Clicky VS Linear VS Tactile Key Switches 2024

Clicky VS Linear VS Tactile Key Switches 2024

Why Choose Mechanical Keyboards Reading Clicky VS Linear VS Tactile Key Switches 2024 3 minutes Next How Keyboard Layouts Are Named

One of the greatest advantages of mechanical keyboards is the ability to choose or customize your switches and keycaps. Switches provide a unique tactile experience, while keycaps offer aesthetic diversity. Currently, the market offers a variety of key switches, such as red, blue, black, and yellow switches. These switches, represented by different colors, can be categorized into three main types: linear switches, tactile switches, and clicky switches. The primary distinction among these switches lies in their sound and tactile feedback. Tactile and clicky switches feature tactile bumps, whereas linear switches provide a smooth and rapid keystroke. Among these, clicky switches produce the loudest sound.

If you're interested in learning more about each switch type and selecting your preferred switch type or color, you've come to the right place! Tapelf will provide a detailed explanation of the various mechanical switch types for you.


Linear switches offer a straight downward motion; the key travels directly down without a noticeable actuation point. This type of switch is favored by many gamers due to its quick response time. Gamers seek immediate feedback when pressing a key. During typing, accidental brush-ons leading to errors are undesirable. Therefore, if your primary use for the keyboard is gaming, linear switches are the way to go. Linear switches are typically available in red and black colors.

Example: Gateron Red Switches - Tapelf


For users looking to balance typing and gaming experiences, tactile switches are the ideal choice. This type of switch, exemplified by the Gateron Yellow, provides a slight bump before registering the keystroke on the computer. The tactile feedback instills confidence in users, ensuring precise key presses without accidental inputs. Unlike clicky switches, tactile switches do not produce loud clicking sounds, making them suitable for various environments. Tactile switches are commonly found in yellow, brown, clear, or white colors.


Clicky switches, similar to tactile switches, feature a tactile bump but with an additional audible click sound. While some users find this feature satisfying, others may find it distracting or annoying, likening it to the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Personal preferences vary. Personally, I prefer Cherry MX blue switches for their clicky feel and sound, despite doing a lot of typing while working from home. However, it's essential to consider your environment, as the audible click of clicky switches may disturb coworkers in an office setting. Some offices even prohibit the use of clicky switches altogether.

Clicky switches are typically associated with blue or green colors.



The key differences between switch types can be understood through two primary factors: the tactile feel and travel distance. These factors are often denoted as actuation force (in grams) and travel distance (in millimeters). Additionally, it's essential to consider the brand-specific names of switches, as companies like Gateron, Cherry MX, Logitech, and Razer each offer their own switch variations. By examining these names and determining whether the switch is tactile, linear, or clicky, users can identify the differences based on actuation force, travel distance, and other minor factors.