Best gaming keyboard 2020: the best gaming keyboards we’ve tested
The best gaming keyboards will make your desk stand out
(Image credit: Future)
When you have the best gaming keyboard in your arsenal, you’re guaranteed a much-improved gaming experience. While the best gaming PCs and the best gaming monitors are there to give you an immersive and seamless gaming experience, they’re nothing without the small gaming accessories for support. You could have the most powerful computer, but you won’t likely get to the top of the leaderboards with just a run-of-a-mill keyboard or mouse.
Peripherals designed specifically for gaming actually help give you a gaming advantage. The best gaming keyboards, specifically, feature things like faster key actuation, N-key rollover, and macro programming capability, all of which can improve your gaming. That’s on top of delivering high accuracy and a better gaming performance overall. And, with most of them touting a level of durability worthy of some serious button mashing, they’ll last you a lifetime.
The best gaming keyboards are more than just an excuse to show off some fancy RGB lighting. They make every dive into the best PC games all the more enjoyable and immersive. Sure, most keyboards are good enough to get the job done, but whether it’s due to performance, extra features or build, the difference is still night and day. Here are our top picks for 2020.
While you’re in the market for peripherals, pop in to see our best gaming mouse list as well to round out your rig.
Best gaming keyboards on Black Friday
With Black Friday coming soon, some of the best gaming keyboards on this list are bound to get some decent price cuts, much like the previous year. This means that you might be able to get the gaming keyboard of your choice for even less, saving you more money to use for something else on your shopping list.
Whether you’re buying one for your gaming PC or planning on gifting one during the holiday season, it would be wise to wait until these major deal events of the year. With Black Friday rolling around the end of November, you won’t have to wait for long.
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.
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.
The Roccat Vulcan 120 should be at the top of your gaming keyboard wish list, if you want one that looks and feels good. This svelte keyboard uses Roccat’s own Titan switches, rather than the Cherry MX switches found on most other keyboards on this list, and we can vouch for how superb they are. This gaming keyboard combines amazing tactile feedback with quiet and comfort. It really isn’t hard to see why this is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market today.
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 2020, the Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard AW768 gets the job done, and looks good while doing it.
5. Cooler Master MasterSet MS120
The complete package
Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: No
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.
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.
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.
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.
9. SteelSeries Apex 3
The Apex of value
Interface: Wired | Keyboard backlighting: Yes | Programmable keys: No
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.
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.
Cricfc’s PC Gaming Week 2020 is celebrating the most powerful gaming platform on Earth with articles, interviews and essential buying guides that showcase how diverse, imaginative, and remarkable PC games – and gamers – can be. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2020 page to see all our coverage in one place.