Gaming keyboards usually cost a lot for a decent unit. But, the best budget gaming keyboards are enough for people on a limited budget.
There is a connotation that gaming peripherals are expensive due to aesthetics. However, that is not the case.
Top-tier gaming keyboards are more robust with better switches and added macro keys. The best budget gaming keyboards also have the same features with a few caveats.
When choosing a budget gaming keyboard, one must be aware of the features that are offered. Some keyboards may offer fancy RGB lighting with different modes. Other models add features that may help, but not implemented well.
One thing to keep in mind when buying budget gaming keyboards is the included switches. Cheaper models often come with membrane switches. This type of switches feels mushy compared to mechanical switches such as Cherry MX.
With switch types, durability, and features considered, here are the best budget gaming keyboards available today.
1. Stoga Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
It is uncommon to see a mechanical keyboard at this price range. The Stoga mechanical gaming keyboard retails for US$40[AU$61]. But for that price, do not expect quality switches.
This gaming keyboard features a tenkeyless design. It provides a compact design in exchange for losing the number pad. For someone who uses number pad shortcuts, there are better keyboards in the market.
The RGB lighting for the keys looks nice but it has no dedicated media keys.
Stoga uses its proprietary blue switches. It is a copy of the Cherry MX Blue that gives loud clicks when typing.
However, not everyone prefers loud switches. Stoga does not offer a quieter version similar to MX Reds or MX Browns.
2. Pictek Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The Pictek mechanical gaming keyboard has a full-size layout with dedicated media controls. It uses its own proprietary Cherry MX Red clone for a linear feel without losing key travel.
It includes RGB lighting with different presents. One downside though is the media controls are opposite the volume knob. It would have been better if it is one the same side for convenience.
There is a compact tenkeyless version for people who do not want a full-sized keyboard.
For $50, it is on the pricier side considering that the switches used are not from known brands.
3. Havit KB472L RGB Mechanical Gaming keyboard
The Havit KB472L RGB mechanical gaming keyboard uses an Outemu Blue switches. Outemu is a Cherry MX copycat. Its switches are great for its price point. The Outemu Blue offers a tactile feel and loud clicks.
This keyboard also has a full-sized layout with dedicated media keys on the top. The RGB lighting looks great with enough number of presets for customizability. However, there is no wrist pad.
One weird thing that this keyboard has is a phone holder. It is kind of unique that the company included a phone holder. Havit could have included a wrist pad instead.
The Havit RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is available for $55.
4. Drevo Gramr 84-key compact keyboard
This compact keyboard is perfect for those who are always on the go. The small form factor of the Drevo Gramr makes it a perfect companion for traveling.
Drevo opted for Outemu switches mainly to cut costs as it is cheaper than big name brands. Unlike Havit, Drevo offers several switch options. It is available on Outemu blue, black, red, and brown. The switch choices depend on the typing feel that the user wants.
The Gramr includes RGB lighting and can be configured to emit an all-white glow. A full RGB option is also available.
It is one the pricier side at $60. However, the different switch options are great. It even has a USB-C cable included.
5. HyperX Alloy Core RGB
HyperX is a well-known brand in the gaming peripherals market. It is a subsidiary of Kingston and has produced PC components ranging from memory, mice, keyboards, and a lot more. The HyperX Alloy Core RGB is the company’s contender to the best budget gaming keyboards.
This keyboard traded key switches for a durable footprint. It has an alloy body with RGB lighting.
It also includes dedicated media keys and a spill-proof body. However, it only has a membrane key switch, which is not that great for gaming.
Membrane switches do not feel as tactile as mechanical keyboards. But, this allows HyperX to make the Alloy Core spill-proof.
It is available for $70, which very expensive considering that there are options with mechanical switches. But, the dedicated software, media keys, and spill-proof body make it one of the best budget gaming keyboards available today.