As a Mechanical keyboard provides the best typing experience and range of features, all the keyboards on the list are mechanical. Now, there are many kinds of mechanical switches that exist and the difference mainly lies in the actuation point, the “bump” when pressed, and the sound. Based on your interests, you have to choose one:
Linear Switch has no bump to it when pressed and it feels like pressing a spring that gets harder as pushed down. These switches have a light actuation point (force required to register keystroke)
These switches are very sensitive and faster to register keystroke compared to other switches, which can be a blessing for Gamers or annoying for some as sensitive keys do not go very well with typing.
- Actuation point: 0.45N-0.50N
- Keys: Cherry MX Red, Speed, and White, Kaihl Red and Speed, Razer Yellow, Gateron Red, and Romer G Linear.
Tactile switches have a “bump” when it hits the actuation point or when the keystroke gets registered. The feeling of that “bump” is what makes Tactile switches the most common switches in mechanical keyboards.
Unlike Linear switches, the Tactile switches are not very sensitive and are perfect for Gaming, as well as typing.
- Actuation point: 0.45N-0.50N
- Keys: Cherry MX Brown and Green, Kailh Brown, Romer G Tactile, Razer Orange.
Clicky switches have a snapping kind of mechanism that makes a loud click sound when the key is pressed. Because of the Click sound, these keys can be annoying in a workspace or even home, but provide the best “mechanical” feel at the same time.
If you like that click sound then these are the switches for you. Also, Tactile and Clicky switches have a different feel to them when pressed, because of the snapping mechanism in the clicky switch, the “bump” is more noticeable while the bump is smooth in Tactile switches.
- Actuation point: 0.60N or more
- Keys: Cherry MX Blue, Kailh Blue, Razer Green, GX Blue.
Best Gaming Keyboards You Can Buy Online In 2021:
What to Look for when buying a Keyboard for your computer?
- The Switches: Choose between Linear, tactile and Clicky switches. For the switch manufacturers, Cherry MX is known to be the best in the industry. Kailh and Gateron are Good Cherry MX Clones.
- Keycaps build: Most common keys materials are PBT and ABS. PBT is the better one and found in higher priced good quality keyboards while ABS is more common in cheaper keyboards.
- Keyboard size: Keyboard with Num pad is known as Full Size or TenKey. Boards without the Numpad are TKL (Tenkeyless) keyboards and finally, the 60% or Compact keyboards that come without Numpad and Arrow keys. There are some 65% and 75% keyboards too.
- Backlight: Backlit keyboards are easier to work at night or in a dim environment. RGB looks cool and most of the keyboard on the list comes with RGB lighting.
- Layout: Most common is ANSI and ISO is common after that. Read more about Layouts here.
- Cost: Cost or Value for money is determined by the competition. If you are spending 200$ for a keyboard that gives ABS keys and some proprietary Cherry clones while a similarly priced keyboard is giving PBT keys with Cherry MX, then it’s a bad value for money.
Ducky Shine 7 ($169):
Ducky Shine is the Ducky’s flagship Keyboard. Shine 7 is one of the best Keyboard on this list and if you have a lot of money to spend on the keyboard, then go for this one.
Talking about the build, the bottom of the keyboard is plastic and the top plate is Zinc alloy that gives a very premium look. There is no flex and the keyboard does not slide off while typing. this is a popular product in the Best Gaming keyboards category.
The keys are made of High-quality Double Shot PBT with no wobbling at all. Coming to the RGB, each key is individually lit and the lighting can be controlled from the keyboard or from the software.
The switches are Cherry MXs and the typing experience on Shine 7 is great. It comes with onboard software so most of the features can be accessed directly from the board, which includes: Programmable keys, Windows lock, and the location of windows key, caps lock key and FN key is change-able.
Ducky One 2 ($102):
Ducky One 2 is a Full sized/TKL keyboard with various Cherry MX keys. There is a USB Type C port for the connection to the PC and the keyboard support macros.
It is a cheaper keyboard compared to the Shine 7 but gives a similar typing experience and quality minus the looks and backlighting. There is no backlit on cheaper models but you get RGB lighting on a higher-priced variant.
Talking about the build quality, the keyboard is build of solid plastic with very little flex. The keys are made of double Shot PBT with very little wobbling.
There are 2 incline settings and the keyboard is very stable and does not slide off while typing. All the keys support macros and you also get a Windows lock key. If you are tight on budget, this is the best keyboard you can get, the typing experience on this keyboard is better than most “Gaming” keyboards that come with ABS keycaps with proprietary switches.
Cooler Master CK552 W/Gateron Red Switch ($79):
Cooler Master CK552 is a cheap keyboard that hits the mark for most of the Gamers out there. You get a stylish RGB keyboard with Gateron Red Linear switches and a solid Aluminum body that gives some premium looks to the overall design of this board.
The keys are made of ABS, which is a cheaper and less durable material compared to PBT, but at a low price point. It is acceptable. Gateron Red Linear switches are very smooth to type on and actuates at 45g.
The RGB lighting on this keyboard is great, if you prefer to design, and RGB over typing quality and durability, then buy this keyboard over Ducky One 2 which has no RGB or backlighting on the cheaper variant.
TKL (TenKeyLess) Keyboards:
Ducky One 2 RGB ($194):
Same as Ducky One 2, the TKL version comes without Numpad, while all other features are the same. It is a great keyboard to type on and comes with the very nice build quality. You can choose any of the Cherry MX keys with this keyboard.
SteelSeries Apex Pro ($179):
SteelSeries Apex Pro is without a doubt the most premium looking keyboard on the list. You can set the actuation point for every key to a different level with the help of the screen on the keyboard.
The keyboard has an aluminum body and overall a very good build quality. The keys are double-shot ABS. You also get a Magnetic wrist wrest. The RGB is fantastic and you can use the on-keyboard controls or the software to control the lighting. The control wheel on the board can be used for various tasks and is a nice addition to the keyboard.
Apex Pro comes with the OmniPoint switches, these are the proprietary switches from SteelSeries. It only comes with the Linear Switch option here so if you are a tactile switch person, then go for Ducky Shine 7 instead.
Cooler Master MK730 Tenkeyless ($117):
MK730 is a great keyboard if you want to have a “Gaming” looking keyboard with wrist support. This keyboard has a decent build overall. The bottom part is made of plastic and the top part is Aluminum with a brushed texture.
The keys are ABS though which will get slippery and shiny with time, but the good thing is that you get extra PBT W, A, S, D, and all arrow keys. Talking about the switches, you get to choose between all three Cherry MX switch versions, i.e Blues, Red, and Brown. The keyboard supports Windows Lock key features and all keys are programmable.
Redragon K552 ($32):
Cheap! That’s what defines this keyboard. If you are not willing to spend 100 bucks on a keyboard yet but want to enter into the world of mechanical keyboards, this board is the best one for you. At this price, it’s hard to beat this one.
The build quality is good and the keys are made of double-shot ABS. The RGB backlight system is decent. There is no software support for it so you have to use the keyboard itself to cycle through 17 lighting effects.
The switches are made by Outemu and users have reported that they are good enough although not at the level of higher-end Cherry MX. Overall, this is a great affordable keyboard for beginners.
60% (Mini) Keyboards:
Ducky One 2 Mini ($119):
Ducky One 2 Mini is a compact keyboard with the same quality as Ducky as seen on Ducky One 2 and Ducky Shine 2. The frame is made of plastic and offers a nice build quality to the board. The keys are double-shot PBT which is common in all the ducky keyboards on this list so far. PBT keycaps are the best ones you can get on any keyboard.
The RGB lighting is great and you have lots of different lighting effects, however, they are only controllable through the keyboard as there is no software interface. You can choose various cherry MX switches. You can always check the Switches section at the top of the article to know more about them.
Anne Pro 2 ($109):
Anne Pro 2 with Gateron switches is a great choice if you have a budget of 100$. The Keyboard comes with a great build with a plastic frame and PBT keycaps. The cheaper version of this board comes with Gateron switches while a higher-priced variant comes with Cherry MX, but we recommend Ducky One 2 Mini if you are going for Cherry MX.
The board support per-key RGB lighting with all kind of animations you need. However, some users have reported that the brightness is not very high in Well lit rooms. There is no USB passthrough in the keyboard and no Windows lock key either. All the keys are programmable though. This is the basic and value for money product in the Best Gaming keyboards category.
So, these were the Best Gaming keyboards you can buy online. If you are planning to buy one right now, Make sure that you choose the switch type carefully as they matter the most when it comes to mechanical keyboards. Look out for keycaps material as some big brands sneakily give you ABS keys on higher-priced keyboards. Also, check out our best gaming mouses guide.