Keyboard ghosting refers to an unregistered keypress process where the system doesn’t recognize your keypress even though you have pressed a key. This mostly happens in cheap keyboards containing low-end key switches and chipsets. Such errors often happen during gaming as you have to press multiple keys to achieve the desired result. Meanwhile, typists rarely face such issues as they only press one key at a time.
Most membrane and low-quality keyboard support up to three simultaneous keypresses, which is enough for regular typing works. Gamers on the other hand may face major technical issues with such keyboards.
Importance Of Anti-Ghosting Technology In Gaming
Suppose you are playing a first-person shooter game and pruning around the battlefield. To do it effectively, you need to keep pressing the W button to move forward.
Similarly, you also need to use the A S D buttons continuously. Apart from holding the WASD buttons, you also have to press the shift key continuously to switch in-between ‘walk’ and ‘run’ mode.
Now, in this scenario, you have to simultaneously hold two buttons.
Moving further, when you see an enemy you need to press the Ctrl key to crouch so that to take some cover.
Now, you are holding three buttons simultaneously, which most low-budget keyboards support.
Then comes the tough part. As of now, you are moving forward faster while crouching. Then suddenly you see a landmine ahead of you.
What will you do? Jump of course.
So in order to do that you have to press the space bar.
Since you have exhausted all keypresses in your regular keyboard; sadly, you can’t make the jump.
Even though you press the space button, the button will ghost you. Meaning it won’t get activated.
You may release some other key to make the jump, but that would take additional time and may even ruin your whole strategy.
Since, every second counts in gaming, you can’t afford to take any risk in such a critical situation.
How To Fix/Avoid Keyboard Ghosting?
Go for a keyboard with anti-ghosting support.
However, before buying an anti-ghostingkeyboard, make sure to check the specifications and ensure it meets your demands.
Generally, you will find keyboards mentioning “20- key anti-ghosting”. It means the keyboard only supports 20 keys for anti-ghosting, while rest other keys will not work during regressive gaming.
In such keyboards, the manufacturers put anti-ghosting technology only on most used keys like WASD, space, shift, ctrl, etc.
However, such a mechanism does not work for competitive gamers, especially while reassigning keypresses.
For example, if you want to switch your movement from WASD to IOPL keys, you have to ensure whether IOPL keys are not covered under anti-ghosting technology or not. Otherwise, this could hinder your gameplay.
So, what is the solution?
Choose 100% anti-ghosting keyboards
100% anti-ghosting keyboards come with NKRO anti-ghosting technology that registers every single keypress separately, causing zero ghosting.
What Is NKRO?
The N-Key Rollover (NKRO) in keyboard determines how successfully your keyboard simultaneously registers multiple keypresses. You won’t see any difference while typing slowly, but issues often occur when you play fast-paced games or types with full speed.
For example- if a keyboard recognizes 3 keypresses simultaneously, then you will see ‘2KRO’ mentioned in the specification.
KRO means Key rollover. Many low priced membrane keyboards only support around 2-3 KRO, the number goes 6KRO or higher among high-end or mechanical keyboards.
For best performance, you can buy keyboards with 100% Anti Ghosting Technology or NKRO. Such keyboards can register all keys when pressed simultaneously.
So when you press more keys than a keyboard can happen, it results in two things- ghosting or error. In ghosting, the additional key won’t show up or work.
However, in some cases, when you press three keys in a 2KRO keyboard, it will mistakenly register (over register) an additional key, which you haven’t pressed at all. Such technicalities can negatively affect your gaming and typing activities.
How Do I Know If My Keyboard Is Anti Ghosting?
Ghost keys don’t work when pressed with multiple keys simultaneously. So, one of the easiest ways to find out is to Press both the Shift Keys and start typing every letter in the order they are on your keypad. If you see missing letters in the series, they are “ghosted” for sure. Usually, you can check the product description on the company page to see whether your keyboard is anti-ghosting or not- a simple way out.
Do Mechanical keyboards have ghosting?
Usually, you will not find ghosting in any mechanical keyboard, unlike membrane keyboards. However, the majority of them work fine with three keys pressed together which is more than enough for any pro gamer.
What Is a Full N Key Rollover?
NKRO is mentioned in the form of ‘n-key rollover’, where n denotes the number of keys the keyboard recognized during simultaneous presses. If you see any keyboard having “n-key rollover” written in their product description that means it is immune to ghosting and jamming. It also tells you that each key has been tested for its correct keypress capability irrespective of how many other keys are pressed with it.
Every time technology takes the next leap, it raises the bar for new user-experiences and challenges. Similarly, the bar of computer gaming is also rising and so are the challenges. The completion of gaming is full-on and equipping yourself with the latest technology will always keep you one step ahead. We hope this article will help you find a detailed answer to your question you have been looking for.