Best Gaming Keyboard for The Money 2017 Reviews & Guide

gaming keyboard
Gaming Equipment

The coveted gaming keyboard. When you are pumped and ready to take on your opponents on your favorite server, you don’t want to be stuck with a subpar keyboard that causes mistyping, induces a slow response time or is difficult to see. You need to be on top of your game to win, and the right gaming keyboard can help– but, where do you begin? What are the best gaming keyboards out there? How do you know what to look for? Read on for some gaming keyboard reviews and a brief buying guide to get you started on your path to greatness.

In a Hurry? Choose From Our Top Picks

 Razer BlackWidow Chroma Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led BacklightAULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
 Razer BlackWidow Chroma Mechanical Gaming KeyboardSAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led BacklightAULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
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MSRP$$$
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BrandsRazerSAREPOAULA
TypesGaming keyboardGaming keyboardGaming keyboard
ModelRZ03-01220200-R3U1echo2013BL
Weight3.31 pounds2.16 pounds3 pounds
Product Dimensions7.17 x 18.52 x 1.54 inches17.36 x 5.31 x 1.65 inches17.2 x 8 x 2 inches
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Table Of Contents

Gaming Keyboard Buying Guide

Benefits of Buying a Gaming Keyboard

Not only are you at an advantage with a keyboard designed specifically for gaming, you can usually find a cheap gaming keyboard that outperforms even the nicest of standard keyboards. Gaming keyboards usually have macro keys and even spacing that helps you to game more efficiently, as well as being mechanical so that you can hear every sound you make, helping to improve speed and accuracy without ghosting over the keys. Good gaming keyboards also are backlit to help you do some of that late night gaming with clarity and ease, something a standard keyboard won’t typically offer. Some even have included software. There are just too many reasons that, if you are an avid gamer, you should buy a gaming keyboard.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Gaming Keyboard

Blue mechanical switches. These types of keys are designed to give great tactile feedback, allowing you to hear and feel the click of the keys beneath your fingers that tells you that you have successfully performed the desired action. This also helps to prevent misclicking, which can definitely slow you down and cost you that kill streak.

Budget. As with anything, you get what you pay for, so keep that in mind when shopping. That said, it’s pretty simple to find a cheap gaming keyboard that is worth it, and we will go over a few of them when we get to the gaming keyboard reviews section.

Illumination. Lighting and backlighting is key when you game at night or want to clearly see what you are pressing during the day. Some give the option to change colors as well for a customizable and clarifying experience.

Tips on Choosing the Best Gaming Keyboard for You

  • Go for something ergonomic, as you will be spending long hours with your fingers on the keys.
  • Opt for mechanical keyboards over membrane keyboards as these typically provide better accuracy.

Other Considerations When Buying a Gaming Keyboard

Investing in a nice keyboard is not only going to serve you well when gaming, you are going to get an advantage when you type as well. Since gaming keyboards are designed for heavy usage and durability, you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a long time. Another thing to think about is some of the features that gaming keyboards offer. Some will have USB input or headphone jacks to give you a more convenient set up that is efficient and compact. Truly, these keyboards just have so much more to offer than standard ones.

Recently I was given the opportunity to review five of what I consider to be the best gaming keyboards around. I have compiled in-depth reviews of them so that you can decide for yourself which is the right gaming keyboard for you. Read on to see my gaming keyboard reviews.

Gaming Keyboard Reviews

Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Fully Programmable and 5 Macro Keys

Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Tactile keys, customizable features, developer integrated controls and an all-around sleek appearance make the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard a true gem. Read on for more.

Features of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Famous Razer Mechanical Switches

Made specifically with gaming in mind, the Razer Mechanical Switches are perfectly spaced, lending responsiveness to your touch and an unmatched tying speed. These Mechanical Switches are renowned for what they are, and for good reason. They are award winning and perfect for the avid gamer who likes full tactile control over their keyboard. Personally, I noticed that it gives me a bit of an advantage on the servers, especially due to its 10-key rollover. No ghosting!

Crafted for Durability, Longevity and Convenience

Not only are these Razer Mechanical Switches perfect for typing and general gaming, they are exceptionally durable and long lasting, built under strict quality codes. This durability ensures them to last for a life of up to 80 million keystrokes. They not only look durable, but feel like it, too. When I use it, it doesn’t feel like I am going to knock them loose, no matter how enthusiastically I press on them. My WSAD keys are still in great condition, and as gamers, we know that those are the first to wear out. It also has a USB port, 3.5-millimeter headphone jacks and microphone ports for convenient cable routing. Speaking of media devices, there are convenient keys there for volume controls and controlling media playback.

Unbelievable Razer Chroma Backlighting

One of the coolest features to me is the Chroma Backlighting on the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. There are individually programmable keys with backlights in 16.8 million color options. All of them can be simply set through the Razer Synapse. Choose from preloaded lights for different games or completely customize each key. It’s all up to you. There are also 5 additional gaming keys that you can program to perform just about any function which I also felt gave me a bit of advantage in game.

Razer Chroma SDK

This keyboard comes with an open SDK that lets game developers take advantage of the lighting choices and integrate them to manufacture in-game lighting alerts. I thought this was perhaps the coolest thing about this cheap gaming keyboard.

Pros of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard:

  • 16.8 million lighting choices
  • Developer-integrated lighting effects
  • Tactile responsiveness
  • Durable with an 18-million keystroke lifespan
  • Convenient attachment ports

Drawbacks of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard:

Volume. This keyboard is tactile and “clicky” is in its name, so it’s something you probably expect. Still, some may be off put by this. I personally like this because I can hear every keystroke I make and I know I’m hitting the right buttons.

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HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches, Black+Sliver

HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Those who enjoy the clickiness of mechanical keyboards and the speed and precision that they deliver are going to love the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches. Anti-ghosting, unique lighting and efficient, durable build make this a keyboard worth checking out.

Features of the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches

Tactile Responsiveness

Floating keys are some of my favorites. Not only are they neat to look at, they feel good beneath the fingers and seem to just work better for me and make the HAVIT RGB one of the best gaming keyboard on the market. The blue mechanical switches are, of course, wonderful as well. That click lets me know I’m hitting the right button every time, and I personally enjoy mechanical keyboards for gaming for that reason. The full-key anti-ghosting mechanism is great for quick typists and those who game quickly, making it so you are pressing only the exact action key that you want.

Beautiful Lights

I liked that I could adjust the brightness of the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches through 4 different levels. Sometimes at night you don’t want that crazy light distracting you, but during the day it’s nice to be able to see better. There is a 7-color backlight mode that also includes a marquee scroll mode which is dazzling to watch. You can change the backlit color with just the press of a button to suit your mood or set the atmosphere of your gaming session.

Impressively Efficient

Not only are you gaining more speed and accuracy with your typing on the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches, you are gaining a gold-plated USB port which helps to transmit that data even more quickly so that you never miss a beat and can up your game.

Rollover Technology

With this keyboard, I noticed I don’t have to worry about ghosting or sticking. All of the keys work at the same time for those complex maneuvers that require quick fingers and an even quicker keyboard response time. I was certainly not disappointed with this and the number of key combinations I could use at once to really out-perform my competition.

Pros of the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches:

  • Blue mechanical switches
  • Anti-ghosting technology
  • Backlight with 4 brightness settings
  • Marquee mode lighting
  • Tactile and clicky

Drawbacks of the HAVIT RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Blue Switches:

There isn’t an incredible assortment of light colors, but there are still plenty. It wasn’t really a drawback for me, but some gamers might enjoy a bit more of a customizable experience.

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SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight with 19 Anti Ghosting Keys for Mac and Windows

SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight

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The SAREPO Gaming Keyboard is beautiful, functional and one of the best gaming keyboard around; it is perfect for those who love to game and have a brilliant environment set up to do so in. Check out more about this aesthetically pleasing, highly functional and wonderfully cheap gaming keyboard below.

Features of the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight:

Different Light Modes

With the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight you are given a chance to really have fun with your keyboard. One of my favorite things about the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight is the dance mode. The keyboard includes a music equalizer that lets LED lights “dance” to the beat of the in-game music. I find this provides a more immersive gaming experience without detracting from it or distracting you. Then there is the custom LED mode that lets you choose the LED colors on 6 separate portions of the keyboard to truly customize the keyboard.

Multifunctional Keyboard

This SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight has up to 9 different LED color modes that you can access just by pressing FN and one of the digits 1-9. There is also a non-conflict 19 keys so that you can enjoy keystroke combinations without fear of lagging, and the function keys provide a key lock for gaming and multimedia controls when you are not. I found that this keyboard has everything you need ready to go.

Durable and Easy to Use

The SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight is built very well and feels solid and sturdy. It uses a full metal faceplate under the keys which helps my peace of mind regarding its durability. There is no bend or flex in this keyboard and it isn’t too heavy, making it perfect to pack up and take to LAN parties. The raised keys also provide a nice tactile experience.

Ergonomic Design

ARC keycaps placed on the switches of the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight are easy to control and won’t exhaust quickly. The engraving on the keycaps is long lasting and sealed with anti-fade technology to provide a beautiful view every gaming session.

Pros of the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight:

  • Unique lighting modes
  • Exceptionally well built
  • Diverse button

Drawbacks of the SAREPO Gaming Keyboard Led Backlight:

It does not come with blue mechanical switches which I know that many gamers prefer, but that hasn’t bothered me at all. It still gives that little click sound that we all love, and that is what truly matters to me.

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Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard

Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard

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This is one of the most intuitive and easy to use gaming keyboards on the market in my opinion. It has its own included software, is ergonomic, mechanical and swift–everything you could ask for. Check out more below.

Features of the Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard

Easy to Navigate

The Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard features a 10-key rollover so that you can perform as many sly key combinations as you’d like without worrying about one or more of them not registering accurately or swiftly in game. I loved that about this keyboard. I didn’t feel like I was at a disadvantage at all like I have with some other boards. The Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard anti-ghosting capability is just outstanding. All of the keys are backlit for easy navigation, and each key is a Chiclet key which is incredibly comfortable to push.

Cutting Edge Software

The Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard features Razer Synapse 2.0, innovative, intuitive software that works as if it were the DeathStalker’s brain, so to speak. It keeps the keyboard running at its best, and I noticed that after even a single software update from the connected cloud server, my keyboard was somehow running even better than it had been before. The firmware updates are just so cutting edge. You also retain your individual settings during these downloads, so no worries there.

Faster Response Time

The Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard has slim, 2-millimeter Chiclet key caps that promise less time to actuate each key, letting you act and react much more quickly to in-game issues and enemies–certainly an advantage. This keyboard responds virtually instantaneously from the time I input a command to the time it takes to execute it onscreen. The spacebar even registers immediately from the furtherst edge and corner, which can’t be said about some other cheap gaming keyboards.

Ergonomic Wrist Rest

Gaming can be tiring. While you may not be up and moving, your arms, wrists and fingers sure are, and they deserve support while doing so. The Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard has a textured wrist rest that is padded and comfortable to help support your wrists and position them naturally along the keyboard. It also has rubber feet to help keep the keyboard in place, no matter how enthusiastic you get while gaming.

Pros of the Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard:

  • Chiclet keycaps
  • Immediate registration of key input
  • Backlit keyboard
  • 10-key rollover
  • Razer Synapse 2.0 integrated software

Drawbacks of the Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard:

This is tough. I guess the one downside is that there aren’t customizable colors which a lot of gamers enjoy, and so do I, but it wasn’t make-or-break. What matters to me is that it IS backlit and the Razer DeathStalker Essential Gaming Keyboard has incredible clarity of light.

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AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch Gaming Keyboard

AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical gaming Keyboard

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The clicky sounds, the lights and the extreme durability make this perhaps what I’d consider a great, if not the best, gaming keyboard that I have had the pleasure of talking about in my gaming keyboard reviews. Read on to see why.

Features of the AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch

Mechanical Blue Switch

The sought-after blue switch mechanical keyboard is here, and its name is the AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch. It provides that amazing click sound that lets you know that you have pressed the desired key with no doubt about it. There is no plush feeling to this keyboard at all, which I found has helped me make more precise decisions and movements in-game. The AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch was definitely created for the hardcore gamer that never gives up.

Precision and Swiftness

Thanks to its blue switches, the AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch also gives great tactile feedback along with that audible click. It has full anti-ghosting technology to help you step up your game and dominate the server and its perfectly spaced keys are practical and comfortable to press. There is even a lock and unlock function for Windows to keep you from miss clicking a button and ruining your kill streak. Personally, it saved my character’s life a few times.

Customizable Lighting

Who doesn’t love a good, lighted keyboard? I certainly do, and a lot of that has to do with me gaming mostly at night after work. I can clearly see what I’m doing no matter the time of day. I also have three color options to choose from to suit the mood of the evening and can adjust the backlight so it isn’t too distracting at night. I did notice that after about 10 minutes of inactivity, the light will turn off, I assume, to save energy, which I found to be a really thoughtful feature.

Reassuring Durability

The AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch has AULA Armor Technology and really durable double-shot injection molding caps. With these powers combined, I feel like I’m using some of the most top quality equipment available and I don’t feel like I’m going to wear down the keys, even after hours and hours of daily gaming. It weighs around 3 pounds and feels so satisfying to type on, making me even surer of its durability. The aluminum casing helps, too.

Pros of the AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch:

  • Blue switch mechanisms
  • Super precise
  • Lighted keyboard with adjustable backlight and color choices
  • Armor Technology ensures durability

Drawbacks of the AULA Sapphire Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch:

There are only a few color options, and some may not like that, but as I’ve stated before, I personally don’t mind it as long as there is backlight in general. The colors they do have shine so perfectly and clearly that it certainly gets the job done.

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Top Recommendation

In my opinion, the undisputed leader and the best gaming keyboard of all of my gaming keyboard reviews would have to be the Razer BlackWidow Chroma Clicky Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Fully Programmable and 5 Macro Keys. It just has way too many features, like the indescribable color combinations, integrated developer controls, blue switch mechanisms, anti-ghosting technology with 10-key rollover and ports for headphones, microphones and USB to ever pass this up. This is the king of keyboards!

Jason Garrison
Besides running his own welding shop and teach welding at a vocational high school, Jason's passions include gaming and board games.