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The best gaming keyboards: Wireless, membrane and mechanical

Best gaming keyboards
(Image credit: Parilov / Shutterstock)

Investing in the best gaming keyboards your budget can stretch to is a wise move if you want to give yourself the competitive edge.

While you can game on pretty much any keyboard, the ones we've gathered in this list of the best gaming keyboards have been specially designed to play games on. This means they come packed with game-centric features, such as N-key rollover (which accurately records each key press, no matter how many are held down at once), fast and responsive performance and extra keys.

Those extra keys can really help out in games, as they allow you to assign actions, weapons and more to each key, allowing you to quickly activate them in-game.

Above all, gaming keyboards need to be comfortable to use for long periods of time, and should also be great for typing on, so you don't have to unplug it and swap it for another keyboard when you need to do some work.

Want a new device? See our pick of the best gaming consoles around. If you do more work than play on your keyboards, then check out our guide to the best Apple keyboards for your Mac. If you use a tablet, our best tablet keyboards guide will be for you.

The best gaming keyboards of 2021

Best gaming keyboards: Razer Huntsman v2 Analog

(Image credit: Razer)

01. Razer Huntsman v2 Analog

The best gaming keyboard overall

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Switches: Analog mechanical

Fully customizable keys
Feels great to type on
Extremely expensive
Built-in twin-cable 

Razer has a fine reputation when it comes to crafting gaming peripherals, and the company has just gone and made one of the best gaming keyboards money can buy right now. The Razer Huntsman v2 Analog really is an astounding gaming keyboard, with tactile analog mechanical key switches that are an absolute joy to type on.

It also performs brilliantly in game, with each keypress registering quickly and accurately, while the excellent wrist rest lets you use it for long periods of time in complete comfort.

The build quality is fantastic, and media buttons allow you to control the playback of music. Meanwhile the keys can be configured to an amazing degree, including tweaking the actuation, and even allowing for two different actions depending on how forcefully you press them. However, it's also one of the most expensive keyboards in the world as well.

Best gaming keyboards: SteelSeries Apex 3

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

02. SteelSeries Apex 3

The best cheap gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: No

RGB lighting
No mechanical switches
No USB passthrough

If you're looking for a great budget gaming keyboard, then the SteelSeries Apex 3 is ideal, proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to get a brilliant keyboard to play on.

While it doesn't offer mechanical switches, like many of the best gaming keyboards do, the SteelSeries Apex 3 is still a brilliant gaming keyboard. It offers IP32 water resistance, so it won't be game over if you knock a drink over it, and it comes with RGB lighting as well.

It also packs in a wristpad for extra comfort, and most importantly of all, it works brilliantly with games, offering fast and responsive gaming without the high price tag. In fact, if you don't like the noise mechanical keyboards make, this is a great alternative, as it's incredibly quiet even when you're hammering the keys.

Best gaming keyboards: Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

(Image credit: Razer)

03. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

A great mid-range gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired, wireless | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Removable cable
Bit light on features

The Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is the perfect mid-range gaming keyboard, bringing features and build quality (and performance) you'd often find in more expensive gaming keyboards, to a very reasonable price point.

It's compact and easy to carry around with you, which makes it a great choice for people who need a keyboard to travel with. It has a removable cord, and its tenkeyless design means it doesn't feature the numpad on the right-hand side.

This reduces the overall size of the keyboard. Not only does it make it easier to carry around, but it's great for desks where space is at a premium.

It doesn't come with loads of extras like some keyboards do, but it's well put together, and its minimalist design may appeal to anyone put off by the more gaudy gaming keyboards out there. Most importantly of all, it performs brilliantly in games.

Best gaming keyboards: Corsair k100 rgb optical

(Image credit: Corsair)

04. Corsair K100 RGB Optical

A stunning gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Fantastic build quality

The Corsair K100 RGB Optical is easily one of the best gaming keyboards around, and offers an almost unparalleled premium experience. Its eye-catching design (packed with RGB lighting, of course) feels solid and dependable, and it's incredibly fast and responsive.

It also comes packed with extras, including multiple additional keys that you can configure, dedicated media keys and a metal volume wheel. It also has a USB pass-through port, so you can plug in other peripherals into the keyboard rather than the back of your PC, which can help keep your desk tidy.

It's expensive, but this is a gaming keyboard that's packed with features and will easily last you for years. For many gamers, it'll be well worth the investment.

Best gaming keyboards: Razer Pro Type

(Image credit: Razer)

05. Razer Pro Type

Best wireless keyboard for gaming

Interface: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Switches: Orange Mechanical switch

USB-C charger
Connects to four wireless devices
Wireless connectivity issues

The Razer Pro Type is the best wireless keyboard for gaming in 2021. As we've come to expect from Razer, this is a keyboard that is solidly built and beautifully designed, and it can connect to up to four devices without needing to be repaired, and it can use either Bluetooth or connect via a wireless dongle, giving you plenty of options.

While it's not strictly designed as a gaming keyboard (it's aimed more at professionals), Razer has plenty of experience with making great gaming peripherals, and it shows here. 

It works great and the mechanical keys makes it a joy to play and type on. If you're playing competitive games, you're still better off with a wired keyboard, and it does sometimes have an issue connecting wirelessly unless you're close to the PC, but otherwise, this is a brilliant wireless choice.

Best gaming keyboards: SteelSeries Apex Pro

(Image credit: SteelSeries)

06. SteelSeries Apex Pro

A serious keyboard for serious gamers

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Sturdy aluminum build

There's no avoiding that this is an expensive gaming keyboard, but it's also one of the best performing keyboards we've tested when playing games. It's extremely fast and responsive, while the magnetic switches feel great to press - and they are quiet as well.

Even better, you can customise the actuation of the keys, so you can perfectly set up the keyboard to perform just the way you want it to. It also comes with a built-in OLED display, which allows you to tweak the keyboard's settings on the fly, rather than having to open up a separate bit of software. This means you don't have to stop playing if you want to change how the keyboard performs. It's a great addition that helps make the high price tag a bit more palatable.

Best gaming keyboards: Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard

(Image credit: Havit)

07. Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard

Best small gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

 Fully programmable keys 
Small design
 No multimedia buttons 

Many people find smaller gaming keyboards are more comfortable to use, and the Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is the best small gaming keyboard you can buy right now. It comes with many of the features you'd find on larger keyboards, including RGB lighting and programmable keys, while also feeling comfortable to type on, and being fast and responsive in games as well.

But, it's the compact design that will appeal to many people. Not only is it good for people who don't find larger keyboards comfortable to use, it means it can be more easily carried around. It also takes up less space on your desk, and if you feel overwhelmed by large keyboards that come with huge amounts of additional keys, then this is a great choice for you.

Best gaming keyboards: Razer Cynosa V2

(Image credit: Razer)

08. Razer Cynosa V2

A brilliant affordable membrane gaming keyboard

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: Yes

Very good value
Excellent build quality
No mechanical switches

Yes, another Razer keyboard on this list, but don't blame us - the company really does make excellent gaming products. While many of its gaming keyboards are very expensive, the Razer Cynosa V2 proves that the company can also make some brilliant budget devices as well. 

Despite its low price, it comes with loads of features, it can be easily customised, and there's extra keys for controlling your media as well. Unlike many other gaming keyboards, the Razer Cynosa V2 doesn't use mechanical switches, but membrane ones. That means it lacks the tactile 'clicky' feel of mechanical keyboards, but it's still fast and responsive, and many people may prefer how quiet it is when in use.

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