If you’re looking for the best gaming keyboard in 2021, there are plenty of options to choose from. With a plethora of switch types, features, and sizes to pick from, it can be a difficult process to choose the right one for your needs. Luckily, we have narrowed it down to the best of the best to help you make your decision.
Whether you have a budget PC or a high-end gaming rig, it is essential to get good quality peripherals. Just like a wireless mouse or gaming headset, a gaming keyboard can literally be the difference between winning and losing.
Opting for something premium in the keyboard department brings guaranteed quality from some of the most reputable manufacturers. The keyboards in this article will feature excellent build materials, quality construction, value, and features (and that goes for the budget picks too).
To help you dodge the marketing minefield, we bought and tested every keyboard we recommend, and the list is designed to offer a solution to everyone. We look to cover all bases in this article, so, whether you want a mechanical TKL board, a 100% RGB premium keyboard, or even a budget option, there will a keyboard right for you in this guide.
So let’s cut to the chase take a look at the best gaming keyboards of 2021.
Our Top Picks
The Best Gaming Keyboard: First Look
Corsair have delivered again with this fantastic low profile keyboard that doesn’t just look great, but performs well too.
The K70 MK.2 comes to the table offering all the qualities we saw from the original K70, alongside some additional new features which set it apart from the competition.
If the Corsair doesn’t take your fancy, maybe the Flare from ASUS will. It offers all the features you’d want to take your game to the next level.
ASUS has created another superb gaming keyboard, this time in the form of their ROG STRIX Flare. The Flare is a pleasant mix of aesthetic appeal and gaming performance. It will surely be on many people’s wishlists.
Roccat is a company better known for its impressive range of mice. However, they’ve got some pretty decent keyboards too, with the Vulcan 121 being near the top of their list.
The well-made Roccat Vulcan 121 is a great keyboard for both typing and gaming scenarios. It also brings a bunch of cool gaming-oriented features to the table.
Logitech are no strangers when it comes to providing the peripherals market with high-quality offerings. Their G Pro keyboard is one of their flagship products.
The G Pro is a great keyboard for Logitech fans looking to extend their existing Logitech arsenal. This keyboard fits nicely into the set, offering great performance and aesthetics to boot.
BenQ have come a long way in the last couple of years, now providing the peripheral market with high-end options such as this.
ZOWIE have created this keyboard for gamers, and gamers alone. It offers no flashy features and a basic design. However, the rapid response switches make up for the lack of aesthetic appeal.
As far as cheap mechanical keyboards go, you’ll do well to find anything much better than the Redragon K552 KUMARA.
The Redragon, for me, showcases the best value for money in this guide. A mechanical keyboard that offers features and a great response for under $50 is not to be sniffed at.
Membrane keyboards aren’t always a gamer’s first port of call. Having said that, this one offers great build quality and excellent features – enough to make you consider it.
Like our top pick, Corsair has designed the K55 superbly. It comes with a fantastic design equipped with numerous features, plus, full RGB customization as well.
Whether we’re reviewing new monitors or the best GPU on the market, choosing the right hardware can always be a tricky task.
It requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and reviewing user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion on what to recommend.
If you aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to put the time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a keyboard that simply isn’t right for you.
Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of research away, and transform the whole process into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide. That’s right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work for you!
Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It’s a way to make sure what we recommend is, without a doubt, the best option in its specific category.
To be sure a product is “the best,” it must show excellent performance in our tests, and display better qualities and features than the competition it faces.
Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from the price and performance, to build quality, efficiency, and aesthetics. Each product is pushed to the limit to see how it performs in numerous different scenarios before being placed in one of our guides.
Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
Before jumping into a keyboard purchase, there are a few things to consider. Keyboards vary in almost every way you can think of, from different sizes to different features. Choosing the right one can actually come down to several factors, not just one.
In this section, we are going to look at a few of the possible variables you may come across to help you make a more informed decision.
The first thing to think about when buying a gaming keyboard is selecting the right form factor for you. Do you want a full-sized keyboard with all the standard keys on? Or maybe a Tenkeyless keyboard to save space?
A full-sized board is exactly what it says on the tin and features the number pad to the right as you would expect. Full-sized keyboards also have extra room for fancy features like volume bars and dedicated media keys, so bear this in mind.
Keyboards have had some really interesting form factors developed, and you can often see sizes range from 40% to 100%. Tenkeyless keyboards (TKL) offer computer enthusiasts all the joys of a great keyboard, only at 80% the size of a full board. Essentially a TKL board doesn’t have the number pad on the side, saving room and giving you a more versatile small form factor.
Of course, you can go even smaller to a 60% sized keyboard too. The 60% keyboards are similar to TKL except they lose the function keys at the top and squash your function keys and arrow keys closer to the letters on the board.
If you want something even smaller than that, you can go 40%. However, at this size, you are limiting the number of key binds you can have for your games. With a 40% board, it may be pocket-size, but they often won’t have arrow keys or number keys, and a lot of your function buttons are squashed into peculiar places.
So you may have heard a lot of talk about switches when hunting for your next keyboard. Switches are the main feature to almost every mechanical keyboard, and they are essential to consider as each switch has a different characteristic – including feel, actuation pressure, and responsiveness.
Understanding what switches best suit your needs comes down to a few factors, but for the most part, gamers prefer Cherry MX Red switches. Cherry MX Red tends to offer gamers a fast linear option. Red switches tend to have a lower actuation point meaning you have a more responsive keyboard. Exactly what you need when playing those fast-paced competitive esports titles.
Some people prefer to have mechanical purely because of the tactile feel and sound they produce (it can get addictive). Again, using Cherry MX switches as an example, Blue switches offer a clicky tactile feel when you press the key. This type of switch produces a clicky sound notifying you of a keypress, but you also feel the keypress when it actuates.
Whatever you decide, don’t worry, most keyboard manufacturers release mechanical boards with multiple switch types to cater for everyone.
Membrane Vs. Mechanical Switches
Membrane and mechanical keyboards differ significantly but only underneath the surface. Gamers prefer mechanical type keyboards because of how durable they are. Furthermore, mechanical keyboards are easy to customize and are considered to be highly responsive.
Mechanical switches often tend to be louder, but there is such a wide variety of switches available that you can dampen the noise level and still benefit from the low actuation force required to press the key.
It is worth noting that membrane boards tend to break quicker due to the membrane layer flattening out over time, resulting in the keyboard becoming less responsive. Mechanical keyboards are easy to disassemble and clean plus when you factor in the sensitive switches they feature; they are a must for gamers.
Aesthetics Vs. Comfort: RGB & Wrist Rests
While it doesn’t have anything to do with performance, aesthetics play a huge part in the selection process. Keyboards with full RGB customization options are preferred these days, and ideally, you’d want one that can be customized to your liking.
You would struggle to find an uncomfortable keyboard, but you will find the more premium boards feature luxury extras like wrist rests and adjustable feet.
Keyboard Switches also factor into the comfort side of things as Cherry MX Reds may offer the ultimate for gaming performance, but they do tend to be quite loud so make sure you get the right ones!
Other Features: Macros & Keycaps
Nowadays, high-end keyboards come with a whole plethora of features. For instance; macro keys can be a huge asset while gaming, multimedia and volume keys offer some extra convenience, and replaceable keycaps can offer a textured feel.
As with most hardware, the more features your keyboard has, the higher the price tag is likely to be. If you’re looking for a keyboard that offers mechanical switches, full RGB, a wrist rest, and a cool design, just be ready to pay the price.
The final thing we need to consider before purchasing a gaming keyboard is, how much are you willing to spend. Price is, more often than not, one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing new hardware and peripherals.
Are you only willing to get a gaming keyboard under $50? Your budget has the ultimate say about this matter, and you must evaluate ahead to make sure you’re investing in the right product.
Our 7 Best Gaming Keyboards
The new and improved K70’s design and features match the brilliance of its predecessor only this time with a much lower ‘profile’. The Cherry MX Speed switches combine with the low profile keycaps to give you the ultimate in typing and gaming performance.
The K70 MK.2 is still one of the best keyboards available at the minute but the introduction of a low profile edition turned a lot of heads. Low profile keyboards have been gaining popularity in the gaming community with some finding the alternative a bit too chunky. With the Corsair Low Profile K70, you get all the benefits of the previous model only now with the newer Cherry MX Speed switches which are 35% lower than your normal Cherry MX and deliver the same level of precision.
The keyboard reminds us of a laptop keyboard thanks to the low profile keycaps. Underneath the caps is a brushed aluminum plate that adds some serious style points to the board whilst also offering a slightly reflective surface for the RGB. The keys appear to float on the surface making the low profile version one of the nicest looking mechanical keyboards on the market. The design and build quality are top-notch, as you would expect from Corsair, and it features dedicated media keys too.
The keyboard features a USB passthrough for your mouse, headset, or whatever it may serve you, unlike the K95 Platinum. The board comes with a full-length detachable soft-touch wrist rest that will maximize your comfort when gaming. It also has slightly wider keys, which makes it great for big handed users (and sausage fingers). The RGB lighting can be customized and synced up to your other Corsair peripherals via Corsair’s proprietary software, iCUE.
Choice of switches
Brilliant volume bar (dedicated media keys)
Plastic all over
The ROG (Republic Of Gamers) division at Asus has been bringing out some seriously good keyboards over the last few years with the Strix Flare being the best so far.
This keyboard is packed with features and includes some clever aesthetic and functional design. The Asus Strix Flare as you would expect is a very visually appealing board and this is largely down to the brushed aluminum effect alongside the fantastic illuminated keys. There is a white base under the keys to really show off the RGB. The keyboard caters for gamers with all sorts of different switch needs, whether that is clicky blues or rapid reds.
The dedicated media keys set this board apart from its competition as a little extra consideration for the right-handed gamer has come into play here. The volume bar (which is the best we have ever seen on any board) is located on the left-hand side so it’s easily reached from the keyboard hand when in-game. Aside from these functionality tweaks, the board is of solid construction despite being entirely plastic. You get a detachable wrist rest with the keyboard and there is a small piece of plastic in the corner that can be personalized. It lights up and is a lovely touch from Asus if truth be told.
This brightly colored beast also features a USB passthrough which is always a convenient thing to include and you simply cannot go wrong with this board.
Attractive low profile design
Great RGB and brushed aluminium combo
Wrist rest costs extra
Despite some of the ROCCAT Vulcan 121’s foibles, both typing and gaming on this keyboard is a pleasant experience. But it doesn’t lean far enough in one direction for it to truly excel at either – and it’s also not the most attractive mechanical keyboard we’ve ever seen. The main issue with the Vulcan is that, at its current price point, there are a number of other, higher quality, more feature-packed keyboards available – like the Corsair K95 or Razer Huntsman. If you are considering it, I strongly recommend trying to get some hands-on time with it ahead of your purchase, to see if the weird hybrid formula Roccat landed on for their switches appeals to you. For me, it’s difficult to recommend at $150.
German manufacturer and eSports sponsor Roccat has largely made their name producing peripherals squarely targeted at gamers, emphasizing in-game performance and flashy aesthetics over workspace productivity. The Vulcan is a prime example of this design philosophy, a board that attempts to lure gamers with vivid RGB lighting and proprietary switches, but some unfortunate missteps leave it short of a bar that, in the realm of mechanical keyboards, is ever rising. And unfortunately, the Vulcan doesn’t do any one thing so well that it stands out, or incorporate any appealing new tech that would push it free of the morass of mechanical decks that are constantly vying for PC gamers’ precious dollars.
Built to the exacting specifications of eSports athletes
Simple and attractive design
Macro assignment limited to Function keys
With the Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboard, it appears to be focused on the professional eSports community. The 80% TKL sized board makes this ideal for taking to tournaments and when you combine this with the low actuation switches you get something extremely responsive in-game.
This board is mostly only functional with flashy extras such as dedicated media keys and detachable wrist rest not featuring in this keyboard despite the high price tag. As we expect from Logitech the construction is solid and the design, albeit simple, is actually really pleasing on the eye.
The Romer-G switches feel highly responsive and are a nice alternative to Cherry MX switches, with typing and gaming feeling great. The board features RGB and you can, of course, delve into the Logitech HUB software to personalize your setup.
Overall, a very well rounded keyboard that is well worth your consideration.
High quality build
Brilliant optical switches
We love BenQ Zowie’s simple yet elegant solutions for our gaming needs as they almost always seem to deliver highly functional peripherals. The Celeratis II fits in as one of these offering gamers a professional plug and play mechanical keyboard.
This masterpiece will look good on anyone’s desk with its sublime yet simple-looking design. The Flaretech optical switches are similar to Cherry MX Red’s and offer the same responsiveness that people love from a red switch. The keys feel fluid when typing making this board great for gaming and work.
The construction on this keyboard is fantastic with the smooth matt finish feeling great against your wrist. The keys are backlit with red to match the red and black theme – whilst the board itself is chunky, meaning there is no need for any ergonomic feet.
This classy board was built with professional E-Sports in mind and it really performs as well as it looks.
Great for small spaces
Lighting channel is customizable
Full anti-ghosting feature
Does not have wrist rest
No dedicated media keys
It’s surprising to see a mechanical gaming keyboard at such good value while still offering great features such as RGB backlighting, anti-ghosting functionality, tactile switches equivalent to Cherry MX’s Blue, and high-quality durable Metal-ABS construction. The K552 Kumara RGB keyboard is a tenkeyless(TKL) board giving gamers a portable option that also saves space on the desk.
This 80% keyboard features Outemu clicky switches that offer tactile feedback but still feel responsive like Cherry MX Reds. There are no dedicated media keys on this board as there is no extra room around the keys which are stylishly framed in a solid feeling base. You can, however, use the function keys to mimic media controls which is a nice touch.
The RGB feature lets you adjust a handful of lighting options such as the backlight brightness, backlight direction, and other lighting effects such as:
- Steady on
- Touch on
- Gaming on
- Slide left and right
- Slide diagonally
- Snake running
- Spillover effects
Overall, this keyboard is worth every dollar. If you’re on a budget and want a mechanical keyboard, The K552-R is a solid choice.
6 programmable macro keys
Highly responsive for a membrane keyboard
The Corsair K55 is the only keyboard on the list which doesn’t feature mechanical switches. This keyboard features membrane switches that are comparable to Cherry MX Browns – albeit much ‘mushier’ and only try to mimic the mechanical feel. This budget board is sometimes bundled with the Corsair Harpoon mouse and has some great elements for a budget keyboard.
The keyboard is rather simple in its design which is unusual for a gaming keyboard and it is constructed entirely of plastic. The K55 is lightweight and although it features membrane switches they actually feel fairly decent and are arguably the closest to mechanical you can possibly get with a switch type such as this.
The keyboard features RGB lighting and on top of the 6 programmable macro keys, it has dedicated volume and media keys for convenience. The K55 has a multi-key anti-ghosting function too, ensuring each keypress is registered properly when numerous keys are pressed at the same time.
While you do get a wrist rest included, the board doesn’t exactly feel premium when compared to the rest of the keyboards on the list.
It may not be the best keyboard Corsair has ever created but it certainly has some potential and is a great budget option.
So, there you have it guys, our comprehensive breakdown of the best gaming keyboards of 2021. Hopefully, this article has made your next keyboard purchase, all the easier. However, if you’re still struggling, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below with any questions you may have.
Alternatively, you can always head on over to our Community Hub where you can discuss everything peripheral related.