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What Gaming Keyboard Should I Buy? The Ultimate Guide to the Best Gaming Keyboards of 2023

Hey there, fellow gamers and keyboard enthusiasts! As a digital technology expert with years of experience analyzing and testing the latest gaming gear, I‘m here to help you find the perfect gaming keyboard to elevate your setup and skills. In this ultimate guide, we‘ll dive deep into the world of gaming keyboards, covering everything from key switch types and form factors to the best models for every budget and need. By the end, you‘ll have all the knowledge you need to pick the ideal keyboard for dominating your favorite games in comfort and style. Let‘s get started!

Why Invest in a High-Quality Gaming Keyboard?

Before we get into specific recommendations, let‘s discuss why a great gaming keyboard is worth the investment. According to a study by Grand View Research, the global gaming keyboard market size was valued at USD 1.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% from 2021 to 2028. This growth is largely driven by the increasing popularity of esports and the demand for high-performance peripherals that give players a competitive edge.

But what exactly makes a gaming keyboard better than a standard office keyboard? Here are some key benefits:

  1. Faster, more precise keystrokes: Gaming keyboards, especially those with mechanical switches, offer quicker actuation and reset points than typical rubber dome keyboards. This means your keypresses register faster and more accurately, giving you an advantage in competitive games where every millisecond counts.

  2. Customizable features: Many gaming keyboards allow you to program macros, remap keys, and customize RGB lighting to your liking. This lets you optimize your keyboard layout and aesthetics for specific games and personal preferences.

  3. Improved durability: High-quality gaming keyboards are built to withstand the rigors of intense gaming sessions, with sturdy frames, durable keycaps, and long-lasting switches rated for tens of millions of keystrokes.

  4. Ergonomic designs: Some gaming keyboards offer ergonomic features like detachable wrist rests, adjustable feet, and split designs to reduce strain and fatigue during prolonged use.

With these benefits in mind, let‘s explore the key factors to consider when choosing a gaming keyboard.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Keyboard

Mechanical vs. Membrane Switches

One of the most important decisions when selecting a gaming keyboard is whether to go with mechanical or membrane switches. Mechanical switches are generally preferred by gamers for their tactile feedback, responsiveness, and durability. They come in a variety of types (linear, tactile, clicky) and brands (Cherry MX, Kailh, Gateron, etc.), each with distinct characteristics in terms of feel, sound, and actuation force.

Membrane switches, on the other hand, are typically less expensive and quieter but may feel "mushy" and less responsive for gaming. However, some newer membrane keyboards like the Razer Cynosa V2 have made strides in improving tactility and performance for budget-conscious gamers.

According to a 2020 survey by Ranker, the most popular mechanical switch types among gamers are:

  1. Cherry MX Blue (clicky, tactile): 24%
  2. Cherry MX Brown (tactile): 23%
  3. Cherry MX Red (linear): 22%
  4. Cherry MX Black (linear): 9%
  5. Other (Kailh, Gateron, etc.): 22%

This shows a fairly even split between clicky, tactile, and linear switch preferences, highlighting the importance of personal taste in choosing the right mechanical keyboard.

Form Factor

Another key consideration is the keyboard‘s form factor, which refers to its size and layout. The most common options are:

  • Full-size: Includes a numpad and is ideal for gamers who also use their keyboard for work or data entry. Examples include the Corsair K100 RGB and Logitech G915.

  • Tenkeyless (TKL): Omits the numpad for a more compact design that allows for more mouse space. Popular TKL models include the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL and Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition.

  • 60%: An even smaller form factor that omits the numpad, function row, and arrow keys for maximum portability and minimalism. Examples include the Ducky One 2 Mini and Anne Pro 2.

According to a 2021 survey by Drop, the most popular keyboard form factors among enthusiasts are:

Form Factor Popularity
Full-size 28%
TKL 38%
60% 25%
Other 9%

This data suggests that TKL keyboards strike a good balance between compactness and functionality for many gamers.

Backlighting and RGB

Gaming keyboards often feature LED backlighting to enhance visibility and style. Some models offer single-color or zoned lighting, while others provide customizable per-key RGB illumination. Many gamers enjoy personalizing their RGB effects and synchronizing them with other peripherals using software like Razer Synapse, Logitech G Hub, or Corsair iCUE.

According to a 2021 survey by TechSpot, 69% of respondents considered RGB lighting an important feature in a gaming keyboard, with 37% specifically preferring per-key customization. This highlights the popularity of RGB as a way to express personal style and build immersive gaming setups.

Build Quality and Ergonomics

A gaming keyboard‘s build quality and ergonomics can greatly impact your comfort and performance during long gaming sessions. Look for keyboards with sturdy frames (preferably metal), durable keycaps made of PBT plastic, and ergonomic features like adjustable feet, detachable wrist rests, and split designs.

Some high-end keyboards like the Dygma Raise even offer fully split designs and RGB underglow for the ultimate in customization and ergonomics. While they may cost more, investing in a well-built and comfortable keyboard can help reduce strain and fatigue, allowing you to game at your best for longer.

Anti-Ghosting and Key Rollover

For gamers, it‘s crucial that every keypress registers accurately, even when pressing multiple keys simultaneously. This is where anti-ghosting and key rollover come in. Anti-ghosting ensures that each keypress is correctly detected, while key rollover refers to the number of keys that can be pressed and registered at once.

Look for gaming keyboards with full N-key rollover (NKRO) or at least 6-key rollover to ensure reliable input during fast-paced games. Some keyboards may also offer selectable rollover modes or "game mode" functions that disable certain keys like the Windows key to prevent accidental presses.

Top Gaming Keyboard Picks for Every Budget and Need

Now that we‘ve covered the key factors to consider, let‘s dive into my top recommendations for the best gaming keyboards of 2023, broken down by price range and specific needs:

Best Budget Gaming Keyboards (Under $50)

  1. Redragon K552 Kumara ($35): A solid entry-level mechanical keyboard with clicky Outemu Blue switches, RGB backlighting, and a sturdy metal frame. Ideal for gamers on a tight budget.

  2. Logitech G213 Prodigy ($45): A membrane keyboard with tactile keys, customizable RGB lighting, and spill-resistant design. Great for casual gamers who want RGB on a budget.

Best Mid-Range Gaming Keyboards ($50-150)

  1. HyperX Alloy Origins Core ($90): A sleek TKL mechanical keyboard with smooth HyperX Red linear switches, per-key RGB, and a durable aluminum frame. Perfect for FPS games.

  2. Razer BlackWidow V3 ($120): A full-size keyboard with Razer‘s clicky Green or linear Yellow switches, programmable macros, and bright RGB lighting. A versatile option for various game genres.

  3. Cooler Master CK550 V2 ($100): A feature-packed full-size keyboard with your choice of Gateron switches (Red, Blue, or Brown), per-key RGB, macro recording, and a durable brushed aluminum top plate.

Best High-End Gaming Keyboards ($150+)

  1. Corsair K100 RGB ($230): My top pick for a premium gaming keyboard, with insanely fast Cherry MX Speed or Corsair OPX optical-mechanical switches, durable PBT keycaps, a programmable iCUE control wheel, and 44-zone RGB lighting. The ultimate keyboard for serious gamers.

  2. SteelSeries Apex Pro ($200): A cutting-edge full-size keyboard with adjustable OmniPoint switches, an OLED smart display, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame, and vibrant per-key RGB. Perfect for gamers who crave customization and precision.

  3. Ducky One 2 SF ($150): A compact 65% keyboard with premium Cherry MX switches, PBT double-shot keycaps, and customizable RGB. Ideal for gamers who want a small but mighty mechanical keyboard.

Tips for Optimizing Your Gaming Keyboard Setup

  1. Experiment with different switch types to find the perfect balance of tactility, sound, and actuation force for your gaming style and preferences. Many gaming keyboard brands offer switch samplers or "hot-swappable" models that allow you to easily try different switches.

  2. Customize your keybinds and macros for each game to streamline your input and reduce finger travel. Most gaming keyboards come with software that lets you easily program macros and remap keys to your liking.

  3. Invest in a comfortable wrist rest to reduce strain during long gaming sessions. Many gaming keyboards include detachable wrist rests, but you can also buy separate ones made of foam, gel, or wood for added comfort and style.

  4. Clean your keyboard regularly to prevent buildup of dirt, dust, and grime that can affect key feel and longevity. Use a keycap puller to remove keycaps and clean underneath with a soft brush or compressed air. Wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth slightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol for a deeper clean.

  5. Consider adding o-rings or foam to dampen key noise if you live with others or prefer a quieter typing experience. O-rings are small rubber rings that fit around keycap stems to reduce bottoming out noise, while foam can be added inside the keyboard case to absorb sound.


Choosing the right gaming keyboard ultimately comes down to your individual needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you prioritize speed, customization, portability, or style, there‘s a keyboard out there that can help you take your gaming setup and skills to the next level.

By considering factors like switch type, form factor, RGB lighting, build quality, and anti-ghosting – and reading trusted reviews and comparisons – you‘ll be well-equipped to find your perfect gaming keyboard match.

I hope this comprehensive guide has given you the knowledge and insights to make an informed decision and elevate your gaming experience. Feel free to share this article with your fellow gamers and let me know in the comments which keyboard you chose and why. Happy gaming!