After carefully considering the type, effects, price and brand, we are happy to nominate CORSAIR K70 LUX RGB from Amazon.com as our Top Favorite. With its advanced lighting and superior durability, this keyboard is the one your looking for!
CORSAIR K55 RGB
Quiet & Satisfying
With Onboard Macro Recording, Multimedia Control and Wrist Rest
Includes multi-key anti-ghosting
CORSAIR K70 LUX RGB
You can choose from 3 Cherry MX switches. Includes large font keycaps.
In full spectrum color!
Prodigy Series Logitech G. 4 times faster than regular keyboards.
A year ago, we have tested over 20 top gaming keyboards and have come up with the best of the best.
Then there’s the sound, will you hear your opponent coming or will you be snuck up on because you’re using integrated outdated sound cards? One of the most important aspects of your gameplay though is the keyboard. The top gaming keyboards are a crucial staple in determining who is serious about their gameplay and who just plays for fun on their off time. A gaming keyboard can actually make quite a noticeable difference after using one. You’ll notice that your typing speed and accuracy might even improve after getting one. So, what’s so bad about using a cheap keyboard? The noise is one issue because cheap keyboards are extremely noisy.
If you’ve ever been in an office or work environment with people who frequently use cheap keyboards, then you can probably hear them typing away and it’s enough to drive a sane person mad. Also, you constantly have to throw those cheap keyboards away, which can be budget consuming after some time of doing so. Don’t you want to have one keyboard that’ll last you for years that you won’t have to replace? Your gameplay will improve, your typing will improve and you won’t have to manually download drivers online to make them work on whatever operating system you’re using, which can, unfortunately, be the case with some of those cheap keyboards
What’s the Difference Between a Normal Keyboard and a Top Gaming Keyboard?
- This is one of the more common questions asked when people are looking at gaming keyboard. They notice that they’re more expensive and ask, “well, what’s the difference?” It’s kind of like asking the difference between a luxury sports vehicle and an every day cheap vehicle. They both get you from Point A to Point B, what’s the difference?
- One of the main focuses of gaming keyboard is that they come with specific controls, extra buttons and allow for macros to be used in-game straight from the keyboard. A macro is a script that’s specifically designed to work in a game much like hotkeys do. If you’ve ever used a hotkey to open a new window in a browser, imagine having that kind of functionality in a game with a keyboard.
- A lot of gaming keyboards also come with their own integrated USB to allow users to plug their headsets into directly, which provide a high-quality sound experience, that you won’t get from any kind of integrated sound driver in Windows/Mac.
- Advanced media controls are another huge benefit, such as being able to mute the volume, mute your mic, raise the volume, lower the volume or perform specific functions on your system that most regular keyboards can’t do. You can even program some gaming keyboard to use a single hotkey to open your bank, email, PayPal or any website you program it to.
- The relay between the keys that are pressed on a normal keyboard is much slower than the delay time on a gaming keyboard. When you press a key such as the “h” key on your keyboard, it sends a signal to the computer which tells the computer which key was pressed. Gaming keyboard is much faster at relaying this information and therefore, you get a faster response time.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Gaming Keyboard?
Another common question people like to ask about gaming keyboards is, are they worth the price and are they really worth the benefit? Should I really justify spending a lot of money on a keyboard? The short and long answer is both a resounding “yes”. This is for numerous reasons.
- Benefit #1 - The response time as mentioned in the differences section. Our eyes may not notice the difference, but your gameplay performance will. When we press a key, we see it pop up in real time and we don’t realize there’s actually a delay between the key being pressed and showing up on the screen.
Adding to the speed is the fact that the keys only need to be pressed halfway before the keystroke is registered.
The force needed to make a keystroke on membrane keyboards slows them down. For more precision, it only makes sense to use a mechanical keyboard for gaming.
- Benefit #2 - You won’t have to clean them as often. This might be a weird benefit to some but for those who like to sit at the computer and eat while they game or regularly eat near their keyboard will often find crumbs and debris building up in the keyboard. A decent gaming keyboard though has smaller gaps and less of a space from the receptor and the key being pressed, so you won’t have to worry about this too much.
- Benefit #3 - Your overall typing abilities such as your speed and your accuracy will improve over time. This is due to a couple of reasons. First of all, the keys are far more responsive, they’re easier to reach and they’re a lot smoother on a gaming keyboard. You’ll be able to hit keys quicker and more efficiently, which will improve your typing speed. Second, the response time of the keys hit being sent to the computer will be lower and you’ll be able to see them come up sooner. Someone who’s used to typing 80 words per minute could easily see an improvement up to 90 words per minute by switching to a gaming keyboard.
- Benefit #4 - Having access to extra buttons and hotkeys that can be used in popular games that allow them is a huge advantage whether you realize it or not. Imagine being able to do a command in a popular game you play that you usually have to use your mouse for but instead, you can use your keyboard. This is a huge time saver in the long run and far more efficient for game-play. You can program hotkeys to do just about anything you want them to do on a gaming keyboard that you can’t normally do on a regular keyboard.
- Benefit #5 - MX switches that signal the keystroke are rated for up to 50 million strokes before they wear out. the typical membrane keyboard is usually rated for around 1 million before the switch wears out. It is more than likely that something else will break down in your keyboard before the switches do.
Serious gamers that spend hours a day playing will get more than their money's worth when getting a top gaming keyboard since it will outlive any standard keyboard but a lot. This durability makes having one a must.
Which is why buying the right one is important. You will be using it for a very long time.
- Benefit #6 - Mechanical gaming keyboards are also quite versatile thanks to the high tech switches. Differentiated by color, the different types have different specializations. Some work better than others depending on what you need it to do. For speed, try Cherry MX blue switches if you need to do a lot of typing. The downside to those is that they can be loud so you can hear when the switch is activated and can move to the next letter.
Gamers who prefer accuracy over speed should opt for the brown switches since they give you a bump as soon as the stroke is registered.
Another common question people like to ask about gaming keyboard is, are they worth the price and are they really worth the benefit? Should I really justify spending a lot of money on a keyboard? The short and long answer is both a resounding “yes”. This is for numerous reasons.
What to Look for When Buying a Gaming Keyboard
The Price – The pricing point is a huge aspect for a lot of people because some of these keyboards aren’t cheap at all. There are, however, a lot of great gaming keyboards out there on a budget for less than low $XXX. The brand and manufacturer label can also impact the price but some brands are better than others for various hardware and technical reasons. When looking at a gaming keyboard, try to shoot for something under $XXX unless the keyboard is spectacular.
Choosing Membrane Versus Mechanical – There are two different gaming keyboard that you’ll come across. There are membrane keyboards versus mechanical keyboards. Mechanical keyboards are basically like typewriters. There’s a mechanical button underneath every single key and when you press it, it makes a click or a recognizable sound. Membrane keyboards, however, are a bit more expensive and seen as a bit more modern in the industry. They have plastic soft membranes under the keys you press that run electrical currents to the computer to recognize keys pressed.
Special Effects – One thing that a lot of people like to have on their gaming keyboard is illumination effects such as lighting that they can control. A lot of gaming keyboard have this now and it’s usually in the form of a backlight, which sits underneath all of the keys. Usually, there’s software included that will allow you to rotate or change the color based on your own personal preferences.
The Brand – While this isn’t as important but some people love sticking to certain brands because they’re good at making gaming keyboards and they’re well-trusted brands. If you see something from Logitech, Steel Series, Corsair and a few other name brands, they’re going to be reliable keyboards. They’re also usually some of the highest reviewed keyboards on the market too because a lot of quality goes into the production of their keyboards. There are some off-brand keyboards that are great as well but generally, a lot of hardcore gamers like to stick to certain brands.
Overall, if you’re trying to choose the “right” keyboard, you’re going to have to go through a lot of gaming keyboards because it’s a lot easier to find a decent keyboard than it is other hardware such as a mouse or a graphics card. There’s a wide selection of gaming keyboards out there nowadays that serve the same general purpose and they’re overall pretty cheap.
Top 5 Gaming Keyboards
CORSAIR K55 RGB
CORSAIR K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard - Quiet & Satisfying LED Backlit Keys - Media Controls - Wrist Rest Included – Onboard Macro Recording. One of the great things we liked about the Corsair K55 keyboard is how quiet it was. When you press down on the keys, you can barely hear it which is so nice for the people around you and yourself if the sound drives you crazy. The board has convenient media controls built into the keyboard so you can control your volume with the click of a button on the keyboard. You can choose from dozens of different lighting preset effects as well.
Multi-key anti-ghosting ensures that commands and simultaneous keystrokes get engaged exactly as you intended for more accurate gaming.
One thing to keep in mind is that, although it acts just like a mechanical keyboard, it is actually membrane driven. if you are looking for the same feel of using brown cherry switches but are on a budget, then this is a good substitute as it gives the same feeling when a keystroke is made. You'll get the same kind of accuracy.
- Has three different backlight programming methods and over 10 different pre-configured lighting combinations built into the keyboard
- Different multimedia controls are on the keyboard that allows you to mute or control the audio at the touch of a button
- Registers multiple keys being entered better than most other gaming keyboards on the market
- Is extremely quiet to the touch, feels great to the touch and it doesn’t make a lot of noise when you type on it
- The functional keys on the left can be a bit difficult to reach and do take some getting used to
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard with Dedicated Media Controls, 16.8 Million Lighting Colors Backlit Keys, Spill-Resistant and Durable Design Logitech is usually pretty good about making products that last for a long time as long as you don’t buy their cheapest products available like the $9 headsets. This keyboard allows for a unique color combination of up to 16 million different color schemes, so have fun going through all of those. The keyboard itself is advertised as up to four times faster than the standard keyboard.
This is a great gaming keyboard for beginners that will grow with them as they gain experience. it is very easy to learn to use but has a lot of special features that more experienced gamers looking for. You won't need to swap this out for more advanced gaming keyboards as you become a veteran gamer.
- Is up to four times faster than the standard keyboard for accuracy and precision during important gaming moments
- Has 12 different functional keys that you can program and give custom commands to
- The keys feel great to the touch and are tuned to give you a very tactical feel, they’re optimized for performance
- Has 5 different lighting zones that you can illuminate all one color or a combination of 16 million different colors
- Some people have a hard time adjusting to the font on the keyboard when the font is lit up because it can appear bright for some people
CORSAIR K70 LUX RGB RAPIDFIRE
CORSAIR K70 LUX RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - USB Passthrough & Media Controls - Fastest & Linear - Cherry MX Speed - RGB LED Backlit One of the main things you’ll notice about Corsair is that their products generally tend to be on the larger side of the scale when it comes to things like gaming mice and gaming keyboards. This is a rapid response keyboard that comes with a wrist pad for added comfort. The keyboard boasts that it has a 1.2mm actuation which is quite impressive. The macro sets are nice and you can detach the wrist pad if you’d like as well.
If the appearance of your keyboard is as important as the performance, then you will likely love the brushed aluminum industrial style of the Rapidfire. This isn't just to look pretty. It also keeps the keyboard lightweight, yet rugged and durable.
A true mechanical keyboard, it features Cherry MX Brown switches for very accurate keystrokes for fast responses when gaming.
- This is the fastest mechanical gaming keyboard ever made by Corsair as of the time of this review
- Has a nice and firm to the touch wrist pad that can be detached for your convenience when it gets in your way or you don’t want it
- Doesn’t require a USB 3.0 port and will flawlessly work on a USB 2.0 port all the way down to Windows Vista
- The frame of the keyboard was made with aircraft grade material for durability and a nice sleek finish
- The customization of the key colors can take some getting used to as it’s not as easy setting it up as it is with some of our other keyboards on this list
Razer Ornata Expert
Razer Ornata Expert – Revolutionary Mecha-Membrane Gaming Keyboard with Mid-Height Keycaps - Wrist Rest - Ergonomic Design. This sleek all-black Razer Ornata Expert is one of the best responding membrane gaming keyboards that we’ve ever got to test out.
This is the best of both worlds as you gain the soft cushioned feel and quiet action of the membrane keyboard which is easier on the hands, while still getting the accuracy and tactile feedback of a mechanical. This will provide more hours of high-level gaming than if you only use a mechanical.
The keys sit slightly higher than we’re used to but it’s something different and the keys were designed this way because Razer claims it gives you a lower response time in competitive gaming environments. You can run up to ten commands at once with this keyboard, so we just had to try this one out.
- Comes with an insane amount of different customization options with your lighting which can even be animated effects like a ripple or a starlight
- Has anti-ghosting technology built in which won’t allow multiple keystrokes pressed at the same time to mess up what you were trying to originally type
- The wrist pad is very soft and comfortable, while not taking up much room and is soft to the touch as well
- The keycaps of the keyboard were designed with the specific function in mind to reach the computer faster when the keys are pressed through being slightly raised
- This is a membrane keyboard and the membranes can be pretty fragile if you hit it too hard for any reason
Razer Cynosa Chroma
Razer Cynosa Chroma – Multi-color RGB Gaming keyboard – Individually Backlit Keys – Spill-Resistant Durable Design. One thing that Razer has always prided themselves on is the ability to provide products with unique customization and the Cynosa Chroma is great for allowing you to customize the lighting and backlit keys. Also, for those who like to rage and hit the desk when they lose in a game, the keyboard is very durable as well, so you won’t have to worry about cracking/breaking the keyboard.
- Comes with roll-over protection for when you accidentally fat finger keys, so you won’t see the wrong keys being pressed on the screen
- The Synapse technology included allows you to set up nearly endless amounts of commands, macros and lighting preferences
- Is one of the most spill-resistant gaming keyboards that we’ve ever reviewed, so it will have an extended durability
- Completely programmable for your unique experience and there are over 16 million different color combinations that can span across the keyboard
- Until you break the keyboard in and until you’re used to it, some keys may sound a little loud compared to other keys but this does go away
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about Gaming Keyboards
SHOULD I GET A GAMING KEYBOARD WITH A WRIST PAD ATTACHED?
This is all your own personal preference but if you do get one with a wrist pad attached to it, make sure it’s also detachable because you’ll never know if you want to detach it for comfort or productivity and when you’ll want to attach it again.
Are gaming keyboards water spill resistant?
Some of them are to a certain extent but that also doesn’t mean you should try pouring water into the keyboards either because generally keyboards aren’t made to withstand water damage or liquids being poured down into the keys. This will vary by keyboard but generally yes, they can withstand (some) water spill.
Do I have to have a Windows OS for gaming keyboards to work or can they work on Macs as well?
Most of them do work universally on both Windows and on Mac. Always read the manufacturer’s specifications on whether or not they do but generally, as long as it has a USB plug, it’ll adapt and play into any kind of operating system. Again, check when buying the product to make sure it’ll work with your individual operating system.
Do keyboards with LED lights consume a lot of power?
No. They don’t consume enough power for you to need to upgrade your PSU (Power Supply Unit) anyways. Leaving a light on in your house uses far more power and electricity than the power used by the LED lighting on illumination gaming keyboards.
What should I do if a gaming keyboard stops working or arrives dead?
Contact the manufacturer right away. Every single keyboard we review is highly backed by companies with amazing customer support and warranties to take care of situations like that if they should ever happen.
Picking a gaming keyboard isn’t all that scary and while sure, they might be a bit higher priced than the keyboards you’re used to seeing, they’re worth it in the long run. You won’t have to worry about replacing it in a month and you’ll notice some gameplay improvement changes almost instantly, along with some personal typing changes. We highly recommend trying out a gaming keyboard if you’ve never had one before and if you’re on the fence, try one of the cheaper gaming keyboards to see if you like their style or not. It takes a little bit of getting used to after you’ve used a non-gaming keyboard for so long.
Take everything into consideration from your playstyle to your budget and what you’re looking to get out of a gaming keyboard. Make sure you’re choosing something that’s the best fit for you and not what the latest tech website told you to buy just because it’s new or in demand right now. We only recommend brands and gaming keyboards that are built to last and offer optimal performance. Take your time, look through everything and you won’t regret the purchase of your first gaming keyboard.