comparatively inexpensive+Wonderful vary of Cherry MX switches

Causes to keep away from

No additional keycaps or wrist relaxation

For a board that may be illuminated in as much as 16.9 million colours, the HyperX Alloy Elite sports activities a comparatively easy aesthetic whereas nonetheless packing the options we anticipate out of a top quality gaming keyboard. It is available in your selection of Cherry MX Brown, Blue, and Crimson. What it lacks in a devoted macro column, it makes up for with its affordable worth and high quality, sturdy design.

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB leaves no function field unchecked. It is geared up with devoted media controls, USB passthrough, a removable wrist-rest, and full RGB backlighting. It additionally consists of an additional set of silver keycaps for WASD and the primary 4 quantity keys to up its aesthetics. The board helps full N-key rollover, which means you by no means have to fret about key presses not registering. 

The brand new HyperX Alloy Elite 2 has now been launched, that includes some beautiful ABS pudding keycaps, however solely appears to be out there on the HyperX web site proper now. It’s damned fairly, however you aren’t getting the wrist relaxation… you win some, you lose some.

Finest gaming mouse | Finest gaming chair | Finest gaming PC

Finest VR headset | Finest wi-fi gaming mouse | Best gaming monitor

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Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

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Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

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Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

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7. Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

The most effective gaming keyboard for personalization and ergonomics

Specs

Change: Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Crimson

Dimension: Cut up tenkeyless

Backlights: RGB

Passthroughs: USB

Media Controls: No

Wristrest: Sure

Causes to purchase

+Cut up keyboard and distinctive format to scale back pressure+Optionally available raise package and wrist rests to enhance ergonomics+Extraordinarily customizable

Causes to keep away from

Studying curve available positioning

The unique Freestyle Edge from Kinesis was top-of-the-line cut up ergonomic keyboards available on the market. This upgraded RGB mannequin improves on the unique in a number of methods. It retains the cut up design, permitting you to set the deck’s two halves at shoulder width and scale back again, neck, and shoulder pressure. The hole additionally permits you to drop a flight stick or HOTAS in between them for house sims or depart your controller inside straightforward attain if you’re typing in textual content chat or messengers between classes. 

The Freestyle Edge RGB can also be customizable, with onboard storage for as much as 9 person profiles, ten devoted macro keys on the left half, and the flexibility to customise each key individually (together with on the whole layer that you just entry by pushing the Fn key). It is absolutely programmable with out using any extra software program, although it may also be personalized by Kinesis’ Smartest software program for an much more granular expertise. 

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Razer Huntsman Elite

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8. Razer Huntsman Elite

The quickest gaming keyboard

Specs

Change: Razer Opto-mechanical

Dimension: Full dimension

Backlights: 16.8 million coloration RGB

Passthroughs: No

Media Controls: Devoted

Wristrest: Removable magnetic

Causes to purchase

+Opto-mechanical keys+Stunning, absolutely lit, sturdy full sized board+Devoted media controls

Causes to keep away from

No USB passthrough or macro keys

The Huntsman household of Razer keyboards is the one place on this planet to seek out their optomechanical change, and it is top-of-the-line (and most technologically attention-grabbing) switches available on the market. The optomechanical construct eschews conventional steel contacts and as a substitute actuates by a beam of sunshine that fires by the change when the hot button is depressed, which means actuation is sort of instantaneous. 

The opposite main benefit of eradicating all of the comparatively frail, slender steel contacts from the change is that they are rated as twice as sturdy as commonplace mechanical switches, as much as 100 million keystrokes. They’re tactile switches that actuate at 1.5 mm and 45g of pressure, which means they’re ridiculously straightforward to spam however nonetheless present tactile suggestions. They’re additionally nice for typing for a lot the identical cause.

The remainder of the Elite is effectively designed too, with a comfortable removable magnetic wrist relaxation, a full suite of devoted media controls, and a multi-function dial that can be utilized for something from altering your PC’s quantity to scrolling by lighting suites for the 16.8 million RGB coloration choices. It additionally options some helpful storage on the keyboard, so you’ll be able to simply save your preferences to a profile that can journey with you if you happen to transfer it to a unique machine. It is a wonderful, fully-featured keyboard with some actually incredible switches, although you will pay a premium for the privilege of utilizing them.

Learn the complete Razer Huntsman Elite evaluate.

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SteelSeries Apex Pro

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SteelSeries Apex Pro

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SteelSeries Apex Pro

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9. SteelSeries Apex Professional

The most effective gaming keyboard for per-key actuation

Specs

Change: Omnipoint Adjustable

Dimension: Full dimension

Backlights: 16.8 million coloration RGB

Passthroughs: Single USB

Media Controls: Devoted through OLED

Wristrest: Removable magnetic

Causes to purchase

+Per key actuation permits for unimaginable customization+Strong function set+Enticing, minimalist deck with full RGB

Causes to keep away from

No macro keys or wrist relaxation

The Apex Professional could also be constructed round one headline function (its capability to set the actuation level for each key individually). Nonetheless, it is also an extremely stable, aggressive gaming keyboard even with out that groundbreaking customization. That stated, adjusting the actuation level on a key-by-key foundation is an unimaginable boon, significantly for anybody that splits their time between typing and gaming. 

Should you discover you wrestle to resolve between a linear and tactile change, the Apex Professional presents you a hybrid that may fulfill each wants in the identical mannequin. Set a deeper actuation for typing or larger when you have to spam keys in a MOBA or MMO. Or if you happen to discover you are steadily nailing a specific key by chance and blowing your cooldown, you’ll be able to set it individually to require that you just backside out, so you will really want to push it with intention. 

The Apex Professional additionally incorporates a novel OLED show within the higher right-hand nook of the board, which helps you to alter the actuation (although solely throughout the whole board uniformly; the per-key settings require the SteelSeries Engine software program), deal with media controls, and even show a tiny animated gif. Whereas it is extra gimmick than a necessity, it does allow you to alter some key settings with out having to dig deep right into a separate software program suite. And the low profile of the chassis with the heightened keycaps contributes to a wonderful aesthetic, with little to no wasted house across the board’s edges.

Jellykey Born of Forest series spacebar keycap depicting a forest scene

(Picture credit score: Jellykey)

Gaming keyboard Q&A

What’s the large cope with mechanical switches?

We will discuss for hours concerning the really feel of mechanical switches versus membrane switches, however in the end that is a private selection. What makes mechanical switches objectively superior, nonetheless, is there far prolonged life span. They’ll take much more punishment and maintain responding lengthy after a membrane change has collapsed in on itself.

What’s a very powerful factor to search for in a mechanical gaming keyboard?

The change kind is arguably a very powerful option to make when selecting your new gaming keyboard. Cherry mechanical switches are the commonest and most recognizable, however there are a bunch of alternate options on provide, as effectively a bunch of upmarket, specialist switches to select from. 

Are devoted media controls a deal-breaker?

Solely you may make that decision, however we might counsel that not less than having the choice to toggle the highest row between operate and media controls could be our selection. Having a discrete quantity wheel will be tremendous helpful, nonetheless.

What dimension of keyboard do I would like?

Keyboard dimension is completely a defining issue. Full-sized keyboards have a tendency to supply essentially the most options and a Numpad, but when you do not have house, then all of these extras you paid for shall be ineffective. Tenkeyless boards (those with no quantity pad), and compact keyboards generally is a nice possibility too if you happen to do not care about all the additional bells and whistles, or you haven’t any use for alt codes (how barbaric!).

Jargon buster – keyboard terminology

Actuation Level

The peak to which a key must be pressed earlier than it actuates and sends an enter sign to a tool.

Clicky

A change that delivers an audible click on each time it is pressed, typically proper across the level of actuation.

Debounce

A way to make sure that just one enter registers each time a secret’s pressed.

Housing

The shell that surrounds the inner parts of a change.

Hysteresis

The results of the actuation level and reset level in a change being misaligned. This typically means a key must be lifted off additional than regular earlier than it may be actuated once more. 

Linear

A change that strikes instantly up and down, typically delivering easy keystrokes with out noise or tactile suggestions.

Mechanical Keyboard

A keyboard constructed round particular person switches for every key reasonably than a membrane sheath mounted on a PCB.

Membrane Keyboard

A keyboard on which all of the keycaps are mounted on a membrane sheath; when a secret’s pressed, a rubber dome depresses and pushes in opposition to the sheath and PCB beneath, actuating the important thing.

Stem

The part of a change on which the keycaps are mounted on a mechanical keyboard.

Change

The bodily part of a mechanical keyboard beneath the keycaps on a mechanical keyboard. The change determines how a secret’s actuated, whether or not or not it gives audible or tactile suggestions with every press, and extra.

Optical change

This can be a kind of mechanical change which as a substitute of a bodily steel contact change makes use of gentle to measure when actuation takes place. These will be extra configurable too, permitting for not simply on and off states, however extra analog designs, and even twin actions for a single key relying on how far the change is pressed down.

Tactile

A change that gives a ‘bump’ of suggestions each time it is pushed.

Tenkeyless (TKL)

A keyboard that lacks the right-hand quantity pad.