How to Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard for Your PC

(and the best gaming keyboards for 2017)

Choosing the best gaming keyboard for your new PC setup is one of the more simpler choices when it comes to buying accessories, and some gamers will just want to get a cheap, no-frills basic keyboard to save money. Then there are those who want to spend a little more time researching in order to get a proven, good gaming keyboard that has the extra features you're after.

If that sounds like you and you're all about maximizing your gaming experience, in this buying guide we'll cover what you need to know to choose the best gaming keyboard as well as listing our current top recommended, best gaming keyboards for different budgets.

Having a good gaming keyboard by your side can help you be faster and more efficient during certain games, it can make something as boring as typing feel like an art, and it can really add to the overall aesthetics of your build if you get matching LED lights. For eSports and professional gamers, having the best gaming keyboard suddenly becomes a lot more important as you want the best tools to give you any edge that you can get over your competition.

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboards

The best type of keyboard for gaming is one that has mechanical switches, as opposed to silicone membrane switches which are of lesser quality, don't feel as good, and give you less tactile feedback. There are also what's called scissor-switch keys, which are mostly used on laptop keyboards but are present in some desktop ones too, and they're silicone membrane as well but better quality and more stable.

But yeah, mechanical keyboards cost more but are worth it if you have the budget for it, but if you're on a super tight budget and are willing to accept (and don't care about) having a low-quality keyboard then go for it as there are plenty of more important things to put your money towards for a gaming setup. Getting a more expensive, higher quality keyboard is more of a luxury if you have the budget left over for it.

Backlit Gaming Keyboards

Another feature of keyboards targeted at the gaming crowd is backlighting. There are two types of backlit gaming keyboards; ones that displays a single color, and those that displays multiple colors with customizable effects.

If you play in the dark this lighting does have a practical use so you can see where you're pressing, otherwise it's all down to preference and how much you want to spend as backlit keyboards can have a significantly bigger price tag compared to non-backlit models. But if you do get one, make sure it matches up with your PC and other peripherals; having a green-lit PC case, a blue LED mouse, and a red LED keyboard would look kinda strange.

Gaming Keyboard Macro Keys

Some gaming keyboards boast extra programmable keys, which you can assign to certain moves or functions in the game. Most gamers won't need this feature as they're mainly aimed at MMO gamers who want to easily access certain moves and combinations in-game, but the extra keys can also come in handy with competitive shooters and RTS games.

Keyboards may come with a few macro keys, and some with many such as 18 or so to micromanage all sorts of things in your game, but they're usually quite a bit more expensive and larger. Make sure you have a use for these keys, and have the space for a larger keyboard before spending the extra money on a fancy keyboard.

Good Cheap Gaming Keyboards
Under $20 for 2017

If you're on a tight budget and don't need any fancy features then a decent, cheap keyboard will do the trick such as this one which is good value. The Logitech MK120 is also another great value choice that comes with a basic mouse too.

Best Budget Gaming Keyboard
Under $50 for 2017

Logitech G105

A good entry-level gaming keyboard with backlit keys, 6 programmable keys and decent quality for the price. Even though it's not mechanical, as they cost quite a bit more, the keys feel nice and solid and this board should last you a fair while if you don't mistreat it too much.

Best Mid-Tier Gaming Keyboard Under $100 for 2017

Logitech G710

This is a mechanical keyboard which is ideally what you want to get if you care about the best quality and tactile feedback (as in, the feel of the keys). It also has adjustable backlighting and 6 programmable macro keys, and overall is one of the best gaming keyboards in terms of overall value for money right now. 

Best High-End Gaming Keyboard Over $100 for 2017

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE

One of the best gaming keyboards on the market with high-quality, responsive, mechanical Cherry MX keys, adjustable RGB lighting, programmable keys, audio controls, great durability, and more.

If you're willing to invest in the best of the best to ensure you get a good gaming keyboard that'll last you the distance, this is what we'd suggest. But again, most gamers won't need something fancy like this, so be sure you're going to actually tap into the benefits over a cheaper one so you don't regret your purchase. Happy gaming!