Best Switches For Gaming

Best Switches For Gaming in 2022

One of the advantages of a mechanical keyboard is that it can provide a more enjoyable and satisfying gaming experience compared to other types of keyboards, including for gaming. The mechanical keyboard provides convenience for you to change switches according to your needs. Did you know that the type of switches used on a mechanical keyboard can have a very significant impact when you use them in playing games.

To get the best performance when playing games using a mechanical keyboard, make sure you use the right switches that are designed to provide the best gaming experience. Currently, there are so many manufacturers that make gaming switches for mechanical keyboards that you can easily get on the market. If you are still confused about which switches are the best for you to use on your mechanical keyboard, we will provide recommendations and explain some of the best switches for gaming on the market today. Let’s get started!!

#1. Razer Red Optical

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force40g
Bottom-Out Force65g
Actuation Distance1.0mm
Travel Distance3.5mm

The Razer Optical Red switch is the most popular gaming switch known to be very fast and responsive when playing games. Because the Razer Optical Red switch is an optical switch which uses the infrared method for each actuation, you can very easily get instant actuation without having to press the button deeply.

One of the factors that makes the Razer Optical Red switch feel so great for gaming is that Razer has always used their special stabilizer for all of their mechanical keyboard products that maximizes the smoothness and speed of actuation of the Razer Optical Red switch on their mechanical keyboard.

The second generation Razer Optical Red switch, which was released a few years ago, also gets quite an impressive improvement in the smoothness and quiet typing sound that can be produced. One of the mechanical keyboard products from Razer that use the Razer Optical Red Switch Gen 2 is the Razer Huntsman V2 and Razer Huntsman Mini. These two keyboards have been widely used by professional gamers to compete.

The Razer Optical Red switch is an optical switch that is definitely faster than a regular mechanical switch. The advantage of an optical switch is the speed of sending input because the actuation distance required is very short and can provide a very fast reaction.

The Razer Optical Red switch has also been proven to last up to 100 million keystrokes.

The drawback of the Razer Optical Red switch and other optical switches is that typing feels unnatural, unlike mechanical switches that can provide tactile typing feedback.

However, for casual use or regular typing using the Razer Optical Red switch, it can be a little tricky because the actuation is too fast, you have the potential to experience typing errors quite often so it will feel uncomfortable.

If you are interested in having a Razer Optical Red switch as a switch for your gaming, you can find Razer Optical Red switches on all Razer mechanical keyboard products.

#2. OmniPoint Adjustable Switches By SteelSeries

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force40g
Bottom-Out Force65g
Actuation DistanceAdjustable from 0.6mm to 1.0mm
Travel DistanceAdjustable from 0.4mm to 3.6mm

You can only have OmniPoint Adjustable Switches by purchasing a mechanical keyboard from SteelSeries such as the SteelSeries Apex Pro and SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL.

One of the features that make the OmniPoint Adjustable Switches one of the best switches for gaming is that you can adjust the actuation distance and reaction speed of these switches using software from SteelSeries.

For some popular games such as CSGO, Apex Legend, and Valorant that require fast actuation and instant reactions, OmniPoint Adjustable Switches can easily provide the actuation you need. You can also adjust the actuation of OmniPoint Adjustable Switches with other types of games such as Dota 2 and other MOBA games.

Besides being able to provide very fast actuation because you can adjust the travel distance of up to 1mm on this switch, OmniPoint Adjustable Switches are also known as very smooth switches. OmniPoint Adjustable Switches are linear switches that can provide a smooth typing experience and produce a quiet sound that is perfect for gaming.

For build quality and durability, OmniPoint Adjustable Switches have also been tested to last up to more than 100 million keystrokes. Currently, mechanical keyboard products from SteelSeries that use OmniPoint Adjustable Switches have been widely used by professional gamers and streamers to play their games.

OmniPoint Adjustable Switches is one of the most worthy gaming mechanical switches for you to have because it has features that allow you to adjust the switch response speed according to your wishes and according to what game you are playing.

#3. Cherry MX Speed Silver

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force45g
Bottom-Out Force80g
Actuation Distance1.2mm
Travel Distance3.4mm

If you want to use the best mechanical switches that can provide a very great gaming experience, are precise, accurate, lightweight, and have very short travel distances, Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver is the mechanical switch option you should choose.

Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver has a short travel distance of 1.2mm, which means this switch can react very quickly when you press it. Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver can provide extremely fast and instant actuation which is perfect for gaming.

Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver is specifically designed to provide a great gaming experience. Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver can provide a smooth typing experience, soft feedback, and the resulting typing sound is quite smooth.

Of all the speed switches on the market today, the Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver is arguably the best in terms of the typing feel, quality and durability it provides. Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver has proven durability to last up to 100 million keystrokes.

Some popular mechanical keyboard products that use Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver as their default switches include the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT, Durgod Taurus K320 TKL, and Corsair K100 RGB.

If you want mechanical gaming switches that can provide fast actuation and instant reaction, the Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver is a choice you won’t regret.

#4. Kailh Speed Silver

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force40g
Bottom-Out Force70g
Actuation Distance1.1mm
Travel Distance3.5mm

Kailh Speed ​​Silver is basically a clone of Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver which has the same design. But there is a slight difference in the usage experience. Kailh Speed ​​Silver has a slightly closer actuation distance of around 0.1mm which makes Kailh Speed ​​Silver slightly faster than Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver.

Kailh Speed ​​Silver doesn’t have as good build quality and durability as Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver which is a premium speed switch, but Kailh Speed ​​Silver is an affordable budget option with a typing experience that is very similar to Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver. At a lower price than Cherry MX Speed ​​Silver, Kailh Speed ​​Silver can provide the same typing and gaming experience even slightly faster for its actuation speed.

Kailh Speed ​​Silver has a fairly good buyild quality and has a fairly decent durability that can last up to 50 million to 60 million keystrokes.

If you’re looking for a reasonably decent quality Speed ​​Switch that can provide a typing experience like the Cherry MX Speed ​​Switch, the Kailh Speed ​​Silver is a really great option because you can have it for a much lower price.

#5. Cherry MX Red

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force45g
Bottom-Out Force65g
Actuation Distance2.0mm
Travel Distance4.0mm

Cherry MX Red is the best gaming switch option that has great build quality and durability. In addition, Cherry MX Red is also a switch that can be used for your various needs other than playing games.

Based on the specifications of the Cherry MX Red, you may have to press a little deeper to get the actuation and input reactions from this switch because the required travel distance is around 2mm. But the Cherry MX Red only requires 45g of actuation force to operate so it’s a pretty ideal switch.

Cherry MX Red is one of the most popular linear switches with great quality and durability that can last up to 100 million keystrokes.

Did you know, Cherry MX Red is also one of the linear switches that are still widely used by professional gamers to compete in big tournaments.

Some popular mechanical gaming keyboards that use Cherry MX Red such as the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 and CORSAIR – K68 RGB are cherry mx red gaming keyboards that are very popular in the market.

#6. Gateron Yellow

TypeLinear
Feel/SoundSmooth and Quiet
Actuation Force50g
Bottom-Out Force80g
Actuation Distance2.0mm
Travel Distance4.0mm

Why Gateron Yellow? Why didn’t I put Gateron Red or Gateron Black on this list. Yes, because based on my personal experience, I have used these three switches to play games, and I can confirm that Gateron Yellow can provide a greater gaming experience than Gateron Red and Gateron Black.

Gateron Red in my opinion is too smooth and light to operate and Gateron Black in my opinion is too heavy to operate, especially for playing games. Gateron Yellow is in the middle between Gateron Red and Gateron Black in terms of actuation speed and for operation.

Gateron Yellow requires about 50g of actuation force to operate which for a switch this delicate is the ideal weight for gaming. Gateron Yellow is also quite light and feels responsive in providing action when used to play games.

If you want a lightweight and smooth Linear Switch that can provide a great gaming experience, Gateron Yellow is one great option you should consider. Apart from that, Gateron Yellow is also an affordable option if you think Cherry MX Red is too expensive.

Does the Switch Matter for Gaming?

Of course, the selection of switches is an important factor if you are using your mechanical keyboard for gaming. The more responsive a switch is, the faster you will get actuation and input reactions when playing games.

By using switches that can react more quickly, you don’t need too much effort to press your keyboard keys.

For example, the comparison between Razer Optical Red and Cherry MX Red when used to play games. I can guarantee that the Razer Optical Red can provide a faster reaction and a more precise gaming experience because it has a shorter actuation distance and with a shorter actuation distance you can save energy in every keystroke of your keyboard.

This means, the selection of switches is one of the important factors for the mechanical keyboard used for gaming.

Why Linear Switches Are The Best for Gaming?

Did you realize, among all the switch recommendations above, they are all linear switches. Why is linear switch the best option for gaming?

Some of the things that make linear switches the best option for gaming is that they are smooth and very easy to operate. Light operation and smooth feedback make linear switches a pleasure to play with.

In addition to being smooth and light in operation, the linear switch can also produce a quiet typing sound so you can focus more on playing games without being disturbed by the sound of typing “Thick or Thock”.

Due to its smoothness and light weight operation, linear switches always achieve fast reaction and fast actuation for gaming.

When compared to Tactile and Clicky type switches, Linear switches are the best types of switches that can provide a great experience for playing games.

Are Shorter Actuation Distances Better For Gaming?

Of course, one of the selling points of gaming switches is that they have a short actuation range which means you don’t need to put much effort into pressing the switch to get the reaction and actuation so optical switches and speed switches are great choices for gaming.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the shorter the actuation distance a switch has, the more fun it will be to play games.

The shorter actuation distance can make the switch faster and more responsive in reacting so that you can easily get actuation at every keystroke.

Breaking Down the Different Switch Terms

There are some technically basic terms on switches that you may not know. In the table below is a complete explanation:

Actuation Type This indicates the behavior of the key and whether it is linear, tactile, or clicky. Whether the keystroke is smooth, bumpy, or loud will determine its classification.
Actuation ForceThis refers to the force required to make the key press down and register the keystroke to the computer. I.e.: how hard you must press the key. This measurement of (g) refers to grams.
Actuation DistanceThis indicates at which point the switch is pressed down hard enough to translate information from keyboard to computer. Most switches will have an actuation point of around 2mm unless the switch is low-profile or speed, in which case the activation point is shorter. This pressure point is measured in millimeters (mm).
Travel DistanceThe travel distance of a switch is the distance from the top of the key (un-pressed) to the bottom of the key (when pressed all the way down.) The point at which the switch is fully bottomed out is the end of the travel distance. It is also measured in millimeters (mm).
LifespanThis refers to the number of keystrokes that can be made before the switch deviates from its factory conditions. Most switches will actually last longer than the lifespan, and many prefer the feel of a well-used switch to a brand new one. A well-used switch will often have a less scratchy feel and will have a better sound.
Different Switch Terms

Conclusion

There are many switch options on the market today. But if you are looking for a switch for gaming then there are a few things you should consider such as how quickly the switch reacts to each key press you make. In addition, the easier a switch to operate or lighter will provide a better gaming experience.

If you are someone who uses a mechanical keyboard to play games intensely every day, then you are the right person to use the speed switch. But the disadvantages of speed switches are that they are quite expensive and their availability is quite limited.

If you want the fastest and most powerful switches for gaming, the Razer Optical Red, OmniPoint Adjustable Switches By SteelSeries, and Cherry MX Speed Silver are the 3 best gaming switch options on the market today.