Best Tactile Switches for Gaming

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If you enjoy receiving feedback from your keyboard when you type but do not want a loud noise every time you press a key, then tactile switches may be the thing for you.

Tactile switches make a beautiful clicky sound while remaining quiet enough that you do not wake the dead with every key press.

Keep reading below to see the best tactile gaming switches and why you should use them.

Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Switches. What’s the difference?

Before looking at the best tactile switches, it is important to understand the differences between the three different types of switches.

Most gaming keyboards are mechanical, meaning they have a switch underneath each key that activates when you press down.

The switch then sends a signal, activating the key, and that point where the switch registers the key press is called the actuation point. 

Mechanical keyboard switches for gaming usually come down to one of the following options:

The different switch types are explained below.

Do you know what specs differentiate a gaming laptop from a regular one?

Linear Switches or red switches (such as the well-known Cherry MX Reds) lack a tactile response when you press down on the key.

Instead, they allow you to press the key all the way down, creating a smoother typing experience, even though the switch registers the press about halfway down.

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Another benefit of these is that they are an almost completely silent switch type. 

Clicky Switches or blue switches (such as the well-known Cherry MX Blue switches) make an audible click every time you press down on a key.

Since you feel and hear when your keypress is registered, they are a great choice if you enjoy a faster and better typing/gaming experience. 

Tactile Switches or brown switches are in between linear and clicky switches. With every key press, you receive a tactile response that indicates that the switch has registered the press.

The key bounces back up before it hits bottom. This reduces the total travel distance and allows for a shorter actuation distance.

Because of this, tactile key switches are a great option for every type of usage.

Why Use Tactile Switches?

So, why should you use tactile switches for gaming?

Well, tactile switches are a perfect starting point if you are getting into using mechanical keyboards. They are enjoyable to use and provide a distinct tactile bump and audible feedback on each key press.

Still, they do not produce loud noises that could be a problem if you have a roommate or are out in public, making them a good choice for gaming and everyday use.

Going from a membrane keyboard straight to a linear or clicky switch keyboard can be a large change to get used to, but the tactile option sits perfectly right in the middle.

You can also purchase many different brands to choose the perfect amount of tactility you want in your keyboard.

Also, check out the best gaming mouse for butterfly clicking.

Good Tactile Switches

Now it is time to look at the best tactile switches available for gamers.

Whether you are completely new at using mechanical keyboards or a mechanical keyboard connoisseur, you will find your next set of tactile switches here.

Pro Tip 1: Most tactile switches come between 10 and 60 per pack, and the average keyboard has 107 keys. So, if you want to switch out each key’s switch, you will want to find the larger 60-pc packs to save money and time.

Pro Tip 2:

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The RunJRX Lube Station on Amazon.

The most affordable way to lube, change, and care for your mechanical keyboard switches is to buy a Lube Kit, such as the RunJRX Lube Station (link to Amazon.)

1. Cherry MX Brown Switches

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First up is the standard of tactile switches, the Cherry MX Brown.

While they are far from the most impressive of switches, the Cherry MX Browns are perfect for beginners and can often be found already installed on many keyboards. 

They are a great tactile switch if you’re on a tight budget.

They come with a travel distance of 4mm, which makes them feel natural and comfortable, and while the tactile feedback is not very strong, it is slightly more so than with a membrane keyboard.

Like most tactile switches, these are 3-pinned switches with an actuation force of 55g. 

In general, Cherry MX switches are known for being long-lasting, and their brown switches can last up to 100 million keystrokes, so you are unlikely to have to replace them any time soon after purchasing them. 

So if you are looking for a long-lasting set of switches that feel similar to a regular keyboard but give you many benefits of a mechanical keyboard, then get some Cherry MX brown switches.

Check the current price on Amazon.

2. Kailh Speed Copper Switches

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Next up are the Kailh Speed Copper switches, which, while they do not last nearly as long as Cherry MX switches with only 70 million keystrokes, are slightly faster. With a

0.5mm difference, the overall travel distance for the Kailh switches is 3.5mm compared to 4mm. They are 3-pinned switches and have an actuation force of 50g. 

However, you are unlikely to notice a difference unless you are an active competitive gamer, where even a millisecond can make a difference between a win or loss.

The tactile bump on these switches is also not nearly as pronounced, so if you enjoy the tactile feedback, you may want to go with a different set of switches. 

Overall, the Kailh Speed Copper switches are best for competitive gamers who need those few milliseconds of increased speed or those who enjoy a slightly lighter tactile switch.

If you are just a more casual gamer, though, you will be perfectly fine with any of the other switches on the list.

Check the current price on Amazon.

3. Glorious Panda Switches

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The Glorious Panda switches are currently some of the best tactile switches on the market, and that isn’t just the market hype that surrounded them when they first came out in 2020.

They produce a beautiful tactile sound that is both crisp and snappy, so if you enjoy that tactile feedback, these are the switches for you.

Like Cherry MX switches, Glorious Pandas have a 4mm travel distance, are 3-pinned, and have an actuation force of 67g, making them light and easy to use. 

On top of that, while purchasing pre-lubed switches is usually recommended, these come unlubed, which is better for this specific brand. 

You want to lube them yourself, so you can use your favorite brand of lube because even if you purchase the pre-lubed switches, you will still likely have to lube them. 

Overall, they are a fairly cheap set of switches that will not put a hole in your wallet and provide you with some of the best tactile feedback you can get.

Check the current price on Amazon.

4. Durock T1 Switches

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If you want some great all-around tactile switches, the Durock T1 switches are perfect for you.

They have a solid, heavy tactile bump and lack the snappy, crisp sounds some tactile switches can produce. 

Durock T1 switches are good for 60 million keystrokes on the lower end, but they will still last you a good while. They are 5-pinned, have a 4mm travel distance, and have an actuation force of 67g. 

I recommend lubing them after you get them, as that helps with the overall feel and helps them perform better.

They are also affordable, and you can get almost a full keyboard cheaper than other sets.

Check the current price on Amazon.

5. Halo Clear Switches

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Final on our list is the Halo Clear switches, which come with a slightly heavier tactile feel, which can get tiring if you are gaming for long periods at a time.

This is because their bottom-out force is 78g while the actuation force is 65g, putting them on the heavier side of tactile switches and the heaviest on this list. 

They come with a lifespan of 80 million keystrokes, which puts them right in the middle of most tactile switch lifespans and a travel distance of 4mm. Like other tactile switches, they are 3-pinned. 

One of the best features of these switches is that they come with a pre-loaded spring which has a tactile bump at the start of your keystroke compared to towards the middle/end.

So you can rest your fingers on the keys without activating the switches, saving time and energy. 

Overall, these are perfect if you want a slightly heavier feel to your keystrokes while not sacrificing the speed and efficiency that comes with mechanical keyboards.

Check the current price on Amazon.

Mechanical Vs. Regular Keyboards

If you already have a mechanical keyboard, it makes perfect sense to spend time choosing between switches, but what if you have a regular keyboard?

Should you make the switch over to a mechanical keyboard? How do you know that a mechanical keyboard is right for you and your needs?

The best gaming keyboards have mechanical switches under each key, sending a signal to the keyboard when pressed.

Regular keyboards have a membrane, hence the name membrane keyboard, that accomplishes the same function. 

Those physical switches improve the keyboard’s lifespan and make them faster, feel better, and produce more accurate keystrokes.

On the other hand, regular keyboards with their membrane keys can feel kind of shaky and do not stand up to long periods of high usage.

So, if you plan on gaming a lot and thumping away on those keys for hours each day, you need to get a mechanical keyboard.

If you are only using your keyboard for basic usage, maybe the occasional gaming, then a regular keyboard will be fine since they are a lot cheaper than mechanical keyboards. 

Conclusion

Many options are available for keyboard enthusiasts looking for new switches for their gaming keyboards.

Getting the best tactile switches for your gaming needs is an important step for any gamer and is something you should consider doing if you have not already.

Ultimately, the switch and keyboard type you should use for gaming come down to personal preference and how much money you want to spend.

I hope you found this article useful so you can make an informed decision at whatever price point you have in mind.

If you found this article helpful, check out my other articles, like this one on choosing the best linear switches for gaming. Until next time, happy gaming!