How to Choose the Best Gaming Keyboard

Your keyboard is your most important peripheral, making more of a difference to your gaming performance than almost any other component. It has to feel great under your hands, deliver the right amount of tactile feedback and be responsive enough for fast-twitch reflex inputs. It also has to be as lightweight and durable as possible, since you’ll be pounding away at it for long periods of time. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there, from premium builds to budget-friendly designs.

Pick a Type
First, you need to decide whether you want a full-size or tenkeyless keyboard. Full-size boards include a numpad, while tenkeyless models cut it down to 65% or less by removing the navigation and arrow keys. Some gamers like this more compact form factor, which gives them the flexibility of a full keyboard with a smaller footprint and frees up desk space for mice and other gadgets.

Once you’ve settled on a switch type, you need to consider other features such as keycap swapping, USB passthrough and programmability. Some models offer keycaps with a variety of colors, while others have a 2-inch OLED screen for quick access to system info or an animated GIF. Some even feature a built-in gaming mode.

Our top pick, the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL, is a full-size keyboard with customizable RGB lighting and a brushed aluminum frame. It uses the new OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which have an adjustable actuation point and dual programmability. Roccat’s Vulcan II Mini is another solid tenkeyless option. This model has a playful visual style, with a plush wrist rest and pastel-colored accents. It has a lightweight design and a frosted RGB lighting strip that provides a subtle glow under the keys. It has a comfortable and smooth switch feel, responsive typing performance and low latency.  best gaming keyboard