For serious gamers, every millisecond counts. That’s why picking the correct gaming gear, including your keyboard, is vital. With so many switch kinds, choosing can take a lot of work.
In recent years Tactile switches have become very popular. When you press a tactile switch, it gives you feedback. This gives players a better sense of touch and makes them more accurate. But are tactile switches good for gaming?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of tactile switches for games and help you decide if they’re right. So, if you want to learn more about tactile buttons and how they affect how well you play games, keep reading.
What are Mechanical Keyboard Switches?
Most people think mechanical keyboard switches are better than rubber caps usually found on keyboards. Rubber dome or “membrane” keyboard keys push a rubber membrane down to connect it to another membrane, which records a key press. Because of this rubber membrane system, these keys tend to feel soft.
Mechanical keyboards don’t have screens. Instead, they have switches. A plastic stem moves a spring down when a key is pressed. At some time, the stem slides far enough that two metal strips come into contact, registering the key press. Because of this, these keys tend to feel less soft than membrane ones.
There are many mechanical switches, but almost all work this way, with only a few variations. Different kinds of keyboard switches vary in how hard you push them down if you feel a bump when you press a key, and so on.
What are Tactile Switches?
When the keystroke actuates registers, a bump in the middle of the keypress is felt. They’re dubbed ‘tactile’ because you can feel when the keypress registers, which means you don’t always need to switch the key out to know it’s registered—you may move on to the next keypress as soon as you feel the bump.
Tactile switches, on the other hand, are not ‘clicky’ switches because the bump is purely tactile and not auditory. The tactile bump on clicky switches like Cherry MX Blues is audible, so you get an audio click from the switch bump and an auditory clack when the essential bottoms out.
Tactile switches, like linear and clicky switches, exist in a variety of styles and from a variety of manufacturers. In terms of actuation force and feel, they can differ.
Tactile Switch Specifications Comparison
|Aspects||Cherry MX Brown||Cherry MX Clear||Gateron Brown||Kailh Brown||Kailh Speed Copper|
There are more tactile switches than these, but these are most likely the most common.
Brown switches are the typical tactile mechanical switch, with actuation force and essential travel set to the middle of the road’. Alternatives are usually characterized solely by their speed.
Are Tactile Switches Good For Gaming?
Even though the switch choice is a matter of personal taste, most gamers prefer linear switches over tactile ones.
Linear changes like Reds, Blacks, and Silvers are smooth and consistent. Many gamers think this makes repeatedly switching between duplicate keys (like WASD) easier and faster. People believe getting a bump every time you press the W key slows down or frustrates the game.
But a tactile bump feels less suitable for gamers than a straight keypress. What often has a bigger effect is the force and distance, or “speed,” with which the switch is pressed. If a tactile switch needs less force to be pressed than a linear switch, games on the tactile switch will feel more responsive and put less strain on your fingers.
This is why most gamers choose straight switches like Cherry MX Red switches that don’t need much force to be pressed. These switches are quick and smooth, which makes games more comfortable.
But keep in mind that this depends on the games you play. For real-time strategy (RTS) gamers, like those who play StarCraft 2, like Because they do not have to hold down the same keys for long periods of time, tactile switches are preferred. Instead, they quickly press a variety of keys.
In games like these, where many keys are pressed just once and then quickly followed by others, the physical bump is a sure sign that a keypress was recorded. In these games, hitting the buttons is more like typing than in FPS games, and tactile switches are often thought to be better for typing.
Then What Is The Difference Between Linear And Tactile Switches?
The biggest difference between linear and tactile switches is that tactile switches are much quieter and linear switches are smoother. So let’s get started with this head-to-head comparison and look for more differences between these two types of switches.
People like tactile switches because they are both tactile and straight. Because of this, it’s harder to know which type of switch is best for you. Before picking a switch, most people use a switch tester. This tester lets them find the best choice before making a final choice. If you want to buy the right switch for your keyboard, this tool could be a big help.
|Features||Linear Switches||Tactile Switches|
|Feel of keystrokes||Consistent and smooth||A bit bumpy|
|Tactical feedback||None||Yes (tactile bump)|
|Sound||Quiet to loud||Quiet to medium|
|Actuation force||45 g||45 g|
|Overall travel distance||4mm||4mm|
Point Of Action
An activation point shows how far a key has to be pressed for it to be recognized. And the force for activation is how hard you have to push on the key to make it work. The reaction will be faster if the actuation point and force are low. The action point is usually right in the middle, depending on how hard you hit.
If you want a better switch for games, think about how it works. But on average, the trigger points and forces for both tactile and linear are about the same. So you will get the same answers from both of them and have to push down on the key to make it work.
Distance To Travel
The travel distance of the switch is measured in millimeters when you push and release it, and the keystroke is registered. Your typing style and technique are essential to perform something quickly. Both switches have a 4mm travel distance.
It will be a complete joy if you choose a quiet tactile switch. This is especially true if you want to reduce noise levels. It’s a significant advantage they have over their linear counterparts. Furthermore, their sound levels range from quiet to medium.
A linear switch might be quite loud, depending on the manufacturer. Various manufacturers have various sound levels. Gamers prefer tactile bumps over sounds, especially when conversing with other players while playing.
Linear switches are generally more visible; you don’t have to press the key down. Tactile switches, on the other hand, have a bump and must be pushed down. Linear switches are too smooth to use, making them more pleasant.
RGB or multi-shaded backlight illumination is now available in a variety of keyboards. Almost all mechanical keyboards support this capability. However, some may have improved their highlights. This RGB option is available in both switch types.
Spending money on these switches will be an excellent long-term investment for you. The higher the price, the higher the quality. Your switches will last longer and provide better value for money.
Original Cherry MX switches are usually a fantastic choice because they are highly durable. The clones could be better. Cherry MX also has a 100-million-stroke warranty.
Another essential aspect is spring force, which aids in relocating the keys immediately after pressing them. As a result, the optimal switch should match the typing force with a strong spring force.
Furthermore, your general typing or gaming experience will improve because your fingertips will encounter less resistance. Both typists and gamers benefit from a lighter spring force.
Consider whether the switch is heavy, medium, or light. As a result, your kayak will be more stable during gaming or typing. Linear choices have a lighter feel in this case, whereas tactile switches are generally medium to heavy.
How to Replace Hot Swap Mechanical Switches
Are Tactile Switches Good ForTyping
For typing, tactile switches are frequently favored over linear ones.
Tactile switches, such as Browns and Clears, provide a perfect keystroke experience for typing since the tactile bump partway down the keypress easily indicates that the key has registered.
If you’re playing FPS games, you don’t need to know that your key has been recorded instantly because you’re not tapping and releasing that key as quickly as possible.
When typing, however, a tactile switch allows you to proceed to the following key as soon as you feel the bump. You don’t have to wait for the key to be depressed before proceeding; you can move as quickly as the keypress registers. This allows you to boost your typing speed.
This is also useful in some games. RTS players typically benefit from moving on to the following key when it registers. Therefore, tactile ones are also preferable for these games.
Is It Better To Use Linear Or Tactile Switches?
After purchasing a mechanical keyboard, the next step is to choose which sort of switch you want.
You’ll want a linear or tactile switch if you don’t want a loud, clicky switch. When a key is pressed, there is a bump in the middle of a tactile switch, but there is no bump in a linear switch.
The Red switch is the conventional linear switch from Cherry, Gateron, or Kailh, requiring a relatively modest actuation force. However, you have alternative options if you want a harder or lighter keypress.
The standard tactile switch from Cherry, Gateron, or Kailh is the Brown switch, which requires a modest actuation force. There are more options if you prefer something heavier or lighter.
While it ultimately comes down to personal opinion, most gamers favor linear mechanical switches such as the Cherry MX Reds. These switches allow for a smooth keystroke because they lack a tactile hump that could slow down speedy reactions.
Most people like tactile switches, such as Cherry MX Browns, for typing. These switches are useful for fast moving on to the next key after you’ve felt the bump that indicates the key has been registered. As a result, they’re also suitable for RTS games and other games that necessitate typing-like speed.
If you play shooter games or games that don’t require a lot of quick key presses in a row, you’ll probably prefer linear switches. However, if you play games that require a lot of fast keypresses or type a lot, you’ll prefer tactile ones.
However, there are no hard and fast rules; some typists favor linear switches, while some FPS players prefer tactile ones. If possible, test out a few different switches before making a purchase. If you cannot access keyboards with different switches, you can purchase a key switch tester online, which contains one of each type of key switch on a single board.
Both linear and tactile switches have advantages and disadvantages. Linear switches are preferred for their smoothness and consistency, whereas tactile switches are selected for the tactile feedback they provide.
It is entirely up to you to select the best option. Some users claim that tactile switches reduce typing speed owing to feedback, while others claim they are ideal for typing. Similarly, some users claim that linear switches are preferable for typing. In contrast, others argue that they generate noise and annoy people nearby.