A good gaming keyboard can make all the difference – even in non-competitive play. The issue is that many of the best gaming keyboards out there come at a serious premium. By selecting the features you need and sacrificing the extras you won't use, however, it's possible to save a significant amount of cash with these cheap gaming keyboard deals.
That's exactly what we've done here, with a roundup of all the best cheap gaming keyboards and a breakdown of the ones you should consider based on the features and specs on offer. You'll find various brands, styles and options, including top names such as Logitech, Corsair and Razer.
We've listed some of the cheapest options worth buying here, with a wide range of gaming keyboards for under $50. You do tend to sacrifice a few features to secure a lower price, though, so you'll find the next step up listed under each option if you do want to spend a little extra.
Then, if you're looking to upgrade your gaming setup further, you can track down a cheap gaming mouse, cheap gaming headset or a cheap gaming laptop. We've also got a look at some cheap gaming monitors, the latest cheap gaming chairs and a few cheap gaming desks if you want to go one step further.
Mechanical gaming keyboards often come at a premium over their hybrid or membrane counterparts, which is why this Logitech G413 is so impressive. Not only are you getting Logitech's Romer-G switches in here, for a quiet but tactile experience, but there's also USB passthrough and alternative key caps included. Those features are usually found on far more premium decks, but you are compromising in other areas to achieve such a great price.
There's no customizable RGB here, with only red backlighting to keep you company during those darker sessions. Plus, there are no dedicated macro keys - though the function row is programmable for a nice compromise at this price point.
If you're looking for a super customizable keyboard then, this might not be the best option. However, with 1.5mm switch actuation, 26 key rollover, anti-ghosting, and even an adjustable height there's still plenty to get excited about here.
Razer BlackWidow Elite
The Razer BlackWidow Elite ups the game with fully programmable keys throughout the deck and super tactile, clicky Razer switches. Not only that, but RGB heads missing out on that customization with the Logitech G413 will also be happy to find RGB Chroma compatibility throughout.
If mechanical switches drive up gaming keyboard prices, wireless connections often cause costs to skyrocket. However, the Corsair K63 Wireless manages to offer both Cherry MX Red mechanical keys and a super fast and incredibly stable 2.4GHz wireless connection for a price well within the budget category. That's some serious power in a cheap gaming keyboard, though you're losing a little aesthetic customization to get there.
The blue backlight you pull out the box will stay with you, as there's no RGB customization here. With that smaller design you do also lose out on a number pad and any dedicated macro keys - but with a fully programmable array of keys the Corsair does make up for chopping your deck short.
You'll be juicing up through a Mini USB port, with a 75 hour battery life without backlighting and a 25 hour run time on full brightness.
The Logitech G13 wireless gaming keyboard allows you to keep your number pad with a full-sized deck and dedicated macro keys while also serving up tactile and responsive Romer-G switches. However, you're getting no backlighting whatsoever here, and the whole thing runs off AA batteries.
While the SteelSeries Apex 3 is a fantastic all-rounder for those after a cheap gaming keyboard, it's those looking for a silent experience that will get the most out of this budget deck. With SteelSeries' "Whisper Quiet" membrane switches each tap is extremely quiet while remaining nice and tactile as well. While these aren't mechanical switches, and you'll definitely notice the lack of snap, it's all still plenty fast and sits with the high profile you'll often find on mechanical decks as well.
You're getting 10 customizable RGB zones here - an excellent range that beats out many other brands competing in this price point, though it doesn't hold up to Razer's fully paintable deck.
If you're keeping a tidy desk, you'll be glad to know that there's cable routing structures in place underneath the base plate, and that luxury palm rest with rubber feet is slip proof as well.
SteelSeries Apex 5
The SteelSeries Apex 5 still sits under $100 / £100 but brings hybrid mechanical switches to the party for a super clicky and tactile response. Not only that, but you're also upgrading to per-key RGB customization with the next model up, with an OLED display for Discord messages or in-game stats - all in an aircraft grade aluminium alloy chassis.
The Logitech G213 RGB has dropped considerably in price since launch. That makes the full-sized cheap gaming keyboard particularly good value, even if it is an older model by today's standards. There are some hints of this age throughout the deck, with a non-detachable palm rest, large form factor and plastic casing.
However, you'll still find Lightsync tech under the hood - capable to syncing your five RGB lighting zones to content from your games. Plus, it's fully compatible with Logitech's G-Hub software for configuring that lighting and assigning macros to the function keys as well.
If you're looking for a super cheap gaming keyboard but still want to stay within a Logitech ecosystem, this is absolutely the deck for you - but if you're sorting a new rig there are better features out there for just a little more cash.
We've already sung the Logitech G413's praises up above, but if you're looking for a little more power than the G213 can provide it's the next step up. You're graduating to mechanical switches here and even grabbing a USB passthrough port as well. However, RGB fans will likely want to look elsewhere as you are tied to that static red backlight.
The Razer Cynosa is possibly the most versatile cheap gaming keyboard on the list - with a fully programmable deck even down to individual key RGB settings. If you're looking for a highly personalized rig, then, this is the perfect fit for you - but you're still sacrificing mechanical switches to achieve such a low price point here.
That said, there are a few nice features packed into this model to make it well worth your $50. Cable routing underneath the main deck means you'll be able to keep a tidy desk and those quieter keystrokes will work best if you're using a shared space too. Plus, these membrane switches are still incredibly fast - making for a still fairly competitive setup.
Razer Ornata V2
The mecha-hybrid switches inside the Razer Ornata will still give you that clicky experience that many look for in a mechanical keyboard, but still soften the press to make for a quieter deck overall. Plus, you're upgrading to a premium leatherette palm rest here as well.
The Corsair K55 is one of the most popular budget gaming keyboards out there, offering a great all-round experience at a fantastic price. This keyboard might be best for streamers, however, with six programmable macro keys already installed and native compatibility with Elgato Stream Deck software as well. Dedicated media controls also compliment this full suite of controls as well.
Again, you're sacrificing those mechanical switches to find the cheapest possible option, but the rubber dome membranes here still offer a tactile response while remaining silent.
RGB lighting is limited to three zones here, and it's worth noting that the default key caps are completely flat - which may take some getting used to if you're used to finding your keys using the concave grooves.
Corsair K60 Pro
The Corsair K60 Pro comes at a slight premium over the K55, but does bring mechanical keys to the party. You're getting a super tactile response here, and an improved form factor to make your keyboard look even better as well. Brushed aluminium and plenty more RGB options will be appreciated by those valuing customization here. However, you are dropping the wrist rest to secure these features.
Are cheap gaming keyboards good?
Cheap gaming keyboards come in all shapes, sizes and levels of quality. Whether or not they're up to scratch often comes to down to speed, features, and durability. Mechanical switches offer a super fast actuation - which means you'll be zipping through commands as quickly as your twitch reflexes allow you to, and these switches often also come with anti-rollover to avoid unwanted keypresses.
However, cheap gaming keyboards often sub in these switches for cheaper membrane actuation options. While a little slower, top brands like Razer, Logitech, Corsair and SteelSeries have managed to pack as much speed as possible into these budget-friendly switches.
The result can be impressive, but if you're browsing keyboards under $30 from cheaper brands it's worth double checking actuation times and travel distance to make sure you're not getting a spongey deck.
However, you can find cheap mechanical keyboards that focus on that speed at the expense of other features you might not use anyway. Some offer very limited backlighting customization and scrap things like USB passthrough and media controls to offer an excellent mechanical experience at a low price. Plus, mechanical switches tend to last a lot longer than membranes.
All of that means that some cheap gaming keyboards are well worth the price - it's just a case of finding one that prioritises the same features as you do.
What is the average gaming keyboard price?
Cheap gaming keyboards can start at around $10 / £10, but for a solid experience we'd recommend spending closer to $50 / £50 to pick up a durable deck will a nice set of switches and some RGB features as well. Once you move between $50 and $150 / £50 and £150 you'll find more mechanical gaming keyboards up for grabs, with many also offering USB passthrough, in-depth macro controls, and content-specific RGB settings as well.
Beyond the $150 / £150 mark you're looking at a premium set of keys, and you'll start finding more premium actuation technology to achieve a super quick press, improved anti-ghosting and rollover, more expensive mechanical switches, and more widespread wireless functionality as well.
With all of that said, the average gaming keyboard price sits at between $50 and $150 / £50 and £150.
Are gaming keyboards worth it?
Why buy a gaming keyboard at all? Traditional keyboards can, of course, be used to play games, however a gaming keyboard has been tailor made to compliment your existing set up, offer fast, responsive controls, integrate directly with certain games and services (like RGB lighting matching content on-screen or having a Discord-compatible display onboard), and can often be programmed to fine tune your gaming experience with specific macros as well.
All of that makes a gaming keyboard well worth the cash, whether you're looking for a super fast competitive setup or simply a more streamlined PC gaming experience. Plus, tactile, clicky switches make a world of difference as well.