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Best Budget Gaming Keyboards (Under $100)

The costs of gaming peripherals can quickly add up! Whether you're new to PC gaming, or you just want to save a few bucks, here are the best gaming keyboards that you can get on a budget.

Gaming is already a pretty expensive hobby - you don’t want to have to spend an arm and leg on the peripherals. A good keyboard, however,  puts you in control. Buying a gaming keyboard on a budget is the right thing to do.

A proper gaming keyboard must offer a good balance of speed, accuracy, attractiveness and durability, in addition to having a good switch and backlighting. Getting a gaming keyboard on a budget without incorporating such important factors can kill the thrilling gaming experience you want.

What should you look for in a budget gaming keyboard?

  • Membrane vs Mechanical switches

Membrane keyboards use plastic domes to complete the electric circuit, while a mechanical switch which has a physical lever under every key. A membrane switch is affordable and difficult to destroy if you spill liquid on it. With a membrane switch, there's no need to press the key hard to issue a command - you can complete a keystroke with partial press. However, mechanical keyboard switches tend to last longer and have a more satisfying feel to them when in use.

  • Backlight Mono RGB

If you're already into gaming, you don't need to see the keys in the dark to be able to play, But there is something about a nice backlit keyboard that gets you into the gaming mood. Expensive keyboards can often be programmed to flash different colors. But, you can get a mono RGB which illuminates your keyboard with one color for less than $100. 

  • Extra Macro Buttons

Macro buttons help you to give commands fast when gaming. Instead of moving your fingers over the keyboard in multiple spots to issue a series of events, one macro key can achieve several key sequences. When you're playing at a rate of several hundred APM (actions per minute) this feature is absolutely crucial. 

  • Anti-ghosting

This feature makes gaming enjoyable because if you accidentally press a set of keys, the keyboard will only obey one command and ignore the other keys. If your fingers are moving so fast over your keyboard, anti-ghosting gives you a better gaming experience.

A proper gaming keyboard must offer a good balance of speed, accuracy, attractiveness and durability, besides a good switch and backlighting. Getting a gaming keyboard on a budget without incorporating such important features can kill the thrilling gaming experience you want.

1) Corsair K55 available for $49 on Amazon

Key features
  • RGB Backlight
  • 6 Macro Keys
  • Multi-key anti-ghosting
  • Media keys

Corsair has been in the market for over 20 years but only launched gaming keyboards in 2014. With a distribution network of over 60 countries in the world, this company offers leading technology for its products. 

The Corsair K55 is a budget gaming keyboard but with useful features including attractive backlight and macro keys. This gaming keyboard has 110 keys of which 6 are macro keys.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

  • 3 color backlight

The backlighting on this gaming keyboard is 3 zoned. It lights up your room and gets you into gaming mood.

  • Anti-ghosting keys

Anti-ghosting keys remove distraction as you game for hours. Even if you press more keys for a single command, you only get what you intended.

  • Wrist rest

Soft rubber wrist support. If you intend to go for marathon gaming sessions, rest your wrist on the detachable soft rubber provided with this keyboard.

What's not so good about it?

A few users had to replace their keyboards after a short period of use. Still, it's pretty affordable so if it breaks it's easy to replace.

The caps lock and num lock can fail to work but, you can unplug the keyboard and plug it back in to restore normal working. 

Make sure you plug your device to a power source or docking station to keep the keyboard working. Because G keys are on the left, and you might press them while intending to use the shift or control keys.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable for long gaming sessions
  • Not noisy
  • Attractive backlight
Cons:
  • Only 3 colour zones at a time out of 8 available colours
  • Short battery life
  • Forgets the colour settings on keys and no illumination on media keys
  • Limited customization

2) Redragon K552-R KUMARA available for $29 on Amazon

Key features
  • Mechanical switch

  • RGB LED Backlight

  • High-speed USB cable

  • 12 media keys

The Redragon K552-R Kumara is a product from Eastern Times Technology Co. Ltd. This company, founded over 24 years ago, specializes in mouse and keyboard manufacturing. They distribute their products to 30 countries. The gaming keyboard has 87 keys and takes up a small real estate on your desk.

This model has cool features without stepping out of your lean budget. Even though it has a mechanical switch, it’s fairly affordable.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • High-speed USB Cable

Speed is important when gaming and this USB cable is reliable if you are a tough gamer. The cable is gold plated and durable, and you can use it for long.

  • RGB LED Backlight

If you love a colourful gaming keyboard, go for this model with adjustable backlight. You can adjust the brightness or apply other lighting effects, and it illuminates in red.

  • Mechanical switch

With a mechanical switch, you get loud click sounds as you play your game. This keyboard can give you this experience if you want feedback when you tap on keys.

What's not so good about it?

The keys are small sized compared to other standard keys. The keys can stop working after a short time. Or, several keys can register over one result even though you pressed only once. 

Though the majority gamers prefer the audible click, a feature of mechanical switches, this keyboard is loud and can distract others. Without a wrist rest, you can get uncomfortable when you game for long periods. A few keys have a mushy feel even though this keyboard is a mechanical switch.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Space-saving because of its small dimensions
  • Adjustable backlighting
  • Durable construction and spill resistant
Cons:
  • No wrist rest
  • Small sized keys
  • Noisy
  • No num pad

3) EagleTec KG010 available for $38 on Amazon

Key features
  • Mechanical Switch

  • 104 keys, 12 multi-media keys

  • RGB LED Backlight

  • Durable aluminium body

Challenger Technology Limited owns Eagletec. Since 1996, Eagletec has been developing products for other brands. Their aim is to deliver high-quality products.

The price of Eagletec KG010 is within the range of other budget models. This model is a mechanical switch gaming keyboard.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • Anti-ghosting keys

These conflict-free keys give you the best gaming experience. You need not put too much thought on the keys you depress as you enjoy your game.

  • RGB LED Backlight

The backlight is adjustable within 10 levels. A well-lit keyboard removes the need to search for keys while gaming. Besides this, the lettering on keys is permanent and you can enjoy using the keyboard for long.

  • Durable aluminium body

Marathon sessions can wear out a poor quality keyboard. But, you can use this keyboard for a long period because of the durable construction material. The keyboard stays stable because of the non-slip feet on the rear.

What's not so good about it?

Though the keys are built to be scratch resistant, a few users found several keys rubbing off. 

This mechanical switch keyboard is loud but, you can reduce the noise by use of O-Rings. 

The keyboard can fail to register to your device after several months of use. This can be due to a loose USB connector. 

You must reset the brightness level when you reboot. If the backlight does not illuminate a key, use the warranty to get a replacement.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable backlights
  • Durable
  • Spill-resistant and easy to clean
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • The adjustable feet are low and no wrist rest
  • No macro keys
  • USB connector can become loose

4) HyperX Alloy FPS Pro available for $69 on Amazon

Key features
  • N-Key rollover

  • Red LED Backlight and lighting effects

  • Braided and detachable cable

  • Durable steel frame

You can expect a reliable gaming keyboard from a manufacturer who sponsors over 20 gaming teams in the world. HyperX is the product division of Kingston Technology and it started its operations in 2002. The FPS Pro model from HyperX has 87 keys and is a mechanical switch gaming keyboard.

The cost of this gaming keyboard is higher than other budget models in this list but still below the $100 mark. This makes it a budget-friendly mechanical switch gaming keyboard.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • N-Key rollover

Though you press over one key while gaming, N-Key rollover will make sure the keyboard hardware detects only the correct key. This gives you a good gaming experience because you don’t get distracted by concentrating on pressing the right key.

  • Steel frame construction

You need a long lasting keyboard for your gaming hobby. The steel frame used to make the body of this keyboard is durable and you can use it for an extended time span.

  • Braided and detachable cable

A detachable cable makes it easy to move around with the keyboard. Fit it into the travel mesh pouch if you want to carry it. Besides this, a braided cord wears out slowly, so it will last longer.

What's not so good about it?

This mechanical switch keyboard produces loud distracting noise.  If you get a faulty unit, contact the reliable customer service for help. 

A few users said the keys can become unresponsive. If this happens to your keyboard, unplug it and plug it in again. To select media, you must combine keys because this keyboard has no dedicated media keys.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Small sized and portable
  • Durable
  • Braided Cord
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • No wrist rest or num pad
  • Limited customization
  • Not compatible with Mac

5) HAVIT HV-KB395L available for $79 on Amazon

Key features
  • RGB Backlight

  • Detachable USB cord

  • Aluminium alloy cover

  • WIN Key lock

With over 20 years in producing technology products, Havit has several high-quality and durable products distributed to over 120 countries. Products go through strict quality control and for an assurance, you can get your money back in within 30 days if your keyboard is faulty.

Havit HV-KB395L is a mechanical switch keyboard with 104 keys. It retails below $100, making it a reliable budget-friendly gaming keyboard.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • RGB backlight

You can customize the backlight to your preference. It allows for multiple backlight modes and you can assign unique colours to keys. This makes it easy to use the keyboard even when the lights are at 0 brightness level.

  • Detachable USB cord

This is a good gaming keyboard you can carry when you travel. Portability is due to the detachable USB cord and the compact size of this gaming keyboard.

  • WIN Key lock

 As you enjoy your game, WIN key lock feature is helpful because you don’t get distracted if you depress it. Depressing the WIN key minimizes the screen. Locking the WIN key is convenient when gaming.

What's not so good about it?

Though the backlight is customizable, you must customize every key individually because no software is available to skip this tedious task. 

Several users had a problem with the keys. To get the desired result, keys had to be bottomed out. This destroys the comfort of short travel and tactile feedback when gaming. 

Pressing a key softly can result in a missed keystroke. Contact customer service if the keys don’t work well.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Multi-coloured backlight
  • Detachable USB cord
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons:
  • No dedicated media  control keys
  • You cannot adjust backlight brightness
  • Cable is not braided and it’s difficult to use third party USB cable
  • Keys can become unresponsive

6) Logitech G213 Prodigy available for $46 on Amazon

Key features
  • Mech-Dome Keys

  • Palm rest

  • Lightsync RGB

  • Media keys

Logitech is a company dedicated to pioneering new technology and has a history of industry firsts in gaming gear development. This gaming keyboard from Logitech has advanced features. It’s good for gamers who want the full experience.

But features such as lightsync RGB and Mech-Dome keys, come at an extra cost. Compared to other models on this list, Logitech G213 Prodigy is expensive, but in terms of gaming keyboards and considering that this is a high quality brand, it's still pretty cheap.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • Mech-Dome keys with low noise

These keys have a good tactile response and superior performance when you are gaming. You get the same experience as using a mechanical switch keyboard but without the loud noise.

  • Lightsync RGB

If you love syncing lights with your game, get this gaming keyboard. This model has 5 lighting zones. Logitech gaming software makes customization easy. Aside from customizing the lights, you can control the brightness.

  • Spill-resistant and long-lasting

 Accidents happen when you are gaming and your adrenaline is running high. But, if you spill your drink on this keyboard you are safe and it stays usable for your next game. It is spill resistant gaming keyboard.

What's not so good about it?

The keys are smooth but, several users prefer textured keys for easy control. Textured keys make touch typing easy and remove the need to press keys accidentally.

 Also, it’s difficult to read the keys. Close spacing of the keys is not convenient for gamers. 

Several users found that it is not as spill-resistance as the brand claims (this fully depends on the amount and type of liquid). 

Pros:
  • High-speed performance
  • Low noise
  • Dedicated media keys
  • Palm rest
Cons:
  • No macro keys
  • No textured keys
  • Keys can fail to work well

7) SteelSeries Apex 150 available for $47 on Amazon

Key features
  • 5 Zones RGB Backlight

  • Splash resistance

  • Quick tension switches

  • Discord integration and notifications

Steel Series is another innovative company and they are pioneers of the mechanical gaming keyboard. Since 2001, their products in the market target e-sports and other gamers, including sponsoring first pro players.

The Steel Series Apex 150 has good features at a competitive price. Even though it has good features, it’s affordable and retails at the price range of other budget models.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • Quick tension switches

The keys have low friction and a good feel as you concentrate on your game. Their make and durable iron plate used at the base of the keyboard offer you a durable tension switch for the best gaming experience. These tension switches resemble mechanical switches but without loud clicking noise when you depress the keys.

  • Splash resistance

Spilling liquids on this gaming keyboard does not destroy the electronics. The keyboard has an internal membrane sheet to repel water away from this hardware.

  • Anti-ghosting and 24-key rollover

No need to worry at the speed of which you depress keys. You will do it on target because anti-ghosting and rollover keys make sure you register the right result for every keystroke.

What's not so good about it?

This gaming keyboard does not have a wrist rest and you can get tired if you game for long periods. But for its low cost, other good features make up for the failures. A good feature to consider is the Discord app integration. 

The keycaps are narrow and you can occasionally miss the key you intend to depress. 

This keyboard has no dedicated macro keys but you can create a macro string using other keys for the same purpose. The backlight is not uniform because of variation in key thickness.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Dedicated media keys for volume adjustment and track changing
  • Compact size
  • Quiet
Cons:
  • No wrist rest
  • No dedicated macro keys
  • Fragile keycaps
  • No light effects

8) Razer Cynosa Chroma Pro available for $59 on Amazon

Key features
  • Backlighting and under-glow by Razer Chroma

  • Soft cushioned 104 keys

  • Anti-ghosting and 10 key rollover

  • Durable

Razer, established in 2005, is the top brand for gamers and they have 15 offices worldwide. The company has institutional investors and its widest fan base is in the US, Europe and China. Their keyboards have won several awards including the best mechanical keyboard.

Though this membrane switch keyboard is from a leading brand maker, the cost is budget friendly. Advanced features and extras such as under-glow lighting, compared to other affordable keyboards make this model a good choice for gamers.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • Razer Chroma Under-Glow

The Razer Chroma under-glow is customizable and you can choose from over 16 million colours. Besides this, you can enjoy 22 customization zones and every key has its own adjustable backlight. The backlighting and under-glow give an ambient glow on your desk.

  • Soft cushioned 104 keys

Selecting gaming mode locks the WIN key and this allows you to enjoy your game. The keys are programmable and have on-the-fly macro recording. The cushioning reduces noise when using this keyboard.

  • Durable

Durable high-quality construction and spill resistant technology, meaning you can use this keyboard for a long period. But, don’t tempt it by knocking an entire can of soda over it!

What's not so good about it?

Lack of a wrist rest is a downfall because other features entice you to spend longer gaming hours while using this keyboard. 

The keycaps can feel loose if you are used to mechanical switch keyboards. Also, keys can demand to be bottomed out before registering a keystroke. 

A few users said the keys squeak after a short period of use or become unresponsive. You can unplug the keyboard and plug it in again if the keys fail to respond. 

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Razer Synapse3 for customization and pre-loaded lighting effects
  • Quiet
  • Adjustable feet for your comfort
Cons:
  • No wrist rest
  • No dedicated media keys
  • No macro keys
  • Loose keycaps

9) Aukey Mechanical Keyboard available for $45 on Amazon

Key features
  • Full N-key rollover and anti-ghosting
  • Tactile Mechanical Switch
  • RGB customizable backlighting
  • Durable

Aukey has a market presence of over 10 years. The company delivers innovative and high-quality hardware for its consumers. The brand is top-ranked on Amazon and has distribution partners worldwide.

This gaming keyboard falls below the $100 ceiling making it affordable. It’s a mechanical switch keyboard with 104 keys.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • Oatemu Blue switch

The Oatemu Blue switches are responsive and they give you tactile feedback for a good gaming experience. Switches are safe if you spill liquid due to the water-resistant design of this gaming keyboard.

  • Full N-Key rollover

For the 104 keys in this gaming keyboard, you can enjoy full N-Key rollover and anti-ghost. If you depress keys at high speed while gaming, this is a plus. You get the result you want even at a fast keystroke rate and you can customize the backlighting.

  • Durability

The Keycaps are double-shot moulded. Even if you use the keyboard for a long period, don’t expect to rub off the lettering. Also, the panel is of brushed aluminium and looks attractive besides being long-lasting.

What's not so good about it?

The keys can fail to respond or if you get a faulty keyboard, make use of the 24-month warranty to get a replacement. 

This keyboard is noisy and not suitable if you have other people in the room. 

To make up for the non-existent dedicated media keys, use F keys for media control. If you prefer bright backlight, you can find this keyboard wanting because of its low brightness. The attached cord means that this keyboard is not wireless or portable, which can be a pain.

Pros:
  •  Affordable
  • Customizable backlight
  • Durable
  • Ergonomic design for comfort
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • No dedicated media keys
  • Keys can fail to respond after a long period of use
  • Loose keycaps

10) Redragon Karura K502 available for $23 on Amazon

Key features
  • RGB LED Backlight

  • Wrist rest

  • 104 Keys

  • 19 conflict free keys

This is a product of the over 20-year-old Challenger Technology Ltd. The company has a focus on delivering quality and best customer experience. It has developed high-quality products for different brands.

 Redragon Karura K502 is for the budget shopper but does not deny the user comfort. A good feature of this affordable gaming keyboard is the ergonomic design with a wrist rest.

Image Source: Amazon

What's good about it?

Some features to consider: 

  • 104 Keys

The 104 keys have short key travel and tactile feedback. With 19 conflict free keys, you can enjoy your gaming experience because you get precise results for each keystroke. The non-slip adjustable feet keep the keyboard stable as you make keystrokes.

  • RGB LED Backlight

The RGB backlight is uniform on keys because of the laser engraving on the Keycaps. You can choose from 7 different colours, adjust brightness on 4 levels or turn off the lighting.

  • Wrist rest

Until you game for a marathon session without a wrist rest, you cannot understand the usefulness of the support. The wrist rest on this gaming keyboard offers comfort when you go for long gaming sessions.

What's not so good about it?

A few users did not enjoy using more force to depress the keys. Other keys need more force to bring them back to original position. This contributes to fatigue after a long gaming session. 

The backlight is not uniform, and you cannot change the red light on the top right side where you find the num lock. Plastic wrist rest may not be super comfortable if you are used to a soft material.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • 12 Multi-media keys
  • 19 conflict-free keys
  • Silent
Cons:
  • Cheap design: Keys are stiff and can squeak
  • You cannot change the light colour on num lock, win lock and caps lock
  • The spacebar gets sticky

In conclusion...

The best gaming keyboard for you depends on your budget and the features you want. Key features to consider when selecting a keyboard include the switch, anti-ghosting keys, backlight, macro and media keys. 

Though membrane switch keyboards are cheaper, this list includes budget mechanical switch keyboards. Make sure you give weight to your comfort when selecting a keyboard. From this top ten list, you can get an affordable gaming keyboard to give you the gaming experience you want.

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