Get The Best PC Gaming Keyboard

OK, so you’ve picked the best gaming mouse and you’ve got a good gaming mouse pad. But have you got a decent pc gaming keyboard or are you still using that faded old beige thing you got free with your PC many years ago?

PC Gaming Keyboard

Choosing a good gaming keyboard is easily as important as getting the right gaming mouse. With the right keyboard you’ll have better key response and more in-game functions to hand. So what should you be looking for in a good PC gaming keyboard?

  • Programmable Keys
    An absolute must, any good gaming keyboard will have some programmable keys. These are usually placed across the top or down the side of the keyboard and allow you to assign in-game actions or macros (combinations of key presses) to the keyboard. While you achieve this on a normal keyboard, the number and position of the keys usually make them much easier to use.
  • Anti-Ghosting
    A lot of keyboards will allow you to press up to 3 keys at a time. So that’s Shift+Up+Left … oh dear, you can’t fire your gun while running diagonally! Anti-ghosting capabilities allow more keys to be pressed simultaneously, meaning you get to move more freely.
  • LED Backlighting
    While it makes your keyboard look pretty, LED backlighting also serves a useful purpose. It allows you to read the keys on your keyboard more easily in low-light conditions.
  • Price
    You can spend an absolute fortune on a gaming keyboard, if you’ve got the cash and the inclination. The priciest to date is the Logitech G19 with a $199 RRP (although it’s easy to get it for less than that). If you want a basic gaming keyboard then you should budget for around $50/£30, but spending more will get you more features.

So now you know what the most important features of a pc gaming keyboard are, which one is worth buying? Here’s my choice:

Saitek Cyborg

I’m a big fan of the Saitek Cyborg. The styling might not be to everyone’s taste, with it’s different-coloured lighting and ’80s sci-fi looks, but underneath the glitz is a solid gaming keyboard at a good price. You’ve got 12 macro keys down the sides, metal plated keys in key areas to reduce wear and headphone and mic extensions. The lighting and media controls are all housed on a gloss back touchscreen.

The keyboard is great to use, comfortable and has a nice key action. The only downside is the size, as it is a bit wide, but other than that it’s difficult to argue against the Saitek.

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Razer Tarantula

10 additional ‘gaming’ buttons | Enhanced anti-ghosting (10 keys at once)

The Razer Tarantula is definitely aimed at gamers and manages to combine cool style with great functionality.

All of the keys are fully programmable, and there are even spare keys with gaming symbols on so you can swap out the standard keyboard keys and replace them with something a bit more meaningful. There is also enhanced anti-ghosting on the keys, so you could press up to ten keys at once and have those actions processed in the game (unlike standard keyboards that only allow up to 3 or 4 keys to be pressed at once). Alas, the anti-ghosting means no LED backlighting, but this is compensated for by the glowing media panel and the cool glossy black styling.

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Logitech G19

12 programmable macro keys | Enhanced anti-ghosting (5 keys at once)

If money is no object this is the keyboard you want to own. For a long time the G15 was the Daddy of gaming keyboards, now its replacement has taken the crown.

It’s got a full-colour LED screen that can be programmed to diaply all sorts of useful in-game info, image slideshows or even videos. There are twelve fully programmable macro keys, each with up to three macros, which should be more than enough. The G19 also features full backlighting in a shae of your choice, so yuo can make it match your gaming mouse/favourite colour/office paint scheme.

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Microsoft Sidewinder X6

Microsoft’s new Sidewinder X6 gaming keyboard certainly looks different, with its two little turrets sticking out at the top (they’re actually the brightness and volume controls).

The Sidewinder X6 offers 5 programmable macro keys, each with two profiles.

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Author: Chris

Chris is a devout PC gamer who spends way, way too much time sat at his PC either gaming or writing. You can find Chris on Google+

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16 Comments

  1. hey, this maybe an old topic but i was wondering if there is a rankings chart on this site on the keyboards like you guys have for mouses because it was really helpful. Thx. and hows the Sataik II eclipse keyboard compared to the rest? TYTY

  2. Hi MaT,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I keep meaning to do a similar list for keyboards and one day I will get round to it!

    The Saitek II is a nice keyboard (I’ve had one for a couple of years) and if you’re after something similar then I’d recommend the Saitek Cyborg. The Saitek III is an improvement on the older model but the media keys just aren’t as good as the programmable ones on the Cyborg.

  3. Thx Chris, that will be really cool, but because im on a budget im trying to get something under 50 =p or less, and the II is like 40 bucks, but i was wondering which keyboard has anti ghosting since i play games that constantly need it, TY

  4. What about the Razer Arctosa? It’s only $40 and has anti-ghosting on the WASD keys, although if you don’t like using WASD then it’s not much use.

    Otherwise you’re looking at spending a bit more for proper anti-ghosting, something like the Razer Tarantula (up to ten keys at once) is under $80 if you feel you can stretch your budget.

  5. hey Chris, yea ima stretch my budget =p, getting an worse computer case to do so =(, but yea im starting to like the sidewinder x6 and heard some really good reviews, i dont know about the artosa, no backlit, and tarantula is too expensive, its either the g15 or the sidewinder, but orange ehh it might work i guess. but the all black and red is eye catching

  6. Is it possible for anyone to tell me which keyboard is it on the main picture of this article (the one with the blue backlightning and white backlightning on the keys) ? Thanks in advance

  7. I wish I knew – it was one of those arty shots from Flickr.

  8. hey, i wanna get a good keyboard but dont know which one. money is not a problem. well i was reading tons of reviews but still dont know what to get.i want good functionality. and also will a keyboard and a mouse of different companies work fine like uhm a mouse by razor a keyboard by logitech and other way around? TY.

  9. So money’s not a problem? How about a Logitech G19 – I love that LCD screen. Great all rounders are the Sidewinder X4, Razer Lycosa and Logitech G110. Check out my gaming keyboard buying guide for some other ideas.

    Don’t worry about mixing your keyboard and mice. I’ve used all sorts of mice with different brands of keyboard and I’ve yet to have a conflict.

  10. uhm i wanted to know if u could tell me any good combos of keyboard, mouse, n maybe a headset, that would benefit each other like maybe a mouse with macro keys so that i dont need a keyboard with a lot of them n stuff like that. oh and i mostly play shooting games, so i guess macros are not the focus. TY

  11. n also on the logitech g19 does the lcd actually matter since it doesnt support the games that i play?

  12. another thing what do u think about the logitech g110? TY

  13. its me again, lol. srry for so many questions. isk but the new logitech g510 looks alot like g110. for me the choice is to get one of them. but the g510 looks exactly the same as the g110 but with the lcd, but if the lcd will support the same games as the one on G19 then i dont really need it case i dont play those games, n u pay like 40$ extra for the lcd on the g510. what do u think?

  14. Blimey Vlad, so many questions! But seeing as you asked … there are a lot of choices for good gaming hardware these days and my current favourites would be:

    Logitech G110 or Sidewinder X4 for the keyboard, both are great value and have all the features you should need

    Logitech G500 (ten programmable buttons) or Razer Deathadder 3.5G mouse, both very comfortable and both are good for shooting games

    Sennheiser PC350 headset gives sublime stereo sound, or Razer Megalodon if you really want virtual 7.1 surround

    The LCD on the G510 and G19 is really nice (much better than the old G15) but I find it’s more useful for monitoring hardware stats (temperatures, CPU load etc) than actual in-game info. Also good for alerting you to new emails when you’re playing. People are constantly writing new apps for the LCD and you might find that one gets written for your games, but on the other hand it might never happen.

  15. thank you very much. im am very sorry for this many questions. thank you again

  16. I’d go with the Black Widow Ultimate or Marauder.

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