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Which mechanical keyboard switch is best for gaming?

Don’t let your keyboard be the reason you lose.

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Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

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If you’ve done any competitive gaming, you probably know that good peripherals can make or break your game. While they won’t make up for skill, they will at least give you the chance to increase your skill level by starting with the same tools that the pros use.

For PC gaming, that means a decent mouse, a mechanical keyboard, and a high refresh rate monitor. With all of the mechanical keyboards now on the market, how do you know which one is going to be the best one for your gaming?

Well, part of it will be down to personal preference, as choosing a mechanical keyboard is a bit like choosing shoes, you’ll know when it fits. Here are a few pointers to help choose which mechanical key switches you’ll want to look for.

So, which mechanical keyboard switch is going to best to use for gaming?

Short answer: You’ll want a lighter-spring, short actuation point mechanical key switch, like the MX Speed or Kailh Speed switches

Before manufacturers came out with the gaming-focused switch types like MX Speed or Kailh Speed, gamers used to choose between three switch types for their mechanical keyboards. Blue, which were clicky and harder to press; Red, which were softer to press and quieter; and Browns, which were also softer to press and had a noticeable “bump” feeling when pressed.

Those three choices all helped make the person playing the game have more control over their in-game actions, due to the feel or sound of the switches. The new gaming-focused switches improve on that further, by reducing the distance you need to press down before your keystroke is registered.

READ MORE: What is an opto-mechanical keyboard?

Once you become used to that new feeling, that shorter travel distance can result in a higher number of in-game actions per minute, crucial for gaming genres from RTS to FPS and more.

What do you think? Do you have a preference when it comes to gaming keyboards? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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