How to Use a Keyboard and Mouse on Your PS4

Pexels / Karol D 

While many gamers have become accustomed to entering text using the PlayStation 4 controller and that awkward on-screen keyboard, you can actually hook up a physical keyboard to the PS4. In fact, you can connect a keyboard and a mouse to your PS4. Even better, some games like Final Fantasy XIV, DC Universe Online and War Thunder support playing with a keyboard and mouse.

How to Connect a Wired Keyboard and/or Mouse to the PS4

If you are prepared to jump through a lot of hoops to get your PC's keyboard or mouse working with your PlayStation 4, you may be a little disappointed. It's not quite that difficult. In fact, here's the long list of steps to get it working:

  • Plug your keyboard and/or mouse into the USB port on the front of the PS4.

If you are using both a keyboard and mouse, plug your mouse into the other USB port on the front of the console.

The PS4 will recognize most devices immediately and flash a keyboard and/or mouse icon on the screen to let you know they are properly connected. 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 mouse drivers. 

What 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 have hooked into your console. If you want to use a wired keyboard, wired mouse and still have access to charging your controller over USB or your external drive, you will want a USB hub.

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.

How to Connect a Wireless Keyboard or Mouse to Your PS4

The directions for connecting a Bluetooth Keyboard or Mouse is a little more in depth than a wired one, but the process isn't dissimilar from doing the same on a PC or Mac. 

  • First, you'll need to go into the PS4's settings. This means you'll need to sign into a profile. The Settings option is the second from the right on the top-level menu.
  • In settings, choose Devices.
  • The first option is Bluetooth Devices. Click your X button to choose it.
  • 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 in the list.
  • Simply scroll down to the device's name int he list and click the X button to connect.
  • If you are prompted for a code and don't know it, enter "0000".

The PS4 should work 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. The PS4 may only recognize one of these devices, usually the keyboard. This is true with Microsoft's popular wireless keyboard/mouse combination as well as others.

A screenshot of the mouse pointer settings on the PS4.
The pointer speed setting will adjust how quickly the pointer moves across the screen.

What If You Are Using a Non-Standard Keyboard or Left-Handed Mouse? What About Pointer Speed?

You aren't stuck with the default settings. You can customize the keyboard and mouse to fit your needs. You'll first need to be in the device settings similar to connecting a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse:

  • Sign into your profile
  • Select Settings from the top-level menu
  • Scroll down to Devices and push the X button on the controller

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

The Keyboard settings will 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 will wait 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 once that delay timer has passed.

What Can You Do With the Mouse and Keyboard?

There are a number of cool games that support a keyboard and mouse on the PS4. A few great ones you can check out are DC Universe Online, Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, Neverwinter, Paragon, Skylines and War Thunder. So what else can you do?

  • Browse the web! You may not know it, but the PS4 comes with a web browser. You can access it through the Library app. If you have a lot of games, you can filter the list by choosing Applications from the side menu. You can even watch video from websites like DailyMotion and Vimeo.
  • Search for titles on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. This makes using streaming video apps much more convenient when searching for that elusive title.

What About Games That Don't Support a Keyboard and Mouse?

While only a handful of games directly support a mouse and keyboard hooked directly into the PS4, there's a way to get almost any game to work with the setup. This requires a conversion adapter like the Xim4 and 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: It could get you banned from your favorite game.

In games like 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 should be good to go.