The keyboard might be the equipment for your computer that has changed the least over the years.
Only until recently!
Then the gaming industry was steadily growing, so did the range of equipment & gaming gear. Especially in a game like Fortnite where key bindings are essential, you must have a responsive low-latency keyboard. That’s why we made this buyer’s guide on the best gaming keyboard currently available for you in 2018!
Think about it; the hardware needs to be changed to be able to keep up with all the games. Even the mouse has gone from two buttons, all the way to almost a secondary keyboard in your hand. We recently did a guide on the best gaming mouse and the market is enormous.
Anyway, lets a have a look at the top 3.
In this article, we will be discussing the most popular gaming keyboards, and it’s important to know that the ‘gaming’ and your standard keyboard work on a comparable manner, gaming keyboards are better because they offer you mechanical switches which have less travel time and are more responsive for quick reactions. Also, they very stylish RGB backlighting make it usable with ease in dark environments.
Best Gaming Keyboard 2018
|Gaming Keyboard||Switch type||Backlight color|
|Corsair K70 (Winner)||Cherry MX||RGB||Check Price|
|Logitech G810||Romer-G||RGB||Check Price|
|Corsair K55||Membrane||RGB||Check Price|
|DBPOWER||Membrane||Red Blue & Purple||Check Price|
|K552-N by Redragon||Outemu Blue switches||Red||Check Price|
Let’s dive into the full review!
How We Picked the Gaming Keyboards
Our procedure for choosing a gaming keyboard is straightforward. We have picked the keyboards by their performance, professional gamers, durability, mechanical switches and user ratings. So that you won’t have to research countless of hours for a keyboard dedicated for gaming that you can rely on.
Corsair K70 – Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming
This keyboard from Corsair is called K70, and comes with a wrist rest ideal for long gaming sessions. However, you can remove the wrist stand if needed, leaving you with a lot smaller keyboard. The design of this product is a little more extreme, yet looks professional. This is a mechanical keyboard as well and comes with RGB backlighting, that could be customized to your desired look. They also offer a K70 with only red color, with a slightly lower price.
The keys on this keyboard have Cherry MX switches, which are compared to Romer-G a very known type of switches. On the Logitech products, they have their own kind of switches. The MX switches, however, have been around for a long time, and many different products use them. Thet switches are linear and produce next to no noise for being a mechanical keyboard.
A solid gaming keyboard with a well known and tested switches. Corsair delivers with this products, and there is not much to say about it, the wrist rest is an excellent bonus, and it has media controls integrated within the layout as well. They offer a wide range of MX switches from Red, Blue, Brown and the Cherry MX Speed variation, which are recommended for the one who’s looking for extremely responsiveness. The actuation distance on the speed version is almost half as regular switches!
The first keyboard on the list, G810, and the winner of all keyboards we tested. Logitech has made a keyboard with a minimal, yet an exceptionally high-quality product. It has RGB lightning that can easily be customized to over 16.8 million colors, or why not light up individual keys that you use often. It comes with Logitech Gaming Software where you control all your gear from that brand, teaming up with the Logitech G502 mouse and you have the perfect keyboard and mouse combo for gamers!
The keyboard has mechanical key switches called Romer-G, which are ultra-responsive and up to 25% faster key actuation than standard switches, designed with gaming in mind. It also has media controls top right of the layout, and there you have easy access to play, pause, mute and changing volume. Without having to minimize your games, a nice little bonus.
This keyboard has a small, beautiful form factor which will not be in your way. It looks more like an ordinary keyboard than overly styled gaming gear. The build quality is excellent and has some weight to it with rubber feet. Makes it harder to slide around on your desk while in intense situations.
Next keyboard is from Corsair as well, this time a slightly less maxed out version. Corsair K55 has no wrist rest, which probably is not a deal breaker as it takes up some space. However, it could be good to have something to rest on. The design is more towards a regular keyboard and could very much be used for every day use without looking like a gaming rig.
The most significant difference with this product is that it’s a membrane keyboard, meaning each key is not individual like a mechanical. This could also be seen on the price as it’s much cheaper to manufacture without all the moving parts. However, it’s still a fantastic keyboard which is well suited for gaming. It has RGB back-lightning as one would expect by now, a little bonus with this one is that you not necessarily need an external software as it has a built-in memory for your LED modes. But you can use the software if you want of course.
One of the best membrane keyboards currently on the market. Perfect for who on who wants a slightly cheaper keyboard, yet have a solid product. It will also withstand dust and liquid much better than a mechanical keyboard. Very comfortable and ergonomic, but will not be compared with the feeling of the K70.
DBPOWER – Backlit LED Gaming KeyboardThis keyboard is great for gaming if you’re on a budget. Obviously, it’s not a Logitech G810, but it delivers exceptionally well for its price point. It has three colors (red blue and purple), to choose from for your keys backlighting and can be customizable to being breathable or just permanent lightning. No software or drivers needed which almost all the other keyboards needs. Comes with a standard USB braided cable and is pretty much plug in and play.
The build quality is slightly cheaper than the more superior choices, and the keys are reasonably louder. It is, however, not 100% mechanical keyboard, but very close, which is pretty amazing for a keyboard under $50. The Form factor is actually very well made, there is not much-wasted space, and it’s very compact. Therefore it won’t take up much space on your desktop.
A stable budget buy for the one who either wants to test a mechanical keyboard or someone who wants to step up their gaming gear without breaking the bank. The build quality is definitely impacted, and it won’t probably hold up for years of use; however, it opens up to switch out your keyboard more often. It feels like a mechanical keyboard, but an experienced user would feel a slight difference straight away.
K552-N KUMARA by Redragon – Top Budget Gaming KeyboardAnother keyboard with a lower price, this time with an extremely minimal design. No RGB or LED lighting that stands out, just a plain barely noticeably back-lightning. No external media control keys and pretty much your ordinary keyboard you always have been using. However, its a difference, its a mechanical keyboard. K552-N by Redragon has only been focusing on one thing, which not necessary is a bad idea. A simple, yet neat looking gaming keyboard. Some want a mechanical keyboard without a bloated look; this might be the one for them.
The keys offer a medium resistance which can be compared to blue switches. It’s advertised as Cherry MX Green, but that is not accurate at all. However, it won’t be the same obviously as MX either way. It has an audible click sound, but not overwhelming. The clicks are crisp, precise and give the user great feedback for better performance.
A keyboard that will save desk space, with reasonably good quality. It’s a mechanical keyboard which makes this so much better for the price, an inexpensive product and has a great feel and sound. There is not much to be said other than a minimalist gaming keyboard that does the job!
Different types of gaming keyboards
A great keyboard can help you perform better in games, having a short response time on your keys will decrease the latency before the computer registers the buttons. Many people ignore the keyboard as if they all are the same, which is understandable. Looking at different keyboards, you probably can’t see any significant difference.
That’s because the big difference is within the keys itself. They have all kind of switches, quality or springs that will give you reliable, exact feedback for every key press. Of course, almost all gaming keyboards has RGB lightning today as well, which will let you have your favorite color as the backlight of your keys.
But the most crucial part is the keys itself when choosing what keyboard that will fit you. The most popular ones for gamers are the membrane or mechanical keyboards which we will go into a little more.
The majority of keyboards you have tried has moving parts in them, and the keys separated to each other. However, the idea of a membrane keyboard is that the keys are printed on a single cheat of flexible plastic. Where each key has their own pressure pad. As its less moving parts, while manufacturing these, they are often much cheaper. The will withstand dirt and liquids much better as every key is one solid piece. The downside is that every key press is registered instantly while being pressed. Often are one used to have somewhat feedback while pressing a key. Especially in games, you don’t want it to be easy to miss-click a button.
Here is the keyboard for the gamers, mechanical. Doesn’t sound so digital right? Mechanical keyboards have been around for many years, even in the 1980’s IBM sold keyboards that would utilize mechanical switches. So why are they still around to this day? Becuase of the feeling, the feedback, and the responsiveness. They are comfortable and used by many professional gamers. The big downside with mechanical switches is they sound much more than regular keyboards while being used; each key-press gives way a hearable click sound.
Things you should consider when choosing a gaming keyboard
First off you have to consider if you are looking for a mechanical or membrane keyboard. This is a significant difference in both feel and performance, but the most important is that is something you feel comfortable to use.
Membrane keyboards are for the most instances cheaper, they sound less while being used and doesn’t need much force to be pressed. Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, is often considered to be more comfortable and are faster in writing. The forces need to be press a key depends on what color you use for your switches, and you also don’t have a to push a key all the way down to trigger it, which after some use enables you to write in faster flow. This will also help you in gaming as you can react faster, without having to press down the keys with much pressure.
What type of mechanical switches that fit you are hard to say, its a subjective choice and comes down to personal preferences. For example; a red cherry switch will need approximately 45g of actuation force to be pressed, while a cherry black would need 60g. This might sound like small differences, but after typing or gaming for many hours you will feel it in your fingers. Light actuation can help you type faster, and heavy can help you make fewer miss-clicks while playing games.
It’s recommended to try out different switched before finding your favorite one. Either visit a computer store and try them out before buying, or order online and test it at home. Often when you find your type of switches, you won’t look back.
Another thing to consider with a mechanical keyboard is noise, these type of switches gives away a click sound while being pressed. This could potentially be irritating in an office environment or at home. This is also worth to have a look at. For example, the Logitech Romer-G switches are quite quiet, while the cherry MX Blue gives away a rather loud click sound.
Mechanical Switches How They Sound & Feel
Mechanical keyboards are for people using their keyboard for long sessions every day, and now is a big part of the gaming scene as well. As you will soon notice there are some choices available when it comes to switches for your keys. Where Cherry Mx is the most popular as many different manufacturers use them. Logitech has there own keys called Romer-G, and therefore you will only find them in their products. Before we go further into the variety of switches, we need to address the main feel of them which is either; tactile, linear or clicky.
- Tactile switches: has a slight feedback bump while you press the key, which will let you know when you activated the key just by feel. Tactile switches are often referred to as MX Brown switch.
- Linear switches: has a smooth feel while being pressed, with no extra feedback along travel from top to bottom. Linear switches are often referred to as MX Red switch.
- Clicky switches: Similar to tactile switches, but has additional feedback in the form of both the bump and a distinctly click sound. Clicky switches are often referred to as MX Blue switch.
In addition to the Cherry Mx – Brown, Red and Blue Switches there is also; Black, Green and Clear. Where all these have different noise volume, feel and actuation force. Hence why we said there are many different choices on the market. Because these switches are the same, yet so different from each other, it’s as mentioned earlier recommended to find your favorite. However, if you want to make a shot in the dark, we would recommend either Romer-G (Logitech), Mx Brown or Mx Red as these are the most commonly used ones and has reasonable noise. We do not recommend Mx Blue or Mx Green if typing volume is an issue, as these two are the loudest of them all. Here’s a table of the types of switches.
|Cherry MX Brown||Medium||Tactile||45g|
|Cherry MX Red||Low||Linear||45g|
|Cherry MX Blue||High||Clicky||60g|
|Cherry MX Black||Low||Linear||60g|
|Cherry MX Clear||Medium||Linear||65g|
|Cherry MX Green||High||Clicky||70g|
RGB Mechanical Keyboards for Backlight
As you already noticed RGB or LED lights are built in on almost all gaming keyboards nowadays. This should probably not be your priority when choosing keyboard, so its instead a bonus as you often can turn it off if wanted. However, it can be quite handy to have a permanent light or color if you tend to game in dark environments. Having the keyboard making an animated or pulsing pattern of colors might be a little overwhelming or take your concentration down a notch. In the end, this is just an individual preference and use what ever is comfortable for you!
The difference between RGB and LED lighting is that RGB can usually cover the entire color spectrum, and LED only have one specific color or limited choices. If you just are looking for a basic colored backlight, LED often is a cheaper choice as RGB is more expensive.
Hope this guide was helpful for you, please let us know if you feel we left out some gaming keyboard in the list.