Having the proper keyboard for gaming can mean the difference between owning, and getting owned. Seriously. You don’t need to have the best keyboard, but you definitely need a good one.
If you’re using a crappy old keyboard that has unresponsive keys, chances are that those keys have caused you a lot of headaches. Or maybe your keyboard just doesn’t feel right?
Either way, whatever your budget is, you’re able to get a great gaming keyboard for almost any price. There are even combo sets that are really good for entry-level gamers, and cost next to nothing when you compare them to individually priced items – and don’t forget those mechanical options!
If you have any questions about my list of the best gaming keyboards under $50, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
#5 – Razer DeathStalker Essential
The Deathstalker Essential is easily one of the best gaming keyboard under $50 – in my opinion, regardless if it’s not a mechanical keyboard or not, it’s still great.
Although it doesn’t feature any extra keys, or special functions, it performs like a dream and will easily last for over a year. The keys have a nice tactile feel to them and sound/feel similar to Cherry MX brown mechanical switches with .40mm o-rings – even though the DeathStalker is a membrane keyboard.
I have had a DeathStalker Expert edition for over two years now, and it’s never failed me, yet. The only real difference between the two is backlighting and $15. Check out my DeathStalker Expert keyboard review here, if you’re interested.
One small downside is the fact that every bit of grime or grease from your fingers sticks to everything on the Deathstalker. But, it washes off pretty easy so at least the grime is manageable.
All-in-all, the Deathstalker Essential is definitely something to consider if you’re looking for a quiet membrane (rubber dome) keyboard.
- Long Life / Resilient To.. Impacts
- Low-Profile Keys Laser Engraved
- Keys Won’t “Rub Off” Over Time
- 10-Key Rollover
- Comfortable Wrist Rest
- Attracts Grime
- No backlighting
- Wired (6ft)
- Rubber dome
- Dual-Function F1-F12 Keys
- 18.4 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
- 2.2 pounds
#4 – CM Storm Devastator II
The CM Storm Devastator II keyboard + mouse combo is a great buy for under $30. Yes, it’s a combo and you’re here for just a keyboard, but hey, it’s great quality and you really can’t beat that price if you need a new mouse at the same time.
The keyboard is really great, and the keys actually feel somewhat mechanical by offering a more tactile feel than your average membrane keyboard would. It also has dedicated media buttons so you can switch songs or change the volume easily enough. The unit is lightweight but feels relatively durable and not cheap like you would assume. One downside is that the keyboard’s LEDs can only be toggled on/off, and when they’re off it’s nearly impossible to actually see what’s what..
The mouse is not what you would expect from a $30 combo deal either, it really goes above and beyond what you’re probably thinking you’ll get with a combo this inexpensive. It’s highly accurate and features 3 preset DPI levels (1000/1600/2000) which are great options for most types of gaming for the majority of PC gamers. It also has 2 thumb buttons along the left side and rubber grips on both sides near the front.
All-in-all, Cooler master went all out with the Devastator II keyboard + mouse combo, and for under $30? That’s a hard deal to refuse and it makes for an awesome budget setup.
- High quality kb+m combo
- Laser Engraved Keys
- Tactile Feeling Keyboard
- Highly Responsive & Accurate Mouse
- Multiple Colors to Choose From (Red / Green / Blue – not RGB)
- Scr Lk controls LED Backlighting
- Wired (6-ft)
- Specially designed “Mem-chanical” keys for enhanced tactile feedback (Still rubber dome)
- Dedicated multimedia keys
- 2000 DPI Mouse with 5 Buttons
- 17.7 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches (keyboard)
- 2lbs (keyboard)
#3 – TOMOKO MMC023
Tomoko is another relatively unheard of brand who has recently put out some really great products, like their mechanical switch equipped MMC023 tenkeyless keyboard.
The switches are made by Gaote, and they’re really decent for being used in such an inexpensive keyboard. They offer a good level of tactile feedback and a lot of responsiveness. They sound pretty much like any other blue switches you’ve heard, and they perform very similar to the higher-end brands.
Tenkeyless (missing the numpad) keyboards aren’t my personal go-to keyboard, but they work great for most people. I think I’m in the small percentage of people who still use the numpad, so it’s hard for me to go without one. That combined with the lack of any illumination at all, and you have the MMC023’s downsides.
All-in-all, when it comes to mechanical keyboards for under $50, our options are still pretty limited – but Tomoko’s MMC023 is easily one of the best options.
- Mechanical switches (blue)
- Full NKRO
- Comfortable to type on
- No numpad
- No backlighting / illumination
- Wired (6-ft)
- Mechanical switches (Blue)
- Full NRKO
- 16 x 7.2 x 2.5 inches
- 2.6 pounds
#2 – EagleTec KG010
EagleTec’s KG010 mechanical gaming keyboard is easily one of the best for under $50. There’s a huge variety of different colors available, so make sure you check them all out!
The KG010 uses Outemu Blue switches which are pretty decent. In comparison to Cherry MX Blue, they are louder and feels like they require a bit more actuation force, but are ultimately comfortable to use, very responsive and offer great feedback.
There’s a huge variety of different colors and backlight options for the KG010, including a black body + RGB backlight option and a white body + RGB backlight. There are also some sporting a really clean looking brushed aluminum finish that I really wish I had seen before ordering the one I did.
Although the EagleTec KG010 doesn’t offer some of the features that my number 1 pick does, it’s an amazing entry-level mechanical keyboard for under $50 regardless. The switches are good, the backlighting is good, the full NRKO is awesome and everything else about the KG010 and the KG011 (white/silver models) is well above par.
Keep in mind that there are options offering full RGB backlighting, some with 6-color backlighting, some with no backlighting and some with a single color – there’s a ton of options all around the same price range so check them all out!
- Mechanical switches (Outemu Blue)
- Full NRKO (no ghosting)
- Huge variety of different colors available
- Vivid backlighting
- Aluminum and ABS construction
- Splash-proof keys
- Loud switches
- Keys require more force than others with blue switches
- Wired (6ft)
- Mechanical switches (Outemu Blue)
- Full NRKO
- 17.6 x 7 x 1.1 inches
- 2.3 pounds
#1 – Corsair K55 RGB
Corsair consistently puts out top level products and their K55 RGB keyboard is absolutely no exception.
It features a nice take on RGB backlighting that keeps things simple but also limits customization options. You can change colors and patterns (pulse, wave, etc) across 3 zones to make it feel customized, but that’s where the customization ends.
The keys are very nice for being membrane and offer a great tactile feedback which feels similar to some mechanical keys. Personally, I really didn’t mind them when compared to Cherry MX Browns.
I listen to a lot of music, so I really enjoy having dedicated media keys so I can skip songs etc while gaming. So it’s great to see dedicated media keys as well as volume control on the K55.
Detachable wrist rests can either be really good or really bad when it comes to less expensive keyboards. Luckily, Corsair chose to go with a very comfortable rest with rubber inserts to make it even better to use.
All-in-all, these reasons are why Corsair’s K55 is my #1 pick for the best gaming keyboard under $50.
- Responsive tactile feedback similar to a mechanical keyboard
- Comfortable detachable wrist rest
- Vivid RGB backlighting
- Dedicated media + volume controls
- 6 macro keys
- No software
- Rubber dome keys
- RGB Backlighting
- 18.9 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
- 1.8 pounds
Not everyone wants to throw $100+ down on a keyboard just to get Cherry MX mechanical switches, not when you can get really decent and almost equivalent mechanical keyboards for under $50!
For those budget-minded gamers out there, this list should have given you a good idea of which keyboards you should look at. Keep in mind that this list is entirely subjective and it’s based on my own personal experiences with the keyboards listed. If you want to see even more, check out my top 5 keyboards under $100 list.
If you feel that I’ve overlooked a keyboard for under $50 that is simply incredible and you want me to test it, let me know in the comment section!