If your new game has just arrived in the mail, you’re probably dying to play it. You set up your space with multiple monitors, a solid mouse, and, hopefully, a great gaming keyboard.
Some keyboards are simply better than others when it comes to gaming. Our favorite, the , feels great under the fingers for the most prolonged gaming sessions. Others like the Corsair K63 and Logitech G Pro boast unique features that are hard to pass on.
All models listed below are “mechanical,” meaning they rely on spring-activated switches versus the pressure pads used in “membrane” keyboards. They make for the best and accurate gaming keyboards, so we’d be at fault to recommend anything else.
We typically don’t recommend wireless keyboards for gaming due to latency and battery life concerns. However, if ditching the wires is what’s most important to you, we provide our favorite wireless options in a separate list.
The best gaming keyboards
- Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2
- Logitech G Pro
- Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition Chroma
- Corsair K63
- Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro M RGB
What’s a gaming keyboard roundup without a product by Razer? Like Logitech, Razer takes the proprietary road by installing in-house “Green” mechanical switches into the BlackWidow Chroma V2. Built specifically for gaming, they provide a distinct audible click and a tactile bump for gamers who require feedback from key presses. Razer also sells the BlackWidow Chroma V2 with its silent “Orange” (tactile) and “Yellow” (linear) switches too.
Feature-wise, Razer’s keyboard includes five dedicated macro keys, but no media keys. You can program all keys through the company’s Synapse desktop software along with Chroma-branded backlighting that supports 16.8 million colors. The keyboard includes a detachable ergonomic wrist rest for long gaming marathons, a USB pass-through port, and jacks for audio output and microphone input.
Logitech’s portable G Pro mechanical keyboard comes without a number pad, making it compact and streamlined. Logitech’s primary focus was to improve the duration between touching the keycaps, and the parent PC’s receipt of the keystroke command. That journey starts with using Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G mechanical switches with a shallow 1.5mm actuation point and ends with the data transferring to the host PC at a rate of 1,000 times per second.
Notable features include a detachable USB cable, 26-key rollover (meaning it can identify 26 simultaneously pressed keys), per-key RGB lighting supporting 16.8 million colors, and profiles for more than 300 games already loaded via the Logitech Gaming Software desktop program. There are no dedicated macro keys, but you can assign macros to the keyboard’s function keys (F1 to F12). This keyboard should be ideal for esports professionals.
The BlackWidow X Tournament Edition ditches the number pad but keeps all the great high-end features of Razer’s other gaming keyboards. It’s based on the company’s proprietary “Green” switches sporting a tactile and “clicky” feedback. These switches are backed by per-key RGB illumination, and a durability of 80 million keystrokes. They’re installed in a military-grade metal foundation for an attractive, sturdy solution that should last for years.
Unlike its larger BlackWidow brothers, this model doesn’t include dedicated macro keys. Instead, you can assign these commands through Razer’s Synapse desktop software. There are no media keys either, so all media-related functions are pushed through the function keys. Other notable features include 1,000Hz ultrapolling, 10 key roll-over, cable management routing, and support for Razer’s Chroma illumination platform, which synchronizes colors and lighting effects across all supported Razer devices.
The Corsair K63 is a small, but capable mechanical keyboard that’s built for easy transportation. It relies on Cherry MX Red switches complemented by a sole red per-key illumination. There’s nothing wrong with having a single color versus a palate of millions: Red illumination is better than no lighting at all. Backing the K63’s red lighting are keycaps with large fonts so you’re not fighting to locate keys instead of the on-screen opponents.
Due to its size, you won’t find dedicated macro keys. Instead, you can record macros using the company’s free Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) desktop software. You can also use this software to create profiles that load when assigned to your favorite games, such as pre-determined key illumination, lighting effects, event assignments, key remapping, and more.
Corsair’s affordable keyboard does provide a button to lock the Windows key, however, along with a button for setting the illumination at various brightness levels and dedicated media keys.
Technically, keyboards without the number pad (tenkeyless) are the most compact keyboards you can find, but Cooler Master’s MasterKeys Pro M is in a class of its own. It includes a number pad, but it’s shorter in width than the full-size “large” Pro L RGB version and wider than the “small” Pro S RGB version. Thus, this “medium” Pro M version seemingly combines the best of both worlds by merging the number pad, arrow keys, and the INS/DEL/END keys into one solution.
With the Pro M, there are no dedicated macro or media keys. On the macro front, you can assign commands to any key using the built-in “on-the-fly” system as seen with the other two models, or use Cooler Master’s software. Meanwhile, all media controls are piped through the function keys. But like the Pro L and Pro S versions, you get RGB per-key backlighting, a 32-bit processor handling your keystrokes, and silent tactile feedback via Cherry MX Brown switches. Versions served up with Cherry MX Blue, Red, and Silver switches are available as well.
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