The Ultimate Guide to Gateron Switches – What to Choose

The Ultimate Gateron Guide

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.

Gateron — A Company Overview

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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.

Cherry MX vs. Gateron — 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

Let’s take a more detailed look at these factors.


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.

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.


The actuation graphs for Linear switches are, well, linear. There isn’t any loud sound or tactile feedback upon key press, with the only opposing force being that of the spring inside. 

These switches often have shorter pre-travel distances and lighter actuation force, making them more responsive. That’s why hardcore gamers prefer them. However, this can also mean that these switches are much more prone to accidental presses and mistakes, making it not so ideal for programmers or people who type a lot.

If you’re coming from a click or a tactile keyboard, you might experience a “bottoming out” effect, where you might press the key too harshly due to a lack of feedback.

Most silent switches will use a linear switch in them, with the rare exception of tactile silent switches. The only noise produced by linear switches is when they bottom out.


As the name suggests, Clicky switches produce a very audible “Click” sound when they’re pressed. 

On the actuation graph for these switches, you’ll see a prominent bump where the internal mechanism releases around the actuation point, producing the sound and feedback.

These switches are preferred by mechanical keyboard enthusiasts of people who feel type. The audible click, as well as the feedback, corresponds to the actuation point of the switch, providing the typist with more accurate typing feedback.

An obvious drawback of these switches is the sound they produce. If you’re in an office environment, it’s better to go with Tactile or Linear switches to avoid receiving glares from your colleagues.


These switches are the perfect mix of Clicky and Linear switches. While they still provide the typist with feedback when pressed, the loud click sound is removed for a more silent keystroke similar to Linear switches.

Similar to Clicky switches, Tactiles have a bump in their actuation graph, corresponding to the point of actuation. 

Thanks to the presence feedback-producing internal mechanism, Tactile and Clicky switches don’t have as many mistypes as Linear. However, the actuation force for these switches is often much higher than linear switches, which can be tiring.

Tactile Switches are perfect for office environments and people who type a lot but dislike the click sound coming from their keyboard.

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 (± 0.5mm)Actuation Force (± 15g)Bottom Out (± 0.5mm)Noise Level
RedLinear1.5mm 50g2.5mmLow
BrownTactile1.5mm 55g2.5mmMedium
BlueClicky1.5mm 65g2.5mmHigh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

Raymond Sam

Raymond Sam

Raymond is the creator and editor of He has a few thousand hours of Dota, Starcraft 1 & 2, Street Fighter, Overwatch, Apex Legends and Call of Duty under his belt with the intention of adding several more thousand going forward. He has written over 200 gaming hardware reviews, and counting!

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