How Important Is the Switch for Gaming?
There are many distinct variables at play when you play video games that affect whether you succeed in defeating your opponent. What role does the switch play in gaming, exactly?
Your choice of the switch may have a considerable effect on the game. By using a quicker switch, your reaction time can be reduced by a few milliseconds, giving you an edge over the competition. The speed boost may only be 0.01%, but it can be visible if you play at the highest level. Everyone is searching for their next gaming edge, but many forget to consider a crucial element: the switch they are using on their keyboard.
The switch does, in fact, matter. Even if you play casually or even somewhat casually, we would still stress upon the switch as it will allow you to feel the thrill and energy. Moreover, the lighting effects, and the customizable software from the switches, are worthy of applause and self-satisfying.
To help you have the most competitive setup possible, today we’ll break down the finest switches for gaming.
But before we dig right into them, there are some key terms that you must know. So let’s start with them first!
Related: How to Clean Razer Keyboards
Dissecting the Various Switch Terms
There are various technical phrases related to switches that you might not be familiar with.
- Actuation Type: This describes how the key behaves, including its type, whether it’s linear, tactile, or clicky. The keystroke’s classification depends on whether it is quiet, loud, or smooth.
- Actuation force: This is the amount of pressure needed to push down on the key and have the keystroke registered by the computer. That is, how firmly you need to push the key. This unit of measurement (g) stands for grams.
- Actuation distance: This shows when the switch has been depressed firmly enough to transfer data from the keyboard to the computer. The majority of switches have an actuation point of roughly 2mm unless the switch is fast or low profile, in that case, it has a shorter activation point.
- Travel distance: A switch’s travel distance is measured from the key’s top (which is unpressed) to the key’s bottom (when pressed all the way down.) The switch’s full bottoming-out point marks the travel distance’s end. it is also measured (mm).
Now that we are aware of these terms, let’s see the best keyboard switch for gaming!
Linear switches are great selections for gaming
The switch type of a keyboard impacts the feel and sound of it, hence it varies among the three switch types: clicky, linear, and tactile. Linear switches by far are the best switches for gaming purposes because they are consistent and slick. Each key press is quiet and without any bumps or clicks.
If you need to rapidly press a lot of keys, you won’t have to worry about the tactile bump distracting you or impairing switch actuation.
Moreover, the clicky sound of a switch might be highly annoying if you are chatting with pals in-game. A linear switch typically operates quietly and won’t bother anyone. Listed below are some of the top-ranked best keyboard switches for gaming.
1. Cherry MX Speed Silver
The Cherry MX Speed Silver is our top pick to start off the list. This switch’s shorter travel distance makes it ideal for gaming. It moves linearly to operate.
Owing to its linear actuation, each keystroke is extremely smooth and steady, hence eliminating any distracting tactile bump. For rapid actuation, to outperform the competition, the spring force is also quite low. The small 1.2 mm actuation distance is 40% shorter as compared to the typical distance. The only downside of the Cherry MX Speed Silver is that it’s a little more difficult to obtain and will usually cost you a little more to have it installed on your keyboard.
The Cherry MX Speed Silver keyboard has a very smooth, steady keystroke due to its linear actuation, and it doesn’t have any distracting tactile bumps. The small 1.2 mm actuation distance is 40% is also shorter than the typical distance.
However, there are a few downfalls to the Cherry MX Speed Silver keyboard switch. Firstly, they’re not as durable as other switches, meaning that they may not last as long. Secondly, they’re slightly more expensive than other switches, so if you’re on a tight budget it might be worth considering something else.
Also, many people think that the Speed switches are just for show and don’t genuinely increase reaction times. Although I tend to trust them, it might be worthwhile in theory to shorten your reaction time by a few milliseconds. Just be aware that typing on your keyboard may feel a little more unpleasant due to the shorter actuation distance.
2. Razer Red Optical
Each switch features its own stabilizer bar, which is a Razer hallmark so that each keystroke feels stable. With the introduction of the Razer Huntsman Mini, the switch was upgraded with a gen 2 design and re-released in the market. The Razer Optical Red Gen 2 has minor sound dampening to lessen the overall decibel output and lubricates the switches to let them activate more smoothly, making it better for gaming at night. This switch is the ideal option if all that matters to you is how quickly it actuates.
But the fact that it is only compatible with the Razer Huntsman keyboard range is a drawback.
Optical switches typically have a lifespan of more than 100 million keystrokes. However, optical switches frequently have a hollow, artificial feeling.
Because of this, we only suggest this switch to die-hard gamers. It is eventually rather painful to type because of the short actuation distance and terrible feel.
3. Kailh Speed Silver
The Kailh Speed Silver switch is another great option if you need a speed switch option.
This switch is a more reasonably priced replica of the Cherry MX Speed Silver design. The actuation distance is also reduced by the margin of 0.1 mm, which in theory makes this switch marginally faster.
But you may wonder what made its ranking lower than the Cherry MX Speed Silver’s ranking. The answer is that Kailh switches don’t have the same performance and durability guaranteed as the Cherry MX switches. Cherry switches undergo rigorous testing of durability inspection, which accounts for their long lifespan of 100 million keystrokes. Kailh switches usually have a lifespan of 50–60 million keystrokes. Kailh switches are rated lower as a result. However, the price of the Kailh Speed switches makes them a wonderful choice if you’re on a tight budget.
Kailh also offers alternative variations, such as the Speed Copper and Gold, if you desire a speed switch that isn’t linear.
4. Cherry MX Red
The greatest gaming switch option, with excellent build quality and longevity, is Cherry MX Red.
In addition, Cherry MX Red is a switch that may be utilized for a variety of purposes other than gaming.
According to the Cherry MX Red’s specifications, you might need to push a little harder to trigger the actuation and input reactions from this switch because the necessary travel distance is just about 2mm.
However, the Cherry MX Red switch is practically perfect because it only needs 45g of actuation force to work.
One of the most widely used linear switches, Cherry MX Red has exceptional quality and durability and can withstand up to 100 million keystrokes.
Did you know that professional gamers still frequently utilize Cherry MX Red linear switches to participate in major tournaments?
Today’s market offers a wide variety of switch options. However, there are several factors you should take into account while shopping for a switch for gaming, such as how rapidly the switch responds to each keypress you make. Additionally, a switch that is lighter or simpler to use will offer a better gaming experience.
You should use the speed switch if you often use a mechanical keyboard to play video games with serious concentration. However, speed switches have a few drawbacks, including their high price and scarce availability.
The Razer Optical Red and Cherry MX Speed Silver are the greatest gaming switch options now available on the market if you want the fastest and most powerful switches for gaming.