If you want to deliver your best possible performance in-game, having a reliable gaming keyboard is necessary. Gaming keyboards provide plenty of advantages, such as a more satisfying feel, better performance, and a more gamer-centric aesthetic. And with more and more manufacturers developing great bang-for-the-buck gaming peripherals, you won’t have to break the bank to get yourself an excellent gaming keyboard!
The market is full of budget gaming keyboards, which could make choosing the right one a daunting task. In this article, we’ll give you our picks for the 10 best budget gaming keyboards that you can buy online. We’ve also included a buying guide, checked by IT specialist JC Rogelio, to help with your purchase decision and some tips on how to clean your new gaming keyboard, so make sure to stick around and enjoy the article!
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
The size of the gaming keyboard refers to how many total keys it has. This is one of the most important aspects to consider since it will have a direct impact on how you will use your keyboard. Choosing a keyboard with an inappropriate size will mean that you’ll either end up with too many unused keys or have a keyboard that’s lacking in functionality.
Full-sized keyboards are the biggest ones and include the alphanumeric and control keys, the function row, navigation keys, and a full-sized numpad. On the other hand, tenkeyless layouts are full-sized keyboards minus the numpad. If you want to go smaller, you could also go for other common options, such as keyboards with 75%, 65%, or even 60% layouts.
Ultimately, the right keyboard size for you will depend on which games you play, as some games require you to use a numpad while others require only the essential WASD keys. Additionally, consider your available desk space, too. A smaller-sized keyboard will be significantly more compact than a full-sized one, making it better for smaller desks.
Most keyboards in the market are either mechanical or membrane. In general, mechanical keyboards are preferred for gaming, as they offer excellent responsiveness, feel, and durability. However, they're usually pricey, and so some low-budget gamers start off with membrane keyboards instead. Read on to learn more!
Mechanical keyboards work through spring-loaded switches which activate when you press them to a certain point. They’re characterized as having a precise and consistent feel with each keypress across the whole keyboard. These keyboards also exhibit a fast response time, since switches record a keystroke halfway before they get fully pressed.
Do take note that there are different types of mechanical key switches which affect the feel and sound of your keyboard. Linears have a smooth and consistent feel as you press them. Tactiles exhibit a small bump as you press the switch. Clickies, on the other hand, are tactiles that have an audible click sound once activated.
There are different types of mechanical keyboards with different key switches to choose from; however, the general consensus is that most mechanical keyboards feel a lot more satisfying to game and type on than membrane ones. Most mechanical switches are also long-lasting. Plenty of mechanical keyboards also allow you to replace their individual switches, so longevity won’t be a problem!
As their name implies, membrane keyboards use plastic membrane sheets with rubber domes as their switches. Most entry-level gaming keyboards use membrane mechanisms due to their affordability. They’re usually thinner and operate more quietly than traditional mechanical keyboards.
Due to the mechanisms they use, membrane keyboards feel a lot squishier and mushier than their mechanical counterparts. Their keys also have to be pressed down a greater distance for keystrokes to be registered. Membrane designs rarely have an n-key rollover, which means they might not be the ideal choice if you tend to press multiple keys at the same time in your games.
Traditionally, most gamers prefer going for wired keyboards due to their responsiveness. However, wireless keyboards nowadays have improved so much that they could also be a viable choice as your main gaming keyboard, especially if you dislike dealing with cables. Check out our in-depth discussion on these two types of keyboards.
Wired gaming keyboards directly connect to your computer through a USB cable, which is responsible for both powering your keyboard and sending input to your computer. Inputs are registered instantaneously with wired keyboards, an essential feature for competitive gamers who want zero input lag. You also won’t have to worry about any signal interference with wired keyboards.
Since wired keyboards have no batteries, you won’t have to go through the hassle of charging them up before using them. However, take note that wired keyboards are more cumbersome to bring around due to their cable. Also, you’ll essentially be tied near your CPU when gaming, since most cables only go as long as 6 feet.
If you do end up going for a wired gaming keyboard, choose one that has a detachable cable. The cable is one of the possible points of failure of a keyboard, so having an easy-to-replace cable is a plus. Keyboards with detachable cables are also easier to bring and keep in your bag.
Wireless keyboards can connect to your device through either Bluetooth or a USB receiver. This means you can game using wireless keyboards even if you’re far away from your CPU. Not only that, but wireless keyboards can also easily connect to your other devices, such as your phone and your tablet. They’re also a great choice if you dislike tangles and cable clutter on your desk.
As with any other wireless peripheral, wireless keyboards are susceptible to signal interference which could affect their precision. Some wireless keyboards might also have a small amount of input latency which could negatively affect your reaction time in-game. And since they use batteries, you’ll have to constantly pay attention to your battery life while gaming.
To ensure that your keyboard will be durable enough for your daily gaming sessions, make sure to check its materials. You can check the materials used for the two main parts of the keyboard: the case and the keycaps.
While cases may be made from either plastic or metal, plastic cases are the most predominantly used ones for budget keyboards. Metal cases usually give off a more premium build quality; however, there are plenty of keyboards with plastic cases that feel nice and solid. Plus, they're much lighter than metal keyboards and will work better if you plan on bringing your keyboard from time to time.
The common plastics used for keyboard cases are ABS, polycarbonate, and acrylic. ABS plastic is an inexpensive yet durable material for most keyboards. Polycarbonate is much tougher than ABS. Acrylic is a rare type of plastic that's transparent, allowing your RGB lights to shine through brightly. Whichever you choose, make sure that the case material is solid and thick for durability.
Keycaps are made of plastic, too. The 2 most common keycap materials used are ABS and PBT. ABS is the more common option due to its affordability. This material allows your RGB to shine through brightly; however, it does tend to become glossy from contact with your skin's natural oils after a short period of time, which is not ideal if you plan to use your keyboard for the long run.
PBT keycaps, on the other hand, are much more durable and don't rub off quite as fast as ABS keycaps. They have textured surfaces that make them much more comfortable for your fingers. However, they are hard to manufacture and are thus expensive, which means you won't see them bundled with budget keyboards as much as ABS keycaps.
RGB lights serve plenty of purposes for a budget gaming keyboard. They give your keyboard a cool look, especially when the lights are out. RGB lights are also usually easily customizable either through software or through your board’s keys, so you can easily mix and match your desk setup’s color schemes for different aesthetics!
Aside from looks, RGB lights can also help you see whether you’re hitting the right keys while gaming. This is especially helpful if you tend to game with the lights out. Just make sure to manage your RGB settings if you plan on getting a wireless keyboard, as RGB will eat through your battery life much quicker.
Many gaming keyboards come with their own software which you can install on your computer. These software are extra helpful if you want to further customize your keyboard’s RGB light color, mode, and speed. Aside from this, most keyboard software also allow you to set macros and shortcuts, which are especially useful for MMO gamers.
Consider the other features that the gaming keyboard offers aside from the ones we've already mentioned. Anti-ghosting and n-key rollover features tell you the maximum number of keys that you can press simultaneously, which is a great feature to have for games involving quick key presses.
To improve ergonomics, some gaming keyboards also include a wrist rest and feet for angle adjustment. Some mechanical keyboards even offer hot-swappable switches, which make replacing your switches much easier should you want to upgrade. And for those who want a keyboard that'll last long, going for a water-resistant keyboard could prove useful!
To give you a rundown, here are our top 5 picks for the best budget gaming keyboards you can buy online:
TUF Gaming K1
One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard
K613 Fighter TKL II Tournament Edition
Plenty of Connectivity Options for All Your Gadgets
Handles All Your Quick Key Presses With Ease
An All-Around Keyboard That's Great for Gaming And Typing
A Simple and Compact Design That'll Satisfy Minimalist Gamers
A Tough and Spill-Resistant Keyboard That'll Handle All Your Gaming Needs
A Full-Sized Gaming Keyboard Minus the Bulkiness
Comes With an Acrylic Case to Allow Your RGB to Shine Through
As Compact as a Gaming Keyboard Can Get
A Handy Board That Comes in Different Color Options
Entry-Level Gaming Keyboard With Great Performance
|Price Starts at||₱2,499||₱2,450||₱1,595||₱1,920||₱1,899||₱2,695||₱2,999||₱690||₱1,295||₱679|
|Size||80%||Full-Size||Full-Size||65%||Full-Size||96% (1800 Layout)||60%||One-Handed||60%||Tenkeyless|
|Type||Mechanical (RK Red, RK Blue, RK Brown, Cherry Red, Cherry Blue, or Cherry Brown)||Membrane (Mech-Dome Keys)||Mechanical (Outemu Blue Switches)||Mechanical (Choice of Outemu Blue or Red Switches)||Membrane||Mechanical (RK Brown, Blue, or Red Switches)||Mechanical (Choice of Gateron Black, Red, Brown, or Blue)||Mechanical (Choice of Blue or Black Switch)||Mechanical (Dust-Proof Red Switches)||Membrane|
|Wired or Wireless||Both (Wired, Bluetooth, and 2.4 GHz Dongle)||Wired (Fixed Cable)||Wired (Fixed Braided Cable)||Both (Wired and Bluetooth)||Wired (Fixed Cable)||Both (Wired, Bluetooth, and 2.4 GHz Dongle)||Wired (Detachable Cable)||Wired||Wired (Detachable Cable)||Wired (Fixed Nylon Copper Cable|
|Case||Plastic||Plastic||Plastic||Plastic||Plastic||Plastic||Acrylic||Not Specified||Plastic||ABS Plastic Case, Aluminum Alloy Top Cover|
|Keycaps||ABS||ABS||ABS||PBT||Not Specified||ABS||ABS||Not Specified||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|RGB||Choice of White or RGB Backlight||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Choose Between White or RGB Backlight||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Additional Features||Included Replacement Switches, Hot-Swappable Switches, Detachable Shroud, Can Last Up to 30 Days on Battery, USB Passthrough Feature||Anti-Ghosting, Integrated Palm Rest, Spill-Resistant, Dedicated Media Controls, Adjustable Feet||Aluminum Top Panel||Anti-Ghosting, Save Up to 3 Connectivity Profiles||19-Key Rollover, Dedicated Volume Knob, Spill-Resistance, Detachable Wrist Rest, Programmable Keys, 1-Year Warranty||USB Pass-through Feature, Hot-Swappable Switches, Anti-Slip Feet, Indicator Lights||On-Board Memory, Full-Key Rollover||4 Programmable Macro Keys, Palm Rest, Curved Keycap Layout||Full Key Rollover, Adjustable Height, Hot-swappable Switches, 5 Different Color Schemes Available, Angled Feet||Floating Design, 19-Key Rollover, Windows Key Lock, Folding Feet, Anti-Ghosting|
The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
Disclaimer: These products are recommendations made by our team at mybest Philippines. Our expert, JC Rogelio, is not affiliated with, nor is he endorsing any of the brands we mention below.
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**
|Type||Mechanical (RK Red, RK Blue, RK Brown, Cherry Red, Cherry Blue, or Cherry Brown)|
|Wired or Wireless||Both (Wired, Bluetooth, and 2.4 GHz Dongle)|
|RGB||Choice of White or RGB Backlight|
|Additional Features||Included Replacement Switches, Hot-Swappable Switches, Detachable Shroud, Can Last Up to 30 Days on Battery, USB Passthrough Feature|
|Type||Membrane (Mech-Dome Keys)|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Fixed Cable)|
|Additional Features||Anti-Ghosting, Integrated Palm Rest, Spill-Resistant, Dedicated Media Controls, Adjustable Feet|
|Type||Mechanical (Outemu Blue Switches)|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Fixed Braided Cable)|
|Additional Features||Aluminum Top Panel|
|Type||Mechanical (Choice of Outemu Blue or Red Switches)|
|Wired or Wireless||Both (Wired and Bluetooth)|
|Additional Features||Anti-Ghosting, Save Up to 3 Connectivity Profiles|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Fixed Cable)|
|Additional Features||19-Key Rollover, Dedicated Volume Knob, Spill-Resistance, Detachable Wrist Rest, Programmable Keys, 1-Year Warranty|
|Size||96% (1800 Layout)|
|Type||Mechanical (RK Brown, Blue, or Red Switches)|
|Wired or Wireless||Both (Wired, Bluetooth, and 2.4 GHz Dongle)|
|RGB||Choose Between White or RGB Backlight|
|Additional Features||USB Pass-through Feature, Hot-Swappable Switches, Anti-Slip Feet, Indicator Lights|
|Type||Mechanical (Choice of Gateron Black, Red, Brown, or Blue)|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Detachable Cable)|
|Additional Features||On-Board Memory, Full-Key Rollover|
|Type||Mechanical (Choice of Blue or Black Switch)|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired|
|Additional Features||4 Programmable Macro Keys, Palm Rest, Curved Keycap Layout|
|Type||Mechanical (Dust-Proof Red Switches)|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Detachable Cable)|
|Additional Features||Full Key Rollover, Adjustable Height, Hot-swappable Switches, 5 Different Color Schemes Available, Angled Feet|
|Wired or Wireless||Wired (Fixed Nylon Copper Cable|
|Case||ABS Plastic Case, Aluminum Alloy Top Cover|
|Additional Features||Floating Design, 19-Key Rollover, Windows Key Lock, Folding Feet, Anti-Ghosting|
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
Most budget gamers are aware of companies like Fantech and Redragon for their affordable products. However, if you can spend a bit more, you might be happier with Royal Kludge's lineups as they are known to produce keyboards with great tactility, responsiveness, and durability--even their budget ones!
If you're a casual gamer, keyboards below 1,000 php should already suffice. However, the lack of tactile feedback may lead to some unenjoyable experiences. Instead, try to hit the sweet spot of 1,500 to 3,000 php as not only do these keyboards last longer, their haptics are also great for single or competitive play.
Most budget gaming keyboards use Bluetooth or USB-A to connect to devices. That means that as long as your computer has these connections, it will be compatible with the keyboard.
While using a nice and reliable budget gaming keyboard is great, you could easily find yourself on a losing streak if the rest of your gaming gear isn’t up to par. Improve your gaming performance with our top picks for the best budget gaming mice, budget gaming chairs, and gaming monitors!
Author: A. Coseip
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
For expert-reviewed articles, we ask experts to check and review our buying guide to make sure there aren't any false, misleading, or outdated information. Our experts do not participate in choosing the recommendations, and they do not endorse any of the products we mention.
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