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Best Gaming Keyboards for 2019

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Your keyboard is the part of your computer that you touch the most so getting a better one could make an even bigger difference in your life than upgrading your CPU. Whether you’re battling in a first-person shooter or just want a better typing experience for productivity, gaming keyboards provide the best combination of responsiveness, features and style.

Quick Shopping Tips

  • Mechanical or bust: Don’t even consider a non-mechanical keyboard. Only mechanical keyboard switches offer a truly great experience.
  • RGB or not? 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.
  • Pick your switch: Keyboards use a number of different switch types which determine the feel and sound of the keys. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference. 

Here are some of the most common:

A.) Clicky Tactile: Blue, Green, White
B.) Quiet Tactile: Brown, Clear
C.) Linear (quiet and go straight down): Red, Silver

  • Full-size, tenkeyless or smaller? While some users want every possible key, others prefer a smaller keyboard that has no number pad or one that’s so narrow that it lacks arrow keys.

Best Gaming Keyboards

Best Gaming Keyboard

Patriot Viper V765

Best Gaming Keyboard

Switches: Kailh box White (clicky) | Backlight: RGB | Type: Full-size Keyboard | Size: 18.4 x 6.4 inches x 1.1 (46.6 x 20.3 x 4 cm) | Weight: 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg)

Fantastic white switches
Great price
Sleek aluminum design
Attractive RGB lights
Media control keys
Mediocre software
Feet are a little short
Hard palm rest

Patriot Memory is known more for its RAM and Storage than its keyboards, but the company’s Viper V765 provides a key feel that’s second to none in an attractive, very-affordable package. The V765 is the only mass-market keyboard we’ve seen that uses Kailh Box White switches, which actuate faster than regular Blue or Green switches thanks to their slightly-reduced travel of 3.6mm (versus 4mm on competitors). The keys are the most responsive we’ve tested and even make a more-pleasant click sound than you’ll find elsewhere.

The awesome switches alone make the Viper V765 worth buying, but it’s also a great looking peripheral. The full-size keyboard has an aluminum top-surface with tapered edges that make it look like a metallic space ship. The vibrant RGB keys offer dozens of different light combinations, along with the ability to create your own color patterns. The Viper Software is nothing to type home about, but you don’t even need to install it in order to use most of the lighting effects.

Best of all, this IP56 water and dust-resistant keyboard sells for under $100 (under £70) when most competitors cost a lot more. While we wish that it taller flip-out feet and a slightly-better app, the Viper V765 is our favorite gaming keyboard right now.

Read Review: Patriot Viper V765

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Best Splurge

SteelSeries Apex Pro

Best Splurge

Switches: OmniPoint adjustable mechanical switches and Gateron red | Backlight: Pre-key RGB | Type: Full-size keyboard | Size: 17.2 x 1.9 x 4.4 inches (436.7 x 40.3 x 139.2mm) | Weight: 2.14 pounds (1 kg)

Adjustable per-key actuation points for most keys
Brilliant per-key RGB lighting
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 an incredibly customizable gaming keyboard. That includes the innovative ability to set the actuation point for individual keys and an OLED screen that you can personalize with a small image or GIF. Plus, the Apex Pro has some of the most brilliant per-key RGB backlighting around. 

Those who like, clicky tactile typing will be left wanting, due to the linear feel of the keyboard’s switches. Although, you'll hear plenty of noise from banging on the aluminum frame. But if you want a keyboard you can really make yours (plus a pretty soft removable wrist rest), look no further. 

Read Review: SteelSeries Apex Pro

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Best Mainstream Gaming Keyboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

HyperX Alloy Origins

Best Mainstream Gaming Keyboard

Switches: HyperX Red (linear) | Backlight: RGB | Type: Full-size Keyboard | Size: 17.4 x 5.2 x 1.4 inches (442.5 x 132.5 x 36.4mm) | Weight: 2.4 pounds (1,075g)

Attractive, compact design
Excellent RGB lighting
Three-level rear height adjustment
No dedicated media controls or macro keys
Shorter 1.8mm switch actuation (versus 2mm) feels like a gimmick
NGenuity software could be more intuitive
No USB pass-through ports
A little expensive

The HyperX Alloy Origins’ compact, quality build is great 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, you'll feel right at home with this keyboard.  

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

Read Review: HyperX Alloy Origins

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Best for Typing

Hexgears Impulse

Best for Typing

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

World-class typing experience
Lightweight and compact
Great price
IP65 water resistance
No software
Dull, limited RGB lighting

It’s far from a perfect gaming keyboard, but the Hexgears Impulse (with Kailh Box White switches) offers the best typing performance I’ve ever experienced, surpassing even my old-school IBM-style keyboard and others I’ve used with Cherry MX Blue or Razer Green switches. And at a starting price of just $79 for the more-attractive white/gray model, the Impulse won’t break the bank.

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

Read Review: Hexgears Impulse

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Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Hexgears Venture

Best Wireless Gaming Keyboard

Switches: Low Profile Kailh Choc White | Backlight: RGB | Type: Full-size Keyboard | Size: 17 x 5.5 x 1 inches (432 x 140 x 25 mm) | Weight: 1.57 pounds (712g)

Comfortable, familiar 108-key layout
Kailh Choch white switches are pleasingly tactile
Removable cable and rechargeable batteries
Low-profile switches have minimal benefit in a full-size keyboard
No dedicated media keys or software for RGB controls

With pleasingly tactile and clicky low-profile Kailh Choc white switches in our review unit (brown and red will also be offered) and the ability to switch between up to four paired devices on the fly, the Venture is a solid-feeling, pleasing clacker for gaming or typing. But given the size (17 x 5.5 x 1-inches), we’d like to see dedicated media control keys. And with a full-size layout, including number keys, the keyboard isn’t all that travel-friendly.

Read Review: Hexgears Venture

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Best Wrist Rest

HyperX Wrist Rest

Best Wrist Rest

Size: 17.5 x 3 x 0.75 inches (44 x 7.6 x 1.9 cm)

Extremely comfortable
Attractive design
A few dollars more than competitors

Most keyboards come with hard, unpleasant wrist rests -- if they come with one at all. With the smoothness of cooling gel wrapped around a core of memory foam, HyperX's wrist rest provides the perfect balance between softness and support. Its subtle, but stylish design features a black cover with bright red stitching and a nearly-invisible HyperX logo. No matter what keyboard you have, this product product will upgrade your typing experience.

Read Hands-on: HyperX Wrist Rest Tested

MORE: All Keyboard Content

  • NightHawkRMX
    I'm glad no "mechanical feel" membrane keyboards made their way onto this list.
    Reply
  • bloodroses
    I'm actually kind of surprised not to see DAS, Ducky, Filco, Vortex, Topre, or other top rated brands that are usually listed on every other website.

    I'm definitely grateful Razor isn't listed.
    Reply
  • tyns78
    Surely this article must be a joke w/o the Kinesis Freestyle Edge (original or improved RGB version) on the list, or did they just not spot you a free sample? Wait, I found your review of the original: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/kinesis-gaming-freestyle-edge-keyboard,35987.html

    The new RGB version has the best wrist rests I've ever experience (the wrist pads for the original were not good). The lighting is cool and customizable. 10 macro keys on the left side and the programming is saved on the keyboard itself with multiple profiles that can be switched on the keyboard itself.
    Reply
  • docbones69
    I am still using the Logitech k740. Love the quick keys, quite keys. Still the best late night gaming keyboard that I have found.
    Reply