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What is a Gaming Keyboard – 3 Features Explained

What is a Gaming Keyboard - Intro 2

Before we start talking about what is a gaming keyboard, we should take a detour for what is a keyboard in general (small detour!).

“A computer keyboard is an input device that allows a person to enter lettersnumbers, and other symbols (these are called characters) into a computer. It is one of the most used input devices for computers. Using a keyboard to enter lots of data is called typing. “

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_(computer)

So now we can give a definition of What is a Gaming Keyboard :

What is a Gaming Keyboard Definition

What is a Gaming Keyboard - What is a Gaming Keyboard Definition 2

A Gaming Keyboard is a keyboard with additional characteristics designed for gaming. Those characteristics include:

Led or RGB lights for better aesthetic feel (because gamers spend lots of time gaming they need something good to look at haha – or of course the lights are useful in the dark).

Better pressing key mechanisms (mechanical switches) to sustain a long hour gameplay without causing discomfort.

More key mechanic features (like Anti-ghosting) to improve gaming performance suited to most games (especially fast paced).

More buttons and more complex software to enable macros and switching between macros in a fast manner.

Expanation of some Gaming Keyboard Features

But let’s keep going by explaining some of the features these gaming keyboards provide.

Anti-ghosting

What is a Gaming Keyboard - Anti-ghosting 2

There are some pretty good answers from Quora. Let’s see them.

“Ghosting” is the problem that some keyboard keys don’t work when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. The key presses that don’t show up on the computer or seem to have disappeared are said to have been “ghosted”.
Ghosting is the result of one or more of following three limitations: the hardware can’t read the given key combination, the software on the computer doesn’t support multiple simultaneous keys, or the communication protocol between the hardware and software limits the maximum number of simultaneous keys reported.
When a keyboard is marketed as
“Anti-Ghosting” it may just refer to a particular subset of keys on the keyboard working well together but this alone does not necessarily guarantee that members of this set of keys avoid ghosting when combined with other keys on the keyboard. “

https://www.quora.com/What-is-anti-ghosting-for-a-keyboard/answer/Alberto-Samuel-Camus

There is also one more practical one . Let’s take a look:

“Try holding down both shift keys and typing:
‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’
If you don’t have anti ghosting, then the sentence will come out something like
HE QUIK BROWN FO JUPS OER HE LA DOG
To save money,
most keyboard manufacturers design their keyboards with a limit on what combinations of 3 keys you can press at once. A gamer keyboard with anti ghosting will be able to type that sentence without issues. “

https://www.quora.com/What-is-anti-ghosting-for-a-keyboard/answer/Edmund-Dipple

Finally, there is one small reference to Anti-Ghosting from the SteelSeries Support website.

Keyboard ghosting is when a single keystroke or several keystrokes are “lost” due to the inability of a keyboard to process simultaneous signals that come natural to many gamers. “

https://support.steelseries.com/hc/en-us/articles/223763768-What-is-anti-ghosting-technology-

Well, as you can see most people that try to explain Anti-Ghosting explain first what Ghosting is.

If you explain what Ghosting is, you understand what the “Anti-Ghosting solution” is.

Mechanical Switches

What is a Gaming Keyboard - Gears 2

Mostly mechanical switches are useful for more accurate typing and long hour typing scenarios. Let’s see some quotes from various sources.

“I switched to Mechanical keyboard about a year ago. I type about 15k words in a day, and here’s how I sum it up
Pros
1. It fosters quick typing. 
2. My fingers don’t pain even after 2-3 hours of continious typing. (With maybe short breaks of 5 minutes). 
3. The keys won’t pop out. (Before buying a mechanical keyboard, I damaged 2 external, and 2 laptop membrane keyboards)
3. The feel is incredible.
Cons
1. Once you get mechanical keyboard, it becomes hard to type on a membrane one (You won’t like it)
2. If type a lot, then first week is going to be difficult. Because with mechanical keyboard, it is important to leave the keys the moment you hear the sound. It just requires a little practice. “

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-mechanical-keyboards-and-rubber-membrane-keyboards/answer/Deepak-Shah-32

Let’s see some more cons!

” Cons:
1)
The noise! Some people prefer to keep their typing enjoyment low profile. Though there are certain more silent switches but in general mechanical switches are noisier than membranes.
2) You can’t go back to those shitty (just kidding) membrane keyboards after you have typed on a mechanical keyboard. Membrane keyboards feel awful to you, you could hear your fingers complaining to you. You will miss your dear mechanical keyboard whenever you type on something else. “

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-mechanical-keyboards-and-rubber-membrane-keyboards/answer/Seow-Wen-Han

N-Key Rollover

What is a Gaming Keyboard - N Key Rollover 2

Well this is similar to Anti-Ghosting. Let’s see some revelant information about it.

“An n-key rollover test identifies how many keys can be read simulatneously on a computer keyboard.

Since most keyboards only use one key at a time, you can make a keyboard cheaper by designing them to detect only one or two keypresses at a time.  Fast typists and gamers HATE these keyboards, since they fail to register keys when pressed together or in rapid sucession.  Worse, they
might produce “ghost” keypresses when faced with multiple keypresses. “

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-N-Key-Rollover-Test/answer/Phillip-Remaker

I only mention this because you might read it so you know what it is.

Conclusion

What is a Gaming Keyboard - Gaming Keyboard 2

Well i presented all relevant information about what is a gaming keyboard.

The gaming part isn’t a gimmick. At least these features aren’t a gimmick. They are needed to enchance the gaming experience.

If you want, you can check my Top X Lists for keyboards (affiliate). I add more content and update it frequently. Cheers.

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George

14 Comments

  1. Hi George!

    Well, honestly, I have never played games with my PC or Laptop, and thus never used Gaming-Keyboard. As I can see there pros and cons about it. But, what I know is that f I wrote a longe post my fingers get tired and sometimes I felt some pian.  To prevent “more damage” I use sometimes speech text apps to make it easier. 

    However, I have learned some more about the various types of keyboards!

    Thabnks for sharing,
    Igor

    • No problem. If you think anything is missing or something could make this article even better, you can comment or PM me.

  2. This is a very nice post. I’m an addict gamer. I do play for as long as my body could hold and recently, I just bought a medicine to improve concentration and to last longer when playing games. One thing I detest is bad or slow responsiveness of my gaming actions to my inputs. Thats the reason I spend a lot to get the best gadgets. I can’t even imagine making use of a keyboard without anti-ghosting. I can angrily break it😀. Very nice highlights concerning the features of a gaming keyboard, its nothing but the truth.

    • I would love to hear what game are you playing that makes you want to play as much as to even take medicine!. When i was playing MMOs i played all day and night now i play League but still need a lot of work (still in Silver IV).

      I certainly need to buy an anti-ghosting keyboard and a better mouse too. Many kills lost due to anti-ghosting and bad quality mouse. Cheers

  3. Hi,

    First of all i want to thank you for sharing this article with us.In your article you described about gaming keyboard .Never heard about this before .But it sounds great to me . My father is a game freak .I will share this article with him and i am sure that it will be helpful for him to know about it . And you described everything about it smoothly . People can  get relevant information about what is a gaming keyboard.

    Thank you again for sharing this article with us.It was great article.

    • No problem man. It is essential for gamers to know whatever necessary to improve their gameplay. It’s like martial arts. If you have any questions or something more to add, feel free to do so.

  4. Dear George,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful article.

    Being a content writer I thought of taking some break in between to relax. So recently I got into the gaming world and started to spend some time on gaming. One of my friend advised me to go for gaming keyboard for better user experience and I came across your helpful post.

    I am amazed at the benefits of Mechanical keyboard and thanks for the helpful insights. The pros and cons you shared about Mechanical keyboard is very helpful in making my purchase decision. As I mentioned I am a content writer I write a lot on a daily basis, I type nearly 7K words per day and purchasing a Mechanical keyboard is just like killing two birds with one stone (Typing & Gaming).

    Mechanical keyboard is on my list!

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Yes! I will get a mechanical keyboard for myself too. Well i don’t think i type 7K words per day but it will certainly make my gaming experience better (Maybe i rank up a bit!).

  5. I was not aware that a gaming keyboard had extra features, I just thought it was a regular keyboard.  Now it make sense how easily people can play online with a computer rather than using a controller.  I’m not sure how you would hold down both shift keys and type…I guess I need more practice.

    I tried a couple times to play fortnite with my Daughter, she was on Xbox and I attempted to on the computer but now I realize why it was so hard and I eventually gave up.  Looks like I need to invest in a gaming keyboard to do this successfully, thanks for your great article.

    • Yes you might need the gaming keyboard for its anti-ghosting features. If you press too many buttons they might not register without anti-ghosting. 

      Also a gaming mouse would be great combo

  6. Hi George, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Honestly, I am a true gamer and I can’t imagine the day without playing some sort of game. I have never had a gaming keyboard and now I regret it. From what I have read here I should definitely get one and enhance my gaming experience. Do you have any suggestion for me regarding gaming keyboards?

    • Yes, i have some lists that i made from Amazon. They are relatively cheap gaming keyboards.

      https://livegamingequipment.co

      If you want a known brand gaming keyboard, you should buy a Logitech. At least my next buy will be Logitech. Had better experience with them.

  7. This is a great explanation of some of the aspects we need in a gaming keyboard, it’s all making sense to this newbie. One question though. Would you mind explaining please what you mean when you said “more buttons and more complex software to enable macros and switching between macros in a fast manner”. What exactly are macros?

    • Macros are a group of commands tied together to one button. So when you press one button that has a macro on it, it doesn’t do one thing, it does all the things you programmed it to do (through software).

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