What’s the best gaming keyboard? Well, a great keyboard is an essential addition to any PC, whether a gaming PC or just for general desktop work. If you’re looking for a more reliable typing experience, useful extra features, or lightning-quick gaming key response, we’ve got something for you in our list of best gaming keyboards.
There are many factors to consider when buying a keyboard, such as whether you prefer low-profile keys and the softer feel of membrane keyswitches or the more precise, louder feel of mechanical keyswitches. Even the latter come in many different styles, with smooth linear actions, those that provide a tactile bump feedback when pressed or those that give off an audible click.
Then there are the number of features you can add such as multimedia controls, volume wheels, extra programmable gaming keys, whether they’re wireless or wired and the size of the board. Many users need all the keys of a full-size keyboard while others may prefer the more compact tenkeyless (TKL) form factor or the tiny 60 and 65 percent boards that do away with the numpad and F keys. Whatever your needs, our list of best keyboards has you covered.
Here are the best gaming keyboards in 2023:
- Mountain Everest Max – the best gaming keyboard
- SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL – best budget gaming keyboard
- NZXT Function MiniTKL – best TKL gaming keyboard
- Razer Huntsman V2 – best quiet gaming keyboard
- Ducky One 3 SF – best 65 percent keyboard
- Mountain Everest 60 – best 60 percent keyboard
1. Mountain Everest Max
The best gaming keyboard is the Mountain Everest Max.
With its detachable numpad section that can be fitted to either side of the main keyboard, the Mountain Everest Max offers up fantastic versatility. Whether you just like to remove the numpad to create more space for your mouse when gaming or if you like to switch it to the left side for using the keys for extra gaming functions, the option’s there and the switchover is super quick and easy.
The Mountain Everest Max also has a removable media dock that has controls for system volume, media playback, backlighting control, and much more. The Cherry MX keyswitches are even hot-swappable too. The keyboard is also available in separate parts, allowing you to build it up as you go along or only get the parts you need. It’s not cheap for the full kit but considering what you get, it’s fantastic value, as we found in our Mountain Everest Max review.
- Amazing modular design
- So much functionality
- So much customization
- Good value
- Wrist rest wobbles
Mountain Everest Max specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||461 x 265 x 43 (W x D x H)|
|Weight||852kg (without cable)|
|Format||Modular TKL (87keys) and full-size (105 keys)|
|Switch type||Cherry MX hot swappable (Brown, Blue, Grey, Orange, Red)|
|Switch life||50+ million keystrokes|
|Extras||Detachable numpad and media dock, detachable cushioned wrist rest, keycap removal tool, programmable display buttons|
Price: Expect to pay $300 / £220
2. SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL
The best budget gaming keyboard is the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL.
The SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL is a surprisingly stylish gaming keyboard considering its incredibly low price. Its sleek design is joined by 8-zone RGB backlighting and a multimedia button and volume wheel, both of which are nice additions for such a cheap board. Being a TKL layout, you miss out on a numpad for easy number entry but in return you get a more compact board that leaves more space for your mouse.
The keys use a rubber membrane type of switch, so it doesn’t feel as good as a mechanical switch keyboard. But that’s why this board is so cheap. Get the full story in our SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL review.
- Nice design
- Decent feature set
- Quiet keys
- Very low price
- Quite stiff key response
- 20 million key press life
- Only 10-zone RGB
SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||364 x 150 x 40 (WxDxH)|
|Format||TKL – 80keys|
|Connections||Fixed USB cable|
|Switch life||20 million key presses|
|Extras||Volume wheel and play/pause button, multiple cable routing channels, IP32 water resistance|
Price: Expect to pay $36 / £33
3. NZXT Function MiniTKL
The best TKL gaming keyboard is the NZXT Function TKL.
The NZXT Function MiniTKL is a fantastic debut effort by NZXT. Its design is sleek in both the black or white casing versions plus it has plenty of extra features such as a volume wheel, multimedia buttons, and hot-swappable switches. The latter make it easy to customize the board to your liking – just pull the switch out and drop in a new compatible one – plus the cable is removable for easy replacement too.
This MiniTKL version is also even more compact than a conventional TKL layout, giving you more desk space without compromising on keys. Only Red linear switches are available at retail, but you can swap out the switches or opt for others using NZXT’s BLD service, though both options add to the price. Get the full story with our full NZXT Function TKL review.
- Smart design
- Hot-swappable keyswitches
- Useful extra features
- Reasonable price
- Custom build option
- Basic default keycaps
- Only linear red switches at retail
- Custom build option expensive
NZXT Function TKL specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||339 x 123 x 40 (W x D x H)|
|Weight||718g with cable|
|Format||Mini TKL – 89 keys|
|Connection||USB Type-C socket with 2m cable|
|Switch type||Hot-swappable Gateron Linear Red|
|Switch life||50 million key presses|
|Extras||Hot-swappable switches, volume wheel, keycap and keyswitch removal tools|
Price: Expect to pay $100 / £100
4. Razer Huntsman V2
The best quiet gaming keyboard is the Razer Huntsman V2.
The Razer Huntsman V2 looks fantastic, its typing experience is rock solid, you get premium doubleshot PBT keycaps, its wrist rest is wonderfully comfortable and its sound deadening is a revelation – we’ve seldom heard such a quiet mechanical keyboard.
It lacks one or two little extra features to be considered great value, as we explain in our full Razer Huntsman V2 review, but if a quiet typing experience is a priority, it’s a great option (assuming you don’t pick a clicky keyswitch!).
- Amazingly quiet
- Very stylish
- Quality keycaps
- Lovely wrist rest
- No removable USB cable
- Basic feature set
Razer Huntsman V2 specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||445 x 240 x 38 (WxDxH)|
|Weight||913g (without cable)|
|Format||Standard – Full-size (105 keys)|
|Switch type||Razer optical red linear or purple clicky|
|Switch life||100 million keystrokes|
|Extras||Media controls, cushioned magnetic wrist rest, internal sound deadening|
Price: Expect to pay $150 (£199 in UK).
5. Ducky One 3 SF
The best sixty-five percent gaming keyboard is the Ducky One 3 SF.
Available in a wild range of colors but also in plain black – you don’t have to go with this yellow version we reviewed – the entire Ducky One 3 range offers excellent build quality and includes hot-swappable keyswitches. This Sixty Five (SF) percent version provides a neat and compact layout but one that’s still really practical – the addition of cursor, Del and PgUp/PgDn keys really elevates it above 60 percent boards.
We particularly like the addition of a sound-dampening layer in this board that, assuming you haven’t opted for loud clicky keyswitches, means it remains very quiet for a mechanical keyboard. It’s not a cheap board but its build and feature set, which we explore more in our full Ducky One 3 SF review, make it our favorite off-the-shelf small keyboard.
- Great overall build quality
- Comparatively quiet
- Hot-swappable switches
- Wide range of sizes and colors
- Yellow color option lacks key legend backlighting
- No Home or End keys
- Not cheap
Ducky One SF specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||335 x 110 x 40 (W x D x H)|
|Weight||627g with cable|
|Format||65 per cent – 68 keys|
|Connections||USB Type-C socket with 2m cable|
|Switch type||Hot-swappable Cherry MX|
|Switch life||100 million key presses (depending on switch type)|
|Extras||Doubleshot PBT keycaps, hot-swappable switches, keycap and key switch removal tools, replacement keycaps|
Price: Expect to pay $100 (£100)
5. Mountain Everest 60
The best 60 percent gaming keyboard is the Mountain Everest 60.
Like the larger Mountain Everest Max, the Mountain Everest 60 earns its place on our best gaming keyboard list thanks to its incredibly useful modular numpad that lets you attach or detach the numpad at will. This addition elevates what is otherwise a quite restricted keyboard format – 60 percent keyboards have no Esc, F1-F12, Home/End, or cursor keys – into a far more usable format. You still miss out on some keys but the addition of the numpad makes it far more versatile than conventional 60 percent boards. With solid build quality, nice styling, and a useful broader set of features for a good price, this is the ideal 60 percent board for most buyers.
- Versatile modular design
- Compact 60 percent layout
- Hotswappable switches
- Lots of features
- 60 percent layout still feels restrictive
- No multimedia buttons
- Not genuine Cherry MX switches
Mountain Everest 60 specs:
|Dimensions (mm)||307.2 x 115 x 46.44 (W x D x H)|
|Weight||768g (without cable)|
|Format||Modular 60 percent (64 keys) with numpad (16 keys)|
|Switch type||Mountain hot swappable (linear 45, tactile 55)|
|Switch life||100+ million keystrokes|
|Extras||Detachable numpad, detachable USB-C cable, detachable feet, keycap removal tool|
Price: Expect to pay $140 for the main keyboard and $40 for the numpad.
Finally found the keyboard of your dreams? Why not check out our other best of guides to complete your setup: