Many brands are now releasing keyboards with anti-ghosting technology to ensure that you don’t experience keyboard ghosting. But, what is keyboard ghosting? Well, the term “keyboard ghosting” is not as bad as you might think. So why should companies release anti-ghosting keyboards if it’s not so bad? This is because having to experience keyboard ghosting may cause an unpleasant typing experience.
When looking for the best keyboard, you usually check its durability, keyboard switches, build, layout, and even ergonomics. These are all of the top factors to consider, but you may want to also consider the possible negative features a keyboard could have, such as ghosting.
You’ll find many anti-ghosting keyboards available on the market to solve the problem, but the question still arises: what is keyboard ghosting? So, today we will be talking about what keyboard ghosting is. Let’s get into it!
What is Keyboard Ghosting?
Keyboard ghosting is a ghosting issue when the keyboard does not register a key when it is pressed simultaneously with two keys, three keys, or more. This means that when simultaneous keys are pressed, this can cause a few or more keys to not work. For example, imagine playing your favorite video game where you have to press the WASD keys simultaneously, sometimes, your keyboard may not register the A key you pressed, which can lead to you losing the game.
Simultaneous key presses can result in poor typing or gaming experience. This issue is quite common with poorly made keyboards and keyboards with older peripherals. Keyboard ghosting is also more common in membrane keyboards compared to mechanical keyboards. When you’re gaming, the last thing you would want to happen is one of the keys not registering in an intense fight.
Therefore, it’s very important to get a decent keyboard that won’t have this issue. Since most keyboards do not support multiple simultaneous keys being pressed, it would be better for you to just get an anti-ghosting keyboard which we will look into further later.
What Causes Keyboard Ghosting?
Since you now know what keyboard ghosting is, I think you ought to know what causes keyboard ghosting.
Keyboard ghosting issues occur when keyboard manufacturers fail to take into account that users may be gamers who need to press down on multiple keys simultaneously. Failing to take that into account, many users may experience keyboard ghosting since manufacturers end up using cheaper parts or lower quality parts and components that do not allow any more than a few keys to be pressed simultaneously and repeatedly.
Ghosting may go unnoticed by casual users, but to those gamers who do notice this, ghosting can cause very undesirable gaming results. Using cheaper keyboard hardware and components may save production costs, but you may risk losing a loyal customer which is not good for the company name.
Testing Keyboard Ghosting
Now since you understand what ghosting is and how ghosting occurs, you might be wondering how you can test whether or not your own keyboard is experiencing ghosting problems. We’ve provided two simple methods for checking the ghosting status of your keyboards. The first method is to use your on-screen keyboard, and the second method is to use a ghosting checking website.
Using On-Screen Keyboard
Using your on-screen keyboard is the easiest way you can check if your keyboard has any issues when multiple keys are pressed. This is because when you use your on-screen keyboard, the on-screen keyboard highlights the keys you press on the entire keyboard.
To check if your keyboard has ghosting problems, turn on your on-screen keyboard and click on a few key combinations, if all of the keys you pressed are highlighted, then it means that your is no ghosting on your keyboard. However, if you click on key combinations but one or several keys you press are not highlighted, this means your keyboard has ghosting problems.
Make sure that you also try out other key combinations because some keys such as the WASD, ctrl, alt, and shift keys were designed to not ghost when clicked simultaneously.
Using a Keyboard Ghosting Checker Site
If the first method is not working, we recommend that you try out a ghosting checker website. It works the same as using the on-screen keyboard. We highly recommend Keyboard Checker which you can try out here.
How to Prevent Keyboard Ghosting?
After checking your keyboard, you might be wondering how you can prevent keyboard ghosting. Well, there isn’t really a definitive way to prevent ghosting since it is caused by cheaper hardware and software limits.
What you can actually do to prevent ghosting is to purchase a keyboard or gaming keyboard that has anti-ghosting features. You can also look for keyboards that are designed to support up to a certain number of keypresses. They’re usually advertised as “# of keys that can be pressed + KRO,” for example, 6KRO. But the best among all of these is NKRO which we’ll talk about more along with 6KRO later.
How to Fix Keyboard Ghosting?
There aren’t any quick fixes for keyboard ghosting because it isn’t a solvable problem with the software. Rather, it is just a hardware issue that requires hardware repair. However, most of us have no skills to repair a keyboard’s hardware, plus it can be a hassle if you’re not skilled and don’t have the right materials. However, if you’re really set on doing this yourself, you can try out “key remapping.”
Key remapping is essentially what allows users to connect a set of keystrokes to a specific action, such that typing the set of keystrokes triggers the action.
Keyboards with Anti-Ghosting Technology
If you don’t want to do the heavy work of key remapping, you can ditch your old keyboard and buy a modern anti-ghosting keyboard.
Anti-ghosting simply implies that you can press multiple keys on the keyboard, follow many three key combinations and still have the keyboard register the presses without encountering any rollover or ghosting issues.
Take note that anti-ghosting keyboards are pricier than your standard keyboard. However, if you can afford to buy an anti-ghosting keyboard, then why not pay that extra dime to enhance your gaming or typing experience.
Advantages of Keyboards with Anti-Ghosting Technology
Gaming requires fast-paced actions, especially if you get to the crucial part of the game. You’re probably pressing down on a lot of keys rapidly. This is where anti-ghosting keyboards come in. Anti-ghosting keyboards will make sure that every keypress is registered, allowing you to not lose your gaming momentum.
Every Keypress is Registered
Low-quality keyboards typically tend to not register keypresses when following key combinations. Anti-ghosting keyboards, on the other hand, do not lose keypresses no matter how many keys you press and key combinations in a row, making usability smoother and the general experience much better.
Other Keyboard Terms You Should Know
To fully understand the term “keyboard ghosting,” there are a few more terms you should know such as key rollover, n-key rollover, and the difference between 6KRO and NKRO.
Key rollover is essentially the number of keys that you can press simultaneously. One of the most common key rollovers is 6KRO. The number before the word “KRO” is the number of keys + modifier keys (ctrl, alt, shift, etc.) you can press and still have the keyboard recognize the keypress.
For gaming, having a minimum of 6-key rollover would be enough since games don’t typically have more than six key combinations. For rapid typists and most gamers, 6KRO provides enough simultaneous keystrokes. But for more competitive games or gamers, N-key rollover (NKRO) would be much better than 6KRO.
N-key rollover or also known as NKRO is the best and will give you the finest gaming and typing experience. An N-key rollover keyboard is guaranteed to register EVERY keypress and key combination you’ll need. Compared to anti-ghosting, NKRO is much better since anti-ghosting has a limitation on which key combinations and how many can be pushed at once, but n-key rollover keyboards have no such limitations (aside from a few limitations).
6KRO vs. NKRO
Without a doubt, NKRO is much better than 6KRO because n-key rollover keyboards don’t have many limitations in terms of how many keys you can click on simultaneously. Unlike with 6KRO and anti-ghosting keyboards that have a bigger limitation on how many keyboard keys you can press before a keypress is not registered.
Keyboard ghosting does not really affect everyone since not everyone has the need to click on multiple keys simultaneously or rapidly press on multiple key combinations. Therefore, most keyboards would still work great for those casual typers. But to those who are affected — especially gamers — it can be quite annoying. It downgrades the overall experience.
So, when looking for the best keyboard, make sure it has anti-ghosting or 6KRO, but it would be a better choice to choose one that features NKRO to ensure that every keypress is registered.