Cherry MX Red vs Brown Switch: Which is Better for Gaming?

Lindsay Hayes

Cherry switches are one of the most popular choices out there, and their Red switch is a good choice if you want a smooth keystroke with a nice feel to it, while the brown switch is a good choice if you're looking for some tactile response.

I've been into Cherry keys ever since I got my mechanical keyboard. I started off with the Cherry MX red switches, but I recently moved to their browns.

I have highlighted everything you need to know about them.

Let's take a look at the two switches.


What is the Difference Between Cherry MX Browns vs Reds?

The red and brown switches are some of Cherry's most popular. The cherry MX red switches are great choices if you're looking for buttery feedback. It takes minimal force to register keystrokes.

Cherry MX browns are a type of tactile switch, and require more actuation force to work. So they are more precise and will let you know if the button you pressed has been registered.

Comparing Cherry MX Red vs Brown Switches

I've taken a look at the red vs brown switches, then compared their main differences in the end.

Cherry MX Red Switches

Cherry MX red switches are known for being super smooth. You will feel like you are gliding a knife through butter when you use them.

They are linear, so they come with a bit of rubber padding to help you get a nice, cushiony feel.

You also won't have to exert much actuation force on them. You will only have to exert around 45 cN. This makes them quite responsive, so you will be able to type faster and play games better.

However, as the Cherry MX switch type are linear switches and so responsive, it can be easy to press the wrong button. This can be a bit of a problem if you're clumsy.

Cherry MX red switches don't make much noise when fully pressed which is nice.

Here are some of the Cherry MX switch specs:

Cherry MX Red Switches

Cherry MX Brown Switches

Cherry MX Browns were released 15 years after the cherry reds but are still as popular.

They are tactile and audible, so you get good feedback when you press them down. However, you won't hear much noise.

Cherry Browns are quite responsive. You will only have to exert around 50 cN of operating force to register a keystroke. This has more actuation force compared to Cherry reds, so they are more precise.

You get good tactile feedback whenever a keystroke has been registered. This makes them ideal for gamers and typists.

The browns are not that loud as well.

Here are some of the brown switch specs:

Cherry MX Brown Switches

What are the Other Cherry MX Switches?

Apart from the Red and Brown, there are quite a few other switches that Cherry sells.

Let's take a look at them.

Cherry MX Green

Cherry MX greens are tactile and robust. You will need to exert some actuation force to work them - around 80 cN. You will hear a clicky sound when you press them. They sound crisp and sharp which you might appreciate.

Cherry MX Green Switch

Cherry MX Clear

The Cherry MX clear switches are great if you want precision while typing. You will have to exert around 60 cN of operating force on them.

They are also tactile switches, so you will feed good feedback whenever a button has been pressed. They aren't too loud, as you would just hear a soft tap from them.  

Cherry MX Clear Switch

Cherry MX Gray

The Cherry MX gray switches are basically the greens, except that they are not clicky. Their specs and design are identical to the regular greens.

Cherry MX Gray Switch

Cherry MX Silent Red Switches

The Silent red keyboard switches are almost the same as the regular reds, except that they make no noise when you press them down. The only other notable difference is that the travel distance is lowered by around 0.1 mm.

Whether you go for them is all up to your personal preference. You will get the same satisfying linear feel from the key switch.

Cherry MX Silent Red Switch

Cherry MX Speed Silver

As you might have guessed from the name, the Cherry MX speed silvers are especially fast mechanical switches. They make a great choice for competitive gamers - you can make rapid actuation with ease.

The Speed silvers are linear so they don't produce much noise when pressed. You don't get much of a pre-distance from them either.

Cherry MX Speed Silver Switch

Cherry MX Blues

Cherry MX blue switches are excellent choices if you want tactile and clicky switches that will make you feel like you're using a retro keyboard.

You will need to exert some operating force to register a keystroke, as they require 0.60 cN of force.

The Blue switches n my opinion are excellent for typists, as they have good tactile feedback and an above-average operating force. The fact that you get a nice clicking feeling will also help you with typing.

Cherry MX Blues Switch

What Color Cherry MX is the Best for Gaming?

The answer to this depends on who you speak to. Cherry MX switches in general come with around 100 million keystrokes before they deviate from their factory conditions. So you will be able to game without worrying about damaging your keys.

I think that Cherry MX reds are the best choice for gaming. Pressing them feels like gliding a knife through butter, and they make a satisfying yet not too loud click when used.

As the red switches are so smooth, clicking a key multiple times feels great.

I am not the only one that thinks that the Cherry reds are the best choices. They are known for being especially popular with gamers.


Answered below are some popular questions.

Which Cherry Key Switch is the Quietest?

One of the reasons Cherries are so popular is because they come in different collections and types.

They have a special Silent line up that you can buy if sound is something that you want to avoid.

They come with rubber pads on the top and bottom that result in no sound being made when you press them down.

I have to say that several users including me have noticed that they feel a bit squishy to the touch due to these rubber paddings.

Apart from how silent they are, the specs of the switches in the silent lineup are pretty much the same as the specs in the main collection.

Just remember that the Cherry MX silent collection is not that diverse. You will only find 2 switches in it.

Read more resources

Final Thoughts

Mechanical keyboard fans all over the world have heard of Cherry. Some mechanical keyboards in fact come with them and use this as a selling point.

The Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX brown switches are the most common switches from the company.

The Cherry MX red type is linear and comes with a very smooth touch. You will hear some sound when you press them down, but you won't feel much of a force. On the other hand, the Cherry MX brown switches have a tactile bump when you press them down that is quite prevalent.

Regardless of whether you opt for the Cherry MX red switch or Cherry MX brown switches, you're going with mechanical switches that are well worth it.

I also took a look at other switch types and how they compare with the Cherry MX key switches to help you customize your next mechanical keyboard.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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