Best gaming keyboard 2021 – the best gaming keyboards we've tested

Button-mash your way to the top with the best gaming keyboards. These peripherals do more than just add immersive lighting to your gaming PC setup. They actually help you game better by delivering a level of responsiveness, accuracy, and comfort that mediocre gaming keyboards can’t. As a result, they offer smoother, more seamless gaming experience.

Don’t tackle the best PC games without one of the best gaming keyboards in your arsenal. While average keyboards only hold you back, these are made specifically for gaming and designed to a gaming edge when playing. Plus, beyond their performance and ergonomics, they also increase your chances of winning with features like N-key rollover, quicker key actuation, and the ability to create macros.

The best gaming keyboards, therefore, are a vital addition to your setup. Remember, it’s not just the best gaming PCs that will give you the ultimate gaming experience. Alongside the best gaming mouse and the best gaming monitor, these will give you an experience like no other.

Razer Huntsman v2 Analog

(Image credit: Razer)

1. Razer Huntsman v2 Analog

The best gaming keyboard right now

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

Fully customizable key actuation
Delightfully tactile key clicks
Extremely comfortable wrist rest
Eye-wateringly expensive
Built-in twin-cable 

Combining the latest optical technology and Razer’s analog mechanical key switches, the Razer Huntsman v2 Analog is good enough to get a five-star rating from us. That’s under-selling it. This gaming keyboard delivers the best typing and gaming experience of any keyboard we’ve tested in the last few months, with extremely satisfying tactile feedback and a wrist rest that’s designed to let you game for longer. As far as keyboards go, it is sitting on the expensive side of things, but it’s definitely worth it.

Read the full review: Razer Huntsman v2 Analog

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro gets our coveted 5-star rating. (Image credit: SteelSeries)

2. SteelSeries Apex Pro

Taking magnetism to another level

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

Beautiful aluminum build
Custom actuation settings
Quiet
Expensive

The SteelSeries Apex Pro’s svelte aesthetic and clever OLED display are just the appetizers. The SteelSeries Apex Pro gets our coveted 5-star rating for many reasons, the biggest of which are its stunning and solid build, custom actuation and comfortable – not to mention, quiet – magnetic switches. Performance-wise, it’s among the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested yet, which makes its $199 price tag worth the splurge.

Read the full review: SteelSeries Apex Pro

Razer Huntsman Elite

Razer Huntsman Elite costs a small fortune, but it’s absolutely worth it. (Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer Huntsman Elite

Light it up

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

Fast key actuation
Tactile key switches  
Expensive 

If you have the need for speed, then the Huntsman Elite is your best bet, thanks to its new optomechanical switches. That sounds like a mouthful, but essentially, it means that Razer has managed to combine mechanical switches with optical sensors. This unthinkable allows the Huntsman Elite to take its actuation to the next level, and you would be hard-pressed to find a faster keyboard on the market. Switches aside, it’s also remarkably comfortable to type on. Plus, it’s covered with more RGB lighting than you can shake a stick at. Sure, it needs two USB cables for power and costs a small fortune, but with tech like this, it’s absolutely worth it.

Read the full review: Razer Huntsman Elite 

Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768

Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 is fitted with mechanical keys, dedicated macro keys and slick aesthetics. (Image credit: Alienware)

4. Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768

Shockingly good value

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

 Cherry MX Brown switches 
 Affordable 
 Plastic body 

When you think Alienware, “value” isn’t the word that comes to mind. But, this time around, the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 is a genuinely great deal. At under 100 bucks or quid, you’re getting the toughest gaming keyboard fitted with mechanical keys, dedicated macro keys and slick aesthetics. It’s not the most feature rich keyboard in the game, but at this price, it really doesn’t need to be. One of the best gaming keyboards in 2021, the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 gets the job done, and looks good while doing it.

Read the full review: Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is affordable while being up there with its more premium ‘mem-chanical’ competitors. (Image credit: Cooler Master)

5. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

The complete package

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

 Compact design 
 Illustrious lighting 
 Included mouse is mediocre 

Not everything has to be super high-end to be good, and the Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is the perfect example. Though this one’s a keyboard and mouse set, the keyboard is the star of the show. Sitting at just under a hundred bucks, the MasterSet’s keyboard is affordable while being up there with its more premium ‘mem-chanical’ competitors in terms of quality. The switches on offer bring a ton of tactile feedback and deep travel. It’s quiet as well, so you can furiously pounding away during an intense late-night Overwatch match without worry. The Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is, without a doubt, one of the best gaming keyboards under $100.

Read the full review: Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is one of the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested. (Image credit: Corsair)

6. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

The Rolls Royce of RGB gaming keyboards

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

Hypnotic disco lighting
Handy media and shortcut keys
Classy aluminum build
Awkward software
Rubber palm rest gets grungy quickly

A $159 price tag on a gaming keyboard might a tad too steep, but the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum, one of the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested in the last year, really does give you a lot of ounce for your bounce. We’re not talking the more trivial bells and whistles like fancy RGB lighting either – although since we are on the subject, this one’s got a whole lot of them, not to mention its integrated 19-zone light bar and the 16.8 million color options, to boot. By bang, we actually mean its 6 dedicated macro keys, 8MB on-board storage and aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame.

Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard

Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is extremely comfortable to type as well as game on. (Image credit: Havit)

7. Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard

Low profile. High performance

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

 Fully programmable keys 
 Thin, sleek design 
 No multimedia buttons 

You might be thinking that if you’ve seen one of the best gaming keyboards, you’ve seen them all: big, garish hunks of metal with bright RGB lighting. Well, the Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard will surprise you. While it definitely has the RGB lighting (honestly, how could it not?), it leaves the rest of the cliches in the past where they belong. Appealing and responsive, this keyboard is only as big as it needs to be, and is thus extremely comfortable to type as well as game on. There are no multimedia buttons, but we’d happily make that trade any day for a keyboard this good at such a low price.

Read the full review: Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard  

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition manages to deliver fast performance without being expensive. (Image credit: Razer)

8. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

The Razer Huntsman, but smaller and faster

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

Fast switches
Removable cable
Not many extra features

Shelling out more than $100 for a great gaming keyboard is to be expected if you’re even slightly serious your gaming performance. But the beauty of Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition is that it manages to deliver fast performance without being the most expensive keyboard in town. True, there aren’t a lot of features here, which puts it behind many of its feature-rich rivals, but it makes up for that by being small and boasting a removable to make it perfectly portable for on-the-go gaming.

Read our full review: Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

SteelSeries Apex 3

The budget-minded SteelSeries Apex 3 may come with a few concessions, but it also boasts some impressive features. (Image credit: SteelSeries)

9. SteelSeries Apex 3

The Apex of value

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

Affordable
Great RGB lighting
Empty No mechanical switches
No USB passthrough

Not all great gaming keyboards have mechanical switches, as this affordable Apex keyboard is proving. The budget-minded SteelSeries Apex 3 may come with a few concessions, but it also boasts some impressive features that more than make up for those compromises. One of those features is its IP32 water resistance for protection against any spills – because who hasn’t accidentally knocked over a can of soda while gaming? Another is its reactive and customizable 10-zone RGB illumination to make your gaming experience all the more impressive. And, if you absolutely hate those clickety clacking noises that mechanical keyboards love to make, you’ll really appreciate this keyboard’s whisper quiet gaming switches. 

Read the full review: SteelSeries Apex 3

Razer Cynosa V2

(Image credit: Razer)

10. Razer Cynosa V2

The best in its class

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

Meaningful refinements over its predecessor
Inexpensive price remains
Membrane switches

Razer may have its share of pricey products, but it’s also got a knack for making quality budget-friendly devices. And, if there’s anything the Razer Cynosa V2 proves, it’s that you don’t have to spend an obscene amount of money on peripherals to get the best. Among the best gaming keyboards we’ve played on this year, this one’s the best in its class, improving on its predecessor’s design while adding more functionality, solid key customizability and a brand-new set of media keys. Even if you’ve never been a fan of membrane switches, this one might just make a convert out of you, especially for that price.

Read the full review: Razer Cynosa V2

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