Best Gaming Keyboards under $50 – Buying Guide

Are you into PC gaming or console gaming? If you prefer PC gaming, then to get the most out of your gaming rig, then superior quality peripherals aren’t optional.

For beginners and hardcore gamers alike, a high-quality gaming keyboard will increase your effectiveness and optimize your gaming experience. It’ll unlock your overall gaming potential.

Is a gaming keyboard really worth it? A gaming keyboard is defined by more than just illumination and sleek futuristic designs. While quality gaming keyboards pack these extra features, the focus is mainly on improving the users’ experience and performance.

With a $50 budget and under, you have sea-full of keyboards to choose from. Gaming keyboards are somewhat restrained, but there are still a couple of considerations as we outline in the guide down below.

Upon researching, we identified and reviewed several excellent gaming keyboards with impressive gaming-friendly features that'll grant you a competitive gaming edge. A comparison table should offer instant picture at a glance. And to help you make a more informed decision, we’ve also included a simple buyers’ guide.

       Top 

     Overall

       Pick!

Top Pick - E-Element Z-88 RGB

Engineered using sturdy metal alloy and ABS material complete with industrial grade aluminum base, the keyboard will withstand the rigors of everyday use. It has 81 full-sized mechanical keys that produce an audible click, medium resistance, with an impressive tactile feel. It has longevity mechanical switches that are highly responsive. The keys sport an anti-ghosting property.

Best Gaming Keyboards under $50 – Buying Guide

1. Redragon K552 KUMARA Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Engineered using solid aircraft-grade aluminum ABS material, plate mounted mechanical keys and double-shot injected molded keycaps, Redragon K552 KUMARA will withstand the intense gaming actions.

With its excellent ergonomic and saving design, the keyboard guarantees optimum comfort however long the quests last.

Redragon K552 KUMARA features stunning and adjustable RED LED backlighting for all the 87 full-size keys plus 10 adjustable levels.

What’s more, Redragon K552 keyboard has 87 full-sized 100% anti-conflict mechanical keys with anti-ghosting. Even if you press multiple keys at once, no keystroke will disappear or fail to show up.

These mechanical keys have an audible click sound perfect for gamers, a tactile feedback plus medium resistance. It's also equipped with a durable and highly responsive custom mechanical key switches.

Redragon K552 KUMARA comes with 12 multimedia keys that allow you to mute/unmute speakers, play/pause, etc. With these, you have total control over the audio. It also features a WIN key that you can disable during gameplay.

The keyboard hooks to your PC via a gold-plated corrosion-free USB connector giving an extremely reliable connection. And for that comfortable typing angle, Redragon K552 KUMARA features an adjustable non-slip rear foot. 

         Pros

  • Ultra-responsive mechanical key switches
  • Full-size keys with anti-ghosting
  • Corrosion-free USB connector
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    Red LED backlighting
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    Plug-N-Play

Cons

  • LED light doesn’t turn off

2. CORSAIR K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard

Optimize your gaming performance with CORSAIR K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard. The keyboard comes with 6 programmable macro keys. With these, you can easily execute power actions, do key remaps and combos. Even better, you can adjust the height of the keys. Is there a better way to dominate your competition? 

CORSAIR K55 RGB also features dedicated volume plus media control keys. Take advantage of the multimedia keys to conveniently control the audio without disrupting the game.

The keys are quiet, highly responsive and have a tactile feedback. Besides, they have anti-ghosting meaning even if you press multiple keys, the keystrokes get registered as intended.

Let immersive lighting effects put you into the gaming mode and highlight your battle station. CORSAIR K55 RGB comes with three-zone customizable RGB backlighting complete with over 10 preconfigured lighting modes.

The keyboard is optimized for gaming with a detachable soft rubber wrist rest that guarantees optimum comfort in extended gaming sessions.

Use the CORSAIR iCUE Software to enable custom equalizer settings, sync the RGB lighting with other CORSAIR enabled peripherals, sidetone control, and immersive 7.1 surround sound.

           Pros

  • Excellent keyboard control with CORSAIR iCUE Software
  • Immersive lighting effects
  • Highly responsive keys with anti-ghosting
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    Audio control without interrupting the game

        Cons

  • “G” Macro keys would be better placed across the top

3. TekNet Gaming Wired Keyboard

Let TekNet Gaming Wired Keyboard be your arsenal and see yourself dominating your gaming competitions.

Featuring distinctive LED lighting, this keyboard will illuminate in three adjustable colors, red, purple and blue. In the low-lit settings, the gaming keyboard looks sleek and ensures you make no wrong keystrokes.

TekNet Gaming Wired Keyboard features 12 dedicated one-touch media keys from F1-F12. Easily control the volume, mute, play and do more without sweating it out.

Press FN-Win Key to disable the Windows Key and enter into the Game Mode. That way, whichever key you press, there’s zero interruption.

TekNet Gaming Wired Keyboard also comes equipped with an adjustable non-slip rear foot. It makes sure the keyboard is stable for that perfect typing angle.

What’s more, worry not about spills or anything as the keyboard sports a spill-resistant design. Bring along your drinks, snacks and eat out as you game.

         Pros

  • Spill-resistant
  • Adjustable non-slip feet
  • Cool adjustable LED lighting
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    Dedicated one-touch media keys

      Cons

  • Limited programmability

4. E-Element Z-88 RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Featuring 81-key space-saving design, E-Element Z-88 RGB is set to free up your working space without compromising on the performance. It boasts great ergonomics for that satisfying gaming experience.

What’s more, all the 81 full-sized mechanical keys have an audible click, medium resistance, with an impressive tactile feedback. It has high responsive longevity mechanical switches. And with an anti-ghosting property, press multiple keys without losing a single keystroke.

It also has 12 multimedia keys for audio control. Use the WIN key to disable the windows so you can avoid distractions as you battle it out.

The keyboard features robust metal alloy and ABS construction with a premium grade aluminum base. It also boasts high-quality mechanical switches plus double-shot injection keycaps. As such, it can take a beating without the lettering on the keycaps wearing off.   

E-Element Z-88 RGB comes integrated with a stunning bright RGB LED backlighting. Press FN+PGDN to easily configure the lighting effects among the 10 modes in color, brightness level, pattern, the speed of animation, etc. 

For the perfect typing angle, the keyboard features a nonslip adjustable rear foot. Hook it to your PC using the corrosive-proof 1.8m USB connector for a reliable connection.

Pros

  • High refresh rate, fast response times
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    Solid construction
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    Anti-ghosting keys
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    Perfect audio control with multimedia keys
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    Non-slip rear feet keeps keyboard stable

      Cons

  • RGB LED not customizable

5. Logitech G213 RGB Gaming Keyboard

Grab a high-performance keyboard designed for advanced gaming now. Logitech G213 is a slim and durable wired gaming keyboard that’ll withstand the rigors of everyday use (and abuse). Love drinking around the battle station? This keyboard will survive an accidental spill.

It comes with illuminated keys. The Logitech G LIGHTSYNC technology allows you to personalize the RGB color lighting and light patterns up to 5 lighting zones. Easily pick from a spectrum of more than 16.8M colors to effectively match your gaming style. 

Logitech G213 is programmable with 12 F-Keys. And with these, you can quickly perform complex maneuvers in your games. Use the media dedicated keys to control the music and video audio. Play, Pause and Mute right from the keyboard.

 All the keys have been optimized for high-performance. They pride themselves in an incredible tactile feedback. And compared to the standard keyboards, Logitech G213 keys are up to 4 times more responsive. With anti-ghosting, you can press multiple keys at a go and they’ll still register accurately with no keystroke lost.

      Pros

  • Stunning adjustable RGB backlighting
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    Highly responsive keys
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    Excellent key programmability
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    Anti-ghosting

    Cons

  • Lacks “G” macro keys

6. RAZER ONATA Expert Membrane Gaming Keyboard

RAZER ONATA Expert Membrane intermarries the best of membrane rubber domes and mechanical switches. The result? A soft cushioned touch plus the tactile click guaranteeing ultrafast actuation for every keystroke.

With shorter mid-height custom-designed keycaps, you can move your fingers across the keys freely. Upon hitting a key, the actions register fast ensuring quick actuation.

RAZER ONATA Expert Membrane Keyboard comes with programmable backlit keys. Use Razer Synapse Software to customize the lighting effects to your style. Sync and configure the backlight through effects to breathing, reactive, ripple, etc.

This gaming keyboard has been designed to guarantee long hours of comfort. And with an ergonomic leatherette wrist rest, you can comfortably engage in extended quests.

In the gaming mode, the 10-Key rollover is active. And with its anti-ghosting properties, you can easily execute 10 commands and each will be registered as intended.

      Pros

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    10-key rollover plus anti-ghosting
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    Fully programmable keys
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    Customizable individual key backlighting
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    An ergonomic wrist rest

    Cons

  • Wrist pad easily moves

7. AUKEY KM-G6 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

AUKEY KM-G6 is a 104-keyboard mechanical gaming keyboard. It features a brushed solid steel top panel plus robust molded ABS keycaps that ensure it’s stable and durable. And with the added protection, they keyboard will survive an accidental water spill. It hooks to your PC via a 1.5m USB cable.

The keyboard features highly responsive individual Outemu Blue Switches, which produce a clicking sound with high-level command accuracy. Sporting 50 million keystrokes under 60g of strength with 4.0 +/- 0.2 range of travel, there are a few better keyboards in performance.

What’s more, AUKEY KM-G6 boasts an incredible Full-N-Key Rollover for the keys. Press multiple keys simultaneously and every single keystroke will be registered. There’s no more confusing the commands.

Also, AUKEY KM-G6 features immaculate LED 6-color backlight each row with a different color. Either choose a preset lighting effect or customize per your style from the 9 preset lighting effects plus 2 slots for assignable key backlighting.

It also comes with media control keys. When playing your music or video, Play, Stop and Mute the audio using the Function Keys.

      Pros

  • Strongly built with water resistance
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    Configurable LED lighting effects
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    Response Outemu Blue Switches
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    104 key rollover

    Cons

  • Slightly heavy base

8. VicTsing Wired Gaming Keyboard

Crafted with an all-metal panel, plus skin-like rubber coating that guarantees a delicate feeling, VicTsing Wired Gaming Keyboard boasts high-quality and exemplary performance. The keyboard combines shock-proofing and water-resistance. Even an accidental water spill will do no harm.

It adopts an ultrathin floating keycap design with a height half of the standard keyboard to deliver superior keystroke efficiency. The characters are laser-carved and do not fade away easily.

Enjoy excellent gaming atmosphere with the 7 colorful rainbow LED lighting. Plus, it’s possible to adjust the brightness as well as the breathing speed of the seven auto breathing modes to your liking.

VicTsing Wired Gaming Keyboard features 19 conflict-free keys with anti-ghosting. You press multiple keys at once and each individual key will register the keystroke as intended. The 12 multimedia keys make it possible to control the audio for your music and video hassle-free and enhance efficiency in your game.

Also integrated is an ergonomic wrist rest with a perfect height. Place your wrist on top for support and hit those keys effortlessly and comfortably at that.

VicTsing Wired Gaming Keyboard boasts easy installation with a USB braid cable. It’s plug-n-play, no software needed.

What’s more, the keyboard has made it easy to exchange functions for a more convenient operation. Just press ‘FN’ and ‘W’ to use W, S, A & D keys as or instead of the Up, Down, Left and Right keys.

      Pros

  • Water-resistant
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    Ultrathin half-height key design for enhanced keystroke efficiency
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    Anti-ghosting and plug and play
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    Integrated ergonomic wrist rest

    Cons

  • Wish it was quieter

9. OMBAR K617 LED Backlit Gaming Membrane Keyboard

OMBAR K617 is a 104-key wired gaming keyboard that combines robustness, comfort, reliability, and functionality. It’s been engineered using solid ABS plastics, is shock-proof and water-resistant. The 8 black drainage holes enhance the splash-proof performance.

The keyboard features RGB LED backlighting in three colors with 3 modes, the permanent mode or customizable breathing mode. Configure the keyboard lighting depending based on the task at hand, gaming or working.

OMBAR K617 features 12 programmable multimedia control keys combined with F keys.  Easily control your music, video and access email without interrupting your game. Press FN+ Print Screen key to lock the windows so there are no accidental keys to press to prevent distractions during the game.

Overall, OMBAR K617 has 104 keys but has 19 non-conflict keys with anti-ghosting. You can easily press and hold multiple keys without missing any keystroke with each being registered as expected.

Equipped with an ergonomic wrist rest, you can rest your palm, game, and type for long hours comfortably without getting fatigued and with superior accuracy. A large-sized space bar further increases usability.

      Pros

  • Ergonomic wrist rest
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    Anti-ghosting
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    Solid ABS plastic construction
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    Customizable RGB LED lighting

    Cons

  • Backspace relatively small

10. Steel Series Apex 150 RGB Gaming Keyboard

Built for extreme performance and durability, Apex 150 RGB will withstand the beatings however intense the action gets. With a liquid-resistance construction, the keyboard will withstand accidental splashes as well as spills.

Apex 150 RGB features quick tension and highly responsive keys tested for 20 million clicks. Rest assured this keyboard brings with it long durability.

What’s more, Apex 150 RGB boasts quick extension switches. Upon clicking, the tension membrane’s design effectively pulls that particular key into actuation. As result, you can expect a quiet operation, impressive tactile feeling, and high response.

Apex 150 RGB is also integrated with dynamic prism RGB backlighting. Plus, you can customize the backlight in fives zones with different colors and lighting effects.

This keyboard integrates a customizable Discord Chat which returns notifications. With such an interface, you can view new messages, mute status, etc. And with an exclusive GameSense reactive illumination, you can keep track of and take action on in-game events including kills, low ammo, and health status.

Apex 150 RGB grants you total control. Using a SteelSeries Engine Software, you can program the keyboard to suit your gameplay style. For faster gameplay, customize simple key combinations or even the most complex macros will little hassle using the software.

      Pros

  • Programmable keys and spill proof
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    Has a notification interface
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    Immaculate RGB lighting
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    Tactile file and responsive keys

    Cons

  • Not mechanical

Choosing a Gaming Keyboard – Features to Look for In a Gaming Keyboard

It's possible to get fixated on the flashy colors, extreme button collections, and all those shouting bells and whistles. Go for a keyboard that’ll optimize your gaming experience and give you an edge.

Key Types – Membrane vs. Mechanical

Based on the technology used for the keys, keyboards are majorly categorized into two, mechanical or membrane-based.

Membrane Keyboard: A key sits on top of rubber dome (a membrane). Once you apply pressure, the dome collapses allowing that particular key to come into contact with the underlying board. Usually, membrane keyboards are cheaper and quieter.

Mechanical keyboard: These sport a rather complex way of functioning. Here, a keycap rests on top of a mechanical switch. Upon applying enough actuation force (pressure) on the keycap, the mechanical switch itself (not the keycap), makes contact with the board.

These keyboards are more responsive and comfortable to use but can be mechanical keyboards can be expensive and loud given the type of switch they use.

Wireless Keyboard or Wired Keyboard? 

Although most people tend to assume this, we’re of the opinion it’s the very first thigh you should take into account. You can either choose to go for a wireless or a wired keyboard.

Wireless gaming keyboards come in two forms, RF connection (radio frequency) and Bluetooth. Gaming keyboards with RF connectors are the most popular and operate on 2.4GHz frequency, the same frequency used by cordless telephones and Wi-Fi internet. It requires a small USB receiver that you insert into your computer’s port. The 2.4GHz frequency is preferred since it assures optimal battery life.

Bluetooth gaming keyboards, on the other hand, transfer data through short wavelength radio waves. It requires no USB port and offers a long foot range from the connector.

Although RF connectors sport excellent battery life, sometimes they suffer lag input issues in the presence of other wireless devices and routers. Bluetooth gaming keyboards drain batteries fast (up to 10 hours for the high-end units), but provide a reasonable connection range without the cords getting in your way.

Wired gaming keyboards usually hook to the PC via a USB connector. Although the cable can get in the way, USB connectors offer a very reliable connection.

Key Switches

For gaming, keyboard key switches matter. As the name suggests, key switches are the switches that you activate using a key. There are three different types of key switches, silicone dome, scissor keys, and mechanical switches.

Silicon dome switches are the most common and to activate the switch, you must press all the way down. Scissor keys are fast thanks to the reduced key travel distance. Although more durable than silicon dome switches, scissor keys, in most cases, hit other key heads and are hard to repair. Mechanical key switches are the best for gamers, highly durable, easy to repair and, often times, programmable.

Ergonomics

When you’re gaming, browsing or typing, keyboard usability and comfort matter. How comfortable does it feel with your hands placed in a neutral position? Keyboards employ varying ergonomic designs with the intention of enhancing users' comfort. You’ll come across gaming keyboards with wrist pads. Some keyboards feature a split design while others are curved or sloped.

Backlighting

It's a crucial feature on a gaming keyboard, particularly when gaming in the dark. A backlit keyboard looks sleek. Some allow you to customize the backlight as you prefer to achieve the desired lighting effects.

Key Programmability

If you’re a MOBA or MMO player, then to execute sophisticated commands in real-time, a programmable keyboard should suffice. A programmable keyboard allows you to customize or assign particular keys (macro keys, main keys and sometimes all of them), certain functions.

Build quality, key roll-over & anti-ghosting are also as important as other specs and features. Generally, your choice of a gaming keyboard depends majorly on your preferences.

In Conclusion

Choosing a gaming keyboard shouldn’t be hard especially with this comprehensive guide. Pick a keyboard whose keys are highly responsive and with a tactile feel. As a gamer, RGB LED backlighting is crucial.  Key programmability and keyboard built are also as important. It’s our hope you’ve found a perfect gaming keyboard that’ll be the arsenal for those long quests into the dead of the night.

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