I’m going to be really honest…
I don’t understand why so many gamers & mechanical keyboard enthusiasts hate clicky switches (including Cherry MX Blue, etc, etc).
There might be a few reasons that clicky switches aren’t the best for gaming…
But the answer is more nuanced than that!
So. Are blue switches good for gaming?
It all comes down to personal preference–what type of sound and feel do you like? Many gamers do NOT recommend using blue (clicky) switches due to the tactile bump (which could slow down your keypresses a fraction of a second), as well as the click sound (which could be come annoying after long play sessions).
Still–if you prefer the sound & feel of clicky switches, then blue switches can absolutely be fine for gaming!
As a gamer and keyboard nerd (I own 12+ different sets of clicky switches!), I’d like to bust some clicky switch myths below!
I personally LOVE gaming on my Kailh Box Jade clicky switches 😉
Let’s get into it.
What Are Clicky Switches? (Including Blue)
Clicky switches are a sub-type of tactile switches. There’s the tiny bump during the keypress (that helps your fingers “feel” when the switch is activated), but with a small audible “click.”
Common clicky switch colors are:
- Blue (generally lighter actuation)
- Green (generally heavier)
But of course, there are TONS of different types of clicky switches.
PRO TIP: There Are Two Types of Clicky Switches
However, there are two different types of clicking mechanisms found in clicky switches, which makes a HUGE difference in the way they sound and feel.
- Click Jacket – these switches feature a tiny “jacket” on the switch stem that makes the click. Cherry MX Blues, MX Greens.
- Click Bar – these switches have a separate metal bar that gives a MUCH heavier, crunchier click when you press the key down AND when it releases back up. Kailh Box Switches have click bars, like the Box Jades, Box Pinks, etc.
While the click jacket switches (like Cherry MX Blues) are generally lighter and faster (good for gaming), the click sound is high-pitched and quite annoying)!
99% of the mechanical keyboard community prefers the click bar switches like the Box Jades. They sound and feel much better and aren’t quite as annoying.
Why Are Clicky Switches Bad for Gaming?
There are two huge reasons why most gamers AVOID clicky switches for gaming:
First, the tactile bump found in both tactile & clicky switches does provide additional resistance on the keypress.
This could make it difficult to register keystrokes in certain, fast key-spamming games!
The bump is an obstacle on your finger’s journey to press the key in–so that should make sense.
When you’re after speed and accuracy, a tactile switch is going to give you a disadvantage.
Although there are actually “speed tactile” and “speed clicky” switches made just for gaming–I’ll share my favorites below!
Then there’s the sound.
Generally speaking, clicky switches, including blues, are some of the loudest switches out there.
The tactile bump provides a bit more of a “clack” sound than smooth, linear switches–PLUS the additional click.
If you’re playing a game where you need to press keys rapidly, the higher-pitched click sound can get annoying, really fast.
And not only to you–but to anybody nearby (or if your mic isn’t muted your entire team).
The Bottom Line: If you absolutely need to have precision for fast games, you’ll want to avoid clicky switches. If you find the click sound annoying, avoid them as well. However, if you don’t mind the sound and don’t need every millisecond to count–you can certainly use blue switches for gaming!
What Switch Color Is Best for Gaming?
Most gamers prefer linear switches for gaming.
Linear switches do NOT have the tactile bump during the keypress, and do NOT have any additional click sound mechanism. The keypress on linear switches is generally much smoother, and a tiny bit faster.
They’re generally quieter than tactile or clicky switches as well.
Some of the more popular switch colors for gaming include:
- Cherry MX Reds – a classic, light linear switch
- Cherry MX Blacks – heavier but smooth
- Cherry MX Silver – a “speed switch” that is even lighter and faster
But that’s just the Cherry brand, there are hundreds of switches to choose from! Click here for our best linear switch recommendations.
What About “Speed Switches?”
You will also see “speed switches” available for gaming, like the Cherry MX Speed Silvers, or Akko Speed Silvers.
Speed switches usually have an extra short travel distance to activate, as well as a lighter spring.
And while speed switches might technically be a bit faster than other, normal linear switches (like reds), the difference is tiny!
You might be able to notice a difference, but maybe not.
The Best Clicky Switches for Gaming – Our Picks
If you want to give clicky switches a try for gaming, some are better than others!
In general, we recommend staying AWAY from the following “normal” clicky switches:
- Cherry MX Blues
- Cherry MX Greens
- Gateron Blue
- Gateron Green
- Kailh Blue
- Kailh Green
Those all have the “click jacket” mechanism and will sound higher-pitched.
We recommend either choosing a Kailh Box clicky switch (for the deeper, less annoying clicks), or a gaming clicky switch like the Kailh Speed Gold.
You can see more info on the Kailh Box switches here, but they are easily the most popular clicky switches!
Here are specific reviews:
Additionally, there are a few different “speed clicky switches” to choose from.
We really like the Kailh Speed Golds. (here’s our review)
The click sound is quite subtle and won’t get annoying, and the action is plenty fast and accurate (they have an actuation force of 50g, lighter than Cherry Blues or Greens).
They’re fun and accurate!
- These new speed switches are made with 3.5 millimeters of total travel with 1.1 - 1.4 millimeters of pre-travel.
- They also boast a 70 million lifetime click rating Cherry clear which is tactile switches
- Copper switches: Tactile, 40 g springs - 1.1mm +/- 0.3 mm in pre travel，Silver switches: Linear, 40 g springs - 1.1mm +/- 0.3 mm in pre travel
Linear vs Tactile vs Clicky Switches – an Overview
Just for reference, here’s a brief overview of the there broad types of mechanical switches:
- Linear: The simplest type. Pressing them is a straight, smooth path from the top to the bottom. There’s no tactile or auditory feedback when you press them, and they require the least amount of force to actuate.
- Tactile: These switches provide a tiny “bump” when you press them (generally around the actuation point). This “tactile feedback” helps your fingers feel when the key has actually been registered.
- Clicky: These are a sub-type of tactile switches. There’s the tiny bump, but with the addition of a small audible “click.” These are generally louder.
So which should you use?
Whichever sounds and feels the best to you, and that requires some testing!
I recommend purchasing a “switch tester kit” so you can quickly determine the different types and styles you might enjoy. It’s a good way to test a lot of switches without investing a ton of money or time.
|Griarrac Cherry MX Switch Tester 12-Key Mechanical Keyboard Sampler Switch Testing Tool with Keycap...||$39.99 $36.99||View on Amazon|
Clicky Switch F.A.Q.s
Are Cherry MX blue switches good for gaming?
Most gamers do NOT use clicky switches (like the Cherry MX Blues) for gaming. For one, the higher-pitched click noise might become annoying in many games, and the tactile bump might hurt your speed and accuracy in fast-past button-spamming games! However, technically speaking, you can absolutely use Cherry MX Blues for any keyboard, including for gaming! It all comes down to personal preference.
Do blue switches get annoying?
Clicky switches (including blue) might annoy some people, but not others. It depends on the sound you prefer from your mechanical keyboard (and also you hearing). Clicky switches are generally louder though, so even if you light the clicking noise, your keyboard might others nearby.