Are Optical Switches Compatible with Mechanical Switch Sockets?

Are Optical Switches Compatible with Mechanical Switch Sockets?


Optical switches are becoming increasingly popular in the gaming community for their speed and durability. Many wonder if these new switches can be used as a drop-in replacement for traditional mechanical switches. This article addresses this commonly asked question.

The Short Answer

No, optical switches are not compatible with mechanical switch sockets.

Why Aren't They Compatible?

Optical switches operate on a fundamentally different mechanism compared to mechanical switches. While mechanical switches function through physical contact, optical switches work by cutting a beam of light. Because of this difference in actuation methods, the two types of switches are not interchangeable.

Implications for Users

If you're contemplating a switch to optical switches, keep in mind that you will need a keyboard specifically designed to accommodate them. Using optical switches in a mechanical switch socket is not feasible.


Although both optical and mechanical switches offer their own set of advantages, they are not interchangeable due to their different actuation mechanisms. Make sure to purchase a compatible keyboard if you're looking to transition to optical switches.

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