The Best Gaming Keyboards Under $50 in 2021

Ten years ago, a gaming keyboard with a price of around $50 would be an excellent product, just shy of being a flagship model. Today though, the best gaming keyboard under $50 is a great budget model. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If you’re on a tight budget an $50 keyboard can be a great choice. There are budget keyboards out there that come with more than solid build quality and some nice extra features such as media control keys, spill resistance, or even mechanical key switches.

You can even find wireless keyboards in the sub $50 market. Those are usually basic models with regular, membrane switches and with zero extra features but they do their job of providing you with a wireless way of typing on your PC. And yes, if you’re wondering no, you won’t find a wireless mechanical keyboard for under $50.

Today, we’ve gathered some excellent keyboards under $50. We have an excellent gaming keyboard that features mechanical switches, as well as a couple of membrane models that offer lots for the money. Check them out below and then read our buying guide that can be found at the end of this piece.

hyperx alloy core rgb
  • Form Factor: Full-Sized Keyboard
  • Switches: Membrane Switches
  • Dedicated Media Keys: Yes
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB
CHECK PRICES
The Alloy Core RGB from Kingston’s gaming brand HyperX is an excellent budget gaming keyboard. It features a sturdy frame that won’t easily bend and that gives this keyboard a feeling of a premium product. The same can be said about keycaps and extra keys. They both feel like they’re made out of quality plastic, they don’t wobble, and could easily be found on much more expensive keyboards.

When it comes to key switches, they are membrane switches but aren’t that bad. Of course, these switches aren’t as responsive or enjoyable to use as mechanical switches. But, these membrane switches are responsive enough to allow fast typing experience. They also feature solid feedback. You won’t accidentally mistype easily while typing on this keyboard.

Overall, the switches are pleasant to use but we wouldn’t recommend this keyboard for competitive gamers because mechanical switches offer better responsiveness. When it comes to the RGB lighting, this keyboard doesn’t have per-key-RGB lighting. But the backlighting is shiny and supports lots of cool RGB effects. Overall, it’s pretty good for the price.

The extra keys for controlling media playback and volume levels are great to find on a budget keyboard. Finally, the design doesn’t include aggressive gaming details making this keyboard suitable both in an office and next to your gaming battlestation. Overall, the HyperX Alloy Core RGB is an excellent budget gaming keyboard that offers lots for the money.

Pros:
  • Sturdy Build Quality
  • Membrane Switches Feel Solid
  • Nice RGB Backlighting
  • Inclusion Of Media Keys And Volume Control
Cons:
  • Keyboard Doesn’t Have Per-Key Backlighting
  • This Model Isn’t For Competitive Gamers

Razer Cynosa Lite Gaming Keyboard

Excellent Budget Gaming Keyboard From Razer

razer cynosa lite gaming keyboard
  • Form Factor: Full-Sized Keyboard
  • Switches: Membrane Switches
  • Dedicated Media Keys: No
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB
CHECK PRICES

Razer is a company known for its premium products made for gamers. The Cynosa Lite is their attempt at offering a budget gaming keyboard and we can say that the attempt is successful. The Razer Cynosa Lite is an excellent gaming keyboard for those on a tight budget. Its body is made out of plastic, but it feels sturdy and it won’t bend easily. The design has sharp edges but it isn’t aggressive, and we like it.

When it comes to the switches, these are good old rubber dome switches. Membrane switches on a budget keyboard are the usual state of affairs and these work pretty good. They are responsive, offer solid typing experience, have nice and tactile feedback, but aren’t as responsive as mechanical switches. Again, these are great for typing and light gaming but those looking for a fast keyboard for competitive gaming should focus on a model with mechanical switches.

The RGB lighting looks nice and supports a plethora of effects thanks to Razer’s Synapse app. The RGB backlighting is per-key lighting but it comes with only one lighting zone. That means you won’t be able to set different lighting colors on each keycap. Not a huge downside considering the price.

We don’t like the fact that Razer didn’t equip the keyboard with media control keys, or any sort of additional keys for that matter. Yes, this is a budget keyboard but even those can have media control or macro keys. Overall, the Cynosa Lite is an excellent budget gaming keyboard that offers lots for the price. It does have its share of negatives but it’s a great choice for everyone who doesn’t mind using a keyboard with membrane switches.

Pros:
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • Pleasant Typing Experience
  • Membrane Switches Feel Solid
  • Nice RGB Lighting
Cons:
  • No Mechanical Switches
  • Not Made For Competitive Gamers
  • No Extra Keys Are To Be Found

Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard

An Excellent Membrane Keyboard Under $50

corsair k55 rgb gaming keyboard
  • Form Factor: Full-Sized Keyboard
  • Switches: Membrane Switches
  • Dedicated Media Keys: Yes, Along With A Row Of Macro Keys
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB
CHECK PRICES

The K55 gaming keyboard from Corsair is the best budget gaming keyboard that features membrane switches. Corsair did a fantastic job with this keyboard. It equipped it with extra features, with excellent rubber dome switches, and with amazing build quality. Yes, this keyboard feels as sturdy as premium models. It won’t bend and it won’t slip despite its humble weight.

The design is minimalistic, without many details. We like it because the keyboard can be paired with any mouse and with any setup and it won’t feel like it doesn’t belong there. When it comes to key switches, they are great for membrane switches. Responsive, tactile, and with key travel that’s just long enough. Overall, these switches are great for typing and long gaming sessions. But, as we’ve already said a number of times, competitive gamers should get a keyboard with mechanical switches.

This keyboard includes both media control and macro keys. You can record macros and control your music with this keyboard, which we really like. On top of all that, Corsair provided a nice detachable wrist rest in the selling package. When it comes to extra features, this is one of the best budget keyboards on the market.

Finally, the RGB backlighting is pretty solid. It’s bright enough to satisfy most users and it supports a variety of RGB effects. You won’t be able to tweak colors under each key but this isn’t something we would expect on a budget keyboard. Overall, the K55 is one of the best membrane budget keyboards you can get. It has excellent membrane switches, is great for typing and gaming, has lots of extra keys, comes with a wrist rest, and has excellent build quality.

Pros:
  • Excellent Membrane Switches
  • Great For Typing And Gaming
  • Media Control And Macro Keys Are Always Nice To See
  • The Keyboard Comes With A Wrist Rest
  • Excellent Build Quality
Cons:
  • Not For Competitive Gamers

Redragon K582 SURARA

The Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Under $50

redragon k582 surara
  • Form Factor: Full-Sized Keyboard
  • Switches: Mechanical, Outemu Red Switches
  • Dedicated Media Keys: No
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB
CHECK PRICES

Redragon is a popular budget brand of gaming peripherals and this is their take at creating a sub $50 mechanical gaming keyboard. Mechanical switches is the best thing about this keyboard. They are Outemu Reds and feel like Cherry MX Reds. That means linear behavior, without tactile feedback. This is great for gaming but those looking for a typing keyboard would be better with a keyboard that has blue or brown switches.

Nevertheless, typing on this keyboard feels better than on any membrane keyboard. Gaming is even better since red switches are great for gaming. This is a keyboard we can recommend even to most competitive gamers out there. Aside from mechanical switches the K582 SURARA also has excellent build quality.

The keyboard is pretty heavy and it feels very sturdy. It won’t bend and it will stay stable thanks to its surprisingly hefty body. Design is minimalistic, with zero extra keys and without a wrist rest. These things would just increase the price of this keyboard so we are cool with them being excluded. At least the keyboard has RGB backlighting that’s bright enough and that supports a number of effects. Again, you won’t be able to set a different color to each key but that’s okay for the price.

Overall, the K582 SURARA is an excellent budget mechanical keyboard. The keys feel solid, build quality is superb for the price, and there’s nice RGB backlighting. The lack of extra keys, no wrist rest, and the presence of budget mechanical switches aren’t huge downsides, especially when we consider the low price of this keyboard.

Pros:
  • Superb Build Quality
  • Great For Typing
  • Great For Competitive Gaming
  • Nice RGB Backlighting
Cons:
  • Lack Of Extra Keys

SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB Gaming Keyboard

The Best Membrane Gaming Keyboard Under $50

steelseries apex 3 rgb gaming keyboard
  • Form Factor: Full-Sized Keyboard
  • Switches: Membrane Switches
  • Dedicated Media Keys: Yes
  • Backlighting: Yes, RGB
CHECK PRICES

If you want a membrane keyboard that has solid RGB implementation, superb build quality and is perfect for typing, get the SteelSeries Apex 3 RGB. This keyboard has it all, even a comfortable wrist rest and a volume wheel. It’s great for typing since it’s very quiet with its keys very easy to press. Gaming performance is solid but if you want the fastest performance, get a mechanical keyboard.

RGB effects are solid. This isn’t a per-key backlighting keyboard but still, with 10 RGB zones, the Apex 3 can pull off a couple of pretty interesting RGB effects. Overall, this is an excellent keyboard for the money but if you prefer esports and competitive games, definitely get a mechanical keyboard.

Pros:
  • Excellent For Typing
  • RGB Effects Are Pretty Solid
  • Top-Notch Build Quality
  • Competitive Price
  • Dedicated Media Keys
Cons:
  • Not For Fans Of Competitive Multiplayer Titles
  • Most Users Perfect Mechanical Switches For Typing

How To Choose A Gaming Keyboard Under $50

The budget gaming keyboard market offers a wide range of products and you should be extra careful if you’re looking for a budget keyboard. The thing is, there are models out there that look like they should be priced much higher but there are also keyboards that aren’t deserving of their, already low, price.

Luckily, the best budget gaming keyboard models are really popular so you won’t have much trouble finding the right one for your needs. But still, when in the market for a budget gaming keyboard, and any budget keyboard in general, you should focus on certain points. We’ve covered most of them in detail in our gaming keyboards under $100 guide so make sure to read the buying guide found at the end of that piece.

Today, we will cover a couple of points closely tied to the sub $50 gaming keyboard market.

Don’t expect Cherry MX Switches In the Sub $50 Market

Let’s get one thing straight right away. Unless you find it at a major discount, you won’t find a gaming keyboard with Cherry MX mechanical switches in the sub $50 market. Those switches are expensive and manufacturers barely produce mechanical keyboards for $50 or less equipped with cheaper, Chinese mechanical switches such as Outemu.

It’s simple. Mechanical switches are noticeably more expensive than membrane switches and putting them in a sub $50 keyboard model is possible only if using cheaper switches. And Cherry MX are premium switches with a premium price. You could maybe, just maybe, find a gaming keypad with Cherry MX switches but a whole keyboard, that’s pretty unlikely.

You Can Find A Sub $50 Keyboard With Great Build Quality

Unlike Cherry MX switches, budget keyboards can have superb build quality. Don’t settle for poorly built keyboards, with a cheap plastic body that can be bent just by looking at it menacingly. There are excellent budget gaming keyboards out there that don’t have metal backplates of such, but that have sturdy build quality worthy of a higher price.

There Are Wireless Keyboards In The Sub $50 Market, But They Aren’t Made For Gamers

As we already mentioned, there’s a ton of budget wireless keyboards that cost less than $50. But those aren’t made for gaming. In most cases, those are cheap models with the unsatisfying build quality and low-end membrane switches that are best used with HTPCs and smart TVs.

Also, they usually have a spotty connection quality and don’t offer extra features such as wrist rests or media control keys. Again, budget wireless keyboards are solid for pairing them with HTPCs or smart TVs. There are also models that are great for typing thanks to pleasant chiclet keys. But hardcore gamers should avoid sub $50 wireless keyboards.

Extra Features, Such As Media And Macro Keys And Wrist Rest Are Possible To Find On A Sub $50 Gaming Keyboard

Yes, budget gaming keyboards can have these features. You can find models with media and volume control keys out there. Even models with excellent wrist rests that are included in the selling package, or keyboards with dust and spill resistance. The only thing that you won’t find is volume knobs. These are more expensive than regular volume control keys and you won’t find them on sub $50 keyboards.

About The Author

XbitLabs Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying tech.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments