Gaming keyboards are an integral part of an enjoyable and competitive gaming experience, and for a gaming shop to be successful, they must stock a range that is capable and suited to various budgets.
While the gaming keyboards we’ll showcase in this article are relatively cheap, they’re still great for play, and boast essential features found in the best gaming keyboards, such as onboard memory, programmable keys, and RGB lighting.
Finally, though this list is by no means exhaustive, you can find a huge range of similar products on Alibaba.com, no matter your requirements.
Understanding the online gaming peripherals market
The gaming industry has in recent years experienced remarkable growth, transforming from a niche interest to a global powerhouse. Data from Allied shows that the gaming keyboard market size is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% from US $2.374 billion to US $6.35 billion between 2021-2031.
This data justifies investing in gaming keyboards with a promise of increased demand. Here are some factors that are influencing the gaming industry’s growth:
- Technological advancements have enhanced game creation, attracting non-gamers into the industry.
- Increased internet connectivity, such as 5G
- The invention of clouding gaming services that leverage hyper-scale capabilities, global content, and streaming media services is anticipated to have a further positive impact on the market
- Proliferation of innovative business models by gaming companies that include free-to-play games with in-game purchases, subscription-based services, and downloadable content (DLC)
How to select budget gaming keyboards
Gaming keyboards are a necessary piece of kit for any serious gamer, but what do customers look for when choosing the one that is right for them?
Quality and durability
Gaming keyboards must withstand a lot of use, which is why customers want one that features high-quality, durable parts.
Keyboard keycaps are usually made out of ABS or PBT plastic. Customers on a tight budget will likely prefer PBT keycaps since they’re stronger, resistant to solvents, and can withstand high temperatures.
Customers with more money to spend may prefer keyboards with ABS plastic because they’re often thinner and provide a more vibrant keyboard backlight.
Compatibility and connectivity
Buyers will want a gaming keyboard that is compatible with their laptop, desktop, or TV, so it’s safer to stock universal keyboards instead of product-specific ones.
In addition, you’ll want to stock wireless and wired keyboards. Wireless varieties use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, while wired keyboards connect to the computer via cable.
Key features and customization options
When customers consider which gaming keyboard to buy, they’ll likely weigh up several key features and customization options. Understanding these features can help retailers to stock up appropriately. These include:
- Switch type: Gamers will want different switch types, such as mechanical, membrane, or optical, depending on their gaming style
- Customizable RGB lighting: Customizable lighting effects, colors, and patterns add aesthetic appeal and allow gamers to personalize their setups to match their gaming themes
- Key rollover and anti-ghosting: Most gamers will want a keyboard with N-key rollover and anti-ghosting features, which ensure that every keypress is registered accurately
- Software customization: Players will likely prefer gaming keyboards with dedicated software that allows them to fine-tune settings, create profiles, and customize functionalities
- Ergonomics and comfort: Comfort during extended gaming sessions is crucial. Features like wrist rests, adjustable stands, and ergonomic designs contribute to a more comfortable gaming experience, reducing strain and fatigue.
While price is also crucial for most customers, they’re likely to first consider features and quality. Therefore, a budget gaming keyboard must still have the essential elements that make it a viable option. As a retailer, it’s best to have a range of keyboards at different price ranges so as to cater to your clients’ needs.
In-depth reviews of the 7 best budget gaming keyboards for 2024
Now, we’ll take a look at seven popular wallet-friendly gaming keyboards that can help to boost your store sales in the coming year.
1. Optical switch mini gaming mechanical keyboard
Optical switch mini gaming mechanical keyboards offer faster and smoother actuation than most keyboards. You can decide whether to stock linear or clicky varieties to give customers variety.
Their durable double PBT keycaps and secondary printed side functions won’t degrade or lose their labeling from intense use. Thanks to the lighting and onboard memory, customers can activate five keyboard profiles without the use of software.
Compact and portable, these keyboards are portable and better suit smaller desktop setups. It’s c. Furthermore, a detachable Type-C cable makes them convenient to set up.
2. Wireless dual-mode gaming keyboards
This wireless mechanical gaming keyboard has a 75% tenkeyless layout (i.e. reduced space allotted to the number pad) that efficiently utilizes desk space. Some gamers, typists, and office workers prefer these keyboards because of their compactness and usability.
It has 2.4GHz and 5.0 Bluetooth options for a stable connection with several devices, allowing gamers to switch between devices without cable clutter. Its hot-swappable feature also enables players to change switches without soldering. Users will also find the keyboard’s fashionable keycaps attractive and comfortable. These can also be customized for a personalized touch to suit individual preferences.
With an adaptive 2-in-1 design, this gaming keyboard offers flexibility and convenience. Other benefits are long battery life and smart power-saving features that help to extend usage frequency.
3. Membrane gaming keyboards
Membrane gaming keyboards are another product you may want to consider stocking for its seamless blend of comfort, precision, and sleek design.
With silent precision, the keyboard ensures an uninterrupted gaming experience, allowing enthusiasts to immerse themselves in gameplay. Its keys are soft, providing a cushioned touch and reducing finger fatigue during prolonged gaming sessions.
The affordable membrane keyboard allows casual and dedicated gamers to enjoy high-quality performance without breaking the bank.
If your buyer persona wants reliability, affordability, and comfort to enhance their gaming journey, then the membrane keyboard is your go-to product.
4. TKL (tenkeyless) keyboards
Players who crave precision, speed, and a sleek gaming setup will likely be looking for a tenkeyless (TKL) gaming keyboard. These keyboards boast a compact design thanks to the lack of a number keypad, optimizing space and giving more room for mouse movement.
This keyboard has cutting-edge mechanical switches to ensure lightning-fast key actuation. Every keystroke is a seamless extension of the players’ intent, giving them an edge in those split-second gaming moments.
Its compactness also offers another benefit: portability. Gamers can carry them for LAN parties, tournaments, or any gaming adventure away from the home setup. Like most keyboards we’ve listed so far, TKL gaming keyboards have a sleek and stylish design with customizable RGB lighting.
Furthermore, they feature a robust construction, thus ensuring durability even under intense gaming sessions.
5. Macro keyboards
Macro keyboards are designed to further empower gamers via control, efficiency, and precision. Programmable macro keys allow gamers to assign complex sequences or commands to a single keystroke for fast execution.
Their adaptability enables players – whether they’re into FPS, MMOs, or strategy games – to dominate their space. This enables competitive gamers to perform intricate maneuvers efficiently, giving them the competitive advantage to win.
Its dedicated macro controls are strategically positioned in a way that doesn’t interrupt the keyboard’s layout for easy access. Macro keyboards allow players to personalize their fingerstrokes with intuitive software to match their gaming style and preferences.
6. Hybrid keyboards
Hybrid mechanical keyboards allow players to experience the best of both worlds, merging the best attributes of mechanical and membrane keyboards.
Crafted to deliver gamers unparalleled performance, versatility, and innovation, their designs combine the precision and responsiveness of mechanical switches with the whisper-quiet comfort of membrane keys. Hybrid keyboards also allow a seamless transition between wired (for faster response times) and wireless (for casual browsing) modes at a player’s convenience.
Other features and benefits include a versatile design with space-saving layout, durability, and a customizable experience with RGB lighting and programmable keys.
7. Cyberpunk gaming knob controller
Finally, while not a gaming keyboard, cyberpunk gaming knob controllers can improve the gaming experience immensely by providing a convenient terminal controller for more competitive gamers and esports enthusiasts.
Looking like something out of the central device of a spaceship, these controllers have four buttons and a knob designed that emulate gaming keyboards. In addition, the RGB lighting makes for more immersive play.
Selecting the right gaming keyboards for your store involves balancing quality, features, and cost-effectiveness. Understanding your customers’ evolving needs and gaming industry trends is vital for your business’ success.
The keyboards highlighted above will offer your buyers a range of budget-friendly options, each catering to specific gaming styles and preferences. As the gaming market continues to grow, consider stocking keyboards that embrace quality, versatility, and customization to ensure your store remains competitive.