Finding a good keyboard is a tough ask. There is a lot of research that goes into it but why do that yourself when you have this article on the best gaming keyboards under $50.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to buy the best gaming keyboard for your needs. Hence the buyer’s guide along with the 11 best keyboard list.
The pc gaming industry is gaining a lot of popularity recently and more and more people are coming into the fray. Since a keyboard is an essential part of any PC that you interact with regularly the demand for keyboards has increased.
Due to increased demand, the market with flooded with keyboards. This has led to finding a good keyboard for playing games or doing typing related work difficult.
Our purpose in compiling the list of best gaming keyboards under $50 is to have a keyboard for everyone. We picked this price tag because it suites both new and returning folks looking to buy a keyboard. looking for something new.
All the keyboards mentioned in our list are mechanical. So what are we waiting for let’s begin shall we?
Keyboards come with all sorts of different features and aspects which are catered towards different individuals. In essence, every keyboard is not good in all aspects.
Therefore, only the reviews of the best gaming keyboards under $50 won’t cut it because then you won’t gain any knowledge on how to find the best keyboard that caters to your needs.
Hence the buyer’s guide section. In this section, I will highlight certain attributes and characteristics of keyboards that make them differ from one another. After knowing about them you will be able to make a more calculated decision.
Build quality is a very subjective and personal topic. Not everyone uses their keyboard the same way.
Some people use their keyboard rigorously while the use of others may be subtle. For the people who are hard on their keyboard getting board with amazing build quality might come in very beneficial which for others someone decent should be fine.
However, generally speaking, if a product is not durable and does not fare well with the passing time then that item is less compelling of a buy.
The keyboard market has evolved to the point that most keyboards are of acceptable build quality but still of course the more durables ones tend to be the ones that are made out of metal or aluminum.
Not saying that plastic-built keyboards are bad, some plastic keyboards are very well made but the general rule of thumb is to find something with harder materials so it can survive a few hits.
Footprint and size of the keyboard
These days there are many different sorts of sizes available for the keyboards which all have their intended use. The most commonly available sizes or keyboards are 60% boards up to full-sized boards. There are also 40% keyboards available but they are very rare and most are custom made.
As for the keyboard size and functionality associated with it, 60% of keyboards have the expulsion of the number pad, function keys, and nav cluster. This 60% of keyboards usually have a secondary layering which is used to access the omitted keys.
This frees up a lot of space on the desk but for some people, this might be too much of a compromise. On the contrary, these are full-sized keyboards that have complete 104 keys. This is a traditional size for keyboards but their popularity is decreasing.
TKL form factor is the one that eliminates the number row keys and it is also another popular design because it keeps the nav cluster and the function keys. These days the keyboards that are gaining vast popularity are 75% keyboards.
They have 82-84 keys depending on the keyboard and they retain the function keys and the nav cluster. This provides a good balance between functionality and compact design. With all the different sizes keyboards come with it is important to know which footprint will suit your needs the best.
Keyboards come with a variety of switch options. There are different mechanical switches available from numerous manufacturers.
Mainly keyboards come in a variety of 3 switch types that being red (linear), blue (tickly), and brown (tactile) switches. These have a different feel when pressed so it is important to get the switch right.
Lately, there has been a resurgence of the optical switches. These switches use optical technology to activate the switch rather than the typical contact mechanism.
Without the contact mechanism, these switches are very smooth. These switches might not be for everyone but they do have their advantages compared to regular switches that mainly being the speed at which the switch actuate due to less mechanical hindrance.
RGB and LED backlighting
If you are someone on board the backlight train there are plenty of great keyboards to satisfy your needs. Many featured keyboards have some sort of backlight that is either in the form of a true RGB backlight, rainbow led backlight, or static color backlight.
Like their name suggests RGB is a complete color spectrum and allows you to change the color to any color you want.
The rainbow led backlight has a fixed number of colors you can choose between and the static backlight has only one color.
Besides, the key RGB lighting, some keyboards also have led strips around the edges to further enhance the aesthetic of the device.
Keycaps and key Stabilizers
These are the things that get overlooked the most. A good keycap set can enhance the overall typing experience.
Also, if the keycaps are not made of high quality, they wear down faster leaving a very shiny surface that does not feel good to type on.
Stabilizers also enhance the typing feel of the keyboard. A keyboard with good keycaps and stabilizers has no key wobble is more comfortable to type on.
Cable quality and implementation
Keyboards have different connections and the cables used are different as well. A good high-quality durable cable will last longer than cheaply made cables and will also provide an uninterrupted flow of current.
The cables also come in different flavors. The main two cable types used are micro USB cable or USB-C cable. While USB-C can be said to be the future of connectivity and should be the norm still the micro USB keyboard function and perform identically.
What is more important is whether the keyboard comes with a removable cable. Let’s be honest cables are prone to damage and having a removable cable provides peace of mind and allows for easy replacement if required.
These include all the other features which a keyboard may have. They are not necessary but can enhance the user experience. These features may include extra dedicated keys like media keys, volume knob, and macro keys. These provide quick access to controls that many users appreciate.
Other features may include software for the keyboard. The software can be used to control virtually all aspects of the keyboard from lighting to the macro assignment.
1. HyperX Alloy Origins Core
HyperX is one of the most well-regarded brands in the gaming industry. This Alloy Origins Core is their entry-level offering and yet still it manages to contain some of the features that you find in more expensive keyboards. The keyboard is also praised for its typing experience and is the favorite of many gamers.
Let’s start with the basic quality every good keyboard should have and that is a solid build. Let’s face it keyboards are subjected to daily wear and hence they need to be tough.
Luckily, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a well-built unit. The body of this keyboard despite being large since it is a full-size keyboard containing is robust and does not flex or bend.
There is also a great feeling of heft and density which enhances one’s belief in the build of the keyboard.
Coming onto the keys themselves. HyperX alloy Origins Core has a good mix of functionality and form. There are dedicated media keys that control your playback and also separate keys for the RGB lighting are also included.
In terms of the key feel, this keyboard has membrane switches which is a letdown but then again you can’t have everything for $50.
The silver lining here is that despite being membrane the tuning of the switches is quite good, and they feel comfortable to type on. Another upside of being membrane is that these switches are very quiet compared to their mechanical counterpart.
Now coming to the most striking part of this keyboard and that is RGB lighting. RGB fans will appreciate that this keyboard not only has lighting for the keys but also there is a dedicated light bar that runs along the top of the keyboard.
In terms of features, this keyboard has everything that you want in a gaming laptop. It has full support for N-key rollover and also has a Windows lock key. These both drastically enhance your gaming experience.
Overall, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a great keyboard for anyone looking for a reliable daily use product with a lot of RGB lighting and features and a comfortable and quiet typing experience.
2. Tecware Phantom
The next keyboard on our list comes from a reputable brand in the form of tecware. This company is responsible for many fine products and has earned a lot of praise from people for its high-quality keyboards at a fair price.
Tecware Phantom comes in two form factors, TKL with 87 keys and full form layout with 104 keys. The keyboard packs some solid heft.
Build quality is very good here. The top mounting plate is made from steel giving the keyboard rigidity and robustness. The rest of the enclosure is made from plastic but everything is well put together and there is not any sort of bending or flexing.
On the back of the keyboard, there are four rubber feet with 2 flip outs in case more height is required. There is also a cutout on the underside of the case to store the keycap puller which is supplied in the retail box.
This keyboard comes with outemo switches and can be configured in either blue, red, or brown. These outemo switches are similar to Cherry MX switches in both type and feel.
They almost feel identical. This keyboard also features hot-swappable switch sockets which let you swap switches without having to strip the keyboard and desolder them. But unfortunately, these sockets only accept outemo switches still this is a good feature to have nonetheless.
The keycaps on this board are also of a decent quality. They are double-shot meaning the legends are injected into another piece of plastic. This prevents the keycaps from fading.
The material used for construction is ABS plastic. The keycaps have a nice feel to them and the font is also clean. The key stabilizers are also decent on this keyboard and there is minimal rattle present.
This keyboard also integrates true RGB lighting. The premade lighting effects can be toggled via the function button and nav cluster. Through the nav cluster, you can also cycle through various static colors to let you set the lighting to your absolute preference.
A compatible software can be downloaded from the tecware website. The software lets you dwell deeper into RGB customization. It lets you assign per key RGB and also enables the user to make effects. This software can also be used to set up macros keys. Overall, it is an adequate software that gets the job done though it can be more user-friendly and responsive.
This keyboard does pretty much nails done all the essential bits expected from a mechanical keyboard. It has robust build quality with steel plate accounting for little to no flex. It has hot-swappable switches which can come in handy if later down the time some switch stops working. The RGB adds much-needed flair and is implemented very well on this keyboard. The only major gripe with this keyboard will be that the stabilizers are not the best but besides that, this is an excellent keyboard.
3. E-Element Z-88
The next keyboard comes from E-Element and it is their 75% form factor keyboard. 75% form factor means that this keyboard has 81 keys and omits the number pad and some of the nav cluster to shrink the footprint of the keyboard.
This keyboard is available in a variety of different configurations. It also comes in different colors. The build quality of the keyboard is decent but not the best out there.
The plate is made from aluminum this is where most of the rigidity of the keyboard comes from. The rest of the case is made from plastic with chamfered edges. The finish of the plastic is not good and there is some flex when the keyboard is stressed but during normal use, the keyboard seems fine.
This keyboard has a detachable micro USB cable which can come in very handy during travel or LAN events. The bottom of the keyboard has two flip-out feet to increase the height of the keyboard.
On the bottom, four rubber pads are present to prevent the keyboard from sliding around on the desk. There are also three cable routing channels on the bottom and the cable can be routed in any direction.
This keyboard like the previously mentioned tecware keyboard features outemo switches and comes with the option of either blue, brown, or red switches. It also has hot-swappable sockets but they can only accommodate outemo switches.
The keycaps on this keyboard have the typical cheap gamery font which might not be for everyone. The keycaps themselves are double-shot which prolongs the life of the keycaps which is a good thing since this keyboard also does not have the traditional layout and replacement keycaps are case hard to find.
The key stabilizers implemented here are also decent and have a minimal key wobble. They get the job done for most people but it would have been nice if they were of better quality.
This keyboard comes with a variety of different lighting configurations. Since the lighting cannot be individually controlled and there is no software for this keyboard, it is crucial to get the correct variant.
Some variants may have static lighting while others have rainbow effect lighting. There is no true Rgb lighting present on this keyboard which might be a letdown for some people.
This keyboard from E-Element is an excellent choice if you are looking for a compact and portable keyboard for carrying around with you from place to place. The smaller form factor also allows for more vacant space on the desk for the mouse or other peripherals. Although this keyboard has a fair share of issues like subpar build quality it still is a good choice for an entry-level 75% keyboard.
4. Motospeed CK61
The next keyboard to be featured on the list is a 60% keyboard from Motospeed. This Motospeed CK61 brings an affordable 60% keyboard to the mix without compromising the quality.
This keyboard is made entirely out of plastic so build quality is not a strong suit on this keyboard. The keyboard has some flex when stress is applied but during normal use It handles fine.
The keyboard has a high-profile design and has a natural curvature to assist with comfort. The back of the keyboard has 4 rubber feet but no Flipout feet are present here. The keyboard is powered via a detachable USB-C cable.
Since this is a 60% keyboard there are no function keys, arrow keys, nav cluster, or number pad. All this is accessed through secondary layering with the combination of FN + 2-4 keys on the keyboard which can get confusing.
Kailh box white switches are used in this keyboard. This is a refreshing change because many of the keyboards in this category come with outemo switches.
These kailh box switches use a click bar mechanism which produces two strokes during the action of the switch. Kailh box white switch is labeled as a clicky switch like the Cherry blue but it has way more smoothness and tactility than its Cherry counterpart.
The keycaps used in this keyboard are made from ABS plastic and the legends are double shot. The font is the typical gamery font the keycaps feel and perform fine for use.
The stabilizers are also adequate on this keyboard. There is wobble in the keys and the spacebar has some rattle but they perform fine during games and normal use.
This keyboard has true RGB lighting but the lighting is limited to the preset effects and modes. This keyboard does not let you configure the Rgb to your preference since this keyboard has no manual software. The included presets are plenty and there is something for everyone.
This keyboard can be viewed as an entry-level 60% keyboard. It does all the basic things fine and due to the minuscule size; it frees up a lot of space on the desk. It is easy to carry and toss around. The switches used are also very good and they provide an excellent typing experience. The main issue with this keyboard can be the layering system implemented is very confusing. If you are willing to give this keyboard some time and are open to adjusting yourself according to the layout of the keyboard then it is a great choice.
5. DREVO Gramr
This is another 75% keyboard by Drevo. Drevo Gramr has lots of features packed in a wallet-friendly offering.
This keyboard despite being on the low end of the price spectrum has decent build quality. The mounting plate is made of steel which provides a great amount of rigidity to the body. The case is also well put together and there is no flex or bending present.
This keyboard has a high profile design meaning that the switches don’t have an exposed surface which might turn some people off. The back of the keyboard has rubber pads that lock the keyboard firmly in place and stop it from swaying around.
Drevo Gramr is available with a choice of either red, brown, or blue outemo switches. As for the keycaps, they are double shot and made from ABS plastic. The stabilizers are also good hence no rattle or wobble is present here.
This keyboard comes with either a static white backlight or rainbow backlight. The rainbow has 7 colors which you can choose from. There are some predefined lighting effects as well for when you want to have fun.
This keyboard can be a good choice for the folks looking for a minimalistic keyboard that can be used for work as well as the home environment. This keyboard has a good build quality and can take a few hits without damaging itself which can be beneficial if you are using this as a portable machine. There are no major gripes with this keyboard if you use it for its intended purpose and take it for what is it.
6. Redragon k552
This keyboard has been very popular since its release due to the impressive features it offers.
The build quality of Redragon k552 is excellent. The keyboard is solid and relatively heavy owing to the metal plate it uses for the backplate.
The outer case of the keyboard is made from plastic but the fit and finish of the final product are neat. The outer case is offered in either white or back color. With all this, there is no flex in the keyboard deck.
The keyboard is also splash-resistant and can survive minor spills. On the back of the keyboard, there are rubber pads with integrated flip-out feet which also have rubber padding to prevent the keyboard from slipping.
This keyboard uses outemo blue switches. These switches need no introduction since they are widely used in the keyboards of this category. They feel and perform quite well.
The keys here are also double-shot abs. These keycaps have a very bold and gamery font that looks rather unique. The implementation of stabilizers is also good and each keypress feels solid.
This keyboard is available in various lighting configurations. The base model only has a red led backlight with nine brightness controls.
Step up from this and you will find rainbow-led backlighting. This uses only select colors rather than the complete RGB spectrum. Lastly, there is a full RGB backlighting version with some prebaked effects.
After so much time and numerous other keyboards releases, this keyboard still retains its spot at the top of the chain. It nails all the fundaments like build quality, good switches, good keycaps, and stabilizers and it even comes with RGB backlighting if you want it. This keyboard is a good choice and you can’t go wrong it with.
7. Tecware Phantom L
This next keyboard tecware phantom L features low-profile switches that claim to be faster than regular switches. This faster actuation can help in gaming where you need to register repeated quick actions.
Despite bringing something new to the table this keyboard does not compromise on the build quality. It has an aluminum backplate bordered by a plastic case.
The edges of the case are rounded off to avoid sharp corners. Both the case and the plate are well put together and the keyboard feels solid and robust. Due to this, there is no rattle or flex present.
The keyboard also comes with a high-quality removable USB-C cable which is quite pleasing to see. It also has two flip-out feet with rubber pads.
The highlighting feature of this keyboard is the inclusion of outemo low-profile snap spring switches. These switches have 3mm of travel which is 1mm less than the typical switches found in other keyboards.
This low actuation distance means each repeated actuation has less distance to travel before the command the registered therefore ending in a faster click response.
These spring snap switches also have a distinct sound to them. In feel, they are similar to any other clicky switch except they have a very sharp and crisp click than the latter. The switches are also hot-swappable but this is only limited to outemo spring snap of other variations.
The keycaps on this keyboard are double shot and are made from Abs plastic. The stabilizers are very good on this keyboard and each keypress feels very nice.
The keyboard also has true RGB lighting. There are some premade effects but more customization is available through software that can be downloaded from the tecware website. This software allows the user to change the lighting as well as assign macros and per-key actions.
For people who like or are accustomed to low-profile switches, this is a great option to consider. This keyboard ticks a lot of boxes and has no major flaws hindering the overall experience.
8. Drevo Tyrfing V2
Next up is another keyboard from Drevo. This tyrfing is a TKL keyboard i.e it has no number pad to reduce the size of the chassis.
This keyboard feels like a brick due to its excellent construction. The top plate is made from aluminum giving much-needed rigidity to the body.
The bottom shell is made from plastic but it is of good quality. On the underside, there are rubber pads with two flip-out feet to increase the elevation of the keyboard to provide a better angle if needed.
The cable used in this keyboard is not detachable which makes replacing the cable quite challenging if it breaks.
This keyboard is available in either outemo blue, red, or brown switch. Regardless of the switch, you go with they all are responsive and comfortable to type on.
A plus point of this keyboard is the inclusion of hot-swap sockets. Though these hot-swap sockets only accept outemo switches but still replacing a faulty switch is a breeze. Also, for this purpose, there are extra four switches included.
The keycaps in this keyboard are double-shot but the actual plastic is coarse and shabby. Luckily this keyboard has a standard key layout which makes replacing keys very easy.
Drevo tyfring V2 has true RGB backlighting. Prebuilt effects can be found on the keyboard that can be toggled via FN + corresponding effect key.
For more customization software is available on the Drevo website which lets you assign per-key illumination. There is also an option to make custom effects. Since this is a fully-fledged software it also allows for macro creation and assignment.
This is another great keyboard by Drevo. Sticking to the company’s tradition it has a good build quality and amazing performance. There are no major flaws with this keyboard besides the cheap keycaps but they can be easily replaced with a good high-quality set of keycaps. If you are in the market for a good TKL keyboard with top-notch performance and true RGB lighting then this is a good choice to consider.
9. Skyloong SK61
Skyloong SK61 is an affordable 60% keyboard with good features and decent performance.
The keyboard is made entirely of plastic but the case is well put together. In normal use, the keyboard feels fine but when pressure is applied due to the plastic construction the keyboard is prone to flexing or bending.
The perception of the build is further worsened by the shallow and thin plastic used in the construction of the keyboard to save costs.
On the bottom, four rubber pads keep the keyboard locked firmly in place and avoid it from slipping. The case is water-resistant and dustproof according to the manufacturer and can survive minor spills of any liquid. Fortunately, the keyboard also has a detachable USB-C cable making replacement hassle-free.
This keyboard uses gateron optical switches that are available in both red and blue variants. Optical switches do not use a traditional contact-based mechanism for actuation rather there is a laser that blocks the light to activate the switch.
These optical switches feel and perform differently than their mechanical counterpart. Since they have no contact-based mechanism, they are very smooth and buttery feeling.
They also have faster actuation due to the less mechanical hindrance in the switch. The switches are topped off by the double-shot keycaps.
The smooth feeling of the keyboard is maintained by the excellent stabilizers. These stabilizers are pre-lubed and are PCB mounted. Due to this, there is little to no wobble present in the keys and there is no rattling sound when the keys are repeated pressed quickly.
This keyboard has true RGB lighting. There are many preconfigured effects and modes and further customization of generic software is available. The software gets the job done but is not user-friendly and at times frustrating.
This keyboard is a good entry point into 60% mechanical keyboards since it provides a good experience without the insane price some 60% of keyboards go for. Besides the build quality not being great it does everything else decently. The optical switches are a cherry on top of the complete package. If you wanted your switches to be smoother and less scratchy then these optical switches are a no-brainer and this keyboard is a no-brainer.
10) Ajazz AK33
Up next in the list is another 75% keyboard. These keyboards are popular because reduce the footprint of the board while providing all the needed functionality. This keyboard from Ajazz has been around for quite a while now getting incremental updates along the path.
Ajazz Ak33 is made from plastic so build quality is not a strong suit of this keyboard. At the very least the top plate is reinforced with aluminum with edges chamfered off to provide a catchy aesthetic to the keyboard.
When tested this keyboard has flex but for normal use it is fine. This keyboard has a detachable mini USB cable.
Mini USB is not the mainstream standard for cables these days but the cable is detachable at least so replacing the stock supplied cable for a better higher quality cable should be effortless and convenient.
This keyboard comes with either a black or a blue switch. The blue switch is similar to the Cherry MX blue but the black switch featured here is interesting.
On specs, it has a similar performance to the Cherry red. It has the same travel distance but the force required for activating the switch is different. This makes for a unique typing experience.
The keycaps used in this keyboard are made from abs plastic and have a matte texture to them. They are not double shot so the legends are prone to fade away after some time. The good thing about the keycaps is the font. These keycaps have an industrial and clean font which I know some prefer over the bold gamery fonts.
The stabilizers on this keyboard are horrible. There is a lot of ratting sound when the keys are pressed. The keys especially the spacebar have a lot of wobble present making the typing experience unpleasant.
The saving grace for this keyboard is its true RGB lighting. Due to the floating switch design and the aluminum plate, the Rgb shines very brightly. There are nineteen different mods and effects to choose from.
For further customization, this keyboard has also software but this software is hard to come by because the website on which the software was available is nowhere to be found today.
When the software is downloaded though it has a simple straightforward process to change the RGB lights and assign macros. The software does not have an endless amount of customization but it has all the basic customizations and an easy-going user interface.
This keyboard focuses more on the flashy side of things but while doing so comprises the basic aspects of a keyboard. The build quality is not up to the standard it feels fine during normal use but there is always the hitch that might break upon you. But still, if you are looking for a compact keyboard that has loads of RGB lighting then this might a worthwhile consideration.
11. AbkonCore k660
The last keyboard to be featured on your list comes from a South Korean company. Abkoncore K660 is a full-sized keyboard with a few tricks up its sleeve to differentiate itself from the pack.
The first thing which grabs your attention when you plug in the keyboard is the LED company logo on the top of the keyboard. This logo illuminates brightly and can be set to different colors to match your setup or mood.
To bright pop and flashiness to the keyboard build quality has compromised. The keyboard is made entirely out of plastic which feels cheap to the touch. Due to the plastic construction, the keyboard has low structural rigidity and is prone to bending.
Surprisingly this keyboard is IP42 splash-proof and can survive spills. On the bottom of the keyboard, there are two flip-out feet with four rubber pads to provide grip to the keyboard and adhere it to the surface.
USB cable in this keyboard is non-removable which can cause problems down the line when the keyboard becomes faulty.
The switches used in this keyboard are outemo blue switches. As previously mentioned these are very similar to Cherry MX blue.
The keycaps provided here are double shot and made from abs plastic. This ensures the longevity of the keycaps. The stabilizers also do their job adequately and the keys do not exhibit any sort of wobble or produce a rattling sound when pressed.
Along with the key RGB lighting, this keyboard also has two RGB light strips on the side of the keyboard. The lighting of these strips can be controlled via FN + CTRL-key. As for the keys themselves they can also be controlled from the keyboard and have 13 different patterns preconfigured.
If you are in the market for a full-sized keyboard and cannot give up on any of the keys then this is a good choice. Apart from the plastic build this keyboard feels and performs fine as you expect from a mechanical keyboard. The plus point of this keyboard is all the extra Rgb goodness added to the mix.
It is crucial to understand that a mechanical keyboard like all other Pc peripherals is a preferred thing. In the market, there are various keyboards available that have their strengths and weaknesses and cater to different tasks and needs. Likewise, a person buying a keyboard should evaluate their use case scenario and buy the keyboard according to that.
Some keyboards like the ones with a small footprint and low weight have made to be portable so the person can have an easier time taking the keyboard around.
Small keyboards are also beneficial for Professional Fps gamers who need more desk space for their mouse. Full-sized keyboards might be useful for someone who needs to get some professional work done as well as play games.
This was a very generalized breakdown of whether a keyboard suites a person’s need or not. Similarly, there are some keyboards that offer some feature which is too hard to pass on because of the needs of the person.
We have compiled all the best keyboards we could find and we hope that we have something to cater to the needs of most people.
Before we sign off this article, let us know in the comment section which keyboard size you prefer? Is it the full-size keyboard due to its functionality or the small-size keyboard because of the form factor.