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Does KeyMander 2 add delay?

One of the most common questions asked by perspective KeyMander 2 buyers is what amount (if any) of delay/lag/latency does the KeyMander 2 add, so it makes sense to address it here in our FAQ for easy reference.

While KeyMander 2 technically does not add any delay itself, there is 1ms of actual input lag (latency) due to the console’s increased 1KHz USB bus speed with KeyMander 2 connected. This is actually a huge improvement over the console's normal wired USB bus speed or 125Hz which equates to 8ms of latency. A wireless controller averages about a 4ms latency (which is counter-intuitive, but that’s another matter for another time), so the KeyMander 2 is technically faster than using a standard wired or wireless controller.

Any performance issues experienced are not due to latency, but rather caused by problems like incorrectly adjusted dead zones, poorly configured mouse settings, exceeding the game’s maximum turning speed, or poor aim/look mechanics built into some games, all of which can cause the mouse to feel laggy, choppy etc. if not addressed. Additionally, issues with a game's maximum turn speed or its aim/look mechanics are normally masked by controllers, because initiating movement or changing directions at high speed with a thumb stick is nowhere near the speed that can be attained when using a mouse. This means issues that previously went unnoticed in some games may suddenly be highlighted by KeyMander 2. The usual solution to most mouse performance issues is using the K2 App to optimize the mouse for the game being played.

Now with all that said, no latency discussion is complete without reviewing the issues that really do lead to a significant delay between actions in-game and actions on-screen. So, here’s a look at the things we know that have an actual measurable delay effect on the game:

  • Game type- The type of game being played will definitely have a pronounced feel and effect when it comes to things like input lag. FPS console games like the Call of Duty franchise which feature fast online multi-player game play and very high maximum turn speeds, will be more sensitive to any delay than slower, story driven games like Witcher 3, etc.
  • Game Framerate- Consoles games generally run at either 30 or 60 frames per second, with the 60 fps games having a lower latency than those running at 30 frames per second. Outside of the aim/look mechanics, higher framerate is another reason games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare which runs at 60fps, feel much more responsive than The Division which runs at only 30fps.
  • Game Controller- The latency of the factory wireless game controllers is approximately 4ms, but aftermarket controllers can have as high as a 16ms delay.
  • Monitors- Most monitors feature response times of 1ms up to around 10ms (average less than 5ms), and have display lag times from 9ms to over 20ms (average around 11ms). Gaming monitors with their 1-2ms response time and average 10ms display lag, provide the best performance for both PC and console gamers.
  • HDTVs- HDTVs are much slower display devices than monitors, having twice the lag time or more than monitors due to all the image processing. With lag times form 20ms to over 100ms (average around 40ms), HDTV’s can be a significant source of latency when gaming. The performance of most recent HDTVs can be improved somewhat by using the TV’s game mode (if equipped) to turn off the image processing and reduce delay. The larger the screen often times means the greater the lag time, so check your display’s lag time here and make sure it’s not the biggest culprit in lowering your multiplayer Kill/Death ratio: https://displaylag.com/.
  • Online Connection- Although your internet connection does not normally affect how quickly your input actions are reflected in the game, your connection quality and speed have a huge impact in your ability to react and are arguably more relevant than the tiny amount of lag from a peripheral. Playing games with a faster time-to-kill speed (TTK) like the Call of Duty franchises allow much less reaction time than games like Battlefield or Halo (their weapons don’t kill as fast). That means playing Call of Duty on a slow connection (200ms+) you could get killed before you can react to the shots, or worse yet get killed before ever seeing the threat. Even in slower paced games the end result could be the same if playing on a very laggy HDTV.

In short, overall performance is a culmination of several factors, and while having your KeyMander 2 properly configured is key to improving your game, you must also pay attention to the areas above and optimize where possible if you want to reach the upper echelon of console gaming.

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