The Best Gaming Keyboards Under $50 in 2023
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 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 $50. Check them out below and then read our buying guide that can be found at the end of this piece.
- 60% layout
- RK Cherry MX clones
- Detachable USB-C
If you are interested in a 60% gaming keyboard that does not have extra capabilities but is simply a great 60% board then the Royal Kludge RK61 would be the perfect choice for your entry-level board.
This is a compact 61 keys keyboard that is compact therefore is a lot nimbler than its bigger-sized brothers and sisters. The keycaps on the keyboard are ABS therefore are not the best quality but at the same time, they look good enough to the point where this does not become an issue. There are many versions of this RK61 but the cheapest one obviously does not have hot-swap or Bluetooth capabilities like the more expensive offerings from Royal Kludge.
You can choose from your basic RK Red/Blue/Brown switches which are Cherry MX clones and which correspond with the linear/tactile/clicky feeling of their naming scheme. The keyboard does use a detachable USB-C cable which is nice to see on such a simple board.
The keyboard also has RGB and you can control it by using the RK software that is available on their page or you can use the on-keyboard function commands.
Overall this is a very simple 60% keyboard that does everything a keyboard should do – nothing more, nothing less.
- 60% size
- A detachable cable means you can always swap it in case it breaks
- Decent mechanical switches
- Software for your RGB needs
- The lack of other features in the 50$ category makes it pale a bit in comparison to other keyboards
Pudding All the Way!
- 60% – 61 keys
- Detachable USB-C
In the budget keyboard market the Womier WK61 is well known not because it somehow beats its opponents with better features, but simply because the WK61 looks amazing and takes the concept of pudding keycaps to the next level with the addition of a transparent case. The colorways available for the WK61 are also quite good looking so this keyboard gets picked for its tasteful aesthetics quite a lot.
Besides the amazing looks the WK61 has hot-swap capability, and a detachable USB-C cable that gives it points for customizability. The WK61 is compatible with almost all the MX style 3-pin and 5-pin mechanical switches on the market giving it an edge over budget keyboard only compatible with Gateron-optical style switches making them a limiting factor.
Altogether the WK61 makes our top budget list because it comes with desirable features, and it looks amazing out of the box.
- The factory clear case and the pudding keycaps give it a unique look that attracts a lot of customers
- Being able to drop most (if not all) MX style switches into a budget keyboard is a huge bonus for modders
- Can be used with Mac/Win/Linux systems
- The software for the keyboard does not work with Mac but you can still use the FN key combinations for customization
Epomaker Skyloong SK61
A Lot of Value for a Budget Keyboard
- 60% – 61 keys
- Gateron optical hot-swap
- IPX6 rating
The SK61 is an effort to make a budget keyboard feel like a decent purchase by including good value parts and features in one product. The SK61 adopts a simple 60% keyboard design but uses some stylish PBT keycaps to give it a bit of flare.
The SK61 uses Gateron optical switches and has hot-swap but as you might have guessed it will only work for other Gateron optical switches which in itself is not that bad since you can still mod the keyboard. Besides the usual USB-C and RGB capabilities, one notable feature of the SK61 is the fact that it has an IPX6 dustproof and water resistance rating which is quite interesting to see for a keyboard.
Overall this is a solid wired 60% keyboard that both looks good and has good functionality while also costing a fraction of what other keyboard brands would charge you for the same capabilities.
- Simple but tasteful design and factory keycap colorway
- The hot-swap, even if confined to Gateron optical switches is still a big bonus for any kind of modding
- PBT keycaps are nice to see on a budget option for better durability
- IPX6 – protection from a strong jet of water
- The keycaps are only 85% PBT
- Gateron hot-swap is a limited form of a hot-swap keyboard
The Numpad Warrior
- 69-key hybrid layout
- Triple connection modes
The AJAZZ AJ692 is a weird but compelling contraption for people that use the same keyboard for their office work and also gaming sessions. The main reason this makes sense is because of the 69-key layout which includes a full numpad.
The second reason this budget keyboard is a compelling purchase for office workers and gamers combined is because it has a triple-connection scheme where you can use it wired, through a Bluetooth connection, and through a 2.4GHz wireless connection. This way you can game at home with a wired connection ensuring your inputs have lower latency while at work you can use the device wirelessly for more comfort.
The cool part is that the AJAZZ AK692 is also hot-swappable and uses standard 3 & 5-pin switches allowing you a great deal of modding potential. The AK692 already comes with PCB foam though making it one less mod you have to concern yourself with.
If you are an office worker who is a part-time gamer or a full-time gamer and part-time office worker the AJAZZ AK692 will give you the flexibility you need in both fields for a reasonable price.
- The unique layout gives the people that need a numpad at all times a reason to even look at a gaming-oriented keyboard
- The full hot-swap capability and the PCB foam being already included are huge gains for modders
- The wireless connectivity while subpar for gaming will be quite useful for office work
- The unconventional layout will make it hard to find full keycap sets to swap
- The only usable connection for gaming will be wired
The Keychron Special
- TKL layout
- Gateron Blue/Red switches
- Detachable USB-C
- ABS keycaps
- Mac/Windows compatible
There are many people in the keyboard community that would rather forego the whole gaming aesthetic and go for something more professional looking like the Keychron C1. This is a TKL keyboard that uses a wired detachable Type-C connection and has some unique aesthetics with its 3-tone keycaps.
The keycaps are ABS but this does not make them less enjoyable which is nice. Better quality PBT keycaps would have been nice but at this price point, you cannot ask for too much. The keyboard comes with Gateron Blue/Gateron Red switches which offer you a choice between clicky or linear switches. If you are exclusively interested in gaming then the Red switches will fit your needs better, while if you will mostly do typing work the clicky Blue switches will be better.
The biggest feature of this keyboard is the fact that it is compatible with Mac/Windows natively and all of the function keys can be switched between operating systems with a button on the back of the keyboard.
The C1 does not have RGB but it does have a white backlight which is honestly good enough for a keyboard that has more of an office/professional look than that of a gamer board. The build quality of this keyboard is also great and is one of the reasons people buy the C1 over other 50$ boards.
- Great keyboard if you use both a Mac and Windows device
- Professional look
- Gateron mechanical switches
- Solid build quality
- Only white backlight
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.
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.
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