When your keyboard also serves as a game controller, it becomes more than just a typing tool. It is an extension of yourself, your interface with the digital world, just as the katana is to a samurai (or a cyborg ninja). If you’re into PC gaming, you should know what makes a keyboard great, what sets one apart from another, and what’s on the market right now.
Best Gaming Keyboards 2023
Even though there are numerous options available, shopping for a gaming keyboard does not have to be a stressful experience. When purchasing a gaming keyboard, there are a few important factors to consider, such as latency (how responsive a keyboard is), switch types (the feel of the key press and the noise it makes), and overall comfort and feel.
You should also think about any extra features you want, such as RGB backlighting, media controls, or software customization options, to make your gaming experience as fluid and enjoyable as possible. In general, most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because they provide more features, better build quality, and a better typing experience, so our recommendations are skewed toward mechanical options.
We’ve been testing the best keyboards for gaming and every other application under the sun, and we’re all dedicated PC gamers, so we know which gaming keyboards are worth your money and which are better avoided, regardless of the type of gaming you enjoy.
Whether you want a full 104-key keyboard with a Numpad and macro buttons, touch bars, and LED displays, or the best mini keyboard for gaming with a small footprint, there is a gaming keyboard for you. Complement the best gaming PC you can buy this year with a similarly large deck or something compact if you have a smaller setup. We have your back and can point you in the right direction.
Read on to learn more about the best gaming keyboards to buy in 2023:
- RGB Lighting
- Membrane Switches
- Fast and Accurate Keys
The Roccat Magma isn’t as durable as its more expensive counterparts, but when it comes to budget gaming keyboards, compromises must be made. Fortunately, it makes up for it in spades with surprisingly fast and accurate performance.
Because of its fast, accurate keys, this membrane gaming keyboard delivered an incredibly (and surprisingly) punchy performance during testing. We discovered that moving and performing actions were quick and responsive, which was useful during intense multiplayer gameplay while keeping all that button-mashing quiet so you could play all night without bothering your roommates.
If you like RGB lighting, you’ll appreciate the semi-transparent top plate with five RGB lighting zones underneath that illuminate the entire thing. Most importantly, it is extremely inexpensive, making it the best gaming keyboard for gamers on a tight budget.
Razer Huntsman v2 Analog
- Keyboard Backlighting
- Analog Mechanical
- Delightfully Tactile Key Clicks
The Razer Huntsman v2 Analog is a five-star product that combines cutting-edge optical technology and Razer’s analog mechanical key switches. That’s an understatement.
This gaming keyboard provides the best typing and gaming experience of any keyboard we’ve tested in recent months, with extremely satisfying tactile feedback and a wrist rest that allows you to game for longer periods of time. It allows for actuation point adjustments ranging from 1.5mm to 3.6mm in 0.1mm increments, which is a boon for competitive players. It also has a dual-macro capability, allowing you to program two actions on a single keypress at different pressure levels.
The most comfortable wrist rest we’ve ever used and a built-in twin-cable round out the features. As far as keyboards go, it is on the pricey side of things, but it is well worth it.
Corsair K100 Air Wireless
- Keyboard Backlighting
- Programmable Keys
- Extremely Satisfying Typing
In terms of performance and features, the Corsair K100 Air Wireless may have outperformed the Logitech G915 and Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro. It’s not for those who need something fancy or wants to save money on gaming accessories, but as a premium option, it certainly delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
It’s not just thinner and easier to type on; with an 8,000Hz refresh rate, it’s also much faster, making it ideal for esports. It has media keys, hotkeys, dedicated macro buttons, and the ability to layer various RGB lighting effects (via the iCue software).
We discovered it to deliver incredibly fast responses, even when “slumming it” at 2,000Hz. When you combine that with the 0.8mm pre-travel, your key presses are registered long before the key bottoms out. Whether you’re a casual or a professional gamer, you’ll find this low-profile keyboard to be incredibly responsive.
Asus ROG Strix Scope
- Keyboard Backlighting
- Analog Mechanical Switches
- Solid Build Quality
Asus’ previously untapped wealth of gaming keyboards have proven to be among the best available, with the Asus ROG Strix Scope demonstrating its mechanical prowess without requiring all of the cheap thrills competitors offer. This doesn’t have many extraneous features, but it delivers where it counts – the essentials.
It proved to be incredibly comfortable, quieter than other mechanical gaming keyboards we’ve tested but just as satisfying to button-mash on during testing. It also has an impressively responsive performance.
It isn’t as visually appealing as other options on this list because Asus went with a simpler design. However, it has customizable RGB lighting and comes in white if you’re sick of the same old black color. Furthermore, it’ll fit right in if you’re already invested in the Asus ROG peripheral ecosystem.
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL
- Keyboard Backlighting
- Incredibly Customizable
- Great Gaming Performance
The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL gaming keyboard may be the most feature-rich and customizable TKL on the market. It is, however, a fantastic great-feeling performer who can actually help you win.
The OmniPoint 2.0 switches are even more impressive, being faster and more durable than their predecessor, with 11x faster response and 10x faster actuation. This is in addition to the adjustable actuation range of 0.2mm to 3.8mm and dual actuation, which allows you to program two actuations per key.
We found this to be a very fast and responsive gaming keyboard with switches that provide a satisfying mechanical feel without being too loud, making it a fantastic value for most people. Add in its unique features you won’t find in other games, and you’ve got yourself a great gaming investment. Even if it is a little on the pricey side.
Cooler Master MK730
- Color-Coded Keymap
- Cool Light Profiles
The Cooler Master MK730 is a small gaming keyboard with a dazzling preset LED light display, on-the-fly key bindings, and a comfortable magnetic palm rest. The machine has a choice of Cherry MX mechanical switches in Red, Blue, or Brown, nine extra keycaps, and standard caps with large transparent lettering that light up for easy reading. The board also has a hybrid key rollover, which combines an N-key rollover with a 6-key rollover.
The MK730’s small size (14-1/16 x 5-1/8 x 1-9/16 inches) is ideal for gamers who need more mouse pad space. However, the extra space comes at the expense of a few useful features, such as dedicated media keys (play/pause, forward and back, and so on are accessed via function keys), dedicated macro keys, and, of course, a tenkey pad. Furthermore, the MK730 lacks USB passthrough ports. That said, if you want a simple mechanical gaming keyboard with a variety of switch options, attractive backlighting, and a Windows key lock, this is the board for you.
Redragon K552 Mechanical Keyboard
- N-Key Rollover
- Eight Light Modes
Outemu Blue Key mechanical switches are used in the tenkeyless Redragon K552 Mechanical. We found the Outemus to be superior to rubber dome switches for gaming applications, though less consistent from one key to the next when compared to Cherry switches. The keys are backlit, and the unit has 19 different light modes. Eight of these presets are color-coded to gaming-specific key groupings. Furthermore, which keys remain lit can be customized and saved to one of two profiles.
The K552’s disadvantage is that it lacks supporting software and stand-alone macro keys. There are also no dedicated media keys, USB passthrough ports, or palm rest. Nonetheless, given the hardware it houses, the model has a 12-key rollover and relatively compact dimensions (13-15/16 x 4-7/8″ x 1-1/2 inches). Overall, we believe this model strikes a good balance between size and performance, especially given its low price.
Ducky One 3 Mini
- Two-Tier Angle Adjustment
- Steller Key Action
- Well-Built Minimalistic Machine
The Ducky One 3 Mini lacks a number of features, but that’s the point of a 60% gaming keyboard. These minimalistic keyboards free up a lot of desktop space for the sweeping mouse gestures that are synonymous with FPS gameplay. On the other hand, the Ducky is not just a simple machine; it is an exceptionally well-built, minimalistic machine. The key action that makes it a pleasure to type on is the most telling of its quality. The action of the keys is smooth and solid, with a satisfying click at the bottom end that is almost silent.
When you join up for a fight, your friends won’t have to listen to incessant key strikes over their headsets. Extra keys, N-key rollover, a 5-foot, 11-inch braided USB cable, and onboard memory that stores up to six profiles are among the extras. The backlighting of the keys is also adjustable.
There is a cost to saving space on your desktop. Almost all of the keys on the Ducky One 3 Mini are dual-purpose, including arrow and media keys; dedicated macro keys are completely absent.
There is also no USB passthrough or palm rest. Given the device’s nature, these omissions are all understandable. But it was the lack of software that really got under our skin. The Ducky has six profile settings, detailed lighting customization, and macros that must all be programmed manually. Furthermore, we encountered some firmware issues that complicated the programming even more, and Ducky did not respond to our SOS email. We eventually got everything working again, but it wasn’t fun. Or, at the very least, it wasn’t fun until we got to experience the Ducky’s solid, high-quality feel in action. Finally, the programming frustration was worthwhile.
Logitech G513 Carbon Lightsync
- Flexible Light Programming
- Iterative Macro Creation
- Dedicated Macro Keys
The full-size Logitech G513 Carbon Lightsync keyboard allows users to customize their keys, lighting, and color-coding, as well as keycaps and user modes. While there are no dedicated macro keys, all of the F-keys can be used for this purpose. When combined with the simple G-shift function, these keys can accept a second set of programs, totaling 24 macros. Logitech’s proprietary G-Hub software is simple to use and includes pre-programmed commands that can be dragged and dropped into F-keys or set manually. The backlighting is fully programmable as well, with nine preset arrays available.
The main complaint about the G513 is that macros can only be assigned to the F-keys, whereas other top-tier machines have dedicated macro keys and most of the keys can be remapped or have functions assigned to them. While this is anecdotal, we had to physically twist our unit’s aluminum body because it wasn’t straight end-to-end, causing it to rock when we typed. Surprisingly, this action was successful, and we were able to continue with our tests. Despite these issues, we were impressed with the level of complexity and iterative action that the macro functions can support. This device is a multifunctional gaming accessory.
Our comprehensive review of the best gaming keyboards considered all the key components contributing to a smart and effective peripheral. We focused on the software for programming and customizing the machine, the switch types, the media and macro keys, the palm rest, rollover, and, of course, the backlighting. High-performance gaming necessitates a lot from a keyboard, so don’t be surprised by limited macros or ghosted keystrokes. The review above contains all the information you’ll need to select the best board to meet your gaming performance expectations while staying within your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are 60% Keyboards Better for Gaming?
The main advantage of 60% keyboards is their narrow width, which allows for more room for the mouse and generally creates a better ergonomic posture for gaming. Because of its narrower width, gamers can more easily position their keyboard in the position that is most comfortable for them.
Do Gamers Prefer Clicky Keyboards?
Choosing the best mechanical keyboard for your gaming needs is a subjective process. Most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because they are more tactile, durable, and faster. At the same time, some gamers appreciate membrane keyboards’ smaller footprint, portability, and lower price points.
Is HyperX Better than Corsair?
The HyperX is more comfortable and well-built. They also have a better microphone, a more user-friendly control scheme, and more accessories than the Corsair, such as a carrying pouch, an airline adapter, and extra pads. The Corsair, on the other hand, sounds far more balanced than the HyperX.