While the concept of using a keyboard and mouse on the Xbox One seems alien to some gamers, it makes sense, especially given the growing convergence between Xbox One and PC with Microsoft’s Play Anywhere scheme. This means that, in theory, most of the games on the Xbox One can support keyboard and mouse input.
We’re not disputing that the standard console controller is great for casual gaming, but it simply can’t offer the precision and ease-of-access to functions as what is provided by gaming keyboards and mice. Anybody that has tried to play an online FPS on PC with a controller will know exactly what we’re talking about! Besides, when was the last time you saw a major eSports player using a controller when keyboard and mouse are available?
Essentially, if you want to up your game and climb the leaderboards of your favourite Xbox One games, you’ll have a better chance by using a keyboard and mouse. The bad news? It’s not officially supported – yet, anyway. But even without official support, there’s a way to play games on Xbox One using a keyboard and mouse. Here’s how to do it.
How to connect keyboard and mouse to Xbox One
If you want to use a keyboard and mouse on the Xbox One, you have two choices; wait until Microsoft releases official keyboard and mouse support later this year, or buy a third-party accessory that’ll convert your keyboard and mouse input to something the Xbox One can understand. We explain both options below.
Wait for official support
The idea of keyboard and mouse support on the Xbox One isn’t new; it was first teased by Microsoft way back at E3 2016, though not much more was said on the subject for some time. Then, earlier this year, reports surfaced claiming that Microsoft was working with peripheral manufacturer Razer to enable its Chroma RGB lighting support in Xbox One games, suggesting that progress was being made on official support.
Though there’s no official word from Microsoft, The Verge believes that official keyboard and mouse support will ship with the Xbox One’s annual ‘Fall’ update. That shouldn’t be too far off if last year’s Fall update is anything to go by; last year’s update dropped on 16 October 2017, pointing towards a mid-October release this year.
Use a third-party accessory
The only other option is to buy a third-party accessory, and as far as keyboard and mouse adaptors go, the XIM Apex positions itself as the ultimate option. The Apex looks like a standard USB dongle, but inside it has the smarts to translate the input signal of the keyboard and mouse to something that the Xbox One can understand. The company uses ‘Smart Translator technology’ to provide 1-to-1 feel with no noticeable lag, and it doesn’t stop at keyboard and mouse either – it also offers support for joysticks and gameboards.
It’s not an automatic setup though; you’ll have to use a smartphone or tablet app to customise the input for each game you play. The upside is that the app will provide real-time feedback based on usage to help you optimise your layout and get the best possible performance from your setup. Not bad for a pretty ordinary-looking dongle, right?
The downside? It’s pretty expensive at £119.99 in the UK and $124.99 in the US, especially when you consider that official keyboard and mouse support is coming soon. But hey, if you don’t want to wait, the XIM Apex looks like the ideal option!