Linear vs. Clicky Switches for Gaming: Which is Best?


Aug 03 2023

To click? Or not to click? That is the question.

In the gaming keyboard world, one of the first questions you might have is which switch is best for gaming? It’s a topic that often fuels intense debate since clicky, linear, and tactile switches each offer a vastly different experience. However, there isn’t an objectively “better” switch for gaming, since it all comes down to personal preference. Deciding which switch works best for you is sort of like entering Ollivanders Wand Shop in Diagon Alley and trying out different choices until you find the one that just fits. In this article, we compare the clicky switches versus linears and how they affect your overall gaming experience..

Clicky Switches: Sound and Tactility

When people imagine mechanical keyboards, it's often the sound and feel of clicky switches that come to mind. These switches are known for their audible "click" and tactile bump, which signal the keypress. The actuation point – where the keypress is registered – corresponds with this click, providing immediate feedback. This can give gamers an additively satisfying typing experience (but maybe not for their roommates). The tactility that clicky switches have is nicely responsive.

However, when going down the route of clicky switches, it’s important to go for one that has a click bar, and not a click jacket. While click jacket switches get the job done, they only click once per press and lack the crisper, more pronounced sound of their click bar counterparts. The click jacket is by far the most common method for making a switch click due to being cheaper and easier to produce. What’s more is that the click bar method produces two clicks per press–once on the way down, and again on the way up. This creates a deeper sound and even more tactility.

The recently released Raptor Clicky Switches feature a premium click bar, which gives gamers that satisfying tactility and audible clicks. The click bar is nestled in with nickel-plated copper legs, which prevent corrosion and prolonging their lifespan.

Linear Switches: Speed and Smoothness

On the other side of the debate, we find linear switches, the silent warriors of gaming keyboards. These switches are characterized by their smooth keystrokes, with no tactile bump or audible click to signal the actuation point. This lack of feedback results in a very smooth and fast keypress, which can be advantageous in fast-paced gaming scenarios where reaction time is everything. 

Linear switches are also less noisy compared to their clicky counterparts, making them more suitable for a quiet environment or shared spaces. They might also be less fatiguing for long gaming sessions, as there's no tactile bump to overcome with each keypress. Some gamers find this lack of feedback off-putting initially, but many grow to appreciate the seamless, fluid experience these switches offer.

It's All About Personal Preference

At the end of the day, the choice between clicky and linear switches simply comes down to personal preference. The best way to decide is to try them out for yourself. Experience the crisp feedback of clicky switches and the smooth action of linear switches. Each type has its merits and might suit different gaming styles or personal inclinations.

For instance, if you're a fan of the classic mechanical keyboard experience with a touch of modern aesthetics, the Raptor Clicky Switches with their premium click bar, robust RGB illumination, and dual click feature might be your go-to choice. But if you're seeking smooth, quick, and silent keypresses for your high-paced gaming sessions, Lynx linear switches might serve you better.

The Verdict: Clicky Vs Linear Switches

Is there a definitive answer in the clicky switches vs. linear switches debate? Not quite. The choice is highly subjective and should align with your gaming needs and preferences. If you value auditory and tactile feedback, the satisfying click and feel of clicky switches might be perfect. Conversely, if you prefer a quiet, smooth, and swift gaming experience, linear switches might be the way to go.

Ultimately, the key to the best gaming experience lies not in universally acclaimed superiority, but in your comfort, preference, and enjoyment. Remember, there is no “one size fits all” in gamingembrace the options and let your personal preference guide your choice. You might find that the keyboard that “clicks” or “flows” with you is indeed your most formidable ally in the gaming arena.