12 Best Gaming Keyboards in 2019

Best Overall

Logitech G513 RGB Gaming Keyboard
  • Lightning fast 1ms report rate
  • Convenient USB 2.0 passthrough port for extra peripherals
  • Memory Foam palm rest is incredibly comfortable
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Premium Choice

Razer Huntsman Elite Keyboard
  • Digital dial can be programmed in a number of different ways
  • Supports up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • Hypershift supports a separate layer of functions with a single button toggle
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Great Value

Razer Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard
  • Durable but lightweight membrane frame
  • Supports ten key anti-ghosting
  • Sports a spill resistant design
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There are keyboards and then there are gaming keyboards. Both may seem the same on the surface, but a closer look will reveal some smart and meticulous design differences that can give a gamer a significant edge cooperatively and competitively. Everything from the size and design of these peripherals are crafted with the needs of the serious gamer in mind, and many come with hefty software options that allow gamers to create highly specialized macros and shortcuts.

That doesn’t mean that shopping for a gaming keyboard is easy. It’s about more than just picking the option with the sharpest design or the most prominent RGB lighting. We’ve identified twelve of the best gaming keyboards on the market, and we’re ready to break them down for you.

Best Overall

1. Logitech G513 RGB Gaming Keyboard

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Logitech's G513 mechanical gaming keyboard may be significantly bigger than many other models, but it puts all of that space to good use. It sports matte black keys and a handsome frame that doesn't smudge with each fingertip despite its metal surface. The ability to cycle RGB lighting and brightness are smartly built in to the existing keys, and the proprietary Romer-G switches provide a tactile feedback on the keys that feel as good or better than the standard Cherry MX model that most mechanical keyboards use. Customization is handled through Logitech's impressive (if unimpressively named) Gaming Software and supports LIGHTSYNC functionality.

Key Features
  • Lightning fast 1ms report rate
  • Convenient USB 2.0 passthrough port for extra peripherals
  • Memory Foam palm rest is incredibly comfortable
  • Expansive and granular RGB lighting options
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize5.1 x 17.5 x 1.4 inProgrammable keysYes, function row
Premium Choice

2. Razer Huntsman Elite Keyboard

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The Razer Huntsman offers a bunch of features you'd want from a good gaming keyboard: on-board memory and cloud storage, a smart and multi-functional digital dial, and a comfortably ergonomic wrist rest. But the real distinguishing feature of this mechanical gaming keyboard is the inclusion of a new opt-mechanical switch. Despite having a great sense of tactile response, this creates keys that are never too heavy and always feel responsive. Cherry stabilizers are also in place to turn this into a very quiet gaming keyboard. Combine this with optical actuation, which allows you to rack up incredibly fast click rates, and this becomes the ideal keyboard for RTS gaming.

Key Features
  • Digital dial can be programmed in a number of different ways
  • Supports up to 10 simultaneous key presses
  • Hypershift supports a separate layer of functions with a single button toggle
  • Four side underglow with 38 customization zones
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize9.2 x 17.6 x 1.4 inProgrammable keysYes, dial and three media keys
Great Value

3. Razer Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard

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Razer may be most known for their high end products aimed towards discerning customers, but their product lines are far more expansive. The Razer Cynosa is a budget gaming keyboard that manages to retain their high level of quality while still managing a modest price tag. Retailing for $50, the Cynosa offers top notch RBG lighting features and an incredibly durable frame that can take a beating. It's also a small gaming keyboard, so you don't have to worry about it hogging space on your limited gaming desk. While it may be light on features, it's a solid entry level option that works well.

Key Features
  • Durable but lightweight membrane frame
  • Supports ten key anti-ghosting
  • Sports a spill resistant design
  • Supported by Razer's powerful Synapse software platform
TypeErgonomicInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize18.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inProgrammable keysYes

4. Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard

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Logitech's G Pro series is a line of peripherals known for their quality, and that holds true for their keyboard as much as it does for their other devices. Portability and durability are a top priority with this model, and that makes it great for the rigors of esports tournament play. As with some of the other Logitech products on our line, it uses the high-quality Romer-G switches. It's not a silent gaming keyboard, but it is significantly more quiet than you could hope to expect from a mechanical model. Further improving its value for professional game is the astounding level of macro customization.

Key Features
  • Superior RGB lighting can be synced to events in game
  • Keystroke signal processing delivers up to 10ms faster response speeds
  • Steel back plate lends an extra level of durability
  • Game mode lets you disable any keys you want
TypeMechanicalInterfaceMicro USBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize14.2 x 1.4 x 6 inProgrammable keysYes

5. CORSAIR K95 RGB Gaming Keyboard

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Corsair's K95 is a beast of a keyboard designed for professional players who want only the best. This mechanical gaming keyboard comes with six dedicated macro keys occupying the left side. Add in three additional buttons for disabling the Windows key, switching between designated profiles, and adjusting the brightness of the backlighting, and you have all the tools you could possibly need right at your fingertips. There's also a convenient row of keys dedicated to multimedia and volume management. The Cherry MX RGB speed key switches are some of the best in the business, delivering a truly impressive 1.2mm actuation speed.

Key Features
  • Keys are incredibly fast and incredibly responsive
  • Deep customization options that are easy to manage
  • Key by key RGB illumination plus 19 illumination zones
  • Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame is lightweight but durable
TypeMechanicalInterfaceMicro USBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize18.3 x 6.7 x 1.4 inProgrammable keysYes, plus six macros

6. HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Quiet Keyboard

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The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB keyboard is an easy peripheral to recommend. The Cherry MX keys are industry leaders in terms of responsiveness, while the inclusion of dedicated keys for media performance make them great not just as a gaming peripheral but as a general entertainment keyboard. The design is similarly sleek: both good to look at and refreshingly intuitive with its layout. A USB passthrough port enhances its versatility as a gaming keyboard, and it also includes brightness, profiles, and game mode buttons like in the Corsair K95. It also makes use of HyperX's NGenuity software to support button customization. It's not the most effective software of its type, but it gets the job done respectably.

Key Features
  • Incredible blend of aesthetic form and practical functionality
  • Includes dedicated keys for both media and gaming
  • Detachable wrist rest is exceedingly comfortable
  • Keyboard backlighting and radiant light bar
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize17.5 x 6.7 x 1.5 inProgrammable keysYes

7. Razer BlackWidow Elite Ergonomic KeyBoard

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The BlackWidow Elite by Razer doesn't come cheap, but it's built like a tank, and it comes with the features of a premium sports car. Passthroughs are available in both USB and 3.5mm format, and the latter is a rarity even in high end gaming keyboards. This ergonomic gaming keyboard sports an unostentatious but incredibly comfortable wrist rest. The switches are also brand new, retaining the same level of responsive design that Razer's proprietary switches are known for with an added level of durability. The RGB lighting is especially pretty, even by premium keyboard standards, and there's a wealth of customization options for macros and lighting effects.

Key Features
  • Offered with three different keyboard switch styles
  • Ergonomic wrist rest is understated but comfortable
  • All keys are highly customizable
  • Can save five profiles to the cloud through on-board memory
TypeMechanical/ErgonomicInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize9.2 x 17.6 x 1.7 inProgrammable keysYes

8. Logitech G613 Wireless Gaming Keyboard

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The first wireless keyboard on our list is also one of the best. Logitech's G613 makes use of Lightspeed technology, a powerhouse inclusion that reduces latency almost entirely and ensures that Logitech's keyboard can compete even with the best of its wired brethren. But that's not the only selling point here. As with all of Logitech's other keyboards built for gamers, it makes use of the truly superb Romer-G key switches, and the six macro keys on the left side of the board provide you with more accessible tools when you're in the heat of a game. And while some gamers while scoff at the lack of a USB passthrough or backlighting, it extends the battery life of this rugged keyboard significantly.

Key Features
  • A wireless option with practically no latency
  • Can last for up to 18 months with two AA batteries
  • Lightspeed wireless offers a 1ms response time
  • One touch Bluetooth coupling with other devices
TypeMechanicalInterfaceBluetoothKeyboard BacklightingNoSize18.82 x 8.5 x 1.33 inProgrammable keysYes

9. Cooler Master MK850 Gaming Keyboard

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Cool Master is (as their name might suggest) better known for their cooling products than they are for their gaming peripherals, but they come to bat with a new technology that uniquely positions them in the high-end gaming keyboard market. Their Aimpad eight key interface is pressure sensitive, allowing it to simulate the context in the same way as a gaming controller's analog stick and provide more nuanced movement. In the hands of a skilled gamer, the usefulness of this tech is practically limitless. A great depth of on-the-fly control settings, an exceptional RGB lighting interface, and precision wheels and media keys stack on top of this innovative tech for a keyboard that's pricy but undeniably world class.

Key Features
  • Aimpad is a true game changer for serious players
  • Makes use of the stylish and effective Cherry MX RGB red switch
  • Macros, lighting, and profiles can be controlled without software
  • Can connect to two other peripherals via USB
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize18.7 x 6.1 x 1.7 inProgrammable keysYes

10. CORSAIR K55 RGB Quiet Keyboard

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Corsair's K55 may be a cheap gaming keyboard, but you wouldn't know that just by looking at it. It's a sharp looking keyboard with an ergonomic design and dedicated RGB functionality. And while it uses three lighting zones rather than dedicating lighting settings for each key, it should meet the needs of most gamers. The features are more indicative of a higher end keyboard as well. The inclusion of macro buttons that occupy the left side of the keyboard are usually something reserved for top shelf models, and there are also dedicated buttons for managing your macros, disabling the Windows button, and adjusting your media settings.

Key Features
  • Six highly programmable and easily accessible macro keys
  • Keyboard tilt adjustment for comfortable play during longer sessions
  • Keys are practically silent without sacrificing responsiveness
  • Easy and intuitive compatibility with XBox One
TypeErgonomicInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize18.9 x 6.6 x 1.4 inProgrammable keysYes

11. ROCCAT Vulcan 100 AIMO Keyboard

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Roccat's Vulcan 100 Aimo doesn't look like any other keyboard on the market. The keys come straight out of the board, revealing the switches underneath, and it creates an aesthetic that's both practical and attractively industrial. Cleaning this keyboard is incredibly easy, and it's thoroughly sturdy while still being easy to carry with you on the go. The keyboard switches - a proprietary model known as the Titan - are incredible responsive, but while their loud mechanical clicks are satisfying, the noise might not appeal to everyone. An intelligent lighting system automates the process of creating a keyboard light show, but each key is also individually programmable using the Roccat Swarm software.

Key Features
  • One of a kind keyboard design makes cleaning easy
  • Volume knob is easy to use and incredibly satisfying
  • Anodized aluminum frame can sustain an incredible amount of damage
  • Titan switches are a great alternative to standard Cherry alternatives
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize6.3 x 18.19 x 1.26 inProgrammable keysYes

12. SteelSeries Apex M750 Gaming Keyboard

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It would practically be a crime to not put a SteelSeries model on the list of best gaming keyboards. They're one of the top leaders in gaming peripherals, and their Apex M750 undoubtedly meets the quality test. The design may be no frills, but there are a ton of features packed into this keyboard. Macros and RGB lighting are meticulously handled, and SteelSeries' Engine management software makes the whole affair a breeze. The floating keycaps make the process of cleaning your keyboard incredibly easy, and it makes use of Cherry Red MX switches for a tactile typing experience. An audio equalizer and Discord in-game lighting notifications round out the package.

Key Features
  • Partnered with an easy to use software platform
  • Lighting can respond to in-game events and Discord notifications
  • Constructed from a durable aluminum alloy
  • Makes use of full anti-ghosting effects
TypeMechanicalInterfaceUSBKeyboard BacklightingYesSize6 x 17.9 x 1.8 inProgrammable keysYes

Best Gaming Keyboards Buyer’s Guide

Gaming keyboards don’t tend to be as feature loaded as gaming mice (and if you’re looking for a quality peripheral to complement one of the keyboards on this list, check out our guide to the best gaming mice), but there are still a lot of options to consider when looking to buy a new gaming keyboard. We’re here to cover the basics so you can start your search informed.

On a budget? You may like our guide on the top gaming keyboards under $100.

Ergonomic vs. Mechanical

The first question you should ask yourself when looking at a gaming keyboard is whether you want a mechanical or ergonomic model. This isn’t a spec that can be analyzed on purely objective terms. Both mechanical and ergonomic keyboards have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Mechanical keyboards are distinguished by their analog design. The keys on a mechanical keyboard make use of switches that press down on a trigger and automatically send that signal to the computer. This direct transference makes mechanical keyboards ideal for gamers because of the accuracy involved, and many like the tactile feedback that comes from pressing down on a tangible key. This simple design means that replacing mechanical keys is simple, and multiple keys (as many as 20 on some models) can be pressed at the same time. The one major disadvantage is that mechanical keys tend to be loud.

The distinction between an ergonomic keyboard and a traditional keyboard is that the former takes user comfort into consideration with their design. Ergonomic keyboards shift the layout of the keys and the tilt of the keyboard itself to minimize the stress from continuous typing. The advantage to gamers, who often sit at the keyboard for extensive periods of time, is obvious. But if you’re looking to invest in an ergonomic keyboard, you can expect to pay a premium.

Almost all good gaming keyboards on the market are mechanical, and you should carefully scrutinize any model that markets itself as being for gamers without being mechanical in design. Ergonomic keyboards are going to be more a question of personal preference. While they can offer some notable advantages, you can achieve much the same effect with detachable wrist cushions that can be bought separately.

Related: You may also like our cheap gaming mouse guide.

Programmable Keys and Macros

The biggest (or at least the most practical) feature of a gaming keyboard is the ability to program the keys and assign macros. Macro assignment allows you to access some incredibly complex tasks with a single click of a button, and they can double the effectiveness of your keyboard easily. Most gaming keyboards come with higher level programmability for their keys, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all created equally.

Some keyboards – like the Logitech G613 and the Corsar K95 – include a bank of keys dedicated exclusively to macros. That means that you can access the actions you need without having to hold down multiple keys and without sacrificing the utility a key would otherwise have. Other keyboards have useful keys for actions like disabling the Windows key and programming macros manually. While these technically aren’t macros in and of themselves, they can be an incredibly useful addition.

You should also consider whether the programmability of your keyboard is tied to your operating system, or whether it’s saved with cloud storage or in onboard memory. The latter option is a huge convenience because it allows you to get the programming you need even if you take your keyboard over to a new machine.

Regardless of the model of keyboard, all of your macros and programming is going to be handled by the manufacturer’s software, and this is usually the same interface that allows you to customize your RGB lighting. These software platforms can vary in quality. Razer’s Synapse software is notable for being buggy and hard to navigate, while the SteelSeries Engine software and Roccat Swarm software are both exceedingly well designed. Picking a manufacturer you like for all of your peripherals can be a smart choice, because it allows you to customize all of your peripherals using a single interface.

Key Switches

If you have a mechanical keyboard, the biggest selling point is going to be the switches. The analog interface is the reason for getting a mechanical interface in the first place, and a good switch can make all the difference in the world. Some of the best mechanical keyboards use Cherry MX switches.

Cherry MX switches are the recognized third party standard, and you can count on them to get the job done regardless of the model your keyboard uses. There are multiple models of Cherry MX switches, but there are three that appear most frequently in gaming keyboards. The Red model provides minimal resistance and is generally pretty quiet. The Black provides a little more resistance while offering for more rapid fire typing. The Brown serves as something of a middle ground, good for both gaming and traditional typing. The Red and Black are offered in Silent variants that cut down on noise even more.

While Cherry MX is the standard by which most switches are based, it’s not the only quality option out there. Many keyboard manufacturers produce their own switches in house. Razer’s switches (which don’t bear a special name) and Logitech’s Romer-G switches are both high quality. If you notice a keyboard with a switch you don’t recognize, you can roughly gauge its value based off the actuation point. The 2mm actuation point set by standard Cherry MX switches is great, but many switches offer an actuation approaching 1mm.

Final Thoughts

Picking out a gaming keyboard can be a difficult decision because so many of the specs are similar. RGB backlighting, a mechanical design, and programmable keys are pretty much standard on any option you’ll fine, and that means that the devil is in the details. Fortunately, our list can help you sort through the distinctions and focus on only the best. Just remember that a good keyboard is just one component in a great gaming setup. If you’re looking to step up your game, be sure to check out our guides to the best gaming headsets and the best gaming CPU.