There’s a lot more to gaming keyboards than the cheerful lights and the satisfying clickety-clack sound it makes as you type. They’re designed to improve your gaming experience, with rapid responses, short cuts and features that all make a wealth of difference.
Should I switch to a gaming keyboard?
Since they are more expensive than their regular counterparts, buying a gaming keyboard requires an assessment of how you work and play. Behruz Sadullaev, IT manager at the DZZRT eSports Gaming Club in Dubai, told Gulf News: “While a gaming keyboard can greatly enhance a PC gamer's experience, it's not an absolute necessity. It ultimately depends on individual preferences and gaming habits.”
However, most dedicated gamers find these keyboards to be an essential component of their PC gaming set-up. Even if you’re not a gamer, it’s worth considering upgrading your regular keyboard to an ergonomic keyboard or a gaming one, for the tactile feel of its mechanical switches, and the many added features it offers.
Salludaev explained: “A gaming keyboard… usually incorporates specialised features designed to enhance the gaming experience. These features can include mechanical switches, customisable backlighting, macro keys, anti-ghosting [which ensures your key presses are sent without error and in the order pressed], and dedicated media controls. Gaming keyboards are typically more durable and are built to withstand intense and prolonged use.”
But not all gaming keyboards are created equal. Some come with a full 104-key keyboard, with a number pad and macro buttons, while others are 60% keyboards – smaller versions that typically lack a numpad, navigational buttons and function row. Some are wired while others are wireless. Some have the latest optical-mechanical keys, while others use purely tactile keys, similar to the ones you’d find in mechanical keyboards.
Which gaming keyboard should I get?
Which one works best for you depends on the features you’re looking for. Salludaev highlighted the key areas to consider when buying a new gaming keyboard: “Firstly, the type of switches used is important. Mechanical switches are preferred by many gamers due to their tactile feedback and durability. Additionally, consider the keyboard's anti-ghosting capability, which ensures that multiple keys can be pressed simultaneously without input conflicts. Backlighting options, programmable macro keys, and ergonomic design are also worth considering.”
There are also a few red flags to look out for, when buying: “It's advisable to avoid keyboards with poor build quality, unreliable software, or limited customisation options.”
We asked our gaming expert for his recommendations, and scoured Amazon for the top-rated gaming keyboards, to bring you our curated list below. Purchase yours with Prime, and take your video game experience to a whole new level as early as tomorrow.
1. Best Overall: Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Excellent build quality
- Dynamic RGB backlighting
- Key switch selection
- Lots of extra features
Corsair’s K70 is a popular choice among gamers, according to Salludaev. He said: “It features Cherry MX mechanical switches, customisable RGB lighting, dedicated media controls, and a sturdy aluminium frame. The keyboard also offers programmable macro keys and has excellent build quality.” The K70’s aircraft grade aluminium frame is lightweight, but built to last, and it features unlimited colour customisation options for its RGB backlit keyboard. Reviewers love the authentic Cherry MX key switches, which offer a fantastic typing experience, with accuracy and reliability. There are also lots of extra features to appreciate. For instance, you can set up profiles for individual games, record macros, and reprogram practically every key. And if you’re taking the keyboard with you, it gives you the option to store three built-in profiles. The Corsair K70 is a full-sized keyboard that ensures you enjoy a premium experience – something that’s reflected in its price.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh52.12 for 12 months with select banks.
2. Best Compact Keyboard: Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Excellent RGB lighting
- Satisfying typing experience
- Limited extra functionality
If you have limited desk space, Salludaev suggests opting for Logitech G Pro. The keyboard leaves off the numpad and makes room for mouse movement with its compact design, and it comes with a removable micro-USB cable – so it’s ideal to carry to tournaments or when you’re playing with friends. Salludaev added: “It utilises Logitech's own mechanical switches, which provide a responsive and satisfying typing experience. The keyboard also offers customisable RGB lighting and programmable function keys.” Reviewers like the professional-grade GX Blue Clicky Switches, which create satisfactory audible clicking sounds and resistance feedback. Although you can’t set up profiles here, like you can with the Corsair K70, the Logitech G Pro has 12 programmable F-key macros that you can use for timed actions or commands.
3. Best Wireless Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro
- Great typing experience
- Well-designed media bar
- Full RGB lighting
- Premium wrist rest
- No macro keys
- Battery runs out fast when RGB lighting is turned up
Razer’s BlackWidow design has stood the test of time, and this version is no different. The V3 Pro combines mechanical switches with customisable RGB lighting in its comprehensive design. It offers both HyperSpeed dongle connection and Bluetooth wireless connectivity so you can always take it with you to tournaments or other gaming events. Reviewers love the premium touches in this keyboard – from its plush wrist rest to its stylish volume wheel that lights up with RGB and features a frosted press-in centre. However, reviews note that the battery life does run out faster when the RGB lighting is at maximum level. Even so, you’ll get about 192 hours of use from this versatile keyboard with lights off, and about 25 hours with lights on, so it’s still definitely worth the money.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh70 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best 65% Keyboard: Keychron K6 Wireless Gaming Keyboard
- Compact and durable
- Connects with up to three devices wirelessly
- Excellent battery life
- Full, customisable RGB lighting
- Tall typing height
- May feel too light
Are you looking to use one keyboard on multiple devices? This may be the keyboard for you. The Keychron K6 is an attractive package, primarily because it packs a host of features in its compact 65% frame. It provides solid connectivity options, with its Bluetooth 5.1 chip – you can sync up to three devices and switch between them seamlessly. And if you’d like to change to wired mode, all you have to do is plug in the USB Type-C connection. While its keys may seem quite tall, at 4cm, which some reviewers found difficult to get used to, the Keychron K6 comes with several switch options, including the popular Gateron Brown switch, so you can use what you prefer. There are also 18 RGB lighting modes to pick from. Overall, it’s a fantastic option, especially for those looking for their first mechanical keyboard, or something they’d like to use with both their tablet and PC.
5. Best Budget: Redragon K552 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Good build quality
- RGB lighting with 18 modes
- Anti-ghosting keys
- No detachable USB cable
- Flimsy feet on the base
You don’t have to shell out a fortune to enjoy all the perks of a gaming keyboard. Redragon K552 has a lot going for it, at an affordable price. This tenkeyless or TKL model is called as such because it comes without a numpad – it’s an 87-key mechanical keyboard that’s compact and inexpensive, and still manages to include a few solid features. You can choose from 18 RGB lighting modes, along with nine colours and five brightness levels. There are also 12 multimedia keys, and you can count on the keyboard for that audible clickety clack sound you’d expect from mechanical switches (this keyboard uses Cherry Blue MX Equivalent switches). It’s responsive and durable, and perfect if you’re looking to save on a gaming keyboard.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.