Whether you’re a newcomer to Osu! or an experienced rhythm gamer, you’ve probably wondered if new switches could help you be a better player. Choosing the best switch for Osu! is important because it directly affects how responsive and accurate your key presses are. But with so many options out there, how do you know which to try?
Picking the best Osu! switch is all about personal preference. Some people like hearing an audible click, while others want their switches to feel as light as possible. In this roundup, we’ll cover several excellent choices for both casual and serious Osu! players.
- Best Osu! Switch Overall: Cherry MX Silent Reds are smooth linear switches with a quiet and cushioned bottom-out.
- Best Osu! Switch for Speed: Cherry MX Speed Silvers combine a short travel distance with smooth actuation for a responsive light linear switch.
- Best Tactile Osu! Switch: Kailh Super Speed Coppers offer a distinct tactile bump with a high actuation point that is fantastic for Osu!
- Best Heavy Osu! Switch: Gateron Milky Blacks are smooth, heavy switches with a muted sound profile.
- Best Clicky Osu! Switch: Kailh Box Whites are light and affordable switches with a crisp high-pitched click.
The Best Switches for Osu!
Before we start, note that we decided against including optical switches in this list. While optical switches have lower latency, they’re not compatible with standard mechanical keyboard PCBs or hot-swap sockets. So we’ve stuck to traditional mechanical switches for this list.
|Actuation Force||45 grams|
|Pre-travel Distance||1.9 mm|
|Total Travel Distance||3.7 mm|
Linear mechanical switches are common among Osu! players thanks to their consistent and smooth actuation. The Cherry MX Silent Reds have the advantage of being quieter than most switches while being suitable for all levels of play.
The Cherry MX Silent Reds are light linear switches that are a quieter version of the classic Cherry MX Reds. The Silent Reds have dampeners on the stem that absorb sound on both the downstroke and upstroke. While they’re not as “silent” as the name would suggest, they’re great for late-night Osu! sessions when you want to keep things quiet.
The rubber dampers give the Silent Reds a mushy feel, but that’s fine for a game like Osu! where responsiveness is key. The mushiness also provides a slightly cushioned feel that isn’t as harsh on the fingers. While these traits make the Silent Reds a great gaming switch for Osu!, they make the Silent Reds less desirable for typing.
The dampeners also reduce travel distances compared to a standard Cherry MX Red. The 1.9-mm pre-travel and 3.7-mm total travel distances aren’t too dissimilar to standard Reds, though, so they’re unlikely to cause accidental key presses. With the light 45-gram actuation force, you get a responsive and lightweight switch that feels great for Osu!.
Despite being a linear switch, Silent Reds aren’t exactly the smoothest switches out there. Cherry switches can be a little scratchy out of the box, but they generally improve over time. You can also lube them if you don’t want to wait for them to break in.
Overall, the Cherry MX Silent Reds are one of the best key switches for Osu! because they’re quiet and responsive. If the slightly mushy feel turns you off, then regular Cherry MX Reds are a great alternative.
|Actuation Force||45 grams|
|Pre-travel Distance||1.2 mm|
|Total Travel Distance||3.4 mm|
Intense songs on Osu! require high levels of finger speed and control, but it’s also important to have hardware that can keep up with you. Cherry MX Speed Silvers are great for this due to their short travel and light weight, making them perfect for Osu!’s fast-paced gameplay.
The Speed Silver is a short-travel speed switch with an actuation distance of 1.2-mm and 3.4 mm of total travel. The shorter travel makes it highly responsive and capable of keeping up with high-BPM songs. Speed Silvers are also lightweight at 45 grams of actuation force, helping you conserve stamina even when you need to press keys rapidly.
But while Speed Silvers are fantastic for Osu!, they’re a little awkward for typing. The combination of a light linear switch and short travel can cause accidental key presses. As such, we recommend using these switches on a dedicated Osu! keyboard.
Like many speed switches, the Cherry MX Speed Silvers are linear with no tactility. However, you might notice an inconsistent scratchiness, as is common with many Cherry switches. This eventually goes away with some break-in, but you can also lube them if you don’t want to wait. This doesn’t necessarily improve their performance, but it can make them feel a bit nicer to press.
Although Cherry gets a bit of flak for scratchy switches, its Cherry MX switches are still the kings when it comes to reliability. The MX Speed Silvers have a lifespan of over 100 million actuations, making them a solid choice for a long-term Osu! gaming board or keypad.
Cherry MX Speed Silvers are a fantastic choice for Osu! players that want to go fast. The shorter travel can take some time to get used to, but it’s perfect if you have the raw finger speed to take advantage of it.
|Actuation Force||38 grams|
|Pre-travel Distance||1.1 mm|
|Total Travel Distance||3.5 mm|
Tactile switches are another popular choice for top Osu! players that like some tactile feedback whenever they hit a key. The Kailh Super Speed Coppers are a fantastic tactile option for Osu!, with a short travel distance and light weighting setting them apart from the crowd.
The Super Speed lineup from Kailh is an upgrade to the original Speed switches we covered in our list of the best tactile switches. The Super Speed Kailh switches are now factory lubed, and the Coppers have even received a two-gram reduction in actuation force. While you probably won’t notice the lighter weight, you’ll definitely enjoy the factory lubing.
True to its name, the Super Speed Copper has a reduced actuation distance of 1.1 mm, and 3.5 mm of total travel, making it highly responsive and great for Osu!. This short-travel design is normally reserved for linear switches, making the Super Speed Copper a fairly unique switch. Together with the light 38-gram actuation force, this makes the Super Speed Copper perfect for players looking for a tactile switch that can keep up with their speed.
Another unique aspect of the Super Speed Coppers is that they actuate very close to the tactile bump. This makes the switch feel like it actuates during the bump, giving you perfectly-timed tactile feedback that “confirms” your input better than other tactiles. It can feel strange if you’re accustomed to other tactile switches, but it helps them feel more responsive.
While these are great for gaming, it’s hard to recommend them to a typist due to the short travel. While the tactile bump may be perfect for typists, the high actuation point and short travel may be hard to get used to and cause accidental key presses. You’re best off installing these in a dedicated gaming board.
Overall, the Kailh Super Speed Coppers are a nice upgrade to the original Speed Coppers. While they’re a little difficult to recommend for general use, the high actuation point and 38-gram weight make them great tactile Osu! switches.
|Actuation Force||60 grams|
|Pre-travel Distance||2.0 mm|
|Total Travel Distance||4.0 mm|
Gateron’s Milky Black switches are popular among enthusiasts thanks to their muted sound profile and affordability. They’re also heavy, making them fantastic for Osu! players who need more resistance than light linear switches offer.
The Milky Blacks are a heavy linear switch with an actuation force of 60 grams. The 15-gram difference compared to our top pick makes these noticeably harder to press and will likely tire you out if you’re not used to them. However, your stamina will gradually improve over time. They won’t be for everyone, but they’re great if you want a switch that avoids accidental key presses.
Out of the box, Milky Blacks have a slight scratchiness that makes them a little unpleasant to use. However, a bit of lube and break-in completely changes the feel. They become smooth and consistent, resulting in a heavy linear switch that feels great for Osu! and general use.
These “milky” Gateron switches are known as great-sounding switches thanks to the softer plastic used to make the housing. The softer plastic also contributes to the switches’ signature milky look. Combined with the heavy weighting and long total travel, the housing creates a satisfying linear switch with a deep and muted sound.
Gateron switches tend to be some of the most affordable MX-style linear switches, and the Milky Blacks are no exception. You can find them for under $0.35 per switch, which is a bargain considering their great sound and typing feel. The low price may also leave enough room in your budget for switch lubing supplies that can help improve these even more.
It’s worth mentioning that Gateron produces Milky switches with different top and bottom housing combinations. The fully milky version linked here has a deeper and more muted sound signature but is slightly scratchy. If you prioritize smoothness, you may want to consider the Gateron Black KS-3X47 switches with milky tops and black bottoms instead.
Heavy mechanical switches may be uncommon for Osu!, but personal preference and enjoyment are more important than performance alone. Gateron Milky Blacks are an excellent choice if you’re a heavy-handed player. However, their great sound and typing feel make them worth considering even if you’re not.
|Actuation Force||45 grams|
|Pre-travel Distance||1.8 mm|
|Total Travel Distance||3.6 mm|
Timing is important in a rhythm game like Osu!, which is why many players enjoy the audible and tactile feedback of a clicky switch. If that sounds like what you need, then the Kailh Box Whites are a solid option. They combine affordability with a satisfying click that will please both gamers and typists.
Kailh’s Box White uses a click bar design that produces a satisfying sound every time you press a key. It’s a crisp high-pitched sound that doesn’t rattle like clicky switches that use click jackets (like Cherry MX Blue switches). However, the quirk of this design is that it clicks on both the downstroke and upstroke. This may be too clicky for some, but it’s harder to notice while playing Osu!.
One of the key advantages of these mechanical switches is their durability. They’re rated for up to 80 million keystrokes, meaning you’ll get years of use out of them even when playing a demanding game like Osu!. They also have a reinforced stem design that reduces stem wobble, resulting in a stable gameplay and typing experience.
With an actuation force of 45 grams, the Box White is the lightest clicky switch in Kailh’s lineup. Despite this, the tactility means you’re unlikely to accidentally press keys when typing. This makes it a great all-around option for gaming and typing.
But while the clicky sound is pleasant, it doesn’t match the actuation. You may notice the key activating before the click or vice versa. This likely won’t be a problem during regular Osu! gameplay, as you’ll be close to bottoming out the switch regardless. However, it could become an issue if you press the keys fairly lightly while typing.
If clicky switches are your thing, then the Kailh Box Whites are one of the best keyboard switches for Osu!. Their light weighting and excellent feedback make them fantastic for gaming and typing, and their affordable pricing makes them a safe purchase for most users.
Choosing the best Osu! switches is difficult because it’s all about personal preference. However, certain criteria are usually more desirable. For instance, linear mechanical switches with shorter travel distances and lighter springs can help give you the edge at the top end of Osu! gameplay.
Cherry MX Silent Reds are a great all-around choice, balancing responsiveness and smoothness with an acceptable sound profile. They’re great for Osu! gameplay at all skill levels but are a little disappointing to type on. If you want a more unique experience, check out the Kailh Super Speed Copper switches. These speed switches combine tactile feedback with a short travel distance, perfect if you like tactile feedback on your mechanical keyboards.