Boost Your Games with the Best Keyboard Switches for Gaming


Updated: 26/11/2023

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A selection of colorful push buttons on a white background, ideal for gaming with the best keyboard switches.

Are you a passionate gamer looking to enhance your gaming experience?

Do you want to improve your APM (actions per minute) and achieve the best latency performance?

If so, you must pay attention to one important component of your gaming setup: the best keyboard switches for gaming. These switches are very important for your gaming experience. They help you to be quick and accurate while playing your favorite games.

In recent years, gaming keyboard switches have improved a lot. There are now new and better options available for gamers to choose from. With so many choices available, it can be challenging to identify the best switches for gaming that suit your specific needs. But fear not!

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top switches for keyboards for 2024, ensuring that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Benefits of Using the Best Switches for Gaming

When you use the best keyboard key switches, it can make a big difference. These switches make it easier for you to type and play games on your computer.

Tactile Experience:

  • With these switches, you can feel and hear a little click or bump when you press a key. This helps you know that you pressed the key, making it less likely that you’ll press the wrong key by mistake.

Better for Gaming:

  • If you play many games on your computer, you need switches that respond quickly. These switches don’t need a lot of pressure to work, so your fingers won’t get tired as quickly. This means you can keep playing at your best for longer.

Durability:

  • The switches are made to last a long time, even if you use your keyboard a lot. This is important for gamers who want their equipment to work well every time they play.

Different Types of Keyboard Switches

Several different keyboard switches are available for gaming, each with unique characteristics. The most popular types include:

1. Mechanical Switches: 

Two black and yellow mechanical switches on a white background.

Mechanical switches are popular in the gaming world because they work very well.  They use a physical mechanism to register keystrokes, resulting in excellent tactile feedback and durability. Mechanical keyboard switches are available in various types, such as Cherry MX, Razer Green, and Logitech Romer-G.

Recommended for: Gamers who prioritize responsiveness, tactile feel, and durability.

2. Membrane Switches: 

A small electronic device with a number pad and membrane switches.

Membrane switches are more commonly found in budget-friendly keyboards. They use a rubber dome to register keystrokes, offering a quieter and softer feel than mechanical switches. While membrane switches may not provide the same level of responsiveness and durability as their motorized counterparts, they can still be a viable option for casual gamers. 

Recommended for: Casual gamers seeking a quieter typing experience.

3. Optical Switches: 

High-performance optical switches designed for gaming keyboards, providing fast and precise keystrokes

Optical switches are a relatively new addition to the gaming keyboard market. They use light sensors to detect keystrokes, resulting in lightning-fast response times. Optical switches offer a smooth and linear keystroke experience, making them ideal for gamers with a more fluid feel.

Recommended for: Optical switches are ideal for gamers who prioritize speed and smoothness with a linear keystroke feel.

Best Types of Keyboard Switches for Gaming

Regarding top gaming keyboard switches, there are several options to consider. Let’s explore some of the best ones:

1. Cherry MX Speed Silver: Best Overall

Cherry MX Speed Silver switch, ideal for gaming with fast response time.
  • Type: Linear switch
  • Actuation Force: 45 gf
  • Pre-Travel Distance: 1.4 mm
  • Latency: 8.6 ms
  • Recommended for: Gamers who prioritize speed and minimal actuation distance.

The Cherry MX Speed Silver takes the crown regarding the best overall switch for gaming. These switches are known for their exceptional responsiveness and lightning-fast actuation, making them ideal for competitive gaming.

With an actuation force of 45g and a pre-travel distance of 1.2mm, the Cherry MX Speed Silver switches offer a highly sensitive and precise typing experience. These linear switches provide a smooth keystroke with no tactile bump or audible click, allowing for rapid and effortless keystrokes.

Whether playing fast-paced FPS games or engaging in intense MOBA battles, the Cherry MX Speed Silver switches will give you the responsiveness you need to stay one step ahead of your opponents.

2. Cherry MX Red: Best All-Rounded

A black and red push button switch on a white background. Ideal for gaming with Cherry MX Red switch.
  • Type: Linear switch
  • Actuation Force: 45 grams
  • Pre-Travel Distance: 2 mm
  • Latency: 2.0 ms
  • Recommended for: Gamers who prefer a smooth and linear keystroke, making them ideal for rapid key presses during gaming sessions.

The Cherry MX Red is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a versatile switch that excels in gaming and typing. These switches balance a light actuation force and a smooth keystroke, making them suitable for various gaming genres and everyday use.

With an actuation force of 45g and a linear switch design, the Cherry MX Red switches provide a consistent and reliable typing experience. The absence of a tactile bump or audible click ensures a smooth keystroke, allowing for effortless typing and quick gaming actions.

Whether engaging in intense gaming sessions or typing up documents, the Cherry MX Red switches offer a comfortable and satisfying experience that will keep you productive and in control.

3. Kailh Speed Silver: Best Budget Option

Kailh Speed Silver switch: ideal for gaming.
  • Type: Linear switch
  • Actuation Force: 40 grams
  • Pre-Travel Distance: 1.1mm
  • Recommended for: Gaming who want low actuation force and rapid response.

If you’re on a budget but still want to experience the benefits of mechanical switches, the Kailh Speed Silver is an excellent option. These switches offer a budget-friendly alternative to their more expensive counterparts without compromising performance.

With an actuation force of 40g and a linear switch design, the Kailh Speed Silver switches provide a smooth and responsive typing experience. These switches are known for their fast actuation and short pre-travel distance, perfect for gamers who require rapid input recognition.

Whether you’re a casual gamer or a budget-conscious enthusiast, the Kailh Speed Silver switches offer a cost-effective solution that doesn’t compromise quality or performance.

4. Gateron Yellow Pro: Best Budget Switch

High-quality Gateron Yellow Pro switch for smooth keystrokes and durability.
  • Type: Linear
  • Actuation Force: 50g
  • Pre-Travel Distance: 2mm
  • Recommended for: All-around gaming and typing users prefer a smooth, responsive experience with a slightly heavier feel than Cherry MX Red switches.

For gamers looking for an affordable yet reliable switch option, the Gateron Yellow Pro is an excellent choice. These switches offer a smooth and linear typing experience at a budget-friendly price.

With an actuation force of 50g and a linear switch design, the Gateron Yellow Pro switches provide a consistent and comfortable typing experience. These switches are known for their smooth keystrokes and minimal mechanical key switch wobble, ensuring a satisfying typing or gaming session.

Whether you’re a budget-conscious gamer or simply looking for a reliable switch option, the Gateron Yellow Pro switches offer excellent value for money without compromising performance.

5. Holy Panda X: Best Mid-Range

Holy Panda X switch: white and pink with a red cross.
  • Type: Tactile switch.
  • Actuation Force: 67g
  • Recommended for: Gamers who appreciate a tactile feel and want an all-around switch.

If you’re willing to invest more in your gaming setup, the Holy Panda X switches are a mid-range option offering exceptional performance and a unique typing experience. Enthusiasts highly seek these switches for their satisfying tactile feedback.

With an actuation force of 67g and a tactile switch design, the Holy Panda X switches provide a pronounced tactile bump and a satisfying “thock” sound upon actuation. These switches balance tactile feedback and smooth keystrokes, making them ideal for gamers who appreciate a tactile feel without sacrificing performance.

Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or a typist who appreciates a premium typing experience, the Holy Panda X switches deliver a premium feel that will elevate your gaming or typing sessions.

How to Install Switches on Your Keyboard?

Consider installing switches if you’re feeling adventurous and want to customize your gaming keyboard. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Gather the necessary tools: You’ll need a switch puller, a desoldering pump or soldering iron, and replacement switches.
  2. Remove the keycaps: Use a keycap puller or gently lift the keycaps to expose the switches.
  3. Desolder the existing switches: Use a desoldering pump or soldering iron if your keyboard has soldered switches. Be cautious during this process to avoid damaging the keyboard PCB.
  4. Remove the old switches: Once desoldered, use a switch puller to remove the old switches from the keyboard PCB.
  5. Please insert the new switches. Carefully insert them into the PCB, ensuring they align correctly.
  6. Solder the new switches: If your new switches require soldering, use a soldering iron to secure them to the PCB.
  7. Test the switches: Once soldered, test them to ensure they register keystrokes correctly.
  8. Replace the keycaps: Finally, reattach the custom keycaps onto the new switches, ensuring they fit securely.

If you need more clarification or are uncomfortable with the process. Consulting a professional or purchasing a pre-built keyboard with your desired switches is best in that case.

Factors to Consider Choosing Keyboard Switches

When selecting the best key switches for gaming, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Switch Type: Switches come in three main types: linear, tactile, and clicky. Linear switches provide a smooth keystroke with no tactile bump or audible click. Tactile switches offer a tactile bump that provides feedback upon actuation, allowing for a more pronounced feel. Clicky switches provide tactile feedback and an audible click, offering a satisfying typing experience.
  2. Actuation Force: How much force is required to register a keystroke? Lighter actuation forces allow faster typing and reduce finger fatigue during gaming sessions.
  3. Noise Level: If you prefer a quieter gaming experience, you may want to consider switches that produce less noise. Mechanical switches are louder, while membrane and optical switches offer more silent operation.
  4. Durability: Consider the switches’ lifespan and their wear and tear resistance. Mechanical switches are known for their durability, making them popular among gamers who value long-lasting performance.
  5. Personal Preference: Ultimately, the top keyboard switches for gaming will depend on your preference. Some gamers may prefer the tactile feedback of mechanical switches, while others may prioritize a quiet and smooth typing experience.

Considering these factors will help you decide and find the best gaming switches that suit your gaming needs.

Top Gaming Mechanical Keyboards with the Best Switches

We have now explored the benefits of using the best gaming keyboard switches and the factors to consider when choosing them. Let’s take a look at some of the top mechanical keyboards that feature the best switch for gaming:

  1. Razer BlackWidow Elite: This highly acclaimed gaming keyboard features a Razer Green mechanical switch known for its tactile feedback and audible clicks. The BlackWidow Elite also offers customizable backlighting and programmable macros, making it a versatile choice for gamers.
  2. Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT: Equipped with Cherry MX Speed switches, the K95 RGB Platinum XT provides ultra-fast actuation and a smooth keystroke experience. It boasts a sleek design, durable construction, and customizable RGB lighting, catering to performance and aesthetics.
  3. Logitech G915 Lightspeed: The G915 Lightspeed features Logitech’s proprietary low-profile GL switches. These switches offer a low actuation force and a whisper-quiet operation, making them an excellent choice for gamers who value responsiveness and a noise-free environment.

In addition to the top gaming mechanical keyboards mentioned above, there are several other options worth considering when looking for the best keyboards for gaming with the best switches:

KeyboardSwitchesFeaturesSwitch Price (Approx.)Keyboard Price
SteelSeries Apex ProOmniPoint adjustable mechanical switchesPer-key RGB lighting, comfortable wrist rest, programmable macros$0.85 – $1.25$199.99
Ducky One 2 MiniCherry MX switches (various options)Customizable RGB lighting, detachable USB-C cable, hot-swappable switches$0.35 – $0.65$119.99
HyperX Alloy OriginsHyperX Red linear switchesDurable aluminum frame, customizable RGB lighting, compact design, dedicated media keys, game mode$0.35 – $0.55$99.99

Conclusion

Choosing the right keyboard switch is crucial for optimizing your gaming performance. Whether you’re after lightning-fast responsiveness, satisfying tactile feedback, or a balance between gaming and typing, there’s a switch to complement your gaming style.

When deciding, remember to factor in your gaming preferences, budget, noise considerations, and durability expectations. An ideal keyboard switch will revolutionize your gaming experience, unlocking your potential.

So, what are you waiting for? Explore the wonderful world of keyboard switches, experiment with different options, and discover the perfect one to elevate your gaming prowess to extraordinary heights. Prepare to dominate and become the gaming legend you were always meant to be!

What are the best switches for Gaming?

There isn’t a single “best” switch for everyone, as preference plays a big role. However, some popular options for gaming include:

  • Cherry MX Speed Silver: Great for responsiveness and speed, ideal for competitive gamers.
  • Cherry MX Red: Versatile, smooth, and suitable for gaming and typing.
  • Kailh Speed Silver: Budget-friendly option with good speed and responsiveness.
  • Gateron Yellow Pro: Affordable and smooth linear switch, good for all-around use.
  • Holy Panda X: Tactile switch with a satisfying bump, good for gamers who prefer feedback.
What are the different types of keyboard switches?

The three main types are:

  • Linear: Smooth keystroke with no bump or click (e.g., Cherry MX Red).
  • Tactile: Provides a bump upon actuation for feedback (e.g., Holy Panda X).
  • Clicky: Offers a bump and an audible click (e.g., Razer Green).
What factors should I consider when choosing keyboard switches?
  • Switch type: Consider your preference for feel (linear, tactile, clicky).
  • Actuation force: Lower force requires less pressure to press the key.
  • Noise level: Choose quieter switches if noise is a concern.
  • Durability: Consider the switch’s lifespan and wear resistance.
  • Personal preference: Ultimately, the best switch is the one you enjoy using the most.
What are the best linear switches for gaming?

Cherry MX Speed Silver switches are an excellent choice for gaming. They have a linear feel, an actuation force of 45 gf, and a pre-travel distance of 1.4 mm. These switches provide a smooth experience and are recommended for most gamers.

Are there any budget-friendly gaming switches?

Yes, absolutely! Several budget-friendly options offer excellent performance for gaming, including:

  • Kailh Speed Silver: Affordable and known for its speed and responsiveness.
  • Gateron Yellow Pro: Smooth linear switch at a competitive price, great for use.

These switches provide a good balance between cost and performance, making them ideal for budget-conscious gamers.

Are there any silent gaming switches?

Several silent or tactile switch options are designed to minimize noise while offering a good gaming experience. These include popular choices like Cherry MX Silent Red and Gateron Silent Brown, which are known for their smooth feel and reduced sound compared to traditional mechanical switches.

What are mechanical keyboard switches?

Mechanical switches are the heart of a mechanical keyboard. They provide tactile feedback, durability, and distinct keypresses. Unlike membrane keyboards, mechanical switches have individual switches for each key. They make the keys feel “clicky” or “bumpy” when you press them and affect how fast and responsive the typing feels.

Are there customizable switches?

Yes! Some keyboards, like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, allow you to adjust the actuation force of individual mechanical keys. You can customize the feel to your liking.

How do I clean my keyboard switches?

Here’s how to clean your keyboard switches in simple steps:

  1. Turn off your computer and unplug your keyboard.
  2. Remove the keycaps using a keycap puller (specifically designed for this).
  3. Compressed air removes loose dust or debris from the switches and surrounding areas.
  4. For a deeper clean, dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) diluted with distilled water (mix equal parts). Gently wipe the switch housing and surrounding areas with the damp cotton swab. Be careful not to over-wet the components.
  5. Let everything dry completely before reattaching the keycaps. You can also use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to speed up the drying process.

Remember: Avoid using harsh chemicals or submerging the keyboard in water, as this can damage the electronics.


Shifa Tariq

Shifa Tariq

Hi, I'm Shifa, the CEO and Co-founder of Best Keyboard Tester, the go-to website for comprehensive keyboard guides, in-depth reviews, and top recommendations. As a huge keyboard enthusiast and tech lover, I created this website to help everyone find the perfect keyboard, whether you're a casual typist or a hardcore gamer. Our unique online keyboard tester tool lets you virtually try different switches and layouts before buying. I'm passionate about helping people discover the joy of an excellent keyboard and always looking for ways to improve our website.

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