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Best gaming keyboard 2021: Our top 10 keyboard picks


Having the very best gaming keyboard can give you a significant advantage in competitive gaming – there’s no denying that. 

This means serious PC gamers will want a top-end board, so we’ve assembled a list of all the best gaming keyboard options currently available to you. And if you’re not bothered about your kill/death ratio, we’ve also included budget-friendly boards that still offer a stellar performance.

We use every keyboard we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by playing a variety of different genres, including FPS, strategy and and MOBAs. We also check each keyboard’s software to see how easy it is to customise and set up.

So without further ado, here are our top 10 gaming keyboards:

Corsair K100 - best gaming keyboard

1. Corsair K100

The best overall wired gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Brilliant opto-mechanical switches
  • Packed with features
  • Sturdy design and great RGB LED lighting

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some flimsy buttons
  • No USB 3.0

The Corsair K100 is the absolute best gaming keyboard we’ve tested, with laser-powered switches ensuring such a speedy performance that even the most demanding eSports star won’t be able to complain.

It’s also brimming with features, including macro keys, media buttons and a wheel that can be configured to perform a great number of shortcuts, including scrolling down a web page or tweaking the RGB LED brightness.

But with an eye-watering £229 starting price, this high-end gaming keyboard should only be considered if you’re convinced you need the fastest switches possible. Anyone playing the likes of Minecraft, Planet Zoo or Crusader Kings needn’t bother here.

Asus ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe - best gaming keyboard

2. Asus ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe

Best compact wired gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • MX key switches are reliable and durable
  • Classy and sturdy design
  • Intuitive software

Cons:

  • Lack of macro keys
  • Stronger wrist-rest magnet needed

There’s been an influx of TKL (Tenkeyless) mechanical gaming keyboards in recent years, which are compact boards attempting to take up as little desk space as possible. The Asus ROG Strix Scope TKL Deluxe is our favourite of the bunch, with an attractive price point and a stellar performance.

The Cherry MX switches are fast and snappy, with Asus offering a range of options (Silent Reds, Blacks, Browns, Blues and Speed Silvers) so you can find the perfect ones to suit your needs. And while you can hardly call this board cheap, it still undercuts the likes of the Logitech G815 by a few quid.

There are issues here though, namely with the lack of Macro keys reducing the number of customisation options. But if that won’t deter you, this is an excellent space-saving wired keyboard that we strongly recommend.

Logitech G Pro Keyboard - best gaming keyboard

3. Logitech G Pro Keyboard

Best value mechanical keyboard

Pros:

  • Petite and portable
  • Great key feel
  • Superb LED light quality and implementation

Cons:

  • May be a little loud for some gaming setups
  • The switches are effectively MX Cherry copies

The Logitech G Pro Keyboard is another fantastic compact gaming keyboard, but snubs MX Cherry switches for Logitech’s own GX alternatives. This may put off Cherry purists, but it does mean the Logitech G Pro is available for a cheaper price than some of its compact rivals.

While we think Cherry switches feel smoother, there’s not much difference at all as they still provide that satisfying clack and tactile feel. The Logitech G Pro X model will even allow you to swap the standard GX Blue switches for softer GX Brown or smooth GX Red switches.

Like with many compact keyboards, the Logitech G Pro Keyboard has notable omissions such as Macro keys and a volume wheel, but it’s a superb keyboard that excels at the basics.

Razer Cynosa Lite - best gaming keyboard

4. Razer Cynosa Lite

Best budget wired gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Affordable for every gamer
  • Sturdy plastic construction
  • Synapse 3 works a charm

Cons:

  • Lack of mechanical keys
  • Unremarkable design

Only seriously competitive PC gamers can usually justify spending over £100 on a gaming keyboard, so we’ve made sure to include a more affordable option: the Razer Cynosa Lite.

Razer’s budget-friendly wired gaming keyboard misses out high-end features such as mechanical switches and dedicated Macro keys, but it’s still well-built and feels great to use whether you’re gaming or typing. The wonderful Synapse software also provides lots of customisable options for the RGB lighting.

If you’re not playing competitive games such as FPS and MOBAs, then the Razer Cynosa Lite is one of our favourite gaming keyboard options currently available.

Asus ROG Strix Scope RX 02

5. Asus ROG Strix Scope RX

One of the cheapest opto-mechanical keyboards on the market

Pros:

  • Well-balanced opto-mechanical switches
  • Robust design
  • Cheaper than most rivals

Cons:

  • Not many extra features
  • No wrist-rest
  • No extra buttons

The fastest gaming keyboards currently feature opto-mechanical switches, which use lasers instead of physical mechanisms to register the input of a keypress. The Asus ROG Strix Scope RX is one of the most affordable options right now, and a great option if you want the best performance possible without paying over the odds.

But while the Asus ROG Strix Scope RX offers a fantastic performance, it’s lacking in features to compete with more expensive options. There are no dedicated media or macro keys, no wrist-rest and it’s a little too large and cumbersome to be a worthwhile option for those who want to carry around in a bag.

Still, if you want a speedy and reliable gaming/typing experience and aren’t fussed about additional features, you’ll struggle to find better value.

Logitech G915 TKL - best gaming keyboard

6. Logitech G915 TKL

The best wireless compact gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Lightspeed and Bluetooth switching is seamless
  • Three options of superb GL switches
  • Macro key customisation is incredible

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Lack of USB passthrough

The Logitech G915 TKL is the best wireless gaming keyboard we’ve reviewed for people who want to take up as less desk space as possible. Its small size and low-profile keys also make it very easy to stow in a bag and bring along to work or a friend’s house.

The G915 TKL supports both Bluetooth and Lightspeed for wireless connectivity, with the former being more battery efficient and latter providing faster speeds for an eSports-grade performance. We’re also very impressed that Logitech has been able to fit playback buttons and a volume wheel on the board, making up somewhat for the lack of dedicated Macro keys.

The biggest issue with the G915 TKL is its expensive £199, although we have seen the cost drop to more affordable price points recently. If you want a cheaper wired version, check out our Logitech G815 Lightsync RGB Keyboard review.

Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile - best gaming keyboard

7. Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile

The best value low-profile gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Fast, reliable, snappy typing
  • Smart, slick physical design
  • Plenty of extra features
  • Reliable build quality

Cons:

  • Slightly different feel to full-height keys
  • Flimsy wrist-rest
  • Uses slow USB 2

The Corsair K70 Rapidfire RGB MK.2 Low Profile offers super-quick, low-profile Cherry MX Speed switches, which depress more fully and actuate more quickly than other Cherry MX switch types, as well as being quieter than full-height keys.

It’s not quite the fastest gaming keyboard on this list however, with Corsair opting for a conventional mechanical design rather than the trendy lasers found on the likes of the Corsair K100. That said, the speed difference is marginal and it’s considerably more cheaper than most laser-powered keyboards.

The Corsair K70 is also packed with features, from media controls to RGB lighting options that you can control with Corsair’s iCue application. If you want a speedy low-profile gaming keyboard that doesn’t cost the world, this is a solid option.

Razer Blackwidow (2019) - best gaming keyboard

8. Razer Blackwidow (2019)

Bargain mechanical gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Sharp backlighting
  • Well-made and hard-wearing
  • Razer Green switches have satisfying click
  • Hypershift feature mitigates lack of macro keys

Cons:

  • Software is difficult to use in-depth
  • Textured plastic shell feels cheap
  • No dedicated macro or multimedia keys

The Razer Blackwidow (2019) mechanical gaming keyboard doesn’t stand out in any specific area – it’s an all-rounder premium keyboard. It has rivals that are superior in terms of features and performance, but it has seen significant price drops over the last few months.

Currently available for around £70, this is one of the cheapest high-end mechanical gaming keyboards you can buy. Factor in Razer’s superb Synapse software, which can enable dazzling RGB lighting effects that syncs up with other Razer peripherals, and you’re getting a ridiculously good value

It’s worth noting that the Blackwidow is missing out on dedicated macro and multimedia keys, but we don’t think that’s a big issue if you can bag this keyboard without spending more than £100.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

9. Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

Luxury wireless gaming keyboard with a couple of rough edges

Pros:

  • Green switches offer superb performance
  • Brilliant software
  • Fantastic build quality

Cons:

  • High price
  • Battery life drop-off is a cause for concern
  • Device/software integration needs improving

The Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is a wireless version of one of Razer’s most popular high-end gaming keyboard. Sounds like a gamer’s dream come true, right? Unfortunately the move to wireless technology hasn’t gone as smooth as Razer will have wanted.

The battery life (with full RGB lighting activated) comes in a concerningly low 13 hours, while wireless interaction with Synapse can sometimes result in some momentary freezes. These aren’t huge flaws in the grand scheme of things, but still prove bothersome since Razer’s set such a high price.

That said, Razer’s green switches continue to deliver a fantastic performance and the board’s build quality is as solid as ever. So if you’re determined to stick with Razer but want a wireless keyboard with a best-in-class performance, this is the one to go for.

Razer Huntsman Mini

10. Razer Huntsman Mini

The best tiny gaming keyboard

Pros:

  • Small, sturdy design
  • Light switches ideal for gaming
  • Crisp backlighting and software integration

Cons:

  • Pretty high price
  • Lack of arrow keys
  • Optical switches lack some tactility

Razer has taken the ‘compact keyboard’ trend to the extreme with the Razer Huntsman Mini, ditching not only the number pad but also the arrow keys to make sure this gaming keyboard is taking up as little desk space as possible.

We think the removal of the arrow keys causes more issues than it resolves, but being just 60% the size of a conventional keyboard will no doubt be appealing for those with a cluttered desk. Razer’s optical switches also proved very speedy for gaming, although we also though they felt a little too light for typing tasks.

We suggest opting for one of the TKL boards further up this list if you want to free up desk space, but if you’re adamant you want the smallest optical gaming keyboard possible – even at the expense of the arrow keys – then the Razer Huntsman Mini could still be a worthwhile option.

What is a mechanical keyboard?

Mechanical switches are very different to the switches you’ll find on cheaper keyboards. They provide much better feedback and a more satisfying action. They’re not for everybody, though, so it’s worth trying before you buy.

One of the most confusing elements of a mechanical keyboard is the colour-coded Cherry switches, which you’ll find on most brands. There are a few exceptions, however – some keyboard manufacturers, such as Razer and Logitech, have their own custom mechanical switches.

Related: The ultimate gaming PC build guide

Cherry manufactures six distinct types of MX keyboard switch, named after colours.

Blue and Green switches are similar. Blue switches give a tactile click the moment the button is activated, meaning you get instant feedback for every keystroke, which is very satisfying. Green switches are similar, but require more force than the Blue switches to activate. This means they are fantastic for typing but are also exceptionally loud, so they’re best avoided if you’re in a shared workspace, or somewhere with thin walls.

Best Gaming Keyboard: Ozone Strike Battle

MX Red switches have no tactile click and instead have an extremely smooth keystroke all the way to the bottom of the board. These are the most common switches on gaming keyboards due to their exceptionally easy and quick operation. They’re less comfortable for long periods of typing, and the lack of feedback can prove disconcerting for some. MX Black switches are very similar to Reds but require more force to activate.

MX Brown switches are similar to Blues but the tactile click is far less pronounced. They’re also less noisy than their Blue and Green siblings, operating with more of a bump than a click. MX Clear have a less pronounced click than the Brown switches, and require less force to activate. These switches are a good middle ground for gamers who also type a lot.

Finally, there are the new MX Speed switches, which have a very small actuation point of just 1.2mm.

Descriptions are all well and good but they’ll only get you so far – you really need to try them out to determine which is best for you. You can buy MX switch samplers, although these cost in excess of £10, so you should probably try your local PC store first and get the friendly staff to unbox some for you.

Since Cherry MX switches are interchangeable (usually not by the buyer), many of the keyboards on this list offer multiple specifications with different MX switches.

Non-Cherry keyboards are becoming more common, with the likes of Logitech and Razer choosing to ship keyboards with their own custom switches.

Other features

Many gaming keyboards also have extras that set them apart from the crowd. For example, some come with USB passthroughs, meaning you can hook up USB peripherals direct to your keyboard, without having to plug them into your PC.

SteelSeries Apex M800 19

Some also come with extra buttons for gaming shortcuts, which can be programmed through software that you can download from the manufacturer’s website.

You should also look out for coloured backlighting. Some keyboards ship with a single colour, others offer customisation options. This adds to the cost, and if you don’t like garish flashing lights, then you’re better off steering clear.





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