Best gaming keyboard 2018: the best gaming keyboards we've tested

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For PC Gaming Week 2018, we here at TechRadar are celebrating all of the peripherals that make PC gaming so great. And, here we’ve collected all the best gaming keyboards you can buy in 2018.

If you already have one of the best gaming PCs with one of the best graphics cards, the only thing you need to complete your gaming experience is one of the best gaming keyboards. 

We totally get it – it’s extremely tempting to get a cheap membrane keyboard after blowing so much cash on the best computer you could muster. But, trust us, you don’t want to play the best PC games on just any keyboard. 

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Keep in mind, however, that the best gaming keyboards will go a long way to making you better at the games you play – not ot mention that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about having your desk light up like a Christmas tree with RGB lighting.

The best gaming keyboards usually won’t be featuring membrane switches – so be sure to keep an eye out for any gaming keyboard that features mechanical features – they allow for more accurate travel and better tactile feedback. And, you of course can’t forget RGB lighting, as you can’t pick up one of the best gaming keyboards without it.

Which brings us to this list of the 10 best gaming keyboards you can buy in 2018. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find something to love here, because here at TechRadar, we strive to find products that strike a balance between price and performance with all of our buying guides. You should be confident that every MLG typewriter on this list will perform admirably while still being reasonably priced.

1. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

The sci-fi keyboard

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

 Feels great to type 
 Gorgeous lighting 
 Expensive  

Keyboards abandoning Cherry MX switches in favor of custom ones has been in vogue so far in 2018, but none have taken it to the same heights that Roccat does with the Vulcan 120 Aimo. Not only does this keyboard feature switches that feature the tactile feedback that gamers require, but it’s comfortable to type on and isn’t too loud. This alone would make the Vulcan 120 Aimo one of the best gaming keyboards, but when you add in the jaw-dropping aesthetics of this board, there’s no denying that this is the gaming keyboard to beat in 2018.

Read the full review: Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo 

2. Logitech G513

Gaming in silence

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

 Superior key switches 
 Brilliant RGB lighting 
 No dedicated media keys 

One of our biggest pet peeves with Cherry MX Red keys is that while they’re good for gaming, they’re not great for typing anything but your Steam credentials. And, that’s where the Logitech G513 and its Romer-G Linear switches outshine the rest of the competition. Add in the brushed metal finish that, miraculously, is all but immune to fingerprints, and you have a recipe for one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy today.

Read the full review: Logitech G513 

3. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

The complete package

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

 Compact design 
 Illustrious lighting 
 Included mouse is mediocre 

Marketed as a keyboard and mouse combo, the real star of the Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 is its ‘mem-chanical’ keyboard. Sitting at just under a hundred bucks , this keyboard – which, again, is only half of the package – is up there with other, more expensive ‘mem-chanical’ keyboards. Sure, the mouse is extremely mediocre, but with a keyboard this good – does it even matter?

Read the full review: Cooler Master MasterSet MS120 

Best gaming keyboards

4. Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

Steeled for online gaming

Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: 5

Great mechanical switch keys
Comfy wrist rest
Very pricey 
Only one USB slot

Hoping to find a gaming keyboard that matches the rest of your Chroma-lit accessories? Then this is the one you want. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma V2 carry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps further in the process. Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 supports 16.8 million colors worth of LED lighting as well.

Read the full review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

5. Corsair K63 Wireless

Wireless PC gaming at its finest

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

Perfect couch gaming
Fully featured
Flimsy palmrest clips

We have seen plenty of wireless gaming mice over the last few years, but not many wireless gaming keyboards. Until now. The Corsair K63 Wireless keyboard takes what made the wired version of the K63, and transfers it into the wireless version – without sacrificing much at all. Packing tight Cherry MX Red switches, full RGB lighting and convenient media controls, the K63 wireless shows us what wireless keyboards can be capable of in 2018.

Read the full review: Corsair K63 Wireless 

6. HyperX Alloy Elite

A Cherry MX-powered circus of value

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

Reasonably priced and fully featured
Handy media keys
Seriously thick cable
No macro programming

Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. For only $10 USD more than its predecessor, you’re getting media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read the full review: HyperX Alloy Elite

7. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

This mechanical animal has cheetah-like speeds

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

Hypnotic disco lighting
Classy aluminum build
Awkward software
Rubber palm rest gets grungy quickly

Just like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire that came before, the K95 RGB Platinum is a mechanical keyboard that puts gaming above all other things. Rocking 8MB of dedicated memory for storing different profiles, this keyboard certainly has the versatility to get the job done, whatever it may be. It features a beautiful build, as well, with a military-grade aluminum finish that complements Corsair’s fantastic RGB lighting perfectly. 

Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

8. Razer Cynosa Chroma

A keyboard you can get wet

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

Affordable
Low-profile build
Membrane switches

If you’re new to PC gaming, and you want a keyboard that’ll perform admirably without the high price tag that a lot of mechanical keyboards carry, the Razer Cynosa Chroma might be for you. It might not have the tactile clickiness of a higher-end board, but the hybrid mesh switches perform well enough, boasting a 1ms polling rate and 10-key rollover. That’s not to mention the sick RGB lighting.

Read the full review: Razer Cynosa Chroma 

9. G.Skill Ripjaws KM570

Cherry MX switches at a bargain

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

 High quality Cherry MX switches 
 Stiff, solid design 
 No USB pass-through 

 

One of the largest drawbacks to most gaming keyboards is that they look like, well, gaming keyboards. Not everyone wants an gigantic block of plastic with edgy font dominating their desk. Luckily, the G.Skill Ripjaws KM570 alleviates that issue altogether, while still boasting fantastic Cherry MX Brown switches and fully customizable RGB lighting. It might be missing some features from more high-end keyboards, but it’s also a lot more affordable.

Read the full review: G.Skill Ripjaws KM570 

10. SteelSeries Apex M750

Great for gaming, just OK for everything else

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

 Dazzling lighting 
 Rugged Build 
 Extremely loud 

If you’re looking for a gaming keyboard, and you don’t plan on doing much else, the SteelSeries Apex M750 is a great choice. It has fantastic software for customization and gorgeous RGB lighting. It also has a great tactile feel to it and feels extremely robust and durable. The only drawback is that the keyboard is extremely loud and uncomfortable for productivity work. 

Read the full review: SteelSeries Apex M750 

  • TechRadar's fourth annual PC Gaming Week is officially here, celebrating our passion with in-depth and exclusive coverage of PC gaming from every angle. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2018 page to see all of the coverage in one place.  

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article