Cherry makes community switch official with the Cherry MX Ergo Clear

Cherry clear switches
(Image credit: Cherry MX)
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Mechanical keyboards are a pretty big staple for PC gamers in this day and age. We can't get enough of those sometimes very clicky keys with actuation that just feels so much more certain than non mechanical variants. This is all thanks to the switches that sit under the keys, which come in all different variants and brands. There's not really a bigger name when it comes specifically to key switches than Cherry MX, and the brands just launched a new official switch from a community based design.

The Cherry MX Ergo Clear (opens in new tab) is a quiet switch that came about thanks to DIY efforts from the community, and now it makes its way to the official Cherry line-up. The Ergo Clear (opens in new tab) first showed up back in March 2011 when a user going by mtl showed off their modification on the Geekhack forums (opens in new tab)

The mod involved swapping out the springs that came with the MX Clear board at the time, and replacing them with springs from the MX Black switches. You can still go see the post now (opens in new tab), which details how they came to this combination. It provides a smoother typing feel, and changes the bottom-out force, making for something a bit like a cross between the MX Clear and MX Brown Cherry switches. More importantly, it was a big hit in the keyboard community.

It's almost a surprise to see Cherry take so long to bring these fan-made switches into the official rotation, but it's a lovely special edition touch for enthusiasts. Plus, the modification process is rather fiddly, and this gives less experienced users a much easier way of getting their hands on Ergo Clear keys. 

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Of course, these official MX Ergo Clear switches have a few professional tweaks from Cherry MX as the brand is a fan of sneaky upgrades (opens in new tab). The original version used a PTFE lubricant coating which has been replaced with a high-performance grease at specific points. It allows Cherry MX to guarantee more than 50 million actuations, and is probably a bit safer for the life of the switch. 

Furthermore, the Cherry MX Ergo Clear will come in different variations. There's the RGB version for gamers who want their keyboards to shine as brightly as their kill streak. These have a translucent upper portion of the keys which will let LEDs show through. Or you can rock the standard darker switches for a more discrete look.

Both kinds will be available in both 3-pin and 5-pin configurations, as well as built into upcoming keyboard models. If the community is anything to go by, these are going to be some lovely, smooth, quiet typing experiences, great for gaming and office use. I can't wait to try out some official Cherry MX Ergo Clears myself, and feel the difference.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.