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Cheap Gaming Keyboards
Affordable and Inexpensive Keyboards for Gamers
Gaming keyboards usually cost more than regular ones because they include features like anti-ghosting, programmable buttons, game profiles, and so on. Still, you don't always need to spend $100 or more to buy a good gamer keyboard. By giving up unnecessary features and going for a less-known manufacturer, you can get gear that will serve you just as well.
The list below should help you find an affordable peripheral that will nevertheless be better for playing video games than a regular one. Cheap $10 - $20 keyboards usually only offer 2KRO, meaning they can't recognize more than two simultaneous key presses at once. This can be a problem in certain video games, and is fixed by a feature marketed as "anti-ghosting". Every product listed below has this feature in some form or another. It should be noted that inexpensive products often only offer anti-ghosting for the WASD key cluster, but that's usually enough for most people.
Sharkoon Skiller: a fully-featured peripheral for a good price
Sharkoon Skiller is not a high-end gaming keyboard, but it's hard to beat its price vs performance ratio. For just $29.99 you get a gaming peripheral with 18-key rollover, 8 rubberized keys for better grip, 20 additional multimedia keys, and software for creating custom profiles and recording macros. It is pretty large (485 x 212 mm) so make sure you have enough space on your desk before you buy it.
GX Gaming Imperator: all the features at a reasonable cost
GX Gaming Imperator from Genius has some features which are usually only found in more expensive gaming gear: on-board memory for game profiles, 1,000 Hz polling rate, 6 dedicated macro keys, additional media keys, anti-ghosting, and a built-in palm rest for increased comfort. GX Gaming isn't the most popular brand, but that's exactly what helps you save money - you don't have to pay extra for a famous name.
Tt eSports Knucker: cheap gaming keyboard with plunger keys
While plunger key switches aren't considered as good as mechanical, they're still better than the most basic membrane ones. The price vs value ratio of Knucker gaming keyboard from Thermaltake is also hard to beat. As for gaming-related features, it includes anti-ghosting (12 KRO for USB, 16 for PS/2 connections) and quick repeat rate adjustment using Fn + S keys.
CM Storm QuickFire Rapid: one of the cheapest mechanical gaming keyboards
CM Storm QuickFire TK might seem expensive when compared to the budget gaming keyboards listed here, but it's actually one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards around. These are considered by most to be superior to membrane or scissor-switch keyboards because of the highly responsive keys, but they also cost more. Cooler Master managed to reduce the price of their QuickFire TK by removing all non-essential features: you won't find macro keys or onboard memory here. On the other hand, you still have 6KRO, fancy LED backlight, and, of course, those snappy Cherry MX switches.
Logitech G105: LED backlighting, 6 G-keys, anti-ghosting, and game mode
Logitech is well-known for their quality computer peripherals. Their most basic and inexpensive gaming-grade keyboard is G105, which despite its low price still offers anti-ghosting (5 keys), 6 programmable G-keys, LED backlighting with two brightness levels, and game mode which turns off Windows and context menu keys so you wouldn't get kicked out to the desktop if you pressed them by accident.
Razer DeathStalker Essential: slim keycaps, anti-ghosting, and programmable keys
Razer is one of the best-known gaming brands in the world, and to be fair, their products aren't exactly cheap. DeathStalker Essential is one of Razer's most inexpensive and basic gaming keyboard offerings which nevertheless still has important features like anti-ghosting (10KRO), programmable keys, and 1,000 Hz USB polling rate. The low-profile (scissor switch) chiclet keys are also quite pleasant to use, especially if you're used to laptop keyboards.
Roccat Arvo: compact gaming keyboard with unique "thumbster keys"
Roccat Arvo is one of the smallest gaming keyboards with a numpad around, sized at 14 x 39 cm. It offers macro recording and additional programmable keys: 2 regular ones, and 3 "thumbster keys" located under the spacebar. As the name suggests, you activate these using your thumb; this is quite an original feature that Roccat came up with which allows them to save space while still offering the same capabilities that larger keyboards do.
Microsoft SideWinder X4: backlit gaming keyboard with programmable keys
Microsoft SideWinder brand has seen its ups and downs, but some of the products they released are really quite good compared to the competition. SideWinder X4 is Microsoft's second gaming keyboard which features anti-ghosting with 26KRO, gaming mode switching, application profiles, and programmable macro keys. The keys are backlit and you can choose between three illumination levels. X4 also features dedicated media keys.