A keyboard and mouse are the most important accessories to your gaming setup and can take your experience and performance to the next level. Like gaming mice, keyboards can be reformatted with gaming in mind, able to reorganize the keys with an ergonomic design for comfort and convenience during long gaming sessions. Typically, the more features a piece of gaming equipment has, the more expensive it is. However, with the rise of eSports, budget gaming keyboards like the Havit Mechanical Keyboard manage to include several popular features at a low cost.
What to know before you buy a budget gaming keyboard
A keyboard smash here, a rage quit there — gamers are not known for their tender treatment of keyboards and controllers. Keyboards can be made of plastic PVC or metal, with metal being the most durable and resistant to breaking and PVC being a little more flimsy. The different use of metal vs. plastic can also impact the price of a keyboard.
The materials used underneath the keys of a keyboard can impact the speed in which keystrokes are registered by the computer. Keyboards can be made with a rubber membrane which is a quieter and softer tap. Rubber membranes are usually used in cheaper keyboards and are better for casual gamers. When using a rubber membrane keyboard, users have to push the keys all the way down for it to register. The alternative is a mechanical keyboard which can be more expensive but has an enjoyable tactile keypress.
Keyboards are available as wired or wireless and the difference can impact the speed and accuracy of play. Because wireless keyboards connect to your computer through Bluetooth, it's possible that there can be microscopic delays between keypresses. Despite these drawbacks, wireless keyboards can be more expensive than wired keyboards.
Gaming keyboard features
One of the more desirable features of a gaming keyboard is the RGB backlighting, creating a visually exciting display that can be toggled to be constant or activated when keys are pressed. Many PCs also have RGB lighting so these keyboards can match a gamer’s whole setup.
Wrist stands or pads
Frequent gamers are at risk for developing wrist pain or carpal tunnel from holding their hands in specific positions. To protect gamers from this potential pain, some gaming keyboards come with wrist stands or pads to support the wrist during use.
Budget gaming keyboard cost
The typical gaming keyboard can cost around $50, with the most premium keyboards running over $100. Budget gaming keyboards sacrifice some quality and features to achieve the lower price, and therefore, can run between $15-40.
Gaming keyboard FAQ
Are gaming keyboards really any different from regular keyboards?
A. Gaming keyboards can make a difference in gameplay as long as it has the right features such as mechanical switches, n-key rollover and a wired connection.
What other gaming accessories can improve my gameplay?
A. Besides a gaming keyboard, an ergonomic gaming mouse, gaming headset and high-resolution monitor can all assist in improved gameplay performance and experience.
Which budget gaming keyboard should I get?
Best of the best budget gaming keyboard
Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse Combo: available at Amazon
Our take: A feature-packed gaming keyboard and mouse set you wouldn't even know was a budget option.
What we like: A wired keyboard and mouse set that comes with 14 kinds of RGB presets, as well as all key-rollover enabling users to customize the function of their keys. It also includes a comfortable detachable wrist pad. Many users say the keyboard alone is worth the price of this combo.
What we dislike: Some users don't find the layout of the keyboard to be entirely ergonomic with some sticking keys.
Best bang for your buck budget gaming keyboard
Snpurdiri Wired Gaming Keyboard: available at Amazon
Our take: An almost no-frills gaming keyboard that satisfies most needs from a user experience standpoint
What we like: An exceptionally inexpensive option for a gaming keyboard and about as standard as they come, save the added RGB backlighting. Users appreciate the tactic keystroke feedback and even say that the materials feel high quality for the price. It has a longer USB cord than other brands.
What we dislike: A smaller keyboard than others, some say it's a bit uncomfortable to use for prolonged periods of time.
Honorable mention budget gaming keyboard
Redragon S101 Wired Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo: available at Amazon
Our take: An incredible deal with both the keyboard and mouse and comes with some of the features you would expect at a higher price point.
What we like: This combo comes with a wired keyboard and mouse with backlit RGB on both and has adjustable colors and brightness. Users appreciate the tactic keyboard response, durability and wrist rest.
What we dislike: Keyboard software to change the colors and customize the keystrokes does not come with the keyboard.
Daisy Kelly is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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