What is a Game Switch?

Game switch

A Game Switch is a switch which is rated for and meant for use in gaming situations.

This is a switch which is used for devices such as game controllers as for gaming consoles, arcade controls, and all other gaming usage.

Gaming controllers

All of the gaming controllers, such as for Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation, utilize pushbuttons, such as the start button, the A button, the B button, the X button, the Y button, the up/down/left/right buttons. These pushbuttons are switches. They are momentary pushbutton switches which are rated for gaming situations.

What is the feature which is characteristic of gaming switches? When a switch is rated for gaming switches, it means it can withstand rugged and repetitive pushing. This is why only switches rated for gaming should be used for gaming devices. When rated for gaming use, this means these switches can withstand a great deal of rugged action, which is constant, rugged, and repetitive pushing.

When playing a game, especially shooting games, which you are probably familiar with, since mostly like you've played it yourself, you know how often and hard a player can keep on pushing a button, such as to shoot a gun, run, duck...etc. He can push the button almost repetitively without end. And with a pretty intense game, he may jab at the buttons pretty hard.

With this type of use, a weak pushbutton switch cannot be used. It will break with this type of hard and repetitive use. Thus, it is not a good idea to design a gaming controls with standard controls. It must be rated for games.

A design engineer should only use switches rated for games for rugged, repetitive usage.

Most game switches are momentary pushbuttons. When a switch is momentary, it is only active when it is pushed and held down. When it the button is released, the button is no longer active. If you've played video games, you know this is how all switch pushbuttons work. When you press A, the button A is only active when you push and hold it down. If released, then the A button is no longer active.

Electrical Specifications

A game switch, just as all switches, come with electrical specifications. This is the maximum amount of voltage, in volts, which can be dropped across it and the maximum amount of current, in amps, which can pass through the switch.

A designer uses these specifications which comes with the game switch to make sure that the circuit voltage and current does not exceed the ratings of the switch. For example, a switch rated for 5amps @ 125Vac should not have more than 125Vac dropped across it or more than 5 amps of current passing through it. Normally with these high ratings, electronic circuits will almost never exceed this type of voltage and current. But these should still be checked and heeded to, to make sure circuit voltage and current is within spec for the game switch.

Mechanical Specifications

Mechanical specifications is just the size of the pushbutton, how big or small you want. Different game switches come in all different sizes, or dimensions. Choose the size of the pushbutton switch which you would need for your design.

An example of such a switch rated for games can be found at the following link at allelectronics.com: Lighted Game Switch

To see a wider variety of game switches, see all their switches at this link: Game Switches.
Note: Not all of these pushbuttons are game switches, but most of them are. If they are, you will see under the description, switch for displays and games.

Related Resources

What is a Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) Switch?

What is a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) Switch?

What is a Double Pole Single Throw (DPST) Switch?

What is a Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) Switch?

What is a Normally Open Push Button?

What is a Normally Closed Push Button?

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