Gaming has become a multi-billion dollar industry, and as a result, manufacturers have constantly been going above and beyond to improve, offering amazing quality peripherals to allow the audience to experience their games to the highest levels. A wired gaming keyboard are the often preferred option, however, advances in wireless technology has wireless keyboards closing the gap. As as a result, they’ve been taking spots reserved for wired keyboards, on our top 10 list.
However, making the decision on what gaming keyboard to purchase is a difficult one, as there are many things to consider, most notably your budget. Are you using it solely for gaming, or is it a 50/50 split between gaming and everyday use? Do you want extensive customisation, or would you prefer to just plug it in and play? Do you like the sound of the keyboard ‘click’, when you type, or do you prefer a quiet experience? This list is our top 10 keyboards for gaming in 2018, and should allow you to be able to make the right choice for your PC.
As a step up from the G413, the G513 moved into mid range territory, and as a result, faces stronger competitors. Cherry Red MX keys are great for gaming, but unless you’re spending your time solely on gaming, they’re not the best. The Logitech G513 outperforms the competition with it’s new Romer-G Linear switches. These switches are not only quieter, but have shown to allow a 25% faster keystroke, compared to previous switches.
Alongside the upgraded switches, it has a sleek brushed metal finish, which in most models, will cause fingerprints to show very easily, but Logitechs blend of aluminium and magnesium is designed in such a way to put a stop to that, allowing your keyboard to look at it’s best for longer. This combination garners it as one of the best gaming keyboards nowadays. The G413 is a great alternative, being a much lower budget keyboard at roughly half the price, although it doesn’t come with the features of a Palm Rest, RGB Lighting, and the new Linear Romer-G switch.
- Romer-G linear switches
- Palm rest included
- RGB backlighting
- More expensive than last years model
- Lack of Macro keys
- USB pass through still 2.0
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is Corsairs more premium gaming keyboard, featuring a very attractive RGB Lighting setup that allows 16.8 Million color options across the keyboard. The K95 uses Cherry’s new linear MX Speed Switches, which are highly responsive, and merely take a light press to activate, 1.2mm of movement and 45g of force to be exact. Due to this, they bottom out faster, take less effort to press, and allow for much more rapid gameplay, allowing you an advantage where every millisecond counts.
This is a gaming keyboard, so using for typing may take a little getting used to. It also features a Palm Rest, and 6 fully customisable macro keys.
- Cherry MX Speed Switches (If used only for gaming)
- Fully Backlit with RGB Lighting
- Detachable Rubber Palm Rest included
- 8MB Dedicated Memory for storing customised profiles
- Quite a pricey option
- Awkward Software
- Palm Rest gets dirty quickly, and needs regular cleaning to keep looking presentable
The M750 is an awesome choice as a dedicated gaming keyboard. Its reliable performance, solid construction, and dazzling lights make is a very attractive prospect for the avid gamer.
The software used in the Steelseries Apex M750 is very easy to use and customize, with the option of a live preview as you alter the settings, allowing for switching color profiles between different games, and also features pre-made profiles for popular games such as Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, Overwatch, and more. The linear mechanical switches used in this keyboard are useful for gaming, although not so much for typing.
The design on the M750 is phenomenal. The floating keycaps make it incredibly easy to clean, the backlight allows for a more immersive experience, and the keyboard itself is solid as anything, made from a combination of aluminium backplate, and hard plastic everywhere else.
- Dazzling lighting
- Tough build
- Simple customisation software
- Decent Mid Range Price
- Very loud typing (May be a pro if that’s your preference)
- Not very good for typing
- No cable routing
The Asus ROG Claymore is up there for the most expensive gaming keyboard on this list. The design looks very futuristic, with floating keycaps, accentuated by a lack of a bezel around the edges, the numpad is fully detachable, and you can purchase the Asus ROG Claymore Core only package, which does not include the removeable numpad, for a cheaper option.
It’s very well made, constructed of both Aluminium and very tough plastic, and looks impressive too, with a jet black finish, grooves, with RGB lighting under every key, however, the finish on the board attracts fingerprints more easily.
The number pad includes a volume roller, and attaches to either side of the Core, allowing for a more flexible design. The joining mechanism isn’t the best, as it has been known to come loose, and if you place force on a corner, there is some degree of movement. This detracts from the otherwise stellar design of the Claymore.
If paired with an Asus motherboard, you also gain the additional features of keys that will used for launching motherboard specific features, such as launching the CPU motherboard tweaker, or changing fan profiles.
- Quality Body
- Compact Design
- Wide array of switches
- RGB lighting
- Detachable Numpad
- High Price
- Loose Numpad
- No USB passthrough
- No Wrist Rest
As one of the most affordable gaming keyboards on this list, the Razer Cynosa Chroma solidifies it’s place in the mid range category. Aimed at the cost averse customer, the Chroma offers decent gaming and great everyday typing performance, with mesh membrane keys. While mechanical keys are generally preferred, the membrane keys are usually a cheaper alternative, lacking the distinctive sound of a mechanical keyboard.
While the Chroma lacks dedicated Macro keys, all keys on the keyboard are able to be programmed at will. The 10-key rollover anti-ghosting feature is useful, but not as effective as the n-key tech higher end keyboards use, and fast paced gaming performance can suffer as a result.
Razer’s software is usually very good, and it’s no exception with this keyboard. The software’s ease of use makes customizing the backlight very satisfying.
- Impressive RGB implementation
- Low-Profile build
- Membrane switches
- No dedicated macro keys
Wireless keyboards are generally frowned upon in gaming use, due to reasons such as battery life (you wouldn’t want your keyboard to die mid-game), and also a minor, but sometimes noticeable lag, due to the wireless transmission, rather than wired. However, wireless keyboards offer other advantages, such as being more compact, lack of wires cluttering space, and portability, and the Corsair K63 Wireless is no different.
The features it has are identical as the wired version, and you can also purchase a lapboard to connect it to for $54.99, making it great for couch gaming.
The K63 Wireless is a dedicated gaming keyboard, and as a result, it was designed to minimize the usual downsides of a wireless keyboard, compared to wired. Featuring Cherry MX Red keys, backlit lighting, and media buttons, you wouldn’t notice a difference aesthetically to it’s wired brother, the Corsair K63.
The design is very clean, and modern. With a frameless design, and a subtle top bezel, giving some flair, while leaving space for the dedicated media controls. Its 2.4Ghz connection has shown to be stable in areas laden with wireless transmissions, and has no problem connecting from one side of your house to the other. The battery life is around 75 hours with no backlight, 25 hours at a third brightness, and only 10 hours at full blast. As a result, you need to be careful when deciding on the backlight, and to ensure you charge it as often as possible.
- Solid wireless connection
- Great couch gaming with Lapboard
- Features same as Wired version
- Cheaper without Lapboard add-on
- Lapboard relatively expensive
- Palm rest clips flimsy
The Cooler Master Masterset MS120 listing is a little different from the rest, as it’s a gaming keyboard and mouse combo. The Tactile Hybrid switches, described as ‘mem-chanical’, are a membrane style switch, but simulate the mechanical experience. Each keystroke comes with a satisfying click, with springs underneath each key, offering perfect resistance, and nigh-instantaneous reset, that you see on premium keyboards.
The depth of each keystroke is 3.6mm, with an actuation point of 1.2mm. This allows it to be great for swift gaming, that require minimal pressure to activate each key. Once again, depending on personal preference, the keys are quite loud, and a sharp squeak is noticeable, most likely caused by the keys rubbing against each-other.
As the second cheapest on this list, it’s great value for money, considering it comes with a mouse as well, although it’s not the main attraction, reaching only 3,050 DPI, but is rated for 10 million clicks.
Style-wise, it is compact, with stunning RGB lighting, that can be configured with several profiles. With also the option to light up letters in ‘Gaming mode’, this is a very straightforward peripheral set, that is great for someone dipping their toes into proper gaming.
- Compact design
- Comes with Mouse
- Stunning RGB lighting
- Loud and tactile mem-chanical switches
- Mouse DPI relatively low end
- Lack of customisation software
- Squeaky keystrokes
As the cheapest option, the Logitech G213 Prodigy offers amazing value for money. An attractive option for first time buyers of a gaming keyboard. Logitech focused on providing the greatest experience, with the lowest possible price with this option, featuring dedicated media controls, fully RGB backlit keys, and endless software customisation. Unfortunately, it is a membrane keyboard, but it has been ‘tuned’ for gaming, and it seems to fare well against the competition.
Weighing in at 1000g, with a non-detachable wrist-rest, and being a full sized keyboard, it is a chunky design, but well built, and offers spill-resistant capabilities, allowing for wear and tear to be minimal over its lifespan. Made completely of plastic, it feels very sturdy, and does exactly what it needs to do.
The G213 has extensive customisation options, allowing the user to re-assign keys, alter RGB lighting, and create macros to meet personal tastes. While the lighting isn’t incredibly bright, it stands out almost as well as a higher end gaming keyboard.
- Excellent value for money
- Excellent software customisation
- Great for gaming
- Membrane keyboards
- Lack of USB passthrough
Kingston’s first HyperX branded gaming keyboard, the HyperX Alloy FPS, was improved upon to create the Alloy Elite. As well as the features its predecessor had, it also has media keys, a light bar, and a palm rest, for only $10 extra.
It has a very simple design, frameless, solid construction, and comfortable, textured palm rest. This makes it a contender in the 10 best gaming keyboard choices. The light bar sitting between the standard keys, and media keys, is a 16 zone design, but lacks the customisation that most other keyboards offer, and provides a few set modes built in. As a result, there is no need to install any software upon plugging it in, making it a plug and go keyboard.
Unfortunately, the keyboard also lacks the capability to programme macros, and has a very thick cable, although it could be argued that this is a plus for the sturdiness.
As an added sight, the keyboard comes with a set of WASD, and 1-4 keys which are Titanium colored, with a textured feel, giving it a more focused design, one that is very popular.
- Reasonable pricing
- Added media keys and volume dial
- Comfortable palm rest
- Very thick cable
- Lack of macro programming
- Lack of lighting customisation besides set modes
The final keyboard on this list, the Cougar 700K, is a mechanical keyboard. It has an array of features, such as N-key rollover, sturdy Aluminium and plastic build, backlighting, extra gaming keys, memory keys, and audio pass-through.
The design is different from most keyboards, most notably having a split spacebar, and as a result, may not appeal to many users. Depending on personal preference, you’ll either love it, or hate it. However, it has a sheet of brushed aluminium below the keys, which although has no practical purpose, it gives the keyboard a premium look, and contrasts well with the rest of the black keyboard.
The 700K features orange backlighting, which unfortunately is the only color available, but there is a variety of patterns it lights up in. The one half of the split spacebar can be programmed to any function, with the other acting solely as the spacebar.
- USB and Audio pass-throughs
- Packed with features
- Great build quality
- Great typing performance
- Split spacebar useful for gaming
- Style may be an acquired taste
- Split spacebar makes typing awkward
- US only layout, so not ideal for other countries