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Best Gaming Keyboards for 2023: Mechanical, TKL, and More

We have tested the best gaming keyboards for grinding, shooting, exploring, and typing.

Your keyboard is your primary connection to your PC because it’s the part you touch the most. That means getting a better one can yield a more immediately noticeable difference than upgrading your CPU. 

A gamer’s keyboard choice is arguably even more critical. You need something with instant response time and tactile feedback to stay at the top of your game. But you also need something that’s comfortable to use for long gaming sessions. Appealing design choices to accompany your rig wouldn’t hurt either. 

Whether you’re battling through an FPS, exploring an open world, or just want a better typing experience all around, check out the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested below. They deliver an exemplary combination of responsiveness, features, and style. 

Quick Gaming Keyboard Shopping Tips

When searching for the best gaming keyboard, remember the following: 

  • Mechanical or bust? Most gamers probably aren’t even considering a non-mechanical keyboard — for a good reason. Only mechanical keyboard switches offer the tactile feedback, precision, and accuracy most gamers need, and membrane switches feel gummy and unresponsive by comparison. We’ve recently seen more and more optical keyboards, which are technically mechanical but use light instead of force to actuate. Optical switches still feel unsatisfying to type on but offer fast actuation (often adjustable) that many gamers may appreciate.
  • RGB or not? All RGB lighting is not equal. Per-key RGB lets you program each key’s color individually, while zone lighting limits your customization to just a few areas o the board. You can save a little money by getting a keyboard with a single-color backlight, but you’ll miss out on a spectacular light show. If you opt for something with no backlight at all, make sure you’ll be gaming in a well-lit area or are a touch typist.
  • Full-size, tenkeyless, or more miniature? Tenkeyless boards drop the Numpad, 65 percent eliminate navigation keys, and 60 percent cut the arrow keys. Some users, such as MMO players, want every possible key (and more), while others prefer a smaller keyboard to clear up desk space.

Pick Your Switch

The best gaming keyboards use a number of different mechanical switch types that determine the feel and sound of each key press. There are even new ones coming out all the time, such as the Cherry Viola switch. The type of switch you choose depends on your personal preferences for typing and gaming. 

Don’t want to commit? Check out our article on how to change mechanical keyboard switches easily.  Our feature on mechanical switch spec ranges also explains how to read switch specs.

Best Gaming Keyboards You Can Buy Today

1. HyperX Alloy Origins – Best Mainstream Gaming Keyboard

hyperx alloy origins pic


  • Switches: HyperX Red (linear)
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 44.3 x 13.3 x 3.6 cm (17.4 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches)
  • Weight: 1,075g (2.4 pounds)


  • Attractive and compact design
  • Excellent RGB lighting
  • Three-level rear height adjustment


  • No dedicated media controls/macro keys
  • The shorter 1.8mm switch actuation (vs 2mm) feels like a gimmick
  • NGenuity software could be more intuitive

The HyperX Alloy Origins’ compact and quality build makes it the best gaming keyboard for mainstream gamers who just want to get down to gaming. It’s comfortable, with a premium look and feel from its keys to its frame and vibrant RGB lighting. If you’re familiar with linear switches, which are quick but offer little feedback, you’ll feel right at home with this keyboard’s red switches. We’ve also tested the clickier version with HyperX aqua switches, which are available on Amazon and HyperX’s stores. 

For over $100, you can find gaming keyboards with more luxuries, such as media control buttons, a USB pass-through port (for easily plugging in another accessory, like your gaming mouse), and more advanced software. But what Alloy Origins does offer, it executes excellently. 

2. Patriot Memory Viper V765 – Best Budget Keyboard

patriot memory viper v765 pic


  • Switches: Kailh Box White (clicky)
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 46.6 x 20.3 x 4 cm (18.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches)
  • Weight: 1,134g (2.5 pounds)


  • Fantastic white switches
  • Great price
  • Sleek aluminum design


  • Mediocre software
  • Feet are a little short
  • Hard palm rest

Patriot Memory is better known for its RAM and storage than its peripherals, but the Viper V765 provides a key feel that’s second to none — in an attractive, affordable package. It’s been a while, but the Patriot Viper V765 is still a good budget option with plenty of functionality. It’s one of the rare keyboards to come with Kailh Box White switches, which actuate faster than regular Blue or Green switches thanks to their slightly reduced travel (3.6mm versus 4mm). The keys are the most responsive we’ve tested and make one of the most pleasant click sounds you’ll find anywhere.

If Kailh Box White switches aren’t enough to convince you the Viper V765 is worth buying, it’s got plenty more going for it. This full-sized keyboard has an aluminum surface with tapered edges that give it a futuristic look. The vibrant RGB keys offer dozens of different light combinations — and you don’t even need to install the software to access most of the RGB effects. The keyboard also features media keys, which are more often seen on pricier boards, as well as IP56 water and dust resistance. 

The Viper V765 currently sells for $90,  cheaper than most competitors with similar features. We wish it had taller flip-out feet and a slightly better app, but the V765 is still our favorite budget-friendly gaming keyboard.

3. Roccat Vulcan II Max – Most Attractive Gaming Keyboard

roccat vulcan ii max pic


  • Switches: Roccat Titan II Optical (Red or Brown)
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 463 x 154 x 33.5 mm (18.23 x 6.0625 x 1.32 inches)
  • Weight: 1,040g (2.29 pounds)


  • Bright, attractive lighting
  • Linear or tactile switch options
  • Dedicated media keys and built-in secondary functions


  • Fixed cable with dual USB connectors
  • Annoying software
  • Slippery ABS keycaps

The Roccat Vulcan II Max is designed to dazzle you: This full-size wired keyboard not only features bright, per-key RGB lighting, which is on maximum display thanks to the keyboard’s flat, shallow keycaps; 24 of its switches also have dual-LEDs. The Vulcan II Max comes with a detachable silicone wrist rest that is a conduit for the keyboard’s lighting (it’s beautiful) and features dedicated media keys and a clickable volume knob. 

This is an attractive, unique-looking keyboard even without lighting — it has a slim, lightweight chassis with an aluminum alloy top plate, and flat, chiclet-y keycaps that leave the switches entirely exposed. The keyboard has 24 pre-programmed multi-function “smart” dual-LED keys, which light up to indicate secondary keybinds and can also change colors to display real-time info, such as headset or mouse battery life. The keyboard features Roccat’s Aimo lighting experience, which is an “intelligent” lighting system that interacts with and reacts to, the user (and adapts over time). It’s definitely a dazzling alternative to the typical spectrum cycling, and it’s even more spectacular when paired with the Vulcan II Max’s translucent wrist rest. 

If you’re looking for a hypnotizing light show, look no further. The Vulcan II Max comes in both black and white colorways, with Roccat’s Titan II optical switches in red (linear) or brown (tactile). If you’re looking to save desk space, there’s also the 65 percent Vulcan II Mini.

4. Corsair K70 RGB TKL – Best TKL Gaming Keyboard

corsair k70 rgb tkl pic


  • Switches: Cherry MX Red, Silent Red, or Speed Silver
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Tenkeyless
  • Size: 36.1 x 16.5 x 4.8 cm (14.2 x 6.5 x 1.9 inches)
  • Weight: 952.5g (2.1 pounds)


  • Space-saving, durable build
  • Premium keycaps


  • Close keys can require getting used to
  • Expensive

The Corsair K70 RGB TKL is expensive but worth it. Its TKL build saves space but feels strong and resistant to damage. Corsair decks out the K70 RGB TKL with dedicated media keys and the ability to change RGB effects without having to download software (though you will need Corsair’s iCue app for deeper customization).  

The K70 RGB TKL features double-shot PBT keycaps that fight off smudges and sweat, so you’ll never miss a beat in-game, and they are enjoyable for both gaming and typing. The board also comes with bonus cheaper ABS keycaps in the box for more style and fun. One caveat: Typing on this board may require an adjustment period for how close the keys are to each other.

Interestingly, the K70 RGB TKL has its own multi-threaded SoC, which allows it to hit an 8000 Hz polling rate — 8 times the polling rate of many of the other keyboards on this page. (But we didn’t notice a difference, not even with an AMD Ryzen 5950X CPU.) More helpful was the bounty of onboard profiles (up to 50), advanced tournament-style feature set, and responsiveness of this TKL.

5. SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless – Best TKL Optical Switch Keyboard

steelseries apex pro tkl wireless pic


  • Switches: SteelSeries OmniPoint 2.0
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: TKL
  • Size: 355 x 128 x 42 mm (14 x 5.04 x 1.65 inches)
  • Weight: 747g (1.65 pounds) without cable


  • Highly customizable
  • Soft-touch magnetic wrist rest
  • Attractive but a little generic-looking
  • Excellent gaming performance


  • Expensive
  • Feels hastily launched
  • Buggier than usual

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless gives you back some desk space as well as wireless freedom, thanks to built-in dual wireless (low-latency 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 5.0). The 2022 redesign of the Apex Pro TKL features a simple, elegant chassis with an aluminum alloy top plate, double-shot PBT keycaps, and SteelSeries newest OmniPoint 2.0 linear optical switches.

Optical switches technically have mechanical parts, but they’re not the same as mechanical switches — optical switches are actuated via light, while mechanical switches are actuated via physical force. Although this makes for a less-than-ideal typing experience, it’s good news for gamers: Optical switches are speedier (and less prone to failure) than their mechanical counterparts. The Apex Pro TKL Wireless’ OmniPoint 2.0 switches offer both adjustable actuation (37 levels) and dual-action actuation, which lets you assign two actions to one key (at different actuation levels).

The main downside of the Apex Pro TKL Wireless is its $250 asking price (the keyboard also comes in a wired version, for $180), which makes it one of the priciest gaming keyboards on this list. While the Apex Pro TKL Wireless comes with plenty of premium features and accessories — including a customizable OLED smart screen and a detachable magnetic wrist rest with a soft-touch finish — these might not be enough to justify its expense. If you’d like something a little less customizable (and you don’t mind being tethered), SteelSeries Apex 9 TKL has an almost-identical form factor with hot-swappable optical switches — and will only set you back $140. 

6. Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro – Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard

razer blackwidow v3 pro pic


  • Switches: Razer Green (clicky) or Razer Yellow (linear)
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 36.8 x 15 x 2.2 cm (17.7 x 9.8 x 1.7 inches)
  • Weight: 1,423g (3.1 pounds)


  • Doubleshot keycaps feel premium, resist smudges
  • Premium wrist rest


  • Finicky when the battery is very low
  • No macro keys

If you want the same experience as your typical full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard but without wires, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro is the best wireless gaming keyboard we’ve tested. While many wireless keyboards are built for traveling, the BlackWidow V3 Pro maintains all the size, bulk, and functionality of a full-sized mechanical keyboard — including a premium tactile volume dial, media keys, an aluminum top plate, and double-shot ABS plastic keycaps.

Razer doesn’t skimp on the BlackWidow V3 Pro: It’s packed with up to four profiles of onboard memory and vibrant per-key RGB lighting. However, RGB doesn’t stick to profiles — advanced RGB fanatics will have to rely on software for pairing RGB, including custom effects, to profiles.

The BlackWidow V3 Pro connects to your computer via a 2.4 GHz dongle (which we had no issues with during testing) or Bluetooth (up to three computers simultaneously). With RGB at max settings and no dimming effects, our test unit averaged about 14 hours of battery life — but you’ll get up to 25 hours with RGB using power-saving settings. You’ll want to plug in before the battery hits 3%, as power-saving settings kick in at that point and the keyboard starts acting a little wonky. 

If you’re looking for a more portable full-sized wireless gaming keyboard, the Logitech G915 Lightspeed is fantastic and reliable with low-profile switches that some will enjoy for gaming and others will enjoy for travel. But for a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard experience, the BlackWidow V3 Pro is the premium choice. 

7. Corsair K100 RGB – Best Gaming Keyboard for Work and Play

corsair k100 rgb pic


  • Switches: Corsair OPX RGB (linear) or Cherry MX Speed Silver
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 47 x 16.6 x 3.8 cm (18.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches)
  • Weight: 1,315.4g (2.9 pounds)


  • 1mm-actuation optical mechanical switches
  • Cushioned wrist rest and premium PBT keycaps


  • Expensive
  • Some features feel gimmicky

The Corsair K100 RGB packs more features than most need, including some you’ve probably never even fathomed a keyboard could have. There’s an SoC with multi-threading, a 4,000 Hz polling rate (instead of the usual 1,000 Hz), the debut of Corsair’s homegrown optical-mechanical switches, and an RGB-clad media wheel that’s as fun to use as it is to look at.

The wheel was extra helpful for productivity tasks, such as zooming in and out of Photoshop. It proved less useful for gaming, however, as did some of the other features that make this keyboard so expensive. 

The K100 RGB still makes for one of the best gaming keyboards. We could actually tell the difference offered by the optical-mechanical switches’ shorter travel and actuation point. Of course, if you’re not into the optical-mechanical trend, you can also get this board with Cherry’s Speed Silver switches. 

If you’re looking for a splurge solely for gaming, the Corsair K95 Platinum XT is a better option. It’s also expensive, but it offers more gaming-obvious luxuries — such as a macro key bank and support for the Elgato Stream Deck. 

8. Hexgears Impulse – Best Gaming Keyboard for Typing

hexgears impulse pic


  • Switches: Kailh Box White or Box Brown
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 43.8 x 15.2 x 4 cm (17.25 x 6 x 1.6 inches)
  • Weight: 918g (2 pounds)


  • Hot-swappable key switches
  • World-class typing experience


  • No software
  • Dull light show

It’s not a perfect gaming keyboard, but the Hexgears Impulse is the best gaming keyboard if typing performance is your main priority. In fact, using this keyboard with the Kailh Box White switches resulted in our best typing performance yet — surpassing even old-school IBM-style keyboards and others we’ve used with Cherry MX Blue or Razer Green switches. 

Hexgears made the bold choice of putting a Blue-style switch under the spacebar only, arguing that the largest key (which most people hit with their thumbs) should be a bit stiffer. At first, we thought that having a different switch under just one key was a weird choice but eventually we found the added resistance helpful. As a result, we enjoyed typing on the Impulse even more than we liked typing on the Viper V765, which has Box White switches under every key, including the spacebar.

You can also grab the Impulse with Kailh Box Brown tactile switches. Better yet — the updated version of this keyboard adds hot swap capability, which means you can easily swap in whatever switches you like without breaking out a soldering iron. The Impulse’s $100 price tag isn’t bad, especially for such an excellent typing experience and extra functionality.

9. Razer Huntsman V2 – Best Optical Mechanical Keyboard

razer huntsman v2 pic


  • Switches: Razer Linear Optical or Clicky Optical
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 17.6 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds (3.76 pounds with wrist rest)


  • Smooth, responsive switches
  • Highly programmable


  • No macro keys to compete with similarly priced rivals
  • 8000 Hz polling rate is hard to notice

While the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is one of Razer’s more advanced optical-mechanical gaming keyboards, the Huntsman V2 is the best fit for most. It’s expensive, but in addition to premium switches, it’s packed with features, including nice media keys, keys that can be programmed with up to two functions by holding down a designated Razer HyperShift key, and 4 onboard profiles that can launch automatically with specified apps. 

Its optical mechanical switches actuate by sending a stem through a light beam, rather than via physical contact. These switches have grown more popular for smooth actuation because they should degrade at a slower rate than standard mechanical switches. We tested the Huntsman V2 with Razer’s 2nd Gen Optical Linear switches, which use sound dampeners. Additionally, there’s sound-dampening foam in the keyboard that makes for a very quiet experience with these smooth-traveling switches. The clicky options are also delightfully light (1.5mm actuation point and 45g of force to actuate), making them more appropriate for gaming than other clicky switches. 

Plus, the Huntsman V2 caters to the hands with double-shot PBT keycaps that both look and feel good and a plush wrist rest that’s detachable. This is a premium keyboard through and through. 

10. SteelSeries Apex Pro – Best Customization

steelseries apex pro pic


  • Switches: OmniPoint Adjustable (linear) and Gateron Red
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 43.7 x 4 x 13.9 cm (17.2 x 1.9 x 4.4 inches)
  • Weight: 970.6g (2.1 pounds)


  • Adjustable per-key actuation points for most keys
  • 5 on-board profiles with RGB and actuation settings
  • Aluminum build
  • USB passthrough and some cable management


  • Questionable long-term typing experience
  • Expensive

The SteelSeries Apex Pro is the best gaming keyboard for RGB, boasting some of the most brilliant per-key RGB lighting we’ve ever seen. The colors pop against the keyboard’s dark gray frame and light up the rest of the chassis. Raised keycaps heighten the experience even more. Plus, software and on-the-fly controls make the possibilities feel endless. 

This keyboard also has the innovative ability to set the actuation point for individual keys for a highly custom feel. This is a rare trick and one that the Apex Pro delivers in an effective fashion. There’s also the popular OLED screen, where you can display a small image or uploaded GIF. Not only is the Apex Pro highly customizable, but it also makes doing so easier than even a hot-swappable keyboard. 

Those who like clicky, tactile typing should consider something else, because the Apex Pro’s switches definitely have a linear feel. (Though you’ll still hear plenty of noise from banging on the aluminum frame.) If you want a keyboard you can easily put your mark on — literally — look no further. 

If you’d like a smaller version of this keyboard, consider the SteelSeries Apex 7, which is also cheaper at $125.

11. Logitech G915 Lightspeed – Best Low-Profile Gaming Keyboard

logitech g915 lightspeed pic


  • Switches: Logitech GL (low-profile; tactile, clicky, or linear)
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 47.5 x 15 x 2.2 cm (18.7 x 5.9 x 0.87 inches)
  • Weight: 1,025g (2.3 pounds)


  • Good for gaming and typing alike
  • Beautiful slim design


  • Keys show marks easily
  • No wrist rest

If you want the speed and slimness afforded by low-profile mechanical switches, the Logitech G915 Lightspeed is the best gaming keyboard you can buy. This is a premium gaming experience through and through. That means a row of G macro keys for leveraging during battle, dedicated media controls, including an epic volume wheel roller, and even multiple connectivity options. You can go tried-and-true wired, use Logitech’s reliable dongle connection, or store the dongle in the keyboard’s built-in compartment and use Bluetooth. This makes connecting to multiple devices a little easier too. 

The G915 Lightspeed has earned a popular reputation but comes at a price. Despite its $250 MSRP, there’s no wrist rest, USB passthrough, or premium keycaps resistant to smudging. Compared to the Logitech G915 TKL, the smaller version of this keyboard is more affordable but foregoes even more luxuries, most noticeably G keys. 

But in addition to being a top-notch gaming peripheral, the G915 Lightspeed (and G915 TKL) offers a surprisingly good typing experience for a low-profile keyboard. We’ve tested it with Logitech’s tactile low-profile switches for days and haven’t felt much extra exhaustion or like we were typing through sand like we’ve suffered through on other low-profile keyboards. 

12. SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini – Best Small Gaming Keyboard

steelseries apex pro mini pic


  • Switches: SteelSeries OmniPoint 2.0
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: 60%
  • Size: 293 x 103 x 40.3 mm (11.53 x 4.02 x 1.59 inches)
  • Weight: 610g (1.34 pounds) or 543g (1.2 pounds) wired/wireless


  • Feels great and intuitive for gaming
  • Highly customizable
  • Bright, attractive RGB
  • Feels sturdy but isn’t too heavy


  • Dual actuation has a learning curve
  • SteelSeries GG has some bugs
  • Legends for secondary keybinds are hard to see

Ultra-compact keyboards aren’t for everyone, but if you have limited desk space or you’re looking for a gaming keyboard that’s travel-friendly, a 60 percent keyboard can be a godsend. You’ll have to give up a lot — number pad, navigation keys, function keys, and even arrow keys — but you’ll barely notice these sacrifices with the right keyboard.

SteelSeries’ Apex Pro Mini Wireless (which also comes in a wired version) is the right keyboard. 

The Apex Pro Mini Wireless is a sleek, sturdily-built 60 percent keyboard featuring SteelSeries OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which feature both adjustable actuation and dual actuation (much like the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog). Because it’s so small, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless has a slew of default secondary keybinds, which are printed on the sides of the keycaps and activated using the SteelSeries SS function key. These secondary keybinds are so intuitive (and can also be remapped, if you want) that you won’t feel limited by the 60 percent layout. The keyboard is highly customizable: Almost every key can be remapped (first and secondary keybinds), have its actuation point adjusted, and have its RGB set – individually. 

If anything, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless might have too much going for it — maybe you don’t need an ultra-compact keyboard with every single feature shoved into it/ (especially considering its premium price point). If you don’t need all of these features and you’d like to spend a little less, try the SteelSeries Apex 9 series, which comes has adjustable actuation, hot-swappable switches, and comes in both Mini and TKL layouts.

13. Cloud Nine C989 ErgoFS – Best Ergonomic Gaming Keyboard

cloud nine c989 ergo fs pic


  • Switches: Cherry MX Blue, Red or Brown
  • Backlight: Per-Key RGB
  • Type: Full-size
  • Size: 22.1 x 10.1 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds


  • Traditional key layout
  • Multi-functional control wheel


  • Nonstandard default Windows key placement
  • Tenting isn’t adjustable

It’s hard to find an ergonomic gaming keyboard that’s split, and still has all the gaming features you need (or want). And it’s even harder if you want mechanical switches (let alone quality ones). That’s what makes the Cloud Nine C989 ErgoFS excellent.

Aside from nonstandard Windows key replacement, which you can reprogram, this keyboard sports a standard key layout — making it much easier to adjust to the C989 ErgoFS’s wide, split design. The keyboard comes with your choice of clicky, linear, or tactile mechanical switches from Cherry, as well as dedicated macro keys, handy control wheels, and programmable RGB. It’s a split keyboard, but the C989 ErgoFS boasts the most sought-after features of the best gaming keyboards.

There are a few caveats: It’s huge, so make sure you have enough room for this large peripheral before you invest. The keyboard only allows for one tenting angle — the default 7-degree slope — and doesn’t have legs. Also, the backlighting is almost mandatory because the keys’ legends are otherwise difficult to read. 

But whether you’re new to split keyboards or just want one that’s quality enough to take into the battlefield, the C989 ErgoFS is a good fit.

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