The Ultimate Guide to Gateron Switches – What to Choose

The Ultimate Gateron Guide
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    If your wallet cannot afford Cherry MX switches, Gateron switches are cheaper and even feel better in your gaming keyboard

    Gateron doesn’t skimp out on variety. With over seven different categories and various colors of switches, picking the one that’s best for you can be a real headache.

    This ultimate Gateron mechanical switch guide is the solution to your problem. Let’s take a look at the broad catalog of Gateron Switches.

    Types of Gateron Switches

    Similar to Cherry MX, Gateron Switches are primarily divided into three main types:

    1. Clicky
    2. Tactile
    3. Linear

    The switches use a naming scheme similar to Cherry MX as well, with names like Red, Blue, and Black vibing their way into the lineup. But Gateron goes a step further by introducing several exciting variations of their switches with different tweaks.

    The entirety of Gateron’s switches can be categorized as follows:

    1. Main Line Gateron Switches
    2. Silent Switches
    3. Low-Profile Switches
    4. Ink Switches
    5. Milk Switches
    6. Cap Switches
    7. Optical Switches
    8. New Switches

    For an in-depth look at different switches by various companies, you can refer to our comprehensive Mechanical Switch Chart.

    Main Color Switches

    The regular switches by Gateron are comparable to their Cherry MX counterparts.

    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Gateron Red SwitchLinear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Gateron Black SwitchLinear2mm 60g4mmLow
    Gateron White SwitchLinear2mm 35g4mmLow
    Gateron Yellow SwitchLinear2mm 50g4mmLow
    Gateron Blue SwitchClicky2mm 55g4mmHigh
    Gateron Green SwitchClicky2mm 80g4mmHigh
    Gateron Brown SwitchTactile2mm 45g4mmMedium

    Gateron Red Switches

    45g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Red

    These are the perfect alternative to Cherry MX Red switches and a go-to for gamers.

    With an actuation force of only 45g, you can expect super-responsive keystrokes and smooth travel from Gateron Red Switches. 

    Gateron Reds are considered the all-rounder of switches. They’re extremely durable and can handle a lot of abuse without breaking the bank. For first-time mechanical keyboard users, the Reds can be the perfect linear switch to go for that isn’t too loud.

    However, most enthusiasts would want to avoid these. While their stats are acceptable for most people, the Reds are considered the jack of all trades but the master of none. You can find better-sounding and smoother switches by Gateron if you’re willing to pay for the premium feel.

    Gateron Black Switches

    60g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Black

    Gateron Black is quite comparable to the Reds. The higher actuation force of 60g makes the Linear Black switches perfect linear switches for people with heavy fingers and button-slamming gamers. 

    Regular typists will also experience less frequent mistypes thanks to the stronger feedback force from the internal spring.

    When compared to the competition, the Gateron Black switches are smoother than Cheery MX Black and at a lower price point. 

    Gateron White Switches

    35g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron White

    Of all the Linear switches, the White or Clear ones have the lightest actuation force of 35g.

    The typing experience with these is very fast. Fast typists will enjoy the lighter feel of the keystrokes with these white switches. Thanks to the thinner spring inside, the sound and smoothness of the Whites are much better than Gateron Reds.

    However, unless you specifically prefer light switches, your gaming and typing performance might take a hit with these switches. The actuation force is extremely low, which leads to frequent mistypes and unintentional key presses.

    Gateron Yellow Switches

    50g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Yellow

    Gateron Yellows are quite similar to the Reds in most regards. The difference of 5g of actuation force makes a minor difference to the feel of the switches, but it can be everything for people who find the Reds too light. 

    If you cannot decide between Red and Black switches, try the Yellow ones. Due to the slightly stronger spring inside, the Yellow switches tend to follow your fingers better with a good amount of feedback as compared to Reds. But they’re not as heavy as Black switches and tend to find a good middle ground between both.

    In terms of smoothness and sound, they aren’t much different from the Red switches, giving great value for their price.

    Gateron Blue Switches

    55g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Blue

    This is the Cherry MX Blue counterpart by Gateron. 

    The Blue switches provide weak tactile feedback and a loud “Click” sound that can be louder than Cherry MX Blues and sounds a bit rattly. But people often tend to like this switch’s slightly deeper clicking noise once they get their hands on them.

    If you prefer a switch with lots of physical and auditory feedback and higher resistance than Linear switches like Red and Yellow, Gateron Blue might be for you. 

    However, watch out for the people around you when using these switches, especially in workplaces where the sound can get very annoying.

    Gateron Green Switches

    80g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Green

    With an actuation force of 80g compared to Blue’s 45g, these are Gateron’s heaviest switches and are the perfect Clicky switches for people who type heavy. Although don’t expect very fast typing speeds if you have these installed on your keyboard.

    The Greens perfectly emulate a typewriter experience, with a sound profile similar to Blues’s. However, using these for longer periods can get a bit tiring. 

    Gateron Brown Switches

    45g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    Gateron Brown

    Brown switches are the only Tactile switches in the regular lineup by Gateron. 

    With an actuation force similar to Gateron Red, these add tactile feedback on every keystroke, making them more suitable for gamers who use their keyboards for typing.

    There is no click sound upon actuation, so the Brown switches are perfectly suitable for an office environment.

    A note on G Pro, KS and other Main Color Switch Variations

    There are now several versions of Gateron Reds, Yellows, Browns and Blues. Gateron now offers G Pro v2 and soon v3 switches that take the baseline Gateron switch, replacing parts with higher durability and factory lubing them.

    The Gateron G Pro Yellows for example feel like lubed Gateron Yellows out of the box. All Pro versions retain the same actuation specs.

    The Pro switches are more expensive than base Gateron switches, so don’t expect to save a buck going for them.

    Silent Switches

    Silent Gateron Switches
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Silent BlackLinear2mm 60g4mmLow
    Silent RedLinear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Silent YellowLinear2mm 50g4mmLow
    Silent WhiteLinear2mm 38g4mmLow
    Silent BrownTactile2mm 55g4mmlow

    The silent lineup of Gateron Switches altogether forgoes Blue and Green Clicky switches, which is understandable.

    The remaining five switches have similar specs to their regular counterparts. But the stems of the silent switches come with a cushioned muffler pad on top and bottom to further reduce noise.

    Low-Profile Switches

    Low Profile Gateron Switches
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.2mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom Out (± 0.2mm)Noise Level
    RedLinear1.7mm 50g3mmLow
    BrownTactile1.7mm 55g3mmMedium
    BlueClicky1.7mm 65g3mmHigh

    Low-profile switches are perfect for gaming laptops, or smaller, compact mechanical keyboards.

    These switches have a reduced travel distance and bottom out relatively early. Consequently, the actuation force for these switches is increased to provide better feedback and reduce accidental presses.

    Gateron produces one Low-profile switch for each of the switch types.

    Ink Switches

    Gateron Ink Switches
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Ink RedLinear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Ink BlackLinear2mm 60g4mmLow
    Ink YellowLinear1.2mm 60g3.4mmLow
    Ink BlueClicky2.3mm 75g4mmHigh

    The Ink Switches are Gateron’s premium lineup, including four colors. They have an iconic smokey housing.

    Gateron has fine-tuned these switches to have a lower-pitch sound and a smoother feel. 

    These come in Linear, and Clicky switches only, with similar or slightly higher actuation force compared to the regular ones. Gateron Kangaroo switches, which we’ll discuss later on, are the Ink Switches you want to go with if you want a Tactile type.

    Milk Switches

    Milky Gateron Switches
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Red SwitchLinear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Black SwitchLinear2mm 60g4mmLow
    White SwitchLinear2mm 35g4mmLow
    Yellow SwitchLinear2mm 50g4mmLow
    Blue SwitchClicky2.3mm 60g4mmHigh
    Green SwitchClicky2.3mm 80g4mmHigh
    Brown SwitchTactile2mm 55g4mmMedium

    Milk Switches are no different than the regular switches. The travel distance and actuation force are almost identical to their respective regal counterparts.

    The unique feature of these switches is the milky housing which helps diffuse the glare from the RGB lighting of your keyboard.

    Cap Switches

    Gateron Cap Switches
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Milky YellowLinear2mm 50g4mmLow
    Golden YellowLinear2mm 50g4mmLow
    Milky BrownTactile2mm 55g4mmMedium
    Golden BrownTactile2mm 55g4mmMedium
    Cap RedLinear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Cap BlueClicky2.3mm 60g4mmHigh
    Cap BrownTactile2mm 55g4mmMedium

    The Cap Switches are a relatively newer addition by Gateron. Unlike the other switches, the stem of these has a unique “Cap” structure. This makes the travel smoother and reduces wobbliness.

    There are seven colors to choose from, with the addition of a “Golden” color, which adds a  uniform color to the housing of the switch.

    Optical Switches

    image 118
    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance (± 0.6mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Optical Red Linear2mm 45g4mmLow
    Optical Black Linear2mm 60g4mmLow
    Optical White Linear2mm 35g4mmLow
    Optical Yellow Linear1mm ±0.1mm35g4mmLow
    Optical SilverLinear1mm ±0.1mm45g4mmLow
    Optical Blue Clicky2mm 60g4mmHigh
    Optical Brown Tactile2mm 55g4mmMedium

    Coming in with a similar color lineup and stats are the Optical Gateron Switches. Instead of using a metal-to-metal connection for actuation, optical switches use infrared light. 

    The responsiveness of these switches is unreal, making them one of the fastest switches ever produced by Gateron. Additionally, because there are fewer moving parts inside, the durability of these switches is increased, giving them a lifespan of up to 100 million keystrokes.

    You’ll notice that there is no Optical Green switch, which is replaced by a Linear Optical Silver switch. The travel distance of the Optical Silver and Optical Yellow is halved, giving them a similar feel to Low-profile switches.

    New Switches

    These are the newer switches produced by Gateron in recent years. The naming scheme of these is unique, and so is their functionality.

    Switch NameTypeTravel Distance Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom OutNoise Level
    Oil King SwitchLinear2mm ± 0.6mm55g ± 5g4 mmLow
    Kangaroo Switch 59g/63gTactile1.5mm ± 0.5mm 59g ± 15g3.5 mmMedium
    Kangaroo Switch 59g/63gTactile1.5mm ± 0.5mm63g ± 15g3.5 mmMedium
    CJ SwitchLinear2mm ± 0.6mm50g ± 15g4 mmLow
    North Pole – YellowLinear2mm ± 0.5mm55g ± 10g3.8 mmLow
    North Pole – Box RedLinear2mm ± 0.5mm45g ± 10g4 mmLow
    North Pole – Box SilverLinear1.2mm ± 0.2mm43g ± 10g3.4 mmLow
    Baby KangarooTactile2mm ± 0.5mm59g ± 8g3.4 mmMedium
    Baby RaccoonLinear2mm ± 0.5mm55 ± 8g3.6 mmLow

    Oil King Switch

    55g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    image 115

    As the name suggests, Oil Switches come lubed or oiled from the factory. This gives them a much smoother feel and deeper sounds.

    Kangaroo Switch 59g/63g

    59g/63g actuation force | 1.5 mm actuation travel | 3.5 mm total travel

    image 117

    With an ink housing, the Kangaroo Switches come as a Tactile addition to Gateron’s Ink lineup. 

    These can be bought in two actuation force variants, 59g or 63g.

    CJ Switch

    50g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 4.0 mm total travel

    image 107

    CJ, or “China-Joy” switches are a nod to the popular Chinese digital entertainment expo. 

    These are linear switches that produce a unique feel which is quite popular among fans.

    North Pole Yellow/ Box Red/ Box Silver Switch

    image 109

    These have a completely transparent housing, which can help produce better backlighting.

    Baby Kangaroo

    59g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 3.4 mm total travel

    image 113

    One of the newest switches by Gateron, the Baby Kangaroo Switch is a Tactile switch with an actuation force of 59g.

    Unlike the standard Kangaroo Switches, these have transparent upper housing and a milky base.

    Baby Raccoon

    55g actuation force | 2.0 mm actuation travel | 3.6 mm total travel

    image 108

    Unlike the Kangaroo switches and the North Pole lineup, which shorten both the pre-travel and total travel distance, the Baby Raccoon has a reduced total travel distance only.

    Thanks to a longer stem, this switch will bottom out earlier but retain the actuation point of 2mm, giving a unique feel that’s proved extremely popular among the masses.

    Gateron vs Cherry — Which Is Better?

    While both companies produce equally good and comparable switches, each has its strengths and weaknesses. 

    In short, if you want smoother switches with slightly reduced tactile feedback at a lower price, then Gateron is the one for you. But if you have extra money to spare and want your switches to last longer, then go with Cherry MX


    Gateron’s switches are often smoother than their Cherry MX counterpart, giving you a buttery-smooth and consistent keystroke. But the degree of smoothness varies with different switches, with some being more or less smoother than others.


    You’ll find that the switches of both companies have a very similar feel.

    For the Tactile and Clicky switches, however, there is a distinct difference in the amount of tactile feedback they provide, with Gateron’s switches being on the weaker side for their mainline switches. This, ultimately, falls down to preference.


    Generally, Cherry MX switches are rated for 100 million keystrokes, while Gateron’s have a lifespan of only 50 million. 

    In terms of sheer durability, Cherry MX takes a clear win, which is why they’re widely accepted as the industry standard.


    The cost of increased durability is a higher price point, which users have to bear when they purchase Cherry MX switches.

    Gateron’s switches might be less durable, but they’re considerably cheaper, making them popular among new users.

    Which Gateron Switch is the Best for Gaming?

    Linear Switches will give you the best results if you’re a gamer. The lack of feedback makes them highly responsive and sensitive to input.

    If you have the funds, I highly recommend going with the Gateron Ink switches when picking a category. The quality and feel of these are much better than other switches.

    You can also go with the optical route if you prefer the durability and lightning-quick response from your keystrokes.

    Are you using Gateron Switches, or do you plan on buying them? Which of their switches do you like the best, and why? Let us know in the comments!

    Gateron — A Company Overview

    YouTube video

    Gateron is a relatively newer contestant in the market of mechanical switches. Established under Huizhou Gateron Electronic Technology Co., Ltd in early 2000 in Southern China, Gateron started its venture by creating Cherry MX clones.

    But don’t take Gateron’s Chinese origin as an indicator of their product’s quality. Since the company’s origin, they have heavily invested in research and development to create some of the most innovative switches in the market.

    While Cherry still has a higher market share and might be considered the company behind mechanical switches, Gateron has been slowly gaining traction among keyboard users. This is thanks to the durability and smoother feel of Gateron’s switches while still being cheaper than Cherry MX.

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    Raymond Sam

    Raymond Sam

    Raymond is the founder and chief editor of He's been reviewing gaming peripherals since 2017 and has reviewed over 200 mice, keyboards, controllers and other peripherals. He combines the hardware experience with a few thousand hours of DOTA 2, Starcraft , Street Fighter, Overwatch, Apex Legends and Call of Duty under his belt with the intention of adding several more thousand going forward.

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