Tactile Vs Linear Vs Clicky: Which Switch Type Suits You?

Tactile Vs Linear Vs Clicky switchs

There are three different types of mechanical keyboard switches, linear, tactile, and clicky. It’s a little hard to differentiate between the three types of switches as all brands use particular terms and words for these switches. Without knowing the difference between the three switch types, you can’t buy a mechanical keyboard that is perfectly in line with your needs.

In this guide, I will compare all three types of mechanical switches to cut through all confusion and help you learn the key difference and similarities between tactile vs linear vs clicky switches.

Tactile Vs Linear Vs Clicky Switches

These three types of mechanical switches are differentiated on the basis of actuation typenoise, feedback, and typing speed they offer. Before we jump to the comparison between tactile vs linear vs clicky switches, it’s crucial to answer these questions:

What Are Linear Switches?

Linear switches are known for their smooth and quiet action that doesn’t produce any tactile feedback. It means they do not offer bumpy feedback, instead, they offer smooth and consistent actuation without any feedback throughout. Pro gamers love linear switches for their incredible accuracy and consistency.

The tactile feedback can cut down accuracy and speed therefore gamers prefer these switches for ultra-fast gaming experiences in competitive gaming environments. Another noticeable quality of linear switches is that they are ultra-quiet. It makes them perfect for a corporate environment where multiple employees share a limited workspace.

However linear switches may not be quiet all the time. If you regularly bottom out your switches, you may hear a loud sound when the keycap strikes the plate. However, you can pair these switches with O-rings to reduce the bottom harness. High-end linear switches like Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Speed Silver stand among the best gaming switches as they have class-leading speed and ultra-fast response.

The biggest linear switch consideration is that they have a steep learning curve. No noise feedback and lack of tactile feel can make them slightly hard to use e

specially if you are acquainted with clicky switches. It can limit your accuracy if you don’t know whether the key you are pressing is being registered or not. However, once you get used to linear switches, they offer ultra-fast and smooth gaming and typing experience.

Should I get Linear Switches?

If you are interested in a fast-paced typing job or competitive gaming, linear switches are the best option for the mechanical keyboard. If you are switching from a regular membrane keyboard to a mechanical keyboard, linear switches are good for you. Linear Switches are like Swiss Army knives in mechanical keyboards. Their all-around performance in working and gaming environments combined with quiet operation makes them suitable for a wide range of users. Also, these switches are easier to lube than tactile or clicky switches.


  • Speedy Operation
  • Quick response
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Perfect for fast gaming
  • Smooth strain free experience
  • Consistent keystroke
  • Support ultra-fast typing


  • No tactile feedback
  • Reduced speed and accuracy through the learning curve

What Are Tactile Switches?

Tactile switches are the most widely used mechanical switches. These switches provide tangible feedback that lets users know that their keystroke is registered. The electrical circuit used in the tactile switch is activated when you press the key. When you apply pressure these switches give you a perceivable bump or tangible feedback indicating the current flow.

Unlike linear switches in which users don’t get any feedback, this tangible feedback gives the user assurance that the key has been pressed and the signal has been passed. Fast data transfer is one of the best features of tactile switches. These switches feature momentary circuit engagement.

When you push the switch the current flows and it turns off when you release it. It ensures smooth operation and fast data transfer that results in enhanced user perception of the product. Another perk of getting a tactile switch is that they typically operate at a low power rating. This feature makes these switches compatible with low-voltage devices and systems. The tactile switches last longer than the linear switches.

These switches have fewer moving parts and are directly mounted on circuit boards and offer long-term performance without any significant repair needs. The biggest misconception about tactile switches is that they are noisy. Though these switches provide audible clicky feedback, it is not noisy at all. The feedback is quiet and therefore they are perfect for shared workspace and video recording.

Should I Get Tactile Switches?

If you are new to mechanical keyboards tactile switches are the best option you can have. These switches are fun to use as they provide satisfying tangible feedback on each keystroke. The bumpy yet quiet feedback enhances the accuracy through the learning curve. Also if you love a little bump or resistance while typing, the tactile switch keyboard is a great option.

These switches prevent the user from bottoming out. The clicky feel lets you know as soon as your keystroke is registered. However, you should keep in mind that the level of bump or resistance is not the same for every tactile switch. Some tactile switches off greater resistance than others.

The tactile switches are not as fast as speed linear switches therefore they aren’t a good option for pro-level gaming. The accuracy is good but many gamers like their tactile feedback with reduced speed and response. The keystroke operation is consistent for casual use but not for high-end applications like competitive gaming.


  • Perfect for beginners
  • Satisfying tangible feedback
  • Quiet feedback-perfect for shared workspaces
  • Great for typing and all-purpose use
  • Accuracy through the learning curve
  • Less typing errors
  • Prevent users from bottoming out
  • Compatible with low power rated device


  • Inconsistent keystroke feel
  • Partially reduced speed

What Are Clicky Switches?

Clicky switches are a subcategory of tactile switches. These switches offer loud audible feedback when the user applies the pressure. These switches have a higher resistance and bump than tactile switches. Some people find this loud and intense feedback satisfying while others feel it like a nail on the chalkboard.

The clicky switches are smooth and soft and prevent the user from bottoming out. These switches are not preferred for gaming since their speed isn’t as amazing as linear switches. Clicky switches produce a loud clicky sound along with bumpy feedback. If you use a mechanical keyboard with clicky switches, you’re going to draw a lot of attention.

The biggest perk of these switches is that there are fewer chances of accidental keystrokes. They don’t have a high travel time which makes them great for typing. However, the low travel time means you will have to exert a little extra pressure to get your stroke registered.

Should I Get Clicky Switches?

Clicky switches are good for beginners as there are fewer chances of an accidental keystroke. Clicky switches are not a great option for shared workspaces or applications like video recording as they produce a lot of noise. However, these switches are highly famous among typists as they find them exceptionally satisfying. The classy feel and high resistance reduce the speed while improving the accuracy. Clicky switches offer slow speed in all mechanical switches therefore they are not recommended for gaming.


  • Satisfying audible feedback
  • Perfect for typing
  • Good for beginners
  • Prevents the user from bottoming out


  • Slow speed
  • Noisy

Tactile Vs. Linear Vs. Clicky – Comparison

Linear, tactile and classy switches are mainly differentiated by the actuation type. Clicky and tactile switches offer feedback while actuation while linear switches don’t offer any kind of feedback. Here we will compare Tactilve Vs Linear Vs Clicky switches on the basis of Resistance, actuation type and other points.


It is believed that the tactile and clicky switches have higher resistance than the linear. This isn’t true as there are many linear switches having greater resistance than linear switches. For instance, Cherry MX Black is a linear switch having a resistance of  60 Cn. On the other hand, the Cherry MX brown is a tactile switch and its resistance is 55 Cn. So we can’t say which switch type has higher resistance.


Another misconception about mechanical switches is the travel distance. It is a common perception that liner switches have shorter key travel than tactile and clicky switches. This isn’t true either. You can’t differentiate the mechanical and linear switches on the basis of travel distance. Cherry MX brown is tactile while Cherry MX black is linear.

Both switch types have a travel distance of 4.0. The travel distance varies from switch to switch. Manufacturers try to reduce the travel distance to improve the speed. Linear Speed switches are designed for ultra-fast gaming and therefore they have the shortest travel among all mechanical switches.

Speed And Sensory Feedback

You can differentiate between three mechanical switch types on the basis of speed and sensory feedback. Linear switches being the fastest are always part of pro gaming keyboards. Linear switches usually have shorter actuation points. The actuation point is the distance that a key needs to travel before registering a signal. Also, these switches are smooth and have the fastest response.

Tactile switches are slower than linear but faster than clicky switches. These switches use slightly thicker switches than linear switches. Tactile switches are a middle ground between mechanical switches. They offer oddly satisfying and bumpy feedback. Linear switches do not offer any kind of feedback while clicky switches offer loud bumpy feedback. The lack of feedback makes the linear switches a little challenging for beginners.

Clicky switches offer a bumpy resistance along with loud clicky sounds. In addition to a thick spring for a bumpy feel, they use a special jacket that produces a loud noise. However, this feature is linked to slow speed. On the other hand, clicky and tactile switches offer greater accuracy through the learning curve.


Most gaming keyboards use linear switches as they support fast data input and quick key actuation. Pro gamers prefer linear switches and find it hard to compete in competitive environments with clicky or tactile switches. Linear Switches make gaming keyboards very expensive, Therefore tactile switches are a great option for casual gaming and intense typing applications. Clicky switches are loud and slow therefore they are not a good option for gaming.


If you are accustomed to traditional membrane-style keyboards, you will find it hard to handle a linear keyboard for typing jobs. Since there is no feedback for key actuation, the accuracy is reduced especially through the learning curve. Clicky switches offer loud and satisfying feedback and stand as the best mechanical switch for typing. However, for casual use, it is advised to buy a tactile switch for typing.


Tactile switches are the most reliable mechanical switches. These switches have fewer moving parts than linear switches. Also, chances of bottoming out are lower as they offer an isn’t and tangible feedback. It’s easier to lube the tactile and clicky switches than the linear switches. Usually tactile and clicky switches last longer than their linear counterparts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better Clicky Tactile or Linear?

The main difference between north-facing vs south-facing switches is the placement of LED lights at the top and bottom.

What is the difference between Tactile Vs Linear Vs Clicky Switches?

The major difference that lies between Tactile Vs Linear Vs Clicky mechanical switch types is the feedback and sensory response they offer when you press the key. Linear switches do not offer any feedback. Tactile switches offer instant, tangible yet quiet feedback. Clicky switches offer a bumpy feel along with a loud clicky sound for each keystroke.

Why are south-facing switches better?

South-facing switches are better because of their high-standard quality material, better sound, and good typing experience

Wrapping Up

I’m hopeful that this guide will help you differentiate between the tactile vs linear vs clicky switches. Before you buy a mechanical keyboard, consider your needs and preferences. Gaming keyboards with linear switches are expensive but if you want to build a powerful gaming setup, this is the ultimate choice you have. Tactile switches offer all-around performance for different applications. If you want to know more about the colors of the switches, read our guide on keyboard color switches explained.

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