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Best gaming keyboard – the top boards in 2021

Whether you’re a clicky-clacky typist or someone who plays the best PC games regularly (or some combination of the two), using one of the best gaming keyboards can make the world of difference to your gaming and desktop experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re mashing the QWER keys on League of Legends or the WASD keys in Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, a great, comfortable keyboard can not only reduce the risk of RSI, but also make the whole gaming PC experience much more enjoyable. If you know what to look out for, it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet, either!

Whether you’re looking for the best mechanical keyboard or membrane keyboard, in a full-size or compact layout, with RGB customisation or a simple single-colour backlight, we’ve rigorously tested each and ever gaming keyboard that’s crossed our desks to help you find your own best gaming keyboard. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to spend all day gaming just to test them out…

We’ve picked the best Logitech, Corsair, Razer, and SteelSeries keyboards, as well a host of options from some up-and-coming manufacturers, to help you choose the best gaming keyboard for your setup. The humble keyboard is an intrinsic part of the PC gaming experience, and it’s even now a part of the console experience too, with Microsoft allowing games that support keyboard and mouse on Xbox – and on PlayStation, too.

Here are the best gaming keyboards:

  • Razer Huntsman V2
  • SteelSeries Apex Pro
  • Topre Realforce R2
  • Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
  • Logitech G915 Wireless
  • Redragon K552
  • Mountain Everest Max
  • Corsair K70 TKL
  • Drop ALT
  • Wooting Two
CHECK PRICES ON THE RAZER STORE

RAZER HUNTSMAN V2

The best gaming keyboard is the Razer Huntsman V2.

Razer commonly appear in our lists of the best PC gaming peripherals, and its gaming keyboards are no exception.  With the Razer Huntsman V2, the company improves on the design of the already excellent Huntsman Elite and delivers the most responsive, comfortable, and customisable gaming keyboards we’ve ever used

The Huntsman V2 features Razer’s optical switches (available in Clicky Purple or Linear Red) which boast an 8,000Hz polling rate and an insanely low response time of 0.2ms and , making it a perfect keyboard for esports or simply enjoying the best PC games. You’ll have no problem using the Huntsman V2 for long game sessions either, as its ergonomic wrist wrest honestly feels like having a cloud beneath your wrists, and its sound dampening foam helps protect your ears, and those around you, from an overly loud assault of key presses.

It also comes with support for Razer Synapse software, including Razer Chroma RGB, allowing you to customise the Huntsman V2 to your exact specification in terms of lighting, macros, and performance. Should you want to game on the go, it also features on-board memory so you’ll take your desired settings with you to LAN parties or wherever else you might find yourself gaming.

What we like…
Tick Razer optical switches
Tick Doubleshot PBT Keycaps
Tick Extremely comfortable wrist rest

Razer Huntsman V2 Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches Razer optical
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys Yes
Check Prices on amazon

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The best customisable gaming keyboard is the SteelSeries Apex Pro.

One of the biggest hurdles when figuring out the right keyboard for you is choosing the right switch, as you don’t want to pay out the nose for something that doesn’t suit your playstyle. The SteelSeries Apex Pro is one of the first on the market to introduce OmniPoint tuneable magnetic switches to alleviate this problem, making it the best customisable gaming keyboard available.

Aside from being able to fine-tune the actuation of individual keys, there’s plenty to like about the keyboard, from its crisp RGB lighting to a USB pass-through and a volume wheel. We’re still figuring out the full potential of the OLED panel in the top-righ corner, as we recently learned it has the ability to play Skyrim like just about every other electronic device. Officially, though, it’s there to help you adjust your settings and display your Discord messages.

What we like…
Tick Tuneable mechanical switches
Tick Solid build
Tick Comfortable wrist rest

SteelSeries Apex Pro Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches SteelSeries Omnipoint
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys Yes
Check prices ON aMazon

Topre Realforce R2

The best keyboard for typing is the Topre Realforce R2.

The Topre Realforce is technically a membrane keyboard, so we can’t call this the ‘best mechanical keyboard’, but hear me out. Each individual switch consists of a rubber dome over a coiled spring that makes contact with a PCB. As a result, all of that squishiness from a membrane board is gone and is replaced by a feel like no other on the market.

If it’s the top tier you’re after, you can’t do better than the Topre switch: it’s smooth, quiet, and an all-round pleasure to type on. And with Fujitsu now donning the licensed distributor name badge in the US, this unique board is no longer tough to come by. But you will still be paying a whopping great sum to pick one up – and for that reason, this board is still enthusiasts-only.

What we like…
Tick Unique, smooth switch
Tick Smart aesthetic
Tick High quality

Topre Realforce R2 Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches Topre switches
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys No

Read the PCGamesN Topre Realforce R2 review for our full verdict and score.

Check Prices on Amazon

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

The best wireless gaming keyboard is the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro.

Take away the snakehead emblem and the BlackWidow V3 Pro still looks and feels like it’s been kissed by Razer with one crucial difference: the cord has been cut, which aesthetically is more pleasing, and helps you to manage cables.

You might have reservations about wireless peripherals, but things have come a long way from the latency-laden mice and keyboards that made us sacrifice quality for convenience. In fact, the BlackWidow V3 Pro performs just as well connected via its 2.4GHz Razer Hyperspeed dongle as it does when plugged in, and you can even pair it via Bluetooth for greater compatibility. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a true Razer product without RGB lighting, which with Razer’s Synapse software, can sync lighting with games such as Fortnite – lighting up your keyboard in sync with your emotes. Pointless, but fun nonetheless.

What we like…
Tick Choice of 2.4GHz Razer Hyperspeed or Bluetooth wireless connectivity
Tick High-quality Doubleshot keycaps
Tick One of the most comfortable wrist rests around

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches Razer switches
Connectivity Wired/Wireless
Dedicated media keys Yes
Check prices ON aMazon

Logitech G915 Wireless

The best low-profile gaming keyboard is the Logitech G915 Wireless.

Logitech don’t do flashy peripherals. Despite this prestigious brand’s reputation in the gaming sphere, its recent devices are just as much suited to a professional office environment as they are an esports arena. That’s why we love the Logitech G915 wireless. It’s sleek, low-profile, and perfectly suited to the gaming market rapidly expanding beyond the image of dingy basements and junk food.

With wireless connectivity across Lightspeed and Bluetooth, the G915 helps keep your desk neat and tidy, too. Although that does add some onto the price, which makes this stylish board deserving of the enthusiast label. Nevertheless, if you can swallow that, its low-profile GL switches are a dream to type on and a dab hand at gaming, too.

What we like…
Tick Low-profile
Tick Stunning, simple design
Tick Wireless

Logitech G915 Wireless Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches Logitech GL switches
Connectivity Wired/Wireless
Dedicated media keys Yes

Read the PCGamesN Logitech G915 review for our verdict and score.

Check Prices on Amazon

Redragon K552

The best budget mechanical gaming keyboard is the Redragon K552.

Buying a really cheap keyboard will often leave you regretting it. A $20 board is likely to very quickly start to lose functionality, whether that’s a few sticky keys or a total meltdown. Spending double that might be a little too much for some, but the Redragon K552 is a great example of a simple design still offering a lot, making it the best cheap gaming keyboard you can get your hands on.

Redragon might not be the first brand you think of when shopping for a new gaming keyboard but that doesn’t mean it can’t knock about with the best. Sacrifices have been made to achieve the K552’s staggeringly low price, such as a slightly high ergonomic profile, its smaller tenkeyless approach, and the inability to create macros, but you still get nice responsive mechanical switches to better control your movement in the best FPS games, thanks to Outemu switches used being so affordable.

For more cheap options, take a look at our Black Friday keyboard deals guide. We’ve scoured the internet for keyboard deals from different retailers and gathered them together in one place.

What we like…
Tick Mechanical keyboard under $50
Tick RGB
Tick Choice of Blue and Red switches

Redragon K552 Specs
Number of keys 87-key
Switches Outemu switches
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys No
Check Prices on SCAn

Mountain Everest Max

The most feature-packed gaming keyboard is the Mountain Everest Max.

Born from the crowdfunded fires of Kickstarter, the Mountain Everest Max is the most feature-packed gaming keyboard you can buy. You can even buy it in parts if you don’t want to fork out for the full thing immediately.

First of all, it has hot-swappable mechanical switches, so you can use Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh or just about any branded switch you can think of, making it easy to repair if you snap a stem. It’s modular with a detachable numpad you can place on either side, or even tether it with a cable so it’s not joined at the hip.

The numpad also has four Elgato-like LCD macro buttons without taking as much space as the StreamDeck. And, finally, it also has an optional media dock that slots into the rear left- or right-hand side, complete with a dial that displays temperatures, the time, or lets you switch profiles.

What we like…

Tick Modular with hot-swappable switches
Tick Great Base Camp software with Razer Synapse integration
Tick LCD macro buttons

Mountain Everest
Number of keys 104-keys, 4 display keys
Switches Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Silver, Silent Red, modular
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys Yes
Check Prices on Amazon

Corsair K70 TKL

The best TKL keyboard is the Corsair K70 TKL.

What happens when you take the best gaming keyboard and remove its numpad while not only keeping all its other features intact, but adding to them? You get the best tenkeyless gaming keyboard around.

The Corsair K70 TKL doesn’t have the fancy, debatably unnecessary OLED screen that the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL has, but a full suite of practical media keys more than makes up for it. Couple this with authentic Cherry MX switches, the highest 8000Hz polling rate, and a dedicated tournament switch that ensures you don’t break any competitive rulesets, and you have one of the best compact keyboards around.

What we like…
Tick Compact
Tick Fully featured
Tick Well-built

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL Specs
Number of keys 95-key
Switches Cherry MX Red, Silent, or Speed
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys Yes

Read the PCGamesN Corsair K70 TKL review for our verdict and score.

Check Prices on Amazon

Drop ALT

The best compact gaming keyboard is the Drop ALT.

Strategically and ergonomically, it’s always better to place your hands closer together while gaming and tenkeyless isn’t the smallest a keyboard can get. Formerly known as Massdrop, Drop’s ALT is the best compact gaming keyboard because it scales things down to just 65% of its full counterparts.

Our favourite thing about the Drop ALT isn’t its size, though; it’s the fact that switches are hot-swappable, meaning you can try any combination of switches so long as they share a Cherry MX profile. This does add to the cost of the keyboard, but you can consider it an investment as repairs are often as easy as popping in a new switch.

What we like…
Tick Compact
Tick Hot-swappable switches
Tick Well-built

Drop ALT Specs
Number of keys 67-key
Switches Cherry MX/Halo/Kaihua
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys No
Check prices on WOOTING

Wooting Two

The best analogue gaming keyboard is the Wooting Two.

We’ve seen a number of analogue keyboards released recently, such as the Razer Huntsman V2 Analogue, but the Wooting Two is our favourite analogue board. Under its illuminated keycaps are some of the most advanced switches on the market. The Flaretech optical switches allow for complete analogue input and, once you’re used to them, they can make a huge difference to your mouse and keyboard PC gaming.

They give you full control in games where you’d otherwise be limited to a gamepad and thumbsticks. But even analogue functionality aside, there’s plenty included to put this board amongst the top gaming keyboards around, such as fantastic build quality, support, and software. And what makes this product all the more amazing is that it’s from a small team that has brought the Wooting Two all the way through from the humble Wooting One Kickstarter to what’s before you today.

What we like…
Tick Analogue action
Tick Tough and reliable
Tick Great support

Wooting Two Specs
Number of keys 104-key
Switches Flaretech optical switches
Connectivity Wired
Dedicated media keys No

Read the PCGamesN Wooting Two review for our full verdict and score.

CHECK PRICES ON AMAZON

Best Gaming keyboard deals

If you fancy the speed of clicky optical switches over mechanical variants and don’t want to pay the premium prices they usually come with, the Razer Huntsman Elite is currently up to 37% cheaper.

You can get the RGB-clad gaming keyboard complete with media keys and a detachable wrist rest for $129.99 in the US, while UK folks can grab it for £126 while stocks last. Going optical ensures you’re one step ahead of your competition with key presses that register significantly quicker than your rivals – or puts you on a level playing field if they’re already rocking optical switches.

WHY BUY A GAMING KEYBOARD?

Unlike conventional peripherals, gaming keyboards offer a variety of features that will help improve your performance in-game. From mechanical switches that improve responsiveness to programmable macro buttons, keyboards designed for gaming can give you the edge in a variety of PC genres, like MMOs and competitive shooters.

What are mechanical keyboard switches?

PCGamesN has a comprehensive guide on mechanical keyboard switches, which will quickly make you an expert on all things clicky, linear, and tactile.

In a nutshell though, there are two main types of keyboard switches: mechanical and membrane. The latter has some value in typing if you like the squishy rubber dome feel, but you’ll definitely want the faster response times of mechanical switches when trying to get one up on your enemies in-game.

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