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 a quality gaming keyboard here at and, as such, have sorted through the finest boards on the market to deliver you a curated list of best gaming keyboards 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 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 LEDs never hurt anyone.

We’ve scoured every gaming keyboard manufacturer of note out there to find 14 of the best gaming keyboards on the market in 2018. And boy, have we bagged 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

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

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 Cougar 700K

2. Cougar 700K

Cheap and loaded with Cherry MX switches, this is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market

Reasons to buy
+Handy macro and multimedia keys+USB pass-through
Reasons to avoid
-Orange backlight can't be customised

One of the cheaper boards in this guide, the Cougar 700K offers plenty of features for its sub-£100 price tag. For a start, you're getting that popular Cherry MX set of mechanical switches, which comes in the red variant that requires less of a press than the black versions.

It's also got a handful of multimedia and macro keys enabling you to customise links to certain apps or actions in-game. The 700K also has a 1MS response time (making it ideal for twitch-style games) and includes USB and audio pass-through built in. It's not the most attractive of boards on our list, but it's pretty.

Best gaming keyboard Logitech G513

3. 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
Reasons to avoid
-Quite the investment

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

4. HyperX Alloy Elite

Affordable Cherry MX performance with a stunning, future-industrial design

Reasons to buy
+Cherry MX Red keys for less than £100+Full set of media keys
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of macro support

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 G413 Carbon

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
Reasons to avoid
-USB pass through could be better

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

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
Reasons to avoid
-Wrist-rest can't be removed

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 making it slightly awkward to use for prolonged gaming sessions (at least until you're used to it). Still, this remains a great premium mechanical keyboard.

Best gaming keyboard 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
Reasons to avoid
-Construction feels a little flimsy

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.

For the price, we found the build of the Apex M800 to be a little less than ideal compared to other models in the same category, but with RGB lighting (including eight brightness levels and 16.8 million colour options for your keys) and six programmable macro keys, it works like the premium device its price tag suggests.

Best gaming keyboard

8. Topre Realforce RGB

Expensive but... damn!

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

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 Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

9. Razer BlackWidow X Chroma

RGB lighting, mechanical switches, and big anti-ghosting capabilities make this a killer gaming keyboard

Reasons to buy
+Impressive durable build+Improved cable routing
Reasons to avoid
-Razer switches aren't as robust as Cherry MX

Razer has been in the gaming peripheral business for a long time, so we've come to expect an esteemed level of quality from the green-tinged American manufacturer. Thankfully, the BlackWidow X Chroma keeps that tradition alive with a mechanical metal construction that's so sturdy it's practically military.

Alongside some sumptuous RGB lighting (with 16.8 million customisable colour options, naturally), the BlackWidow X Chroma offers serious durability with a whopping 80 million keystrokes of use promised by the good folks at Razer.

Built with Razer's own mechanical switches, the Blackwidow X Chroma delivers an accurate response with an additional 10 key rollover for high anti-ghosting. You also get your standard programmable macro and multimedia buttons - it's just a shame it's so light on the features elsewhere.

Best gaming keyboard Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08

10. Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08

Invest in some unparalleled customisation

Reasons to buy
+Ultra precise OMRON keys+Whopping 109 customisable keys
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly flimsy build

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

11. Corsair K63 Wireless

The best gaming keyboard for a wireless, mechanical gaming setup

Reasons to buy
+Reliable wireless signal+128-bit AES encryption mode
Reasons to avoid
-Not the sturdiest of keyboards

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.

Best gaming keyboard

12. Razer Huntsman Elite

Superb lighting and incredibly responsive keys make this gaming keyboard a winner

Reasons to buy
+Optomechanical switches+Impressive light settings
Reasons to avoid
-No passthrough

Razer has long been one of the best PC gaming peripheral makers on the market, and if its latest model is anything to go by, it’s not shifting off its throne anytime soon. The Huntsman Elite combines optical sensors and mechanical switches to create one of the most responsive boards you can buy. 

Inputs are super fast, making them ideal for playing MOBAs or twitch battle royale shooters. It also features all the RGB lighting bells and whistles you’d expect from Razer, but it will require two different USB cables to power it. Oh, and it’s easily one of the most expensive boards on this list, so be ready to sell a kidney or two.

Best gaming keyboard Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

13. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo

Silenty yet deadly

Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly silent mechanical keys+Gorgeous build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Considerable outlay

Quiet switches isn’t often a quality one looks out for in a gaming keyboard, but considering how responsive the bespoke keys are in Roccat’s impressive Vulcan 120 Aimo we’re beginning to think we’d like to see them more often. 

It’s really comfortable to use and boasts your usual mix of programmable keys, so it’s useful both for gaming and every PC tasks. It’s also one of the most visually appealing models on the list, with a unique take on backlit keys that are going to make it the centrepiece of any gaming peripheral setup.

Best gaming keyboard Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

14. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120

The best gaming keyboard and gaming mouse budget combo

Reasons to buy
+Atrractive, compact design+Mouse included
Reasons to avoid
-Mouse isn’t the best add-on

Cooler Master is making headway into the gaming keyboard market with the new MasterSet MS120, add a robust yet compact peripheral that offers some of the best mem-chanical switches we’ve ever used. 

You don’t get that same signature clack, but you do get a tactical set of keys that are really responsive for both gaming and typing (although the plastic of the keys can make keystrokes a little squeaky). 

Unfortunately, the ergonomic mouse that’s bundled in with the MS120 isn’t anywhere near as good as the keyboard, so you’re better investing in a standalone rodent if you want the best combination.