Fastest Gaming Keyboard In 2023

Fastest Gaming Keyboard

Gaining a competitive edge in fast-paced games comes down to a mix of skill and the gear you’re playing on. We can’t wave a wand to improve your skills in-game. Practice is the answer. But picking the fastest gaming keyboard is one competitive edge you can achieve, and that’s where we can help.

Our gaming keyboard buying guide below includes picks of the fastest keyboards in 2023 and essential education to help you confidently buy the right fast gaming keyboard the first time.

Table of Contents

Fastest gaming keyboards

Pro tip

We track gear used and specs for the top pro esports athletes and streamers. Our picks below are informed by the most popular gaming keyboards pros use to gain a competitive edge in the fastest-paced games, where shaving milliseconds makes a difference.

0.2 ms response time
Razer Huntsman V2
Pros:
  • Super fast response time
  • High polling rate
  • Available with clicky or linear switches
  • Great software experience
  • USB passthrough
  • Wrist wrest included
Cons:
  • Cons
  • No custom actuation
Check Price
At a Glance
Actuation Point 1.2 mm
Key Travel Distance 3.6 mm
Custom Actuation No
Size Full, TKL
Polling Rate 8000 Hz
Connectivity Wired, Non-Detachable

With an established gaming peripherals legacy like Razer’s, it’s no surprise that the Razer Huntsman V2 is one of the fastest gaming keyboards in 2023. The keyboard has a lightning-fast 0.2 ms response time. Combine this performance with the low 1.2 mm actuation and 8000 Hz polling rate, and you’ve got a gaming keyboard that is among the fastest response time keyboard we’ve come across.

The Razer Huntsman V2 also offers some nice versatility. It is available in both a full-size and TKL version and offers both linear and clicky switches.

One downside to consider is that the Razer Huntsman V2 doesn’t provide customizable actuation, like other picks on this list.

0.54 ms response time
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 2023 Edition
Pros:
  • Offers custom key actuation
  • Available in wired and wireless versions
  • OLED smart display
  • Great software experience
  • USB passthrough
  • Wrist wrest included
Cons:
  • On paper response time can be beaten
Check Price
At a Glance
Actuation Point 0.2 mm
Key Travel Distance 3.8 mm
Custom Actuation Yes
Size TKL
Polling Rate 1000 Hz
Connectivity Wired USB-C

The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 2023 Edition continues the company’s lead as one of the most popular gaming keyboards among pro players. That’s due in part to the fast 0.54 ms response time.

On paper, 0.54 ms isn’t the lowest latency when talking about the fastest gaming keyboard. But measuring how fast a gaming keyboard is doesn’t always come down to latency. The actuation point matters too. The less distance your finger needs to travel to register a keypress, the faster that gaming keyboard performs.

The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 2023 Edition’s actuation point can be customized to a hyper-sensitive 0.2 mm, or be adjusted as high as 3.8 mm. Importantly, your primary keys can be customized separately, giving you endless versatility.

With its OmniPoint 2.0 switches in the 2023 edition, SteelSeries shaved 0.2 mm off its previous generation OmniPoint switches, which were already among the shortest travel switches available.

While this gaming keyboard comes in a wireless version, we recommend going with the wired version if every millisecond counts, plus you’ll save some money.

2+ ms response time
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless
Pros:
  • Multi-action keypress technology
  • Single keyboard can be run wired or wirelessly
  • Offers custom key actuation
  • Great software experience
Cons:
  • No USB passthrough
  • Form factor isn’t great for day-to-day needs
Check Price
At a Glance
Actuation Point 0.2 mm
Key Travel Distance 3.8 mm
Custom Actuation Yes
Size 60%
Polling Rate 1000 Hz
Connectivity Wireless (USB Dongle or Bluetooth), Wired USB-C

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless is the fastest wireless gaming keyboard we’ve come across.

While the on-paper response times of 2 ms wired and up to 13 ms wireless can be beaten, that doesn’t tell the whole story about how fast this gaming keyboard is.

Just like the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 2023 Edition, this keyboard offers per-key customizable actuation ranging from 0.2 mm to 3.8 mm. This way, you’ll be able to fire off lightning-fast keypresses on the lowest actuation point settings.

This gaming keyboard also offers a unique feature where you can program two different actions for a single key. For example, you could program a Walk action for a light key press and a Run action when pressing the key further.

The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless also has versatility when it comes to connectivity. You can wirelessly run the keyboard via a dongle or Bluetooth or connect the USB-C cable. Of course, your latency will vary based on the chosen connectivity option, but this versatility isn’t offered with many fast keyboards for gaming.

On the downside, though, there is no USB passthrough for your peripherals. The 60% form factor means this gaming keyboard is only best used for gaming, so you’ll likely need another keyboard for productivity and everyday needs.

0.25 ms response time
Corsair K100 RGB
Pros:
  • Lightning-fast, tactile response time
  • Great media controls
  • USB passthrough
  • Wrist wrest included
Cons:
  • Big form factor
Check Price
At a Glance
Actuation Point 1.0 mm
Key Travel Distance 3.4 mm
Custom Actuation No
Size Full
Polling Rate 8000 Hz
Connectivity Wired, Non-Detachable

The Corsair K100 RGB is one of the few quality gaming keyboards on the market with an 8000 Hz polling rate. It’s no surprise then that this gaming keyboard has a lightning-fast 0.25 ms response time, which is among the fastest gaming keyboards we’ve come across.

It’s also packed with many bells and whistles that are too numerous to detail here. We’ll cover a few, though. The Corsair K100 RGB has great media controls with its well-built knob and programmable keys. There’s also a USB passthrough, a great braided cable, and a soft magnetic wrist wrest.

It’s not surprising that all these features create a big form factor that isn’t a fit for tight desk spaces. Don’t get us wrong. The Corsair K100 RGB is superbly well-designed and appealing, it’s just big, which isn’t every gamer’s cup of tea.

<1 ms response time
Wooting 60HE
Pros:
  • Great build quality
  • Lightning fast
  • Custom actuation
  • Cloud software experience
Cons:
  • No USB passthrough
  • Form factor isn’t great for day-to-day needs
  • Limited availability
Check Price
At A Glance
Actuation Point 0.4 mm
Key Travel Distance 4.0 mm
Custom Actuation Yes
Size 60%
Polling Rate 1000 Hz
Connectivity Wired USB-C

Test out a number of gaming keyboards, and many begin to feel the same. But that’s not the case here. The Wooting 60HE instantly stands out once you get your hands on it.

The Wooting 60HE offers customizable per-key actuation in a range of 0.4 mm to 4.0 mm, just like select SteelSeries keyboards. You’ll achieve hyper-fast performance when reducing your key actuation on the keys that matter most for speed.

But Wooting’s Rapid Trigger technology shook up the industry and makes this one of the fastest 60% gaming keyboards with repeated keypress cycles. With Rapid Trigger, the actuation point dynamically resets after each keypress. This reduces the distance the key needs to travel for rapid key presses in succession.

Wooting also offers a great cloud-based software experience that works well across Windows and Mac operating systems, and the program doesn’t take up space on your hard drive.

As with any 60% keyboard though, this compact form factor means you’ll likely need a dual keyboard setup to handle both your gaming and productivity needs.

Note, Wooting produces this gaming keyboard in batches, which can lead to limited availability and longer wait times than when hopping online or driving to your nearest electronics retailer to buy a keyboard.

0.7 ms response time
Roccat Vulcan Pro
Pros:
  • Available in full and TKL sizes
  • Great slim design
  • Includes wrist rest
  • Great media controls
Cons:
  • Key design isn’t for everyone
  • No USB passthrough
Check Price
At a Glance
Actuation Point 1.5 mm
Key Travel Distance 3.8 mm
Custom Actuation No
Size Full, TKL
Polling Rate 1000 Hz
Connectivity Wired, Non-Detachable

The Roccat Vulcan Pro packs in the essentials for a fast gaming keyboard, including 0.7 ms response time and a low actuation point of 1.5 mm. Where it stands out, compared to other fast gaming keyboards, is the slim, beautiful design.

The chamfered edges and slab-like chassis are muted design characteristics that visually cut down on what’s otherwise a fairly big gaming keyboard.

While the Roccat Vulcan Pro comes with a wrist wrest and great media controls, we wish it also included USB passthrough. That’s not a make-or-break feature for some gamers, but the added port versatility can be valuable for some.

Comparing the fastest gaming keyboards

Model Response Time Actuation Key Travel  Custom Actuation Size Polling Rate Connectivity
Razer Huntsman V2 0.2 ms 1.2 mm 3.6 mm No Full, TKL 8000 Hz Wired, Non-Detachable
SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL 2023 Edition 0.54 ms (Wired) 0.2 mm 3.8 mm Yes TKL 1000 Hz Wired USB-C
SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless 2 ms-13 ms 0.2 mm 3.8 mm Yes 60% 1000 Hz Wireless (USB Dongle or Bluetooth), Wired USB-C
Corsair K100 RGB 0.25 ms 1.0 mm 3.4 mm No Full 8000 Mhz Wired, Non-Detachable
Wooting 60HE <1 ms 0.4 mm 4.0 mm Yes 60% 1000 Hz Wired USB-C
Roccat Vulcan Pro 0.7 ms 1.5 mm 3.8 mm No Full, TKL 1000 Hz Wired, Non-Detachable

Essential buying tips

When buying the best gaming keyboard for your needs it’s important to focus on a few essentials so that you can buy the right gaming keyboard the first time. Here’s more on what we think is important to consider when buying a fast gaming keyboard.

Wired vs. wireless

There can be a difference in response times depending on whether you play on a wired or wireless gaming keyboard. In almost all scenarios, a wired gaming keyboard will have a response time edge against the same wireless gaming keyboard

For example, the Apex Pro Mini Wireless has a response time of 2.0 ms when wired, 3.4 ms when using the dongle receiver, and 13.0 ms over Bluetooth, according to Rting’s review.

That said, we’re measuring in milliseconds here, and most gamers won’t notice the difference, particularly when internet latency is also a factor.

Size

You’ll want to determine if the fast gaming keyboard you’re buying will be dedicated to just gaming or the single keyboard used for your day-to-day needs.

Tenkeyless (TKL) and 60% (compact or mini) gaming keyboards are solid options if you are dedicating the keyboard to just gaming.

A TKL keyboard doesn’t include a Numpad that a full-size keyboard includes. TKL keyboards also retain the function row and separate arrow keys but typically don’t include much for media controls.

60% keyboards ditch the function row and arrow keys for a compact experience that only gamers will find useful.

Full-size gaming keyboards offer much more versatility for setups where you’ll use the keyboard for more than gaming. This gaming keyboard size also tends to offer robust media controls.

Custom key actuation

The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL, SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, and Wooting 60HE all offer customizable actuation. This means that the user can define the actuation point where a keypress is triggered. Not only can the actuation point be adjusted, but you can also customize the actuation point for specific keys.

The lowest actuation point possible for all of these keyboards is hyper-sensitive and takes some getting used to. If you breathe too heavily or a slight wind passes by outside, it feels like a key press will be registered.

But customizing your key actuation points to varying sensitivity levels is highly valuable, particularly in fast-paced FPS titles.

More than anything, though, the lowest actuation levels offered are more of a marketing statement for gaming keyboard companies to say they were the first to offer bleeding-edge technologies.

USB passthrough and port options

Many fast gaming keyboards offer passthrough features, such as USB connectivity and audio ports. This allows you to connect additional peripherals to your gaming keyboard without taking up a slot on your gaming PC.

While additional passthrough capabilities may not be make or break for many gamers, we think it’s good to have the option of more ports on your setup.

Polling rate

The polling rate determines the frequency that your gaming keyboard transmits information to your computer. A keyboard with a 1000 Hz polling rate looks for information to transmit (such as a keypress actuation) 1000 times per second.

The fastest gaming keyboards in 2023 will offer at least 1000 Hz polling rates. Beyond that, most gamers aren’t going to notice a difference.

Gaming keyboard brands will typically market their keyboards as being the fastest since they offer far higher polling rates. On paper, that may be true, but a number of factors determine how fast a gaming keyboard is, including your internet latency, key actuation points, and more.

Consider as well what other gear comprises your setup. Choosing one of the best gaming monitors and the best gaming mouse ensures you’ll have a fast setup across all your important peripherals.

What gaming keyboard switches are the fastest?

The fastest gaming keyboard switches are optical switches, which offer a response time advantage over typical key switches. Without going into too much detail, optical switches register an activated keypress when a beam of light’s pathway is broken by the switch stem being pushed downward. Information is transferred at the speed of light, which reduces latency.

Traditional mechanical switches register an activated keypress when two physical contact points touch, which adds some latency compared to optical switches.

Linear vs. clicky

Some people using fast gaming keyboards prefer linear switches over clicky switches. The thinking goes that linear switches don’t give feedback when a key is pressed, which could reduce fatigue with less downforce required.

In practice, though, certain clicky switches have lower downforce thresholds than certain linear switches.

This is why we think the choice between the two switch types mostly comes down to personal preference, not that there could be a potential competitive speed advantage of one over the other.

What gaming keyboard do pros use?

One way pro gamers get a competitive edge, particularly in FPS shooters, is to use a fast gaming keyboard paired with one of the best FPS gaming mice. Looking at what’s popular with pros can give you a good sense of where to focus when speed is paramount. That’s why we track on site the gear used by popular FPS gaming esports and athletes and streamers.

Valorant, Apex Legends, CS:GO, and Call of Duty Warzone pros consistently pick a select few fast gaming keyboards as part of their arsenal. The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL, the Razer Huntsman V2, and the Logitech G Pro Mechanical are common picks among the best FPS players.

More players are starting to game on the Wooting 60HE as well. This relatively new gaming keyboard offers clear speed advantages, and we expect more pro players to equip this gaming keyboard as time passes.

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