If you’re looking for a mechanical switch for gaming and have stumbled upon blue switches, you’ll hear many opinions such as:
“It’s all preference” or “the switch doesn’t matter” and “only speed switches are good”, and although there is some truth to those statements, there’s a bit more nuance to it.
Let’s dive right in.
Despite their popularity, blue switches are not ideal for gaming. The strong tactile bump on each keystroke can prevent you from pressing keys in rapid succession and results in less control in-game.
The loud clicky noises can also be distracting when chatting with your teammates. For those reasons, a linear switch is a better alternative for gaming.
We’ll explain in a bit more detail why blue switches are not the best option and breakdown what the best switch options are.
Blue Switches Are Not Good For Gaming: Here’s Why
If your attraction to mechanical keyboards started with the loud, satisfying click noises, you wouldn’t be the first. Blue switches are a perfect option to scratch that itch.
Unfortunately, blue switches don’t always make the best option for gamers, especially super-competitive ones.
For starters, blue switches are designed to have a large tactile bump followed by a loud audible click to give you feedback when a keystroke has registered.
The downside to the tactile bump is it makes pressing a key multiple times in rapid succession (button-mashing) a bit more difficult and muddy feeling.
Not to mention, the tactile bump can be distracting at times.
When you’re gaming, you want a clean and consistent actuation so you know your keys are getting registered the instant you press them.
With blue switches, chatting with friends and teammates can be a nightmare. We all have that one friend where we can hear every single click when they are typing. You don’t want to be that guy.
The loud nature of clicky switches are the last thing you want to hear when your talking to friends or attempting to listen for footsteps.
For that reason, you should stay away from all clicky switches, and not just blue switches. Most blue, green, white, and purple options should be avoided as they all actuate in a similar manner.
While blue switches don’t make the best option for gaming, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them.
If you play more casual style games or aren’t into the competitive scene, you don’t need to have the perfectly optimized keyboard and setup. For some games, the switches matter more than for other games.
For example, a game like Fortnite requires you to build walls and press keys very quickly, while a game like Call of Duty comes down to who can click their mouse faster.
What Switches Are The Best For Gaming?
Now that’ve we’ve broken down why we don’t think clicky switches are the best for gaming, let’s talk about what makes a good gaming switch.
For gaming, your best option is a linear switch.
For this reason, red, black, and yellow switches will be your best bet.
The smooth and consistent actuation means you’ll have more control when you want to press a key quickly. Not to mention, the keystrokes will be more reliable in any situation.
For gaming, linear is the best actuation type.
Let’s a take a closer look at linear switches and break down which ones are the best for gaming.
In the world of linear switches, there is a ton of different variety and options to look. Most keyboards have a red switch variation and is the most common option, but there are faster switches out there.
For starters, you could look at linear optical switches. Instead of actuating through metal plates touching, they actuate via light. This should save you milliseconds in-game.
Another option are speed switches, such as the Cherry MX Speed Silver. This switch has a shorter actuation distance, so you don’t need to press the key as far for it to register.
In theory, having a shorter distance means you should have a slight advantage over others.
There are many super-specialized switches that are optimized for the purpose of gaming, but if you just go with a linear switch over clicky, you’ll get 95% of the way there.
When you start to change the actuation type and lower the actuation distance, the switch becomes more and more uncomfortable to type with.
There are definitely tradeoffs to going with a switch optimized just for gaming. Ultimately, it’s up to what you value in your keyboard, an excellent typing experience or a faster gaming switch.
What Switches To Avoid For Competitive Gaming
As mentioned before, blue switches and clicky switches in general are not ideal for gaming. But to a less severe degree, tactile switches should be avoided.
Switches such as brown, clear, or orange switches have a tactile bump that can interfere with a smooth and consistent actuation. While this switch type is excellent for typing and can help avoid errors, for gaming they will just slow you down.
For gaming, linear is the best option. A switch with no tactile bump or clicking noises is ideal.
We recommend avoiding clicky and tactile switch options.
Other Related Articles
- The Best Switches For Gaming: Fastest On The Market
- Optical vs Mechanical Keyboards: Which is Better?
- Linear vs Clicky vs Tactile Switches: A Helpful Guide
While blue switches are highly popular amongst gamers and mechanical enthusiasts, they aren’t the best option for gaming.
The inconsistent actuation and loud noises they produce just aren’t the best for a highly competitive environment where every millisecond matters.
Instead, we highly recommend linear switches such as red, yellow, and black switches. If you want a highly specialized gaming switch, Cherry MX Speed Silver, Razer Optical Red, and the Corsair OPX switches are all great options as they can boost your reaction speed slightly.
It all depends on what functionality you want to get out of your keyboard and how fall down the gaming switch rabbit-hole you want to go.