Subjective Thoughts on Switch Choices for Controllers

From Rhythm Cons Wiki

With the vast selection of switches available to use, there are a dizzying amount of options for what to choose. Below are some thoughts and reviews on various switches. Opinions will always be subjective, so please use these as a guideline and not as gospel. Please contribute if you would like to share your views!

For consistency, this article will use switch/spring notation for weight combinations.

Standard Choices

The following switches are very commonly used in both arcade setups, arcade-style controllers, and DIY setups.

Omron D2MV-01-1C2

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX This is a 25g switch with practically no resistance of its own and no tactile feel. Setups using it have a click sound but not any discernable click feel. For the absolute most featherhanded of players, this switch is sometimes preferred for ultra-light IIDX setups (25/40, 25/50).

For SDVX, setups using this switch require a heavy spring (100g) in order to rebound fast enough to hit certain patterns. In this sort of setup (25/100), fast button patterns are quickly exhausting for many players. With a heavy switch, there is a large resistance but then it clicks and gives way, whereas with a heavy spring it resists for the entire button travel and gets heavier the further you push it. I personally despise this setup and do not recommend it for SDVX.

This switch is prone to failure much earlier than other options on this list, particularly for those who use a lot of force hitting the buttons. These switches are also relatively expensive compared to other options.

Omron D2MV-01-1C3

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX, IIDX This is a 50g switch which is ubiquitous for home controllers. It is almost always available as a selection or default for controllers from makers like DJ Dao and YuanCon. This switch is very weakly tactile, and in gameplay the click feeling is basically nonexistent. Unlike other switches, this switch does not distinctly "give way" once actuated, and continues providing considerable resistance.

This switch is exceedingly common in 50/60 setups for both SDVX and IIDX where it works very well. IIDX Lightning Model cabinets ship with this switch as default in 50/50 setups, so for those seeking the most arcade-like setup for IIDX, this switch with 50g springs is the way to go. For SDVX, it's a good choice in a 50/60 setup if you're unsure what you want in particular and/or are new. It can be used in setups with heavier springs (50/100) but like the 25/100 setups, I personally find it to be unpleasantly stiff and exhausting. Some IIDX players and many BMS players use this switch for 50/20 setups, particularly with exceedingly dense charts.

The durability of the switch is fairly decent, but certainly not invincible. With extremely heavy use, they can need replacement in as little as 3 months, but with less heavy usage they usually last from 6 months to a year. Like the D2MV-01-1C2, these switches are relatively expensive.
Lain IIDX I mostly agree with everything Fiscrashett said above, but I just want to make an addendum to note that these switches tend to lose their click over time, unlike many other kinds of switches. New D2MV switches have a distinctly more responsive profile than broken-in ones, so this may be of consideration if you want that tactile feedback to be present. This shouldn't effect the technical function of the switch what so ever to my knowledge. This also applies to 1c2 to some degree since they share construction, but I haven't noticed it to the same degree personally.
YD SDVX, IIDX, BMS Switch goes end of life March 2023. As such prices through distributors for this part are comically high. As of Casthour IIDX Lightning cabinets started shipping with VX-01-1C23 instead.

Omron V-10-1A4 / Sanwa MS-O-3

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX This is a 100g switch which is the de facto standard for SDVX controller setups looking to replicate cabinets. It can also be found in some IIDX cabinets, as it was previously the stock switch prior to the Lightning Model. These switches have an extremely strong click feel, with nearly all of their resistance before actuation and completely giving way once overcome. This switch comes included with Sanwa buttons for SDVX and IIDX when bought with the old-style lamp holder.

This switch is most commonly used in 100/20 setups for SDVX, where it remains a favorite among many players due to its high tactility. For SDVX cabinets found in Round1 arcades, 100/20 is the most prevalent setup, although they use Sanwa integrated switches as opposed to this switch in particular. SDVX Valkyrie Model cabinets ship with 100/20 setups by default, but once again don't use this switch in particular and instead use Sanwa integrated switches.

For players looking for heavier setups, this switch works equally well for virtually any spring weight so long as you have the strength for it. 100/100 is the upper limit for what most players consider playable, and few find it comfortable, but some do. For IIDX, this switch is very rarely seen. Some players use it in 100/20 setups but mostly it's just present in old cabinets with 100/100 setups that never got changed.

The durability of this switch is top-tier. Replacing these switches is not something that needs to be done routinely. Personally, my set of V-10-1A4 switches have still yet to fail after a year and a half of intense usage. Better still, these switches are relatively very cheap so replacing them is not a big deal.

Non-standard Choices

The following switches are less commonly used in typical setups.

Omron VX-5-1C23

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX, IIDX This is a 50g switch with very strong tactility considering its light actuation force. In 50/60 and 50/50 setups, they have a considerable click feel. Overall, they felt very nice to use. Unfortunately, these switches are extremely prone to failure in controllers. Dropped inputs and double clicks start occuring within as little as 3 weeks. Adding insult to injury, these switches are relatively very expensive.

Supposedly, the durability of VX-01-1C23 switches is much better, due to a different contact material.

Omron D3V-01-1C23

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX, IIDX This is another 50g switch which is somewhat commonly chosen as a cheaper alternative to D2MV-01-1C3 switches. They have a clicky feeling like the VX-01-1C23 but not as strong, and in 50/60 and 50/50 setups, the tactility is noticeable compared to D2MV-01-1C3 but still very weak. They're perfectly fine, in my experience.

Durability is comparable to D2MV-01-1C3 switches, and the price is much cheaper, so these are a solid choice.

Gersung GSM-V0303A06

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX This is a 65g* switch that comes included with Samducksa buttons for IIDX and pop'n. I have tried them for SDVX in a 65/50 setup and found it to be slightly better than 50/60 but still significantly worse than 100/20. Regarding that asterisk, these switches have pretty significantly varying weight and clickiness from switch to switch. Don't expect Omron levels of quality control and consistency.

For the price, I would say the durability is fine. Some players use these in their IIDX and pop'n setups since they just never replaced them with Omrons, and they're fine. Nothing really wrong with using them, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to get them.
Lain IIDX Samducksa's standard mid-size button switch. It's a 60g highly tactile switch with a snap action at 1.3mm, resistance dropoff at 1.5mm, and total travel of 2.4mm (+/- 0.2mm). These will often come in one of three outer casings; entirely black, black with one gray side or entirely gray, all with a red plunger. They can be opened up non-destructively for minor maintenance i.e brushing strands out of the contacts to fix misfires, unlike most if not all Omron switches.

If you have ever used an Omron VX switch, this is similar, however the click is not quite as heavy as with those.

One issue you might run to and not even realise, is that occassionally when you buy these from Istmall pre-installed they can include the wrong switch, as Gersung make more than just this 60g variant. They will refund or send you replacements if you email support with regards to that.

Common pairings are with the stock 20g spring found in Samducksa IIDX buttons, which is good for those who like more raw tactile/non linear response from buttons. Personally I like this setup quite a lot, and has a very fast up stroke for repeated notes because of the tactility of the switch. Reliability and consistency has been good for me, I mix and match Gersung switches from batches 4 years apart with no particular issues. I opt to use these in tandem with Sanwa 40g springs in Samducksa buttons; As I hit the keys quite hard when I play, I like the cushioning effect of a heavier spring to fit the mid to heavy weight class the Gersung 60 fits into.

Depending on where you bought switches from and when, the response can vary; I believe this applies to all switches, not just gersungs, but the way different vendors store switches may have an effect as humidity is a large factor to switch contact degradation. Always buy spares when you buy new switches, which in the case of Gersungs will be a pretty cheap endeavour.

Omron D3V-11-1A4

User Game Tested Comments
Fiscrashett SDVX This is a 100g switch that I tried as part of experimenting to find the secret sauce of SDVX arcade switch feeling. In SDVX cabinets, inside the integrated lamp holder units are V-11-3D4-SD switches, which are a custom model made for Sanwa Denshi. V-11-3D4-SD switches, compared to V-10-1A4, have a slightly softer click and a springier feel.

D3V-11-1A4 switches also have a softer click, but unfortunately much too drastically softer. Using these in a 100/20 setup was mediocre at best.

Cherry/ZF D41X/D419-R1AA-G2

User Game Tested Comments
Shoko beatmania IIDX/BMS This is a 45g switch that comes from Cherry/ZF, these can be a bit annoying to find depending where you are... and it doesn't help that some switches in the D41 lineup is actually like 170g+. The switches definitely aren't very tactile at all, only having an extremely light tactility that's more drawn out compared to VX-01-1A3 or even D2MV-01-1C3. They do still have a click sound, but a very soft one. They are less tactile than their 75g counterpart, the Cherry/ZF D44X. The switch has a very springy feel and as a result it does make it feel considerably heavier than 45g.

In my experience, because of the extra springy feel, it feels like it adds about 20g to the button's spring feel. Because of that I'd consider compensating the extra weight with a lighter spring. What I found works best is using these with either 20g springs or 40g springs, this would make it feel more like 50/40 or 50/60 respectively or maybe lighter.

Since the switch is non standard, I'd mainly consider these switches if you are looking for a cheaper switch to get. And even then compared to the D44X, these can be pricier. The durability is up in the air for now, but Cherry D4 series and K series micro switches has been significantly more durable than any brand I've used for any arcade buttons. So these switches can potentially be extremely durable.

As for the feel during play, there isn't really any major tactility on the downstroke. Actually, it would be impossible to even notice any tactility from the switch during play in my opinion. But there is a lot more feedback on the upstroke compared to Omron D2MV-01-1C3, Omron VX-01-1A3, or Gersung GSM-V0303A06. I personally don't like a lot of tactility for my buttons for BMS so this is perfectly fine for me. I personally think the switches are pretty solid for play for me, the switches feels very consistent and I like the extra feedback on the upstroke. For the sound, the sound of the switch makes the buttons sound much bassier than any other switch I have tried in comparison. These makes the buttons a real joy to hear in my opinion.

That being said, I know this switch is certainly going to be polarizing for IIDX/BMS because of the added spring weight feel and lack of tactility on the downstroke. So I can't recommend it to everyone. If you know you want minimal tactility on the downstroke and don't plan on going lighter than 50/40, then these switches could be an option to consider if you don't want to switch over to Omron VX-01-1A3 or can't find Omron D2MV-01-1C3
YD beatmania IIDX/BMS This switch was previously listed on this site with a deprecated part number that has been obsoleted and was thus hard to find. This issue has been corrected. Check octopart for stock. As for the switch weight, that is determined by the partnumber, see the part number breakdown. D413- is the heavy switch, D419- is the light switch, the light switch having a 45g operational force.

Cherry D45X/ZF D459-R1AA-G2

User Game Tested Comments
SakifX9 Sound Voltex This is a 100g Switch that I have decided to try after hearing how the 75g version (Cherry D44X) was pretty durable. The Chery D45X feeling is comparable to the Omron V-11-3D4-SD which is used in cabinets, it has a softer and springier feel compared to the Omron V-10-1A4 but feels slightly stiffer compared to both the V-11-3D4-SD and V-10-1A4 switches which is noticeable when you press the button slowly but wasn't too noticeable for me during gameplay. Pairing this with a 20g spring made it feel really close the to Valkyrie cabinet configuration, personally it felt consistent enough for me that I can't tell too much of a difference between my home setup and the setup on the Valkyrie cabs that I play on.