Best gaming keyboards 2021: All the hits and clicks

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If you follow any professional gamer or streamer, chances are, you’ve heard the clickety clackety sounds of a gaming keyboard in the background. While most gaming keyboards are essentially mechanical keyboards covered in RGB, they provide all the ergonomic comfort that one needs when stationed for a period of time. Not to mention, the tactile feedback of the keyboards are bar none, making every input satisfyingly addictive.

There are plenty of brands, key switches, and sizes that gaming keyboards come in, so “the best” really comes down to your preference. To help, we’ve listed a variety of highly-rated keyboards below for you to choose from.


Optimize to your gamer heart’s content


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Razer

At a glance

Razer is a go-to for all things gaming, so it’s no surprise that the brand’s Huntsman v2 Analog is among the best on this list. The keyboard culminates what might be the best that Razer has to offer: Analog Optical switches, futuristic RGB backlighting, tactile and responsive feedback, and a design that has gaming all over it. The first on that list, the Analog Optical switches, is the Huntsman v2’s trump card. The keys are more durable than the standard linear-style switch and is sensitive enough that Razer allows you to adjust the point in which a key press is registered as an input. With an included wrist rest, the Huntsman v2 is a pay-to-play gaming keyboard, deserving of its $249.99 price tag.

Pros

Cons

  • Full-sized keyboard with plenty of customization

  • Comfortable typing experience

  • Durable and responsive optical switches


A lightweight and low profile option


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Logitech

At a glance

The Logitech G915 TKL puts the best of gaming keyboards into a compact and lightweight form factor. It’s the keyboard that I personally use and is praised by many for its low profile switches, ease of pairing thanks to Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED dongle, and sturdy build quality. The G915 TKL, as the name suggests, is a tenkeyless keyboard, meaning it doesn’t have the traditional number pad on the right side. This may be a deal breaker for some, though Logitech does offer a G915 Full Size model to compensate. 

Pros

Cons

  • Uses an outdated Micro-USB port

  • Angle adjustment can be higher

  • Taller forehead than most


The keyboard with the best glow-up


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HyperX

At a glance

Over the years, manufacturers have figured different ways to implement sparkles and beams of RGB within gaming keyboards. HyperX happens to be one of them. The Alloy Elite 2 gaming keyboard features ‘Pudding keys’. As delicious as they sound, each key is designed with translucent sides, allowing for more light to seep through as you type and glide across the board. This makes for a light show no matter what level of a game you’re on. Besides that, the Alloy Elite 2 is a complete keyboard, with a dedicated media control center, durable build quality, and USB 2.0 pass-through.

Pros

Cons


All the buttons and toggles you need to win


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Corsair

At a glance

The K100 RGB Optical is Corsair’s flagship keyboard and one that is fully decked out. The optical switches are satisfying to the click and curved just enough for your fingertips to rest on. Media control keys and a dial reside on the upper deck of the board, providing you with enough access to what happens on screen. That said, the K100 RGB Optical is a big keyboard, so an ample amount of desk space is needed.

Pros

Cons

  • Software takes a bit of learning

  • Heavy keyboard, not ideal for travel


Compact keyboard made for gamers by gamers


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Glorious

At a glance

Glorious has only been making PC peripherals since 2014 but the brand has built a cult following thanks to its focus on enthusiasts. The Glorious GMMK Compact keyboard showcases the versatility of the Dallas-based company by condensing traditional features, like swappable switches and RGB back-lighting, into a compact and modular shell. The GMMK Compact is a 60% keyboard with only 61 keys. This is achieved by mapping the arrow keys (typically found on the right side of a keyboard) onto the J, K, L, and I keys. In doing so, you have a gaming keyboard that is fit for travel and weighs less than most out there.

Pros

Cons


Simple, affordable, and effective


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Logitech

At a glance

Logitech’s G213 Prodigy is the most affordable offering on this list ($49.99) but the lower price tag shouldn’t be the only reason you buy this keyboard. Unlike many gaming keyboards, the G213 Prodigy features customizable RGB keys and multimedia controls that are spill-resistant. There’s an included wrist rest that helps greatly if you game for hours at a time, though not detachable. All in all, the G213 Prodigy is a excellent option if you’re on a budget and want something that looks and functions like its more expensive counterparts.

Pros

Cons

How did we choose these products?

There’s a good variety of gaming keyboards on the market and your preference for size, key switch, and functionality is the ultimate decider of what’s best. When compiling the list, we take into account the following:

  • Build quality: If you’re eyeing a gaming keyboard, you’ll like be typing and clicking away on it for dozens of hours every week. So, we look for keyboards that are built to last.

  • Convenience: Some gamers prefer wired keyboards, others prefer wireless. Some prefer full size, while others prefer 40%. That’s why we make sure to include a diverse selection of products in listings like this one.

  • Price: Not everyone has the money to splurge on an expensive gaming keyboard. Perhaps you’d rather save some of the money to buy that new DLC that’s releasing. Whatever the case may be, we scour the internet for the best for less and more.

FAQ

Why do I need a gaming keyboard?

A gaming keyboard to a gamer is what soccer cleats are to a soccer player. You don’t have to have one, but in doing so, you get a competitive advantage. In the case of gaming keyboards, the peripherals typically have mechanical keys, allowing for faster typing and response times. You can also expect there to be extra customizable keys that aren’t found on traditional configurations. Throw in some RGB lighting and you have a keyboard that makes typing fun.

What mechanical switch should I buy?

Manufacturers like to brand the types of mechanical switches they have to offer so understanding which one is best for you can be confusing at first. In general, there are three types of mechanical switches: Linear, tactile, and clicky.

  • Linear: Keystroke will press down smoothly with little to no noise.
  • Tactile: Keystroke will press down with a small bump in the middle and moderate noise.
  • Clicky: Keystroke will press down with a small bump in the middle and a loud click noise.

Optional: You can buy a key switch testing tool for
less than $20 here

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What keyboard size should I get?

Besides the type of mechanical switch, deciding on a keyboard size can be a journey. The best advice is to go to your local electronics store and give the different-sized gaming keyboards a test. It’s also helpful to ask yourself whether you need a number pad or not.

  • Full-sized (104 keys): standard keyboard with a number pad
  • TKL (87 keys): loses the number pad
  • 60% (68 keys): loses the number pad, navigation keys, and arrow keys
  • 40% (49 keys): loses the number pad, navigation keys, arrow keys, and number row




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