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Best gaming keyboards 2019

best gaming keyboard
(Image credit: Roccat, Corsair)

The best gaming keyboard is more than a luxury; it can improve your performance within a game and even increase typing speed. Plus, they're so much more satisfying than bog-standard keyboards. Seriously, have a go on a mechanical deck and you'll see what I mean. To get you started on finding the perfect accessory for your PC, we've rounded up a list of our top recommendations. You'll find all these below, not to mention a collection of bargains and offers as well (and these will only get more tempting as we edge closer to November's Black Friday gaming PC offers, of course).

Must-have tech

(Image credit: Logitech, Roccat, Razer)

Best gaming mouse
Grab the perfect pointer to go along with your new keyboard right here.

How do you go about deciding what the best gaming keyboard for you is, though? It starts with deciding what kind you want. You've got two choices - mechanical or membrane. Most 'normal' keyboards are the latter kind. All their keys share a single membrane sheath beneath the surface, and hitting them pushes a rubber dome against it. Although they tend to be cheaper and quieter, it also results in a 'squishy' feel. Meanwhile, each key of a mechanical keyboard has its own individual mechanism (or switch, if you want to get fancy). That makes them much more accurate, and they also give off a tactile bump and clicky sound when used - not unlike an old-school typewriter. However, that makes them more expensive and they can be quite noisy too. Luckily, quieter switches are available if you don't want to disturb anyone around you.

If you want to find out more about how we test keyboards, check out our testing guide here. It's also worth taking a look at our hardware glossary if talk of CPUs, GPUs, and other acronyms surrounding the best gaming PCs has you at a loss.

Black Friday game deals
Black Friday is on its way, so keep an eye on our guide to be sure you don't miss the top deals. And don't forget about these hot Black Friday gaming specials either!

Best gaming keyboard

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(Image credit: Corsair)
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1. Corsair K95 RGB

The best overall gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: 6 dedicated macro keys, customizable RGB, detachable wrist rest, bonus keycaps

Excellent build-quality
Aircraft-grade aluminium frame
Expensive
Large

For the PC gamer that wants it all, nothing provides more - be it faster access to abilities or a gorgeous premium design - than Corsair’s K95 RGB Platinum keyboard. The K95 takes almost everything great about the already-excellent K70 RGB Lux and slaps 18 dedicated macro keys on the left-hand side. These can be be used to trigger up to 108 macro commands.

Beyond that, the K95 features every bell and whistle imaginable. That includes dedicated media controls, a passthrough USB port, and a range of switches to customise how you want your keyboard to feel or sound in practice. If you've got the money to spare, the K95 RGB Platinum wins every time.

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(Image credit: Razer)
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(Image credit: Razer)

2. Razer Huntsman Elite

The best premium gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Dedicated media keys, opto-mechanical switches, customizable RGB, soft and detachable wrist rest

Opto-mechanical switches eliminate delay
Plush leatherette wrist rest
No USB passthrough or macros
Pricey

The Razer Huntsman family is the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches. Why is that important? Because they blend the tactile, clicky feel of a standard mechanical switch with optical actuation. In short, actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered) is almost entirely eliminated. It also reduces the gap between the actuation and reset point to almost 0mm. In other words, striking a key multiple times or frantically spamming it is incredibly easy. These are some of the best switches we've ever tested, and they're incorporated into an excellent design as well. 

The Huntsman Elite also features great quality of life touches. That includes the memory foam wrist rest and a digital dial that allows you to adjust brightness, volume, and other settings. 

Yes, it's expensive. However, the quality on display here is absolutely worth the cost.

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(Image credit: Logitech)
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3. Logitech K840

The best budget gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Logitech Romer-G switches

Durable frame
Subtle design
Affordable
No dedicated macros or passthrough

If you're keen to save your pennies and want a reliable 'starter' keyboard that doesn't cost a bomb, the Logitech K840 has you covered. Built in collaboration with mechanical switch experts Omron, this is a more traditional deck that still provides a satisfying gaming experience. You won't find any extras here like dedicated macros, RGB lighting, or USB passhthrough, but its affordable price makes the K840 a worthwhile investment nonetheless. It's also very handsome, which always helps.

Best gaming mouse | Best gaming monitor | Best gaming chair
Best gaming PC | Best gaming laptop | Black Friday gaming PC deals

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(Image credit: Roccat)
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(Image credit: Roccat)
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(Image credit: Roccat)

4. Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO

The best mechanical gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Durable aluminium frame, detachable wrist rest, dedicated media controls, customizable RGB

Great mechanical switches
Durable
Drop-dead gorgeous
Wrist rest isn't very useful

The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO is the kind of keyboard that turns heads; it's absolutely gorgeous to look at thanks to a durable aluminium frame, exposed key stems, and vibrant RGB lighting that gives off a crisp, professional air. However, its performance is every bit as good. While the bottom row's unusual convex key-shape won't be for everyone, we found this deck both comfortable and satisfying to use. 

What's more, its debounce switch "allows the firmware to reliably identify key stroke signals 20% faster than competing keyboards". Throw in an easy-clean design to avoid dust build-up and you're left with something special. Basically, it's one of the nicest keyboards we've got our hands on. 

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(Image credit: Corsair)
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5. Corsair K57 RGB Wireless

The best membrane gaming keyboard

Type: Membrane (wireless, wired, Bluetooth) | Size: Full | Features: Six dedicated macro keys, dedicated media controls, detachable wrist rest, customizable RGB

Quiet keys
Plenty of features
RGB up to 60% brighter
Lacks USB passthrough

Even though mechanical options take the lion's share of attention when it comes to great gaming keyboards, membrane alternatives are still worth considering. The Corsair K57 RGB Wireless is one of the best we've tried, and it'll light up any room with LEDs that are apparently up to 60% brighter than the competition. 

That isn't what makes this deck stand out, though (well, in anything other than a literal sense). Its membrane keys are almost as tactile and satisfying as mechanical ones, but they don't have the distracting 'click' of the latter. Additionally, the K57 has all the features (like dedicated media controls, wireless functionality, and macro keys) of a much more expensive keyboard.

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(Image credit: HyperX)
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(Image credit: HyperX)
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6. HyperX Alloy FPS RGB

The best gaming keyboard for shooters

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Solid-steel frame, customizable RGB, USB passthrough

Bouncy, responsive keys
Compact design
USB passthrough/charger
A magnet for dust

There have been a glut of shooter-focused keyboards over the last year or so, but this is arguably the best of them all. Despite a sparse appearance and a lack of macro keys, the HyperX Alloy FPS RGB makes up for it with exceptional performance. 

As a compact and portable device, everything is within easy reach so you're not stretching to hit keys like the left shift. Secondly, its Kailh Silver Speed switches are both responsive and satisfying to use. For example, they're bouncy enough that your fingers will fly from key to key. A reasonable price and USB passthrough for charging your phone seals the deal.

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(Image credit: SteelSeries)
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7. SteelSeries Apex Pro

The best eSports gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Per-key actuation, OLED smart display, aircraft-grade aluminium alloy, USB passthrough, customizable RGB

Per-key actuation
Cool OLED screen
Tenkeyless version available
Switches aren't as satisfying

Built around the ability to set actuation individually per key, this offering from SteelSeries is perfect for eSports players who want to customise their experience. Need faster, more responsive keys for the likes of Fortnite? Would you prefer a slower and more deliberate action instead? The Apex Pro is able to deliver on both, and anywhere in-between. 

As a neat bonus, the Apex Pro has a little OLED screen in the top right-hand corner as well. This lets you fiddle with media controls or certain actuation settings. It can even show off gifs. None of which is necessary by any means, but it's a really cool addition nonetheless. 

If you'd prefer a more compact version, there's also a tenkeyless alternative for sale.

 

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(Image credit: Corsair)
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8. Corsair K63 Wireless

The best wireless gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wireless) | Size: Tenkeyless | Features: Wireless capabilities, tenkeyless, detachable wrist-rest, dedicated media keys, RGB

Satisfying to use
Compact
Reliable brand
Short battery life

It isn't normally the best idea to go wireless when it comes to keyboards because of potential latency, but if you do, the Corsair K63 Wireless is the on to pick up. Its Cherry MX Red switches are satisfying to use, there are dedicated media controls, and its backlight is a calming shade of blue (though it'll last around 50 hours longer if those RGB lights are switched off). 

Being tenkeyless means it's much more compact, too. There isn't a better choice if you want a wireless mechanical keyboard that doesn't take up much room.

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(Image credit: CoolerMaster)
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9. Cooler Master MK850

Best keyboard for replacing your gamepad

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Full | Features: Aimpad analog controls, dedicated media keys, precision scroll wheels, USB passthrough, macro keys, customizable RGB

Aimpad mimics an analog joystick
Cherry MX Switches
Macro and media keys
High actuation force required

The Cooler Master MK850 is the best (and probably first) keyboard to really make the case that a mouse and keyboard setup can fully replace your PC gamepad. It takes advantage of Aimpad technology to duplicate the feel and functionality of an analog joystick; the WASD keys are capable of detecting how far you've pressed them down, rather than just detecting a single actuation point. It also does a great job of replicating the analog controls that certain genres, likes racing games or flight sims, make practically mandatory. 

The MK850 isn't a one trick pony, however. It's loaded up with an impressive suite of other features. It's got dedicated macros and media controls, two precision scroll wheels, USB passthrough, and a comfy wrist rest. And (as is seemingly requisite in gaming keyboards these days) it's got an RGB rainbow with 16.7 million color combinations to splash against the anodized aluminium backplate.

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(Image credit: Kinesis)
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10. Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB

The best ergonomic gaming keyboard

Type: Mechanical (wired) | Size: Split, tenkeyless | Features: Split design, ten dedicated macro buttons, customizable RGB, wrist rests, optional lift kit

Split design for ergonomics
Separate lift kit tilts the board towards you
Lift kit not included
Initial adjustment period

The Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB takes the bones of an excellent split keyboard and improves upon them in very welcome ways. This new model adds comfortable wrist rests, a more natural layout, and a bevy of customization options on top of that. 

That dual design means you can set each half of the board exactly at a shoulders' width apart. In essence, you won't hunching forward or straining your back and arms to position them in an unnatural way while typing. Furthermore, you have the freedom to set the right half out of the way when you're playing shooters, or park a flight stick in the middle if you want to get deep into Elite: Dangerous. You can add a 'lift kit' too (sold separately) to boost the two halves up to 15 degrees off your desk so they're angled out towards your hands.