How to Use Keyboard and Mouse on Xbox One

Make your Xbox One more like a PC with a keyboard and mouse

keyboard and mouse on desk

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If you just can't get used to using an Xbox One controller, you might do better when you learn how to use your Xbox One with keyboard and mouse. The system is still designed with controller users in mind, and not every game is compatible, but it does come one step closer to making your Xbox One more like a PC.

There's also a third-party way to allow any game to interpret keyboard and mouse commands. It takes a bit more work and isn't 100% reliable, but it's an option you can explore.

How to Set up a Mouse on Xbox One

Setting up a mouse on your Xbox One is a fairly straightforward process, but it isn't quite as handy as you might like.

Only certain games or apps allow mouse navigation; check the details of a game or app to see if it allows mouse navigation. You also won't be able to use a mouse to navigate the Xbox Home Screen, and you'll have to configure your mouse with your controller to get it working.

  1. Plug in a compatible wired or wireless mouse to an open USB port on your Xbox One console. If it's wireless, make sure it's turned on and has charged batteries.

  2. Using your controller, navigate to Settings > Kinect & Devices. You should see your mouse as a selectable option. If you don't, you may need to restart your console.

  3. You can configure your mouse from the Kinect & Devices screen, but you'll have to use your Xbox One controller to do so.

  4. Load up any game with mouse navigation enabled and your USB mouse should now be operational.

How to Set up a Keyboard on Xbox One

Setting up a keyboard on Xbox One is even easier—just plug it in and go. Here are the keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation.

Function Xbox One Controller Input Keyboard Input
Next Element N/A Tab
Previous Element N/A Shift+Tab
Guide Xbox Button Windows Key
Select  A Button Space or Enter
Back Button Escape or Backspace
Search Button Key
Open Menu Menu Button Windows Key+M
Change View View Button Windows Key+V
Up D-pad or Joystick Up Arrow
Down D-pad or Joystick Down Arrow
Left D-pad or Joystick Left Arrow
Right D-pad or Joystick Right Arrow

Play Any Xbox One Game With a Keyboard and Mouse

Only certain games on Xbox One are compatible with keyboard and mouse controls. However, you can buy a third-party product to get practically any game working with your Xbox One mouse and keyboard combo. The easiest way to do this is with the XIM Apex. Here's how you get it working.

  1. Once you've purchased the XIM Apex, go to this website on your PC for a quick start guide. You'll need to select download the correct firmware, then turn on your XIM device before inserting it into an open USB port on your PC.

  2. Once the button flashes blue, release the button, then select Update Firmware.

    There is also an app for both Android and iOS to help ease the use of your XIM Apex device. It's free to download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

  3. Once the firmware is update, plug the XIM Apex device into an open port on your Xbox One, then connect the Apex Hub to the device.

  4. Once the hub is connected, connect your keyboard, mouse, and Xbox One controller (via USB cable) to the Apex Hub.

  5. Check the XIM Apex website and forums for profiles for different games you want to play—the companion app is extremely useful for changing profiles, which handles the key configurations for specific games.