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. While up until recently you had to rely on third-party accessories to use a keyboard and mouse on Xbox One, that's no longer the case. 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 for the game(s) you want to play, 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, in September 2018, Microsoft announced that official support was coming soon.
Fast forward to November 2018 and Microsoft has confirmed that, starting 14 November, specific games will natively support keyboard and mouse input. While there are 14 confirmed titles, only seven will be available at launch with the rest coming 'soon'. Here's a list of officially supported games on Xbox One:
Available at launch:
- Bomber Crew
- Deep Rock Galactic
- Strange Brigade
- Vermintide 2
- War Thunder
- X-Morph Defense
- Children of Morta
- Minion Master
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 available for select games. But hey, if you don’t want to wait for devs to offer support for your favourite game, the XIM Apex looks like the ideal option!