The best gaming keyboard 2020 buyer's guide that we've put together for you is the most comprehensive exploration of the mechanical gaming keyboards currently on the market that you'll find.
The T3 experts have crafted this guide with one primary aim in mind: to make it as easy as possible for PC gamers to find the best keyboard for them, and you'll find this round-up stuffed with a wealth of designs, usage cases, price points and manufacturers to choose from.
Regardless off whether you are looking for the best wireless gaming keyboard, the best RGB gaming keyboards, the best gaming keyboard and gaming mouse combo, the best gaming keyboard on a budget or any other variation, you'll find a great selection of options here to choose from.
And as huge PC gamers here at T3, we can confirm that adding a great gaming keyboard to a setup can make a massive difference. As well improving gaming performance thanks to their enhances responsiveness (thanks mechanical switches!) and advanced features like programmable buttons, they also deliver a far superior ergonomics and aesthetics.
Lastly, below our list of the best gaming keyboards, we've also included some useful buyer's information and tips geared towards explaining what you should be looking out for most when shopping for a gaming keyboard.
The best gaming keyboards available in 2020
1. Das Keyboard X50Q RGB
The best gaming keyboard for most people
Reasons to buy
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, an extra long braided 2-metre cable, a soft touch coated palm rest, and a built-in control knob, too, it's easy to see how the X50 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is our top recommendation.
A stunning, beautifully engineered gaming keyboard that earns its spot at the top of our best gaming keyboard 2020 list.
2. Razer Huntsman Elite
The best premium gaming keyboard
Reasons to buy
Razer continues to push the envelope when it comes to PC gaming peripherals, including one of the latest additions to its keyboard range – meet the Huntsman Elite, which is our top recommendation if money is no consideration in your purchase.
This board's big selling point is the daring decision to combine optical sensors and mechanical switches to create Razer's own 'optomechanical' switches. The difference in speed is impressive to say the least, offering the unbeatable level of input speed and latency reduction.
The only caveats are it takes quite a bit of power to run, requiring not one, but two USB cables to keep it going, and it's rather an expensive investment too.
But, with a lovely array of RGB lights across those hybrid switches and enough customisation options to make even the hardest of hardcore players happy, this is a beast of a peripheral for ardent PC gamers. It also makes for a silky smooth typing experience should you want to double it up as regular 'board as well.
The best premium mechanical gaming keyboard on the market today.
3. SteelSeries Apex 3
The best budget gaming keyboard
Reasons to buy
The SteelSeries Apex 3 is a great new addition to the maker's line-up, delivering a really strong all-round package for a firmly budget price point.
In terms of features, the board's superb 10-zone RGB lighting system is something to write home about, as too its IP32 water resistance rating, which is impressive considering its low price point.
Design-wise the Apex 3 is a full-size gaming keyboard and, as such, comes with a ten key number pad, as well as dedicated media controls. The top plate is clean and slopes downward toward an comfortable included wrist rest.
In terms of key performance, the Apex 3 delivers really quiet operation thanks to SteelSeries' Whisper-Quiet switches. These a membrane switches rather than mechanical, though, but seem tuned for gamers and felt fast and responsive under the fingers.
Throw in the board's compatibility with the excellent SteelSeries Engine 3 customisation software, and strong cable management, and its easy to see why this budget board has won such acclaim.
The best gaming keyboard without a number pad
Reasons to buy
With 88 keys (plus media keys), backlighting colour combinations that run into the millions, a lovely thin form factor, a dedicated volume scroll wheel, instant wireless connection and optional Bluetooth, and a simple-to-use macro editor, it's likely that the Logitech G915 TKL is going to attract a lot of fans.
A smaller, more compact version of the also amazing Logitech G915, this 'tenkeyless' version is easier to position on a desk and to lug around, but loses none of the typing experience – and that's great by the way. You get a choice of three mechanical key types with this keyboard, so you can customise it to suit your preferences.
It's on the expensive side, and we would like a few more customisation options in terms of keyboard shortcuts, but really these are minor drawbacks that you don't have to worry about. A fantastic, low-latency gaming keyboard that'll also serve you well for everyday computing tasks too.
4. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum more than justifies the price tag
Reasons to buy
There's no doubt the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is one of the best gaming keyboards on the market right now, with Cherry MX switches, USB passthrough, dedicated media controls, and customisable USB lighting thrown into the mix.
Okay, it's going to cost you a bit of money, and it's going to take up a substantial amount of room on your desk – but if you want the very best in gaming keyboards then this definitely needs to be on your shortlist.
The anodised, brushed aluminium frame really looks the part, and you can really go to town on the lighting customisations as well. Dedicated macro keys are another neat touch in what is a very impressive all-round package.
5. HyperX Alloy Elite
Affordable Cherry MX gaming keyboard performance with a gorgeous, future-industrial design
Reasons to buy
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 if this is your pick. In our view, absolutely one of the best gaming keyboards 2020 on the market today.
6. SteelSeries Apex 7
The best compact mechanical gaming keyboard
Reasons to buy
New from SteelSeries is the Apex 7 TKL Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, featuring a host of neat touches to impress gamers – not least the OLED smart display that's able to deliver information straight from games and apps (including Discord and Tidal).
This being SteelSeries you know the build quality is going to be excellent as always, and the Apex 7 really looks the part: it's made from Series 5000 aircraft-grade aluminium, with a wide and deep wrist pad that should keep fatigue at bay even over the longest gaming sessions.
Using SteelSeries' own take on Cherry MX mechanical switches, these keys are good for some 50 million keypresses. It ticks all the boxes you need when you're looking for the best gaming keyboard of 2020.
7. Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo
A great all-round premium gaming keyboard
Reasons to buy
Roccat advertises the Vulcan 120 Aimo as a "precision gaming tool" and, after getting our hands on the board and producing our official Roccat Vulcan 120 Aimo review, it's hard to argue with that.
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 everyday PC tasks. Its Titan switches are also among the very best we've ever placed our fingertips on, 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, 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's 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 – it's a package you must check out if you're shopping at the top end of the gaming keyboard market in 2020.
And plenty of the judges in the T3 Awards 2020 agreed the 120 Aimo is a gaming keyboard worthy of praise, with it winning the Best Gaming Keyboard award in the T3 Awards 2020.
8. SteelSeries Apex M800
The best gaming keyboard for pure speed
Reasons to buy
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.
9. Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08
The best gaming keyboard for unparalleled key customisation
Reasons to buy
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 too.
10. Trust GXT 830-RW Avonn
The best gaming keyboard on a super tight budget
Reasons to buy
If you want some of the style and functionality of a gaming keyboard but also want to spend as little as possible, give the Trust GXT 830-RW Avonn some consideration – for really not much money at all you get a keyboard that looks the part, feels solid to game with, and has some customisation options included, too.
The build quality and materials don't quite hit the premium levels that you might find on some other keyboards, but the Trust GXT 830-RW Avonn certainly doesn't disappoint. The membrane keys are firm and responsive, with plenty of travel (and you can press up to six at once), while the 140-centimetre (55-inch) cable is plenty – just plug it into Windows (or macOS) and you're good to go.
The keyboard illumination is the real star here, though, considering the price: the 104 keys are backed by what Trust calls a 'rainbow wave' of colour, which you can of course customise in terms of both colour and brightness. It looks very sharp in reality, and add in the 12 dedicated multimedia keys, and it's a gaming keyboard that won't let you down.
11. Corsair K63 Wireless
The best gaming keyboard for a wireless, mechanical gaming setup
Reasons to buy
Wireless and gaming haven't often mingled well when it comes to PC gaming, but those times are a changing and Corsair's new K63 Wireless is leading the charge, and a worthy addition to our list of the best gaming keyboards of 2020.
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 well connected, even on an all-nighter.
12. Asus ROG Strix Scope
A compact gaming keyboard that is ideal for FPS enthusiasts
Reasons to buy
Asus has really started to make some top PC gaming peripherals as of late and the ROG Strix Scope is a fine example of that trend, delivering not just a quality gaming keyboard but one that also offers some specialised features geared towards FPS gamers.
This compact mechanical gaming keyboard offers full macro customisation, for example, while the left Ctrl key is widened to ensure it is easier to press during the heat of battle and the WASD controls are finished with easy-to-see silver. The compact layout also means quick button presses are easier due to reduced stretch time.
In terms of build, the keyboard impressed with a premium aluminium top plate, while Asus' Aura Sync RGB LED technology means making the unit light up just how you want it is a breeze. Best-in-the-business Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches ensure the response, feel and key-travel the gamer requires, too.
Another neat feature the Strix Scope boasts is a "stealth key". The stealth key, which is actually the F12 key, once pressed instantly hides all apps on screen and mutes all audio as well. One more press of the key reverses all the actions.
13. Logitech G413 Carbon
A great budget mechanical gaming keyboard
Reasons to buy
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 half the cost of many of the boards in this guide 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.
A great budget mechanical gaming keyboard option, especially for gamers who like an understated, mature design.
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. Working out which switch is best for you will help you narrow down which of these best gaming keyboards is the one you need to get.
Some use White Alps or Black Alps – these are 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 forever once you invest in it.
The Cherry MX black is the switch of choice for many gamers who play online. The black variant is 'linear', meaning the keystroke doesn't give you as much of clack, reducing the amount of feedback as you're smashing the keys in a heated moment. Don't be afraid to try out a few before you buy, as there's almost certainly a switch type out there that's perfect for you.
Lastly, while you certainly shouldn't rule out gaming keyboards from small or new makers, do make sure the you read around as much as possible before pulling the trigger as that lack of proper heritage could cost you in the long term. What looks like a cheap, fast, quiet, mechanical bargain from a startup company may look like a bargain, but its build quality or long-term reliability may leave a lot to be desired.
Makers like Roccat, Das Keyboard, Corsair, HyperX, SteelSeries, Logitech, Topre and Cooler Master have serious heritage in making top gaming keyboards, so if you buy from them then chances are you're going to get a product that doesn't break after six months of use. It's not a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind when making your decision nonetheless.
This is especially true when shopping for a budget gaming keyboard, as ideally you want a solid if not feature-packed model for an approachable price point – rather than a similarly priced model from nobody maker that, while looking more feature packed for the money, will actually go on to quickly let you down within months.
With that in mind, take your time – read through the comparisons we've put together, weigh up exactly what you want from your next gaming keyboard, and ensure that your money is spent as wisely as possible.
If you are a PC gamer looking to upgrade your setup with one of the best gaming keyboards of 2020, then you've picked a great time to start: new models keep hitting the market, with prices on current ones coming down, too.
Sales on gaming keyboards are happening just about all the year round, so keep an eye out for any deals you can take advantage of. We've included the best online prices alongside our best gaming keyboard picks.
Gaming keyboard news
26 May, 2020 - Logitech has unveiled a new, smaller version of its popular G915 wireless keyboard, the Logitech G915 TKL. The TKL is named thus as it is Tenkeyless, but asides from that, it offers the sort of package of the full-blown G915.
The wireless, mechanical, RGB keyboard features a battery life of 40 hours on a single charge, and that is with 100 per cent RGB lighting on, too. The low-profile keys of the board are powered by GL mechanical switches that are half the height of standard mechanical key switches, and these are available in GL Linear, GL Tactile and GL Clicky variants.
Speaking on the launch of the G915 TKL Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming, said that:
“The G915 TKL combines LIGHTSPEED Wireless, RGB lighting and amazing battery life in a sleek, ultra-thin design that creates a new standard for gaming keyboards.”
Naturally, T3 will be looking to get hold of a G915 TKL as soon as possible so we can bring you our official take, so be sure to check back into the site soon.
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