It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft has delivered on the promise of giving Xbox One owners the ability to utilize mouse and keyboard controls for a variety of games on the home console. It’s been a controversial decision — due to the way the keyboard and mouse offer more precision than a controller — but the option is there nonetheless.
Over on the Major Nelson blog, there’s an announcement that the keyboard and mouse support is now enabled for the Xbox One. You can use the keyboard to type and carry out commands or use the mouse to navigate through menus or play games.
The keyboard and mouse support was added in the November update for the Xbox One, and the option can be enabled for use by the developers for certain games. Now keep in mind that just because Microsoft allows you to play with the devices as your preferred control scheme doesn’t mean that every game will allow you to use them.
Developers will have to enable that feature, and I imagine only certain developers will enable keyboard and mouse support in certain games. Players have complained in the past that allowing people to play with a keyboard and mouse in competitive multiplayer games could give them a deeply unfair advantage.
Additionally, Epic has set it up where you can choose to turn on matchmaking that only puts players with keyboard and mouses against other players using keyboards and mouses. This keeps things fair, for the most part. Obviously, not every keyboard and mouse are made equal, though, and some players with a high DPI gaming mouse will likely still have an advantage over anyone using a basic peripheral setup.
Other games that are supporting the new device options for the Xbox One include Digital Extreme’s Warframe via a custom update, along with the Warhammer-themed cooperative game Vermintide 2 from Fatshark Games. The competitive flight sim War Thunder also made the feature available. Other games will be adapting the option as well, including Children of Morta, Moonlighter, Warface, and Bohemia Interactive’s zombie-survival simulator, DayZ.
Microsoft has also teamed up with Razer for a specifically designed Xbox-compatible keyboard and mouse combo that gamers will be able to use both with the Xbox One and Windows 10 operating systems. It also comes with a specific Xbox key for console-oriented functionality, and a dynamic lighting setup that players can control.
I’m curious if 343 Industries will enable keyboard and mouse controls for the Halo games on the Xbox One? Or if The Coalition will make games like Gears of War 4 compatible with the devices? I could definitely see the options becoming disruptive within the Xbox One multiplayer ecosystem if either developer decided to embrace PC-style gaming controls. However, if you were itching to play your Xbox games with a keyboard and mouse, you can do so right now.