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Best gaming keyboard 2020: the top mechanical and wireless keyboards for gaming

The key question

Featured post Best gaming keyboard 2020

There are so many different gaming keyboards to choose from these days, but the good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you and put together our very own list of all the best gaming keyboards you can buy today. We’ve tested dozens of gaming keyboards to compile this list of our best gaming keyboard recommendations, and below you’ll find all of our top picks for the best mechanical gaming keyboards, the best membrane gaming keyboards and the best wireless gaming keyboards, plus a couple of extras that were too good not to include.

We’d be happy with any one of these gaming keyboards on our desk, so whatever type of gaming keyboard you’re looking for, these are the best gaming keyboards you can buy right now.

Best gaming keyboard 2020

Really, there’s just one gaming keyboard that you should have on your list, and that’s the fantastic Fnatic Streak, which has been our best gaming keyboard recommendation for nigh on two years now and is still hands down the best gaming keyboard we’ve ever tested.

You should buy…

Fnatic Streak

The best gaming keyboard

The Fnatic Streak isn’t just a great-looking keyboard, but its range of Cherry MX mechanical switches means it’s brilliant for typing and playing games on, too. The full-sized version has all the features you’d expect on a great gaming keyboard, including USB passthrough for your mouse, a volume roller and a plush, detachable wrist rest, and it’s also available in a compact, tenkeyless model called the Fnatic miniStreak, too if you want to save on space.

The Fnatic Streak has superb build quality thanks to its slim and lightweight aluminium frame, and its plain design isn’t overly ‘gamery’ either, so it shouldn’t look too embarrassing to have on your desk. Its detachable wrist rest is also absolutely gorgeous, providing loads of support thanks to its thick padding. There are cheaper gaming keyboards out there, of course, but in our eyes, the Fnatic Streak is well worth the extra cash.

That said, we’re also big fans of the Roccat Vulcan, which is our top gaming keyboard pick for those with a bit more money to spend and are tired of the same old Cherry MX switches you get in practically every gaming keyboard under the sun, including the Fnatic Streak. It’s a bit more expensive than the Streak, but with good reason. That’s because the Vulcan comes with Roccat’s fantastic Titan switches, which offer loads of tactile feedback while being incredible fast. Its eye-catching design also makes it stand out from the crowd, making this a gaming keyboard for those after something a bit more adventurous that you won’t find anywhere else.

The pricier alternative…

Roccat Vulcan

For those tired of Cherry MX keyboards

If you’ve got the cash and are looking for a gaming keyboard that makes a bit more of a statement, the Roccat Vulcan is the gaming keyboard for you. Its Titan switches combine everything we love about Cherry’s tactile MX Browns and fast MX Reds, and it still comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-end gaming keyboard.

To find out more about our best gaming keyboard recommendations, just click the links below. As well as a more detailed explanation of what we like about them, we also tell you how much they cost and where you can get hold of one. And if you’re in the market for a whole suite of new PC gaming peripherals, then make sure you have a read of our best gaming mouse and best gaming headset lists as well while you’re here.

Of course, there are loads of other great gaming keyboards out there that we’d also recommend, particularly if you’re on a tight budget or want to cut out wires altogether. If that’s the case, then cast your eyes on the list below, which contains all of our other best gaming keyboard recommendations, such as the budget-friendly Asus TUF Gaming K5 and Razer Cynosa Chroma to the wireless and ultra premium Logitech G915 Lightspeed. If it’s an optical mechanical keyboard you’re after, on the other hand, then your first port of call should be the Razer Huntsman, while RGB fans should definitely consider the rainbow-tastic Asus ROG Strix Flare.

Just click on the links above to be taken straight to the gaming keyboard in question, or carry on scrolling to read the whole thing. You can also find out more about what to look out for when buying a gaming keyboard at the bottom of this article, and whether you should consider going for a membrane one or a mechanical keyboard. I also explain all the different types of mechanical switch to help you find the best gaming keyboard that’s right for you. For now, though, here are our best gaming keyboard recommendations in full.

Fnatic Streak / miniStreak – the best gaming keyboard

Fnatic Streak - Best gaming keyboard 2020

You’ll probably have heard of Fnatic from their esports endeavours rather than their hardware manufacturing chops, but the Fnatic Streak (and by extension its accompanying compact, tenkeyless cousin, the miniStreak) is easily one the best mechanical keyboards I’ve ever used.

Not only is it a pleasure to type on, but it also comes with the comfiest wrist rest on the planet, which you can re-position into one of three grooves on its accompanying base, allowing you to pitch it wherever’s most comfortable for you. It’s immensely practical and a lot comfier than the hard plastic rests you tend to see on other mechanical keyboards, too. Their respective designs are surprisingly tasteful for an esports company, too, featuring the bare minimum of logos and excess branding to keep everything nice and clean and not at all embarrassing to have on your desk.

The Ducky One 2 comes a very close second, but it’s also more expensive and doesn’t have as many features as the Fnatic Streak, such as USB passthrough or that lovely wrist rest. Alternatively, if you’d rather not spend 100-odd quid on a mechanical keyboard, then the very good HyperX Alloy FPS RGB would be my next suggestion. I reviewed the RGB version, which has Kailh silver switches, but it’s also available in a range of Cherry MX switches as well. It doesn’t have USB passthrough, sadly, but its compact frame and detachable braided USB cable make it a seriously tempting package for £80 / $95.

Roccat Vulcan – the second best gaming keyboard

Roccat Vulcan - Best gaming keyboard 2020

All right, this might be cheating a bit, but seriously, the Roccat Vulcan is just too good not to mention alongside the Fnatic Streak. It’s more expensive and doesn’t have quite as many features as its Fnatic rival, but the Vulcan sure is wonderful to type and play games on.

A large part of that is down to the Vulcan’s fantastic Titan switches, which Roccat have developed in-house together with switch maker extraordinaire TTC. At their core, they’re tactile switches that probably closest to Cherry’s MX Browns in feel, but their shorter actuation point (the bit where the keyboard registers a key has been pressed) and overall travel distance makes them feel just as lovely and fast as Cherry MX Reds, giving you the best of both worlds. Roccat have recently released a new model with Titan Speed switches (the black Vulcan 121) as well, which are 30% faster than their original tactile ones.

It’s also beautifully made thanks to its sturdy aluminium chassis, and it comes in a variety of different models and feature sets, too. The top-end Vulcan 120 gets you a removable wrist rest and all the additional media keys and volume knob, while the middle sibling Vulcan 100 is exactly the same minus the wrist rest. The entry-level Vulcan 80, meanwhile, is just the standard keyboard with a blue LED backlight instead of flashing RGBs. There’s also a white version of the Vulcan 120 called the Vulcan 122, and the aforementioned black Vulcan 121 as well. They’re all still quite expensive compared to other keyboards on this list, but those Titan switches are a real treat if you’re after something a bit different from the standard Cherry MX options.

Asus TUF Gaming K5 – best budget gaming keyboard

Asus TUF Gaming K5 - Best gaming keyboard 2020

If you’ve already got a membrane keyboard, but want to see whether mechanical gaming keyboards are for you, a hybrid keyboard like the Asus TUF Gaming K5 could be the answer. Half way between membrane and mechanical, this so-called ‘mecha-membrane’ keyboard offers the best of both worlds by being more responsive than your typical membrane keyboard, and quieter than your full-blown mechanical one. Plus, it doesn’t cost the earth, either, making it our best budget gaming keyboard pick.

It’s not entirely silent, but it’s certainly a lot more sociable than any of the other mechanical keyboards on this list – namely, you can use it within ear shot of another human being with functioning ear lobes and not run the risk of having something thrown in the general direction of your head. Each key still offers a pleasing degree of precision and tactile feedback as well, and the subtle RGB lighting doesn’t get up in your face, either.

Razer Cynosa Chroma – the best membrane gaming keyboard

Razer Cynosa Chroma - Best gaming keyboard 2020

For those of you who’d rather have something cheap and cheerful that doesn’t make an absolute racket during daily use, you’ll probably want to stick with a membrane keyboard instead of a loud mechanical one, and my current best membrane gaming keyboard recommendation is the excellent Razer Cynosa Chroma.

It’s a little more expensive than your typical membrane keyboard, but you can really feel where the extra money’s gone. Not only is it more responsive than your average membrane keyboard, but it’s also got some decent gaming features such as RGB lighting and a special game mode that disables the Windows key. You can also use it to record your own macros – which you can’t do on the similarly-priced and almost as good HyperX Alloy Core RGB.

It’s also one of the more tasteful-looking gaming keyboards on this list, with its plain black chassis largely free of obnoxious logos and corporate stylings. Plus, since this is a membrane keyboard rather than a mechanical one, it’s also much quieter than practically every keyboard you’ll read here. If you’re looking to upgrade your existing membrane keyboard without going full CLACK with a hybrid or mechanical keyboard, the Razer Cynosa Chroma is a great choice.

Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless – the best wireless keyboard

Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless - Best gaming keyboard 2020

The Logitech G915 Lightspeed Wireless is the most expensive gaming keyboard on this list, but by golly is it worth it. With its super slim aluminium frame, oleophobic key cap coating, gorgeous volume roller and dual-height adjustable feet, this is the pinnacle of wireless gaming keyboards.

Available in three different types of Logitech GL switches (clicky, tactile and linear), the G915 Lightspeed Wireless feels wonderful under your fingers, offering loads of tactile feedback and quick, sharp key presses. Logitech’s Lightspeed tech means it feels super responsive as well, and for me it felt just like using a traditional wired keyboard. The clicky version I was sent for review wasn’t too loud, either, making it nice and easy on the ears, too.

It’s also got a great battery life. Even after a couple of weeks use, the G915 only lost about 35% of its charge with its full RGB lighting going, so I reckon you could easily use this for an entire month without having to connect it back up to your PC. Even better, it only takes three hours to fully charge up again, and you get a warning when it gets down to 15% so you’re not suddenly cut off mid-game.

Logitech have just announced they’re going to be making a more compact tenkeyless version of the G915, too – the G915 TKL, giving you even more options when it comes to size. Plus, if the wireless version is out of your price range, there’s a cheaper wired version that has exactly the same design called the Logitech G815 Lightsync, which is just as lovely and costs £140 / $200.

Razer Huntsman – the best optical-mechanical keyboard

Razer Huntsman - Best gaming keyboard 2020

Mechanical keyboards are pretty darn fast, but for those after the absolute nippiest gaming keyboard around, there’s simply nothing better than an optical-mechanical keyboard. The Razer Huntsman is my pick of the bunch, as it’s both a bit cheaper and a lot more attractive than its rivals such as the HP Omen Sequencer.

Be warned, though. Optical mechanical keyboards really are an all-caps kind of LOUD compared to your typical mechanical keyboard, so you’ll need to be prepared for even more ear-piercing CLACKY CLACKS than Cherry MX Blue switches if you decide to opto it up. Still, noise levels aside, the Huntsman is a real beaut to type on, and its feet offer two different height levels as well.

There’s also a more upmarket version of the Huntsman available if you want a wrist rest, dedicated media keys and even more RGB lights to tinker with in the form of the Huntsman Elite, but it’s also twice as expensive at time of writing, making the regular Huntsman much better value for money.

Asus ROG Strix Flare – the best RGB gaming keyboard

Asus ROG Strix Flare - Best gaming keyboard 2020

If RGB lighting is the most important thing to you, the Asus ROG Strix Flare is another fantastic mechanical keyboard that’s worthy of your consideration. It’s come down a lot in price recently, too, making it an even better bargain than before. It’s tastefully designed keyboard that cuts a fine, sophisticated profile on your desk, and its elegent, dual matt and brushed finished design that sheers diagonally down the right side of the keyboard helps give it a bit of personality that’s both refined and understated.

And there are plenty of RGB LEDs, too. They’re not only on the keys themselves, but there are also two strips underneath the keyboard as well as another couple shining out of the top, transparent cut-out that can be used for slotting in 3D-printed gamer tags or the bundled plastic ROG logo (as shown above).

Again, you’ll need to download Asus’ Armory software to start customising the ROG Strix Flare down to a per-key lighting level, but you get plenty of options once you do so. The underglow strips are also surprisingly subdued for those who prefer a more subtle approach to their rainbow-coloured light shows, and I didn’t find them particularly distracting when playing games either.

How to choose the best gaming keyboard: The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a mechanical gaming keyboard or a membrane one. Generally, mechanical keyboards are better for gaming due to their fast, clean and linear movements and their short actuation points (when the keyboard actually registers you’ve pressed down a key). They are, however, more expensive, with most commanding prices of at least £80 / $100, if not significantly more. They’re more durable than membrane keyboards, though, and are (in theory) easier to repair as you only need to replace the individual switch instead of chucking out the entire keyboard.

Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are usually a lot quieter and cheaper than their mechanical counterparts because they’re made from less expensive materials. However, his in turn makes them more prone to breaking and are generally a bit of a pain to fix. Given their low price, it’s often easier to just to buy a brand-new one.

If you do decide to opt for a mechanical keyboard, the next thing to decide is what type of switch you want. Most gaming keyboards tend to use Cherry’s MX switches, but you’ll occasionally see other types from Kailh and Outemu as well, or in the case of Logitech, Roccat and Razer, their own in-house switches. Broadly speaking, though, they tend to fall into the same kind of categories: linear or tactile.

Taking Cherry’s MX switches as an example, linear red switches are often considered the fastest and best for gaming. Their clean, up and down movements don’t provide a lot of tactile feedback, making them less suitable for long typing stints, but their short actuation points make them a popular choice for FPS games and competitive online games.

Blue switches, on the other hand, are generally considered better for typing thanks to their loud and clicky sound, while tactile Brown switches are a sort of half-way house between Red and Blues. They’re a bit quieter than other switch types, but when you press them you’ll often feel a small bump halfway down, giving you a bit more physical confirmation that you’ve pressed a key correctly.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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