Cheapest Gaming Keyboards

Gaming keyboards are an essential piece of equipment. We know better than most at Strafe.com that a PC gamer without a gaming keyboard feels bare. But, the issue for many gamers has always been the price.

We’re here to tell you the price doesn’t have to be an issue. We’re here to tell you about the best budget gaming keyboards. There are some good cheap gaming keyboards out there that have the same features that a fully priced gaming keyboard have, and we want to make sure you know all your options before you invest.

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Best Gaming Keyboards on a Budget

  1.     G.Skill KM360 – Complete Cherry greatness
  •       Price - $50
  •       Switch – Cherry MX Red
  •       Size – TenKeyLess
  •       Media Controls – Integrated
  •       Backlights – White
  •       Connectivity - Wired

The KM360 has really broken the trend showing all great gaming keyboards have to be over $200. We definitely think this is the best low budget gaming keyboard you’ll find anywhere.

The Cherry MX Red switch is a brilliant addition to any gaming keyboard, and will surely come in handy when you speedily tapping during an intense game.

The lighting on it is also completely different from the rest of the best budget gaming keyboards. It comes with unique white backlights that are nice and bright.

G.Skill are one of the best gaming keyboard brands, and it shows with their good cheap gaming keyboards. Solid features, and great playability: the KM360 ticks all the boxes for what the best cheapest gaming keyboard should be.

  1.     Steelseries Apex 5 Hybrid – Mechanical Quality
  •       Price - $96
  •       Switch – Steelseries Blue
  •       Size – Full size
  •       Media controls – Full controls, customizable keys and volume wheel
  •       Backlights – RGB
  •       Connectivity – Wired

Steelseries are well regarded as one of the best keyboard brands today, as we talk about in our Steelseries keyboard reviews. But, they really show how to integrate quality and value with the Apex 5 Hybrid.

The hybrid Steelseries blue keys are very tactile and audible, providing immediate feedback for every key press. The keys are fully alight with beautiful RGB lighting, that really adds to the overall atmosphere the keyboard gives you.

But, what really makes the Steelseries one of the best budget gaming keyboards is fully programmable media controls. You can customize any key on the keyboard with macros, and the volume wheel grants you complete control over the volume levels.

You also have an OLED screen, that you can customize with anything – video, pictures, GIF and setting screen. It’s one of the top budget gaming keyboards that really offers you all the features that an expensive keyboard is.

It’s the best low budget keyboard you can get with these customization levels, and that’s why it’s in our top 5 mechanical keyboards too.

Best Cheap Gaming Keyboard Brands

G.Skill

G.Skill is a company that falls under the radar when it comes to their best affordable gaming keyboards. G.Skill excels where no one else does – delivering quality as well as value.

G.Skill was set up in Taiwan in 1989. They were always well known for their brilliant computer technology. Over the course of their existence, they developed high end RAMs such as the DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4.

Their memory banks are known for being the most tight and secure brands out there, not being prone to viruses like similar RAMs would be.

But, we’re here to focus on the best budget gaming keyboards. And, you’d be surprised to know, it’s a new area of development for G.Skill. In 2015, they established their first mechanical keyboard – the RIPJAWs series, a brilliant set of top budget gaming keyboards.

The RIPJAWs series were always known for their excellent responsiveness and functionality – all of G.Skills keyboards have Cherry MX Red switches. Some of the best affordable gaming keyboards they have include the KM560, KM570 and KM780. All of these keyboards have different backlighting and key textures. You can choose from RGB lighting or white lighting, Cherry MX Blue, or Cherry MX Red.

For a company that’s new to the keyboard scene, you can’t deny that G.Skill have really provided some of the best budget gaming keyboards you’ll find absolutely anywhere.

Even our Logitech gaming keyboard review of their best keyboard can’t live up to the KM560 in our opinion. And, that’s saying something.

But, that’s exactly where G.Skill have always excelled throughout their entire existence. They deliver absolute airtight quality in every product they produce. And, no matter which keyboard you would invest in, you can guarantee they will perform up to par.

Our review process at Strafe.com – Quality and purpose

At Strafe.com, we take all of our product reviews extremely seriously. After all, we’re a website based on delivering the best gaming content to all of our followers. And, our reviews are probably the most important part of this process.

We understand the best budget gaming keyboards can be hard to come across when you’re uninformed. And, that right there is our purpose right there. When you’re informed, you can understand the value of what you’re buying.

So, how do we go about delivering these reviews? Well, when it comes to the best cheapest gaming keyboard, our format was a little different to what we would usually do. Although all our reviews usually follow the same structure, they completely vary on what we are reviewing.

Check out our best Razer keyboards review to see it for yourself: there’s no template to how we review our products. We always take it on a case by case basis.

In the case of the best budget gaming keyboards, we couldn’t just focus on quality. Price was a huge factor we had to take into account, and finding that quality-price ratio was the baseline for all of our research.

Still, our dedicated team went about reviewing these top budget gaming keyboards the same way they always did. With consistency, purpose and top know-how.

Step 1 is always research and analysis. This is a step that never changes, but is always flexible in how we go about. So, when it came to the best affordable gaming keyboards, we had a research team pulling double duty.

First off, we had to seek out the absolute best quality keyboards – the keyboards, no matter what, perform the best and feel the best for the gamer.

Then, we had to pull off a big quantitative comparison. Our experts analyzed each of these keyboards, and then compared the prices to each.

We completely cut the cheap, terrible keyboards from the equation – they only fit the cheap bracket, and that’s useless. The quality-price ratio is what was important, and finding that was critical.

Step 2 now was quality control. This is where we get even more picky. We had to cut away those that didn’t meet that quality-price ratio exactly. The price is a little too high? Gone. The keys on the keyboard don’t function quite as well? Gone. We get ruthless, because we only want the best budget gaming keyboards.

Step 3 is simply articulating it all to you, the reader. We gather all of our extensive information, and put it your way so you can become informed and knowledgeable about what makes good cheap gaming keyboards.

That’s how we go about the process. At Strafe.com, we never try to shove too much information down your throat about one thing or another. We simply tell you what you need to know, so you can make an informed, calculated decision yourself.

What do we look for in an affordable gaming keyboard? – the ratio

‘The ratio’ is a phrase we’ve tossed around a lot these days, and for good reason. It’s that perfect balance, and meeting that ratio means that the best cheapest gaming keyboard has to tick a lot of different boxes before we can call it the best budget gaming keyboard.

Quality and price are just the two major factors, there are several more we consider during this process. The most important factors we take into account with the best budget gaming keyboard is:

  1.     Mechanical – This one may seem like a contradiction, because we know most gamers associate mechanical keyboards with high prices. But, we completely focus on mechanical keyboards. 

It’s no secret that the mechanical keyboards perform better, and are much easier on the wrists and fingers as a result. So, while electronic membrane keyboards are cheap, we don’t consider them among the cheapest gaming keyboards.

  1.     Physical quality – This one is what it says on the tin. We want a good cheap gaming keyboard that is physically sturdy, as it is mechanically. It’s no use if you’re using a gaming keyboard, and tapping the keys too hard causes it to fall apart.

It has to have some physical sturdiness, and comfort to it. Good tactile keys, easy to fit around the hand and a wrist rest is always more than welcome.

  1.     Responsiveness – This one makes the world of a difference to the gamer, because a responsive gaming keyboard means the difference between a win and a loss.

The keyboard should all have responsive time that comes naturally, and without any kind of lag in the slightest. The standard we hold the best affordable gaming keyboards to is 6ms (milliseconds) responsive time.

  1.     Size – By this, we don’t mean the actual size of the keyboard. We mean the size of the keys themselves – and how much they have to offer. Your average full size gaming keyboard has 150 gaming keys – including a number pad – and these keys are all mechanical.

This means they’re nice and big, and the backlights of your keyboard should help you differentiate between them if you’re stuck.

Even a TKL (TenKeyLess) keyboard, which is much smaller, will still have all the keys you need for premium gaming experience. You’d just be sacrificing the number pad.

  1.     Customisation and macro keys – This is one that always helps for the veteran gamer. Being able to apply your personal preferences to certain keys will really speed up and improve your overall gaming performance.

Some games require quick reaction times, and specific commands – the ability to customize those macro keys to meet those specific commands quickly if every gamers dream comes true.

What makes a good cheap gaming keyboard?

What makes good gaming keyboards is all of these factors we mentioned above. And, that’s the reason you can’t just take reviews such as these for granted.

If you were to buy the first gaming keyboard you could find without having any idea of the technicalities, it could be disastrous.

You’d end up with a membrane keyboard, that will last you about two months before the keys break and the whole device falls apart. Getting that knowledge down, and learning the game is the reason we at Strafe.com love doing these reviews.

We love educating all of our readers so they don’t have to make mistakes that could set you back unnecessary money, and lead to some real shortcomings.

But, let’s say you put aside $50. You do your research, you learn all the terms like tactile feedback, responsive times, and macro keys. Then, you find out about the G.Skill KM360.

Now, all of a sudden, you understand what makes this such a great keyboard. And, with your 50 bucks in hand, you really can compare to see how this is a great value deal.

And, with a simple $50 investment, you have the best budget gaming keyboard in your collection, and a keyboard that will last you for years to come.

See how much of a difference that little research makes? That’s why reviews such as ours are so important. You learn about the craft of gaming keyboards, you learn what makes them great, you learn what makes the lower end ones not so great.

And, with that, you have a basis. You have a foundation to go out there, and invest in a good cheapest gaming keyboard like the KM360.

You have that foundation to make your own decisions about what gaming keyboard on a budget would suit you. At Strafe.com, we work by the philosophy ‘teach a man to fish’ – we teach you enough with our knowledge and our suggestions, so you can make your own decisions based on the right information in hand.

Conclusion – Get to the window shopping!

To wrap up, we’ve covered all you need to know about the best low budget gaming keyboard. The G.Skill KM360 is the absolute best gaming keyboard for under $100, and you’ll surely notice a difference from your current keyboard. Not only that, but now you understand how we do what we do.

We have a set of criteria that has to be met before we even consider the gaming keyboard. And, you also know why what we do is so important. Reviews are the backbone to good investments – especially when it comes to gamers! So, start using that backbone!

 

Best Budget Gaming keyboards FAQ

How much should I spend on a gaming keyboard?

That really depends on what you are looking for in your gaming keyboard. The best budget gaming keyboards should have all the features that an expensive one has too – the expensive gaming keyboards usually just have a few flashy features that don’t make a huge difference! But, different gaming keyboards do offer different experiences, so it’s important you find a gaming keyboard that suits you.

What is so special about mechanical gaming keyboards?

It’s important you know the difference between a membrane gaming keyboard and a mechanical gaming keyboard before you make an investment in either. Mechanical gaming keyboards are often considered the better keyboard, and more often used for gaming purposes. Membrane keyboards are less adjustable, and don’t have the customisation features a mechanical gaming keyboard would have. A membrane keyboard would be the kind of keyboard in your average laptop.

What is the difference between a cheap and expensive keyboard?

There’s plenty of differences, and knowing the essential ones will certainly help you find the right keyboard for you. But, we’d like to take away the focus from ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’ keyboards. The fact is nowadays, they’re just that: price. There are plenty of expensive keyboards that are underwhelming, and plenty of cheap keyboards that are great. It’s all about whether they provide quality or not: that’s why it’s important you should know your stuff about gaming keyboards.

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