The Ultimate Gaming Keyboard Splitter Guide and How To Use One
When you attach several keyboards to the same computer and use them at the same time, Windows sees them as the same device, making multiplayer gaming impossible. But what should you do if you would like to play multiplayer games? By using a gaming keyboard splitter you can play multiplayer games with friends on one desktop computer. Alternatively, if you are playing alone using two keyboards, you can use a gaming keyboard splitter.
A gaming keyboard splitter is for splitting a single keyboard into multiple inputs, allowing multiple users to play on the same computer simultaneously. Use it if you want to play multiplayer games with friends and family on the same computer. To set up the splitter, first connect it to the keyboard then connect multiple USB cables from the splitter to the computer, and make sure to configure the software to recognize multiple inputs. If the splitter isn’t working correctly, try restarting your computer, checking the connections, and making sure the software is properly configured. If the issue persists, check for any software or driver updates or consider seeking assistance from the manufacturer.
This detailed guide explains the benefits of using a keyboard splitter, how to set it up, how to use it, and ways to fix common issues when using this type of application.
You might also find interest in learning how to connect your gaming keyboard to a laptop. If so, be sure to check out our related article.
What Is a Gaming Keyboard Splitter?
Normally, Windows can only register one keyboard, but by using a program known as a gaming keyboard splitter you can use multiple devices at the same time. The keyboard splitter software makes it easy to assign controller functionality to each keyboard key, and the application even includes a collection of presets for many games. You can also design and assign your own settings.
A gaming keyboard splitter is a software that can be downloaded and installed on a PC, which lets multiple keyboards be connected to a single computer for simultaneous use, operating separately.
The application can also prevent Windows from getting ordinary input from the linked keyboards, and it includes a keyboard input monitor that can be turned on and off according to the users’ preferences. Downloading and setting up a gaming keyboard splitter is straightforward. The sections below will guide you through the process and explain why you should consider using a splitter.
Reasons You Need a Gaming Keyboard Splitter
By default, Windows OS does not discriminate between connected keyboards. They both function as the same device. Using a keyboard splitter application allows users to generate up to four virtual Xbox 360 controllers that are fed by one or more keyboards (up to 10). The idea is to be able to play any game that supports Xbox controllers with many keyboards rather than just one.
Reasons you need a gaming keyboard splitter include the ability to play multiplayer games, increase productivity by having quick access to controls, and save space and resources by sharing a single computer instead of buying multiple computers. The splitter is a cost-effective and space-saving solution that enables the use of multiple keyboards on a single computer without interference.
Any application that interacts with these keyboard controllers can be supported as well. Our tips to use a mouse and keyboard for Xbox gaming will help you to choose an appropriate keyboard and mouse setup and how to connect them to the Xbox xCloud extension.
These are the reasons why you may need to use a gaming keyboard splitter:
Reason 1. To Play Multiplayer Games on the Same Device
One of the most common reasons why gamers consider using a gaming keyboard splitter is to play multiplayer games with friends on the same device.
Split-screen play is not as easy on a PC as it is on Playstation and Xbox. However, using a keyboard splitter, you can play split-screen versions with your friends even on a PC, with each of you having access to a separate keyboard which works well for co-op games for example. Our article on how to choose between a gaming mouse vs. controller offers tips on which input device will work best for co-op games.
Reason 2. To Increase Productivity By Having Quick Access to Controls
A gaming keyboard splitter enables multiple users to work on the same device simultaneously, increasing efficiency. With the help of a keyboard splitter, you can connect two keyboards to a single computer, so that you can control the computer with both keyboards simultaneously. This can be useful for users who need quick access to different sets of controls and want to minimize the time required to switch between them. By having a set of controls on one keyboard and another set on the other, you can work more efficiently and effectively.
Additionally, split keyboards are designed to not only increase productivity but also improve the comfort of the wrist during extended gaming or typing sessions. This article from SAGE Journal highlights how a split keyboard can promote a more ergonomic wrist posture by allowing for adjustable angles and positioning, thereby reducing pressure and increasing comfort. When choosing a split keyboard, consider the angle and position of the keys, as well as the overall ergonomics of the device.
Reason 3. To Save Space And Resources
As mentioned above, the keyboard splitter allows multiple keyboards to be connected to a single device, enabling multiple users to work on the same machine at the same time. This solution can save both space and resources, as it eliminates the need for multiple computers. By sharing a single computer, the splitter can reduce costs and maximize the use of existing hardware. It operates by dividing the keyboard input into different channels, so that each keyboard is recognized as a separate device and can be used without interfering with the other keyboards.
Summary of Keyboard Recommendations for Multiplayer Setups
|Keyboard Example||Features that Make It Ideal for Multiplayer Games||Price|
|Redragon K580 Vata Rgb Led Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Macro Keys||RGB Backlight: 18 backlight models allow you to type in the dark when engaged in multiplayer games.||~$65|
|Asus Rog Claymore II Wireless Modular Gaming Mechanical Keyboard||The detachable numeric pad allows for optimal versatility in multiplayer scenarios. Its lag-free connection also makes it super fast to set up with keyboard splitter apps.||~$240|
|Razer Ornata V2 Gaming Keyboard: Hybrid Mechanical Key Switches||Its durable construction makes it perfect for gamers who like to travel. Ultimate personalization and gaming immersion with Razer Chroma offers gamers more customization options.||~$100|
|Razer BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard||The wireless connection makes it easy to connect in multiplayer situations. Razer Yellow mechanical switches mean it is built for speed with an actuation point of just 1.2mm.||~$295|
|Cherry Mx 1.0 Wired Mechanical Keyboard with Mx Red Silent Switches||The quieter red silent switches ensure that other players in multiplayer setups are not disturbed by loud typing. Commands are reliably and precisely implemented thanks to anti-ghosting and full N-key rollover features.||~$90|
|Qwecfly Gaming Keyboard, Wireless Gaming Keyboard, Rechargeable Backlit Keyboard||The wireless keyboard ensures more freedom when playing multiplayer games, and it can also be connected with the long charging cable for uninterrupted charge and for gaming when necessary.||~$60|
If you want your keyboard to be fully customizable, you may want to learn how to use a custom gaming keyboard builder. Our related article will give you step-by-step instructions. You might also find interest in learning about the different gaming keyboard types and how to choose the right one. If so, make sure to read our related article for more details.
Gaming Keyboard Splitter Setup & Download - Step-by-Step
Setting up a gaming keyboard splitter is simple and will make it possible to game with more than one keyboard.
To download a gaming keyboard splitter, start by downloading the program and the necessary drivers. Then, launch the program and test whether the keystrokes on each keyboard register.
First, you will need to download and install the software from a reputable source like softexe.net. After downloading and installing the software, launch it and assign each of the linked keyboards to a controller slot. The virtual controllers will take a little longer to generate the first time you run the emulator, but after the initial setup connecting multiple keyboards will be seamless.
Follow these steps to download your gaming keyboard splitter:
Step 1. Install the Necessary Drivers and the Splitter
The first thing you need to do is to install the necessary driver for your Windows version. Check on the site of the keyboard splitter which one you need. Download it and then reboot your PC. If you're using Windows XP, 7, or Vista, you may need to install additional drivers, as this article from Softpedia explains.
Step 2. Launch the Program
After you have installed the drivers and done the reboot, you should launch the keyboard splitter application. Launch the program and specify the number of keyboards you want to connect.
You can connect up to 4 keyboards.
Start assigning each keyboard to a controller slot. This process can take a couple of minutes to complete the first time you run the emulator. This video tutorial by CompShop101 can take you through the steps if you feel a little confused.
Step 3. Test the Functionality of Each Keyboard
After you have assigned keyboards to the controller slots, the final step is to test the functionality of each keyboard. You can even map the keys to perform specific functions as this article from Steam explains.
Reasons Why a Keyboard Splitter Is Not Working
There are a number of common issues users face when trying to set up a gaming keyboard splitter.
Some of the reasons why a keyboard splitter may not function properly include driver compatibility issues, limited input support, interference between keyboards, latency issues, power limitations, and signal interference.
Our article that provides quick fixes if your gaming keyboard is not working has helpful steps that can assist with troubleshooting this common issue.
In this section, we list the reasons why a keyboard splitter may not be working and how to solve them so that the application will run successfully.
Reason 1. Driver Compatibility Issues
Some keyboard splitters may not be compatible with the operating system or the specific computer model, which can cause the split keyboards not to function properly. There are also times when the app does not open, or suddenly crashes. The reason why this happens might be because you have the wrong drivers downloaded and installed on your PC.
First determining what version of Windows you are running will help you select the correct drivers for the keyboard splitter application. This video tutorial by Gaming Edge will also help you quickly fix splitter errors that may occur because of incorrect drivers.
Reason 2. Limited Input Support
Keyboard splitters are designed to work with standard USB keyboards and may not be compatible with other types of input devices, such as gaming keyboards on trackpads. This is because these types of input devices may have additional features, such as programmable buttons or enhanced functionality, that are not supported by standard keyboard splitters.
Reason 3. Interference Between Keyboards
When multiple keyboards are connected to a single computer, they may interfere with each other, causing keys to register multiple times or not at all. The issue arises because each keyboard is sending input signals to the same computer, which can lead to conflicting signals and misinterpretations by the computer’s operating system. This can cause typing errors and other difficulties, making it difficult to use multiple keyboards effectively.
Reason 4. Latency Issues
The splitter may introduce latency or lag into the keyboard input. This lag can be particularly problematic in applications that require fast and responsive input, such as gaming or video editing. In these scenarios, even a small amount of latency can significantly impact the user experience and result in missed inputs or other issues.
Reason 5. Power Limitations
Some keyboards splitters may not provide enough power to support multiple keyboards, which can cause some of the keyboards to not function properly or to disconnect unexpectedly. This can be particularly problematic in scenarios where multiple keyboards are being used simultaneously, as this can further strain the splitter’s power capabilities.
Reason 6. Signal Interference
When a gaming keyboard splitter is connected to a USB hub along with other devices, such as flash drives, webcams, or other peripherals, these devices can potentially interfere with the performance of the split keyboards. This can occur because USB hubs share the same bandwidth between all connected devices, and if there are too many devices connected or if one of the devices is using a lot of bandwidth, this can cause slowdowns or other issues with the performance of the split keyboards.
How To Fix the Problem of Drivers Incompatibility
To resolve compatibility issues, make sure to use a keyboard splitter that is compatible with the operating system and computer model. If a driver is required, make sure to install it before using the splitter.
If drivers are incompatible, first, check the manufacturer’s website to see if the correct driver is available for your operating system. Download and install the correct driver, then restart your computer to ensure that the driver is properly installed. Finally, test the keyboard splitter to see if it is working properly. If the keyboard splitter is not compatible, consider purchasing a different splitter that is compatible with your operating system.
How To Fix the Problem of Limited Input Support
To avoid limited input support, use a keyboard splitter that is specifically designed to support the type of input device being used.
To troubleshoot limited input support with a keyboard splitter, you can verify compatibility, check for driver updates, try different USB ports, check the input device, reset the keyboard splitter, and contact the manufacturer if the issue persists.
If you suspect that your keyboard may be faulty our guide on how to reset a keyboard will help to quickly rectify this issue.
How To Fix the Problem of Interference Between Keyboards
To minimize interference between keyboards, It’s important to use a high quality splitter that provides adequate signal separation between connected keyboards.
To fix interference between keyboards, choose a splitter that has been tested and verified to work with multiple keyboards. This will help ensure that the signals from each keyboard are properly distinguished and processed by the computer’s operating system, reducing the likelihood of interference and other issues.
How To Fix Latency Issues
To reduce latency issues, use a splitter that is specifically designed for low-latency applications and make sure that the computer is not overburdened with other tasks.
First, use a keyboard splitter with low-latency technology, then connect the splitter directly to the computer, avoiding the use of hubs or other intermediaries that can further slow down keyboard inputs. Also, ensure that your computer is running smoothly and has adequate system resources to help reduce latency and improve overall keyboard responsiveness.
How To Fix The Problem of Power Limitations
To resolve power limitations, use a keyboard splitter that provides sufficient power to support multiple keyboards and make sure that the computer’s USB ports are capable of providing enough power to the splitter.
Connect the keyboards directly to the computer or use a powered USB hub in conjunction with the keyboard splitter to help ensure that all connected keyboards receive enough power to operate properly.
How To Fix The Problem of Signal Interference
To reduce signal interference, it is important to use a keyboard splitter that is located away from other devices that may cause interference. Additionally, using a USB hub with good shielding helps minimize interference from other devices connected to the same hub.
To minimize this type of interference, use a USB hub with enough bandwidth to support all connected devices, or to connect the keyboard splitter directly to the computer if possible. Also, try to disconnect or reduce the number of other devices connected to the same USB hub. This can help improve the performance of the split keyboards and reduce the risk of interference.