Home » PC Tech & Gaming News » ASUS ROG RX key switches: How ROG is changing the game

ASUS ROG RX key switches: How ROG is changing the game

Here's how the ASUS ROG RX switches are innovating the keyboard space

Updated: Sep 30, 2022 3:32 pm
ASUS ROG RX key switches: How ROG is changing the game

WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more


Even if you’re not aware of it, key switches have a huge impact on how your keyboard behaves. Whether it’s gaming, working, or general computer use, the feeling makes a big difference. Most people’s first port of call in search of an improved keyboard experience is picking up a mechanical keyboard. This is a good start as even the cheaper mechanical key switches tend to have a more enjoyable feeling to them, so many people simply stop there.

When you start to look deeper, however, there are some inherent limitations to traditional key switch design. They can be mitigated to an extent with aftermarket mods, but never removed entirely. Luckily, those industrious engineers over at ASUS ROG, have created the ROG RX switches and they’ve designed them to fix some of those inherent limitations, let’s take a look at the problems, and how ROG has sought to fix them.

Wobble-free key presses

The traditional Cherry-style key switch (No offense, we love you too, Cherry) attaches to the keycap via a singular ‘+’ shaped stem. This provides wide compatibility with aftermarket caps and an easy way to remove them.

However, the centrally placed stem leads to some unavoidable looseness, which can often result in the switch having a wobbly feeling to it. This is due to the inconsistent point of contact on the keycap, which makes the keycap depress unevenly. This could be solved by reducing the gap between the stem and the housing, but this would make the switch unusable.

RX switches feature 1 of 8

Asus ROG has improved this misdesign by going for a more comprehensive mounting system instead. The ROG RX mechanical switches are connected to the switch via 4 equally spaced stems, one in each corner. This means that the ROG RX switches are far more stable as the equilaterally positioned stems greatly decrease the amount of deviation caused by pressing the key cap off-center. The overall result of this is a more consistent experience across the board, regardless of application.

360-degree illumination

You might have heard the terms ‘north-facing’ and ‘south-facing’ before in regard to key switches. This describes the orientation of the RGB LED, which is either mounted in the switch itself or on the circuit board that the switch slots into. This creates an issue of illumination where the lighting is unevenly diffused. This rears its ugly head most noticeably when the keycaps have transparent legends, and becomes even worse when using pudding keycaps or similarly lighting-focused aftermarket caps.

Looking down at the keyboard, north-facing LEDs are mounted above the center of the switch, and south-facing is the opposite. This inevitably produces unbalanced lighting. The ROG RX switches utilize an innovative design that solves this issue. Relocating the stems to the corner edges frees up the middle of the switch, which is the perfect spot for the LED.

This results in evenly diffused light all the way around the switch, which is beneficial as ASUS ROG’s Armory Crate software is capable of some pretty impressive RGB light shows.

Near-zero debounce delay

Another problem that plagues traditional mechanical keyboards is debounce delay. debouncing is a necessary function to avoid multiple actuations for a single press, and ROG has figured out a solution to this problem too. Essentially, typical mechanical key switches work using two thin pieces of conductive metal, called the contact leaf and the switch plate. The action of pressing the key brings these two pieces closer together until they make contact.

This video from ASUS ROG will help to illustrate these features, and you get a kickass soundtrack too

This is fine for most applications, however, precision use cases, such as competitive gaming can present an issue, as the nature of a traditional switch is prone to an electronic quirk known as ‘bouncing’. Bouncing is the tendency of two conductive contacts in a system to produce erroneous and unintentional signals before and after the intentional signal is made.

These signals can be read by the computer as keystrokes, which give the effect of a key being pressed 2 or even 3 extra times, as you can imagine. this can cause annoyance in general use and vital mistakes in competitive scenarios. The traditional way of solving this is by implementing a ‘debounce delay’ which limits the number of signals that the keyboard will send to the computer. This is fine for general use but can result in less than ideal performance in gaming, as it can cause tiny delays which is unacceptable for competitive gaming where rounds can be won or lost in a matter of milliseconds.

The ROG RX key switches solve this issue as they do away with the conductive contacts we mentioned earlier, instead utilizing an optical actuation system that results in both fast actuation, and almost entirely removes the need for debounce delay. Unlike traditional switches, when you press an ROG RX switch, there are no electrical circuits being completed in the switch itself, instead, the downward movement of the switch blocks a laser at the actuation point.

This sort of switch technology, known as optical actuation, experiences almost no bouncing whatsoever, meaning that the signal is extremely precise. This means you need almost zero debounce delay, meaning that there is virtually no chance of keystrokes being missed or held up, waiting for the debounce delay to reset.

For the competitive gamer, you can’t get any better than the speed, reliability, and precise performances of the ASUS ROG RX switches.

100-million keystroke lifespan

So, now we’ve explained the mechanics of the ROG RX switches, we can fully understand another benefit of the light-actuated design, specifically the lack of metal contacts. As the ROG RX switches don’t rely on metal contact plates to send the actuation signal, they are far less prone to wearing about, as no pieces are slapping against each other every keystroke.

This results in a lifespan of 100 million keystrokes, which is up to 30% more than mechanical key switches of the traditional design. So the ROG RX switches aren’t just performance-focused, they’ll last the long haul too.

Clicky or linear?

Luckily, ASUS ROG understands how picky the mechanical keyboard community is, and they provide these innovative switches in linear and clicky variants, so those of you with a taste for tactility won’t be left out. The RX switches also have slightly different operating characteristics between the two variants, which we’ll show below for you.

ROG RX red switch 1

ROG RX Red switch

  • Pre-travel: 1.5mm
  • Total Travel: 4.00mm
  • Actuation force: 40gf

This is the speed-focused variant as the super light 40gf actuation force makers of effortless actuation that won’t slow your performance down.

ROG RX blue switch

ROG RX Blue switch

  • Pre-travel: 1.5mm
  • Total Travel: 4.00mm
  • Actuation force: 65gf

The RX Blue switch is more focused on the tactile switch lovers out there. The heavy 65gf actuation force requires definitive presses and rewards this with crisp physical and audible feedback.

Keyboards with the ROG RX switches

We’ve actually reviewed a few of the ASUS ROG keyboards that are now available with the RX switch variant in the past, and they’ve all scored very well. Here’s what we thought!

ROG Strix Scope NX TKL Deluxe Keyboard 15 1

ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL

“The ROG Strix Scope NX TKL is a strong contender for those of you who need a solid, stylized, and compact gaming keyboard. The construction is robust, has very little flex and we’re confident that it’ll last.”

Read the full ASUS ROG Strix Scope TKL review for more details.

ROG Falchion 1 of 1 10

ASUS ROG Falchion

“The ASUS ROG Falchion is a 65% wireless gaming keyboard that should be grabbing your attention, it’s feature-packed and aesthetically brilliant, as long as you love RGB. This board is completely unique in the world of gaming keyboards.”

The Full ASUS ROG Falchion review has more info about this great board

ROG Strix Animate Flare II Keyboard 9

ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate

“Aggressive, yet utilitarian is the best way to describe the Flare II Animate, from the dedicated media controls to the impressively thick and satisfyingly cold-to-the-touch aluminum alloy top plate. Everything is here for a very distinct reason, and we are big fans of this sort of design philosophy.”

For more on this uniquely illuminated keyboard, read our full ASUS ROG Strix Flare II review.

Trusted Source

WePC’s mission is to be the most trusted site in tech. Our editorial content is 100% independent and we put every product we review through a rigorous testing process before telling you exactly what we think. We won’t recommend anything we wouldn’t use ourselves. Read more