Navigating through the myriad of options when shopping for a gaming keyboard can be daunting, but we'll aim to make it as straightforward as possible. Key factors to ponder include latency (the keyboard's responsiveness), the type of switches (which influence the feel and sound of each keystroke), and overall comfort and tactile sensation. Once you have these bases covered, you might want to consider extra features like RGB lighting, media keys, or software that enables customization, to create a more personalized feel for your keyboard. Given their lower latency, greater feature set, and superior construction, most gamers gravitate towards mechanical keyboards, which is reflected in our recommendations.
Best Gaming Keyboard 2023
The Razer Huntsman V2
The Razer Huntsman V2 is our Best pick for gaming keyboards so far in 2023. Comfortable, Lightning Fast, and Packed with Features, with the Huntsman V2, Razer improved on the already excellent original Huntsman. The V2 Impresses with incredibly low latency, our test unit, equipped with Razer Linear Optical switches, responded lightly and rapidly, owing to the low actuation force and short pre-travel distance. However, for those desiring a distinct tactile sensation, the keyboard is also available with Razer Click Optical switches. The Razer Huntsman V2 boasts customizable RGB backlighting, dedicated media keys, and a versatile dial that defaults to volume control. Every key on the keyboard can be programmed for macros, either directly from the keyboard using the Macro key or through the Razer Synapse 3 software. If your desk retail estate is lacking, their is also the TenKeyLess version, the Razer Huntsman V2 TKL.
Best TKL (TenKeyLess) Keyboard 2023
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL (2023)
The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL (2023) is a wired gaming keyboard that performs on every level. Like previous entries in the Apex Pro series, this keyboard uses OmnmiPoint switches which let you customize the actuation point of individual switches. There are several new features introduced from the previous generation Apex Pro TKL, released in 2019. New features with this generation include a wider range of adjustable actuation points (now between 0.2mm–3.8mm) and the ability to program two functions to activate at different actuation points in a single keypress. Additionally, while the previous-generation models have lower-quality ABS plastic keycaps, this keyboard has doubleshot PBT plastic keycaps with a pleasant textured top for added grip.
We tested the wired version of this keyboard, but there is also a wireless version available called the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL Wireless (2023).
Best Budget Keyboard 2023
Cooler Master CK552
The Cooler Master CK552 stakes its claim as the top pick for most users looking for a budget-friendly mechanical keyboard. This full-size gaming keyboard comes with RGB lighting, an aluminum top panel, and a USB 2.0 cable measuring 5.9 feet (1.8m). The keyboard is equipped with Gateron switches, available in Red (linear), Blue (clicky), or Brown (tactile) variants. Our test model was fitted with Gateron Red switches which performed exceptionally well during gaming sessions, albeit at the cost of occasional accidental key presses by our reviewer. As a result, it encountered some hiccups during intensive typing tasks. Opting for a different type of switch could potentially address this issue, but currently, the other switch types are somewhat elusive online.
Best Mid-Range Gaming Keyboard
Corsair K70 RGB TKL
Our mid-range recommendation is the Corsair K70 RGB TKL, which impresses with its exceptional gaming performance and solid build quality. The K70 RGB TKL flaunts a sturdy plastic frame, long-lasting PBT keycaps, and ergonomically designed kickstands that open sideways to prevent accidental collapses when your keyboard is bumped.
When it comes to performance, this keyboard surpasses many of its competitors with an impressive polling rate of 8000Hz. This high polling rate means it sends your keystrokes to your computer at a far higher frequency than most gaming keyboards, resulting in near-millisecond latency. This feature, coupled with the light-press Cherry MX switches, ensures a seamless and responsive gaming experience. The keyboard is available with either traditional Cherry MX Red switches or Cherry MX Speed switches, both of which are light and smooth. However, the Speed switches possess a slightly shorter pre-travel distance, leading to quicker actuation.
Best Customizable Gaming Keyboard
Keychron Q1 Pro
We love this little powerhouse. The Keychron Q1 Pro stands out as a premium and high-quality product that embodies all the features of the wired Q1 and adds the convenience of wireless functionality. Even if you predominantly utilize it as a wired keyboard, the added wireless feature, with a relatively minor $20 price increase, is well worth having as a backup. If the robust build and the laptop-esque 75 percent layout of the Q1 Pro are appealing, then it has minimal drawbacks. It provides a superb typing experience, reliable connectivity, solid battery life, customization options, and all without breaking the bank. It is indeed a top-tier mechanical keyboard.
Most Reliable Gaming Keyboard
Ducky One 3
Ducky, a well-regarded name in the mechanical gaming keyboard arena, has retained its straightforward design approach while incorporating some style with its new product, the Ducky One 3. The One 3 has a super robust build and this vibrant and colourful model demonstrates a departure from Ducky's traditionally minimalistic design, all without losing its core functionality. The One 3 exhibits a wide range of colour options and styles. Its keycaps, made from durable PBT plastic that is known for its longevity and colour stability, contribute to a captivatingly colourful design. The keyboard comes with an included and detachable USB Type-C to Type-A cable, beautifully matching the overall shade of the unit.
One key highlight of the Ducky One 3 is its hot-swappability. Users can effortlessly replace a broken key switch or insert new ones. Although this feature has become common among gaming keyboards, its inclusion in the Ducky One 3 is definitely a big plus. The keyboard doesn't include RGB lighting or any other type of backlighting, but it still looks spectacular and offers a pleasant typing experience. It's also priced more reasonably than some other high-end keyboards in the market today.
As gamers in 2023 we are spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing keyboard hardware, with all major gaming companies lining up to produce keyboards that are comfortable for late night gaming sessions that offer strong performance and a great tactile experience. Yes, those of us with higher budgets for our peripherals can experience the best in premium features and build quality, but due to the rapid pace of improvement in keyboard tech, even those of us on a budget can find a keyboard in 2023 which would have been top of the leaderboards just 2 years ago. Our advice? If you are more casual with your PC useage, say sub 5 hours per week, then we would definitely advice looking at a great budget option, however, if gaming is your main hobby, then why not invest in your peripherals and take your experience to the next level.