Mechanical keyboards are definitely better for gaming though you need to make sure that you get the best type of the mechanical switch for your needs. Some time getting used to may also be required.
Looking for the perfect keyboard to complement your new high refresh rate monitor for the most responsive gaming experience? If you’re a competitive gamer, you know that every millisecond counts and you should know that the right keyboard can also give you the edge over your opponents.
Unlike the standard membrane keyboards with rubber domes that need to be pressed all the way down for the button to be registered, mechanical keyboards have specific switches which allow for quicker actuation, among other things.
Even though a mechanical keyboard is obviously better for gaming, you still need to get the fitting type of keyboard switch according to your gaming habits. There are many different mechanical keyboard switches and manufacturers, so we’ll break down the most popular ones.
Types of Mechanical Switches
|Switch||Type||Clicky||Actuation Force||Actuation Distance|
|Cherry MX Blue||Tactile||Yes||50g-60g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Green||Tactile||Yes||80g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Brown||Tactile||No||45g-55g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Black||Linear||No||40g-80g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Red||Linear||No||45g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Clear||Tactile||No||55g-65g||2mm|
|Cherry MX Speed (Silver)||Linear||No||45g||1.2mm|
The most widespread as well as the most affordable mechanical keyboards feature blue switches. Although their price may be tempting, you should avoid these for gaming as they require heavy actuation force; while they are great for typing in general, they’re not preferable for gaming.
Moving on to the Cherry MX Red and Black. These are linear switches meaning that you won’t feel the tactile bump which lets you know the key press has been registered. Instead, the actuation point and the release point are at the same position allowing for instant and rapid feedback – ideal for gaming.
The only difference between the two is that the MX Red is lighter than the MX Black. The Cherry MX Speed is also similar, but with shorter actuation distance allowing for the fastest response to your commands. Notice that Razer’s Yellow switch is their variant of the Cherry MX Speed while the Razer Orange and Green correspond to the MX Brown and MX Blue respectively.
The downside of these fast linear switches is that, as much as they are good for gaming, they are bad for everything else thus causing you to frequently misspell while typing. Unless you plan to mostly use your keyboard for gaming, we advise you avoid these as chances are, you aren’t going to like them.
The Cherry MX Brown, Razer Orange, and Romer-G tactile switches are the perfect middle-ground for the most as they offer balanced performance. The reset and the actuation points are close together while the keys are light allowing for a responsive gameplay as well as a very enjoyable typing experience.
For more information, visit our best keyboard for gaming buyer’s guide.