Ghosting, a term used to describe the inability of a keyboard to keep up with the speed at which you type, is a common annoyance that affects laptop and desktop users. This can happen when you are using a laptop or desktop with a mouse and keyboard combinations that are above the threshold of the input device, which can interrupt the typing flow. You can read more about it here.
What is anti-ghosting keyboard?
In summary, anti-ghosting is a technology that makes sure you can press many keys at the same time without getting an error. It is a very useful technology that ensures that you can use all of the keys on your keyboard without fearing an error.
A keyboard’s switches are arranged in a certain number of rows and columns in an electrical matrix. Whenever a key is pressed, it joins two rows or columns. There is no standard for the layout of the actual keyboard matrix – it varies from model to model.
A “ghosting” condition occurs when tapping three keys in a precise pattern on the matrix make it appear as if the fourth is also being pushed.
If you press “V,” “G,” and “N” together, it will appear like “J” is also pushed in this matrix.
By placing a signal (typically grounding) on each row in turn, and then scanning each column to see which keys have been pressed, the keyboard is processed (or the other way around, obviously). In order to make the fourth switch look like it’s being pressed, you’ll need to tap three keys in the manner mentioned above.
The layout of your keyboard matrix determines which keys will cause this.
The solution to ghosting is to add a diode to each switch. Using this method will prevent ghosting. This is known as “anti-ghosting.”
Despite the fact that N-key rollover and anti-ghosting are not the same, they are both relevant. Keypresses will be unreliable unless anti-ghosting is in place, therefore there’s no use in trying to register every single one of them.
What is N key rollover (NKRO)?
An n-key rollover determines how many keys on a computer keyboard can be read simultaneously.
To save money, you can design a keyboard only to detect one or two key presses at a time because most keyboards only use one at a time. These keyboards are despised by gamers and fast typists alike because they fail to recognize simultaneous or rapid key presses. Worse yet, if several key presses are required, they may generate “ghost” keypresses.
The term “n-key rollover” denotes that a keyboard can accommodate “n” keypresses at the same time. This functionality can be verified using the software. Therefore, a keyboard’s rollover capability can be determined by an n-key rollover test.
Are all mechanical keyboards anti-ghost?
Most of the mechanical keyboards have anti-ghosting features but not all. They are actually defined by NKRO. NKRO refers to the ability of a keyboard to register the simultaneous press of all of its keys.
Many low-cost keyboards only have 2KRO, but keyboards at higher price points (and many mechanical keyboards) have 6KRO or more as their maximum key resolution.
Although mechanical keyboards often feature 6KRO or more, there are a few of rubber dome keyboards that don’t. Try searching for “Filco Majestouch-2 NKRO” before purchasing an anti-ghosting mechanical keyboard if the rollover is not indicated on the product page, e.g.
How do I know if my keyboard is anti-ghosting?
Holding down both shift keys while typing ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ will result in the sentence reading “HE QUIK BROWN FO JUPS OER HE LA DOG” if you do not have the anti-ghosting feature on your keyboard.
Most keyboard manufacturers, in an effort to reduce costs, limit the number of three-key combinations that can be pressed at the same time on their products. Anti-ghosting keyboards for games make it easy to input text without being interrupted by this difficulty.
How to prevent keyboard ghosting?
Other than spending extra money on “anti-ghosting” keyboards as a gamer, there is nothing you can do in software to circumvent this hardware limitation.
As a result, your best course of action is to:
- Make sure you don’t have to hit too many keys at once.
- If gamepads are available, take advantage of them.
- A non-ghosting keyboard layout can be found by letting the player change the keymap.
- Keep to the left of the keyboard (near WASD) as keyboards prefer to prevent ghosting in this area.
PC games employed modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, and Shift) since these keys were wired to handle being pushed in combination with other keys, preventing ghosting as a means of controlling the game. During the 1990s, the OS began to use the modifier keys more frequently, which would interfere with the gameplay.
Anti-ghosting keyboard buying guide
Start by looking into “anti-ghosting” keyboards for the first time. As an example, “25-key anti-ghosting” is a common name for this type of keyboard feature. In terms of anti-ghosting, this isn’t going to cover the entire keyboard, but it will specifically target keys that are frequently held down in conjunction with other keys.
Another alternative is to look for keyboards that can handle a particular number of keystrokes. The term “[number]-key rollover” is used to describe these. Rollover keyboards allow you to hold down four keys at once, for example.
In conclusion, the anti-ghosting feature helps gamers perform tasks with ease and without interruption. A gamer will be able to do multiple things without getting distracted as the keys can handle the commands simultaneously. The gamers will be able to win because their opponents will be stuck with the issue of the ghosting problem. You can feel the pleasure of playing without interruption when you have a keyboard without ghosting. We hope this article helped you understand NKRO and the anti-ghosting feature of the keyboard.