What Mechanical Switches are compatible with my NZXT Function Keyboard?

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This article covers switch compatibility with the NZXT Function Mechanical Keyboard.  Please note, this only applies to the following models:

This guide does not apply to the Function 2 Optical Keyboard.  For information on switch compatibility for the Function 2 Optical Keyboard, please see the guide linked below:

NZXT Support - What Optical Switches are compatible with my NZXT Function 2 Keyboard?


All NZXT Function Mechanical Keyboards come with hot-swappable switch sockets.  This means that whether a switch wears out and needs to be replaced, or you want to change up the switches to better match your typing preferences it's a simply 4-stype procedure to swap out the switch.

  1. Using the included Keycap Puller, remove the Keycap for the button(s) you wish to replace on your Keyboard.
  2. Using the included Switch Puller, grip the Key Switch and remove the switch.
  3. Align your replacement switch with the socket, then firmly press down until you feel the switch lock into place.
  4. Replace the removed Keycap.

However, before doing this you may find yourself asking a few questions:

  • What switches are compatible with my keyboard?  Do I go with MX-Style or can I use low-profile switches?
  • Can I use Optical Switches, or am I limited to Mechanical Switches?  What about Hybrid Membrane Switches?
  • What brand of Switch should I go with?
  • Can I use 3-pin?  5-pin?  What are "pins"?

To start, NZXT Function Mechanical Keyboards are only compatible with 3-pin or 5-pin, MX-style Mechanical Switches.

MX-Style switches are going to be the most common type of Mechanical Keyboard Switch on the market and are manufactured by a number of companies, including but not limited to:

  • Gateron (the primary supplier for the switches included with pre-built and custom NZXT Function keyboards)
  • Cherry
  • Kailh
  • Outemu
  • Zeal
  • Akko
  • And many, many more

The name "MX Style" refers specifically to the Cherry MX style of switch which was developed by CHERRY in the early 1980s and has become the standard in the mechanical keyboard space over the years.  These switches can be easily identified by their square form factor, sloped top, cross-shaped stem, and two metal pins located beneath the switch.


For MX-style switches, the two most common types you'll see are 3-pin and 5-pin which can be identified by checking the underside of the switch.

  • 3-pin or Plate switches will include two metal pins, as well as a single plastic retention pin located in the center of the switch.  These are named plate switches due to being designed for use specifically with a mounting plate.
  • 5-pin or PCB switches will include the same two metal pins and plastic retention pin as seen on the Plate variant, but will also include a pair of plastic stability pins to help align the switch with the keyboard's Printed Circuit Board (PCB).  PCB switches can be used with or without a mounting plate.

The NZXT Function Mechanical Keyboards are compatible with both 3-pin and 5-pin switches without the need for modification to the switch or keyboard.





What type of switch should I get?

A common question while picking switches for your keyboard is the question of which type of switch should you choose.  This question can be quite complex for most users, however to make this simple let's start by breaking down the 3 basic switch types:  Clicky, Tactile, and Linear.

  • Clicky switches as their name implies covers all switches that have an audible click when the switch is pressed.  Some of the most popular switches in the Clicky category would include things like the Cherry MX Blue, Gateron Blue, or Kailh Box Navy to name a few.
  • Tactile switches are similar to Clicky switches in that they provide feedback when the switch is pressed, however instead of an audible "click" it's instead a tactical bump that is felt.  Some of the most popular switches in this category are the Cherry MX Brown, Gateron Brown, or the Holy Panda.
  • Linear switches are the last type and get their name from simply being a linear button.  Linear switches provide no audible or tactile feedback when the button is pressed, instead putting a focus on a smooth typing feel.  Some of the most popular switches in this category are the Cherry MX Red, Gateron Red, or Novelkeys Cream.

Out of the three switch types, linear switches tend to be the most popular option amongst gaming keyboards while Tactile and Clicky switches are popular amongst typists based on personal preference.

At the end of the day, the switch you go with is going to be based on your level of comfort and personal preference.  The best way to pick out the right switch is to try out a variety of switches, and many switch companies may sell sample packs or test kits that can help you pick out the best switch for you.

Do you have any questions not covered by this guide or need further assistance?  Please feel free to reach out to our Customer Support team and one of our friendly support agents will be there to assist you.

Are you looking to keep up on all things NZXT?  Go ahead and join the Official NZXT Community Discord to keep up to date on our latest products, upcoming sales, and join in on discussions on everything from PC hardware to gaming.

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