The 8 Best Keyboards for Osu! in 2023

Written by Daniel Mou
Last updated Mar 23, 2023

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best keyboards for osu

Osu! might seem like a casual rhythm game at first glance, but it can get incredibly demanding at higher difficulties. You need an extraordinary level of accuracy and finger dexterity to keep up with faster songs, so it’s important to use a keyboard that won’t hold back your potential. To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best keyboards for Osu! to help you master the game.

There are several factors to consider when identifying the best keyboard for Osu!. Switch feel and high polling rate is vital, but the size of the keyboard and the durability of its keycaps are also important. We have to consider what players value for each game mode and how it affects their play, which is why we’re covering a diverse list of categories to appeal to all Osu! players.

Short on Time? The Best Keyboards for Osu! at a Glance
  • Best Keyboard for Osu! Overall: HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a performance-focused keyboard used by many top Osu! players.
  • Best Premium Keyboard for Osu!: SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL uses Hall Effect switches that offer adjustable actuation distance for fine-tuning the switches to your playstyle.
  • Best Speed Keyboard for Osu!: Wooting 60HE sports analog switches with a dynamic actuation point setting to maximize your input speed.
  • Best Budget Keyboard for Osu!: Redragon K576R is a budget mechanical keyboard with a fast polling rate and hot-swappable switches.
  • Best Membrane Keyboard for Osu!: HyperX Alloy Core RGB is a high-performance membrane keyboard for people that enjoy the feel of rubber domes.
  • Best Compact Keyboard for Osu!: Ducky One 2 Mini is a compact 60% keyboard with a range of switch and keycap choices.
  • Best DIY Keyboard for Osu!: GH60 GK61 is a perfect blank canvas for a custom mechanical keyboard with your favored switches and keycaps.
  • Best Keypad for Osu!: BTXETUEL NONO Osu! Keypad is a tiny and customizable two-button keypad perfect for Osu! standard players.

Our Picks for the Best Keyboard for Osu!

1. HyperX Alloy Origins Core

Best Keyboard for Osu! Overall

Switch Type(s)HyperX Red - Linear
Keycap MaterialDouble-shot PBT
LightingPer-key RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)14.17 x 5.22 x 1.36 inches

The HyperX Alloy Origins Core has an outstanding reputation in the Osu! community for being one of the most reliable mechanical keyboards around. It’s sturdy, has excellent switches, and is reasonably affordable for a high-end Osu! keyboard.

The Alloy Origins Core uses HyperX Red mechanical switches, the company’s take on Cherry MX Reds. These are light linear switches with an actuation distance of 1.8 mm and a total travel distance of 3.8 mm, 0.2 mm shorter than MX Reds. The linear travel and slightly higher actuation point make these HyperX switches great for Osu!, allowing you to play more demanding songs while conserving your stamina.

In terms of construction, the Alloy Origins Core has a sturdy aluminum body which improves durability and helps it remain stable during intense gameplay moments. The keycaps are double-shot PBT and aren’t prone to becoming slippery from the oils and sweat on your fingers. That can create an unpleasant feeling when you’re in the middle of a song, which is why many Osu! players prefer PBT keycaps.

HyperX Alloy Origins Core

Source: HyperX

The Alloy Origins Core has a 1,000 Hz polling rate, meaning it can send inputs to your PC every 1 millisecond. This is crucial for Osu!, as it ensures you’ll hit even tight 19-ms timing windows. Compare that to a standard 125 Hz polling rate keyboard, which can delay inputs by anywhere from 1 ms to 8 ms. This slower update frequency means you could get lower scores or even drop combos.

To top it off, the Alloy Origins Core is readily available from both online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. This means it’s easy to buy, and easy to return if you ever have any issues with the keyboard. It may seem like a minor point, but it’s this ready availability that makes it so popular amongst Osu! players.

Overall, the Alloy Origins Core is one of the best keyboards for Osu! thanks to its responsive switches, durable build quality, and accessibility. It’s been used by many top players to set some of the highest scores in the game and will continue to be a good keyboard for players of all skill levels.

2. SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL

Best Premium Keyboard for Osu!

Keys84 + media key and roller
Switch Type(s)OmniPoint 2.0
Keycap MaterialDouble-shot PBT
LightingPer-key RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)13.99 x 5.48 x 1.59 inches

The SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL offers deep customization and incredible build quality, making it a fantastic choice as a high-end Osu! Keyboard. If you have a big budget, this might be the top Osu! keyboard for you.

The standout feature of the Apex Pro TKL is its OmniPoint 2.0 linear mechanical switches. These use Hall Effect sensors, meaning they don’t use physical contact to detect actuation. This makes them smoother than a typical linear switch while also allowing them to detect how far you’ve pressed a switch. This sensor mechanism means that you can customize the actuation distance based on your personal preferences.

For context, traditional mechanical switches like Cherry MX Red switch have an actuation distance of 2 mm. OmniPoint switches allow you to customize the actuation distance from 0.2 mm to 3.8 mm. Most Osu! players prefer lighter and quicker switches because it helps them conserve stamina during demanding songs. Setting a quick actuation allows you to press and release these OmniPoint switches quickly, accommodating faster taps with minimal movements.

SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL

Source: SteelSeries

But while the OmniPoint switches offer extra customization, they can make the Apex Pro TKL harder for beginners to use. For example, too-short actuation distances could result in accidental key presses. On the other hand, setting the actuation distance too long can make the switches feel unresponsive. It’ll take a bit of experience to get things just right.

In terms of build quality, the Apex Pro TKL has an aluminum top plate for increased stability and durability. You also get double-shot PBT keycaps which won’t develop shine over time. The OmniPoint switches are rated for 100 million keystrokes, double the lifetime of a regular mechanical switch. This gives the Apex Pro TKL outstanding durability, making it a great long-term investment

Between the customizable switches and outstanding build quality, the SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL makes a strong case for itself as a high-quality Osu! keyboard. While new players won’t benefit much from the quick switches, seasoned veterans with cash to splash will find a lot to like here. If you’d like an even smaller version, consider the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini instead.

3. Wooting 60HE

Best Speed Keyboard for Osu!

Switch Type(s)Lekker Hall Effect
Keycap MaterialDouble-shot PBT
LightingPer-key RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)11.89 x 4.53 x 1.50 inches

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when improving at Osu! is your finger speed and dexterity. You’re far more likely to hit physical limitations before your hardware becomes a factor, but what if you’ve reached a point where your keyboard is the bottleneck? Enter the Wooting 60HE, a keyboard that can keep up with your raw speed.

The Wooting 60HE is an analog mechanical keyboard that uses Lekker Hall Effect switches. These frictionless linear switches can detect how far they’ve been pressed, allowing you to customize the actuation point between 0.1 mm and 4.0 mm. A higher actuation point is desirable for Osu! since it results in a more responsive experience overall.

But there’s another feature that sets the Wooting 60HE apart from other keyboards: Rapid Trigger. This setting causes the switches to reset as soon as they’re released, creating a dynamic actuation point that further improves the keyboard’s responsiveness.

Wooting 60HE

Source: Wooting

But while Rapid Trigger can offer an advantage, it won’t give you an instant speed or skill boost. Most beginners bottom out switches due to typing habits, so it can take a while before new players can fully utilize the Wooting 60HE. If you’re fairly new to Osu! then you probably won’t notice a difference between this keyboard and one with regular linear switches.

As for the build quality, Wooting has given the 60HE a hardened steel switch plate and a sturdy ABS plastic case. They’ve also pre-installed two foam layers to dampen the sound which is fairly uncommon for a pre-assembled keyboard. Together with the pre-lubed Lekker switches, this gives the Wooting 60HE fantastic durability, longevity, and an amazing out-of-box typing experience.

Sadly, it’s a little difficult to get your hands on one. At the time of writing, the Wooting 60HE is only available for pre-order on Wooting’s website and you’ll need to wait at least three months before it’s even in stock.

There’s no doubt that the Wooting 60HE is currently the best Osu! keyboard for speed. The rank #1 player, mrekk, used it to set the current 1371.45 PP record, and other top players are beginning to see the benefits of Rapid Trigger. That said, the Wooting 60HE’s price and limited availability lack of availability make it a niche option, and one that we won’t recommend for beginners.

4. Redragon K576R

Best Budget Keyboard for Osu!

Switch Type(s)Outemu Blue
Keycap MaterialABS
LightingSingle Zone RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)14.10 x 5.10 x 1.38 inches

The Redragon K576R has all of the makings of a great Osu! keyboard. It has a 1,000 Hz polling rate, sturdy ABS construction, and even hot-swappable switches. Add to that its sub-$40 price, and you get a budget Osu! keyboard that’s definitely worth checking out.

The Redragon K576R comes with clicky Outemu Blue mechanical switches, which have a relatively long 2.7 mm actuation distance and noticeable tactile bump. They’re fine, but you may find these on the heavy side, especially if you’ve tried smooth linear switches before.

Clicky switches may not seem like an obvious choice for Osu!, but there are still a handful of players in Osu!’s top 100 rankings that use them. Some take advantage of the audible click, turning off the in-game hit sounds and using the sound of their keyboard switches to help them maintain their rhythm.

Redragon K576R

Source: Redragon

Since the K576R has a 1,000 Hz polling rate for low-latency keypresses, the only real downside to the keyboard is the default switch and keycap configuration. Outemu switches aren’t the most reliable, and the keycaps on the K576R are known to be fragile. Thankfully, the K576R uses Outemu hot-swap sockets, so replacing broken switches won’t be an issue. You’re limited to Outemu switches, but they’re still decent enough for a budget board.

The K576R is a surprisingly capable budget Osu! keyboard, offering decent build quality and hot-swap sockets for under $40. It won’t wow you, but it gets all the basics right and will even let you experiment with alternate switch options until you find the perfect Osu! switches.

5. HyperX Alloy Core RGB

Best Membrane Keyboard for Osu!

Switch Type(s)Membrane
Keycap MaterialABS
LightingFive Zone RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)17.45 x 6.90 x 1.40 inches

Membrane gaming keyboards might be unpopular in most gaming communities, but they hold a special place in the hearts of rhythm game players. They’re affordable, easy to replace, and have a distinct feel that some players prefer. If that sounds up your alley, then the HyperX Alloy Core RGB is for you.

Despite being a membrane keyboard, the Alloy Core RGB has all the specs you’ll need to excel at the game. For one, you get the same 1,000 Hz polling rate and n-key rollover that you find on mechanical keyboards. The membrane switches are also reasonably tactile, similar to Cherry MX Browns. While they certainly feel mushier than mechanical switches, some players prefer their distinct feel.

A membrane keyboard also has the advantage of being quiet. This can be an important consideration if you want to stay quiet while playing Osu!. Even if you’re heavy-handed with the keys during gameplay, they’ll make less noise than most mechanical switches.

HyperX Alloy Core RGB

Source: Newegg

The main issue with the Alloy Core RGB is the price; at around $50, it costs the same as a budget mechanical keyboard. But there’s a small yet prominent community of players that love the feel and sound of membrane and laptop keyboards, and it doesn’t prevent them from setting incredible scores either. Could they play better with a mechanical keyboard? Perhaps, but enjoyment and comfort play a big role when improving at Osu! and it’s fine to use whatever you want.

At the end of the day, Osu! is a game of preference even at the higher ranks. If you enjoy the feel of membrane keys, then the Alloy Core RGB is a fantastic choice. With features like n-key rollover and a 1,000 Hz polling rate, it’s perfectly equipped to take you to the upper echelons of the game.

6. Ducky One 2 Mini

Best Compact Keyboard for Osu!

Switch Type(s)• Cherry MX Black/Brown/Blue/Clear/Red/Silver/Silent Red
• Kailh Box Brown/Jade/Navy/Pink/Red/White
Keycap MaterialDouble-shot PBT
LightingPer-key RGB
ProgrammingMacros and limited remapping
ConnectivityUSB Type-C
Dimensions (W x D x H)11.89 x 4.25 x 1.57 inches

While they don’t target gamers specifically, Ducky is a popular mechanical keyboard brand among Osu! players. This is thanks to their excellent reliability and a large selection of switch and keycap combinations. One of the most popular Ducky gaming keyboards for Osu! is the Ducky One 2 Mini, a premium 60% keyboard that several top 100 Osu! Players have used.

Despite the lack of gamer-focused marketing, the One 2 Mini features a 1,000 Hz polling rate, ensuring clean and responsive inputs. You can also choose from several switches and keycaps to match your preferences. Most Osu! players opt for Cherry MX Red linear switches, which allow you to press keys rapidly with minimal resistance.

The Ducky One 2 Mini comes with PBT keycaps, barring a few European ISO layouts that use ABS. We highly recommend going with the PBT keycaps even if it’s not your preferred layout, as they’re more durable than ABS and won’t wear down as quickly. They’re more resistant to shine, so you won’t have to deal with that unpleasant oily feeling on your keys when you’re playing a song.

The compact size of the One 2 Mini is one of its biggest draws. As you only need a few keys, you’re not really missing out on much by using a 60% keyboard. The One 2 Mini will free up desk space for your mouse or graphics tablet, while also being a perfect portable Osu! keyboard if you game on the go.

Overall, the Ducky One 2 Mini is a clean, compact keyboard that’s great for Osu!. The small size makes it ideal for a minimal (or portable) Osu! setup and the plethora of switch and keycap choices mean you’ll likely be able to find the perfect keyboard for your tastes.

If you’re looking for other compact keyboards that would work great for Osu!, check out our 60% keyboard roundup.

7. GH60 GK61

Best DIY Keyboard for Osu!

LightingPer-key RGB

There’s a fair amount of overlap between Osu! players and custom keyboard enthusiasts. While there are only a few top 100 players that use a custom-built keyboard, there are a couple of advantages to this approach that could convince you to try a DIY kit such as the GH60 GK61.

The main benefit of a DIY keyboard is customization. Instead of spending time looking for a keyboard with the switches and keycaps you like, you can get a barebones kit like the GK61 and buy the components you want separately. Simply pop the best Osu! switches in and the keycaps on top, and you have a mechanical keyboard that meets all of your personal preferences.

Building a DIY kit also makes it easier for you to modify your keyboard in the future. For instance, you can make your keyboard quieter by opening it up and installing case foam. This is often a bit trickier with a pre-built, but a barebones kit like the GK61 is designed to be opened and tinkered with. You can fine-tune your keyboard and get it exactly how you want.

GH60 GK61

Source: YMDK

A DIY keyboard like the GK61 is fantastic for getting into custom keyboard builds. The switches are hot-swappable which means there’s no soldering required. You can also buy packs of different switches which is cheaper than buying an entire keyboard to try something new. It also means you can buy them in low volume since Osu! only requires two keys.

The GK61 DIY kit is surprisingly good for Osu! as well. It has a 1,000 Hz polling rate which means low latency keypresses, and it’s fully programmable so you can customize the keys however you want. It has pre-installed RGB lighting and a sturdy aluminum switch plate. When paired with your favorite switches and quality keycaps, you’ve got a fantastic Osu! keyboard that will be easy to repair and customize further.

The thought of building your own keyboard can seem daunting at first, but it’s a fantastic option if you’re after a fully personalized Osu! keyboard. Interested in buying switches for a barebones kit? Check out our guide on where to buy keyboard switches for a handy list.

8. BTXETUEL Nono Osu! Keypad

Best Keypad for Osu!

Switch Type(s)Outemu Red
Keycap MaterialABS
LightingPer-key RGB
Dimensions (W x D x H)1.97 x 1.97 x 0.79 inches

If you only play Osu! standard, then a two-button keypad should be enough. This is where a keypad like the BTXETUEL Nono comes into the picture. While it’s not really a keyboard, features such as the 1,000 Hz polling rate, lightweight build, and easy customization make it a great option for Osu!.

Since you’re paying for a 2-button keypad, the Nono keypad is a more affordable way to improve your Osu! Performance than buying a full keyboard. It comes with Outemu Red mechanical switches, but the keypad’s hot-swap sockets make it easy to change them if you prefer other Outemu switches.

The lightweight construction also makes it easy to move around and position for maximum comfort. Despite the light weight, the shell is surprisingly sturdy and can withstand some serious tapping.

Out of the box, the two keys on the Nono keypad default to copy and paste. That won’t work for Osu!, so you’ll need to download the software (via an included QR code) to change it to your preferred binds. The software also gives you access to extra functions, such as macro recording and RGB lighting modes. This makes it a highly customizable keypad that you can also use for other games.

Despite only having two keys, the BTXETUEL Nono ticks all the right boxes for Osu!. Whether you’re looking for a cheap way to get started or an experienced player seeking a compact keyboard for Osu!, the Nono is worth checking out.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the best Osu! keyboard is ultimately down to personal preference. Whether it’s a high-end mechanical keyboard or a “mushy” membrane keyboard, everyone has a comfort pick that just feels right for the game. In Osu!, the best keyboard is simply one that you’re comfortable with.

But if you’re unsure about all the choices and want something solid to grind and improve with, the HyperX Alloy Origins Core is a highly recommended pick. It’s sturdy, has fast switches, and has durable PBT keycaps. For experienced players that want to push their limits, the Wooting 60HE can help you unlock your potential with its Rapid Trigger technology and analog switches.

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