Choosing the best gaming keyboard of 2022 is going to be a damn close call. Of the many gaming keyboards we've looked at throughout the year, loads have delighted us—the MelGeek Pixel (opens in new tab) notwithstanding. However, only one will forever be regarded as the soulful switchmeister of 2022. Let's look back at the year to get a better bead on which one might end up this year's absolute king of caps.
2022, it would seem, is the year of the smol gaming keyboard. Each and every keyboard nominee we've chosen this year comes in a compact form factor, be that a teeny 60% board, or a slightly more stretched out 98-key option. That's in part thanks to the fact that going small is such a fantastic way to save money, while still enjoying the wonders of a mechanical keyboard.
Importantly, all of those below come with the basic necessities for a great gaming experience: N-key rollover, double-shot PBT keycaps, 1,000Hz polling, and of course RGB backlighting.
You should see the arguments ensuing in chat over these mechanical masterpieces, and which one will end up our 2022 gaming keyboard of the year. Only time will tell who will emerge victorious from the jostle of keycaps flying around in the office over this one.
Best gaming keyboard 2022: the nominees
Akko Prunus Lannesiana 3098b
Named after the humble cherry blossom, this one is anything but humble. It goes big in a small package as a 98-key compact board that doesn't forgo the numpad. It omits the keys gamers hardly use, while covering the basic necessities, and at a stellar $110 price point, too.
Sure the software is basic, but it's not a deal-breaker. It makes up for it's lack of discrete media keys by keeping the 12 macro-assignable F-keys and the Fn modifier. Not only is it wireless (using either Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4GHz dongle), the Akko CS Jelly Pink (tactile) or Jelly White (linear) switches are Cherry MX compatible, so you can swap out the keycaps.
All much appreciated features in the enthusiast market.
Read our Akko Prunus Lannesiana 3098b review.
Mountain Everest 60
Unlike most 60% keyboards, the Everest 60 manages to squeeze in the utility that most lack in the form of cursor keys. It doesn't bother with wireless capability, but what it does bring is the fancy option of modularity. For a little extra cost on top of the (nicely affordable) $140, you can nab yourself a modular numpad that will fit on either side of the board.
On top of that, the board comes with a silicone sound dampener inside, and 3-pin hot swappable capability. It's only the Base Camp software that really lets this board down. Still, it's stable, responsive, oh so cute!
Read our Mountain Everest 60 review.
As the only analogue offering in the lineup, this one has some seriously great features for the price. While it's tiny, Wooting hasn't tried to cram too much in. There are no cursor keys, but you get a well-spaced layout and hot damn are analogue keys cool.
You can even get it to rapidly register a key press on a downstroke and then intelligently reset that press when you release the key, a feature called Rapid Trigger. Not only that, the software is also great and requires no download as it'll just run in your browser. So much in a small package, but the small package may put some people off. Is it enough to knock it off the top spot, though?
Read our Wooting 60HE review.
The winner of the PC Gamer Hardware Award for the best gaming keyboard will be announced on New Year's Eve. It's all to play for, and any one of these three is completely deserving of the crown.