Best gaming keyboards: buying guide

You have become quite an active gamer and, unfortunately, the keyboard you have used so far on your PC fails to adequately address your new needs. For this reason, you are considering purchasing a new gaming keyboard to dedicate to your favorite titles. Not being very knowledgeable on the subject, however, you decided to Google more specific information on the subject, so as not to make a hasty purchase, and so you ended up on my website.

How do you say? Did I hit the spot exactly? Then I’ll tell you right away that you’ve come to the right place at the right time! In the course of this tutorial, in fact, I will show you how to choose, among the best gaming keyboards , the one that best suits your case, providing you with a detailed overview of the distinctive features of products of this type.

So, without hesitating further, take some free time for yourself, make yourself comfortable and read very carefully everything I have to explain on the subject: I’m sure that, at the end of this guide, you will have a very clear idea about it. to the purchase that best suits your needs. Happy reading and happy shopping!

Index

  • Features of gaming keyboards
    • Size and format
    • Ergonomics
    • Layout
    • Membrane or mechanical keyboard
    • Key rollover, anti-ghosting and polling rate
    • Programmable keys and trackpad
    • Backlight
    • Connectivity
  • Which gaming keyboards to buy
    • Best low-end gaming keyboards (up to € 50)
    • Best mid-range gaming keyboards (€ 50 to € 100)
    • Best high-end gaming keyboards (over $ 100)

Features of gaming keyboards

Before giving you some advice for the purchase of a new keyboard mainly dedicated to games, I believe it is right to provide you with some precise indications regarding the technical characteristics to be kept in mind when choosing.

Size and format

Without a shadow of a doubt, the first aspect you need to pay attention to when buying a new gaming keyboard is its size , which will certainly play an important role in terms of use (and your personal comfort. ). The first parameter that affects the size of a keyboard is its format , i.e. the number of keys it contains. Below is a list of the most popular formats.

  • Full size– generally characterized by the presence of 104 keys (except for any multimedia, programmable or macro keys), this is the “standard” format, the most common for most gaming and non-gaming keyboards.
  • Tenkeyless (or TKL)– this format is aesthetically similar to the one seen above, but has 87 keys (numeric keypad is missing).
  • 75%– has the same characteristics as the TKL format, but more compact dimensions, as the function keys, the directional arrows and any quick commands are practically attached to the letters.
  • Compact– is the format of mini keyboards, also known as 60% or 40%; this format is very rare in the gaming field.

Furthermore, you should know that gaming keyboards may or may not be equipped with wrist rests and / or other aesthetic elements that can increase their size: if you have to place this device on a small desk, or on a particularly “populated” desk, you I recommend that you take this aspect into consideration (together with what your needs are).

Ergonomics

Closely related to size, the ergonomics factor is particularly important, especially when it comes to gaming keyboards: when buying, carefully evaluate the spacing between one category of keys and the other (function keys / macros with letters, for example ) and the subdivision of the “islands” for right and left hands, if any, as these factors could have an impact on your gaming experience.

Also, do not underestimate the presence or absence of palm rests or other external components that can improve the position of the upper limbs, as these could reduce the possibility of health problems caused by long use of the keyboard.

Layout

Another aspect you need to pay particular attention to is the keyboard layout , i.e. the layout of the keys dedicated to letters and symbols. As for gaming, I always recommend that you opt for a QWERTY keyboard (whose first keys in the upper left are, in fact, QWERTY), as most games use this arrangement as a reference.

Therefore, beware of imported products, which may have QWERTZ layouts (Germany, Austria, German Switzerland and other Central European countries) or AZERTY (France, Corsica and other French-speaking countries): not only the letters may be arranged in different way than what you are used to seeing, but they could be uncomfortable for use within games (the classic “WASD” sequence , on an AZERTY keyboard, would not be so easy to use …).

Also pay attention to the localization of the keyboard, which instead affects the position of punctuation symbols, accented letters and special characters: make sure you choose keyboards with Italian QWERTY layout , otherwise you may have to learn to type with the keyboard again!

Membrane or mechanical keyboard

It can be said that, as far as gaming is concerned, the use of a membrane keyboard or a mechanic can really make a difference. Why? I’ll explain it to you right away.

The membrane keyboards are composed of a single multi-layer membrane, directly connected to “switch” responsible for perception of physical pressure, on which are positioned the individual keys. Therefore, although they are well divided, all the keys refer to a single mechanism that actually dominates the pressure.

Because of this, typing is generally quieter. However, at least for low and medium-range membrane keyboards, the tactile sensation is extremely reduced, you need to exert a certain pressure on the key to be sure that it has actually been pressed but, above all, typing and switching from a key the other can slow down due to the resistance opposed by the keys themselves.

These problems are completely solved with mechanical keyboards , by far the most widespread in the gaming field (but also much noisier than the previous ones): they use a single mechanical switch for each key, which significantly increases their precision and feel. tactile. Each mechanical switch, in particular, is combined with an electronic card responsible for managing the behavior of the corresponding button.

The switches are not all the same and differ above all for the feedback offered when pressing the keys (as well as for the precise characteristics related to the movement of the finger necessary to generate inputs): below you will list the most common.

  • Cherry MX Blue– are the fastest and most responsive switches, but definitely the loudest.
  • Cherry MX Brown– require less pressure to release input (so you don’t need to “sink” your finger).
  • Cherry MX Black– are linear type (suitable for long presses and half presses, double keystrokes and rapid keystrokes) and require some pressure to generate input.
  • Cherry MX Red– are also linear switches, but they require less force.

It will be useful to know that some manufacturers of gaming keyboards, such as Razer and Logitech , instead use proprietary switches with different characteristics, albeit attributable to those seen in the Cherry MX series.

Key rollover, anti-ghosting and polling rate

Still talking about mechanical keyboards, there are parameters to take into consideration, which could significantly affect the quality of typing (and the actual in-game yield): you can find them listed below.

  • Key rollover– identifies the ability to press multiple keys at the same time, without confusing the input. Most gaming keyboards are able to detect simultaneous pressures of a high number of keys (N-Key rollover), however it is always good to pay attention to the presence or absence of this feature (and the maximum number of simultaneous keys supported) .
  • Polling rate– identifies the time interval between pressing a key and the next for the last one to be detected: the higher the polling rate, the lower the time interval, the better.
  • Anti-ghosting– is the set of features that, in fact, serves to prevent the keyboard from recognizing non-existent pressures. The anti-ghosting system is almost always present on gaming keyboards and is usually identified by a number or a percentage.

Programmable keys and trackpad

For some categories of games, it is necessary to perform sequential actions, often repeatedly, to succeed in your goal: for this reason, many gaming keyboards provide the user with a series of programmable keys , or macro keys , through the such as “recording” the necessary sequences (or macros) and replaying them by pressing a single key each time.

This functionality, however, is generally dominated at the software level: the “recording” of the macros takes place through a specific program, therefore, when choosing, make sure that the keyboard is compatible with the operating system you are using.

In addition, there are keyboard models that integrate pointing systems , such as trackpads or trackballs , which can act as a “mouse” and move the cursor on the screen: they are not very common in the gaming field, however you can consider buying a keyboard of this type if your favorite title requires quick interaction between keyboard (with both hands) and mouse.

Backlight

If you are a gamer who is very attentive to the aesthetics of your station or, again, if you love to play in low light conditions, I recommend that you opt for a keyboard with a backlight .

Most mechanical gaming keyboards (but also some membrane models, especially high-end ones) have keys with RGB backlighting, which can be activated by pressing a physical button and customized using special software: the latter allows you to choose the color (or colors) with which to “illuminate” your keyboard and, in some cases, define time intervals after which the setting must be changed.

Connectivity

As you certainly know, as far as connectivity is concerned , keyboards are divided into at least three different categories, which I list below.

  • Wired keyboards– very popular, these keyboards are connected to the PC via USB port. Until recently, it was also possible to come across keyboards equipped with a PS / 2 connector, however, to date, this type of port has become obsolete.
  • Bluetoothkeyboards – are wireless keyboards based on Bluetooth connectivity, which can be connected to PCs equipped with the same technology (or an external adapter dedicated to it) like any other device of this type.
  • Wi-Fi keyboards– also wireless, these keyboards use radio frequencies (precisely proprietary technologies based on the 2.4 GHz band) and require an external receiver to function.

Clearly, in the gaming field, it is always better to rely on a keyboard with cable, which is not subject to interference of various types (which can occur, however, on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections) and does not depend on batteries or batteries, in how much the necessary power is supplied directly from the USB port of the computer. Some very high-end Bluetooth keyboards, however, allow for a stable connection and respectable autonomy.

Which gaming keyboards to buy

Now that you have a clear understanding of the main features to consider when choosing, it’s time to get to the heart of this guide and show you what, in my opinion, are the best gaming keyboards currently on the market.

Best low-end gaming keyboards (up to € 50)

Let’s start at the low end of the market, where you can find keyboards that are relatively inexpensive and suitable for most of the most common gaming scenarios.

Trust Ziva Gaming (membrane)

The Trust Ziva Gaming is a basic but well-built wired gaming keyboard: the pressure is generated by the membrane mechanism, the WASD keys (complete with spare buttons) are colored red, as are the directional arrows, and the entire keyboard has a protection system against accidental spillage of liquids. The layout is of the Italian QWERTY type.

 

Trust Ziva Gaming Keyboard, Black [Italian Keyboard]

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KKmoon A-Jazz AK33 (mechanics)

For less than 50 euros it is not easy to find something superior to the KKmoon A-Jazz AK33 , a cheap gaming keyboard, but with mechanical keys. It is characterized by a very compact format, with 82 keys and the possibility of using them for multimedia playback controls. It connects via USB to your system and uses blue switches that provide clear feedback with every interaction. The anti-ghosting function is not lacking, however it should be emphasized that it is only available with US key layouy.

 

KKmoon A-Jazz AK33 Mechanical Keyboard Gaming E-Sport Keyboard 82 Keys …

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Trust GTX 860 Thura (Semi-mechanical)

The Trust GTX 860 Thura is a semi-mechanical USB keyboard (equipped with a membrane mechanism that simulates pressing via a mechanical switch), RGB lighting with 9 color modes and adjustable brightness, anti-ghosting up to 16 simultaneous keys and 12 multimedia keys programmable. Features detachable wrist rests, rubber feet and anti-slip protection. The layout is QWERTY with Italian localization.

 

Trust GXT 860 Thura Semi-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard LED, Top Plate …

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ASUS TUF K1 (membrane)

The ASUS TUF K1 also positions itself on the market in a very aggressive way, with its design that immediately leads back to gaming and the Aura Sync RGB backlighting not only for the keys but also for a strip on one of the sides. It resists liquids but has traditional membrane keys, albeit with a 19-key rollover. A peculiar and very useful feature is the knob on the right that allows you to adjust the audio without interrupting the gameplay or exiting the game. Macros can be saved on the fly via an integrated memory.

 

ASUS TUF K1 Gaming keyboard with dedicated volume knob, resist …

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Logitech G213 Prodigy (Semi-mechanical)

This Logitech USB gaming keyboard features customizable RGB lighting zones, anti-sketch system and programmable macro keys. The equipment is completed by a palm rest and the anti-ghosting system, present despite the fact that it is a membrane keyboard. The layout is of the Italian QWERTY type, but if you want you can also buy the version with US layout.

 

Logitech G213 Prodigy Wired Gaming Keyboard, LIGHTSYNC RGB, Re …

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Best mid-range gaming keyboards (€ 50 to € 100)

In the intermediate range of the market you can find keyboards suitable for extreme gaming conditions, equipped with programmable keys and distinguished by aesthetic, functional and ergonomic details of all respect.

Roccat Isku FX (Semi-mechanical)

The Roccat Isku FX is an excellent USB keyboard for those who want the best of gaming features, without spending a fortune: it is equipped with a lighting system (six different brightness levels), macro keys that can be invoked with the EasyShift [+] function (36 macro, capable of executing up to 180 commands that can be divided into 5 different profiles) and anti-ghosting system. The layout is QWERTY with American (US) localization

 

Roccat Isku FX Gaming Keyboard (ITA Layout)

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Asus Cerberus Artic (Semi-mechanical)

Although it belongs to the low end of the market, the Asus Cerberus Arctic is a product certainly not to be underestimated: the keys are animated by membrane technology, which very well simulates mechanical pressure (except for noise), they have RGB lighting (which can be deactivated with one key) and Italian QWERTY layout. At the player’s disposal there are 12 macro keys, feet for riser and splash protection.

 

Asus Cerberus Artic USB Gaming Keyboard, LED Backlit Multicolour …

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Corsair K55 RGB Pro (membrane)

The Corsair K55 RGB Pro USB keyboard represents an excellent compromise between functionality and price: it has membrane switches and programmable RGB backlighting. Splash and dust resistant, this keyboard allows you to record custom macros on six dedicated keys and change the lighting via Corsair iCUE (proprietary) software. The layout is of the Italian QWERTY type.

 

Corsair K55 RGB PRO Wired Membrane Gaming Keyboard, Backlight …

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Cooler Master CK530 V2 and CK550 V2 (mechanical)

Just under 100 euros you can find the Cooler Master CK530 V2 , a good quality mechanical keyboard with wrist rest that can be separated. This model is sold with Italian layout and RGB backlighting, can record macros on the fly and offers an elegant aesthetic thanks to the aluminum top surface. There is no numeric keypad (it is tenkeyless, therefore), but if you need it you can always opt for the Cooler Master CK550 V2 model . They both use red switches.

 

Cooler Master CK530 V2 Tenkeyless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard -Retroillu …

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Cooler Master CK550 V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Backlight R …

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ASUS TUF K7 (mechanical)

Around 100 euros you can find on the market the ASUS TUF K7 , mechanical keyboard with Aura Sync RGB lighting, like all the products of the TUF family, and aluminum frame. It implements dedicated keys and a leather and memory foam wrist rest, but even more interesting is the presence of optical-mechanical switches that guarantee a very high interaction speed. This keyboard is also resistant to liquids (according to IP-56 certification) and naturally allows you to record macros on the fly.

 

ASUS TUF K7 Aura Sync RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Optical Switches, …

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Logitech G413 (mechanical)

Built with proprietary Romer-G mechanical keys, the Logitech G413 mixes a sober design thanks to the aluminum alloy used in the frame, with customizable functions dedicated to gaming. Unfortunately it is not available with Italian layout, so I propose you the version with QWERTY US layout. You can find it on the market both with and without a numeric keypad, and it has the keys for multimedia control reachable through the Fn key. It connects via USB to the system, but at the same time offers an additional USB port so as not to lose the used one. The backlight is only red.

 

Logitech G413 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Backlit Keys, Switch …

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Best high-end gaming keyboards (over $ 100)

Going a step higher, you can find complete 360-degree gaming keyboards: beautiful to look at, customizable both visually and functionally but, above all, comfortable and immediate to use.

Logitech G613 (mechanical)

The Logitech G613 is a gaming keyboard with mechanical switches (Romer-G Tactile) and Lightspeed wireless connectivity with 1ms of latency, running on the 2.4GHz band. It is not backlit, to save on autonomy (which is about a year and a half) and for the power supply it uses two AA batteries. To connect to the PC at maximum performance it is necessary to use a USB receiver (obviously included in the package), however it can connect via Bluetooth with any compatible device. There is no shortage of multimedia keys and six dedicated macro keys.

 

Logitech G613 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Lightspeed Rapid 1 …

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Razer Huntsman Opto-Mechanic (mechanical)

The Razer Huntsman Opto-Mechanic USB keyboard pays particular attention to those who, during the game, need to make repeated keystrokes: thanks to a specific proprietary technology, which allows the actuation and return of the key in the same point, it is possible to type on the keys at high speed, while preserving the durability of the keyboard. Clearly present LED lighting, numerous programmable keys (with macro recording and data saving function and settings on integrated memory / cloud), anti-splash protection and stabilizer bar for uniform key presses.

 

Razer Huntsman – Premium Keyboard with Razer Opto-Mechanical Keys (Actu …

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Razer BlackWidow V3 (mechanical)

The Razer BlackWidow V3 is an RGB keyboard equipped with Razer Green mechanical switches (similar to Cherry MX Blue). It features customizable RGB Chroma lighting, ergonomic palm rest, programmable function keys, multimedia controls and a multifunction digital knob with which to adjust not only the audio volume, but also the brightness of the display and other details. It is a very resistant model, with ABS keys, letters made with a double injection printing process so that they do not fade over time. This is Razer’s top of the range, with the exception of the Pro model which is identical, but with wireless connectivity.

 

Razer BlackWidow V3 Green Switch Gaming Keyboard with Illumination …

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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 (mechanical)

The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 is a mechanical USB keyboard that allows you to select, for each key, a well-defined color (saving the settings on a small internal memory). It features responsive typing technology (which can be configured on one or more keys, illuminating them when pressed), linear Cherry MX Brown switches and 100% anti-ghosting technology. The whole is completed by a series of programmable keys (different from those for multimedia control) and an ergonomic palm rest.

 

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Cherry MX Brown, Tattil …

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Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED (mechanical)

Very expensive, but also equipped with everything that can be used by the most demanding gamer. It uses GL Tactile mechanical switches featuring a low-profile design, aluminum alloy body, ultra-fast wireless connectivity and, if that’s not enough, even customizable RGB backlighting. It recharges quickly in just 3 hours, while the guaranteed autonomy is up to 30 hours on a single charge. Unfortunately, as with other Logitech gaming keyboards of this level, it is only available with US layouts.

 

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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