Operating Force, Feel, and Different Key Switches Explained
The immediate benefit of incorporating the HBFS pushbutton into your gameplay is the ability to choose your preferred level of operating force, simply by switching out the mechanical key switches.
What does linear feel or tactile feel mean? Linear feel means that the feel is consistent from the moment you press down on the button. Tactile feel provides a bit of feedback upon actuation. Operating Force means how hard you have to push the button and how hard it will push back when depressed.The g45g, for example, represents a metric unit of force.
Swapping Key Switches to Adjust Operating Force and Feedback
Because the HBFS uses mechanical key switches, you can purchase other switches that offer a higher operating force, or a different feel. Each are color-coded based on their characteristics:
- Red: 45g operating force, linear feel
- Silver: 45g operating force, linear feel, operative travel 1.2mm versus 2mm of Red MX
- Black: 60g operating force, linear feel
- Brown: 55g operating force, soft tactile feel
- Blue: 60g operating force, click tactile feel
- Razer MX Orange: 45g operating force, soft tactile feel, silent operation, operative travel 1.9mm versus 2mm of Red MX
- Razer MX Green: 50g operating force, click tactile feel, operative travel 1.9mm versus 2mm of Red MX
Cherry MX™ Red
Cherry MX Red is a 45g linear feel key switch. It takes very little effort to press the button down. The feeling is quite unique, very soft yet responsive. These also offer no audible click when pressed down, unless you force it to "bottom out" -- pushing the button all the way down to its plastic contacts.
Cherry MX™ Silver "linear feel" is an input speed evolution from the red MX. Both silent and linear, the travel distance to actuation is greatly reduced from 2mm to 1.2mm with total travel of just 3.4mm. There is no audible click feedback.
Cherry MX™ Black
Cherry MX™ Black "linear feel" is both silent and linear, meaning that from actuation to fully pressing it, it feels the same. These require 60g operating force, so it is likely that you will press all the way down to activate the button command. These are great for those who feel that Sanwa microswitches are too sensitive or tend to activate unwanted commands simply by brushing across the buttons.
Cherry MX™ Brown
Cherry MX™ Brown "soft tactile feel" sends a slight bump as feedback, but no click. This is great for those who want the feedback, but no sound. The feedback tells you when the command was sent to the console or PC. It has a softer feel than cherry MX Blue, but at 55g requires just a bit more force to actuate the switch.
Cherry MX™ Blue
Cherry MX™ Blue "click tactile feel" sends a little bump to your fingers, and has an audible click the moment the button command is sent to the console or PC. The feedback can speed up your execution because you do not have to press the button all the way down to activate the button command. The diagram at right shows how the blue MX switch works. You can see that the switch activates at the halfway point -- the moment the white piece snaps down. 60g means that a bit more force is needed to push down.
Tactile Feedback. Faster Actuation. Silent Operation. Light Touch.
The Razer orange stem mechanical key switch sends a little bump to your fingers, but unlike the Razer MX Green Stem 50g Tactile Feedback Mechanical Switch, the operation is quiet - no audible click is provided. At 45g force to actuate, the Razer orange stem mechanical key switch is sensitive enough to satisfy those who desire immediate input and a light touch. Actuation distance is 1.9mm, just under the 2mm present in the Cherry Red MX mechanical switch. This enables a faster actuation time.
Tactile Feedback. Faster Actuation.
"Click tactile feel" sends a little bump to your fingers, and has an audible click the moment the button command is sent to the console or PC. The Razer Green 50g mechanical switch offers this kind of feedback, along with a shorter actuation point than the leading mechanical key microswitch. Actuation distance is 1.9mm, just under the 2mm present in the Cherry Red MX mechanical switch. This enables a faster actuation time. At 50g, the green mechanical switch uses a bit more operating force to press down, which some prefer over feather-sentivity of lighter force microswitches.