Yes, it pays to invest in a nice set of gaming peripherals built to last and help you win. But an excellent gaming mouse, keyboard, and headset out don’t need to cost a fortune. There are impressive options at the budget end as well.
When it comes to cheap gaming keyboards, for example, you’ll find a handful that are top-notch in performance, build, and features. Even if some sacrifices have been made and they’re not tournament-worthy to lower their prices – these inexpensive gaming keyboards deliver where it matters.
The best cheap gaming keyboards are just the ticket for budget-conscious gamers who either don’t have the funds or just don’t want to spend a whole lot on peripherals. Here are our top picks:
TL;DR – These are the Best Budget Gaming Keyboards:
1. Corsair K55 RGB Pro
Best Budget Gaming Keyboard
Corsair’s line of premium gaming keyboards is epic, to say the least, but its inexpensive offerings have a lot to offer as well. The Corsair K55 RGB Pro, for one, is among the best cheap gaming keyboards out there, touting an 1,000Hz polling rate that’s standard on most keyboards – even expensive ones – onboard memory, and IP42 protection against spills. It’s not fully programmable, sadly, but it does have six dedicated keys for macro recording to make you faster and more efficient during intense battles. If you’re a game streamer, you can even assign streaming commands to these keys via Elgato Stream Deck software.
Like its keys, the RGB lighting here is not per-key programmable. However, it does have five RGB lighting zones, which you can customize with different lighting and lighting effects. The best part is that you’re getting all that for under $50, which is a fraction of the cost of most top gaming keyboards out there.
2. SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL
Best Ultra Cheap Gaming Keyboard
The SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL is proof that a gaming keyboard doesn’t have to be expensive to keep up. This $45 option already ticks a lot of things off the list including being water- and dust-resistant, silent switches ideal for late-night gaming, and it even has adjustable feet for your gaming comfort. Also, apart from its dedicated media keys, it’s also fully macro-programmable, which makes it an excellent budget choice for RPG, MMO, and MOBA gamers.
That’s not all; this feature-rich keyboard boasts gaming-grade anti-ghosting on the most commonly used gaming keys, three-way cable management built-in, and eight customizable RGB lighting zones. Simply put, it’s packed with great features and delivers a solid performance you wouldn’t expect from a sub-$50 keyboard. Plus, if you like this in a full-sized version, the SteelSeries Apex 3 comes with pretty much the same features.
3. Razer Cynosa V2
Best Budget Customizable Gaming Keyboard
If you’re looking for a fully-programmable keyboard that does more than macros, then consider the Razer Cynosa Chroma V2. This is a great membrane-switch keyboard that actuates when you need it even in the most intense moments, thanks to its 1,000Hz polling rate. It’s so responsive that membrane-keyboard haters happily overlook it’s less-than gratifying feedback.
On top of the keys you can customize; the per-key programmable RGB lighting and 22-zone Underglow lighting are boons to RGB fans as well. Of course, the dedicated media keys are incredibly useful, as is its built-in cable management. It is a little more expensive than our other picks on the list, but at $60, it’s nothing too extravagant for budget-minded gamers especially considering everything you’re getting.
4. Logitech K845
Best Budget Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Logitech K845 is unlike any gaming keyboard you’ve ever seen. In fact, Logitech has taken great lengths to prove that a gaming keyboard can look just as sleek and as elegant as the best keyboards for productivity. Make no mistake, though; this mechanical keyboard is just as excellent for gaming as it is for typing up emails and documents. As long as you’re not seeking tournament-level performance, that is.
You even have your pick of mechanical switches, so you can get the one that feels most comfortable and satisfying to you. It’s a bit minimalist on features, with just five lighting patterns on hand for backlighting and no macro recording. However, it’s an excellent budget keyboard if you need one to see you through all your computing needs, including casual gaming. Plus, for a sub-$80 option, you’re getting a robust option that’s rated for up to 50 million clicks.
5. Roccat Magma
Best Budget RGB Gaming Keyboard
The RGB lighting on the Roccat Magma might overwhelm you. Or, you might absolutely love it. The 5-zone, 10-LED RGBA backlighting doesn’t just light up the symbols on the keys; it makes the whole keyboard deck glow beautifully. Of course, it doesn’t just look good; it performs beautifully as well. Its keys aren’t just quiet, due to its silent membrane switches; they’re also gaming-level fast and accurate.
Of course, its advanced anti-ghosting technology and Roccat Easy-Shift[+] button duplicator, which gives you a second set of functions on the WASD zone, should help with your gaming performance as well. That’s a lot of premium features on a gaming keyboard that’s now $50. It even has a detachable palm rest, which to be honest is nothing to write home about, but it adds to its value.
Michelle Rae Uy is a freelance tech and travel writer, part-time production editor, and a full-time traveler from Los Angeles, California. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, London and the rest of the world. Follow her on Instagram @straywithRae.
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