The 11 Best Gaming Keyboards to Buy in 2018

Buy the top budget, splurge-worthy, portable and design gaming keyboards

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Standard keyboards are fine for office work, but to take your gaming to the next level, you need the speed and precision that only specialty gaming keyboards can offer. Gaming keyboards offer higher quality components to give you more precision, programmable keys to put vital controls at your fingertips, backlighting to help you play in a dark room and more. They can be pretty expensive, unfortunately, but the upgrade in quality over a standard keyboard is usually worth it. If you’re in the market for a gaming keyboard, we have the best ones across a wide range of prices and features right here.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cooler Master CK550

This mechanical gaming keyboard isn’t the flashiest on the market, but we’re placing it on the top of the list because everything a gaming keyboard needs to do, the CK550 does well. First off, the feel is great: The mechanical switches are clicky and responsive and they are rated for more than 50 million keystrokes, ensuring that you’ll be using this keyboard for many games to come. There are individual RGB LEDs for each key, meaning that you can map the lighting for each key to fit your look. What’s more is you can use the included software to assign those 16.7 million color options to each key individually.

The CK550's looks don’t stop there, because the curved, brushed aluminum top plate is durable, minimal, modern and sleek. There are even on-the-fly control adjustment options that mean you won’t need to stop what you’re doing just to adjust your keymapping. That’s hugely important for a gamer who is moving in and out of games and keeping their focus on leveling up and forward progress. Pair that all with the floating keycaps, a device weight that sits just under two pounds, and the unassuming footprint of the keyboard as a whole, and it’ll make a great addition to your gaming desk.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: CORSAIR K55

The CORSAIR K55 is an affordable gaming keyboard with a whole ton of features that give it a solid runner-up as the best on the list. It features 10 preconfigured RGB multi-color lighting effects, programmable macro keys, as well as dedicated multimedia controls for audio adjustments with no interruptions.

A good gaming keyboard has to get the keys right, so the CORSAIR K55 gives players responsive, silent and satisfying to touch key pieces along with multi-key anti-ghosting, so simultaneous keystrokes are always correctly registered. Below its body is a detachable soft rubber wrist rest to add ease and put comfort in your long gaming sessions along with collapsible feet at its bottom that allow for optimal hand positioning. The K55 RGB includes a Windows Key Lock mode that disables Windows keys to stop any potential distraction, so you can keep your focus on what matters most: the game.

Best for Portability: Arteck HB030B

The Artek HB030B is a slim and portable wireless Bluetooth 3.0 gaming keyboard that fits perfectly in a backpack or purse and is light on the wallet. The tiny gaming keyboard measures .24 x 9.72 x 5.91 inches and weighs no more than 7.6 ounces.

Big things come in little packages, like the Artek HB030B’s six-month battery life (based on two hours of non-stop use per day) powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. The powerful little gaming keyboard includes seven unique LED backlights with two brightness levels and an auto sleep feature to preserve energy. It’s compatible with Windows, MAC, iOS and Android operating systems and comes with a 24-month warranty with readily available customer service.

Best Budget: Rii RK100+

When you absolutely do not want to spend more than $15 on a gaming keyboard, then the Rii RK100+ is your best bet. The rainbow LED backlight gaming keyboard is full of surprises aside from its absurdly affordable price.

The Rio RK100+ isn't necessarily a mechanical keyboard but certainly feels like one by offering a mimicked feeling. Its rainbow LED backlights are adjustable with five different settings for personal preference. When it’s not in use, the keyboard will save energy and enter into a sleeping mode after 10 minutes being idle. It works with Windows operating systems and comes with a 12-month warranty.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Redragon S101 Vajra

As with most budget keyboards, the keys on the Vajra are not backlit, however, it does have a few light up sections as a reasonable consolation prize. It also has swappable WASD and arrow keys, plus 12 media keys (which require simultaneously pressing the F key) and 19 keys without conflict. Although it isn’t a mechanical keyboard, it has hybrid membrane switches, which are actually comfortably close to mechanical switches when it comes to tactile feedback. It has a fierce black and red design that has solid construction despite being plastic and is spacious to game with, though it lacks a dedicated wrist rest.

The Redragon S101 also comes packaged with a mouse, which makes this budget pick an even better deal. As one Amazon reviewer put it, it far exceeds most expectations given the price, but it’s still a budget option so “don’t be disappointed if you are expecting this thing to walk your dog.”

Best Wireless: Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard

When gaming, you want the best-secured connection you can get in order to have a quick response time without delay. If you don’t want to go wired, the Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard offers one of the best wireless connections you can get for a gaming keyboard.

The Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard is built with a powerful 2.4 GHz wireless connection using a unifying USB receiver. The keyboard includes a keystroke system that makes typing comfortable and quiet, and it requires no batteries, instead, relying on a quick charge through its micro-USB cable that gives up to 10 days of battery life. The Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard is compatible with Windows operating systems from Windows XP to Windows 10 and comes with a three-year limited hardware warranty. 

Best Splurge: ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO

ROCCAT - VULCAN 120 AIMO Wired Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

 Courtesy of Best Buy

As far as gaming keyboards go, Roccat is a name that needs no introduction. From their Horde line, all the way to the massive Sova stations, they’ve got some great rigs for the serious gamer. The newest addition — the Vulcan 120 AIMO — gives you that classic build and reliability with some new innovations. This keyboard is plug-and-play compatible with Windows computers (via USB). 

The first new feature is central: They’ve designed their new Titan Switch to be tactile, quick, and precise, offering a sturdy click and 3.6mm of key travel. They’ve surrounded those beautiful new key switches with a tough aluminum top plate that is built to both survive normal wear and tear, and even offer some degree of drop protection. The other new feature here is the updated AIMO lighting engine, giving you long-lasting LEDs in each key, plus the choice of 16.8 million different color options to customize your setup. There’s also an ergonomic wrist rest that includes a control wheel for volume and light adjustment, and even customizable macro keys that can be individually programmed to your needs. It’s a top-of-the-line keyboard if you have the means for the price tag.

Best Design: Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

Razer BlackWidow X Chroma
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Most gaming keyboards have some sort of back lighting these days, but not all backlighting is created equal. If you want the brightest and most colorful keys that are integrated into the actual games you’re playing, and just plain coolest looking gaming keyboard overall, the Razer Black Widow X Chroma wins hands down. It functions like a champ, thanks to reliable and precise mechanical keys, but the real attraction here is the Chroma backlighting with 16.8-million total customizable color options. The backlighting can be customized however you like, but many games will also have built in presets to light up the keyboard in specific ways just for that game like matching character colors or changing color to show ability cooldowns in MMO games. The Razer BlackWidow X Chroma turns keyboard backlighting into an art form and is definitely the coolest looking gaming keyboard on the market.

Best Keyboard/Mouse Combo: HAVIT Rainbow Backlit Keyboard & Mouse

In general, finding a decent gaming keyboard and mouse combo isn’t the way to find the best quality of either device. That said, based on Amazon reviews, this combo from HAVIT makes the cut.

First, the keyboard's responsiveness is good, though not quite as premium as higher-dollar mechanical switches. The manufacturer claims you can press up to 19 keys at once without registering conflicts, which means you’ll have decent use of the keyboard for quicker gaming with no ghosting. There are 7 different colors of LED backlights — red, green, blue, yellow, purple, cyan, and pink — that offer breathing and cycling effects. Again, not as many color options as some more expensive units, but still not bad for the price.

The mouse also offers color cycling, and it operates at up to 3200 DPI for decently smooth action. The mouse has a durable braided cable with a gold-plated connector and micro-switches that all seem to have a satisfying click. The HAVIT isn't the fanciest of systems, but if you’re an occasional gamer looking for a starter pack that gives you both a keyboard and a mouse, it's a good place to start. 

Best Mechanical: Logitech G513

Though Logitech is more often known for their wireless business keyboards, the G513 (offered in a few switch configurations) is a great decently priced option for those who can live without all the bells and whistles delivered by more gaming-oriented brands.

This configuration comes with GX Blue mechanical switches that offer a tactile feel and even give you a longer life than many other keys (Logitech claims almost 40-percent more life, to be precise). It includes Logitech’s latest, most immersive RGB backlight technology offering up to 16.8M different shades of customizable color. Add that in with Logitech’s Lightsync tech which lines up colors with 300 different games, and you have a beautiful-looking keyboard that can be customized to your favorite title.

The chassis is built with 5052 ultra-durable-grade aluminum, meaning the device itself won’t break down easily from longer, harsher use. There are assignable function keys with dedicated gaming features and a reliable, high-speed USB connection for lower latency. They’ve even thrown in a USB pass-through in case you want to hook a mouse up straight to the keyboard. 

Best Quiet: Fnatic Gear Rush

As far as keyboards go, mechanical rigs just aren’t going to be the quietest options out there. But, Fnatic Gear has made it a priority with the Cherry MX Red version of their Rush keyboard which gives users a tactile, mechanical experience without the chunky, ear-splitting clack.

The Fnatic Gear Rush has been designed with eSports in mind, offering ultra-fast response and a full N-key rollover for anti-ghosting. Those Cherry MX Red switches are the quietest version, offering a much more dampened sound without sacrificing the mechanical feel (though if you want a louder click, you can opt for the MX Blue version).

There are individual LEDs baked behind each key to ensure maximum brightness when gaming in dark spaces. There are also two USB 2.0 ports for high-speed daisy chaining of your mouse or other devices, and the keyboard itself offers onboard storage of 128KB. At the end of the day, a mechanical keyboard is never going to be “whisper quiet,” but you can get pretty close with this option.