March 4, 2023

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Want your movement to be like that of s1mple, ZywOo, sh1ro, or Shroud? Gaming is all about reflexes. The faster your movement is, the more you'll win.

Today I will be answering the hot topic, i.e., what keyboard switches do pro gamers use?

Most pro gamers use linear switches for gaming. The reason is that they have a fast actuation time and no tactile feedback. The latter helps with increasing the response speed of the switch. And as you know, movement is everything in gaming.

What Keyboard Switches Do Pro Gamers Use?

Linear switches are also silent and don't make a noise like clicky ones. Overall, their smooth and consistent keystrokes guarantee fast-paced gaming with ease and make them the primary choice for pro gamers.

That was a summary of the answer, but there are many more aspects to it.

Below you'll find reasons why linear switches are the best for gaming, whether switches even matter, and why gamers buy such expensive keyboards.

But before all this, let's take a look at 5 of the best switches for gaming that pro gamers use. As expected, all of them are linear and can be found easily, though some are not very cheap.

Note: These are in no particular order.

Cherry MX Red Switches

Let's start off the list with the very famous Cherry MX Red switches. They are the default choice for many gamers and come pre-installed on a number of gaming keyboards.

Cherry mx red

Which Mechanical Keyboard Switches Are The Softest?They require a very low actuation force of just 45 g, and the actuation distance is the standard 2.0 mm.

They are not very noisy, so the person sitting beside you won't be disturbed.

Moreover, their smooth-like-butter keystroke means you'll be able to move your fingers very quickly on the keyboard. This is a fine option to begin your gaming journey with.

Cherry MX Speed Silver Switches

A lightning-fast switch for pro gamers. Cherry MX Speed Silver has an actuation point as low as 1.2 mm. They are 40% faster compared to other Cherry MX switches, which makes them ideal for fast-paced gaming.

Cherry Mx Speed Silver

On top of that, they are super durable and last for 100 million keystrokes.

Anyhow, there's another side to the coin too. The actuation time being too fast can be a downside for someone who has heavy hands.

So yeah, these switches ask for consistency in practice.

Furthermore, they have the same feel as the Cherry MX Red since both are linear. There won't be any delay in the response, and your reactions will undoubtedly improve using them.

Kailh Speed Silver Switches

Kailh Speed Silver is basically a budget-friendly version of Cherry MX Speed Silver. The design is pretty similar, as are the specifications. 

Kailh Speed Silver Switches

Kailh has just a little shorter actuation distance of 1.1 mm as compared to 1.2 of Cherry MX. It might make a difference sometimes, but it doesn't give you a whole lot of advantages.

These switches are less durable than Cherry MX and would last for 50-60 million keystrokes only. But when you think of it, it's still a lot of clicks. And besides, you can get them at a much cheaper price. 

So if you're looking to save your pockets and also get a fast keyboard switch, then Kailh Speed Silver just might be the ideal fit.

Gateron Red Switches

The Gateron Reds are a good all-around choice for gaming. They are not the quickest out there and have an actuation distance of 2 mm. But it makes less of a difference if you're looking for switches to play casually.

Gateron Red Switches

Anyway, to compensate for the 2 mm actuation point, the actuation force is just 45 g. This implies that you can press the keys as quickly as you want.

These switches are also affordable as compared to some of the other options.

A negative aspect of Gateron Reds is that they can't be customized through software or hardware. This means you won't be able to reduce their actuation distance.

Now, if you're someone who doesn't have a problem with that, then the Gateron Red switches aren't a bad option.

Gateron Yellow Switches

If you prefer slightly heavier switches for gaming, then consider Gateron Yellow. These switches have an actuation force of 50 g, and the actuation distance is 2 mm. A difference of just 5 g in the force won't do much worse. 

Gateron Yellow Switches

These switches are really smooth as well, so you won't experience any scratchiness upon pressing.

Again, Gateron Yellows don't make loud clicky sounds and give a consistent keystroke. They are also not very expensive and have supreme build quality.

Apart from gaming, they can be handy for typing as well. So that's the end of our list with a jack-of-all-trades.

What is the most used keyboard by pro gamers?

The most used keyboard by pro gamers is the Razer BlackWidow. This keyboard has been designed specifically for gaming and it shows, with its durable construction and performance-enhancing features.

The BlackWidow has anti-ghosting capabilities, meaning that up to 10 keys can be pressed simultaneously without interference.

It also has a backlit keypad so that gamers can play in low-light conditions.

The BlackWidow is a rugged and reliable keyboard that will give any gamer the edge they need to win.

Does the switch matter for gaming?

The switch matters most for gaming when you are playing at the top level. It also plays a role if you are a competitive player who competes in local tournaments.

But if you're someone who casually plays time and again, then the keyboard switch won't be an issue.

Why do I say that? Well, the best gaming switches do make a difference, but it isn't like reducing 1 or 2 seconds. They will make you just milliseconds faster.

However, when you are competing in championships, even a fraction of a second can decide the game for either team or player.

This is the reason why pro gamers don't compromise on their switches and always go for those with rapid responses.

Red Linear Switches

Now, if you are not a hardcore gamer and just a regular guy playing in his free time, I won't suggest going for expensive keyboard switches. Even if you have tactile or clicky switches, for instance, Cherry MX blue, it will do the job just fine.

That being said, if you're planning to pursue gaming and take it seriously, then surely go for linear switches as they are the best fit.

Practice on them from the start to get their feel and train your muscle memory. Why do I prefer linear switches for gaming? Let's find out below.

Why linear switches are the best for gaming?

Because linear switches are fast and soft; they have no tactile feedback, no bumpy response, and no distracting clicky noise. This makes them the optimal choice for gamers.

If you look at the top players in games like CS:GO, PUBG, Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and others, you'd find the majority of them using linear switches.

There's obviously a reason why they don't go for any other switch, right?

Why Linear Switches Are The Best For Gaming?

Linear switches require a lower actuation force and have a faster actuation speed.

They are very consistent, and you'll feel a smooth keystroke every time you press a key.

Besides, they are noiseless, so your teammates won't be disturbed by the key clicks if you're on a Discord call or something.

Going back and forth on tactile or clicky switches will require more effort as they need a bit more force to press. And if you're even a little slower in your movement, the opposition will punish you.

I have personally played CS:GO and PUBG with all kinds of switches. And to be honest, linear switches do bring the best out of you if you play on them over time.

Some linear speed switches are very fast and get pressed even if you effectively just touch them. Therefore, you need the practice to get the hang of those keyboards.

But overall, linear switches should be your go-to choice if you are passionate about gaming.

Why do gamers buy expensive keyboards?

Gamers buy expensive keyboards because they can't compromise on their gameplay. Playing on a low-end keyboard means lowering your performance as well.

Contrarily, high-end mechanical keyboards guarantee overall improvement from movement to speed.

Why Do Gamers Buy Expensive Keyboards?

Gamers pursue gaming as their profession. They either play at the competitive level or do streaming on Twitch or YouTube. Both require top-notch gaming gear. And of course, the keyboard has a primary role to play in that.

Many expensive keyboards are readily adjusted at an angle that allows gamers to press the keys easily. But it mostly depends on the preferences of each individual.

Some would like their keyboard to be flat, while others prefer boards that are at a 6° or another typing angle.

In short, expensive keyboards are worth the investment if you're an avid gamer. You not only get value for money but improve your overall skills as well.

Why Do Pro Gamers Use Mechanical Keyboards?

The majority of gamers opt for mechanical keyboards like 60% keyboard and others because they are smaller and comprise only keys that are necessary for gaming. This gives more space for the mouse, and you can be more centralized while gaming.

Moreover, these keyboards come with linear keys, which help gamers a lot, as I already explained. You also get to customize your keyboard with RGB lights, which aid in locating the keys in a dark environment.

Besides, these keyboards last for a long time, so you won't be taking them in for repair any time soon.

Just make sure not to punch the keys after getting a headshot in the last round. I don't want you to suffer like me.

What is the best FPS keyboard switch?

The Cherry MX Speed Silver will be a good choice for an FPS switch. You have a very low margin for error in first-person shooters. If you’re even just a little lazy, your player could die. So it is necessary to always be on your toes and be as agile as possible.

The Speed Silver switches do the job pretty well. They are one of the fastest switches and are recommended for fast gaming.

If you’re unable to afford Cherry MX, then go for Kailh Speed Silver switches. They are comparable to the Cherry MX but less pricey.


So now you know what keyboard switches pro gamers use. Linear switches are the standard for gaming, and you'll find them predominantly in gaming keyboards.

Even though they don't make you super fast, we discussed the importance of even a millisecond in competitive gaming.

Linear switches are smooth, have no tactile feedback, no delayed response, and have a short actuation distance. The 5 keys I mentioned are some of the best and are used by top-level players. If they work for pros, they'll definitely work for you as well.

I'll be creating more posts like this in the future, so make sure to stay in touch for more learning.

Until then, give this a read: Why Are Gaming Keyboards So Loud?.

About the author 


Hussain is a self-taught "tech nerd" and has been tinkering with computers & keyboards since he was a kid. After working in the IT industry for a few years, he decided to start this blog as a way to share his knowledge with others.


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