Best gaming keyboard 2018: the best gaming keyboards we've tested

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We understand that if you already have one of the best gaming PCs, it can be tempting to head to the local big box store and pick up the cheapest keyboard you can find – whatever works, right? Well, after dropping mad stacks on the best computer you could afford, you’re doing yourself and the best PC games a disservice by not using one of the best gaming keyboards.

The best gaming keyboards can measurably improve your skills in the best PC games. When you go out to shop for the best gaming keyboards, keep an eye out for the kind of switches it uses. Membrane switches aren’t ideal for gaming, so the best gaming keyboards will instead feature mechanical switches. And, don’t forget RGB lighting – there’s a certain je ne sais quois about having your desk light up like a christmas tree.

That brings us to this collection of the best keyboards for gaming. Even if you only have a few bucks to spend, you’ll be able to find a gaming keyboard that’ll do you right on this list. This is especially true now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are incoming. So, let’s dive into all the best gaming keyboards you can buy today, all of which we’ve tested and reviewed right here.

There are going to be a ton of Black Friday gaming deals out there, from laptops and gaming PCs to Xbox One X deals. So, in order to stay on top of things, and to make sure you only have the best gaming keyboard, you should keep an eye on all your favorite online retailers like Amazon and Newegg. And, like always, stay tuned to TechRadar for all your holiday shopping needs.

Razer Huntsman Elite

Razer Huntsman Elite

1. Razer Huntsman Elite

Light it up

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Fast key actuation
Tactile key switches  
Expensive 

With the Huntsman Elite, Razer has taken speed to a whole new level with its optomechanical switches. That sounds like a mouthful, but Razer has managed to take mechanical switches and integrate optical sensors, this allows the Huntsman Elite to take actuation to another level – you simply won’t find a faster keyboard in 2018. But switches aside, it feels great to type on, and it’s covered in more RGB lighting than you can shake a stick at. Sure, it requires two USB cables for power with no passthrough and it costs a small fortune – but with tech like this, it’s absolutely worth it.

Read the full review: Razer Huntsman Elite 

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

2. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

The sci-fi keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

 Feels great to type 
 Gorgeous lighting 
 Expensive  

Keyboards keep abandoning Cherry MX switches in favor of custom ones, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop any time soon – especially if the Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo is any indication. Not only does this keyboard offer switches that have the tactile feedback that gamers demand, but it’s comfortable to type on and won’t wake up the whole neighborhood. When you add in the jaw dropping aesthetics of this gaming keyboard, there’s no denying that this is one of the best gaming keyboards 2018 can offer.

Read the full review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Razer Black Widow Chroma 

Logitech G513

Logitech G513

3. Logitech G513

Gaming in silence

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

 Superior key switches 
 Brilliant RGB lighting 
 No dedicated media keys 

One of our biggest pet peeves with Cherry MX Red keys is that while they’re good for gaming, they’re not great for typing anything but your Steam credentials. And, that’s where the Logitech G513 and its Romer-G Linear switches outshine the rest of the competition. Add in the brushed metal finish that, miraculously, is all but immune to fingerprints, and you have a recipe for one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy today.

Read the full review: Logitech G513 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Razer Black Widow Chroma 

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

4. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

The complete package

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: No

 Compact design 
 Illustrious lighting 
 Included mouse is mediocre 

The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is marketed as a keyboard and mouse keyboard, and while the mouse is not exactly great, the keyboard steals the spotlight. Sitting at just under a hundred bucks, the keyboard here, is up there with other, more expensive ‘mem-chanical’ keyboards. The switches here offer a lot of the tactile feedback and deep travel of more traditional mechanical keyboards, and won’t keep your entire house awake while you’re furiously pounding away on it during a intense late-night Overwatch match. The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 really is one of the best gaming keyboards under $100. 

Read the full review: Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 

Corsair K63 Wireless

Corsair K63 Wireless

5. Corsair K63 Wireless

Wireless PC gaming at its finest

Interface: Wireless | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Perfect couch gaming
Fully featured
Flimsy palmrest clips

We have seen plenty of wireless gaming mice over the last few years, but not many wireless gaming keyboards. Until now. The Corsair K63 Wireless keyboard takes what made the wired version of the K63, and transfers it into the wireless version – without sacrificing much at all. Packing tight Cherry MX Red switches, full RGB lighting and convenient media controls, the K63 wireless shows us what wireless keyboards can be capable of in 2018.

Read the full review: Corsair K63 Wireless 

HyperX Alloy Elite

HyperX Alloy Elite

6. HyperX Alloy Elite

A Cherry MX-powered circus of value

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: No

Reasonably priced and fully featured
Handy media keys
Seriously thick cable
No macro programming

Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. For only $10 USD more than its predecessor, you’re getting media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read the full review: HyperX Alloy Elite

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

7. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

This mechanical animal has cheetah-like speeds

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Hypnotic disco lighting
Classy aluminum build
Awkward software
Rubber palm rest gets grungy quickly

Just like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire that came before, the K95 RGB Platinum is a mechanical keyboard that puts gaming above all other things. Rocking 8MB of dedicated memory for storing different profiles, this keyboard certainly has the versatility to get the job done, whatever it may be. It features a beautiful build, as well, with a military-grade aluminum finish that complements Corsair’s fantastic RGB lighting perfectly. 

Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Razer Cynosa Chroma

Razer Cynosa Chroma

8. Razer Cynosa Chroma

A keyboard you can get wet

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Affordable
Low-profile build
Membrane switches

If you’re new to PC gaming, and you want a keyboard that’ll perform admirably without the high price tag that a lot of mechanical keyboards carry, the Razer Cynosa Chroma might be for you. It might not have the tactile clickiness of a higher-end board, but the hybrid mesh switches perform well enough, boasting a 1ms polling rate and 10-key rollover. That’s not to mention the sick RGB lighting.

Read the full review: Razer Cynosa Chroma 

Corsair K68 RGB

Corsair K68 RGB

9. Corsair K68 RGB

The snack-proof gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

 Water resistance 
 Subdued style 
 Sub-par wrist rest 

Accidents happen – it’s just a fact of life, especially when you’re gaming. Luckily, it’s becoming more common for the best gaming keyboards to be able to handle anything you could throw at them, even Mountain Dew. The Corsair K68 RGB takes a fantastic keyboard design with Cherry MX Switches and makes it water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about a sudden soda shower during a frantic play session. And, with its subdued, stylish design and reasonable price tag, it’s easy to recommend the Corsair K68 RGB.

Read the full review: Corsair K68 RGB  

SteelSeries Apex M750

SteelSeries Apex M750

10. SteelSeries Apex M750

Great for gaming, just OK for everything else

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

 Dazzling lighting 
 Rugged Build 
 Extremely loud 

If you’re looking for a gaming keyboard, and you don’t plan on doing much else, the SteelSeries Apex M750 is a great choice. It has fantastic software for customization and gorgeous RGB lighting. It also has a great tactile feel to it and feels extremely robust and durable. The only drawback is that the keyboard is extremely loud and uncomfortable for productivity work. 

Read the full review: SteelSeries Apex M750 

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article