Best gaming keyboards in 2024

When searching for the best gaming keyboard we keep an eye out for features, feel and value for money. Each of the gaming keyboards in this guide deliver on these three points, though we've focused on various price points to cater for any sort of budget.

The best gaming keyboard right now is the Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless. It excels in every aspect—superb mechanical feel and a full-size yet compact design. But if you want to go for something cheaper, we've been absolutely blown away by the G.Skill KM250 RGB, which is easily the best budget gaming keyboard in 2024.

One vital aspect of any gaming keyboard purchase is whether to pick a mechanical keyboard. Generally, we'd say it's always worthwhile considering a mechanical switch over a membrane one. They feel much better for typing and gaming and they're generally quicker. Nowadays, you don't even have to spend loads to grab a great mechanical keyboard, with the best cheap gaming keyboards for those who want performance for not a lot of cash.

Curated by...
Jacob Ridley headshot on colour background
Curated by...
Jacob Ridley

There are few keyboard enthusiasts as enthusiastic as our Jacob. He's been professionally testing for many years now, and has been collecting mechanical key switches like Smaug hoarded gold for years before that. Whether it's Hall effect or straight mechanical, he's poked and prodded more keyboards and switches than any one man should, and is our expert on all things keeb. 

The quick list

Recent updates

This guide was updated on March 8 to include the new category, the best ergonomic gaming keyboard, which goes to the Kinesis Freestyle Edge RGB.

The best gaming keyboard

The best gaming keyboard

Specifications

Switch: Pre-lubed ROG NX switches
Size: 96%
Backlights: Per-key RGB
Passthroughs: None
Media Controls: Multi-function wheel
Wristrest: Included
Keycaps: PBT or ABS

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent switch feel
+
Sound dampening that really works
+
Hot-swappable switches
+
Adjustable multimedia control wheel

Reasons to avoid

-
Armoury Crate app is messy
Buy if...

✅ You want the smoothest typing experience: With lubed switches out of the box you don't need to waste any energy with a pot of lube and a paint brush in order to get an immaculate typing experience.

✅ You want the best generalist gaming keyboard: You can find faster keyboards, and definitely flashier ones, but the ROG Strix Scope II 96 is by far the best generalist board and excels at a lot.

Don't buy if...

❌ You want speed or analog features: As fast as most other mechanical keyboards, nowadays you can find faster keyboards than this using Hall effect or optical switches.

The best gaming keyboard is the Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless, and it's rare that a keyboard is such an all-round joy to use as this is. There are faster, smarter, even cheaper boards—you'll find all of those recommendations below—but the Strix Scope II 96 Wireless brings together many of the features we're looking for in a modern gaming keyboard.

Firstly, some of the smoothest mechanical switches in the biz. You can pick between ROG-branded NX Snow or NX Storm switches in this board. I've been using the Snow switches, which are your regular linear dealio with an actuation force of 45g, though the Storm switches are a moderately heavier tactile option. These switches alone aren't anything special, but a little lube goes a long way.

Not one of the usual things we'd find on a gaming keyboard, but a drop of lube on every mechanical key switch makes a surprising amount of difference to the typing experience. Each key press is smooth, consistent, and every thwack produces a glorious clack.

Both of the available switches actuate at 1.8mm, which is pretty snappy, though not quite as snappy as the Corsair K70 Max at its lowest adjustable actuation point of 0.4mm. Similarly, the Strix Scope's polling rate is a mere 1000Hz—slower than the K70 Max at 8000Hz. Not that I noticed that in-game—the Scope II 96 feels extremely responsive.

It's also relatively quiet. The sound of the linear switches reduced to a light pitter-patter by the sound dampening foam, sturdy PBT plastic keycaps, and switch pads. Lubed up, sturdy stabilisers also keep the larger keys, namely the spacebar, quiet.

You are able to swap out any of the NX Snow switches on this keyboard for keys of your choosing. However, if you don't replace them with lubed switches I will personally hunt you down. Don't do the Scope II dirty like that.

The Scope II 96 is nearly a full-size board—it importantly retains a full numpad—though it's been squished down into a more compact chassis. As a result, the delete key is further away from your pinky than normal. It takes some getting used to, but I've been tapping away on it for a couple of weeks now and I feel I've got typing on the Scope II 96 down to a fine art.

Still, it's been a long time since I've been blown away by a gaming keyboard—so many seemed carbon copies of what Corsair did 10 years ago—but the Scope II 96 is mighty impressive. It focuses on nailing the actual mechanics of a mechanical gaming keyboard. Importantly, it's also great for gaming and doesn't cost anywhere near as much as its smaller, more premium sibling, the ROG Azoth

Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96 Wireless review.

The best budget gaming keyboard

The best budget gaming keyboard

Specifications

Switch: Kailh Red
Size: 65%
Backlights: Per-key RGB
Passthroughs: None
Media Controls: Volume wheel
Wristrest: None
Keycaps: PBT pudding caps

Reasons to buy

+
Super affordable
+
Per-key RGB
+
Hot-swappable base
+
Discrete volume dial
+
PBT pudding caps as standard

Reasons to avoid

-
Plasticky chassis
-
Hollow sound
-
Kailh red switches aren't great
Buy if...

✅ You're looking for the best on a tight budget: With features galore and many unexpected additions for this sort of price tag, we've not seen anything better for less.

Don't buy if...

❌ You want the best typing experience out of the box: Without some of the more high-end materials in used in the casing of this keyboard, the typing experience can be a little hollow.

Mechanical gaming keyboards can cost a fortune. The G.Skill KM250 RGB's best skill is that it doesn't. It's nowhere close to costing a fortune, yet it still offers mechanical switches, per-key RGB, hot-swappable keys, and discrete media controls.

The G.Skill KM250 redefines what it means to be a budget gaming keyboard. Features that were once enthusiast only are right here, for just $40. During a time when PC peripheral prices generally appear to only be increasing, that's important.

If you're after a good compact board you honestly don't need more than what's being offered here. A simple and small frame with Kailh linear mechanical switches, it's a no-nonsense design if ever there was one. Though you'll be pleased to know that it retains one fan-favorite feature: per-key RGB backlighting.

If you prefer you can jam in some higher-end switches and create a lovely little semi-custom build inside the G.Skill KM250 chassis. It is obviously lacking the high-end luxury of sound dampening and super-fancy stabilisers, but those are compromises I'm willing to make for such a supremely cheap keyboard. And honestly, I've experienced far worse stabilisers on expensive NZXT and Razer keyboards in the past.

The included Kailh switches are not bad, but definitely not great and, combined with the plastic chassis you do end up with quite a hollow-sounding typing experience.

But, having changed out the linear Kailh Red switches for a set of Halo True heavy tactile switches, the difference in the sound is clear. It's not the ultra rich-sounding experience of using the Mountain Everest 60 or Asus ROG Azoth, but it now feels great to type on, dampening or no. It's also at most half the price if you include fancy new switches, and if you've got a headset on you'd be hard pressed to feel the difference.

The board layout itself is pretty standard 65%, which makes for a few more useful keys than a 60%. There's a little bit of spacing between the bulk of the keys and the cursors, and you also get separate Del, PgUp, and PgDn buttons, too. A neat selection.

And a discrete volume wheel. I love a physical, tactile volume control, and it's a genuinely lovely little extra I wouldn't have expected on such an affordable board. It's not just volume up and down, as there's a click down to it which will mute or unmute your machine as well.

I'm honestly genuinely impressed with the package as a whole, and if you want a proper mechanical keyboard experience without paying enthusiast money, the G.Skill KM250 is an outstanding option.

Read our full G.Skill KM250 RGB review.

The best wireless gaming keyboard

The best wireless gaming keyboard

Specifications

Switch: Logitech GL low profile
Size: Full size
Backlight: RGB LED
Passthrough: None
Media Controls: Dedicated
Wristrest: None
Keycaps: ABS

Reasons to buy

+
Lag-free wireless
+
Great battery life
+
Low-profile mechanical switches

Reasons to avoid

-
Macro key placement is odd to some
-
Requires semi-regular charging
Buy if...

✅ You want a low-profile keyboard: I've tried many low-profile keyboards over the years and I'm yet to match the low-profile clicky switch used on the G915 for satisfying response.

Don't buy if...

❌ You want to use custom keycaps: The G915 doesn't use standard Cherry MX style stems (cross), and as such you can't fit regular caps onto it.

The Logitech G915 is the best wireless gaming keyboard, but let's not entirely ignore that our number one pick, the Asus ROG Strix Scope II 96, which is also wireless and absolutely worth considering. But we're talking about the G915 here, and it's a familiar sight for yours truly—I've been using it for my past 100,000 words or so.

With Logitech's excellent Lightspeed wireless technology behind it, I've never run into any issues with the wireless connection on this board. It's snappy and responsive as any wired model on the desktop, and you can expect the same performance out of it while you're lazing on the sofa. I also use it frequently when I'm using my sim racing setup—being able to jump onto the keyboard at a moment's notice helps navigating some of the finicky in-game menus in some racing games.

When I'm not using the board as my daily driver, I'm employing it as my handy wireless keyboard for the PC Gamer test bench. Always within reach, no cables to fuss with, and ready in a pinch.

The benefit to a wireless gaming keyboard might not be as pronounced as a wireless gaming headset or similar, but it's definitely handy to have the option to take your board off the desktop on occasion. Luckily, the G915 also excels in other ways to make it even more convincing.

I love a clicky switch, and the G915 is available with low-profile clicky switches that sounds great and are super responsive. That initially came as a bit of a surprise, as the first wave of truly mechanical low-profile switches kinda sucked. These don't, however, and my many hours using this keyboard for writing stories over a span of a couple of years should attest to that. I'd go as far to say this is the best low-profile gaming keyboard I've used to date, too.

As with most Logitech gear, the G915 has a sleek design. It's made up of mostly a top plate of brushed metal, though the underside is a black plastic. The keycaps are ABS plastic and mine are a bit shiny now after years of use. The downside here being once these keycaps break it might be trickier to get a replacement versus a more traditional Cherry switch stem.

Read our full Logitech G915 TKL review (that's the slightly smaller version).

The best budget wireless gaming keyboard

The best budget wireless gaming keyboard

Specifications

Switch: Gateron
Size: 84-key
Backlight: White LED
Passthrough: None
Media Controls: Function shortcuts
Wristrest: None
Keycaps: ABS

Reasons to buy

+
Well-priced
+
Great overall build quality
+
Seamless connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Somewhat scratchy switches
Buy if...

✅ You must have a cable-free connection: You don't actually have to spend loads to ditch wires on the desktop. This keyboard is proof of that.

Don't buy if...

❌ You want RGB lighting: You won't find anything more than white LEDs here, so don't even think about rainbow puke presets.

The best budget wireless gaming keyboard comes from a brand you might not be overly familiar with. The Keychron K2 has all the makings of a decent little wireless mechanical keyboard, however, and it's wonderfully affordable.

The Keychron K2 has marked itself out as a marvellous entry-level keyboard that can act as a gateway into the wider world of mechanicals. Its a simple mechanical keyboard in a 75% format—that's less keys than a full-size board but isn't quite as tough to get to grips with as a 60%.

For more of an affordable board, the build quality is surprisingly sturdy. That's even more surprising when you consider that many keyboard makers pump up prices once they add in wireless connectivity, yet here's an affordable board that's good quality and ditches the cabled connection. It'll connect over USB Type-C and Bluetooth alongside the wireless connection, too.

The only downside from a purely aesthetic point of view is the lack of RGB lighting. You'll only find white backlighting here, which is good for night time use but not much of a light show. Some prefer that, however, and if you're looking to save some money then ditching RGB lighting is one of the easiest ways to do that.

In essence, the Keychron K2 is a handy entry-level mechanical keyboard, and for $69 or so, you can’t necessarily go wrong. Its build quality is decent with a nice bit of weight, and the triple device connectivity is handy if you’re flitting between devices over the course of a working day. With that said, though, sometimes it can feel like a cheap keyboard—light switches with an audible ping and standard lighting presets don’t help it too much in some cases.

All in all, though, if you’re looking for an entry-level mechanical keyboard, this is a good choice.

Read our full
Keychron K2 review.

5. The best compact gaming keyboard