What is keyboard ghosting?

Keyboard ghosting is a limitation of keyboards that fail to register multiple keys at a time.

Here, ghosting refers to keystrokes lost due to the inability of a keyboard due to simultaneous signals that come naturally from editors and gamers as they press more than 2 and 3 keystrokes at a time in their workflow.

This generally happens with cheaper keyboards only, which are only made for normal users who are not going to use it more than just simple shortcuts (less than 3 keystrokes).

Keyboard Ghosting

For example, if a user registers Ctrl + C in a Windows-based computer, it copies the file/s.

Similarly, Ctrl + Alt + Del gives you quick access to Lock, Switch User, Sign Out and Task Manager.

These special keystroke combinations will not work if the keyboard has a major ghosting issue.

Gamers tend to press more than 3 keystrokes at a time like W, A, S, D — for movement, Ctrl and Shift with W, A, S, D and many more which vary from game to game.

Mostly, any keyboard, including cheaper one, does support keystroke combinations up to 2/3 levels. But when it comes to gaming, those all fail, so better you invest in a high-end keyboard for gaming.

Is there any fix to keyboard ghosting?

Unfortunately, there is no fix to keyboard ghosting, as this is a hardware-level issue. So the ultimate solution would be buying a new keyboard which is more advance or made for professional work.

Fortunately, there is a trick (but it is not a solution), try “On-Screen Keyboard” in Windows OS. It allows you a virtual keyboard to work around. But it is not a reliable fix. Just works for very simple operations.

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  1. Pishang Avatar

    Thanks Atul for the information on keyboard ghosting. I just experienced this issue with my dell KB216 which is a mutimedia keyboard, but I was using it for gaming.

    All the time I was just troubleshooting my keyboard settings and messing around with driver updates, nothing works. Later I came to know that it was not made for gaming and has some ghosting issue as you explained in above article. Really appreciate man for the information.

    1. AtulHost Avatar

      Thanks for sharing your experience Pishang, as I checked the keyboard model and found that, YES, it has ghosting issue, so you won’t be able to play games which require multiple keystrokes simultaneously. Buy a better keyboard if looking to fix the problem with gaming.