Everyday office keyboards may be cheap, but they're not all that comfortable, or pretty, or feature-rich. If you've bought or built a fancy gaming PC, you'll probably want one of the best gaming keyboards on the market to go along with it. On this page, we've put together a list of the best gaming keyboards, whether you're looking for something mechanical, small, cheap — or even wireless.
Tom's Guide tests dozens of keyboards each year, and our evaluations led us to recommend the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 ($180) as the best gaming keyboard for its incredible comfort and versatility. If money is tighter, the Turtle Beach Impact 100 ($23) is the closest you can get to a mechanical feeling from a membrane keyboard.
1. Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2
The best gaming keyboard overall
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: Cherry MX, Various | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 17.2 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
As our best gaming keyboard overall, the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 has everything you could want. You can choose from a variety of authentic Cherry MX switches, light your keyboard up with subtle RGB patterns and control your media effortlessly, thanks to discrete keys. Not only does the K70 RGB Mk.2 perform incredibly well in-game, but it also looks beautiful and incorporates quality parts that can last a long time. Pick up a K70 RGB Mk.2, and you won't need (or want) another gaming keyboard for a long, long time.
Read our full Corsair K70 RGB Mk. 2 review.
2. Turtle Beach Impact 100
The best under $50
Key Type: Membrane | Switch Type: N/A | Illumination: None | Size: 17.6 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
Usually, membrane gaming keyboards feel exactly like a $20 office model, but the Turtle Beach Impact 100 tries something a little different. The keys on this inexpensive membrane keyboard do their best to mimic mechanical Red switches, and do an admirable job of it. Not only is the keyboard comfortable and resilient, but it's considerably cheaper than buying an actual mechanical model. While the Impact 100 does not quite measure up to an actual mechanical keyboard, its sleek design, simple installation and compact profile are all strong arguments in its favor.
Read our full Turtle Beach Impact 100 review.
3. Razer BlackWidow Elite
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: Razer Mechanical Switches | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 17.5 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
Razer has been building some of the best gaming keyboards for years, but the BlackWidow Elite is arguably the best one it's made yet. With a choice of three high-quality Razer switches, a full media control bar, pass-throughs for both USB and 3.5 mm audio, and a comfortable wrist rest that won't take up too much extra desk space, the BlackWidow Elite has everything you need to excel in both gaming and productivity. If you have other Razer gear, you can even synchronize the attractive RGB lighting.
Read our full Razer BlackWidow Elite review.
Premium and feature-rich
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: Cherry MX | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 18.3 x 6.7 x 1.4 inches
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT improves on the already excellent K95 RGB Platinum with smart features for streamers, better keycaps and more onboard memory. This premium keyboard features genuine Cherry MX switches, which proved incredibly responsive and accurate in our testing.
Like on any Corsair keyboard, you can customize the Platinum XT’s RGB lighting to your heart’s content via the iCUE app. But now you can also program a variety of Elgato Stream Deck commands to the keyboard’s six extra keys, allowing you to easily change scenes, post tweets or launch an app while broadcasting to your Twitch or Mixer audience. Combine those smarts with a comfy wrist rest, discrete media keys and a gorgeous design, and you have one of the best gaming keyboards for folks willing to spend a premium.
Read our full Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT review.
5. Roccat Vulcan 121 Aimo
One of the most attractive keyboards you can buy
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: Titan Switch Tactile/Linear | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 18.2 x 9.3 x 1.3 inches
Traditional RGB keyboards can be very pretty, but with recessed switches and black keycaps, you're only seeing a fraction of the gorgeous color patterns you can program. Enter the Roccat Vulcan 121 Aimo, which features thin, elevated keycaps and clear plastic surrounding the switches. Every gorgeous key can cycle through a whole rainbow — or you can simply turn off the lighting and enjoy the excellent key switches, which work equally well for typing and gaming.
Read our full Roccat Vulcan 121 Aimo review.
6. Logitech G Pro
Our favorite small keyboard
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: Romer-G | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 14.2 x 6.0 x 1.4 inches
The Logitech G Pro is a colorful, responsive and durable keyboard that respects the scarcity of your desk space. This tenkeyless peripheral offers comfortable Romer-G mechanical switches, as well as colorful RGB backlighting. Between the robust Logitech Gaming Software and the device's small profile, it's a perfect fit for either a cramped home setup or a life of travel on the tournament scene.
Read our full Logitech G Pro review.
7. Razer Ornata Chroma
Perfect for PC or Mac
Key Type: Membrane/Mechanical | Switch Type: Razer | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 18.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
While most gaming keyboards will work just fine with Macs, few companies go out of their way to make sure that their software will work as well. Razer is a notable exception to the rule, and the company ensures that its excellent Synapse 2.0 software is fully compatible with Mac operating systems. While any Razer keyboard can complement a Mac, the Ornata is the best gaming keyboard for Macs we've tested. With a stylish appearance and a reasonable price tag, it's both comfortable and functional.
Read our full Razer Ornata Chroma review.
Key Type: Mechanical | Switch Type: GL Linear/Tactile/Clicky | Illumination: Full RGB | Size: 18.7 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
The Logitech G915 is everything a wireless gaming keyboard should be. You get your choice of low-profile mechanical switches: GL Linear, Tactile or Clicky, and each one feels satisfying and response. You get full RGB lighting and a variety of eye-catching patterns. You get both USB and Bluetooth connectivity, an extra column of macro keys and a full media bar, complete with a volume wheel. The device costs a lot of money, to be sure, but if you want a premium gaming keyboard without the hassle of wires, the G915 is about as good as they get.
Read our full Logitech G915 review.
Best gaming keyboards: What to look for
Unless money is extremely tight, the most important feature in a gaming keyboard is a set of mechanical switches. Most membrane models simply don't measure up, due to shallow key travel and a lack of tactile feedback. RGB lighting is a common feature, but also one that can add dozens of dollars to a keyboard's price tag. Look for it if you want your keyboard to match the rest of your gaming setup. Extra macro keys are useful for gamers who play a lot of MMOs or competitive shooters. Tom's Guide also has a comprehensive primer on how to find the best gaming keyboard for your setup.
On the other end of the spectrum, if budgeting is your primary concern, we've also rounded up the Best and Worst Cheap Keyboards you can buy. None of them can match a dedicated gaming keyboard, but some are better than others if you just need to play a few casual titles now and then. And make sure to follow our best gaming deals for the latest gaming sales and discounts.
How we test gaming keyboards
When we're evaluating a new gaming keyboard, the first thing we check is how easy it is to set up. We plug it in, install its software (if necessary) and learn how easy (or difficult) it is to tweak its settings. Then, we run it through a typing test alongside our everyday keyboards to see which one types faster and more accurately. From there, we evaluate the software, rating how easy it is to set up individual profiles, control backlighting and reassign keys.
Finally, we run each keyboard through at least four games from a variety of genres to see how well it performs, and whether it has any genre-specific strengths or weaknesses.
A good peripheral has easy-to-find, responsive keys. Genre-specific keyboards should have a special feature that elevates them above all-purpose ones.