Best Gaming Keypads To Buy in 2024 [All Budget Segments]

Written By Mushfiq Rahman

Gamepads are a niche product, no doubt. But it is gaining traction in the competitive space. With a small footprint and no compromise in features compared to its full-size mechanical brothers, you are not really missing anything

So if you are here, that means you want to dabble in this category of products. And to help you out, we have tested the best keypads that you should consider seriously when looking to make the final purchasing decision.

For a quick refresher, we found out that the Razer Tartarus Pro has the best build quality, feels good to game, and has the best overall features to make it on top of our list of the best keypad for this list.

So, let’s take a look at all the choices you have.

6 Best Gaming Keypads To Buy in 2023

Model AwardKey-Switches
Razer Tartarus ProBest OverallAnalog Optical Switch
Razer Tartarus V2Runners UpMecha-Membrane
Red Dragon K585Best Value For MoneyMechanical
Cakce RGB Mechanical KeyboardNotable Mention(Budget)Mechanical
Red Thunder OneBest in BudgetMembrane
Koolertron Macro Mechanical KeyboardBest MiniatureMechanical
Note: We have not included two popular keypads, which were popular among gamers before, such as the Logitech G13 and Razer Nostromo. These are often out of stock and priced much higher than their MSRP, which does not make them worth purchasing for now.

1. Overall Best: Razer Tartarus Pro



  • 32 programmable keys.
  • Integrated thumbpad for navigation.
  • Pressure-sensitive optical switch.
  • Dedicated Scroll Wheel.
  • Support for Razer Chroma and Synapse.
  • »Solid Build Quality.
  • »Ergonomic key mapping.
  • »Keys can mimic the movements similar to a gamepad trigger.
  • »Highly customizable using Razer Synapse.
  • »Silent compared to mechanical keyboards.
  • »Adjustable wrist rest.
  • »It can get expensive. You are almost paying the bucks for a full-size mechanical keyboard.

Why We Picked It

Razer’s Tartarus Pro is the best keypad that we have tested so far. With a quick glance, you won’t find any striking differences compared to the V2. But it has got the upgrades where it matters the most – the key switches.

It has optical switches, which you will only find in the top-tier keyboards. What this does is, uses light to register keystrokes. So, you can only press a key slightly, but yet move the character in-game. We found this feature really useful when making stealth kills in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

You can customize this on individual games right from Razer’s Synapse software. Want to make a quick dash and attack shortcut? That is possible too. Every key is programmable and can be set to perform different functions.

The keys themselves are ergonomic, which means they are designed to replicate your hand. They are set up in a wave-like form, reducing fatigue when using the keypad for longer gaming sessions. I really liked the fact that you literally do not need to move your hand to reach the keys, which are at the far end.

Finally, you have the thumbstick. This allows you to maneuver in a game. But I did not find this useful, as I am not good with controllers. However, it provides good feedback and is positioned for your thumbs to reach it easily. If you are someone who uses it, you won’t be disappointed.

Who It’s For

  • Want to experience the best there is for a gaming keypad.
  • Need silent operation.
  • Need the best build quality, which will last you for a few years.

What We Liked Most

  • The silent optical switches.
  • Highly Customizable Razer Synapse.
  • Comfort.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Nothing really, in terms of usability.


Razer’s Tartarus Pro has basically everything you want, from a dedicated keypad for gaming. If money is no object, surely go for this keypad.

2. Runners up: Razer Tartarus V2



  • 32 Mecha-Membrane switches.
  • Integrated scroll wheel and 8-way directional thumbpad.
  • Fully programmable keys using Razer Hypershift.
  • RGB support using Razer Chroma.
  • »Has similar ergonomic keys and buttons as the more expensive Tartarus Pro.
  • »Affordable pricing.
  • »Excellent build-quality.
  • »Comfortable for long periods of use.
  • »Great for MMORPG games.
  • »Not fully mechanical keys.

Why We Chose It

The Razer Tartarus V2 has many things going in common with its more expensive sibling, the Tartarus Pro. Just taking a quick glance will make you wonder if they are any different.

The V2 features mechanical-membrane switches that provide both tactile feedback and soft key presses. Actuation points are uniform across all keys. The keys themselves do feel alright during gaming. If you think the membrane switches will make these less capable, then you are wrong.

Every single key can be customized by the excellent Synapse software. Recording macros can get tiresome, but at least the app has a great interface to use. The overall layout of the keys makes it a prime candidate for online MMORPG games. Just set up macros using Razer Hypershift, and you are good to go.

Build quality is top-notch, as usual. But I felt the spacebar was placed a bit far. I have smaller hands, so that may not be an issue for everyone.

The keycaps and wrist rest are ergonomic in design. They are comfortable to use but may require some time to get used to.

Who It’s For

  • Those who want a top-notch keypad but do not need cutting-edge optical switches.
  • MMORPG gamers.

What We Liked Most

  • Great features and build quality at a lower price.
  • Use for a longer period of time.
  • Adjustable wrist rest.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Keys can be large for people with smaller hands.


At almost half the price of the Tartaurs Pro, the V2 is a great choice for those who want the best all-around gaming keypad.

3. Best Value For Money: Red Dragon K585 DITI Wireless



  • 42 Keys, 7 Programmable.
  • Detachable Wrist Rest.
  • Outemu Blue Key Switches.
  • Bluetooth Wireless.
  • 5 RGB color modes.
  • »Tactile Mechanical Keys.
  • »Full-size keycaps.
  • »Wrist rest is adjustable
  • »Ergonomic design.
  • »Lacking the build quality of higher-tier products.
  • »Not compact.
  • »No per key RGB.

Why We Chose It

The Red Dragon K585 is one of the budget offerings on this list, but do not let this take out its charm. It may be a shrunken keyboard, but it does not sacrifice the quality of keystrokes. You are still getting a solid-feeling keyboard.

Let’s start with the keys first. You get Oteron blue switches which provide great tactile feedback. I did a blind test with a full-size mechanical keyboard and could not tell the difference between the two. So you are not sacrificing any quality of switches here.

Along with the switches, you get eight macro keys to set up actions depending on your game. As the keys are separate from the main keys, this can help distinguish them and prevent accidental presses. I really liked the position and the size of the space bar. It is positioned perfectly and gives solid feedback.

You can save these macros in four dedicated switches at the top. Pressing these will switch between the saved profile on the go.

There are two magnets holding the wrist rest in position. While these are perfect for supporting the palms, I felt these could have been a little more cushiony.

The Red Dragon model we tested here is wireless, so there was no clutter of wires on our desk. The connection was solid at 2.4 GHz with no drops. There is also an identical wired model. If Bluetooth is not your thing, you can go for this and save some cash.

To close it off, the Red Dragon K585 does not come with any additional features, such as a thumb pad. But it performs admirably for what it costs.

Who It’s For

  • Looking to get a gaming keypad, but not willing to shell out loads of cash.
  • Do not want to compromise on key switches.
  • Has fairly large hands.

What We Liked Most

  • Solid keys and keycaps.
  • The deck is lightweight.
  • Strong magnets in the wrist rest.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Build quality is not the best; the plastics give away how much it costs.
  • The wireless version still costs 15 dollars more than the wired one.


The Red Dragon K585 is a great one-handed keyboard for users who do not want to give away the mechanical feeling of keystrokes in favor of portability. Also, it is easier on your wallet too.

4. Best in Budget: Red Thunder One



  • 35 Keys with membrane switches.
  • 7 Built-in RGB Color Modes.
  • Comes with a wrist rest.
  • Two color keycaps.
  • »Really affordable, under 20 bucks.
  • »Clicky keys for a membrane keyboard.
  • »Nice RGB light that covers the keyboard deck evenly.
  • »You may not like the key travel of membrane keyboard.

Why We Chose It

Here comes the most affordable keypad on our list today. The Red Thunder One-handed keyboard is a standard membrane keyboard. If you have used a lower-end gaming keyboard, this will feel very similar to those.

I say this in no bad taste. It is a basic membrane keyboard. The key travels are good, and I felt these were really clicky. Not quite to the levels of a mechanical keyboard, but it holds up.

You do not get any separate keys for storing macros. Instead, you have to rely on the F1 and F2 keys to save the macros. Additionally, you do not get any software to back it up. You have to remember the keypresses to trigger a saved macro.

The RGBs are static with seven color modes. There are static and breathing effects too. I really liked how the colors look on the keys. They are even and do not project solely on a single place. Really good for the price you are paying for it.

As for continual usability, the ergonomic design makes it easy for you to use it for longer periods. The lower keys (X, C) and the spacebar are curved slightly. Add a wrist rest to this, and my hands felt resting naturally. I certainly did not feel any fatigue built up when playing Fortnite.

Who It’s For

  • You want to jump on the one-handed keyboard train while spending the minimum.
  • The membrane keyboard does not bother you.

What We Liked Most

  • The shiny bright RGBs. Surely won’t make you a better gamer, but it exudes good vibes.
  • Really comfortable to use for longer periods.
  • Great price.

What We Didn’t Like

  • No per key custom RGB colors.
  • Fixed wrist rest.


The Red Thunder One is a perfect template of what budget keyboards should be like. You get a solid keyboard with great RGBs for under 20 bucks. Totally worth it.

5. Best Miniature: Koolertron One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard



  • 45 Programmable Keys.
  • Outemu Blue/Red switches.
  • Programmable Knob.
  • Detachable Type C cable.
  • Plexiglass shell.
  • »True Mechanical key presses.
  • »Highly customizable macros.
  • »RGB software allows you to choose numerous effects and up to 32 different colors.
  • »Solid keyboard deck.
  • »Gets pricey. You can get a full 60% keyboard for the same bucks.

Why We Chose It

The Koolertron is the most cool-looking keyboard on the list. I mean, the name says it all. It is designed as a one-handed keyboard but comes with all the perks of a mechanical keyboard.

Let’s talk about the size first. It is really diminutive. When I placed it on my desk, it hardly seemed to occupy a space, considering it has 45 keys.

As for the keycaps, you get the full travel of mechanical keyboards. The switches feel really nice and share characteristics similar to compact keyboards. I used an RK 60 previously and felt the keystrokes were very similar to that.

The mechanical aspect of the switch means you can swap out the keycaps and use any custom ones. This will add up the cost, but you will get the desired looks.

Coming to RGBs, it comes with software having tons of customizability. There are 32 colors you can set with numerous built-in effects. You can change the level of brightness for the light or turn it off entirely. You do not have per-key RGB as you get on the Razer.

Next up is macros. This is another highlight of the software. There are 24 macro keys in total. The software allows you to set individual keys for complex macros in four different layers. For MMO players, this can come in handy. To test this, I configured Dota 2 using the software that comes with it. The customization options are endless. You can basically use any keys for the macro.

Even though there are no dedicated keys for this, you can configure the individual keys and assign a specific function to them. And this works great for productivity apps such as Photoshop or Premier Pro as well.

Who It’s For

  • Those who do not want to sacrifice mechanical keyboards and customizability.
  • Want niceties such as the knob.
  • Use the keypad for productivity tasks too.

What We Liked Most

  • The keycaps used ABS plastic which felt really nice. Not to mention that they are hot-swappable too.
  • Lots of RGB and macro customization potential.
  • Solid construction.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Lack of a dedicated macro key.
  • A bit pricey.


The Koolertron keyboard should be on your shopping list if you want a highly customizable keyboard that serves both work and play.

6. Notable Mention on Budget: Cakce One-Handed Mechanical Keyboard



  • 35 RGB keys
  • 6 Programmable macro keys
  • Curved Keycaps and Wrist rest for ergonomic design
  • Engraved WASD keys
  • »Mechanical key switches at the lowest price.
  • »Dedicated macro keys.
  • »Good keycap textures.
  • »Can only cycle between predefined RGB color schemes.
  • »Loud clack when typing.

Why We Picked It

The Cakce Mechanical Keyboard is another budget-friendly offering in this list. Compared to the Red Thunder One, you get a full mechanical keyboard in the same price bracket.

The keystrokes resemble what you get with a dedicated mechanical keyboard. They are quite satisfying, albeit a bit loud. I saw some reviews online, and others were saying the same thing.

There is no mention of what switches are used. Chances are that these are using the Kalih switch, which is used by most low-end keyboards. They are not the very best, and there is some scratchy feeling involved. But you need to consider what these costs too.

The WASD keys have an engraving with them, which makes it easier when playing first-person titles. Add in the wrist rest, the slightly curved keycaps, and you have a keypad that you can play for longer periods of time without any cramps creeping in.

Finally, there are six dedicated macro keys that were absent on the Red Thunder. That means you can set some form of button mapping to them. The options are not as extensive as compared to some higher offerings in this list.

Who It’s For

  • Those who want a fully mechanical keypad that costs less than a cup of the most exotic coffee brews.
  • Okay with the loud clattering of keypresses.
  • Do not need fancy RGB customizations.

What We Liked Most

  • The WASD engravings. Thought that would make me better on CSGO, but sadly not. Nice touch on the keycaps, though.
  • Mechanical switches on this price segment.
  • Really compact.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The clickity-clackity noise made by the keys. This would bother others if they were in the same room.


The main highlight of the Cakce keypad was the fully mechanical switches. Really a joy to type on, and overall great for the price.

How We Selected the Best Keypads for Gaming

A gaming keypad is a niche product, but it does share many elements with traditional elements. That means we have to consider those things, too, when choosing a keypad.

These factors will better help you make the most use of hard-earned cash, so do not skimp this section.


The keypad should feel nice to use and fit well within your hands. If these are not comfortable, you will not be able to use them continuously for a longer period of time. Look for the ones that come with a wrist rest.

Type of Keys

The switches can be either mechanical or membrane. Depending on your preference, you can buy any of them. Hybrid switches employ the best of both worlds and are called mecha-membrane. There are some high-end models which come with optical switches which provide a silent operation than either of the two.

Software and Profiles

Included software can make assigning macros really easier. Also, they can give you lots of RGB effects and color options. Razer makes some great software in this field.

Programmable Keys

Macro keys allow you to set some actions that you can perform in-game. Gaming keypads can have some or all keys that can do this. If you play games like DOTA 2, this can come in handy.

RGB Support

Most keypads come with RGB these days. But the differentiating factors lie in what you can customize. High-end keypads allow you to set colors for individual keys, while the budget ones have only a few effects that you can cycle between. Also, take note of how the bundled software that comes with the keypad performs.

Quality of Wristrest

A wrist rest comes with padding that allows your hand not to get stiff when gaming for longer periods. Some keypads allow you to adjust their height, while others come with fixed ones. The quality of the foam underneath and the plastic also needs to be taken into consideration when buying a gaming keypad.

The Choice is Yours

Even though the number of gaming keypads among gamers is relatively less, they are worth using if you can get used to them. To gauge how popular these are among gamers, Just take a look at forums, and you will see people still raving about Razer Nostromo, released ten years ago.

So there you go. We have listed out the best keypads worth your money in 2023. Which one do you think you would go for? Do let us know in the comments.

About The Author
Mushfiq is a CSE graduate currently serving out piping-hot tech tips. He is a self-confessed computer nerd and fell in love with computers when racing with the OG Most Wanted. He also pledges lifelong allegiance to MCU. You will find silly comedies on his movie watchlist, mostly due to Steve Carell. Apart from computers, the night sky fascinates him the most.

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