How to Use a Mouse and a Keyboard With an Xbox
Video game consoles are primarily designed to be used with controllers, but many modern models offer mouse and keyboard compatibility. Xbox supports this control scheme, but you’ll have to enable the settings first. In addition, not every game supports using a mouse and keyboard setup.
If you want to use a mouse and keyboard with your newer Xbox, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you can find the methods of using both pieces of hardware on your Xbox console. Read on to find out how.
Which Xbox Models Support Mouse and Keyboard?
The newer Xboxes (from 2013 onward) come in a few models, but all of them are compatible with USB mice and keyboards. The compatible models are:
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series X
- Xbox Series S
All of these consoles natively support a mouse and keyboard. However, only wired mice and keyboards were originally supported.
Today, the situation has changed. We’ll talk more about the new limitations below.
Using a USB Mouse and Keyboard With an Xbox
If you don’t like using your controller, you can always connect a mouse and keyboard to your Xbox. The Xbox will detect both instantly once you plug them into its USB ports.
We recommend gaming keyboards and mice, as they tend to offer better performance than standard devices. In addition, gaming hardware is usually more durable.
Below are the instructions:
- Make sure your Xbox console has available USB ports.
- Plug both the mouse and keyboard into a USB port.
- Try moving the mouse and using the keyboard.
- Play games or browse the internet using your new control scheme.
It’s this simple. However, some mice and keyboards take a little while to detect, and others won’t work. In the former case, you can try reinserting them or swapping ports.
Should a keyboard or mouse not work even after repeated attempts, it’s probably unsupported or too old for the console. You’ll have to try other options. Of course, this is all assuming your USB ports are fully functional.
The Xbox One is primarily suited for USB peripherals, as few wireless options works on it. The Series X/S consoles, which are newer, work with many wireless mice and keyboards along with wired ones.
One major exception is the Razer Turret: the first wireless mouse and keyboard combo designed for the Xbox One. Instead of the standard Windows key in the bottom-left corner, it has a dedicated Xbox key. You can immediately access the Xbox One dashboard by pressing that key, just like on controllers.
With a mouse and keyboard, you can use the arrow keys and other buttons to control the Xbox as you would with a controller. There are keyboard shortcuts to let you access menus and options quicker. You can find the shortcuts here.
Using a Wireless Mouse and Keyboard With an Xbox
If you prefer using wireless hardware, especially on the Xbox Series X/S, you’ll be glad to know that these two consoles support most products out there. You can plug a Razor Turret or any other wireless mouse and keyboard into the console, and it should work fine. These are the steps:
- Make sure your USB ports are clear.
- Plug the mouse and keyboard dongle or dongles into the console.
- Wait for several seconds.
- Try using both devices.
- Start playing games with the mouse and keyboard.
Unfortunately, you’ll need hardware with USB dongles, as the console doesn’t support connections without them. You can use a mouse and keyboard combo that shares one dongle or separate hardware. While you’ll need to use one more dongle and USB port, there are advantages.
Using wireless mice and keyboards can be problematic on rare occasions. As wireless connections are occasionally subject to interruptions, you might miss an input. Having one dongle for two devices increases the chances of this happening.
If you have two dongles, the Xbox Series X/S will be able to handle both peripherals easier. You do lose a port, but your gameplay may be noticeably smoother.
Using one dongle or two doesn’t guarantee perfect or terrible performance. It solely depends on your mouse and keyboard’s quality and the environment.
It would be challenging to find mice and keyboards that the Xbox X/S consoles can’t support.
Combining Wired and Wireless Hardware
For the Xbox Series X/S, it’s possible to use both wired and wireless options simultaneously. As both require a USB port, plugging them in should let you start gaming immediately.
You can combine a wired mouse with a wireless keyboard or the other way around.
Using a Controller Adapter
As only a minority of Xbox games support mice and keyboards, some gamers took it upon themselves to design unique hardware to solve this issue. These controller adapters will let you use a mouse and keyboard on any game.
These devices work by tricking the Xbox into thinking your mouse and keyboard inputs are Xbox controller inputs. As the console can’t tell the difference, you can play any game without using an actual Xbox controller.
One disadvantage is that some of these controller adapters are complex to set up. However, most aren’t too difficult to adjust to, as you’re primarily customizing the keybinds you prefer.
Depending on the adapter you buy, it might not support your mouse or keyboard. You may also have to update the firmware regularly to prevent issues.
One popular example is the XIM Apex Controller Adapter. It comes with an adapter and USB hub, though you can also use wireless options.
Limitations of Using Mouse and Keyboard for Xbox
While a mouse and keyboard allow for smoother actions and precise controls, not every game on Xbox will let you use them. That’s because most developers did not intend players to play these games with anything other than an Xbox controller.
However, the titles that support mouse and keyboard compatibility are usually first-person shooter (FPS) games.
In addition, to prevent gaining unfair advantages, mouse and keyboard players are forced to play against PC players, most of whom play using the same control methods. Controller players aren’t as precise nor quick, and that’s why the game’s matchmaking accounts for these differences.
However, the Xbox won’t separate you from other controller players if you use a controller adapter. Doing so is quite unfair and isn’t well-received by the community at large.
If you have already used up your USB ports, you’ll have to purchase a USB hub before you can use your mouse and keyboard. These hubs aren’t too expensive, but they may take up precious space in your gaming setup.
Stay in Control
Curiously, earlier in the Xbox One’s life, users couldn’t use a mouse with Microsoft Edge for the console. This issue was rectified later, and it hasn’t resurfaced on the Xbox Series X/S consoles. As only a few games support mouse and keyboard natively, keeping your controller handy is still necessary.
Do you like playing on Xbox with a mouse and keyboard? What games do you think are perfect for both peripherals? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.