Best Gaming Keyboard under $50 in 2021 (Mechanical, RGB, Budget)
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Gone are the days of gaming equipment being only for those with high budgets with technology and manufacturing techniques advancing incredibly. This means some gaming peripherals like gaming keyboards and gaming mice have come down dramatically in price without compromising too much on quality and features.
In this article, we’re going to be focusing on gaming keyboards and more specifically, the best gaming keyboards under $50 to aid you in securing the absolute top budget gaming keyboard so you can get to playing your favorite titles, whether that be by hooking it up to your console or if you’re more PC inclined.
Without further ado, let’s get into 5 gaming keyboards under $50 and all the perks that come with them.
How We Choose
In choosing the best gaming keyboards under $50, we wanted to try and maximize the features and build quality that you’ll receive by picking up one of these selections as this is typically where budget gaming keyboards are lacking. This, therefore, means we stuck to brands known for their quality and produce great peripherals time after time.
Moreover, we looked at what gamers want and that’s RGB and plenty of it for that matter so with all of our top picks, they feature some form of lighting so that you can illuminate your setup or add to the RGB elements already in place.
Best Gaming Keyboards under $50
Best Gaming Keyboard under $50
If you want the overall best gaming keyboard for under $50, it’s pretty hard to top the Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard. It’s a full size gaming keyboard that not only has RGB but also a load more added extras that you can certainly take advantage of.
Looking initially at that RGB, Corsair has utilized a three zone approach across the whole keyboard that’s also fully customizable, allowing you to fully tailor it to your particular preferences. The lighting itself is bright and vivid and fits perfectly into any gaming setup you have.
You’ll obviously be getting that Corsair quality, with the K55 being extremely robust and taking any key smashes you throw at it. Moreover, you’ll get a handy detachable palm rest which is a nice addition and enhances the comfortability, especially for those long late night gaming sessions.
The switches themselves are unfortunately not mechanical which is a little annoying but its the only real downside to this gaming keyboard. Also, mechanical switches are only noticeable if you’re a hardcore player that’s wanting competitive-level peripherals so it certainly shouldn’t deter you from picking the K55 up.
Best Value Gaming Keyboard under $50
Razer Cynosa Lite
Looking to get the absolute maximum value out of a gaming keyboard under $50? The Razer Cynosa Lite should be the one you purchase. It comes in way under that $50 budget and has all of those Razer aspects we all know and love.
It comes with the Razer Chroma RGB that’s consistent throughout most Razer products albeit a little more subtle than most and only having single-zone lighting. It is, however, fully customizable so you’re able to select the color that’s most compatible with your setup.
Again, similar to the K55 listed above, it doesn’t come with mechanical switches unfortunately but what you do get are soft-cushioned gaming keys that are not only reliable when pressed, but will also last years thanks to 80 million click support. There’s also actually a ‘gaming mode’ option that further enhances the keyboard’s capabilities when in your favorite titles.
Best Budget Gaming Keyboard under $50
A keyboard under $50 is already pushing the boundaries of being budget but what if we told you you could get an incredibly good gaming keyboard that’ll cost you even less? Well, the Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is just that.
First of all, as you can see in the name of the K552, it uses mechanical switches, cherry mx red equivalents to be exact and these provide a really nice feeling when pressed. Moreover, thanks to the mechanical nature, you’ll have the edge over traditional keyboard users which could be the difference between winning and losing a key battle.
The RGB implemented is certainly vibrant and allows you to set up two user defined modes that you can switch between. When it comes to the colors, it actually has 19 different color lighting effects coupled with multiple levels of brightness so you won’t be short of options if you ever want to change it up.
You might notice it looks a little different too and that’s because this is more of a compact keyboard called tenkeyless as it loses the number pad on the right in favor of a smaller form factor. This is a big plus for some who have a setup with limited space and when gaming, you won’t be missing the number pad anyway.
Best RGB Gaming Keyboard under $50
SteelSeries Apex 3
You might be wondering that all of the gaming keyboards we’ve already listed have RGB so why is the SteelSeries Apex 3 listed as the best RGB option on the market? Well, that’s because we believe that it actually takes RGB lighting to another level while also providing you with a fantastic gaming keyboard experience overall.
The RGB built into the Apex 3 is a sea of color that can be customized to the max. It has ten zones of RGB, more than any other gaming keyboard we’ve listed here and with that comes a smoother rainbow effect with smaller increments of color change. Moreover, there’s a wide range of different modes you can use to customize your RGB as well as one that has reactive effects based on the game you’re playing.
Looking more at the keyboard itself rather than the lighting, it has a bunch of fantastic features. It has a detachable rest like the K55 as well as the multimedia controls and water resistance for those accidental spills. Focusing on the switches, no they’re not mechanical but they are ‘whisper-quiet’ and certainly have a tactile feel that gamers want and love.
Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard under $50
TECWARE Phantom 104
We spoke about mechanical switches before in our best budget gaming keyboard pick but this time, we feel that the TECWARE Phantom 104 is the best mechanical gaming keyboard under $50.
Let’s dive into those mechanical switches first so you know what you’re getting. It uses Outemu mechanical switches for precise gaming and comfortable typing as well as providing you with spare switches in case any become faulty in the distant future. More on those spare switches, TECWARE also provide you with the precise tools to change them out which is a handy addition and something a lot of manufacturers fail to think of.
Moving to the design, you can see that it is pretty basic looking in the main with an all-black finish but it does have strong RGB effects that can be customized to your liking. That customization features three user profiles and more which can be adjusted in the accompanying software.
We haven’t spoke much on the USB connection in previous models but this one comes with a braided cable which enhances durability and ensures that it doesn’t have the usual failings of a cheaper variant.
Things To Consider
Wired vs Wireless
All of our gaming keyboards listed above are wired variants due to their more low cost nature but there are also wireless gaming keyboards that perform well. Unfortunately, these are usually reserved for higher budgets as there is more tech that goes into them but they may be worth it if you require a more wire-free keyboard for your setup.
Clearly, the big advantage to a wireless gaming keyboard is that you can be free of entanglement on your desk as well as transport it with ease. But, the caveat is that it’ll be battery powered and if you don’t charge it, you could lose power in the heat of battle.
Full Size vs Compact
When it comes to the size of gaming keyboards there are a few options which include; full size and tenkeyless. This refers to not only how large the keyboards are but also the number of keys you can expect to use on them.
The obvious advantage of a more compact keyboard is that it takes up less room on your desk or if you need to take it out and about in your backpack. But, the cost is usually the right hand side number pad which many use for day to day activities. However, if you’re using your keyboard for gaming specific purposes, you’ll likely not need this and it could be useful therefore to pick up a smaller variant.
All in all, if you want the best gaming keyboard under $50 there’s no question that the Corsair K55 is the way to go. It has fully customizable RGB across the full board as well as really great additions like that rest and the dedicated media buttons. However, it doesn’t have that mechanical edge so, if you are in the market for the best mechanical gaming keyboard under $50, the TECWARE Phantom 104 doesn’t disappoint. It has those mechanical switches but it also sports a simplistic yet RGB filled design that should work in the traditional gaming setup.