Are clicky keyboards good for gaming?

Are clicky keyboards good for gaming?

Are clicky keyboards good for gaming
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Are clicky keyboards good for gaming? This question is receiving a lot of debate in the gaming community. "Clicky" mechanical keyboards with clear clicking sounds provide realistic feedback and long life, but also cause many concerns about practicality for gaming such as noise and high cost. So are its advantages enough to become the top choice for gamers? Let's find out with Enthkey

What are clicky keyboards?

Mechanism of action of clicky keyboards

Unlike membrane keyboards that use elastic membranes, clicky keyboards are equipped with a system of separate switches for each key. Each key is connected to a mechanical switch (usually a press switch) with a metal mechanism and a plastic working part that forms two electrical contacts. When the key is pressed, the components in the switch will fit together to create a "click" effect and close the circuit to send a signal to the computer. This mechanism usually includes the following main components: Housing: The outer shell of the switch, protects and contains the internal components. Stem: The part that moves up and down when a key is pressed. Spring: The spring inside the switch creates feedback when pressing the key. Click Bar (or Click Jacket): The part that makes a clicking sound when the stem moves over the tactile bump. When the key is pressed down, the stem will compress the spring and push through the tactile bump. At this time, the click bar will be compressed and then pop out, creating a characteristic clicking sound and a clear pressing feeling.

Different from on-screen keyboard

The simpler operating mechanism of the membrane keyboard only uses a single conductive elastic plate to detect which key is pressed. This causes them to have a shorter lifespan, lackluster typing feel, and be difficult to customize compared to mechanical keyboards. Clicky keyboards have more realistic and clear feedback as each key has its own switch.

Common types of switches

  • Cherry MX
This is the most famous switch brand, manufactured by the German company Cherry Corporation. Their Blue switch line is famous for its resounding "clicky" sound; Brown sounds more hidden but still clear enough; Red and Black are completely silent, without any clicking sounds.
  • Gateron
Considered a "mid-range" switch brand in terms of quality but significantly cheaper than Cherry. Gateron produces many different lines of switches similar to Cherry's Blue, Brown, and Red.
  • Kailh

An emerging switch manufacturer from China, is competing by creating new and different switches such as infrared blocks, vacuum blocks,... Prominent among them is the Kailh Box line designed to avoid dust and dirt. and limit noise.

Advantages of clicky keyboards for games

Tactile feedback

In contrast to membrane keyboards, which have a dull and confusing typing feel, mechanical switches on clicky keyboards provide clear physical feedback for every key press. The user will clearly feel the actuation point when the switch is activated, as well as a definitive click sound if it is a clicky switch. This helps gamers type more accurately and faster without having to constantly look down at the keyboard.

Durability

Thanks to the mechanical structure of high-quality metal alloy, the switches on clicky keyboards have a superior lifespan compared to membrane keyboards. Most models advertise a lifespan of 50-100 million clicks per key. They are also more water resistant thanks to their more sealed design, helping to protect internal components well. This is especially important for professional gamers who often use the keyboard continuously for many hours.

Customization capabilities

Clicky keyboards allow users to easily customize almost everything from keycaps to key layout and macros. Users can replace keycaps with many different materials and styles to suit their preferences. Many models also support key remapping, assigning custom macros to speed up complex tasks in games. Some even allow the internal switch to be completely replaced to change the way the keyboard responds.

Disadvantages of mechanical keyboards for game

Noise

The characteristic of creating a very clear "clicky" sound of many types of switches on clicky keyboards is a significant disadvantage when used for games. The slightly loud clicking sound from each key press can annoy people around you, making it difficult to concentrate on the game. This becomes more serious for those who play games in teams and need to communicate using a microphone. Although you can choose a switch that is not too noisy like Brown or Red, it is still difficult to completely avoid this situation.

Difficult to operate analog keys

Many games require pressing multiple keys at the same time, especially action games, arena games... However, not all clicky keyboards support anti-ghosting capabilities to handle multiple keys simultaneously. . Cheap keyboards can usually only handle a maximum of 6 keys at a time. This leads to missed input. The player cannot enter all the necessary keys to perform complex attacks in the game.

High cost

The biggest disadvantage of clicky keyboards is that the price is significantly higher than membrane keyboards. A mid-range clicky keyboard costs about $80-100, while it only costs you about $20-30 to buy a high-quality membrane keyboard for games. Upgrading keycaps, switches or other accessories is also expensive, increasing costs for gamers who are not passionate about collecting keyboards.

Compare with membrane keyboards

Feedback

Clicky keyboards are superior in terms of physical feedback compared to membrane keyboards. Each key has a separate switch that creates a clear click effect and a precise point of engagement when pressed. Users can clearly feel it when the key has been activated. On the contrary, the membrane keyboard only has a silicon elastic sheet, making the typing feel soft, making it difficult to distinguish which key has been pressed.

Longevity

The simpler mechanism of membrane keyboards makes them more susceptible to damage, especially after long-term use and lots of movement. The elastic sheet will gradually wear out and deform, making key recognition difficult. Meanwhile, sturdy metal components on mechanical keyboards have a lifespan of up to tens of millions of clicks per key.

Features

Mechanical keyboards have the great advantage of being able to customize almost everything from keycaps, keyboard layout to how the keys respond. Some high-end models even allow the internal switch to be completely replaced. They also have many gaming support features such as key remapping, macro assignment, etc. Besides, water resistance is also better. Conventional membrane keyboards rarely have these features, mainly serving daily text typing In short, mechanical keyboards excel in response, longevity, and customization but cost significantly more than traditional membrane keyboards. Users need to consider their needs and budget to choose the appropriate keyboard type.

Who should choose clicky keyboards?

Professional gamer

For gamers who play games at a professional level, clicky keyboards are a good choice. Clear feedback, high customization and longevity are essential for long hours of continuous gaming. The ability to assign macros and key remapping is also very useful to speed up complex operations in the game.

Users are passionate

Clicky keyboards are not just a simple tool but also a passion for many people. They often collect and customize keyboards according to their own preferences. The diversity of designs, sounds, and switches from manufacturers opens up many options for keyboard addicts.

Those with a large budget

High cost is a major drawback of clicky keyboards. If you have a generous budget and are willing to spend more on the best typing experience, a clicky keyboard is a worthy choice.

Users specializing in writing programming and literature

Clear feedback and pleasant sounds are advantages of clicky keyboards that can help improve productivity and experience for tasks such as programming and writing long-term documents. In addition, those who work in a quiet environment, or do not want to make a lot of noise, should consider choosing a less noisy keyboard such as Brown or Red switches.

Conclusion 

Question are clicky keyboards good for gaming? There is no simple yes or no answer. "Clicky" mechanical keyboards have great advantages for gamers such as clear feedback, durability and high customization. However, Enthkey believes that they also have significant disadvantages: noise, difficulty performing complex key operations, and high cost. For professional gamers or those with passion and a generous budget, "clicky" mechanical keyboards are still an option worth considering. But for the average recreational gamer, lower-noise keyboard options or high-quality on-screen keyboards may be more suitable in terms of cost and without causing discomfort to those around them.

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