When it comes to improving your PC gaming performance, the PC components play an important role here. PC components like graphics card, CPU, RAM, and keyboard can have a great impact on your gaming experience. Gaming keyboards have proven to be a gamer’s secret weapon. These compact gaming keyboards are optimized for PC gaming and are equipped with a plethora of handy features for gamers.
A compact gaming keyboard allows you to improve your posture while having long gaming sessions. Since the keyboard is narrower as compared to the full sized one, it gets easier for the user to access the mouse. This leads to reduced pressure on the wrists, arms, and shoulders. If you’re looking for the best compact gaming keyboards; look nowhere else. We have compiled a list of the best compact gaming keyboards available on the market so that you choose one that best meets your needs.
Top-Rated Compact Gaming Keyboard
Our top picks for Best Compact Gaming Keyboard
1. Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro 5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Keyboard switch type: Cherry MX Brown, Blue, Red
- Software: Yes
- On-board memory: 512KB
- Connector cable: USB 2.0
- Keyboard type: mechanical
- LED color: RGB
- Layout: 87/88 Tenkeyless
Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro 5 Review
If you want to enhance your gaming skills, try the MasterKeys Pro S RGB gaming keyboard. The keyboard has a minimalistic and simple design and has no flashy lights and other fluff features. The keyboard is good for pros who want a sleek and durable keyboard for long gaming sessions. It is very easy to use and has no complex software. It is a straightforward and simple compact keyboard for gaming. It features Cherry MX switches which are responsive and very comfortable to use.
The MasterKeys Pro S RGB mechanical gaming keyboard allows you to save and execute macros and commands too which can give you an edge over your enemy. There is a good combination of rollover technologies that prevent lag and give you a perfect anti-ghosting experience. No matter how fast the game is, the N-key and 6-key rollover will detect all the key presses so that you play like a pro.
- The cable is sleeved and detachable
- There is a dust cover and key puller included
- It can be used without drivers
- There are multiple lighting modes
- It features advanced Cortex M3 processor
- It is a bit expensive
- The software lacks some options
2. Corsair K65 LUX RGB Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Switch type: Cherry MX Red
- Connectivity: Wired
- Interface: USB pass through
- Technology: mechanical
- Backlit: RGB
- Simultaneous key press quantity: 104
Corsair K65 LUX Review
The Corsair K65 LUX RGB is though a little expensive, but it is highly recommended if you’re looking for a compact gaming keyboard. The keyboard has a plastic base with a metal frame and Cherry MX switches, keyboard deck, full RGB lighting, low latency response, and 1000 Hz polling rate. The good thing is that, the keyboard is equipped with some features that are found in full-sized keyboards only. Apart from this, it has a ten keyless design for portability.
The keyboard features dedicated buttons for volume, lighting level, mute, and Windows key lock, but an analog dial is missing. There is a removable rest too which most of the tenkeyless keyboards lack. The wrist-rest adds more comfort to the keyboard and supports long duration of PC usage. The Corsair software is quite flexible and gives you good control over key assignments and lighting. The model also uses Cherry MX Red RGB switches which give the keyboard a unique look.
- It features great color accuracy
- The Corsair Utility Engine allows heavy duty key re-assignment
- There are optional MOBA (QWERDF) and FPS (WASD) key caps
- The aluminum frame is rugged
- It has a detachable palm rest
- It is a bit expensive
3. HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Switch type: Cherry MX Brown
- Interface: USB 2.0 pass through
- Media keys: dedicated
- Back-lighting: RGB LED
- Cable type: attached (micro-USB)
HyperX Alloy Elite Review
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB is one of the best tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboards available on the market. The keyboard features amazing build quality and is equipped with lots of features that make gaming easier and more comfortable. It has custom RGB lighting effects, wrist-rest, and macro capable custom key mapping. There are Cherry MX key switches which are of full size and they allow you to swap out the custom keys too.
There is a game mode too that features anti-ghosting features such as N-key rollover; this allows you to keep the inputs precise and on point. The keyboard has a premium look and feel as it is made up of steel frame which is sturdy and is better than cheaper plastic boards. There is on-board memory too which allows you to manage pre-sets for custom color profiles and key mapping too. The keyboard is not only of high standard, but is very compact too.
- It has an excellent build quality
- The light bar color blends very accurately
- It features key cap replacement in the standard bottom row
- The lighting bar is unique and has dynamic lighting effects
- There are dedicated media buttons along with a large volume wheel
- It is comfortable and has a detachable wrist equipped with a soft-touch coating
- Keycaps show fingerprints
- The software UI is a bit old-fashioned
- The USB 2.0 pass-through port is not advanced
4. Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Switch type: Romer-G Mechanical Switches
- Wrist-rest: No
- Board design: Straight
- USB pass-through: No
- Macro programmable keys: Dedicated only
- Media keys: Dedicated
- Back-lighting: RGB
Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
The Logitech G Pro mechanical keyboard is an excellent gaming keyboard especially designed for pros. It has a sturdy and compact built and is the first keyboard to be named as ‘Pro’. The name suggests that the keyboard is designed for hard core gamers or for those who are looking forward to improve their gameplay. The keyboard has a tenkeyless design and this makes it easier to carry around for tournaments and LAN parties.
The Logitech keyboard features Romer-G mechanical switches that are equipped with a response time of 10ms faster as compared to the Cherry MX switches. These switches are too quiet and are built to withstand intense gaming. The Pro mechanical gaming keyboard also features customizable RGB lighting that allows the interior of the keys to be illuminated. Overall, the keyboard is highly customizable along with responsive keys and a durable design.
- It has a sleek and stylish design.
- There are no extraneous buttons
- The cord is detachable
- The keys are very comfortable
- The keyboard has a very compact design
- There is no carrying case
- It is expensive
5. Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Chroma Edition Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Switch type: Razer Mechanical switches
- Backlighting: Chroma with 16.8 million customizable color options
- Layout: Compact
- Keystroke lifespan: 80 million
Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Chroma Edition Review
The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition Chroma is another gaming keyboard that has designed its own custom switches just like Logitech. The Razer keyboard is very well-built; it has a metal keyboard deck with floating keys on it. There is a braided USB cable that is permanently attached to the keyboard. The keyboard is quite flexible; you can re-assign the keys, fine-tune the lighting, and tune or create the macros.
The customizable colored backlighting is one feature that makes this keyboard different from the previous editions. The customization option allows you to set specific colors for keys, or set a wave of colors across the keyboard. According to Razer, you have an option to choose from 16.8 million colors for the customization. The key switches are comfortable to use and can take around 60 million keystrokes. The keyboard is perfect for you if you’re a gamer who needs custom macros keys.
- The keys are responsive and of good quality
- It is very lightweight and portable
- It features excellent backlight customization and coloring
- It is designed especially for gaming
- It is too small if you want to use it for typing purposes
6. Hyper X Alloy FPS Pro Compact Gaming Keyboard
- Switch type: Cherry MX
- Design: Frameless
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Lighting: Red LED
- Lifespan: 50 million clicks
Hyper X Alloy FPS Pro Review
The Hyper X Alloy FPS Pro is known for its superb mechanical performance and is overall a quite straight-forward machine. The keyboard features durable and premium quality mechanical switches and a tenkeyless design that is a perfect option for those looking for portability. The keyboard has a plain design and the baseboard is quite slim and low which gives an elevated look to the switches. The keyboard is equipped with red backlighting which you can use according to your will.
The keyboard features customizable software which allows you to assign functions to particular keys. You can also turn the game mode on using a combination of buttons to improve your gameplay. Some other combinations include adjustment of backlighting, control of media functions, and setting various patterns of backlights. The keyboard has an overall aesthetic appeal but has a simple design and is good for comfortable gaming for many hours.
- It has a streamlined design
- The keyboard switches are authentic Cherry MX ones
- There is no extraneous software
- The cord is braided and detachable
- The internal frame is of steel and is quite sturdy
- It is affordable
- Customization options are limited
- Backlighting isn’t up to the mark.
7. Drevo 84-key Gramr Mechanical Keyboard
- Switch type: Oetemu linear switches Blue/Black/Brown/Red
- Keyboard type: 84-key backlit mechanical keyboard
- Keycaps: ABS
- Cable type: USB
- Lighting: White Backlighting
Drevo 84-key Gramr Mechanical Keyboard Review
The Drevo gaming keyboard allows the gamers to play with comfort and freedom. It has a robust and solid construction and features four keys for unique gaming styles. The keyboard has a 24 key rollover which makes sure that there are lesser unregistered keys. There is an OEM keycap and an adjustable stand that makes the overall design quite ergonomic.
The best thing about this keyboard is that it is equipped with four different keys for different gaming styles, and the pure white backlit is also an additional feature that makes it unique. The white backlit illuminates the desktop especially if you’re gaming at night. You can also choose from various lighting effects according to your liking. The keyboard is also equipped with a 1.8m USB cable that is braided and is more durable as compared to the plastic cables.
- It is a good quality gaming keyboard available at reasonable rate
- The doubleshot keycaps make sure there are no finger grease marks
- The switches are consistent and smooth
- There is a plastic dust cover included which reduces the cleaning work
- The cable routing gutter is very handy
- The backlight brightness is inconsistent
- The cable is not user replaceable
8. Redragon K552-RGB Kumara RGB
- Switches: Custom mechanical switches (Cherry Blue Equivalent)
- Connection type: USB
- Backlighting: RGB
- Cable length: 1.8m
Redragon K552-RGB Kumara RGB Review
Redragon is not a popular name when it comes to best keyboards, but this keyboard is making its name in the keyboard industry. The keyboard features ABS keycaps, tank-like plastic frame, and a gold-plated USB connector. Though the keyboard is very affordable but it is still equipped with all the necessary features needed for gaming. The Cherry-green like medium resistance makes sure that the commands are quick and error-free.
The keyboard is equipped with 84 anti-ghosting keys along with 12 macro function keys that make it one of the best budget gaming keyboards on our list. The gaming keyboard is perfect for playing games like CS:GO and Fortnite, thanks to its anti-ghosting features. For those gamers who mostly play Battle Royale games, this keyboard is super-responsive and allows quick swap between the keys
- The keyboard is splash proof/water resistant
- It is very affordable
- It has a tenkeyless design which avoids the annoying bumping of mouse into the keyboard
- It has a sturdy aluminum base that keeps the keyboard in place
- It features sturdy blue mechanical switches
- They keycaps could be of better quality
- The sound of the switches is a bit annoying
9. Velocifire VM01 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
- Switches: Brown Switch
- Backlighting: Greenish LED
- N-key rollover: Yes
- Interface: USB 1.1
Velocifire VM01 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
The Velocifire mechanical keyboard is a budget keyboard with a beautiful appearance. It is very compact and lightweight and is made up of sturdy ABS material. It has an ergonomic design which prevents exhaustion and fatigue. The material is also dust-proof and the blue LED backlighting is energy saving. There are 5 LED backlit modes along with changing speed levels 3 brightness levels which you can use according to your liking.
The keyboard is equipped with N-key rollover technology which prevents anti-ghosting and allows you to play furious game for many hours. With this technology you can play efficiently as it allows multiple keys to work simultaneously. The high quality brown switches produce a clicky tactile feedback and are perfect for you if you don’t like noisy switches. The keyboard allows 50 million strokes and is overall quite durable (can last for around 10 years).
- The switches are consistent and comfortable to use
- There are media key shortcuts
- There are multiple backlight options
- It is equipped with a keycap puller
- The switches have a light pipe design that easily illuminates the keycaps
- It is very affordable
- There is not enough control for brightness
- There is no scroll lock LED indicator
10. Mechanical Eagle Z-77 TKL Wired Mechanical Gaming
- Switches: Outemu Blue Mechanical Switch
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Cord length: 1.8 m
- Standard keys: 87
- Backlighting: Multi-colored
Mechanical Eagle Z-77 TKL Wired Mechanical Gaming Review
The Mechanical Eagle Z-77 TKL keyboard is ideal for gamers as it can contribute to an enhanced gaming performance. The keyboard features high quality waterproof ABS material and a matte metal finish that makes it sturdy and durable. The keyboard has 3 drain holes and laser engraving key. It features stepped keycap which gives it a sleek look. The design is ergonomic and prevents your hands and wrist from fatigue.
The Mechanical Eagle keyboard features DIY blue switches and there are 5 pcs switches available too for easy replacement. The keys offer medium resistance, tactile feedback, and a nice clicky sound. These keys are quite durable and are designed for responsiveness during long gaming sessions.
- It has a compact design
- There are function shortcut keys
- The mechanical switches are responsive and durable
- It features 25-key rollover for responsiveness
- It features DIY Blue Switches
- It is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 and Mac OS
- The bracket design switch stems require exact diameter to fit in the keys
Things you MUST KNOW before choosing your Best Compact Gaming Keyboard
Investing in a good quality gaming keyboard can make a big difference in your gaming performance. Whether you want to take your gaming to the pro level or not, just any keyboard won’t help improve your experience. A good gaming keyboard will give you a competitive edge over others as compared to a conventional keyboard. However, to choose the right gaming keyboard, you must first determine your needs. Following are the factors to consider:
Your Gaming Style
Gaming keyboards are perfect for first person shooter games, MMOs, strategy games, and console titles. If you are a fan of this genre, then you must invest in a good quality gaming keyboard. However, if your PC gaming is limited to only following Telltale Games releases and occasional visits of League of Legends, then a high-end gaming keyboard won’t enhance your performance much.
Key rollover and anti-ghosting
A key rollover tells how many key presses a keyboard can register at one time. Conventional keyboards offer 1 or 2 key rollover. If you’ll press more than one or two keys at once on a conventional keyboard, the keyboard won’t register them and this issue is called as ‘ghosting’. The good quality gaming keyboards are equipped with minimum 6 key rollovers. This feature allows the gamers to have enough simultaneous keystrokes. If you’re looking for something exceptional, you must go for the keyboards that can register all the keystrokes, and that are called N-Key rollover (NKRO) keyboards.
There’s a physical switch under each key that registers all the keystrokes. The switch types are of two main types; membrane and mechanical. Mechanical switches are more expensive but they are available in more variety and are durable too. Apart from this, mechanical switches are louder than the membrane ones too. If you are concerned about the noise thing, you must choose the membrane keyboards.
Gaming keyboards must be rough and tough and must be able to withstand the wear and tear of hours of usage. Fast pace gaming requires fierce button smashing and sometimes you might even hit the keyboard if you lost in the game. So, durability is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing the best gaming keyboard for you.
The best gaming keyboards are equipped with metal back-plates that don’t break or bend. These keyboards are also equipped with ultra-durable plastic casing that protects and supports the switches and other components of the keyboard. The conventional keyboards are mostly made up of PVC but the gaming keyboards are more durable and are designed using ABS plastic.
Comfort is the key to improved and productive gaming. Some of the gaming keyboards are equipped with features that make them extremely ergonomic, such as the wrist stands that prevent your hands from freezing after hours of continuous gaming. There are some features such as wheels and multimedia buttons that are of no use and they add to the price only.
If you’re a gaming geek, you might need some good illumination in your gaming keyboard. There are three types of illuminations for gaming keyboards; none, single color, or full RGB. RGB keyboards are very expensive and thus we recommend considering the feature only if you really need it. The single color backlit keyboards feature brightness adjustment option too. However, the full RGB ones feature effects such as wave, breathe, color-shift, and individual key color customization too.
Macros and software customisation
Gaming keyboards allow you to reprogram the functions of all the keys. You can use the software to record the sequence of mouse clicks or keystrokes and activate multiple skills using one tap only. Some advanced gaming keyboards are equipped with additional unassigned keys for macros.
Wired or Wireless Keyboard
Some people easily get irritated because of the clutter. If you’re one of those, go for the wireless gaming keyboards that reduce the clutter and are very portable too. With the wireless keyboards, you’ll have lesser cables to manage and you’ll be relaxed regarding the positioning and movement of the keyboard too.
Price is also an important factor to consider before choosing a gaming keyboard. The price range of these keyboards is too wide; you can find a gaming keyboard within the price range of $30 to $200 and above. If you have a good budget, then sky is the limit. However, we recommend investing in a gaming keyboard from a reliable brand. If you have a low budget, worry not because you can get a good gaming keyboard for $100.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, gaming keyboards are better than the traditional keyboards due to some reasons. Most of the traditional keyboards use elastic vault switches but the gaming keyboards use high-quality mechanical switches. The mechanical switches have individual springs that are better than the elastic arch switches. The main reason why gaming keyboards are better than the traditional keyboards is that they reduce the extra effort.
The Cherry MX switches offer different inputs of material and sound and they also require different measures to get activated. The Cherry MX Black switches are the linear non-tactile ones and they don’t have a loud bump or click. The Cherry MX Brown switches are light tactile switches and they have a soft tactile bump that is felt halfway through the keypress.
The Cherry MX Blue are the clicky switches and they are known for their ‘clicky’ tactile bump. The Cherry MX Red are also Linear Switches and they require lesser force to actuate as compared to the Cherry MX black switches. Cherry MX Clear are light tactile switches and they feature high actuation force.
Gaming or mechanical keyboards are fun to press, but they might not be so comfortable for your family members or nearby co-workers. The gaming keyboards are louder than the membrane keyboards but the actual sound level depends on the keyboard model, typist’s technique, and switch type.
Gaming keyboards are worth the price because with them, you get what you pay for. These keyboards last longer than other traditional keyboards. The gaming or mechanical keyboards are designed to last up to 50 million key presses.
Compact gaming keyboards are very easy to use and they are very handy especially if you want to carry them along. Most of the gaming keyboards reviewed in this post are tenkeyless; that is, keyboards without a number pad. These keyboards give you an advantage such as you get enough room for the mouse and good space on your desktop. The gaming keyboards reviewed in this post are not only compact and portable, but highly functional too. If you’re looking forward to purchase a compact gaming keyboard, try one of our best compact gaming keyboards reviewed here.
Read Also: Best RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard in 2020