Looking for the best backlit keyboards to add to your setup? Look no further.
Finding a keyboard that works best for your needs is essential, and with the ever-increasing variety of options available for gaming keyboards in 2018, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. But if you want to get the most out of your PC gaming, the right keyboard can make your experience more enjoyable.
There are numerous other reasons to get a mechanical gaming keyboard as well, especially if you spend a lot of time typing on a computer every day like I do. (After all, someone has to create great web content for you to read, right?). There are many important factors when buying a gaming keyboard, including what type of switches to buy, the keyboard’s build quality, the look of the keyboard, macro ability, and the price you’re willing to spend.
With all of that in mind, here are the best backlit keyboards for gaming in 2018:
1. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum
Those who have built their own gaming PCs in the past are likely no stranger to the Corsair brand, as they have their toes in not only the keyboard market but also cooling, mice, memory , PSUs, and truly impressive cases (you HAVE to check out their new Crystal Series cases if you’re in the market — they’re incredible!).
All around, the build quality with anything you buy from Corsair is unparalleled, and the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum keyboard is no exception. It, of course, uses Cherry MX Mechanical Switches in the design for ultra fast actuation, and it also uses Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum for the frame. This makes it lightweight while still remaining rugged for extended use. It has three on-board stored profiles that are easily accessed, and there’s an 8MB memory.
It also has six programmable G-keys that are easily setup for in-game macros, allowing you to set up multi-key combos on any of the six keys. They’re easily accessible and comfortable to reach.
As far as the keyboard’s look, it’s well-illuminated, and you can set each individual key to the color of your choosing. It also has numerous cool animations for when your hands are idle.
With the K95 Platinum, there are three different builds available: The Cherry MX Speed (Gunmetal), Cherry MX Speed (Black), and Cherry MX RGB (Brown).
- 6 G-keys
- Super high quality build
- Included wrist rest
- RGB illumination
2. Ducky Shine 6 Special Edition Mechanical Keyboard
Although Ducky might not be a household name to those who don’t follow the mechanical keyboard market, they have numerous top-notch options for sale. The Ducky Shine 6 comes in at $163, and for the money, you’re getting the sturdiest build available. It has a simple look to it upon first glance, with no media keys, G-keys, or anything additional. But when you use it, it’s clear that Ducky spared no expense when it came to creating a quality build. It uses double shot ABS keycaps and it has fully programmable RGB LEDs. It uses Blue Cherry MX switches, and there’s also a Brown Cherry MX switch option available (oddly for $30 more). Still, what you’re getting here is a no-frills mechanical backlit keyboard that feels great to type on and is highly customizable with its lighting.
- Superior build quality
- Double shot ABS keys
- Unique blue color
- Easy to setup lighting options
- No media keys
- No G-keys
3. CM Storm QuickFire TK Compact Keyboard
Not everyone has a mega-sized desk to hold all of the full-size gaming peripherals and all of their other stuff. If you fall into that category, check out the CM Storm QuickFire TK compact keyboard. It’s a great for smaller desks because of its much smaller size, and it also makes typing more comfortable for smaller gamers. It is backlit with red LEDs (no, you can’t change the color, sorry). It does, however, have three different lighting modes and the ability to adjust the brightness of the keyboard. Somehow, Cooler Master also found space to fit in seven multimedia keys like volume and music controls. What’s more, it surprisingly has a complete Numpad. It also has very low resistance with key presses, and it’s one of the quieter keyboards on the market.
The smaller size of the keyboard leaves you more mouse room, too, and as we all know, mouse real estate is the most important when gaming.
Price: $73.32 (27 percent off MSRP)
- Super compact
- Multimedia keys
- Quieter than average
- Can’t customize lighting color
4. SteelSeries Apex M800
One of the best-looking gaming keyboards on the market is the SteelSeries Apex M800, which has a unique design that allows light to exit through the sides of the keyboard as well. It uses prism RGB illumination under every single key, allowing players to choose from 16.8 million colors for each individual key. But it’s not just the impressive look that’s notable, here. SteelSeries also touts that it’s the fastest mechanical keyboard on the market, noting that its key presses register 25 percent faster than traditional mechanical switches. The m800 also has brilliant macro key use similar to the design of the Cougar 700K.
It also has raised tactile bumps on the W-key to help players find their bearings quicker, and every key is individually programmable. It also has swappable rubber feet that allow you to get the perfect angle that’s best for you. The Apex M800 sits low with a low-profile design, only adding to its cool aesthetic, which helps to make it possibly THE best backlit keyboard for gaming.
Price: $156.46 (22 percent off MSRP)
- Fastest mechanical keyboard on the market
- Cool-looking design
- Individually programmable keys
- Swappable Rubber Feet
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5. Razer Ornata Chroma w/ Mecha-Membrane
Razer’s Ornata Chroma is designed from the ground-up using mecha-membrane, which allows for a soft cushioned touch with a crisp, tactile click you’d find with a mechanical keyboard. The Ornata also has individually programmable backlit keys and they’re all easily customized through the Razer Synapse. The Chroma comes with dynamic lighting effects as well.
It has 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting technology, which will be able to keep up with most gamers, and it has an impressively comfortable wrist pad for added comfort. It also has a nice weight to it, so you know it isn’t going to slide all over the place while you’re gaming.
- 10-Key Rollover
- Mecha-Membrane technology
- Wrist rest
6. Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum
Those who frequent online PC peripheral shops like Newegg, Amazon, or TigerDirect will be no stranger to Logitech, as they have so many different types of PC products at this point it’s hard to keep track. In fact, they have the best webcam currently available on the market. But on top of that, they also might have the best mechanical gaming keyboard in 2017 with the G910 Orion Spectrum, which comes with quite a few great features.
For one, it has a total of 9 customizable G-keys that are placed within easy reach of your fingers at any time. Secondly, you’re able to illuminate JUST the keys you want, in any order you see fit. Want just the WASD keys illuminated? Cool — the G910 can do that. But most unique of all, the G910 has a smartphone dock at the top to use with the Arx Control app, which gives your keyboard a second screen to display in-game info. It’s adjustable, so whether you use ios or Android, you can use this keyboard and the dock. It also has a two-year warranty.
- 9 G-Keys
- Ultimate illumination control
- Integrated Smartphone dock for Arx Control
- 2-year warranty
7. Rosewill RK-9000V2 RGB
Although some might be turned-off by its simplistic look, the Rosewill RK-9000v2 mechanical gaming keyboard is a top option in my book. In fact, it’s actually the keyboard I use daily. It doesn’t have much along the lines of bells and whistles, sure, but its build quality is second to none. It’s solid, and the keys are perfectly clicky. Whether you prefer brown, blue, or red keys, the RK-9000v2 has a model perfect for your preference.
It has a particularly average form factor layout that’s familiar, and the F and J keys have raised bits to catch your fingers when you’re in the heat of the moment in-game (or slapping away at an article). Typing is ultra-fast and responsive, and it has 8 LED modes.
Price: $129.99 (13 percent off MSRP)
- No frills (simple to use and setup)
- 8 LED modes
- Fast typing
- Superior build quality
8. Das Keyboard X40 Pro
Want a ridiculously cool-looking mechanical keyboard? Check out the Das Keyboard X40 Pro, which has a unique, highly-stylized aluminum faceplate that not only looks great, but is interchangeable (of course, you have to buy more faceplates, but still). It uses “green switches”, which provide non-clicky and linear presses with every stroke.
It also has a long, 2-meter braided cable that has an extra Y split USB 2.0 port, as well as two separate cables for microphone and headset inputs. It has full n-key rollover (NKRO) with anti-ghosting multi-key press capability. That means if two keys are pressed at the same time, the Division Zero X40 will register both. It also has G-keys and macros are easy to setup.
It has a cool red glow that makes it a great option when you’re looking at the best backlit keyboard to buy.
Price: $99.49 (23 percent off MSRP)
- Replaceable Faceplates
- Highly stylized look
- Braided USB cable
- Easy Macros
- Extra faceplates are too much $$
9. Cougar 700K Mechanical Keyboard
Cougar is an incredibly underrated gaming keyboard brand, and personally, I’d place the Cougar 700K in the top 3 gaming keyboards ever made (if there were such a list, that is). Its build quality is impressive, and the G-keys feel great.
But the key presses on the 700K feel satisfying (we prefer the brown switches, for the record), and recording macros is a simple one-touch button. It also has profile keys at the top, so you can switch between profiles on the fly without having to load up the software.
Our only real gripe with the Cougar 700K is that you’re stuck with the orange glow, and unfortunately, you can’t change the color. You can, however, change the brightness and the pattern of illumination when it’s idle. So, there’s that. Still, I would have loved to have been able to customize the LEDs.
Price: $124.99 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Brown Switches
- Dedicated Profile buttons
- Aluminum face
- Stuck with orange color (can’t change it)
10. Corsair K55 RGB
For $50, your best option is the Corsair K55 RGB. It’s the quietest gaming keyboard I’ve tested, and it’s impressive for the price. It has 6 G-keys that are easily programmable, dedicated volume and multimedia controls, and over 10 vivid RGB lighting modes. It also has a detachable rubber wrist rest for added comfort during long gaming sessions. It doesn’t use mechanical switches, but the keys still feel good when playing and typing. For a sweet price tag of $50, you can’t go wrong.
- 6 G-Keys
- Dedicated volume and multimedia controls
- 10 RGB lighting modes
- Rubber Wrist rest
- Not mechanical
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