How to Use a Mouse and Keyboard with an Xbox

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Bernard Perron
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Video game consoles are primarily designed for use with controllers, but many modern models offer mouse and keyboard compatibility. Xbox supports this control scheme, but you'll need to enable the settings first. Also, not all games support using a mouse and keyboard setup.

If you want to use a mouse and keyboard with your new Xbox, you've come to the right place. Here you can find the methods of using the two hardware components on your Xbox console. Read on to find out how.



Which Xbox models support mouse and keyboard?

Newer Xboxes (from 2013) come in a few models, but they're all compatible with USB mice and keyboards. Compatible models are:

  • Xbox One
  • Xbox x series
  • Xbox s series

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.

Use 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. Xbox will detect both instantly once you plug them into its USB ports.

We recommend gaming keyboards and mice, as they tend to perform better than standard devices. In addition, gaming hardware is generally more durable.


Below are the instructions:

  1. Make sure your Xbox console has available USB ports.
  2. Plug the mouse and keyboard into a USB port.
  3. Try moving the mouse and using the keyboard.
  4. Play games or browse the internet using your new control scheme.

It's that simple. However, some mice and keyboards take a little while to be detected and some won't work. In the first case, you can try reseating them or swapping the ports.


If a keyboard or mouse doesn't work even after repeated attempts, it's probably unsupported or too old for the console. You will have to try other options. Of course, all of this assumes that your USB ports are fully functional.

The Xbox One is mostly suited for USB devices, as not many wireless options work on it. The newer X/S series consoles work with many wireless mice and keyboards as well as wired keyboards.

A 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 lower left corner, it has a dedicated Xbox key. You can immediately access the Xbox One dashboard by pressing this button, just like on the controllers.

With a mouse and keyboard, you can use the arrow keys and other buttons to control Xbox just as you would with a gamepad. There are keyboard shortcuts to give you faster access to menus and options. 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 happy to know that both of these consoles support most products. You can plug a Razor Turret or any other wireless mouse and keyboard into the console, and it should work fine. Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure your USB ports are clear.
  2. Plug the mouse and keyboard dongle(s) into the console.
  3. Wait a few seconds.
  4. Try using both devices.
  5. Start playing with 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 a dongle or separate hardware. Although you have to use an additional dongle and USB port, there are advantages.


Using wireless mice and keyboards can be problematic on rare occasions. Since wireless connections are sometimes subject to interruptions, you may miss an entry. 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 manage both devices more easily. You lose a port, but your game may run noticeably smoother.

Using one or two dongles does not guarantee perfect or terrible performance. It only depends on the quality of your mouse and keyboard and the environment.

It would be hard to find mice and keyboards that Xbox X/S consoles cannot support.


Combination of wired and wireless hardware

For Xbox Series X/S, both wired and wireless options can be used simultaneously. As both require a USB port, plugging them in should get you started playing right away.

You can combine a wired mouse with a wireless keyboard or vice versa.

Using a controller adapter

Since only a minority of Xbox games support mice and keyboards, some gamers decided to design unique hardware to solve this problem. These controller adapters will allow you to use a mouse and keyboard on any game.

These devices work by tricking Xbox into thinking that your mouse and keyboard inputs are Xbox controller inputs. Since the console can't tell the difference, you can play any game without using a real Xbox controller.


A disadvantage is that some of these controller adapters are complex to configure. However, most aren't too hard to adapt, as you mostly customize the keyboard shortcuts you prefer.

Depending on the adapter you purchase, it may not support your mouse or keyboard. You may also need to update the firmware regularly to avoid issues.

A popular example is the XIM Apex Controller Adapter. It comes with an adapter and a USB hub, but you can also use wireless options.

Xbox Mouse and Keyboard Usage Limitations

While a mouse and keyboard allow for smoother actions and precise controls, not all games on Xbox will allow you to use them. That's because most developers didn't intend for 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 shooters (FPS).

Additionally, to avoid 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 accurate or fast, and that's why the game's matchmaking accounts for these differences.

However, Xbox won't separate you from other controllers if you use a controller adapter. This is quite unfair and not well received by the community as a whole.

If you've already used your USB ports, you'll need to purchase a USB hub before you can use your mouse and keyboard. These hubs aren't too expensive, but they can take up valuable space in your gaming setup.

Stay in control

Oddly enough, earlier in the Xbox One's life, users couldn't use a mouse with Microsoft Edge for the console. This issue was later fixed and has not resurfaced on Xbox Series X/S consoles. Since only a few games support mouse and keyboard natively, it's always necessary to keep your controller handy.

Do you like playing on Xbox with a mouse and keyboard? Which games do you think are perfect for both devices? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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