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Keyboard Repeat Delay For Gaming | 6 Things To Know

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How is repeat delay of a keyboard different from repeat rate?

When it comes to PC gaming, configuring your keyboard to have a different repeat delay or repeat rate can be extremely beneficial.

The repeat delay is different from the repeat rate on a keyboard, although the two are sometimes confused.

A repeat delay is the time that occurs between the moment a key is pressed, and the moment the key begins to repeat itself.

For instance, if you hold down the letter “m” on the keyboard, it will eventually type out mmmmm non-stop. The time it takes to start repeating on its own and pressing down the key is the repeat delay.

What is repeat rate in keyboard settings?

In the example above, the repeat rate is simply the amount of times the letter “m” is repeated. Increasing your repeat rate helps if you want to input many of the same characters in during a short amount of time.

On the opposite spectrum, if you want to input many characters but want to control how many are input, it’s a good idea to slow down your repeat rate.

How do I set my keyboard to repeat delay?

Changing your keyboard to have a short or long repeat delay is fairly easy to do.

As of June 2021, Microsoft Windows continues to be the most widely used computer operating system in the world.

An estimated 65.84% of the world uses this operating system, and luckily, changing a keyboard repeat delay on Windows is simple.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open your computer’s control panel. This is different than your computer’s settings. The control panel can be accessed by typing in “control panel” in your computer’s search bar, which looks like a magnifying glass on the bottom left-hand corner
  2. Once it’s open, click on the “View by” options on the top right corner of the control panel window, and select “small icons”
  3. You should now see your computer’s keyboard settings in the control panel. The keyboard icon appears as a small gray keyboard. Click on it
  4. A pop-up window will appear titled “key properties.” From here, you can adjust your keyboard repeat delay and repeat rate. 
  5. Once you select your desired delay and rate, click “apply,” and then “ok”

Keyboard repeat rate test

You can use the outlined steps above to also change the repeat rate of your keyboard.

To test the repeat rate and see if you like it, in the “key properties” pop-up (step 4 above) there is a blank bar where you can test the repeat delay or rate.

You might notice there is not much difference in terms of a repeat delay that’s long versus short. However, there is a significant difference in the repeat rate when tested.

This is due to the repeat rate having many more options (31 to be exact) to change than the repeat delay, which only has 4 options.

Default keyboard repeat rate

The repeat rate on your keyboard should already be set to “fast,” and can be adjusted through the toggle in the method outlined above.

However, for those that want to have more options, there’s a second way to change your keyboard repeat rate from the default repeat rate of “31” in the computer’s registry editor.

To adjust the keyboard repeat rate between 0 and 31:

  1. Hold down Windows+R and type in “regedit” to open up the registry editor
  2. Type in Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard into the search bar of the registry editor
  3. Double-click on keyboard speed, and change the value data from 0 to 31, then click ok

The same method can also be applied for changing the keyboard delay on your computer, which has a value from 0,1,2, and 3. 3 is the longest delay and 0 is the shortest delay.

How do I fix keyboard lag in games?

Besides shortening your repeat delay, one of the most common fixes for keyboard lag is to disable filter keys. To do so:

  1. Open up your Windows settings
  2. Click on “Ease of Acccess”
  3. Scroll down and click on “Keyboard” on the left-hand side of the settings window
  4. Scroll down and find “Use Filter Keys,” and switch the toggle off if it is on

If this doesn’t work, updating your keyboard’s driver can also be helpful in order for your computer to communicate better with your keyboard. To update your keyboard driver in Windows:

  1. Hold down the Windows Key+R keys
  2. Type in devmgmt.msc and click ok or enter to run the device manager
  3. In the device manager window, click on your keyboard
  4. A window will pop up with the options for “Genera”, “Driver,” “Details,” and “Events”, click on driver tab
  5. If needed, click Update Driver and then “OK”