Building a PC requires not only proper planning but a massive amount of funding. And if you are a gamer, every single peripheral matters. Keyboards are no exception. However, choosing one that suits your requirements can be a bit tricky, especially when you are tight on the budget.
But the good news is that you can easily find a number of alternatives under just $100. All you need to have is a keen eye and massive research for the type of switches you want for the layout, RGB support, connectivity option, and so on.
Still don’t know where to start? I have brought some best gaming keyboards under $100 reviews and buying tricks. So, don’t waste more time and dive right in.
8 Best Gaming Keyboards Under $100
1. HyperX Alloy Origins 60 Gaming Keyboard
My first pick for this list of the best gaming keyboard under $100 is HyperX Alloy, all thanks to its low-latency keys. Its traditional looks and feels are why most gamers, including me, are a fan. Not only this, it has durable and ergonomic construction for long and intense gaming sessions.
So, let’s talk about its design. By looking at it, you will first notice the quality. The manufacturers have used aluminum casing and PBT keys, which are built to last for a long time. I have been using it for two years now and have had one or two spill accidents, yet there are no signs of moisture damage as of now.
Now, another reason why everyone was going crazy over this board is its HyperX mechanical switches. They are known for their tactile feedback as well as accuracy. Not only this, I find them pretty quick, as they respond immediately to keypresses. You also get to change the angle of the board, which is something I haven’t heard before using this one.
Wrapping up, the HyperX Store Alloy mechanical keyboard is my all-time favorite pick for long and intense gaming sessions. It comes with a traditional layout with mechanical switches that are pretty accurate. You can also customize the programmable keys with the help of NGENUITY software, which is easy, even for newbies.
2. SteelSeries Apex 5 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
This SteelSeries Apex 5 keyboard is an unusual option for people who want a seamless gaming experience. And this is all thanks to its tactile mechanical switches and durable keycaps. After using it for a long time, I would say it requires light force and offers actuation in a short travel. Lastly, it has an ergonomic design for you to feel comfortable the entire time.
It is a wired keyboard, which means it is not only fast but has absolutely zero click latency. The manufacturers have further used PBT keycaps that are resistant to spills. So you don’t have to worry about moisture damage at all. I also really like the fact that despite a full-size layout, the manufacturers have left a wide area for the wrist rest.
Now, let’s talk about its performance. This board has hybrid clicky mechanical Cherry MX blue switches. They have a rubber membrane that requires a low depression force. I found them highly responsive and fast. It also has an OLED display that allows you to display all the things for better navigation.
In conclusion, this SteelSeries Apex 5 is a quality option for professional gamers, owing to its clicky hybrid membrane switches. It comes with a full-size layout, with an extended num pad and wide palm rest. All the keys are accessible, and the arrangement makes it easy for you to navigate, not to mention feel comfortable.
3. Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition Gaming Keyboard
Here comes yet another best gaming keyboard under $100 from Razor for its tenkeyless design. I have kept this in my collection mostly for traveling, and it has never disappointed me. Despite being compact, it is not lacking in any category, be it performance or durability.
Firstly, the manufacturers have used linear optical switches, best known for their actuation force. The key presses are like feathers, which means no latency and a responsive gaming experience. Though you will miss macro keys, it is a small board, and it is understandable.
Now, one thing that makes it stand out among other tenkeyless keyboards is the construction quality. This one comes with PBT keycaps and aluminum top casing, both of which are long-lasting. So you don’t have to worry about spilling some water over it one or two times.
Finally, the Razer Huntsman Tournament is perfectly suited for gamers who often travel for their tournaments. It comes with optical switches that are highly responsive and offer actuation in the shortest travel. Not only this, the layout is pretty straightforward and allows you to navigate easily.
4. Logitech G413 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Logitech is a big name when it comes to gaming gear for its quality and innovative features. This keyboard is no exception and is known best for the tactile feedback it offers. Overall, I like its simple yet functional design. The top case is pretty durable and built to last for a long time.
The first thing that impressed me about this keyboard was its aluminum-magnesium casing. It is extremely durable and has a braided USB cable. However, I only used its Bluetooth function for connectivity. The board itself is pretty thin and looks attractive with a compact PC setup.
Now, coming to the keys, the manufacturers have added Romer-G switches. These are clicky and offer incredible tactile feedback. The best part is that it has programmable keys, and all you need to do is use the G-HUB software to customize them according to the games you play.
Finally, if you are someone who goes by the brand value, this Logitech G413 is the perfect choice. It is equipped with tactile Romer-G switches that provide you with perfect clicky feels and respond immediately. Also, the programmable macro keys make it great for competitive gaming.
5. Razer Ornata V2 Hybrid Gaming Keyboard
Coming from Razer, the Ornata V2 is an exceptional product at this price. It is a full-size keyboard with membrane switches and programmable keys. Not only this, the fact that it has a wide wrist rest area and an easily manageable layout makes it great for competitive gaming.
The first noticeable thing about this keyboard is its unusual mecha-membrane keys. These are hybrid switches, which means you are getting the best actuation force and tactile feedback with minimum latency. Moreover, they are made up of rubber, so you won’t be hearing any sound.
Now, you will also find Razer Hyperlift macro programmable keys. All you need to do is select individual keys and set commands for them on Razor’s original Synapse3 software. It also incorporates full-RGB light with multiple effects and color patterns for you to personalize.
In essence, this Razer Ornata V2 keyboard is best suited for gamers who are not fond of the usual clicky keys and want something else yet equally functional. It comes with programmable mecha-membrane switches that have low click latency. However, I will say the actuation force is still lacking.
6. CORSAIR STRAFE MK.2 Gaming Keyboard
If you are a gamer who doesn’t really like the traditional noisy keyboards and something silent yet functional, do give this Corsair Strafe a try. It has the special Cherry MX keys and 8MB onboard memory that delivers well. Similarly, the RGB effect makes it worth the money.
First, this is a full-size keyboard with Cherry MX mechanical keys. They are quick and require low depression force. ; needless to say, they are slightly clicky. I find these keys highly responsive. Also, six keys are programmable, so you can set in-game instructions for a fast-paced experience.
Not only this, it has onboard memory that makes the experience fast and dynamic. In addition, the manufacturers have added customizable RGB lights under each key. This allows gamers to color mix and create unique patterns and set a mood for gaming.
Finally, this keyboard is designed for gamers who are not fond of clicky tactile switches. The mechanical switches used in this board are quick and offer a responsive gaming experience. Moreover, the layout includes macro keys, multimedia buttons, and an extended num pad for maximum utility.
7. Logitech G613 LIGHTSPEED Gaming Keyboard
This Logitech G613 is an updated version of the G413 with improved actuation and feedback. Like its predecessor, this keyboard has a full-size layout and basic design, which is pretty easy to navigate. The good thing is that all the keys are easily accessible, saving most of your time and effort.
So, let’s start this review with its performance. The manufacturers have used Romer-G mechanical switches to create this keyboard. These keys are clicky in feel, and I found that it immediately responds to movement. Likewise, despite the full-size layout, the board has a wide wrist rest that considerably saves players from fatigue.
Another good function of this keyboard is the programmable keys. This board has almost six programmable macro keys. You can use the Logitech G-HUB software to set commands for each of these keys. It is worth noting that navigating this software is pretty easy. All you need to do is select individual keys and set functions.
This Logitech G613 keyboard has by far the clickiest keys out there, with minimum latency. According to the manual, it claims to respond in 1 ms, and after using it, I would say it is not wrong. Not only this, it’s durable construction and wide wrist rest make it ergonomically a great choice for long and intense gaming sessions.
8. Cooler Master CK552 Full Gaming Keyboard
Last but not least on this list is the Cooler Master CK552. It is a full-size mechanical keyboard with programmable keys and RGB support, which is a pretty great deal for the price. Apart from this, it has a durable top casing and linear switches that are comfortable to use for long hours.
So, first, let’s talk about its keys. The manufacturers have used red Gateron switches to create this board. These switches have the fastest response to in-game actions. That being said, I still think the actuation force can be improved. These keys may be minimalist, but they do the job pretty well.
Another good thing is that they have on-the-fly controls. This means that you won’t need any software to set commands for individual keys. It is further accompanied by RGB lighting. This LED lighting incorporates multiple effects and modes for you to set a mood for gaming.
Wrapping up, this Cooler Master CK552 keyboard is designed for people who want a simple and easy keyboard. It has a full-size layout with easily accessible keys and macro keys for you to enjoy gaming thoroughly. Though I have used this briefly, the experience was worth the money.
How to Find A Quality Gaming Keyboard under $100: A Complete Guide
Choosing a gaming keyboard can be overwhelming, especially when you are limited by budget. And if you don’t know where to start, just give this buying guide a quick read. This will help you figure out what best suits you.
Types of Switches
The first thing to look into while buying a gaming keyboard is its switches. This is because they will determine the speed, accuracy, response time, and actuation of the keyboard. Here are some of the popular alternatives you will find across the market.
- Mechanical Switches are the most popular and commonly used switches. They are fast and responsive. The good thing about these switches is that they do not require much force. So, even if you are not fully pressing down the key, it gets recognized on the screen.
- Membrane Switches have silicon or rubber base plates. This plate is primarily responsible for generating keystrokes. The plate extends when putting force on it. This is why they require extra force and are silent.
- Hybrid Switches are a combination of membrane and mechanical switches. Over the years, most manufacturers have built membrane switches using the principle of mechanical ones. Hence, they are superior in a way that they are fast and offer amazing tactile feedback.
The second most important thing is its layout. They are primarily divided into full-size and tenkeyless designs, and each one has its own benefits. And then, they are subcategorized as 60%, 65%, 70%, and so on keyboards, based on the number of keys.
For instance, if you are a casual gamer and need to improve your skill set, it is ideal that you go for full-size keypads. They have multimedia and macro keys that help you in making the experience fun and exciting. With these keys, you can set commands for in-game actions.
Durability and Material Construction
It is equally important to look into the material used for the keyboard. Typically, you will find many boards made up of plastic. However, I would advise you to keep them far from your sight if you want them to last for longer.
But what is the right material? For starters, it is ideal that your keyboard top casing is either made up of aluminum or magnesium, as both these materials resist spill damage ideally. Moreover, you should have PBT keycaps, as they are durable and don’t press down, even after extended use.
Next, given that you will be using a keyboard for gaming, it is absolutely necessary that it has an ergonomic design. This is because it will keep you comfortable and at ease during long hours of gaming.
And the most important thing here is to make sure that all the keys are easily accessible for you, irrespective of the layout. It not only keeps you at ease but also improves the speed at which you play games.
Similarly, go for the one that has a wide space for the palm and wrist rest. This will reduce fatigue to a great extent for you to survive long hours of gaming.
Last but not least, illuminated keyboards are the best, partly because they add to the aesthetic appeal of your keyboard. I thoroughly enjoy experimenting with colors on the symbols and numbers. And even if you have a tight budget, go for single-color backlighting.
Finally, I hope now you know how to find the right gaming keyboard within your budget.
Is a 60% keyboard good for gaming?
Yes, 60% of keyboards are pretty good for gaming. This is because they have a limited number of keys, which means improved muscle memory and low sensitives. Hence, once you get a hold of these keyboards, you get fast at games and it saves you from a lot of struggle.
Is a tenkeyless keyboard worth it?
Tenkeyless keyboards are smaller, easy-to-carry gaming boards. Despite their size, they have function and arrow keys, not to mention navigation clusters. So, if you are a gamer who understands all the utilities of keys and wants to get more muscle memory, they are perfect for you.
What size keyboard is best for FPS games?
First-person shooting games, or FPS, are known for their basic layout and solo-player gameplay. Hence, a small-sized keyboard is more than enough for these games. I usually prefer using either tenkeyless or 60% keyboards, as both are small and can be packed into a backpack.
There is no doubt that a pocket-friendly gaming keyboard can be challenging to find, irrespective of your skill set. Hence, it is ideal to look at each and every single thing from the connectivity option to the type of switch, construction quality, and layout. Here are some of my favorites;
- Logitech G413 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is best known for its clicky switches and programmable macro keys.
- CORSAIR STRAFE RGB MK.2 Gaming Keyboard has silent yet functional Cherry Switches for a responsive gaming experience.
- Razer Ornata V2 Hybrid Gaming Keyboard is popular for its hybrid mecha-membrane switches that are silent yet fast and accurate.
Finally, I wish you all the luck in your future buying venture.