The best gaming keyboards 2018: T3's best gaming keyboard picks

These are the best gaming keyboards to take your PC play to the next level

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Welcome to T3's best gaming keyboard buyers' guide. We love quality gaming keyboards here at T3.com and, as such, here deliver you a curated list of the absolute best gaming keyboards on the market today in 2018 at a variety of price points, style types, and intended usage scenarios.

That's because we all know gaming on PC is the best platform there is, but booting up your favourite recreational software outside the closed package of a console means you’ll need to source bigger, better and faster hardware to ensure those games are running in the slickest way possible.

And having the very best gaming keyboard at your disposal makes a huge difference to how you play. A great set of Cherry MX keys, for example, will keep every key press precise and deliciously tactile, while access to such features as programmable macros will turn your accessory into a hotkey heaven.

Oh, and some bright and multicoloured RGB lighting never hurt anyone, either, and adds a welcome dose of cool to any setup. These gaming keyboards boast all these excellent qualities, and then some.

To round up only the most elite gaming keyboards we’ve scoured every gaming keyboard manufacturer of note and tested their very best offerings, all with the aim of ascertaining just how these peripherals are like to live with, both in terms of work and play. And boy, have we sampled some amazing boards.

From affordable models that will make your PC gaming more enjoyable to full-blown setups that will take your public matchmaking to the pro leagues, these are definitely the gaming keyboards you’ve been looking for.

Best gaming keyboard mechanical gaming keyboard

Make sure you get mechanical switches suited to your play style when picking up one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today.

Best gaming keyboards: How to choose the best gaming keyboard for you

Lots of the keyboards in this guide feature different kinds of mechanical switches, with each one offering a different kind of feedback, and ensuring you understand which will be best for you will help you narrow down which of these best gaming keyboards will be right for you. 

Some use White Alps or Black Alps - these are the most common switches, with the White Alps being the more popular of the two due to their pronounced tactility.

Most, however, use a form of switch known as a Cherry MX. These are broken up into colours - black, red, brown, blue and clear - with each one offering a distinctly different feel. Much of this comes down to preference, but certain types suit certain tasks more than others.

These keys are particular popular with gamers due to the ability to choose between clicky/non-clicky and linear/non-linear variants. Most keyboards enable you to swap switches if you're not enjoying the ones you're using so don't feel like you're stuck with one model once you invest in it.

The Cherry MX black is the switch of choice for gamers who play online in the likes of League of Legends and Dota 2. The black variant is 'linear', meaning the keystroke does give you as much of clack, reducing the amount of feedback as you're smashing the keys in a heated moment. So don't be afraid to try out a few before you buy - there's almost certainly a switch type out there that's just for you.

The best gaming keyboards 2018

Das Keyboard X50 best gaming keyboards

The Das Keyboard X50 RGB Mechanical is the best gaming keyboard in the world.

1. Das Keyboard X50 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Simply put, the best gaming keyboard in the world

Reasons to buy
+Gamma Zulu mechanical key switches+Premium, aluminium build+Strong RGB brightness+Full N-Key Rollover

With a stunning, premium build, incredibly high-grade Gamma Zulu mechanical switches made by renowned Japanese maker Omron, and a raft of high-end premium features, the Das Keyboard X50 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is, in our opinion, the best pound-for-pound gaming keyboard in the world.

The aesthetic, unlike many gaming keyboards, is understated and exudes class, while the aluminium top plate adds a sturdy weight and luxe feel under the fingertips, too. 

Then when you throw in a tidy gaming mode indicator and ability to disable windows keys, extra long braided 2-meter cable, soft touch coated palm rest, and in built control knob, too, it's easy to see how the X50 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is so easy to recommend.

A stunning, beautifully engineered gaming keyboard.

Best gaming keyboard Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo mechanical gaming keryboard

The Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO has particularly impressive lighting system, as well as superb mechanical keys.

2. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

The Roccat 120 Aimo is truly stunning, and is a powerful contender for the best gaming keyboard throne

Reasons to buy
+Silent mechanical keys+Incredible build quality+Stunning AIMO lighting

Roccat advertises the Vulcan 120 AIMO as a "precision gaming tool" and, after getting our hands on the board, it's hard to argue with that statement.

In terms of usability, the Vulcan 120 AIMO is really comfortable to use and boasts a top mix of programmable keys, so it’s handy for both for gaming and every PC tasks. It's Titan switches are also among the very best we've ever tested, with a very linear actuation, super fast input recognition, and super-light caps combining wonderfully.

Quiet switches aren't often a quality we put much stock in when searching out the best gaming keyboards going, but considering how responsive the bespoke keys are in Roccat’s incredibly impressive Vulcan 120 AIMO, we’re beginning to think we’d like to see them more often.

The keyboard, with its anodised aluminium plate, feels incredibly well built under the fingertips (the board weighs in at a rock solid 1,150 grams), and with its remarkably bright AIMO lighting engine it is also one of the most visually appealing boards in our guide.

Powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor, and featuring a sleek detachable wrist rest and lengthy 1.8-metre braided cable, the Roccat Vulcan 120 AIMO delivers across the board and is a must check out package if you're shopping at the top end of the gaming keyboard market.

Best gaming keyboard mechanical cherry mx

HyperX continue its ascendancy in the gaming keyboard market with the excellent Alloy Elite.

3. HyperX Alloy Elite

Affordable Cherry MX gaming keyboard performance with a gorgeous, future-industrial design

Reasons to buy
+Cherry MX Red keys for less than £100+Full set of media keys

Not every mechanical-keyed gaming keyboard has to break the bank - in fact, if you look in the right places you can find some robust and reliable models that are perfect for those looking to move away from a boring old everyday use board.

HyperX’s Alloy Elite offers a fine entry level peripheral, with a set of Cherry MX Red mechanical keys, a large group of media buttons and some rather striking backlights with six dynamic lighting effects (including an 18 LED lightbar for added cool).

Its chunky, future-industrial build is the furthest thing from flimsy, but you will have to contend with a lack of macro support.

Best gaming keyboard Logitech G513

The G513 RGB's enhanced Romer G mechanical switches are incredibly fast. Gaming keyboard nirvana.

4. Logitech G513 RGB

One of the absolute best gaming keyboards available with mechanical key switches

Reasons to buy
+Enhanced Romer G mechanical key switches+Full spectrum RGB backlighting

Logitech has become one of the biggest names in modern keyboards for a reason - its builds are sturdy, slick and highly responsive, which are all key components in a high-end gaming peripheral.

The Logitech G513 RGB model is one of the firm’s flagship keyboards, boasting Enhanced Romer G mechanical switches (which provide up to 25% faster keystrokes) and a vibrant backlighting system that uses full spectrum colour lighting per key plus LightSync game-driven lighting colours.

With a full set of Romer G keys and a lovely brushed metal finish, this is one powerful little accessory.

Best gaming keyboard Logitech G413 Carbon

A fabulously understated finish, and a quality mechanical experience for under £55. The G413 Carbon is a quality gaming keyboard.

5. Logitech G413 Carbon

The best gaming keyboard for a mechanical experience south of £55

Reasons to buy
+Precision Romer-G lighting system+Robust build quality

Logitech has plenty of high-end gaming models to offer you (see the Logitech G513 for proof of that), but there’s also the likes of the G413 Carbon to help you into the PC gaming mechanical switch party without torpedoing your bank balance.

For around £55 or so you’re getting a slick actuation point of 1.5mm, making its mechanical keys super precise and accurate (perfect for twitch gaming experiences such as MOBAs or MMORPGs).

Those Romer G switches make a fine alternative to the Cherry MX, with each one sitting in a sturdy,  aircraft-grade aluminium alloy chassis for some minimalist style on your desk.

Best gaming keyboard Roccat Ryos MK Pro

The Roccat Ryos MK Pro has two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors built in. Impressive power, and a quality gaming keyboard.

6. Roccat Ryos MK Pro

Each key is individually backlit on this top gaming keyboard

Reasons to buy
+Two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors+Four switch styles

Roccat's first attempt at a mechanical keyboard for the gaming crowd is an impressive feat, combining the customisation options of a gaming peripheral with the comfort of a typing device. Each key is individually backlit (for added ambiance), with the inclusion of N-key for anti-ghosting.

With two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors built in, the Roccat Ryos MK Pro has more than enough individual processing power to support a lot of customisation options. Those eight macro keys are spread out across the whole keyboard too, so there's plenty of choice with this keyboard.

The MK Pro even comes with a soft wrist-rest - however, this can't be removed. Still, this remains a great premium mechanical keyboard.

Best gaming keyboard SteelSeries Apex M800

For pure speed in a gaming keyboard, you can't really get better than the SteelSeries Apex M800.

7. SteelSeries Apex M800

The best gaming keyboard for pure speed

Reasons to buy
+Incredibly fast, low travel switches+Impressive RGB lighting options

The Apex M800 model from the esteemed minds at SteelSeries is one of the fastest mechanical keyboards you can buy (thanks mainly to its QS1 keyswitch featuring 1.5mm key travel and 45cN actuation force).

SteelSeries has built this peripheral with pro gaming in mind and it shows - that low travel makes for ultra accurate response times with minimal fuss.

And, with RGB lighting (including eight brightness levels and 16.8 million colour options for your keys), as well as six programmable macro keys, it works like the premium device its price tag suggests.

Best gaming keyboard

The Topre Realforce RGB is very expensive but is a simply superb mechanical gaming keyboard.

8. Topre Realforce RGB

Expensive but... damn! What a gaming keyboard…

Reasons to buy
+Super-responsive Topre switches+Impressive back-lighting

When it comes to the highest tier of premium mechanical keyboards, the Topre Realforce RGB sits right there at top with its powerful RGB lighting, incredibly responsive bespoke keys and more. It's a beast of a peripheral, and one that comes with only a few niggling issues.

The switches in the Realforce RGB do support Cherry MX if you really want to swap them out, but the Topre variant that comes with the Realforce RGB is so powerful and ready for customisation (you can actually adjust the actuation from 1.5mm to 3mm) you'd be mad not to use it.

Annoyingly, considering the price, you don't get a keycap puller or a comfy wrist-rest (so that's an extra outlay if you need them), but with all that customisation we can almost forgive their absences.

Best gaming keyboard Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08

The Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 is one of the most customisable gaming keyboards on the market.

9. Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08

Invest in some unparalleled customisation

Reasons to buy
+Ultra precise OMRON keys+Whopping 109 customisable keys

Creative Sound might not be a big name in the world of gaming keyboards yet, but with models like the BlasterX Vanguard K08 the firm is poised to make quite the impression on the market.

For a start you’re getting some OMRON mechanical keys. While they’re not the Cherry MX keys you’re used to, these double cross-point mechanical switches offer 70 million keystrokes, so you’re never going to burn this little baby out.

With a shorter actuation point you’re getting keys that are ultra responsive but still as tactile as regular switches. It also comes with 109 customisable keys and dynamic lighting you can personalise.

Best gaming keyboard Corsair K63 Wireless

If you want to go wireless, then the Corsair K63 Wireless is the gaming keyboard for you.

10. Corsair K63 Wireless

The best gaming keyboard for a wireless, mechanical gaming setup

Reasons to buy
+Reliable wireless signal+128-bit AES encryption mode

Wireless and gaming haven’t often mingled well when it came to PC gaming, but those times are a changing and Corsair’s new K63 Wireless is leading the charge.

Its 1 ms ultra-fast connection uses a 2.4 GHz optimised wireless setup for a true PC gaming experience, with low latency, even if you’re playing at a distance from your machine.

You get the clickety-clack goodness of some Cherry MX Red switches (with gold-plated contacts, no less), a full set of RGB backlights and plenty of media keys to keep you in control.

You’ll get 15 hours of use on a single charge, so expect this wireless wild child to keep you connected even on an all-nighter.