If you’re just getting into PC gaming or are looking to upgrade your setup, choosing a gaming keyboard can be more complicated than you might think. Alongside a gaming mouse, your gaming keyboard is the piece of gear that you’ll interact with the most. Plus, you’ll probably also want to use it for activities outside of gaming, so you definitely want a keyboard that feels and looks up to your standards and preferences. To help you out, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best gaming keyboards in 2023.
Between key switches, mechanical vs membrane keyboards, and all the extra features that keyboards tend to come with–such as multimedia keys and RGB lighting–there is a lot to consider. For details on the differences between various keyboard switches, scroll down below the list. Our list of the best gaming keyboards includes wireless and wired options as well as keyboards with different form factors and switches.
Looking to complete your gaming keyboard and mouse combo, or just want more gaming peripherals to shop for? Check out our picks for the best gaming headset and best gaming mouse. If you have a Steam Deck, make sure to check out our roundups of the We also have a list of the best Steam Deck games and best Steam Deck accessories.
Editor’s Note: Article updated on March 1, 2023
Keyboard switches, explained
Different types of switches will appeal to different and whether you’re going with a Cherry MX switch like Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Blue, there are plenty of keyboards worth your time. It can get confusing quickly, especially if you can’t test these keyboards yourself and truly tell the difference with your own fingers. Thankfully, it’s easy to understand exactly what you’ll be getting if you understand the terminology.
First off, linear versus tactile switches keys. Linear means there is no physical feedback mechanism to indicate when a keystroke is registered. It’s smooth, relatively quiet, and preferred for rapidly tapping on keys. Tactile means there is a bump or click to indicate you’ve hit the actuation point; it’s louder, but some prefer having physical feedback for keystrokes. It really comes down to preference. Actuation point is the distance at which a keystroke is registered; a shorter distance means you don’t have to press the key down as far, but can lead to errant inputs. Actuation force is, well, the force needed to press the key down. Of course, there are all the quality-of-life considerations to think about, too, like multimedia keys, whether you want a programmable key row and such.
While Cherry has been the long-time dominant manufacturer of mechanical switches, some gaming peripheral brands have started making their own proprietary mechanical switches for their keyboards, namely Razer and Logitech. For a brief overview of the most common mx switches, see below:
- Cherry MX Red Switches: Linear
- Cherry MX Blue Switches: Tactile and Clicky
- Cherry MX Brown Switches: Tactile with a Bump
- Cherry MX Speed Switches: Linear with a very short actuation point
- Romer-G Linear Switches: Linear
- Romer-G Tactile Switches: Tactile with a Bump
- Razer Yellow Switches: Linear
- Razer Orange Switches: Tactile with a Bump
- Razer Green Switches: Tactile and Clicky
- Steelseries OmniPoint Adjustable Switches: Linear with adjustable actuation point