Best Gaming Keyboards
Top 10 Keyboards for PC Gaming
PC gamers spend a lot of time with their hands glued to their keyboards and mice, so it makes sense to buy something that is comfortable to use during those long gaming sessions and offers additional features which can give you an edge over the competition. Common features found in gaming keyboards range from essential ones like anti-ghosting / NKRO to purely cosmetic ones such as multi-color LED backlights. Then there's also the key switch type to consider: some gamers swear by mechanical keyboards, although these also tend to be noisier and cost more than membrane, dome-, or scissor-switch ones.
This page lists some of the top gaming keyboards of different sizes and price points, so you should be able to find a good peripheral that will suit your needs. Don't forget to vote for your favorite gaming gear manufacturer in the poll at the bottom of this page.
#1. Gigabyte Aivia Osmium
Sturdy mechanical keyboard with dedicated G-keys
This premium gaming keyboard from Gigabyte uses Cherry MX Red switches which are well-liked by gamers because of how sensitive and responsive they are. The company claims this peripheral is capable of 64-key rollover via USB. The keyboard can store up to 5 different profiles, and offers 5 programmable macro buttons. Aivia Osmium also has USB 3.0 and audio pass-through, as well as hardware volume and illumination controls.
#2. Razer BlackWidow
Popular mechanical gaming keyboard with Razer's newly developed switches
Some mechanical keyboards are marketed as "gaming keyboards" despite having no additional features. This couldn't be further from truth when it comes to the upgraded 2014 edition of the famous Razer BlackWidow. This peripheral offers full mechanical keys with a low actuation distance, as well as 10KRO anti-ghosting, macro recording with 5 dedicated keys, customizable profiles, 1,000 Hz USB polling rate, and more. The Standard version lacks a backlight, but it is also a lot cheaper than the Ultimate.
#3. Logitech G19
One of the best gaming keyboards made by Logitech
Although it doesn't come cheap, Logitech's flagship gaming keyboard has every feature you can imagine: a handy LCD screen for important info, 12 programmable keys, custom-color backlight, cable management, and onboard memory for storing your profiles. G19 also recognizes up to 5 simultaneous key presses, practically eliminating ghosting. The downsides include the fact that it is not mechanical, the somewhat limited usefulness of the LCD, and the rather steep price.
#4. Corsair Vengeance K65
Great compact mechanical keyboard for shooter games
The best points of this keyboard are its anti-ghosting features (Corsair claims full key rollover on USB), Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches, and the rugged aluminum chassis. Vengeance K65 also includes a detachable braided cable that can be conveniently routed under the keyboard. The downsides? No backlight and no programmable macro keys. Then again, it is marketed as an FPS keyboard, and you normally don't need macros in multiplayer FPS games. The lack of a numpad might also be an issue for some people.
#5. SteelSeries Apex
Large keyboard with 22 macro keys
Apex is a new, highly programmable gaming keyboard from SteelSeries which is a successor of sorts to the popular Merc Stealth. This enormous peripheral features softer low-profile keys, 16.8 million color illumination divided into five zones, and more additional buttons than you'll probably ever need. The large size of the Apex allowed SteelSeries to include 22 separate macro keys with four possible layers, as well as 6 independent media and volume control keys. Anti-ghosting is enabled for the 20 most commonly used keys.
#6. Tt eSports Challenger Ultimate
Fully-featured gaming keyboard for a reasonable price
Tt eSports gaming gear is becoming more and more popular in the US and the rest of the world. As the name suggests, Challenger Ultimate is one of their top-tier keyboards, and its features reflect that: dedicated G-keys, 64 Kb on-board memory for storing up to 70 macros, easy profile switching, audio and USB ports, and 256 color illumination. Perhaps the most unusual feature of Challenger Ultimate is the removable fan which is supposed to cool your hands, although one really has to doubt its usefulness.
#7. Roccat Isku
Gaming keyboard which offers up to 36 macro keys using Easy Shift
German-based Roccat is well-known for their cool gaming gear. The Isku keyboard offers anti-ghosting, live macro recording, custom profiles, 8 media hotkeys, blue illumination with 6 brightness levels, and a comfortable wrist rest. You can also use up to 20 macro keys within reach of the WASD cluster. This doesn't mean that there are 20 dedicated keys, but rather that by activating Roccat's Easy Shift [+], the function of the keys changes. Another unique feature of Isku are the three thumb buttons located below the spacebar.
#8. CM Storm Trigger Z
Choose between Cherry MX Brown, Blue, and Red switches
CM Storm Trigger Z is another mechanical keyboard with all the necessary features for gamers: onboard memory for profiles and macros, anti-ghosting (64KRO), media controls, 5 macro keys, detachable hand rest for those long gaming sessions, and a braided USB cable. Now, the really cool thing about CM Storm Trigger Z is that there are separate versions of it available, each with different Cherry MX key switches, so you can choose the one that feels best. Blue version comes with blue LED backlighting, Red with red, and Brown with white.
#9. Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E 7
Metal chassis, separate modules, LCD touchscreen, and more
Mad Catz is known for their unique gaming peripherals, and S.T.R.I.K.E 7 is no exception. Much like R.A.T. series mice, this keyboard is modular, consisting of 5 total components which can be attached and removed freely. The handy touchscreen allows you to record macros and do things like adjust in-game volume or launch apps with a few taps.
Strike 7 is highly customizable and has every bell and whistle a gamer might ask for, but it's also the most expensive peripheral on this list. Let's be fair, not many people are prepared to pay $300 for a keyboard, no matter how cool it is. The price might be even harder to justify considering it's not mechanical.
#10. Microsoft SideWinder X4
An affordable gaming keyboard with all the essential features
The reason whyt SideWinder X4 is so successful is that it offers all the popular gaming features (profile switching, programmable macro keys, 26KRO anti-ghosting) at a lower price. It isn't exactly cheap, but it's definitely inexpensive compared to most offerings from other companies. The keys have a red backlight with three brightness levels; SideWinder X4 also has dedicated media keys and a non-removable hand rest.