How To Fix Gaming Keyboard Issues – Diagnoses and Fixes

To get the most out of computer games, every gamer should invest in a gaming keyboard. Gaming keyboards have special buttons, keys, and other features for optimal gameplay. However, due to their special features, they’re prone to damage and may even malfunction over time. To fix gaming keyboard issues the first step is to identify and diagnose them.

To fix gaming keyboard issues check the cable connection or interferences with a wireless connection, and fix unresponsive keys by resetting the keyboard. If a mechanical keyboard isn’t working after cleaning, check for damage, take it to a technician for repair, or buy a new keyboard. If the characters do not match the keys, troubleshoot the keyboard on windows. If there is a broken switch it can be repaired or replaced. 

Common Gaming Keyboard Problems

Gaming keyboards are similar to the earlier regular keyboards used for work and personal use with a personal computer. 

Common gaming keyboard problems include that the keyboard turns on but won’t function,  a mechanical keyboard won’t work (even after cleaning), a keyboard typing problem where the keys don’t match the characters correctly, there’s a broken or malfunctioning keyboard switch, or the keys are slow to respond when pressed.  

As this article by Cooler Master explains, gaming keyboards like this come with more features in both their hardware and software, to make them awesome gaming tools. The gaming keyboard does, however, share some issues with the more conventional keyboards.

Use the steps in this article to diagnose and fix common gaming keyboard issues. Knowledge of different types of gaming keyboards, various features, and how they’re used will help you understand how to fix them. This article by Steel Series explains the features of gaming keyboards such as key rollover (aka anti-ghosting), switches, “macros and customization,” and build quality. 

The key rollover denotes the number of keypresses a gamer can register at once. This is usually high for gaming keyboards like this one. 

Switches are devices under each key that helps register each key press. There are two types, mechanical and membrane. 

Macros and customization allow for customization of the key functions of the keyboards. 

The build quality refers to the keyboard's durability and how well it can withstand the high level of use that gaming keyboards are subjected to. Most of the gaming keyboards we will discuss include these features.

Try these fixes if your keyboard won’t work properly:

Fix 1. The Keyboard Turns On But Won’t Function With the Computer

A keyboard that turns on but doesn’t work can indicate several setup issues. To fix gaming keyboard issues such as keyboard locking, start with a driver update. The keyboard might be locked, the windows might be running an outdated driver, and the keyboard may be incorrectly connected. Other reasons include low battery and interference from other devices. Keyboards like this will remain unresponsive until they are removed from demo mode as explained in this article by Razer.

Another issue is that the receiver for a wireless keyboard might not be properly inserted into the system's port. There also may be electromagnetic interference from other devices like speakers. And finally, some keyboards will not work if they are not close to the receiver. 

Similarly, you may be wondering how to turn off gaming mode on your keyboard. If so, be sure to read our related article for more information.

Fix 2. A Mechanical Keyboard Won’t Work - Even After Cleaning

There are two types of keyboards based on the keypress mechanism: the mechanical keyboard and the membrane keyboard. Keyboards with keys that work based on springs under the keys acting as switches that transmit signals to the PC are called mechanical keyboards. Membrane keyboards like this have thick rubber under each key that must be pressed down before it works.

Mechanical keyboards like this are more sensitive, have crevices around the keys, and are used more for gaming. Because gaming keyboards are used vigorously, they are prone to damage. Food particles can get stuck in the crevices of the keys or liquid can leak into its circuit board from drinks and when they’re being cleaned. Other causes include a poorly plugged cable, radio frequency interference (in wireless keyboards), an outdated driver, and a keyboard lock.

If you can’t fix your keyboard after cleaning, take it to a mechanic or buy a new one to replace it. If you’re looking for a new mechanical keyboard, be sure to check out our article outlining the 10 best wireless mechanical gaming keyboards.

Fix 3. The Keys Don’t Match the Characters Correctly

To fix gaming keyboard issues such as the keys not matching, start with a windows update and a keyboard driver update. The causes of keys not matching include an outdated version of Windows, mistakenly pressing the num lock, and an outdated keyboard driver.

Fix 4. There’s a Broken or Malfunctioning Keyboard Switch

The cause of a broken or malfunctioning keyboard switch is often the gamer. Most switch issues are caused by a lack of proper maintenance, consistent use, slamming of keyboards during emotional moments when playing games, eating all over the keyboard, and spilling drinks on it. 

If the above causes are ruled out, then the reason why a switch might be broken or malfunctioning can be due to a factory fault or in-transit damage. Another reason could be a poorly manufactured keyboard. Purchasing a low-quality gaming keyboard often causes a poor keyboard experience for gamers. Be willing to spend over a hundred dollars for a gaming keyboard like this that will last you for years to come.

Be sure to check out our article that shows the 10 best gaming keyboards under $200.

Fix 5. Keys Are Slow to Respond When Pressed.

Key lagging is a big deal when it comes to gaming keyboards.  This article from the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society explains that the response rate of a keyboard is extremely important when it comes to gaming, where stimulus-response can be the difference between winning or losing a game. 

A lag in key response can be caused if the filter key is enabled. Interference by RF(Radio Frequency) can affect the response rate of a wireless keyboard. A poorly connected keyboard, an outdated driver, and an old version of windows can all cause a lag in response. 

Summary of Common Gaming Keyboard Issues and How To Fix Them

Common Gaming Keyboard Issues How To Fix Them
Keyboard turns on but won’t function. Check the cable. Ensure there are no interferences with a wireless keyboard. Reset the keyboard.
Unresponsive keys Update the driver of the keyboard and update windows. Check for dirt under keys and clean the keyboard
Mechanical keyboard doesn’t work, even after cleaning. Take it to a certified technician or buy a new keyboard
Characters typed don’t match the keys. Troubleshoot the keyboard and update the drivers 
Broken or malfunctioning switches. Change the broken switch.

You may also want to learn how to find a gaming keyboard that lights up. Make sure to take a look at that article as well for more details.

At this point, you might be wondering if a gaming keyboard is important or if a gaming keyboard can be used for programming. Be sure to read our related articles to find out more information.

How To Fix a Keyboard That Turns On but Isn’t Working

To fix gaming keyboard issues with the keyboard not turning on, start with checking that the cables are connected. This is a very common issue. 

To fix a keyboard that turns on but isn’t working, make sure that the cables of the keyboard are properly connected and if it is a wireless keyboard, remove any device that could cause electromagnetic interference. For specific keyboards, reset the mode from demo to fully functional.

When it comes to resetting a keyboard, the procedure is usually specific to each brand. Most brands provide guidelines like these instructions from Razer, for resetting their keyboards. And our guide on how to fix a gaming keyboard that isn’t working could help you to troubleshoot other problems as well.

How To Fix Unresponsive Keyboard Keys.

Your keyboard’s keys could be unresponsive for various reasons all of which can easily be fixed.

To fix unresponsive keyboard keys, update the driver of the keyboard on the system, update Windows, and clean the keyboard to remove any dirt or food particles that may be stuck within the crevices of the keys.

Depending on the brand of your keyboard, you can fix unresponsive keyboard keys by updating the drivers as explained in this article by Razer. Check to see that the latest version of your operating system is running. Finally, clean your keyboard to remove any dirt, food crumb, and objects stuck under its keys.

Here is a Razer Support video tutorial on how to clean your gaming keyboard and you can also follow the steps below to clean your keyboard.

Step 1. Unplug the Keyboard

The first step is to unplug your keyboard. This will give you the required flexibility to move your keyboard around as you clean it and make sure you don’t shock yourself. 

Make sure that the gaming keyboard is unplugged if it needs to be cleaned to fix certain issues.
Unplug the keyboard first to move it around as much as needed while cleaning. Image Source: YouTube.

Step 2. Clean the Entire Surface of the Keyboard.

Use a microfiber cloth like this dampened with an alcohol-based solution like this, to wipe the entire body of the keyboard. Make sure you avoid liquid dropping into the interior of the keyboard. 

If cleaning your gaming keyboard is what is needed to fix issues then use a microfiber cloth dipped in an alcohol solution to clean it thoroughly.
Clean the keyboard with a microfiber cloth soaked in an alcohol solvent. Image Source: YouTube.

Step 3. Use Compressed Air to Force Out Dirt From Under the Keys

Turn the keyboard upside down and use compressed air to force out particles from under the keys of the keyboard. Once the board is completely dry, you can reapply the keys and try turning it back on to see if it works.

To check whether the gaming keyboard issues are fixed after using an air duster to blow loose particles out from the crevices of your keyboard, turn it back on and test the keys.
Use compressed air to blow out particles from under the keys. Image Source: RazerSupport.

Make sure you also take a look at our article explaining the different e-gaming keyboard shortcuts. You may be interested in learning how they can help you.

What To Do If Your Mechanical Keyboard Not Working After Cleaning

Cleaning a gaming keyboard can help to get it working again but comes with the risk of accidentally damaging it. If you get too much liquid on the inner components, it can stop working completely. There’s also the possibility of wires being yanked out of place, the circuit board getting broken, and other types of problems.

If your mechanical keyboard is not working after cleaning, check that liquid hasn’t dripped inside, for broken wires, and damaged components as a result of cleaning it. Once the cause of the problem is found,  take the keyboard to a technician qualified for repairing damaged keyboards.

As stated, cleaning your mechanical keyboard is important, but try to avoid touching or dropping liquid on the interior parts.

How To Change an Incorrect Character Output on a Keyboard

To fix issues related to incorrect character output on a keyboard, you need to try out several fixes until the problem’s solved. The more common fixes include disabling the num lock on your keyboard, running the keyboard troubleshooter,  or updating your keyboard driver.

To change the character output, disable num lock, troubleshoot the keyboard, or update the keyboard driver

Follow these steps to fix incorrect character output on your gaming keyboard:

Step 1. Disable the Numlock on Your Keyboard.
The num lock on your keyboard changes all keys to numbers so that each key produces a number rather than its original character. To disable the num lock, simply press the FN key and NUM key.

Fixing gaming keyboard issues could be as easy as disabling the num lock function of your keyboard.
Disable the num lock by using the FN and NUM keys. Image Source: DriverEasy.

Step 2. Troubleshoot the Keyboard

On your keyboard, press the windows icon and type “troubleshoot.” Next, select the “troubleshoot” settings and click “keyboard.” Run the troubleshooter. Windows should fix the issue automatically.

You could fix your gaming keyboard issues by using the Windows troubleshooting feature.
You could fix your gaming keyboard issues by using the Windows troubleshooting feature.
The troubleshooting feature allows Windows to fix keyboard issues internally. Image Source: DriverEasy.

Step 3. Update the Keyboard Driver

When it comes to updating your keyboard, there is no universal method. Every model of keyboard is unique and each one has directions on how to update its driver. This information can easily be found on the manufacturers’ website. A perfect example is Razer, which provides these update instructions.

How To Fix a Gaming Keyboard Switch

Mechanical keyboards work through switches under each key. So, a faulty switch means an unresponsive key. There are several causes of a damaged switch, including poor maintenance, overuse, rough handling of the keyboard, and particles stuck within the crevices of keys. 

To fix a gaming keyboard switch, remove the keycaps, then the back screws. Remove the plastic bezel and the PCB cover panel. Locate the broken switch, and remove the old solder on it. Solder the new switch and test. Finally, reassemble the keyboard.

This video tutorial by TYA-Sev7n shows how to replace the switches of your mechanical keyboard and you can also follow the steps below to fix a gaming keyboard switch. If you’re not comfortable with any part of this process, it’s better to take the keyboard to a professional repairman and have them handle it.

Step 1. Remove the Key Caps and the Back Screws

The first step is to remove the keycaps on the keyboard using a tool like this to reveal all the switches. Next, flip the keyboard over and unscrew the back cover.

To fix gaming keyboard switch issues, first lift the keycaps and remove the back cover.
To fix gaming keyboard switch issues, first lift the keycaps and remove the back cover.
First, remove the keycaps and the back screws. Image Source: ifixit.

Step 2. Remove the Plastic Bezel

Gently remove the plastic bezel. You may have to push it slightly, but you don’t want to apply too much force and damage it.

Apply a bit of pressure to remove the plastic bezel.
The next step is to remove the plastic bezel. Image Source: ifixit.

Step 3. Remove the PCB Cover Panel Screws and the Daughterboard Cable

Both the PCB cover panel and daughterboard cables attached the PCB  to the motherboard. Remove these two to totally free it.

Remove the PCB cover panel and the daughterboard cable.
Remove the PCB cover panel and the daughterboard cable.
Remove the PCB cover panel screws and the PCB daughterboard cable. Image Source: ifixit.

Step 4. Locate the Broken Switch and Remove the Solder on It

Use a magnifying glass to locate the broken switch and remove the solder on it. Once you have identified it, remove the old solder over it by placing the wick over the joint and applying heat.

To fix your gaming keyboard Identify the switch that is causing the issue and undo the soldering to remove it.
Remove the solder from the broken switch by placing the wick over the joint and applying heat. Image Source: ifixit.

Step 5. Solder in the New Switch and Couple Back the Keyboard

Solder the new switch into position using a soldering iron like this. If you’re looking to buy new switches for your keyboard check out our 10 best keyboard switches for mechanical keyboards

Test the solder joint to make sure it is properly attached and reassemble the keyboard by putting the components of the keyboard back together in the reverse order of the way you undid them.

Make sure that the new switch is soldered securely onto the keyboard for it to work properly.
Solder the new switch and test the joint to make sure it was done correctly. Image Source: ifixit.


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