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Xbox One now supports keyboards and mice as inputs

Since Microsoft announced their support for keyboards and mice on the Xbox One in early November, it has been a topic of much debate. It’s a fact that a keyboard and mouse is easier to use for first-person-shooter games, like Call of Duty, Fortnite and many more. Some games with cross-platform support – ie. a game that lets PC players play with console players – have had to separate keyboard players from controller players, purely because of the massive skill gap. A joystick just isn’t can’t stand up to the accuracy of a mouse in these kinds of games. So, Microsoft has taken initiative and created input support for most keyboards and mice.

Razer ahead of the game

Razer has announced their first official keyboard and mouse for the Xbox One, the Razer Turret, set for release in early 2019. Microsoft has made it very clear that the keyboard and mouse isn’t a replacement for the classic controller – merely an alternative. The Razer Turret is supposedly designed for couch gaming, and comes with Razer Chroma and Xbox Dynamic Lighting. These features allow the keyboard to light up in reaction to what’s happening in the game you’re playing.

The Razer Turret is also entirely wireless, and will support the classic Xbox Home button. The Xbox One now supports mouse DPI, general Xbox sensitivity, and in-game mouse sensitivity adjustments. Just like any PC has for 20 years. However, the console also only supports up to 5 mouse buttons. Paired with 40 hours of gameplay on a single charge, and an 80 million click lifespan, this makes the Razer Turret a serious piece of kit.

 

Razer Turret

Razer Turret

 

What games support it currently

As the announcement was generally quite unexpected, there aren’t many games that support keyboards and mice yet. Currently, only Minecraft, Warframe and Fortnite support it. As you can see, these games are all originally PC games that were ported over to the Xbox platform. However, game developers are fast to jump onto the bandwagon. Bomber Crew, Deep Rock Galactic, Strange Brigade, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, War Thunder and X-Morph Defense have all announced that support will be implemented by the end of the month. And what’s more, other games have joined the “Coming soon” category here too. This includes Children of Morta, DayZ, Minion Master, Moonlighter, Vigor, Warface and Wargroove. Admittedly not that many, but this number will only grow in size.

It is worth noting that this latest update to the Xbox software still does not support the usage of the mouse on the Xbox browser, or any menu for that matter. And being able to use a keyboard in Edge is nothing new, as well as on any other Xbox menu.

What devices currently support it

While Razer has leapt ahead of the game and are releasing their own branded Xbox keyboard and mouse, nearly any current wireless keyboard and mouse will actually work. Technically, because they’re not “officially supported”, some users may experience problems. What’s more, the Xbox doesn’t support Bluetooth. So in this case, “wireless” means a product with a receiver dongle that plugs into a USB port. On a normal Xbox One, there are only 3 USB ports. So you can actually use wired devices too, but be wary of the length of cable you have available.

Some users report that when playing supported games, they experience major tracking issues and mouse button bugs on higher end PC gaming equipment. Corsair revealed this to be a polling rate incompatibility. The Xbox only supports mice up to 125hz, ie. 8 millisecond refresh rate on the mouse. Your standard gaming mouse made after 2010 will most likely be 500hz or 1000hz, 1 or 2 millisecond refresh rates. Here is where the issue becomes an issue. The mice with 500hz polling rates worked well enough, presumably because 2 milliseconds is reasonably close to 8 millseconds. For users with native 1000hz polling rates however, they must do the following: the user is required to plug their mouse into a PC, and manually set the polling rate to 125hz through officially supported mice drivers or software.

This means that for Xbox players who have just bought the latest mouse to play or experiment with, they are required to configure it first on a PC. I’m sure you see the issue here.

Razer aims to fix that with the Turret, and it looks like they’ll beat other manufacturers to the punch.

Post Author: Evin Kierans

Musician, tech enthusiast, gamer, journalist and web designer