If you are a gamer, you know how important gaming peripherals are; how one could play games, using a slow, non-responsive, and cheap keyboard and mouse that doesn’t even work?
No no… if you think that gaming essentials like a mouse, keyboard, or else, is an expensive hobby, then you don’t know all those best gaming keyboards under $100.
Yes, you heard it right!
It means, no matter how tight your gaming budget is, you can still create an epic setup – to enjoy thousands of hours of gaming bliss.
Today, I am here with a couple of great gaming keyboards that won’t cost you a fortune; just spend $100, and you’re good to go.
All these best under $100 gaming keyboards are equipped with similar features; get one of these and enjoy an amazing gaming experience; if finding the affordable keyboard becomes difficult, give these reviews of 8 best gaming keyboards under $100, a read.
Best Gaming Keyboards under $100
1. Razer BlackWidow Lite
- Silent and Tactile
- Tenkeyless Design
- Compact with Detachable Cable
- Macro Programmable Keys
- No Bluetooth connectivity and multi-device pairing
- No wrist-rest
- No mac-OS compatibility
The Razer BlackWidow Lite is one of the best gaming keyboards, offering good yet silent typing experience with a tactile bump; it’s proprietary Razer Orange switches are worth to be noted.
Though the keyboard is highly responsive, you might be disappointed with its ergonomic design; other than gaming, this keyboard feels quite high to type on comfortably, due to which long-run typing might end up with pain in the forearms.
This well-built keyboard comes with O-rings to reduce the noise of the keys; thanks to its compact TKL design and the detachable cable which makes it easy to port-around.
Aesthetically speaking, the keys of Razer BlackWidow Lite’s rest on a metal plate, placed in a body made out of solid plastic. This keyboard offers a small amount of flex; some keys, especially the space bar, will give you a wobbly feel. The board also has ABS solid, nicely textured keycaps too.
Ergonomically, the Razer BlackWidow Lite’s is average just okay; at first glance, you will find this keyboard premium, but once you settle, you will see an incline setting only, which is quite small and almost useless. Ensure that the board has no palm rest, which would have been a nice addition.
This keyboard doesn’t support RGB and has excellent backlighting: you can change the brightness right from the keyboard; make sure that the board doesn’t have dedicated media keys like some other keyboards, but function keys including the volume, or mute, play/pause, skip tracks, etc.
In terms of compatibility, the board is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS, but in the later, the ‘Fn’ key, scroll lock, context menu, and pause break keys don’t work; in Linux, the software isn’t available.
Though typing with Razer BlackWidow Lite is not noisy at all, and interestingly, it can get deadlier if using the included O-rings. This also reduces the total travel distance.
Using the Razer BlackWidow Lite is quite tiresome, thanks to its height of the keys and being too close to each other.
2. HAVIT Gaming Keyboard
- Programmable keys
- Short travel
- Quit cheap
- Thin, sleek, and strong design
- Quite loud
- Lacks multimedia buttons
At just $69, you cannot expect a lot- as long as it’s comfortable to use, it does what it’s supposed to, and you have nothing to complain about. This gaming keyboard offers better accuracy, high responsiveness, better actuation, and of course, RGB lighting.
The Game Series of Havit’s RGB Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard has taken the keyboards to the next level, thanks to their full customizability, super slim and sleekest body (at only 0.89 inches), is not boxy at all while offering an immersive, seamless, and fun experience.
Aesthetically, this keyboard is made out of durable Alloy with a tapered silver trimming around the edge on its otherwise ordinary white lettering black body. Don’t worry, it feels well-made and non-bendable, so it can withstand all the gaming abuse.
A few other things you will appreciate about its appeal include its Kailh blue switches, the rubber pads at the bottom, soft keypresses, a 3mm travel and a 1.4mm response distance, its matte finish, and yes, it’s comfortability.
The only things you won’t like are its wired and lacking multimedia buttons. However, being completely customizable – from changing the RGB lighting to the movement and assigning functions – you might not miss these little things.
Yes, it’s a little loud, but it’s expected as it comes with Kailh Blues that are quite clicky.
The Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard is full of features and customizability, even its Shift, Enter and Control keys, are also fully customizable, using the Havit driver or software; that’s the reason why we call it the crappiest functioning keyboard on the planet.
With the software, you can reprogram keys to;
- Assign a character or up to three,
- Play a sound,
- Assign a macro,
- Turn into a media button,
- Launch a program, and
- Open a file or folder.
In short, with a Havit keyboard, say goodbye to your mouse!
With the software, you can also disable a key or return it to its default setting with just a press of a button.
Some other bells and whistles included are the WinLock mode- to lock the Windows button and the Game Mode – to lock or disable the Function, Windows, and Desktop keys, preventing you from accidentally pressing them while playing games.
Overall, I didn’t find fault in the Havit Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard’s performance; I loved its accuracy, super responsiveness, and comfortable usage, making it perfect for gaming.
3. HyperX Alloy FPS Gaming Keyboard
- Compact, solid build
- Available in regular and pro models
- Three Cherry MX switches
- Multimedia control keys
- No RGB lightings
- No data transfer via the USB port
- No programmable keys
Pay under $100 and get the HyperX Alloy FPS keyboard along with a couple of add-ons, including a padded carry bag, eight additional keycaps, and a key puller; of course, a braided mini USB (type B) cable will also be there along with a short quick-start guide in many languages.
Aesthetically, the Alloy FPS is evidently subtle, having a noticeably compact main body. This keyboard by Alloy follows a neutral design, saving plenty of desktop space.
Despite being closer to a mid-range, this keyboard offers durability and premium feel; the credit goes to its body – the underside is of sturdy plastic, while the front is of steel.
Even the keycaps also sport a minimalistic design and feel, having a neutral font; they are as tall as you’d expect from an average gaming keyboard, excluding the four red ones that are given as a bonus for FPS lovers.
As mentioned, Alloy FPS keyboards boast three Cherry MX switches: blue, red, and brown; all three offer satisfying tactile feedback and combination, they are close to perfect for both gaming and typing.
Wondering which type of switch would be best for you?
Check ’em out!
Actuation force is how much force needs to be applied to press a keystroke to get it registered, the feeling is whether there is a “bump,” and noise, denotes how much noise is created in the switch.
Generally, Red is preferable for gaming, Blue is great for typing, and Brown as the ideal middle ground.
For many RGB enthusiasts out there, let me tell you that HyperX Alloy FPS keyboards come with Red LED backlighting only; you may ask why?
Red light has the lowest frequency, highest wavelength and is known to be not at all distracting; this easy on the eyes light is great, especially for low-light conditions.
And yes, HyperX also counts red as their signature colour of products. Being a non-RGB keyboard, its per-key backlighting is still of the highest quality, with many effects to choose from.
To get it cycled through, hold down the Fn key and then use the right and left arrow keys.
Unfortunately, to back the backlight customizability of this no-frills keyboard, there is no accompanying software.
This gaming keyboard also follows trends of multimedia control keys and the game mode, disabling the Windows key to have no more accidental desktop visits.
Furthermore, the keyboard features a standard USB port along with the mini USB; you can also use the extra port to charge your phone or any other wireless peripheral, make sure it doesn’t support data transfer.
There is no denying that this FPS yet functionality-oriented no-frills gaming keyboard is one of the best gaming keyboards that will cost you no more than $100.
4. SteelSeries Apex M500 Gaming Keyboard
- Hybrid switch
- Feels more mechanical than membrane.
- Sleek design
- OLED screen.
- Strong RGB options.
- 50 million click
- fully-programmable keys
- Anti-ghosting and 104-key rollover
- One button for all media controls.
- Wrist rest is unsupportive.
SteelSeries makes outstanding yet expensive gaming keyboards, but now, the company has launched some affordable ones. The most interesting among these is the Apex M5oo – it’s a per-key RGB backlit keyboard, featuring a “hybrid mechanical” switch that uses the membrane actuation.
Short of a “Hybrid” keyboard…
As we all know, keyboards fall into two categories, membrane and mechanical; the latter is preferred for gaming, and that’s the reason why they are more expensive than the former.
Hybrid mechanical keyboards use membrane-style buttons to actuate the keys, with a touch of mechanical elements – so that gamers can enjoy the visceral comforts—sound and touch—similar to a switch.
With the Apex’s “Hybrid Blue” (spring-loaded switches), the actuation of each key occurs when the key pushes down on a membrane button – the pressing down on the key gives the feel of a mechanical keyboard.
Once felt what’s going on under the keycaps, the Apex M500 is identical to its other cousin. This keyboard has a standard form factor of 104 keys, following the size of 1.4 by 17.4 by 5.5 inches, and a tight, dense look.
If you are expecting this under $100 gaming keyboard to offer something really striking look, then I am sorry – it’s a simple black, full-size keyboard with neither discrete media controls nor extra macro keys.
But when it comes to space and weight, the Apex M500 did a great job – it uses the space efficiently, measuring 17.3 x 5.4 inches without being cramped, thanks to its narrow borders and well-spaced keys.
One feature that deserves special mention is its cable management system – to support the power cable, there are three grooves on the bottom of the keyboard.
So, move the cable right, left or any dead centre, without the annoyance of getting it tangled to anything.
The Apex M500 uses Cherry MX Red keys that are soft and quiet, running on an attractive, functional and intuitive SteelSeries Engine 3 software program.
Unlike expensive RGB keyboards, the M500 boasts only blue illumination; though it seems strange for a blue keyboard to offer Cherry Red keys, it is still a nice combo.
My only objection to the Apex M500 is the non-functional macro recording, especially while playing games; their website claims “on-the-fly macro-reading,” but I could not find any way to activate this.
While playing a few of my favourite tiles, including StarCraft II, Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider, etc., I tried out the Apex M500’s eSports potential.
Fortunately, the Cherry Red keys were quick and responsive – it’s definitely a strong contender in the Cherry Red keys keyboard field, especially offered at a relatively low price and a reasonable size.
5. CORSAIR K63 Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Responsive keystrokes
- Lag-free input
- Per-game profile creations
- Great lighting effects
- per-key actions
- Cherry MX Red Switches
- Dedicated Media keys
- 50 million actuations
- No removable USB cable
- No function key
For just $79.99, this high-quality input device is loaded with tons of features and customizable options – not only boosting the PC gaming experience but also giving the gaming desktop a dash of visual flair.
If you are also one of the gamers looking for a compact solution to free up your desktop space, Corsair’s K63 mechanical keyboard is just right for you.
Being a “tenkeyless” – meaning no numeric keypad – Corsair’s K63 is shorter in width, making it an ultra-compact gaming keyboard, but what to do with its t’s permanent cable during transportation?
The K63 weighs 2.46 pounds and measures around 14.37 × 6.73 × 1.61 inches with four media keys (stop, backward, play/pause, forward), one key for brightness adjustments, a Windows Key lock button, three dedicated audio buttons, and .no dedicated macro keys, or a Function key.
Another notable attribute is its spacebar, which is made out of a unique textured surface.
On the illumination front, the K63 gaming keyboard features red per-key illumination, relying on Cherry MX Red switches, which has an audible “ding” sound instead of the annoying “click.”
Its Cherry MX Red switches have an actuation force of 45g, thanks to the in-built soft spring that doesn’t provide any tactile feedback while balancing the keypress and actuation smoothly.
Using the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software, where the customization takes place, you can create custom (game-specific) profiles, adjust lighting effects, set up pre-determined key illumination, assign events, remap the keys, and much more.
The best thing is that with every profile, you can specify into three subcategories – “Actions,” “Lighting Effects,” and “Performance.” luckily, the keyboard supports seven effects:
- Type Lighting (Key)
- Type Lighting (Ripple)
Users can “customize” effects by playing with its opacity, and the speed – from slow to fast; the mix and match of lighting effects is also possible.
As I mentioned, the “actuations and feel” of each key in and outside of gaming is crisp and responsive, even the keycaps are non-removable and super smooth, sporting a thick, squished font.
6. VicTsing Gaming Keyboard
- 100% Anti-ghosting
- Detachable Ergonomic Wrist – only for Mac
- Preset 20 lighting models
- Less noisy red switches
- 60 million keystroke
- PBS body
The VicTsing Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is also one of the best gaming keyboards under $100; though it doesn’t mean the keyboard doesn’t have issues, but you’re going to be cutting corners somewhere, for sure.
So, let’s talk about those cutting corners first ones include keycaps and the frame of the board; sadly, though sturdy, but still, it’s board isn’t made with an aluminium top plate.
It’s every bit is quite simple and decent but not as charming as the aluminium ones.
From a substantive point of view, this board is much superior to rubber dome keyboards, and yet it costs exactly like them, performing comparably to many mechanical keyboards available in the market, especially if you make a 1:1 comparison between switches.
Aesthetically speaking, the board is a tad minimalistic, warped – from base to keycaps – in black colour, while the letters are clear until it’s switched on the LEDs; only with LEDs, the board looks a bit like a gaming keyboard.
Though the quality of the construction is nothing special, just the plastic chassis but the baseboard is pretty rigid, that prevents flexing the board and affecting the switches. And yes, the board is water and drop-resistant as well – only for a distance of 2.5 feet.
No matter what type of gamer you are, spilling something across the keyboard is our mutual nightmare – I appreciate that as many fancy boards aren’t made with protections against liquid.
To support its view of water-resistance, the VicTsing Keyboard is different, having a total of four drain holes along the edge – to help channelize liquids to places in a way that won’t damage the board or the LEDs.
The VicTsing Keyboard is built with mechanical red switches, enduring about 60 million keystrokes, but it’s keys are slightly stiffer than typical reds.
Talking about its keys – the board has a total of 20 backlit modes to choose between – to toggle them, use a combination of the insert, function, and the page down key; the arrow keys will let you move between light modes and brightness settings.
I would be happier if this keyboard by VicTsing would have been created with better material – PBS, rather than ABS; interestingly, a good set of ABS keycaps is costlier than this entire keyboard.
The VicTsing also includes a detachable ergonomic wrist rest (hardly two inches in total)- so that you can put your wrist comfortable at rest, especially while playing for long hours. Whether it’s helpful or not depends on your wrist posture while keying the game.
Last but not least, the VicTsing Mechanical Keyboard features full N-Key rollover, without limits; so, roll your face against the keyboard, and let it input each and every press intelligently.
7. Logitech Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Pro-grade responsiveness and performance
- Precise lighting through the keycap.
- Additional USB cable connects.
- Full Function (FN) keys
- Mechanical switches.
- Sturdy construction.
- No customization.
- No wrist rest.
The Logitech G413 is a simpler take in the world of a gaming keyboard, not focusing on fancy lighting schemes and extra function buttons, rather on key feel and performance, and yes, it is priced lower than top-end competitors.
This full-sized keyboard is one of the latest yet budget gaming-oriented models of Logitech’s Romer-G switches; do consider this best gaming keyboard if you’re new to esports or aspiring gamer.
This Logitech Keyboard is expected to last between 5 to 10 million keystrokes.
The Romer-G keys in the G413 register require only 1.5mm of travel, instead of the full 3mm to 4mm, to register keystrokes, which lets you react as per the speed of the gameplay.
One of the hallmarks of Cherry MX Blue keyboards are the audible and tactile click sounds, which is not the case with the G413 – it’s a lot quieter than so many of its competitors.
The G413 Carbon is all black, black keys, aluminium top surface, and red LED lighting; though the keycaps are just like those on a run-of-the-mill keyboard. And, if you’ve tried and like those faceted caps, replace a subset of the keys with the given replacements, using the keycap puller.
There are 12 replaceable keys – 1-to-5 keys in the number row, as well as the QWER and ASD key sets.
To use the Logitech G keyboards, download and install the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS), letting you control macros and functions; it means no macro keys on the board, but you can use the LGS utility.
To put the keyboard in the Game mode hit Fn-F8 button, this will also turn off the Windows key in case you don’t want to install LGS; you will find gaming on the G413 a lot more responsive than any dome-switch keyboard.
The aluminium top panel of this board has zero flex – it means full control surface level at all times. Sorry, with G413, you will not be having a wrist rest, but you can elevate a bit by raising its pairs of feet placed on the bottom panel raises, so that you can add a few degrees of comfort to your gaming experience.
A couple of nice features of this board includes a USB 2.0 port pass-through, a six-foot-long USB cable (with two plugs), two channels moulded into the bottom panel. These conduits are not necessary but are a nice touch.
So, if you want a gaming keyboard without blowing a big wad of cash and without compromising on typing experience, going with the Logitech G413 Carbon can’t be wrong.
8. AUKEY LED Backlit Gaming Keyboard
- Fantastic key feel
- Impressive range of RGB options
- Low price
- Blue switches
- Awful font on keycaps
- Inefficient N-key rollover
It’s not too old that Chinese company AUKEY entered into the PC gaming market, mechanical keyboards being one of the first ranges; its AUKEY KM-G6 keyboard follows a competitive design in an already overcrowded market at a cut-throat price point.
At first glance, AUKEY’s KM-G6 is as basic as it gets, boasting standard 104-key LED-backlit mechanical design, while using Outemu blue switches, rather than Cherry’s switches, that are quite expensive.
Don’t worry! The end results – feel and sound – is nearly the same as the Cherry option.
This AUKEY’s all-intent-and-purpose keyboard has something immediately noticeable than anything else – it is a terribly-looking font.
The entire board is lit with a set of rainbow RGB lights, helping to create a striking look from a distance and maybe, to alleviate some of the awkwardness of the font. Thank god, the lighting isn’t as bright or vibrant as others.
The build quality of this board is sturdy and compact, consolidating function keys behind its media keys – to function them, hold down the Function key while and keep hitting number keys, this will tell you which number key performs which action/s, in the context of lighting and audio player controls.
The board also features an impressive array of RGB lighting options, having a set of eight preset lighting modes, each themed after a game series from League of Legends to Call of Duty, highlighting keys used in the games being played.
Sadly, each keypress on this board will result in a loud, clicky response that will annoy everyone around you; though its tactile keys are super responsive.
Perhaps one of the drawbacks I’ve found with this keyboard is the sub-par N-key rollover tech – it means that every now and then, typing too fast or hitting too many keys may result in no actions at all.
Though such happens rarely, enough to be noticeable, and possibly be a big problem during intense gaming sessions.
You don’t have to be richy-rich to get a gaming-pro keyboard; so, stop spending fortunes and get a significant edge with any of the above-mentioned keyboards under $100, and go up against serious competitors.
One thing is for sure… you can’t go wrong with any of these preferences; the final call will be your gaming budget and the features matter the most to you.