Gaming Keyboards

For All Play Styles

The best gaming keyboard can make a huge difference not just when you’re blasting your enemies online, but in everyday productivity too. That’s because most everyday office keyboards are simply not that comfortable or durable. Gaming keyboards may are pricier, but they also offer features that cheap office peripherals can’t match, such as mechanical keys, software suites that let you reprogram keys and RGB lighting for a little pizzazz.

It’s hard to describe just how much of a difference these features make, but based on my own observations, once you go the gaming keyboard route, you’ll never go back.

Of course, the best gaming keyboard for your setup depends on your gaming habits, your available desk space and your budget. If you have only a little bit of money to spend, you can get something decent; if you’re willing to dig deep, you can get a nearly perfect peripheral that will last for years and years to come. You’ll never game — or type — the same way again.

 

What is the best gaming keyboard?

While the “best gaming keyboard” very much depends on each user’s situation, there are a few broad recommendations I can make. All of my favorite gaming keyboards have a few things in common: mechanical keys, streamlined designs and RGB lighting.
 

The best gaming keyboard you can buy right now — the best gaming keyboard I’ve ever reviewed, in fact — is the Corsair K70 RGB Mk. 2. This colorful keyboard lets you choose your favorite Cherry MX key switch (I like the noisy, tactile Blues, but you can also get linear Reds, quiet Browns or rapid Speeds), then program your keys and color patterns to suit your favorite games. It’s gorgeously designed and comfortable to use, and years after I first reviewed this keyboard, I can’t think of a single significant thing wrong with it.

If money is of no object, the Logitech G915 is one of the coolest keyboards I have ever used. In fact, it’s my everyday keyboard at work, since I’ve made my desk into a wire-free zone. This stylish accessory is Logitech’s second-ever wireless mechanical keyboard, but it’s better by leaps and bounds than the company’s previous effort. This time, you have gorgeous low-profile keycaps, incredibly responsive switches, a long-lasting rechargeable battery and a full RGB lighting spectrum. The G915 is arguably the future of mechanical keyboards — although you’ll pay an early adopter tax for the privilege.

 

How to choose the best gaming keyboard for you

There are three things to consider when trying to find the best gaming keyboard for your setup: Design, features and price. All three are interconnected, however — keyboards with more complex designs and fancier features cost more money. Simpler keyboards are cheaper. There are no special tricks here.

The first thing you’ll want to determine is whether you want a full-size or tenkeyless keyboard. This is a pretty simple decision: Full-size keyboards have separate number pads on the right, while tenkeyless models don’t. If you do a ton of productivity work, a numpad is worthwhile; if not, you can eschew it and save a few bucks.

During this time, you should also consider what kind of switches you’d like, if you’re buying a mechanical model. Cherry MX is generally the gold standard. The most common types of Cherry switches are Red, which is quiet and linear, Brown, which is quiet and tactile, and Blue, which is noisy and tactile. Other switch manufacturers generally offer similar styles, although the color coding may be different.

Some features cost more money than others. RGB lighting can tack a few dozen bucks onto a gaming keyboard’s price tag, and wireless connectivity can make a peripheral even more expensive. I personally like both of these options, but they’re not necessarily worth the money if you’re not worried about the aesthetics from your setup. After all, wireless keyboards don’t necessarily offer a huge advantage, as keyboards are stationary devices.