How to Use a Keyboard or Mouse on a PS4

A keyboard or mouse give you instant advantages

What to Know

  • You can hook up a physical keyboard and a mouse to your PlayStation 4 to simplify text input. 
  • Some games such as Final Fantasy XIVDC Universe Online, and War Thunder support playing with a keyboard and mouse.
  • You can connect a wired or wireless keyboard and mouse (or a combo) to PS4.

This article explains how to connect both wired and wireless keyboards and mice, how to customize keyboard and mouse settings, and how to get around games that don't directly support a mouse and keyboard.

How to Connect a Wired Keyboard or Mouse to a PS4

If you are prepared to jump through hoops to connect your PC's keyboard or mouse to your PlayStation 4, you may be pleasantly surprised. It's not all that difficult. Just plug the keyboard or mouse into the USB port on the front of the PS4. If you are using both a keyboard and mouse, plug the mouse into the other USB port on the front of the console.

The PS4 recognizes most devices immediately and flashes a keyboard or mouse icon on the screen to let you know the connection is made. Unfortunately, if the PS4 doesn't recognize your particular brand, there isn't too much you can do about it. The PS4 doesn't support downloading and installing drivers. 

What to Do if You Are Out of USB Ports

The USB ports on the front of the PS4 have many great uses, including charging your controllers, hooking up an external drive to extend your PS4's storage, and connecting the PlayStation VR system. No worries. The PS4 also supports connecting a USB hub to one of these ports, which can expand the number of USB devices you can hook into your console. If you want to use a wired keyboard and wired mouse and still have access to charging your controller or your external drive over USB, you need a USB hub.

How to Connect a Wireless Keyboard or Mouse to a PS4

The directions for connecting a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse is a little more in-depth than connecting wired versions, but the process is similar to connecting them on a PC or Mac. 

The PS4 works with most wireless keyboards and mice, but you may run into problems with keyboard/mouse combo units that use a single USB transceiver key to connect to a PC rather than connecting directly through Bluetooth.

In this case, the console might recognize only one of these devices, usually the keyboard.

To connect the wireless keyboard or mouse to the PS4:

  1. Sign in to your profile and go into the PS4's Settings, which is the second item from the right on the top-level menu.

  2. In Settings, choose Devices.

  3. The first option is Bluetooth Devices. Click the X button on the controller to choose it.

    A screenshot of the device settings on the PS4
    The keyboard and mouse settings can be accessed from the Devices menu within the PS4 settings.  Daniel Nations
  4. You should see your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse listed. If not, follow the device's instructions on making it discoverable and wait a few seconds for it to appear on the list.

  5. Scroll down to the device's name in the list and click the X button to connect.

  6. If you are prompted for a code and don't know it, enter 0000.

Can You Change Keyboard and Mouse Settings?

If you're using a nonstandard keyboard or left-handed mouse, you aren't stuck with the default settings. You can customize the keyboard and mouse to fit your needs, including pointer speed. You first need to be in the device Settings.

  1. Sign in to your profile.

  2. Select Settings from the top-level menu of the PS4.

  3. Scroll down to Devices and push the X button on the controller.

  4. The Mouse settings under Devices lets you change from a right-handed mouse to a left-handed mouse. You can also change the pointer speed to Slow, Normal, or Fast.

    A screenshot of the mouse pointer settings on the PS4
    The pointer speed setting will adjust how quickly the pointer moves across the screen.  Daniel Nations
  5. The Keyboard settings let you choose a new language if you aren't using a standard keyboard that matches your language settings for the PS4. You can also set the Key Repeat setting to Short, Normal, or Long.

The Key Repeat (Delay) setting adjusts how long the PS4 waits before repeating a key when you hold it down instead of just tapping it. The Key Repeat (Rate) tells the PS4 how fast to repeat the key after that delay timer has passed.

What You Can Do With the Mouse and Keyboard

Cool games that support a keyboard and mouse on the PS4 include DC Universe Online, Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, Neverwinter, Paragon, Skylines, and War Thunder. Wondering what else you can do? You can:

  • Browse the web: You may not know it, but the PS4 comes with a web browser. You access it through the Library app. You can even watch videos from websites such as DailyMotion and Vimeo.
  • Search for titles on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video: The setup makes using streaming video apps much more convenient when searching for that elusive title.

About Games That Don't Support a Keyboard and Mouse

While only a handful of games directly support a mouse and keyboard hooked into the PS4, there's a way to get almost any game to work with the setup. It requires a conversion adapter like the Xim4 or the IOGEAR Keymander. These adapters work by taking the keyboard and mouse signals and converting them into controller signals, fooling the game into thinking you are using a controller.

There's one problem with using a conversion adapter with your PS4: It could get you banned from your favorite game.

In games such as Call of Duty and Overwatch, using a mouse and keyboard against other users who are stuck with a controller can be a considerable advantage and is prohibited by the developers. Games that restrict the mouse and keyboard are mainly competitive not-named-Fortnite shooters and battle arena games. So proceed with caution on this one.

On the positive side, playing with a conversion adapter like the Xim4 is as easy as plugging your mouse and keyboard into a USB hub. Just plug them into the adapter, plug the adapter into the PS4, and you are good to go.