Tactile VS Linear VS Clicky Switches (Know This FIRST!)

Author: Anirban Saha

Last Updated On:

Switches are a key component of any mechanical keyboard. They are the pieces that allow users to interact with their devices by pressing down them.

There are three main types of keyboard switches: tactile, linear, and clicky. Each has its own unique feel and sound.

In this blog, I will compare Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky switches and give you a helpful guide for your right switch choice.

Here is a brief about the switches:

Clicky switches make a clicking noise when pressed; tactile switches provide bumpy feedback with less noise when a key has been registered. Linear switches are smooth, with no feedback when a button is activated.

Whether you choose a mechanical keyboard for gaming or typing, it is essential to know which type of switch would be better for you, clicky, tactile, or linear as each of them has its own pros and cons.

Why Should you Trust Me? Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Engineer with a Specialization in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have experience in Smart TVs, Electronics circuits, and Computer peripherals.

Linear vs Tactile vs Clicky Switches

Let’s get started!

Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Mechanical Switches Comparison

Clicky SwitchTactile SwitchLinear Switch
NoiseLoudQuieter than ClickyVery Quiet
Feedback while TypingA good amount of Clicking feedbackGood Feedback Smooth and with no feedback
Typing ExperienceThe best typing experience as it feels like a typewriter.Good Typing experience with its tactile feedback.Good for typing for silent typists.
Gaming ExperienceThis gives an excellent gaming experience.The gaming experience is moderate considering the blue keys feel better.This is fast and responsive. So, it’s good for fast-paced gaming. However, as it lacks feedback the overall experience of gaming feels average.
Switch ColorsBlue, GreenBrownRed

What are Tactile Switches?

Tactile switches are a type of mechanical switch that provides bumpy feedback to the user when the switch is actuated.

They are called “tactile” because they provide feedback to the user when they are activated. This feedback can be in the form of a bump.

Tactile switches are good for offices as they produce less noise, and also clicks come more accurate as you get a good clicky feel as a response from this keyboard. 

E.g., Some of the popular Tactile switches are Cherry MX Brown and Gateron Brown.

What are Linear Switches?

Linear switches are a smooth and silent option among the mechanical switches available in the market. Linear switches being smooth to use are very satisfying for typing. 

Linear switches can be used in programming and are even good for office use. You need not worry about the mechanical keyboard noise with Linear type switches. Hence, it is suitable wherever silence is a priority.

Linear switches are awesome as they produce the least amount of noise in the total mechanical keyboard range. Linear switches choose those who don’t like the bumpy feeling and the noisy mechanical keyboard experience.

Linear switches are amazing to use as they feel buttery smooth when you type with them. Your clicks would be less tiring, and you would love to use a mechanical keyboard very much.

E.g., Some of the well-known Linear switches are Cherry MX Red and Gateron Red.

What are Clicky Switches?

Clicky switches are types of switches that generate a clicky sound when clicked and activated. This noise can be satisfying during gameplay as you get an idea of the switches you press very quickly during any gaming tournament or match.

Clicky switches help type accurately as you get the proper clicking sound as soon as you click a switch on the keyboard.

E.g., Some of the well-known Clicky Switches are Cherry MX Blue and Gateron Blue.

Decoding the Mechanical Switch Colors

Mechanical switches come in a variety of colors, and each color has a different meaning.

According to the colors, your experience would differ as some are tactile, some clicky, and others are linear. 

So, Knowing the meanings of the different colors can be helpful when you’re using a mechanical switch keyboard.

Blue Switch

Blue Switches are a clicky type of mechanical switch that produces noisy sound with every click. Blue switches are bumpy type and provide a unique clicking experience with feedback that you can enjoy during gaming and typing.

Being a typewriter fan, I like the blue switches.

A typical blue switch keyboard is pretty durable and would be long-lasting. Especially the Cherry MX Blue switches in terms of their lifetime and the performance they give.

Last update on 2024-07-25 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Green Switch

Green switches are clicky types like the blue switches. But they have a higher activation force than Blue switches.

In terms of typing experience due to higher actuation force, your finger may feel fatigued if you are not used to using a mechanical keyboard before.

But for gaming, for those who press keys pretty hard, it’s awesome to play with the green switch keyboard.

The green switches provide an enjoyable experience in FPS games due to the clicky sound and feedback of these.

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Red Switch

Red switches are the linear type of mechanical switches. The Red Switches are smooth and very good to use. They need less activation force.

The Red switches are a joy to use, as the smoothness they provide themselves as mechanical switches is unmatched.

A red mechanical switch is so smooth that you would love to type regularly without a hitch, and probably you would like to type it more often.

The rates would make your fingers glide through the mechanical keyboard and would make your typing experience immersive.

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Brown Switch

Brown Switch is between the red and blue mechanical switches in terms of clicking noise. You can consider the Brown switches as a comparatively silent version of the Blue mechanical switch but a louder version of the Red switches. 

Brown switch has a bumpy feeling to them which you would notice every time you actuate them.

The activation force that the brown switches have will not bother you even if you play games or type for a long period. The experience of typing won’t be any tiring if you use this brown switch keyboard for your daily use. 

Brown switches are not much noisier, so can be considered in office spaces also.

Should you get tactile or linear switches?

Choosing between tactile or linear switches takes many things to consider.

First, answer a question in your mind, Do you like a switch that is quiet and smooth, or do you like a speech that has attracted feeling and it’s not that quiet also not noisy?

If you like the first one, then you should go for the linear switches. Otherwise, for the second, you can choose the tactile switches.

Tactile switches are better for those who prefer to get a buttery smooth experience from a keyboard switch.

If you are a programmer or a gamer, you would more like the tactile type of switches as you need good, responsive feedback to increase typing accuracy with speed.

Which Mechanical Switch is better between Clicky, Tactile, and Linear?

For Gamers, you can choose clicky switches. For programmers, tactile switches or clicky switches are better. Linear switches are fast and responsive and require less activation force. 

Hence for fast typing and fast gaming response, linear keyboards are a good option.

Though we like to stereotype the choices, it is seen that people with different genres like different kinds of switches. 

Tactile vs Linear vs Clicky Mechanical Switches FAQs

Q. Is a Tactile or a Linear switch quieter?

Linear switches are quieter because they have a smooth travel, while tactile switches have a bump or click that tells you when the key has been pressed.

Q. Are Clicky switches loud?

Yes, Clicky switches are loud. The audible click is created by a physical bump that is struck when the key is pressed.
This bump causes a small metal lever to strike a cap on the switch, creating both the tactile and auditory feedback that typists appreciate.

Q. Is Linear good for typing?

Linear mechanical switches are considered by many to be the best type of switches for typing.
They are very precise, smooth, and require little force, making them ideal for fast and accurate typing.


Let’s conclude the post on Linear vs Clicky vs Tactile switches!

Mechanical Switches are great and durable. We get so much customization of the keycaps and the different mechanical varieties, and that is fantastic.

With a mechanical switch keyboard, we enable you to customize every part of our typing and gaming experience.

Also, as I compared the clicky, tactile and linear switches, you will find significant differences between the mechanical keyboards depending on which switch you choose.

Every type of mechanical switch is made to cater to the different types of needs for which we consider a mechanical keyboard.

This resource to compare clicky, tactile, and linear switches were insightful and gave you a good idea for choosing the right one.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

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