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What is keyboard ghosting and why should you care?

The term “keyboard ghosting” is a lot less scary than it sounds. Despite this, it can definitely “haunt” some keyboard users and cause unwanted results. You will find many anti-ghosting keyboards on the market to solve this problem, but the question remains:what is ghosting and why should you care?

What is keyboard ghosting?

Keyboard ghosting occurs when a keyboard does not register a key press even though the user pressed it correctly. This is usually due to the keyboard manufacturer trying to cut costs by using cheaper parts.

What is keyboard ghosting and why should you care?

First, you can take a look at “anti-ghosting” keyboards. These usually list the number of keyboard keys that support this feature, for example "25-key anti-ghosting". This won't cover the entire keyboard for anti-ghosting, but it will individually target keys that tend to get held down next to other keys.

Another option is to look for keyboards designed to support up to a certain number of key presses. These are advertised using the term "[number]-key rollover." For example, a keyboard that lets you hold down 4 keys at once is called a 4-key hover keyboard.

Best of all, however, is n-key rollover. This term has nothing to do with the physical “N” key on the keyboard; instead, it's the mathematical letter for a set of numbers that go on forever. This is an apt name because an n-key hover keyboard has no upper key limit. Each keypress is registered separately, which means there is no ghosting at all!


Keyboard ghosting doesn't affect everyone, but for those who are concerned, it can be a major annoyance. If you want an anti-ghosting keyboard, be sure to prioritize n-key hover keyboards to eliminate the problem.

Is Keyboard Ghosting Affecting You? Do you think an anti-ghosting keyboard is a good investment? Let us know below.