Cheap gaming keyboards prove that you don't need to spend in excess to get something functional and stylish on your desk. With prices that rarely top $50 / £50, there are plenty of options out there for the budget buyer, with regular discounts on those already cheap MSRPs to boot.
You don't even need to sacrifice too much by picking up a cheap gaming keyboard. In fact, with the technology in these decks moving so quickly, we're seeing more and more high-end features making their way down to this budget price point. You might not be getting the speed to switch customization options of the best gaming keyboards, but you'll certainly hold your own on the battlefield.
We tend to see cheap gaming keyboard deals really ramp up during larger sales events, but regular discounts throughout the year also offer up a steady supply of savings. Whether you're after a full deck or something a little more ergonomic, you'll find the full range of cheap gaming keyboards we'd recommend watching out for just below.
Today's best cheap gaming keyboard deals
The Corsair K55 was one member of the GamesRadar+ Hardware team's keyboard of choice for well over three years. It may not look like much at first glance, but it's in the quiet execution of all the essential qualities of a gaming keyboard that it shines. There's responsive key action, bright lighting, and rugged build quality. That all combines to give this the edge over its similarly-priced competition.
The K55 is admittedly stripped back in its approach, but it does everything it needs to well without any compromises being made. Keep in mind that it's a membrane device, though - it utilizes rubber under the keycaps as opposed to mechanical switches. That means this isn't likely to be the keyboard for you if you're after something clicky.
The K55 carries an MSRP of $49.99 / £54.99, but we've seen that price tumble to record lows of $34.99 / £20 in gaming keyboard deals of summer 2021. If you spot a price nearing that boundary today, you're getting a solid offer, as we haven't seen deals like that in a while now.
Want something a little more advanced? Check out the Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT.
Much like the K55, the Razer Cynosa V2 is also membrane-based for a quiet and softer feel. The star of the show here - as with other Razer keyboards - is the company's Chroma RGB lighting, which, while a bit more basic than the visual effects found in the pricier models, still looks impressive.
This particular Cynosa is built with the purpose of being dust and spill-resistant, so it's unlikely to short out if you accidentally splash a can of cloudy lemonade over it (as I can, unfortunately, attest to with other keyboards that did not survive contact with drinks). Ultimately, if you're after a Razer device but don't want to drop the hundreds of dollars sometimes required, you'll still find excellent value for money here.
This deck launched at $59.99 / £49.99, and over in the US we often see that price dropping down to $49.99 (though discounts are less forthcoming over the pond). The cheapest we've ever seen these keys is $44.99 / £39.99, so any discounts moving past $50 / £45 are well worth your time.
Read more: Razer Cynosa V2 review
The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is another quiet keyboard, but this time it is decidedly understated - even with all the flashing lights. Speaking of that RGB, things are a little more straightforward. This is ideal for those who would prefer to set something quickly that looks good without tweaking things endlessly like with the aforementioned Chroma software.
Also included as standard are the dedicated media keys, featuring easy access to volume and playback control in a place that's unobtrusive. That's certainly not a feature to be taken for granted in the majority of cheap gaming keyboards. The Alloy Core isn't a keyboard that's going to turn many heads, but it's more than serviceable about everything it does.
At full price, this cheap gaming keyboard sits at just $49.99 / £49.99, however we often see that price knocked down to $34.99 in the US (and it even hit a $29.99 record low at the end of 2021). We have been seeing more gaming keyboard deals on this model over in the UK during the last year, with prices hovering around £40, giving way to a record low of £22 during a particularly speedy flash sale. We would aim for a $35 / £39.99 price here.
You may think that getting a mechanical keyboard for this kind of money would yield poor results, but this Havit model shows that it can be done. The blue microswitches make for that typical loud and clicky feedback that's exactly what you're after in a device like this.
Its form factor is something to note as well; it takes up only the essential space needed to accommodate the keys with little room for anything else, resulting in a slender look. You can also bag it with a high-DPI RGB mouse - perfect for those wanting a high-quality setup at an affordable price point.
These bundles are the best way to save on this already cheap gaming keyboard. This is a real budget-buy, which means we've seen prices on full setup packages going for as little as £28 in the UK. Offers aren't quite as regular in the US as stock is far less available, but you still stand to pay around $30 for a budget setup.
Klim has proved that budget wireless gaming keyboards do in fact exist, and can boast a similar build quality to other RGB-enabled membrane keyboards without hiking the price up. It's also lightweight and rugged enough to be thrown into a rucksack without fear of scuffing or damage.
The company claims that this keyboard takes approximately four hours to reach its full battery charge, which means it should have enough juice to carry you through your next gaming session. It's worth remembering the quiet and soft-touch action of the keys themselves as well. However, it lacks mechanical tactile feedback or clickiness, which is something to bear in mind if that's an essential selling point for you in this price range.
You can often find the Klim Chroma available for around $40 / £30, though we have seen those prices dip down to between $26 and $30 in the US.
If you can sacrifice the clicky feel and tactile feedback of a mechanical deck, then there's a lot to recommend about the Apex 3. At first glance, there's the stellar eight-zone RGB lighting and the magnetic wrist rest for a comfortable gaming experience. The fact that it clings to the keyboard ensures less slipping and sliding around when typing or gaming. This is something that some models from other manufacturers don't include, and certainly not in this price range.
As you may expect from a membrane-based gaming keyboard, the Apex 3 is dust and water-resistant which is ideal for those who fear an unfortunate encounter with a soft drink while kicking back with a game. It's a little big, bulky and heavy, but it will sit sturdily on your desk of choice for thousands of hours.
If you spot any discounts on the (fairly new) SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL below, you're getting a solid offer. We don't see too many gaming keyboard deals hitting this model, but that $44.99 MSRP has given way to a $30 sales price in the past so it's well worth looking out for. Over in the UK, we've seen around £9 off that £49.99 RRP in the past as well.
We've used countless gaming keyboards over the years and have picked up a thing or two regarding what to expect from the best cheap gaming keyboards in the modern day. It can be confusing to know what's right for you, and whether you should invest in a more premium deck. With that in mind, we've sought to answer some of the burning questions on what they need to know about cheap gaming keyboards this year.
Are cheap gaming keyboards worth it?
In our experience as long-term PC gamers, we've found, generally, that the cheaper models perform just as well for gaming as the high-end branded flagship models do. If you're on a limited peripherals budget, which many of have been in our gaming lives, then you can absolutely enjoy PC gaming on a cheap gaming keyboard, especially now that they are becoming cheaper than ever before.
How much should I spend on a gaming keyboard?
There's no definitive answer as to how much you should have to spend on a cheap gaming keyboard, but we generally recommend anything around or above the $50 mark to be worth your time and money, especially when they're from the more established names in the scene. With that said, some of the $25 models in our roundup are top-quality, too, it just all comes down to feature set and build preference at the end of the day which will define the end costs.
Is a mechanical keyboard worth it for gaming?
We've used many mechanical and membrane gaming keyboards in our time as PC gamers, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference rather than one build type having advantages over the other. For example, you're going to get more tactile, clicky responsiveness from a mechanical deck, but these gaming keyboards will also be louder. Membrane gaming keyboards tend to be quieter, but lack such a definitive feedback for gaming, we recommend investing in a cheaper mechanical keyboard if you're on the fence about making the jump, as it's not going to suit everyone's tastes.
If you're looking to invest a little more, we'd also recommend checking out the best hot-swappable keyboards for more flexibility in your switches.
We're also rounding up the best cheap gaming headsets and best cheap gaming monitors if you've wanted to get your setup together on a budget. Should you want to turn your attention towards the hardware side of things, we regularly update our best cheap gaming laptop deals and best cheap gaming PC deals as well.