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DirectInput/Windows: Limit of Keys Pressed Simultaneously?

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I have noticed that in Windows, there is a limit to the number of keys that can be pressed at once on the keyboard. It seems to be something like 3 or 4. I have a two player game where two players will often share a keyboard. Naturally, this causes a big issue when keys start locking. Is there a work-around? How about using other external devices with DirectInput like joysticks or gamepads, do they suffer from the same issue?

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This is not a windows limitation.

It's a limitation of the keyboard electical button hardware on most PC compatible keyboards.

Most of them use an electrical setup that is a grid of buttons that read in a sort of row/column way that prevents combinations that involve the same rows and columns of already pressed keys.

For example, if you have the 'a' key and the 'w' key pressed then you won't be able to press the 's' key or the 'q' key. Since, the 'a' key and the 'w' key use the row and column of the 's' key and 'q' key.

There may be some keyboards that work differently and avoid this issue, but I have yet to use one in over 20 years of using computer keyboards.

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