Even though most video game consoles are designed to be used with controllers, many newer ones can also be controlled with a mouse and keyboard. This control scheme is supported by Xbox, but you must first enable the settings. Furthermore, not every game supports the use of a mouse and keyboard setup.
You’ve come to the right place if you want to use a mouse and keyboard with your newer Xbox. You can find instructions for using both pieces of hardware on your Xbox console here. Continue reading to find out how.
Which Xbox models are compatible with a mouse and keyboard?
The newer Xboxes (from 2013 onward) come in a variety of models, but all of them are USB mouse and keyboard compatible. The following models are compatible:
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Xbox One Series X
- Xbox S Series
All of these consoles come standard with a mouse and keyboard. Initially, however, only wired mice and keyboards were supported.
The situation has changed today. We’ll go over the new restrictions in greater detail below.
Using an Xbox with a USB Mouse and Keyboard
You can always connect a mouse and keyboard to your Xbox if you don’t want to use your controller. When you plug them into the Xbox’s USB ports, they will be detected immediately.
We recommend gaming keyboards and mice because they perform better than standard devices. Furthermore, gaming hardware is typically more durable.
The steps are as follows:
- Check that your Xbox console has USB ports.
- Connect the mouse and keyboard to a USB port.
- Experiment with moving the mouse and using the keyboard.
- Use your new control scheme to play games or browse the internet.
It’s as simple as that. However, some mice and keyboards take a while to detect, and others will not work at all. You can try reinserting them or swapping ports in the first case.
If a keyboard or mouse does not work after several attempts, it is most likely unsupported or too old for the console. You’ll have to look into other options. Of course, all of this assumes that your USB ports are fully functional.
Because few wireless options work on the Xbox One, it is best suited for USB peripherals. The newer Series X/S consoles support wireless mice and keyboards in addition to wired ones.
The Razer Turret, the first wireless mouse and keyboard combo designed for the Xbox One, is a notable exception. It has a dedicated Xbox key instead of the standard Windows key in the bottom-left corner. By pressing that key, you can immediately access the Xbox One dashboard, just like on controllers.
You can control the Xbox with a mouse and keyboard by using the arrow keys and other buttons, just like you would with a controller. There are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to quickly access menus and options. The shortcuts can be found here.
With an Xbox, Using a Wireless Mouse and Keyboard
If you prefer to use wireless hardware, especially on the Xbox Series X/S, you’ll be pleased to know that these two consoles support the majority of available products. You should be able to use a Razor Turret or any other wireless mouse and keyboard with the console. The steps are as follows:
- Check that your USB ports are free.
- Connect the mouse and keyboard dongles to the console.
- Wait for a few seconds.
- Experiment with both devices.
- Begin by playing games with your mouse and keyboard.
Unfortunately, hardware with USB dongles is required, as the console does not support connections without them. You can use either a mouse and keyboard combo with a single dongle or separate hardware. While you will need to use an additional dongle and USB port, there are benefits.
On rare occasions, using wireless mice and keyboards can be problematic. Because wireless connections are occasionally interrupted, you may miss an input. Having one dongle for two devices increases the likelihood of this occurring.
If you have two dongles, the Xbox Series X/S can handle both of them more easily. You lose a port, but your gameplay may be noticeably smoother as a result.
Using one or two dongles does not guarantee perfect or poor performance. It is entirely dependent on the quality of your mouse and keyboard, as well as the environment.
It would be difficult to find mice and keyboards that work with the Xbox X/S consoles.
Using Both Wired and Wireless Hardware
It is possible to use both wired and wireless connections on the Xbox Series X/S at the same time. Because both require a USB port, plugging them in should allow you to start gaming right away.
You can use a wired mouse with a wireless keyboard or vice versa.
Making Use of a Controller Adapter
Because only a small percentage of Xbox games support mice and keyboards, some gamers created their own hardware to address this issue. With these controller adapters, you can use a mouse and keyboard in any game.
These devices operate by convincing the Xbox that your mouse and keyboard inputs are Xbox controller inputs. You can play any game without using an actual Xbox controller because the console can’t tell the difference.
One drawback is that some of these controller adapters are difficult to set up. However, because you’re primarily customizing the keybinds you prefer, most aren’t too difficult to adjust to.
It is possible that the adapter you purchase will not support your mouse or keyboard. You may also need to update the firmware on a regular basis to avoid problems.
The XIM Apex Controller Adapter is a popular example. It includes an adapter and a USB hub, but you can also use wireless options.
The Drawbacks of Using a Mouse and Keyboard on Xbox
While a mouse and keyboard allow for smoother actions and more precise controls, not all Xbox games allow you to use them. This is because most developers did not intend for players to use anything other than an Xbox controller to play these games.
Titles that support mouse and keyboard compatibility, on the other hand, are typically first-person shooter (FPS) games.
Furthermore, in order to avoid unfair advantages, mouse and keyboard players are forced to compete against PC players, the majority of whom use the same control methods. Controller players aren’t as precise or quick, which is why the game’s matchmaking takes these differences into account.
If you use a controller adapter, the Xbox will not separate you from other controller players. This is extremely unfair and is not well received by the community at large.
If you’ve used up all of your USB ports, you’ll need to buy a USB hub before you can use your mouse and keyboard. These hubs aren’t particularly expensive, but they might take up valuable space in your gaming setup.
Interestingly, users couldn’t use a mouse with Microsoft Edge for the Xbox One earlier in its life. This problem was later resolved, and it has not resurfaced on Xbox Series X/S consoles. Because only a few games support mouse and keyboard natively, having a controller handy is still recommended.
Do you enjoy using a mouse and keyboard to play Xbox games? What games do you believe are ideal for both peripherals? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.