If you’re looking for the best gaming keyboard possible, there are plenty of options to choose from, but for those who don’t have the luxury of a huge disposable income, paying hundreds of dollars for a single keyboard can be a long way off. your budget. Not to mention that the high cost is often for additional features that may or may not be relevant to you, depending on your individual gaming needs.
And while the more expensive options tend to be of higher quality and therefore last much longer, many of the best gaming keyboards are budget options that are almost as good and won’t wreck your wallet either.
In fact, given the current global inflation crisis, it is becoming more common for gamers to look for better deals rather than the most cheated option. And the market has responded, with more retailers slashing the prices of their keyboards and a growing number of manufacturers offering reasonably priced versions of long-running brands.
Whether you’re a novice to PC gaming and just need a keyboard that will make your sessions easier, or you’re a more experienced gamer looking to cut costs in building your PC without sacrificing too much quality, finding a great gamer keyboard for under $100 is definitely doable.
Find out what you’re looking for in a gaming keyboard
Before you even search for gaming keyboards by price, sit down and think about the kind of gamer you are and what needs your keyboard should meet. Without knowing it, you spend all day staring at options like “mechanical keys,” “macro recording,” “super short operation,” “RGB lighting,” “hyper-fast responses,” and more.
For example, if you’re like me and tend to play more turn-based JRPGs or lower budget indie games, then you probably don’t need a macro shot. Macro recording is a tool that records a sequence of user actions and allows a user to repeat those actions with the press of a single key. This is extremely useful for competitive gaming for titles that require split-second timing and reactions, but if you’re playing on Steam Final Fantasy X or Stardew Valley, you won’t need it.
Some may find that an important feature they need is that the best keyboard for them to fit in a very limited desk space. From there, you should focus on gaming keyboards that are thin but with the basic features of most other keyboards. A good example is the HyperX Alloy Origin 60, which features a beautiful premium construction and durable mechanical keys. It doesn’t contain macros, but if that’s not what you need then it’s a feature that will only increase the price.
On the other hand, if you need a keyboard that is heavily programmable, something like the Corsair K55 RGB Pro would be ideal. It comes with per-key RGB lighting, six programmable macro keys and a dedicated macro record button, dedicated media keys, and Elgato support for streamers.
This comes with some caveats of course such as a simple design and keys that are a bit unsatisfactory to press, but if you are a hardcore or professional gamer who needs a budget keyboard then these are features that will have little impact on your experience and worth giving up to cut costs.
Don’t worry too much about the aesthetics
For some people, the best gaming laptop and the best gaming pc absolutely must have customizable RGB lighting. While it may serve a purpose, such as functioning as a backlight for nighttime gaming, it’s not very practical despite its beautiful optics.
But if you’re looking at it from a price point of view, why buy this feature when you could instead opt for a gaming keyboard that only has simple backlighting like the one we covered in our Logitech G413 gaming keyboard review or the Corsair K63 Wireless? Both offer the simplest option for lighting, but keep costs down by not enabling a more expensive feature that many budget gamers simply don’t need.
There are other keyboard options that provide an all round balanced product but avoid tackling more complex options to keep the price affordable. One of the cheapest options out there is the Havit HV-KB558CM, which includes not only a gaming keyboard, but also a gaming mouse.
As you’d expect, between the package deal and the extremely low price, it lacks many of the other standard gaming keyboard features like a premium build, macros, or super-fast keystroke response times. And the design and build are not very high quality and even look gaudy. But it’s still a solid beginner’s set, and those without the cash would immediately receive two pieces of tech for well below the price of what most would spend for one.
Make sure to buy new
No matter which gaming keyboard you set your mind to, take care of one thing: always buy new†
Even the more expensive options have a certain number of times the keys and other functions will remain functional before they start to fail, and the more use you get from your keyboard, the faster the expiration date will arrive.
Now imagine how much less time you have with a keyboard built for affordability rather than longevity. Normally, the trade-off is worth it, but buying second-hand can significantly reduce the amount of time you have with your purchase and, unless you get that keyboard for nothing, the discounts may not be worth it.
If you want to cut those cheaper prices even lower, there are other methods that won’t compromise the shelf life of your keyboard.
The easiest way is to wait for general sales events such as major holidays, retail sales, or special events such as: Amazon Prime Day or black friday. Often tech products are one of the first to have prices slashed as sellers want to liquidate their inventory and make way for upcoming releases.
So why not wait and take advantage of these sales? Sometimes you can even get your hands on more premium gaming keyboards for a fraction of the price.