7 best budget keyboards for gaming 2023
There’s nothing better than getting your hands on a high-quality gaming keyboard at a fair price. We’re also big fans of LEDs – the colors add just the right amount of pop to your gaming setup.
Moreover, these days, a gaming keyboard can be secured for as little as $50 / £50 without sacrificing many features. There are plenty of options available right now, whether you are looking for a budget gaming keyboard to get you through higher-budget decks or building yourself a more affordable setup.
It’s not unusual to see high-end features made their way down to a price of around $50 / £50 because technology in these decks moves so quickly. While you’re not getting the speed or customization options of the best gaming keyboard, you’ll still be able to hold your own in battle.
The best budget gaming keyboard deals tend to happen during large sales events, but regular discounts all year round are also great. The full range of budget gaming keyboards we recommend watching out for can be found below, whether you’re after a full deck or something a little more ergonomic.
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Corsair K55 Pro~The best budget gaming keyboard for most people
Build: : Membrane | Size: : Full-size | Wireless: : No | Weight: : 24.4oz / 1.69lbs
Great build quality iCUE lighting works well Quiet useA little spongey
It has been a keyboard of choice for the GamesRadar+ Hardware team for well over three years. There’s a responsive key action, bright lighting, and rugged build quality that makes this stand out among its similarly priced competitors. It may not seem like much at first glance, but it excels in quiet execution of all the essential qualities of a gaming keyboard.
In terms of design, the K55 is admittedly stripped back, but it does everything well without making any compromises. You should note that it’s a membrane keyboard, so if you’re looking for something clicky, this is unlikely to be the keyboard for you. The keycaps are rubber instead of mechanical switches, so it’s a membrane.
It carries an MSRP of $49.99, but our summer gaming keyboard deals have drastically reduced its price to $34.99/£20. If you see a price near that edge today, you’re getting a solid deal, as we haven’t seen this kind of deal in a while.
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Havit Mechanical~The best budget mechanical keyboard
Build: Mechanical | Size: Full-size | Wireless : No | Weight: 18.4oz / 1.15lbs
This mouse comes with a mechanical action and features a media bar and a sticky spacebar .Havit’s mechanical keyboard is a great example of how a mechanical keyboard can be affordable while still producing the kind of clicky feedback you want from a device like this.
Aside from the form factor, it is also important to note that it occupies little space besides the keys, which results in a slim profile. For those looking for a high-quality setup at an affordable price point, you can also get it with a high-DPI RGB mouse.
In the UK, full setup packages can go for as little as £28 on this already budget gaming keyboard. Bundles are a great way to save on this already budget-buying keyboard. In the US, offers are less regular due to the lack of stock, but budget setups still cost around $30.
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Klim Chroma Wireless~The best budget wireless gaming keyboard
Build: Membrane | Size: Full-size | Wireless: Yes | Weight: 23oz / 1.5lbs
Water-resistant/dust-resistantSlow to charge thanks to included USB dongleSplash-resistant/dust-resistant
As a budget wireless gaming keyboard, Klim is proving that there are indeed budget models out there that offer similar build quality to RGB-enabled membrane keyboards at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, it is lightweight and durable enough to fit into a rucksack without getting scratched or damaged.
A full charge of this keyboard should last you approximately four hours, which means you’ll have enough juice to play for hours. You should also take note of the soft-touch keys themselves, which are also quiet and soft to use. However, if mechanical tactile feedback or clickiness are important selling points for you in this price range, keep that in mind.
In the US, Klim Chroma prices drop to between $26 and $30, but you can often find them for around $40 / £30.
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Razer Cynosa V2~he best budget Razer keyboard
Build: Membrane | Size: Full-size | Wireless: No | Weight: 33.6oz / 2.1lbs
Dedicated media bar with chroma lighting Quiet operation No noisy keys
As with the K55, the Razer Cynosa V2 has a membrane-based design to make it quiet and a lot softer. In addition to its Chroma RGB lighting, which is basic but still impressive compared to the visual effects on Razer keyboards, the keyboard’s Chroma RGB lighting is the star of the show here – as with other Razer keyboards.
In order to ensure that this keyboard does not short out if you accidentally spill a cloudy lemonade on it (as I have seen with other keyboards that didn’t survive contact with drinks), it is built to be dust and spill-resistant. If you’re looking for a Razer device, but you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars, you’ll still find great value here.
Originally priced at $59.99 / £49.99, the deck is often available for $49.99 (though discounts are less common over there). We’ve never seen this deck for less than $44.99 / £39.99, so any discounts over $50 / £45 are well worth your time.
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HyperX Alloy Core RGB~The best budget HyperX keyboard
Build: Membrane | Size: Full-size | Wireless : No | Weight: 39.52oz / 2.47lbs
The dedicated media bar is a big plus. The RGB lighting is impressive and the resistance is satisfying. You cannot reassign the function keys.
This HyperX Alloy Core RGB is another quiet keyboard, but this time it is decidedly understated, despite its flashing lights. Speaking of RGB, this is a much easier process. The aforementioned Chroma software allows you to tweak things endlessly, but this is ideal if you want something quick that looks good without having to tweak everything endlessly.
Additionally, the dedicated media keys are included as standard, allowing easy access to volume and playback controls in an unobtrusive location. This is definitely not a feature to be taken for granted in a majority of budget gaming keyboards. While the Alloy Core doesn’t turn many heads, it does everything it needs to do well.
We often find this budget gaming keyboard to be reduced to $34.99 in the US (and it hit a record low of $29.99 at the end of 2021) even though it costs $49.99 / £49.99 at full price. In the past year, we have seen more gaming keyboard deals available in the UK on this model, with prices hovering around £40 and falling to a record low of £22 during a particularly fast flash sale. We would aim for a $35 / £39.99 price here.
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SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL~The best budget TKL gaming keyboard
Build: Membrane | Size: TKL | Wireless: No | Weight: 22.6oz / 1.41lbs
There’s a lot to recommend about the Apex 3 if you’re willing to sacrifice the clicky feel and tactile feedback of a mechanical deck for a heavy typing experience. Its stellar eight-zone RGB lighting and magnetic wrist rest make it easy to play games. The fact that it clings to the keyboard ensures it doesn’t slip around while typing. Other manufacturers and models in this price range do not include this feature.
In addition to being dust- and water-resistant, the Apex 3 is also ideal for those who don’t want to get a soft drink while playing a game, as you might expect from a membrane-based gaming keyboard. Even though it’s bulky and heavy, it will sit sturdily on your desk for thousands of hours.
It’s a solid deal if you can find a discount on the SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL below, which is relatively new. Typically, this keyboard doesn’t see many deals, but that $44.99 MSRP has given way to a $30 sales price in the past, so watch out. As far as the UK is concerned, we’ve seen a discount of around £9.
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Are budget gaming keyboards worth it?
The cheap models, in our experience as long-term PC gamers, perform just as well for gaming as the high-end branded flagship models. Especially now that budget gaming keyboards have become more affordable than ever before, you can absolutely enjoy PC gaming on a budget gaming keyboard, even if you have a limited peripheral budget, which many of us have had in our gaming lives.
Is a mechanical keyboard worth it for gaming?
In our time as PC gamers, we have used both mechanical and membrane keyboards, so ultimately it comes down to personal preference rather than a particular build type having an edge over the other. The mechanical deck, for example, will provide you with a more tactile, clicky feel, but you’ll also hear more noise from these gaming keyboards. While membrane keyboards are generally quieter, they lack the kind of definitive feedback necessary for gaming, so if you’re on the fence about making the switch, we recommend investing in a cheaper mechanical keyboard.
To have more flexibility in your switches, you might also want to consider the best hot-swappable keyboards.
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How much should I spend on a gaming keyboard?
It is unclear what should be the cost of a budget gaming keyboard, but anything around or above $50 is generally a good choice, especially when it comes from one of the more established names on the market. Having said that, some of the $25 models in our roundup are top-quality, too, so the end costs will always depend on the features set and build preferences you prefer.
In case you’re looking to get your setup put together on a budget, we’ve rounded up the best cheap gaming headsets and the best cheap gaming monitors. Our best cheap gaming laptop deals and best cheap gaming PC deals are updated regularly if you’re interested in the hardware side of things.
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