Cherry MX Blues were once the most popular mechanical keyboard switch and singlehandedly defined what mechanical keyboards were supposed to feel and sound like. However, the times have changed, and Cherry MX Blues are no longer as popular for both productivity and gaming. You may be wondering if they are still even a relevant switch for gaming.
Most enthusiasts do not consider the Cherry MX Blue switches ideal for gaming. Aside from being noisy, the clicky feel of this switch makes it feel clunky for gaming. Despite still being used by some professional gamers, better switches are available, including options from linear and tactile switches.
In this article, we will help users decide if they should pick up Cherry MX Blue switches or Cherry MX Blue-equipped keyboards for gaming. We will also be giving a quick rundown on what Cherry MX Blues are and how they become popular. And lastly, we will be talking about some professional gamers who are known users of Cherry MX Blues/Clicky switches to further help gamers decide if it is a switch that fits their playstyle.
Introduction Cherry MX Blue Switches
Before we get started, let us first talk about what Cherry MX Blues are. The first-ever switch introduced by the Cherry company had been the Black Switch.
It used a simple, linear mechanism and set up the colored naming convention for future switches. The Cherry MX Reds, Blues, Browns, and an updated version of Blacks were among those later introduced Cherry switches.
The MX Blues is a light, tactile, clicky switch – this means they serve an audible activation and tactile feel and is the earliest iteration of the Cherry MX switch family. Later iterations, like the Cherry MX Whites, is a stiffer clicky switch that can be used in pairs with the MX Blues for wider buttons like spacebars.
The Cherry MX Blues were one of the first mechanical keyboard switches to be used in gaming keyboards when they suddenly rose in popularity back in 2010. Razer helped popularize them in their Blackwidow series keyboards.
Basic Structure of Cherry MX Blue Switches
Like all switches, the MX Blues consist of several parts. In summation, they are as follows:
The first and most striking part of the switch, as the color, serves as the identifying switch name. The top features a cross-mount, where the actual keycaps are pressed and placed.
The upper housing decides the actuation force needed to activate the switch, with several varieties among the line. It primarily serves as a guide for the switch to ensure precision. In a way, it also covers and protects the mechanical parts of the switch.
Gold Crosspoint Contact:
The gold crosspoints are a feature with all switches in the Cherry MX family. The mechanism itself is patented, and it works as such that the gold-plated cross-contacts meet at precise right angles to close the electric circuit, resulting in the key’s operation being released.
As additional information, they use gold-plating to keep the part from corroding and are thusly self-cleaning.
The housing base encloses most of these components, both for durability’s sake and to keep them reasonably protected from tampering and potential damage. They also provide much-needed support for installation into proper mechanical keyboards.
MX Blues have an actuation force of 60 centinewtons and require about 2.2 millimeters for actuation.
Are Cherry MX Blues Ideal For Gaming?
Let us cut to the chase. Cherry MX Blues are currently not the best mechanical keyboard switch for gaming. Of course, this was different back then. But the reason they were so popular was mainly because they were the only keyboard switch available in gaming keyboards. Now that there are many gaming switches and enthusiast-grade keyboard switches, they are no longer ideal for gaming.
There are several reasons why most gamers and enthusiasts do not recommend Cherry MX Blues. The first one is due to their heavy actuation force. These switches were meant to mimic the feel of a typewriter. This includes both its sound and its feel.
The upside of its heavy actuation force is increasing the user’s precision. However, the input speed will be sacrificed, which can affect gamers’ reaction time and ability to clutch certain scenarios.
Also, the heavy actuation force of Cherry MX Blues can make movement in FPS games feel clunky. It may feel like you are fighting against your keyboard instead of working with it to achieve fluid motion.
Lastly, Cherry MX Blues are incredibly loud. Its sound will easily bleed into your microphone, which can be bad if you are talking to your teammates via voice chat or if you are streaming. It can also be annoying if you are not using a closed-back gaming headset or headphones.
Of course, Cherry MX Blues are still usable for gaming. Slower-paced single-player games that do not require lightning-fast reaction time are perfect for heavier switches such as Cherry MX Blues. Also, professional gamers have won big tournaments using these keyboard switches. However, these points still do not change the fact that there are currently many keyboard switches that are better optimized for gaming.
Do Professional Gamers Use Cherry MX Blues/Clicky Switches?
As we have mentioned earlier, earlier mechanical keyboards used Cherry MX Blues switches. This implies that many professional gamers have used Cherry MX Blues in the past. But since the current state of the market is completely different, there are very few pro gamers that still use clicky switches.
Most have transitioned into linear and tactile switches, both provided by enthusiast-grade and gaming brands. However, there are still some gamers that have stuck with Cherry MX Blues, and one example is Sinatraa.
Sinatraa was one of the key players of the San Franciso Shock Overwatch Team. Before transitioning as a content creator, he also competed with the Sentinels Valorant team. He is best known for his movement and positioning in the FPS games that he plays.
Ironically, he uses Cherry MX Blues. As we have mentioned earlier, these switches can make movement feel clunky. However, it doesn’t seem to hinder Sinatraa’s skills.
He has mentioned that he disliked clicky switches, Cherry MX Blues, due to the loud noise they produce. But for some reason, he decided to stick with these switches. This just proves that gamers can use anything for competitive gaming.
What Type of Switches is Good For Gaming?
Linear switches are arguably the most popular option for gaming. Unlike tactile switches and clicky switches, they do not have a tactile bump. Instead, they have smooth and fluid motion.
These switches allow users to input commands faster. Their lower noise makes them ideal for streamers and gamers who communicate via voice chat.
Tactile switches are another popular option for gamers. They are very similar to clicky switches since they have a tactile bump. However, they do not have an audible click, making them significantly quieter.
What makes them good for gaming is that their tactile bump gives users more control over their keystrokes. They will always know if their inputs are being registered, which minimizes the chances of making errors.
One switch type that is gaining a lot of popularity is Optical switches. These keyboard switches have the same structure as traditional Cherry MX Style switches. However, they utilize infrared light to detect key registers.
Since they no longer rely on metal-to-metal contact, they can perform faster and last longer than standard mechanical keyboard switches. They are available in tactile, linear, and clicky variants, making them versatile for both gaming and typing.
Analog Switches and Hall Effect Switches
Analog switches and Hall Effect switches are more advanced switch technologies that are being integrated with newer gaming keyboards. These switches are very similar to linear switches. However, they feature variable actuation, allowing users to customize how heavy or light their switches are. Analog and Hall Effect switches are found on Steelsreies, Wooting, and Razer’s offerings.
Summary: Should You Buy Cherry MX Blues For Gaming?
As pointed out earlier, Cherry MX Blues are still usable for gaming. Once users get accustomed to their loud noise and heavy actuation force, they can be fine for casual and competitive gaming. However, there are lots of better switch options out there.
For switch types, both linear and clicky switches will do a better job than Cherry MX Blues and other clicky switches. There are also gaming switches that utilize optical, Hall Effect, and analog switches to provide a better gaming experience. And, of course, there are enthusiast-grade switches such as Gateron Ink Black V2/Box Inks, Boba U4T, etc., that can provide a better typing and gaming experience than Cherry MX Blues. We highly recommend gamers looking for their first gaming keyboard to switch Cherry MX Blues and look for options that better suit their playstyle and other use cases.
Stephen is the head content creator of Keyboardsexpert. His mechanical keyboard journey began in 2014 when he got his Razer Blackwidow. Since then, he has been fascinated with all things mechanical keyboard-related. He later discovered the custom keyboard hobby and fell in love with the vast customization options. He is currently searching for his endgame and is very excited to share his journey and educate other keyboard enthusiasts.