Adding the best gaming keyboard to your setup is a great way of improving the speed of your actions to help you top leaderboards online. Competitive gameplay, especially, relies heavily on reaction times, which are often the key differentiators between winning and losing.
Therefore, having a gaming keyboard, whether that be wired or one of the best wireless keyboards around, is crucial as they're typically designed to register your inputs almost instantaneously, giving you a much faster response time, even when you're frantically pressing multiple buttons at once trying to issue an in-game instruction.
Not only that, but a top gaming keyboard is key to getting the most out of some of the best PC gaming monitors on the market. Having a high refresh rate is one thing, but it needs to be teamed with something that can deliver inputs fast to capitalise on the benefits a high refresh rate provides.
As a result, we've picked out what we feel are the best keyboards on the market, from full-size devices to mini, 60% picks, based on their prices, specs, reviews, plus any other features that make these keyboards stand out from the crowd. Without further delay, here are our top picks...
Best gaming keyboard
1. Razer Huntsman V2
Best gaming keyboard
The Razer Huntsman V2 keyboard is one of the best options around in our opinion, as one of its key features is that it comes with opto-mechanical keys, meaning the switches themselves are optical, but give the satisfying feel of a mechanical keyboard.
Having optical switches can make inputs faster, especially when you consider this device has up to a true 8000Hz polling rate. This kind of performance can minimise any debounce delay and give you the edge during competitive gameplay. How does it achieve this? Well, optical keyboards use a beam of light to register each press of the key rather than direct contact between two metal plates. This usually means they're more durable than regular mechanical keyboards, as there's less contact.
You should find that this keyboard is pretty quiet, too, as it comes with sound dampeners to help you stay focused on any noises in-game instead of becoming distracted by the background noise created by pressing loud keys.
It’s worth noting here that you also have the option to purchase an analogue version of this keyboard, which comes with the benefit of offering a wider range of inputs beyond 'on' and 'off'.
Ultimately, there's a lot to like about this Razer device, from its optical keys and sound dampers, all of which could greatly improve your current gaming setup.
Read more: Best quiet mechanical keyboards
2. SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL
Best budget gaming keyboard
Gaming keyboards can be pretty expensive, but if you don’t want to break the bank investing in one right now, then the SteelSeries Apex 3 is one we'd recommend checking out. It's not a mechanical keyboard like most others on this list, but its features are designed to make it just as good at a fraction of the price.
Its tenkeyless build gives you plenty of space to swing your gaming mouse around, and it lets you tilt it to a more ergonomic and comfortable position while gaming.
Rated IP32 for dust and water resistance, you don’t need to worry about damaging it with any accidental spills either. The keyboard is designed to be quiet, too, as it's made from a durable low-friction material that makes its switches ‘whisper quiet’ when you press down on them.
You also get PrismSync RGB illumination, allowing you to choose from millions of different colours and effects that will light up your keyboard to help improve your accuracy and, generally speaking, better the aesthetics of your setup. In fact, using the SteelSeries Engine software, you can actually configure impressive lighting effects for when specific events occur within your games. You can also take advantage of its macro editor to run advanced key combinations to issue commands with a single press of a button. This can be especially useful when trying to perform complicated in-game movements but would rather use one simple button to complete them.
Overall, we’d say this is one of the best budget keyboard options around right now for your gaming setup.
Read more: Best tablet keyboards
3. G.Skill KM360
Best budget mechanical gaming keyboard
If you have your heart set on a mechanical keyboard but don’t want to spend a crazy amount on one, then this G.Skill KM360 could be your answer.
Firstly, it has Cherry MX switches. These are extremely popular amongst gamers as they tend to provide a more instantaneous response and are usually more satisfying to press. Adding to this, it has ABS dual-injection keycaps, which are designed to make each key more wear-proof than printed or laser-etched keycaps.
It’s also tenkeyless, thus keeping it nice and compact to allow you more space at your desk for other peripherals like, for example, one of the best cameras for streaming. The n-key rollover feature on the device is helpful too, as it means it's able to keep track of every button you press, even if you’re pressing them all simultaneously when issuing an in-game command.
While it doesn’t have RGB backlighting, it does come with a white LED for when you want to game in the dark or a dimly lit room to avoid annoying, potentially even costly, reflections.
It’s also worth mentioning that it has a detachable USB cable. So if, for example, the wire becomes damaged, it means you’ll only need to replace the wire rather than the entire keyboard. So, as far as inexpensive mechanical keyboards go, we'd argue you'd struggle to find many better suited to gaming than this G-Skill device.
Read more: Best gaming keyboard under 50
4. Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
Best wireless gaming keyboard
This Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is a stellar wireless keyboard that only gets better when you realise it comes with a vast array of connectivity options. For wireless connectivity, you can use the Razer HyperSpeed 2.4GHz USB dongle, which Razer boasts can offer you a flawless wire-free connection without delay. Perhaps the greatest benefit of Razer HyperSpeed technology though is that it allows for multiple devices to connect to a single dongle. This means you can also pair one of Razer’s best wireless mice to the USB dongle, for instance, to reduce the number of ports or wires you have to deal with.
You do, however, get the option for Bluetooth connectivity if you fancy. In this mode, you can connect up to three different devices at once and easily toggle between them using one dedicated switch. You even have the option of a wired connection, too, as it comes with a detachable USB cable. This means you can still use the keyboard while it’s charging, so you don't have to stop gaming to wait for it to charge.
Speaking of which, the battery life is extremely impressive here. With the backlighting turned off, it's said you can get up to an incredible 200 hours of use from it before it runs out of juice.
Away from the connectivity choices, things get even better. It's a mechanical device and comes with Razer's own switches in two different variants - green or yellow. The green ones allow you to hear and feel every keystroke you make and offer optimised actuation and reset points for extra precision, while the yellow ones are smooth and quiet to keep distractions to a minimum.
All in all, we'd say this Razer keyboard is a brilliant option if you're looking for a gaming keyboard that offers wireless connectivity.
Read more: Best wrist rests for gaming
5. Ducky One 3 Mini
Best mini gaming keyboard at 60%
The narrower width of 60% gaming keyboards is great for saving space and can even result in a more ergonomic seating position, depending on where you place it. For that reason, we've chosen to put this Ducky One 3 Mini as one of our top picks for gaming, despite its unassuming size.
One of the best features about it is that it has hot-swappable switches, allowing you to configure your setup to whatever game you're playing. Speaking of switches, this keyboard is available in a wide variety of keycaps, including Cherry MX Brown, Cherry MX Clear, Cherry MX Blue, and Cherry MX Red, giving you plenty of choices depending on the theme of your setup.
To aid your gaming skills, the device comes with the option of an n-key or 6-key rollover, allowing it to consolidate multiple keys pressed at the same time into one registered input. It also has a relatively high polling rate at 1,000Hz, which, if you don't know, essentially means the keyboard sends input signals to your PC 1,000 times per second - 1,000Hz is pretty quick in our books.
An added bonus here is that you can personalise the lighting effects by changing the brightness, speed, and colour to match the theme of your setup. So, if you're after something more aesthetic to look at, this keyboard has you covered.
Ultimately, the overall package this mini keyboard provides looks pretty hard to beat. Therefore, if it's a compact gaming device you're after, make sure you consider this one from Ducky.
Read more: Best budget vertical mice
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Buying a gaming keyboard can often lead to a ton of questions. No need to panic though as we've answered some of the most commonly asked queries below.
Are mechanical keyboards good for gaming?
Yes, mechanical keyboards can be some of the best keyboards for gaming around. This is because they generally have a lower input latency, meaning they respond much faster to your commands. Also, they are usually more tactile, providing a comfortable, satisfying feel when you press down on the keys.
Another benefit to these mechanical devices is that they tend to come with customisable keys. This means you can set up shortcuts and commands to speed up your reactions even further and give you a greater advantage online. This can even come in handy offline if you're struggling to remember certain combinations or inputs needed to complete a quest, puzzle, or particular storyline.
Why do gamers use 60% keyboards?
60% keyboards are popular due to their compact size. Essentially, the narrower width leaves more room for other gaming peripherals. So, with so many peripherals on the market these days, it's important that you don't waste space by using an unnecessarily long keyboard.
Having a mini keyboard can also give you a more ergonomic setup, allowing you to position the device and all the keys right in front of you in a more comfortable position, thus reducing how far you need to stretch to reach certain buttons.
It all comes down to personal preference, though, as a 60% keyboard may not be for everyone. We'd recommend testing one out in-store if possible to assess whether or not the compact size feels right for you.