A Detailed Comparison between Tactile vs. Linear vs. Clicky Switches 2023

If you like using a computer for work or playing games, it is best to use it with a keyboard. Different types of keyboards are available in the market nowadays. Recently there has been immense hype for mechanical keyboards.

If you want a mechanical keyboard and want to jump on the bandwagon, you must have detailed information about them. In this article, we will mention a detailed comparison between tactile vs linear vs clicky so that you can find the best one for yourself.

Tactile vs. Linear vs. Clicky Switches

I. Tactile Switches

The first type of switch we will discuss is the tactile switch. These are the types of switches that are focused on producing the tactile bump. Following are the main characters of the tactile buttons.

common tactile switches

1. Bump Feeling

The tactile switches are the one that allows you to feel the satisfaction of pressing the keys. They offer a bump that makes it feel like you are working on a keyboard.

2. Quiet Operation

Even though these switches are bumpy, they are also quiet. You don’t have to listen to the annoying rattling while pressing the keyboard switches.

3. Popular Tactile Switches Models

Mentioned below are the two famous examples of tactile switches.

The Cherry MX Brown has prominent tactile bumps and gives users prominent feedback while using the keys.

  • Zealios V2

Zealios V2 is also a fantastic option for people who want good feedback. They have pre-travel bumps that make pressing and using them while typing fun.

4. Pros and Cons

Following are the pros and cons of the tactile switches.


  • You get high mechanical feedback through the tactile switches.
  • They have low-profile sound
  • High reliability of the switches.


  • There is an increase in material that increases the assembly cost.
  • They are less durable than other switches.

5. Ideal Use Cases


Opting for tactile switches is a good option if you like typing and working in an office. They are quiet and make it easy to work in an office environment.


The tactile switches offer satisfying bumps that make them ideal for gamers. Many people enjoy the feedback while playing games which means they are a good option.

II. Linear Switches

As the name suggests, linear switches go straight down the line. This allows the users to have a sleek look on the keyboard.

common linear switches

1. Smooth Keystroke

The linear switches offer a smooth and consistent response. You will only feel the keys when they are touching the bottom.

2. No Tactile Feedback

The linear witches do not offer the actuation when you press the keys. Hence, there is no feedback while pressing the keys.

3. Popular Linear Switches Models

Mentioned below are two of the most popular model for linear switches.

Cherry MX Red are suitable linear switches that offer quiet clicks. They have an actuation force of 45g and 75g of bottom-up pressure.

  • Gateron Yellow

If you don’t like very soft linear switches, opting for the Gateron Yellow switches might be a good option. They offer slightly stronger feedback that makes it suitable during use.

4. Pros and Cons

Mentioned below are the pros and cons of linear switches:


  • They offer a soft keyboard.
  • They have less noise as compared to other switches.
  • Linear switches also have quicker inputs.


  • Many users may find it annoying when the buttons are touching the bottom.
  • Sometimes the keys might hurt the fingers.

5. Ideal Use Cases

Silent Work Environments:

One of the most prominent features of linear switches is that you get no clicking sound. Hence these are great for people who are working in quiet work environments.

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Fast-paced Gaming:

If you like smooth and soft switches while gaming, linear provides smooth working. Since they have significantly less force, you can use them for fast gaming.

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  • Translucent Black Crystal Design
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  • Unparalleled Wireless Freedom
  • Fully Transparent Ultra-quiet MX Jellyfish Switch

III. Clicky Switches

If you are looking for a keyboard on top of the mechanical switches, the clicky buttons are the best for you. As the name suggests, these switches produce the most prominent click sound.

common clicky switches

1. Tactile Feedback with an Audible Click

These keys offer the most prominent click. You get the most amazing and smooth feedback by using these keys.

2. Loud Operation

Clicky switches are true to their name and produce the loudest noise while typing.

3. Popular Clicky Switches Models

Below are the two popular clicky switches model that is frequently used throughout the world.

  • Cherry MX Blue

This keyboard has a prominent pre-travel distance, and you get a smooth switch.

  • Razer Green

Individuals who like to hear and feel every click on their keys should get the Razer Green keyboard. They have tactile bumps and distinct clicking sounds.

4. Pros and Cons

Following are the prominent pros and cons of clicky switches.


  • These switches are designed to produce the most audible clicks.
  • You get the most feedback while actuation of the keys.


  • The loud noise can be annoying,
  • Not the best for gaming.

5. Ideal Use Cases

Typing Enthusiasts:

The clicky switches are loud and offer a tremendous tactile bump. This is amazing for typing enthusiasts as the sound ensures you press the keys and type correctly.

Non-silent Environments:

Because of the prominent clicks, these switches are used in a non-silent environment. So if you work from home, you can use this keyboard.

IV. Comparison: Tactile vs. Linear vs. Clicky Switches

Below is a detailed comparison between the three commonly used switches to find the right one for yourself.

A. Tactile vs. Linear Switches

1. Sound and Feel


The tactile switches are not as loud as the other switches. They are great for people who work in silent work environments or don’t want to attract people n public areas. With these, you can also enjoy the feedback while using the keys.


They are smooth as butter and feel very smooth while typing. They are also not very loud. However, they can be a little louder than tactile switches.

2. Actuation Point and Force


They have an excellent actuation point, meaning you will get decent feedback while typing through these switches. You don’t need to apply much force when using the tactile buttons.


The linear switches are also easy to use, requiring less force while typing on them. They offer good actuation points and make it fun for the users.

3. Bottom-out Force


The tactile switches do not have a lot of bottom-out force.


The linear keys touch the bottom often and have a prominent bottom-out force.

4. Suitability for Typing and Gaming


The tactile switches are great for both typing and gaming purposes. Hence this is an all-rounder.


Linear switches can be used for both gaming and typing. However, it is seen that they are the best choice for gamers because of the smooth actuation.

B. Clicky vs. Tactile Switches

1. Sound and Feel


Tactile is the quiet switch among all the others. They are ideal for people who don’t want to hear annoying clicking.


The clicky switches are the loudest among all. They produce a lot of sounds while they are used.

2. Actuation Point and Force


There is a lot of force needed to use the tactile switches.


The actuation force of clicky switches is more than others. You need a lot of force to use these switches.

3. Bottom-up force


They have very few bottom-up forces. This means they do not touch the bottom while you are typing.


The same thing goes for the clicky switches. The clicky buttons do not touch the bottom; hence easy and smooth to use.

4. Suitability for Typing and Gaming


Tactile switches are excellent for both typing work and gaming users.


You can use it for typing if you work in a personal space. Otherwise, they are suitable for gaming purposes.

C. Linear vs. Clicky Switches

1. Sound and Feel


The linear switches are not very loud. They can be used in silent environments as they do not have annoying rattling sounds. These keys also feel very smooth while typing.


The clicky switches can be very loud. They are also bumpy and have feedback while using.

2. Actuation Point and Force


They have an actuation point, meaning you can feel the feedback while using them. They have an actuation force of 45g, which is good compared to other keys. Furthermore, they are smooth to use; therefore, little power is needed to press the buttons.


They have prominent actuation points and need force to push them properly.

3. Bottom-out forces


The linear switches touch the bottom while you are typing on them. Therefore, they have more bottom-up forces as compared to the others.


Clicky switches do not have any bottom-up forces, making them smooth to use.

4. Suitability for Typing and Gaming


The linear switches are better for gaming purposes as compared to typing.


Clicky is mainly used for typing because of its satisfying sound.


This article is packed with information about tactile vs linear vs clicky switches. When you are choosing the controls for yourself, you should learn about the different aspects of the buttons and how they work. This will give you a better idea of which is good for you according to your preferences.

It is also advised to test out the switches before getting yourself one. This will ensure you have the best one for yourself and you are using your money effectively.

FAQs about mechanical keyboard switches

Q: What do different colors of switches represent?

A: Different colors of mechanical keyboard switches represent different feels and sounds. Common mechanical keyboard axes are as follows:

  • Blue switch: It is a tactile switch with a strong mechanical feel and a clicky sound. It has a crisp touch and is suitable for typing, but it is noisy.
  • Black switch: It is a linear switch with a fast response and rebound. It is suitable for playing games, but it has a high actuation force and can be tiring for long-term use.
  • Red switch: It is a linear switch similar to the black switch but with a lower actuation force. It has a light touch and is suitable for typing and playing games.
  • Brown switch: It is a tactile switch between the blue switch and the black switch. It has a slightly mechanical feel and noise. It is balanced and versatile, suitable for beginners.
  • Silver switch: It is a linear switch similar to the red switch but with a shorter actuation point. It only needs 1.2 millimeters to trigger, and it is very sensitive. It is suitable for high-speed typing and playing games.

Q: Is it possible for me to switch my switches?

A: To change the shaft, first make sure your keyboard supports hot swapping. If your keyboard supports hot swapping, changing the shaft requires only a key puller and a switch puller. You cannot change the shaft if your mechanical keyboard does not support hot swapping.

Q: Which mechanical keyboard switch is best for gaming?

A: The question of which mechanical keyboard switch is best for gaming does not have a fixed answer. Different switches have different feels and characteristics that are suitable for different users and game types. Generally speaking, silver switches are recognized as the most suitable switch for gaming because, in the fast-paced gaming scene, victory or defeat often comes down to a split second. Silver switches have a short trigger key travel distance and fast response speed, which can bring an immersive experience to gaming.

However, this does not mean that other switches are not suitable for gaming. Black switches are recognized as the first choice for gaming mechanical keyboards and can also be used for typing. They do not have a tactile bump but require more force to press than other switches, which can be tiring after long periods of typing.

In short, what switch you use for gaming mechanical keyboards still depends on your own preferences and needs. I suggest you try different switches before making a decision.

Q: Which mechanical keyboard switch is best for typing?

A: The most suitable mechanical keyboard switch for typing varies from person to person and there is no fixed answer. However, among the four main types of switches, the red and brown switches have the lightest operating pressure. The red switch has no tactile feedback and is suitable for long periods of typing but is prone to accidental presses. The brown switch has tactile feedback and is suitable for both typing and gaming. It is recommended that you try different switches before choosing one based on your preferences and needs

Q: What mechanical keyboard switches are best?

A: There is no definitive answer to which mechanical keyboard switch is the best as it varies from person to person. It is recommended that you try different switches before choosing one based on your preferences and needs. Some popular switches include red, brown, blue, and black switches, each with its own unique characteristics.