It seems these days there are more and more keyboard snobs out there telling you that a mechanical keyboard is the only way to go, and for good reason.
There really is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of typing or gaming on a nice mechanical one, and once you use one you’ll never go back to dome or membrane keyboards. With this in mind, we set out to find the best mechanical keyboard for gaming.
Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming in 2020
|HyperX Alloy Elite RGB||17.5 x 6.7 x 1.5 inches||Cherry MX blue, brown, or red||Full 104 Keys||Check Price|
|Razer BlackWidow Elite||9.2 x 17.6 x 1.7 inches||Razer green, orange, or yellow||Full 104 Keys||Check Price|
|Logitech G610 Orion||17.5 x 6 x 1.4 inches||Cherry MX red||Full 104 Keys||Check Price|
|Redragon K552||13.9 x 4.8 x 1.5 inches||Custom "Cherry Blue Equivalent" Switches||Ten Key Keyless 87 Keys||Check Price|
Table of Contents:
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB – Super Customizable RGB Mechanical
If you’re looking into getting a mechanical keyboard for gaming, then you probably already understand the importance of choosing the one with switches that are right for you. These switches in your mechanical keyboard determine the feel and sound of each keystroke.
With this in mind, HyperX made the Aloy Elite available with three different switches. You can order these with either Cherry MX blue, brown, or red switches.
They are of your choice are put into the incredibly durable solid steel frame of the HyperX Elite. This impervious construction nicely compliments the quality of Cherry’s MX switches, which are rated for up to 50 million keystrokes and are known for their quality.
They also feature highly customizable LED lighting and excellent multimedia controls. The RGB lights in the keyboard can be controlled using HyperX’s NGenuity software and shines through the keycaps beautifully.
The Allow Elite RGB also comes with a wrist rest for gaming in comfort and some extra keycaps. The keycaps can be removed with the included tool and swapped out for textured WASD keys for a better gaming experience.
Our Rating: 10/10
- Can be purchased with Cherry MX Red, Blue, or Brown switches
- Comes with extra keycaps and detachable wrist rest
- Customizable RGB lighting
- Large keyboard takes up lots of desk space
- Very heavy and not very portable
- Can only store 3 presets
- The Alloy Elite features an incredibly durable steel frame that will last for years and years
- Software customizable RGB lighting and extra keycaps lets you make this keyboard truly unique
- Available with three different Cherry MX
Razer BlackWidow Elite – Game in Comfort
Razer is known for making very high-quality hardware and peripherals for gamers, and the BlackWidow Elite is no exception. Rather than using the German-made Cherry MX switches, Razer produces their own switches for their keyboards.
They are available with three different switches, either Razer green, orange, or yellow. These are not as consistent in feel as their Cherry MX counterparts but are high quality regardless. Razer rates their switches for an insane 80 million clicks, making it unlikely that they’ll ever wear out on you.
The BlackWidow also boasts the best wrist rest of any keyboard we tested. The included wrist rest is well padded and feels very high quality. If you have a repetitive strain injury or have a habit of playing for long periods, we highly recommend this.
The RGB lighting on it is also top of the line with tons of customizability. Each key is individually lit, giving you practically unlimited options with how to set up your RGB.
This keyboard also boasts multi-media control buttons as well as a wheel that controls volume by default. All of the keys on the BlackWidow can be programmed with any bindings and macros you want, and Razer has the option to upload your presets to their cloud storage so they can be accessed from anywhere.
Our Rating: 10/10
- Most comfortable keyboard on our list
- Customizable RGB
- Excellent multimedia buttons
- Uses proprietary switches
- Huge keyboard takes up a lot of desk real estate
- Limited onboard preset storage
- Very durable Razer switches are rated for up to 80 million keystrokes, so they will almost undoubtedly last a lifetime
- Excellent wrist rest makes long gaming sessions incredibly comfortable
- Tons of programmable options with bindings and macros that can be saved to the cloud
Logitech G610 Orion – Productivity by Day, Gaming by Night
If you’re someone who’s looking for a keyboard to use to write papers and reports, but also to game on, then the Logitech G610 Orion is a great option. These offers all of the benefits of a mechanical switch for both gaming and productivity.
The G610 Orion comes with Cherry MX red switches, which are quiet and soft making them great for typing during the day or in the workplace where they won’t bother anyone with loud clicking. The linear feel of the Cherry MX red is not only soft and easy to press while typing but also extra fast when it comes to gaming.
On top of the durable Cherry, they have customizable macro keys. However, there is no onboard preset storage and macros are controlled using Logitech’s software.
The G610 Orion also boasts media control buttons and a volume dial making it easy to control your music while gaming or working. In place of flashy RGB lighting, Logitech has decided to go with more subtle white backlighting on this. The dimmable lighting makes it easy to see the keys while working and makes gaming in the dark a blast.
Finally, there is a programmable gaming mode that is activated with a dedicated button at the top of the Orion which can be customized as well. By default, it will deactivate the windows button while you game to prevent any interruptions.
If you want a mechanical keyboard for both work and play, then this is the one. With its number pad, white backlighting, and gaming mode, it’ll serve you well in the professional world, and the virtual world.
Our Rating: 8/10
- Dedicated “gaming mode” button
- Dimmable white LED backlight
- Cherry MX red switches
- No RGB
- Only 1 choice of switch
- No onboard memory for presets
- Cherry MX red are quiet and soft making them great for typing at work and game
- Dimmable white backlight makes it easy to see which keys you are pressing making typing or at the game in the dark a breeze
- Dedicated gaming mode button can be programmed to suit your gaming needs and prevents unwanted misclicks and interruptions
Redragon K552 – Most Affordable Mechanical Gaming
Believe it or not, one of the best selling mechanical keyboards on Amazon, is actually the cheapest. Not only that, but they also have an incredible four and a half star rating on over 2300 reviews. This is none other than the Redragon K552.
Redragon is run by a Chinese company that has been manufacturing electronics since 1996 and quietly growing. However, it seems that their time in the darkness is over. This keyboard is incredibly affordable but still boasts very good build quality.
The frame of these is made of mostly metal, with some components being made from ABS plastic, meaning it won’t wear out on you any time soon. The double-shot injection molded keycaps are reasonably good quality and allow the red backlight to shine through well.
Redragon uses proprietary custom key switches on their keyboards, which helps keeps cost down. They are used on the K552 are supposed to be about the same as Cherry MX blue switches.
This is also the only tenkeyless keyboard on our list, making it much smaller than all the others. This is great if you have a smaller desk or simply want your board taking up less space. On the other hand, this also means you won’t have a number pad if that’s something you’re into.
If you’re looking for the most affordable mechanical keyboard out there, then this is it. Despite its low price, the build quality is surprisingly sturdy and the switches actually do feel pretty good.
Our Rating: 7/10
- More compact than the other keyboards on our list
- Highly affordable
- Surprisingly good build quality
- No RGB, red backlight only
- Uses custom switches
- No number pad
- The K225 is the most affordable one we looked at by far
- The proprietary switches are not as consistent feeling or reliable as real Cherry MX switches, but they still feel surprisingly nice
- This keyboard is the smallest on our list thanks to its lack of a number pad
A Guide to Mechanical Switches
Aside from the bells and whistles like RGB and media keys, the most important thing to consider when choosing a mechanical keyboard is what kind of mechanical switches they use. The main supplier of high-quality for almost all keyboard manufacturers is a German company called Cherry MX.
The different switches are categorized and named by colors, and each one represents a different feeling keystroke. These are the standard against which all others are compared. Three different types of switches are covered by the keyboards on our list including red, blue, and green. Let’s take a look at the differences between these and what their Razer equivalents are in case you’re looking at the Razer BlackWidow keyboard.
Cherry MX Blue
The first switch we’ll discuss is the Cherry MX blue. These are my personal favorite, but they’re definitely not for everyone.
The feature an audible and sharp click when the key is pressed far enough to register a press. They also have a very tactile feel, meaning as you press them you will feel them “give way” when a keystroke is registered.
The click is highly satisfying, and when paired with the tactile feel of the switches makes misclicks almost impossible. The downside, of course, is that the constant rapid clicking of typing can get annoying for some people, but I find it very satisfying.
The Razer equivalent of these is the Razer green switch.
Cherry MX Red
Cherry MX reds are used by most people for gaming. They are lighter to press than the blue ones, requiring only 45 grams of pressure, compared to the 50 grams required to register a keystroke on the blues.
Also, they lack the distinct click of what the blue offers, making them much more quiet to use. This makes them awesome not only for gaming but also for working. However, these have what is called a linear press.
Linear keystrokes get tougher as you push them down and do not have an actuation point. They are smooth from top to bottom and do not have any give to them once a keystroke is pressed. This makes them less than ideal for some people while typing and can lead to missed keystrokes.
The Razer equivalent to these are the Razer yellow.
Cherry MX Brown
Finally, the Cherry MX brown switches are something of a compromise between the blue and red. While they lack the audible click of the blue switches, they retain the tactile feeling.
As you press the key down, you will feel the key give way at the actuation point when a keystroke is registered.
The Razer equivalent to these are the Razer orange switches.
Are there any quality differences between Razer and Cherry Switches?
Cherry are incredibly high-quality and durable. They are known for being incredibly consistent from key to key and over time. Every key is guaranteed to feel the same and is rated to last an impressive 50 million clicks.
While not known for the same level of consistency, the Razer are highly durable. They have a rated lifespan of 80 million clicks.
Best Mechanical Keyboard for Gaming in 2020
If you’ve never used a mechanical keyboard before, then you’ll be amazed at how nice they feel to use. I have known many people who switched from a membrane to a mechanical one, but I don’t know anyone who’s gone back.
Not only do they feel better to use, but most importantly, they can help you win DOTA matches or beat people to the punch in shooters since they offer a more reliable and consistent keystroke than standard keyboards.
Hopefully, our guide and reviews have given you all the information you need to make an informed decision about which mechanical keyboard is right for you. If you have any questions regarding one of the keyboards on our list or have used one of them before, we would love to hear about it in the comments!