Best Gaming Keyboard in 2017 – Guide & Reviews
If you’re just starting to appreciate how fun and enjoyable PC gaming is, then you should know the importance of the best gaming keyboard!
Yes, you don’t just you a standard keyboard when playing World of Warcraft or any title for that matter. The best gaming keyboard is a big change from your no-brand keyboard.
It may some time getting used to it, but a gaming keyboard can up your game. Why buy a gaming keyboard? There are many good reasons. One is that is a lot better than a traditional keyboard in terms of accuracy, responsiveness, and feel. For example, a typical keyboard can’t handle more than three keystrokes at a time.
Thus, using it in a game that requires rapid and simultaneous keystrokes is a bad idea. Your character will end up dead before you know it. Most gaming keyboards offer mechanical switches.
The keyposts are spring loaded, resulting to stronger feedback with more push. Perhaps more important to gamers is that mechanical keyboards can make typing faster, and can last long.
Moreover, gaming keyboards provide a superior feel and tactile response. Many models have backlight, which comes in handy when you are playing in a dark room.
Top Ten Best Gaming Keyboards
It can be quite confusing to pick the best gaming keyboard what with the number of keyboards for gaming in the market. But we’ve picked the 10 best gaming keyboard for you to choose from:
1. HAVIT Rainbow Backlit Wired Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo
This keyboard is compatible with most Mac and most PC operating systems, from Windows 200 to Windows 10.
It has a smooth and comfortable soft mate finish. Ithas 19 anti-ghosting keys, which means these keys can work simultaneously.
There are two anti-skid mats located on the bottom of the keyboard, preventing.
It from sliding during those intense gaming sessions.
While this isn’t exactly a cheap gaming keyboard, you’re getting your hands on a premium item. Aside from having 19 keys that can work all at the same time, it has 12 multimedia keys to boot. The “WASD” keys are interchangeable, and the WIN keys can also be disabled for gaming.
This is an ergonomically designed gaming keyboard with palm and wrist rest, so you can play for extended hours. It’s also easy to operate with no USB pass-through and additional software. Plus, it comes with a mouse to boot. Now let’s talk about its pros and cons. It is very comfortable to use with its wrist rest supporting the wrist.
The keys feel superbly responsive. There’s not much pressure needed to active/key in the keys. The keyboard is water resistant with three drain holes. It is also easy to clean the keys as these are removable.
Its mouse has a braided cord that can prevent it from tangling and finally, it is very sturdy and should last for a long time. For disadvantages, this is not a quiet keyboard at all.
It is very noisy, but most users indicate they’re not bothered by it because they often wear a headset while playing. In addition, you can’t turn off the green lights unless you unplug the keyboard.
2. RedragonKarura K502 USB Gaming Keyboard
This is a cheap mechanical keyboard that you can turn to if budget is a concern. Despite the price, this USB gaming keyboard packs a lot of decent features.
It has 104 keys plus 19 anti-ghosting keys. There are also 12 multimedia keys that you can turn to for controlling music and movie playback.
It has background lighting with 7 different colors on top of a pulse mode.
It has background lighting with 7 different colors on top of a pulse mode.
Its dimensions are 17.75 x 8 x .75 inches. It is relatively lightweight at 1.3 pounds. It has a huge wrist rest, so it can support your hands no matter how big it is. And unlike most cheap keyboards, the symbols on the keys are laser engraved. It is unlikely the keys will show signs of wear after a few months of using it.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of this product. Let’s start with the pros. It feels nice to type on. The keys respond quickly . It’s a plug-and-play keyboard, no need for installation/additional software. It has a braided cable for a cool look and superior protection/durability.
It has a lock windows key which is located on the right side of the bar. Its USB connector is gold plated. The anti-ghosting keys work well. It’s worth mentioning that it has a good built quality despite being a low priced keyboard. You can change the response key of the keyboard.
It is very affordable, in fact one of the cheapest in the market. The wrist rest is very wide and comfortable. The keys are silent when you type on the keyboard, which makes it an ideal keyboard for typing documents and other tasks aside from gaming There are only a few drawbacks.
First, the space bar is hard to press on. Also the windows key lock often malfunctions and some keys can get stuck every now and then.
3. AULA SI-859 Backlit Gaming Keyboard with Adjustable Backlight
This is another candidate for the title of best budget gaming keyboard today.
It has 104 keys with lockable/unlockable WIN keys and corresponding LED light indicators.
The key pressing distance is 2.0 millimeters.
It has a simple, classic design with personalized LED backlighting. It weighs just 1.52 pounds and measures 7.48 inches wide, 18.05 inches long, and 1.18 inches tall. It has a cable that is about 5 feet long.
For its advantages, there are many.The keys are sensitive and responsive, with the right level of spring-back. Typing on the keyboard feels very fluid. Fantastic backlighting, with easy to read and well-lit keys. The lighting can be adjusted, with three color choices—red, blue, and purple.
Its windows lock disables the Windows key while gaming. There are four modes of brightness for the lights to choose from and it doesn’t take a lot of pressure to type, so you won’t get tired when you use this keyboard. Plus, the keystrokes aren’t noisy unlike other gaming keyboards.
Good spacing between the keys which are firm and don’t stick. It is very affordable and there is need for additional software/installation. It also works on Mac compueters and can also be used for other tasks like transcription because the keystrokes are quiet and the keys are responsive.
There are a few drawbacks as well. For example, several keys like the enter key are a bit funky and some keys can wear out easily. It doesn’t have media controlling buttons and it is very lightweight so there’s a tendency for it to glide around the desk.
4. HAVIT HV-KB366L RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches
This could be the best mechanical keyboard today.
A look at its features will tell you why many users are in awe of this gaming keyboard. This keyboard has 104 keys with 13 programmable keys.
It also has a gold plated USB interface for efficient and stable data transmission.
The brightness can be adjusted in four levels, while there are 10 levels of breathing rate. You can adjust the backlight brightness by simply pressing FN and Up or Down arrow key in any non-breathing mode. It looks good with an aluminum top housing and sanded finish, as well as a metal base.
Its braided cord is 1.8 meters long. The unit has dimensions of 19.9 x 6.9 x 2.4 inches and weighs about 2.9 pounds. So let’s discuss the pros and cons. For the pros, there are seven colors to choose from (blue, green, yellow, purple, cyan, red, and white). You can change the color by tapping a special lighting key.
You can adjust the levels of brightness (low/medium/high) and the keys have a nice, firm feel. Keystrokes produce a sound that isn’t too noisy. It has a low profile which makes it very easy to type on. Cable is long, and protected with nylon and in addition, the ends are protected as well.
Colors are strong and bright, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the keyboard. It’s quite heavy which is good since it doesn’t easily glide around the desk. Finally, it is easy to clean because of the raised keys that make it easy to wipe down.
We found only two minor issues. There is no wrist rest, which can cause you to get tired after hours of gaming andsome LED lights won’t work after weeks of use.
5. Rii RM400 LED Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Combo Bundle
This is a keyboard has an ultra-low profile. You’ll have no problems using it for long hours as it is ergonomically designed.
It is compatible with most Windows operating systems, from Vista to XP, 7, 8, and 10.
It is relatively heavy at around 2.5 pounds, with dimensions of 18 x 9 x 2 inches.
It should fit most desks or workspace.
. It has the standard 104 keys, and can show 7 colors. There’s also a mouse thrown in the product package for good measure. For its advantages, the lights are bright and can illuminate well a dark room.
It’s plug and play—no need to install software or set it up. It’s very responsive, feels very solid. Keys feel very springy—no need to put a lot of pressure on them. Mouse included in the bundle is also responsive. It’s a bit heavy at 2.5 pounds, but that also means that it won’t slide easily in any desk.
It has dedicated buttons for music and controlling volume levels. It is compatible with most Windows OS including the older versions as well as with Mac and Unix. Finally, the LED lights are bright enough for effect, but not too bright to cause distraction.
For its drawbacks, we could find only 3. The markings are a bit hard to see. Markings/letters also tend to wear off easily and sometimes the keys don’t light up.
6. RazerDeathStalker Expert Gaming Keyboard
This gaming keyboard is compatible with most Windows versions, too, from Windows Vista to XP, Windows 7 and 8.
It also works with Mac OS X (v10.6-10.7 and above). It features Razer’s patented Synapse 2.0 software,
Which automatically syncs the keyboard to a cloud server for downloading firmware updates and saving your individual settings.
It has slim, 2mm Chiclet keycaps that allow quick movement of the fingers. It’s designed for gamers as there’s less time needed to actuate each key. You will be able to react swiftly to situations when you use this keyboard. It has dimensions of 10.2 x 20.3 x 2.4 inches and weighs 3.5 pounds.
It should fit easily in most desks. It is also heavy that it should not easily slide. For its advantages, it has superior backlighting, which makes it perfect for gaming sessions in low lighting conditions.The backlighting, however, isn’t too bright to distract users. It has a comfortable wrist rest that can make you game for long hours.
The keys are very responsive and the keyboard has a very low profile, which all the makes it more comfortable to use it. Keystrokes aren’t noisy unlike in other gaming keyboards. There’s enough space between the keys, which bodes well for users with big hands/fingers.
It’s compatible with Mac and its rubberized feet add more stability to the keyboard For drawbacks, they are a bit minor really.Synapse registration can be quite taxing and the wrist rest isn’t that soft. Also, keys can wear out too quickly.
7. UtechSmart Saturn Marquee Features Backlit USB Multimedia Gaming Keyboard
This is another budget-friendly gaming keyboard that you may want to take a look at if budget is a concern for you.
Its backlight can change from green, blue, red, and combinations of blue/red, green/red, blue/green, and red/blue/green.
The brightness levels can be adjusted as well as the breathing transition.It has 19 non-conflict keys to go along with 20 multimedia functions, and 12 easy-access media keys. Overall, there are 104 laser engraving keys with rubber coating that your fingers will find very responsive and soft to the touch.
This affordable gaming keyboard measures 18.3 inches x 8.2 inches x 1.2 inches. It weighs 2 pounds. Now let’s go on to discuss its advantages and disadvantages. To start with it is very affordable. The keys are very responsive and you can choose from many backlight colors.
The USB cable is braided, which should ensure its longevity/durability. The keyboard’s colors can change to suit your preferences/mood. The backlight colors are very much noticeable even when the lights are on. It works/feels like a mechanical keyboard despite technically not being one.
It feels rugged and sturdy, should last for a long while and it’s plug and play—so no need for installation/software. For issues, there are no LCD displays and dedicated macro keys . The keys are a bit too close to each other so people with large hands/fingers may find it uncomfortable to use at first. Also, some keys will stop working after a few months of use.
8. Logitech G105 920-003371 Gaming Keyboard
This is a good gaming keyboard coming from a reputable brand. It works with Windows 7, Vista, and Windows 8. It is available in high-speed USB 2.0.
It features six programmable G-keys, or a key that can be programmed to represent a certain video game function. It can also program single keystrokes, and record new macros on the fly while you are playing.
It also has anti ghosting capabilities, allowing you to use up to five keys all at the same time. You can also disable the Windows menu keys, so you won’t need to worry about accidentally activating the Windows features by mistake during a game.
The keyboard also has quick-access media controls that let you to control volume, as well as use functions like start, stop, pause, forward, back, and mute.
This keyboard has blue LED lighting, and you can adjust the brightness by choosing two different levels.
For its advantages, there are many. LED backlighting is good, but not too bright to distract the gamer. You can adjust the brightness levels of the LED backlighting. Backlighting can be turned off, too. It has quick access media buttons that let you control certain functions and you can use up to five keys simultaneously.
Keystrokes are crisp and definite, but not too loud. The six programmable G-keys will let you assign a function to a certain key. You can disable Windows key functions by switching on the “Game/Desktop Mode” switch. It is made by a reputable brand and is compatible with older PC operating systems.
Now for its drawbacks. Unlike other gaming keyboards, you can’t choose the LED color. The keys are a bit far from each other, but it’s something that you can get used to. The LED lights are not too bright compared to the backlight of other keyboards. And lastly, the design is not as futuristic and awe-inspiring as the other keyboards in this list.
9. Logitech RGB G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
We told you that Logitech is a good brand so it is not surprising it has more than one entry in this list. This keyboard is reputed to be the fastest RGB mechanical gaming keyboard today.
It uses a patented Romer-G mechanical switch that can guarantee up to 25 percent faster actuation.
It comes with nine programmable G-keys, so you can assign a game function to a certain key. This should make it more convenient for you react to certain game situations. Apart from the nine programmable G-keys, this keyboard can let you create a maximum of 27 custom commands actors three profiles.
Now you can make faster maneuvers with this keyboard. It is also easy to set up commands in this keyboard. It is tested to withstand up to 70 million keystrokes, thus you can use this keyboard for a very long time. Moreover, it has quick-access media controls.
These controls (pause, start, mute, and volume) are close to each other so you will be able to press them faster. You can also adjust the volume level using the on-board roller bar. For its pros, well let me just say that it is one good looking keyboard, with customizable colors.
It has two different sized wrist rests, which are said to be ergonomic and comfortable to use. The keys have a good feeling to it. The individually lit keys looks good and are very responsive . The keystrokes are not too loud so you won’t be disturbing the people around you.
It has rubberized feet at the bottom so it won’t easily slide or glide plus it has a dock for smartphones. It has a few drawbacks as well. First off, the keys feel a bit cramped, but most users say they eventually got used to it. It is very expensive but as they say, you get what you pay for and it doesn’t work with Mac.
10. Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2016 - Gaming Keyboard
Some hardcore gamers say this is the best gaming keyboard today. It’s hard to dispute that claim because the BlackWidow Ultimate from Razer is equipped with very impressive features.
It has all-new mechanical switches that were designed to improve the responsiveness of the gaming keyboard. It has backlit, programmable keys that enable gamers to customize the keyboard. With this keyboard, it is now possible to dominate whatever game you are into with relative ease.
You will be able to use this keyboard for a long time as the keyboard is designed to withstand up to 60 million keystrokes. Let’s just say that you will be able to enjoy this keyboard for many years. And it has Razer’s patented Synapse feature that can remember your personal settings by storing it through the cloud.
It has an attractive, smudge-free finish. There should be no fingerprints left on this keyboard, and make it a lot easy for you to maintain its good looks. Now let’s talk about its pros and cons. For its pros, the keys are soft and very responsive.
And they are not only backlit but also programmable. You can use it for many years because it is designed to withstand up to 60 million keystrokes. It has nice add-ons like USB port, mic/headphone jack on the side.
For drawbacks, well likemost mechanical keyboards, its keystrokes are a bit noisy. Moreover, downloading and installing the Razer Synapse software can be quite difficult/confusing.
Best Gaming Keyboard : Things To Consider
With the many gaming keyboard models available, you may find it difficult to choose just one keyboard. But if you know the things to look for in a gaming keyboard, then you will have an easier time in choosing the right keyboard.
There are lots of features that manufacturers of gaming keyboards tend to highlight. But there are functions that you must be looking for in a gaming keyboard. These features aren't available in regular keyboards, too. Among these are:
Ghosting happens when some keyboard keys won’t work when multiple keys are simultaneously used or pressed. With a keyboard that has anti-ghosting features or keys, then ghosting won’t be a concern.
Anti-ghosting features can prevent you from creating ghost commands even if you hit more than two buttons at the same time. Moreover, you can activate multiple command keys at the same time. You’d want to have a gaming keyboard that has at least 10 anti-ghosting keys
2. Mechanical key switch
Not all gaming keyboards have a mechanical key switch. However, those that have this feature are usually highly regarded by gamers.
There are actually different types of key switches aside from mechanical. Key switches affect the usability, feedback, and sensitivity of the keyboard. It also impacts the ease of repairing the keyboard.
The most common on budge keyboards, or those that come with PCs, is the silicone dome or soft switch. It usually has a fine layer of silicone right across the interior of the keyboard. It provides little or no audible feedback. But you’ll have to put a lot of pressure to register a keystroke. It can be frustrating for gamers because it can slow them down.
The scissor switch, meanwhile, is commonly found on netbooks and laptops. It is more sensitive compared to silicone dome switches. But the problem is that it is more costly to repair scissor switch keyboards.
On the other hand, mechanical key switches are ideal for gamers because these are individually spring-loaded. They are also very sensitive compared to other switch types, resulting to faster typing speed. It also has a longer life span compared to scissor and silicon dome switches.
3. Extra keys/Programmable keys
If you’ve noticed, there are a lot of models listed above that have programmable keys. The inclusion of programmable keys is very important, especially for newbies. Having programmable keys can allow you to set special functions like mega combos, accessing menus, among others.
You should also consider the placement of the special keys. The programmable keys must not be placed on the right-hand side because it can be difficult to use them in conjunction with the mouse. You want them on the left side, near the WASD keys. Or even below the space bar.
4. Windows lock/ Game mode
Another problem in using a regular keyboard for games is that there's a chance you may press the Windows key by accident. This would have you exiting the game, which is a bummer when you are in the middle of a really engaging game.
But with a Windows lock or game mode setting, you don’t have to worry about accidentally exiting the game.
There’s a reason why all the gaming keyboards have backlit keys. And it’s not just because most gamers can play until the wee hours of the morning. With backlights, it would be a lot easier for gamers to see the game in the dark.
Most gamers, after all, like to switch off the lights in their rooms to make the gaming experience more immersive. With backlit lights, they will be able to play any game even in the dark.
It’s also great if you buy a keyboard that gives you the option to customize the lighting colors, or set different color zones to various parts. It doesn’t only look good; but helps you in better controlling your PC and thus increasing your chances of winning in any game you are playing.
Other Features to Look for
There are also other features that you should look for in a gaming keyboard such as:
- Media keys--- these are additional keys that lets you change the volume levels, cycle through songs, start music from other multimedia sources, and change other media functions without you having to exit the game.
- Wrist pads--- for most gamers, this is a very important aspect as the wrist pads or rests can make them comfortable even for prolonged periods. Wrist pads are located at the base of the keyboard. It can be removable, while others are permanently affixed.
- USB and headphone extensions. These would let you plug headphones and mics into the keyboard instead of the PC. It can also limit the number of cords that usually limit your movement, or set you distance away from the PC monitor.
Whichever best gaming keyboard that you pick in our list above, you will be assured that you can play any game far better when you use a keyboard that is designed for gaming. It’s a lot more convenient and easy to use than the keyboard you are using for typing.
You won’t have to deal with ghosted keys, or those that won’t work when pressed simultaneously with other keys. And you can use a gaming keyboard even in the dark as it is often has backlit keys.
When choosing a gaming keyboard, you’ll need to take a close look at its features such as Windows lock, anti-ghosting keys, programmable keys, and mechanical key switch. You must also consider other features like media keys, wrist pads, and USB and headphone extensions.
And buy a keyboard that is a bit heavy, or has padded base, so that it won’t easily move. Keep in mind these pointers when shopping a gaming keyboard so that you’ll be able to pick the right model.