Do 1000Hz gaming keyboards make any difference in fighting games?


#1

I’ve been a keyboard player since my start at emulation and lately I’ve been wondering if a gaming keyboard with 1000Hz of polling rate would make DMs like Raging Storm (damn, it should always have had the F-HCF motion it has in Real Bout 2), Somersault Justice and Rolling Izuna Drop easier to pull off. Also, I’d like to do 3-punch or 3-kick presses constantly without using macros (I’ve never been able to do Akuma’s cheat in Super SF2 Turbo, for example). Would it be money well spent?


#2

What is your current keyboard’s polling rate? Windows sets USB ports to 125hz for some reason, so you have to overclock them to get any more than that. It’s a simple process though.

idk if a higher polling rate keyboard will make things easier for you, but you can always go grab a PS/2 keyboard from a thrift store for a couple bucks and try it yourself, assuming you’re on a desktop with a PS/2 port. PS/2 is inherently faster than USB because it doesn’t deal with polling. Ghosting might be an issue though.


#3

To be honest, I frankly have no idea, however I just now tested a Ducky Shine 5 (1000hz? idk) in Callus and it registered PPP/KKK perfectly. I wrote a post earlier about “keyboard encoders” and got flamed for it (whatever, it’s the internet, not like they can do anything to me IRL), but as far as 125hz vs 1000hz: you’re dealing with 8 ms vs 1 ms response lag. Since keyboards have switches that travel, (you can mash a mouse button much faster than mash a keyboard key), 8ms on a keyboard is basically inperceptable, while 8 ms on a mouse, well, people can notice that. Plus you have cursor / refresh rate sync issues (check blurbusters.com for more on that).

Let me give you a bit hint:
Buy an Xbox 360 or PS3 compatible fightstick controller and ditch the keyboard. With the Qanba Q4raf, in either Xbox 360 or PS3 mode, you will have NO problems registering PPP/KKK–I just tested it in Callus in SF2 hyper fighting yesterday with Zangief.

The issue with keyboards and arcade controls using keyboard encoders and registering PPP/KKK goes back more than 15 years. The issue has to do with some sort of buffer where multiple inputs together don’t get registered as multiple inputs (in either PS/2, AT or USB keyboard encoders, due to some strange technical mumbo jumbo about keyboard response times being too fast or something). To get PPP/KKK registered, you need to add a buffer. Go too high and you create input lag that can even affect fireballs or yoga flames and other moves. Go too low and you get no PPP registration. The Ipac added a buffer which made it very close to how arcade machines registered them. The Xbox 360/PS3 sticks, being designed for arcade games, have the correct buffer in the controller hardware already. This could also be windows related (windows 7 (a gaming OS that is console friendly) vs Windows XP/98. Whatever…I’m just glad those dark ages are gone.

I’ll say this:
10 years ago, no keyboard would register PPP/KKK in an emulator.
But now, my ducky shine 5 (Cherry MX Browns (YOTG) and Nature White (shine 5) and ducky shine 4 (Cherry MX Green) register PPP/KKK perfectly in callus/MAME.

Still, buy a fightstick when you get the money. You’ll be glad you did.
Note: I recommend a Qanba Q4, not a madcatz stick. Some games won’t accept “POV Hat” directional inputs, which the madcatz uses and the “analog” switch function does nothing on PC’s unless you use joy2key to map it to a key. You can use the mode switch to toggle between POV hat and “Axis emulation” on the Qanba, so any game can pick it up.


#4

I say check out the Geek hack forums if you want info on keyboards.


#5

makes a huge difference in mice.

no clue about keyboards though.


#6

The polling rate determine how often the mouse reports back.
With optical mice having hire and hire resolution for movement, you want your polling to match.
Mice are so sensitive we have to restrict the moment speed of the cursor.

Its not as important in keyboards and game controllers.

For Keyboards the most important thing is key rollover, high end ps/2 and USB keyboards have N-Key rollover, where their is no limit on how many key press combinations that could be recorded.

Not entirely true, there are USB keyboards with 1000 hz polling rates and N-Key roll over now.
Some PC motherboards don’t even support a ps/2 keyboard any more. There is even USB keyboards with a dedicated BIOS mode for mother boards that don’t support typical USB keyboards in start up/post/BIOS settings menu


#7

Never said there weren’t.

That’s why I said:


#8

Cool. I just wanted it to be clear to other readers on whats going on


#9

Fair enough.


#10

You can overclock USB ports? How would it help anything?


#11

I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s the standard 125Hz.

I still have my old PS/2-supported CPU here, but would have to spend a little to make it usable again. Nevertheless, I used to play on a PS/2 keyboard when this CPU was my current one and, unfortunately, the complicated DMs I mentioned - and others alike - weren’t any easier to pull off.


#12

Interesting to know people still keep Callus for testing purposes. hehehe
I’ve entered emulation in the Kawaks era (miss the great news of SvC being available and playing it for the first time) and never played on Callus, but now I’ll even download it to see how it is.

According to Google, both Ducky Shine 4 and 5 have a polling rate of 1000Hz.

Good to know this about PPP/KKK, but the biggest problem resides in the complicated DM motions I mentioned and others alike, such as some of the Fatal Fury 2/Special ones. Can you test them, please?

I live in Brazil, where, unfortunately, professional sticks like that tend to be cost prohibitive (as of today, 1 USD = 3,62 BRL).
Also, I’ve never been good with sticks as I am with keyboards (I was happy when the owner of a local gaming store and arcade said I could use a keyboard in the championships held there). I’d be very happy if I could have a keyboard that would make my game even better.
Since mechanical keyboards (gaming or not) tend to be cost prohibitive here as well, I was thinking about buying the hybrid Cougar 450K, which I saw for 328 BRL in a brazilian webstore and, according to my research, was well reviewed.

Nevertheless, I’d like a lot to test these professional sticks, especially the Sanwa ones. The owner of the aforementioned store says he has plans to change the machines to Sanwa, but I don’t think he’s going to do it anytime soon.
I’m very curious to try a hitbox, too, despite them having the Up direction being located in the thumb position. I simulated it recently by assigning Up to the spacebar (with the other directions remaining as ASD) and it definitely didn’t fit my playing style.


#13

It isn’t overclocking. Polling rate is not the Clock speed. Despite the actual speed of the port, the polling rate is how often your USB device is “scheduled” to report it’s status to the CPU.

USB polling is only with Human Interface devices, and only really matters with using a USB Mouse (and not keyboards). The topic is nonexistent with older serial computer mouses.
Older serial connectors like the PS/2 port or even the serial DB9 port operates at a 112.5 Kbps bit rate and work just fine but the faster data rates of the USB port Polling can become an issue.
USB 1.0 runs at 1.5Mbps (slow) or 12Mbps (fast). USB 2.0 can handle 480Mbps, and 3.0 can reach 5 Gbps. None of that matters when it comes to the polling rate.

USB polling is how often a USB interface polls (or reports to) with the PC. Polling is measured in hertz, or how often per second. A Typical 480 Mbps USB 2.0 port can still have it’s mouse operate at an 125 hz polling rate.
A PS/2 (or even the older AT port) Keyboard does not have a Polling rate, it operates on a interrupt process. Polling devices have to “wait there turn to give a report, even if there nothing to report”.
Think of this as instead of giving a report to a person regularly, you interrupt them when you have something to share.

The older 112.5 Kbps technology with keyboards with the PS/2 interface has N-key rollover long before USB devices had it.
And why for so long PS/2 encoders was preferred with many PC gamers. Only recently does USB keyboards have N-key rollover.

I would say comparing Keyboards to Mouses are like Apples to Oranges, but its more like comparing Apples to Bananas.

To @calil_bfr do not worry so much about polling. The more important detail would be Key Roll Over.
Yes newer gaming USB keyboards tout a 1000 hz polling rate, but as far as fighters are concern you can easily get away with a 125hz polling rate keyboard and hardly notice.


#14

The Cougar 450K, which interests me, has 6-key rollover, but I think this is enough. AFAIK, there isn’t a situation where you have to press 6 buttons at the same time in a fighting game, even when using cheats.

However, if PS/2 keyboards had NKRO, then I think a gaming keyboard isn’t going to help with the motions. The complicated DMs I mentioned - and others alike - weren’t any easier for me to pull off in the times of when I used a PS/2 keyboard.


#15

#16

Lets see Two directions Plus all 3 Kicks or Punches would only be 5 Keys.
And 6 Key Rollover does not count modifier keys, so you can get away with hitting one of those modifier keys as well as 6 regular keys.
So actually 6-key rollover is actually 6 keys plus 1 modifier.

Modifer Keys include
Shift
Ctrl (Control)
Alt (Alternate)
Alt Gr (Alternate graphics) also known as Option on mac keyboards
Meta key also known as Super Return (or just Super), Command (Mac OS), Apple Key (Mac OS) Amiga key (Amiga) Commodore Key (Commodore 64) or the Windows Key (Windows)

The FN key is technically a Modifier key but it only relates to the Keyboard hardware and not the OS.
The Menu key, often on the right side by the right side Windows key and right side control key just duplicates a Right Mouse Click.

Also not all gaming keyboards have N key rollover or even 6 key roll over. Also Key Rollover was to avoid Ghosting, when you held down a certain number of keys a extra false key shows up as being pressed due to how the keyboard matrix is wired.

I remember a few Razer keyboards with only a 2 Key rollover with the exception of the WASD keys. With the WASD keys the total was 4 key roll over.


#17

6 keys are enough indeed, but the biggest problem is with the directions. I want to be able to pull off diagonal-abusive DMs consistently without having to input the directions too quickly.


#18

I only keep callus because it’s still the ONLY emulator which runs SF2 hyper fighting at perfect speed and basically perfect emulation.
MAME doesn’t emulate memory wait states, so even if you downclock the CPU to get proper gameplay speed, you still have annoying stuff happening too fast (like the power on test screen). Callus nailed this perfectly.
I don’t understand how an emulator written in 1998 has perfect emulation of Hyperfighting while 18 years later, nothing else runs it perfectly.

SF2 Super Turbo is also busted in MAME. Turbo 1 and even Turbo 3 is too fast. If you slow down the emulated CPU to make turbo 1 ‘proper’ speed, then turbo 3 is too slow.
Anyway sorry for being off topic.


#19

Don’t feel sorry, I started it. :slight_smile:
I didn’t know about this lack of proper gameplay speed outside Callus. Are you sure that even FBA isn’t able to handle it correctly?


#20

Final burn advanced uses the same code as ‘mamefix’ which is an 8 MHz emulated CPU.
Callus somehow emulates all memory access perfectly. Nothing else does. Callus code or whatever CPU code callus used (starscream? I don’t remember) isn’t used elsewhere.
Sardu wrote the CPU code for callus from scratch and probably got the waitstates perfect since he had a real arcade board to use.