Xbox One S

It's perhaps a peculiar thought, using a keyboard and mouse with your console. After all, it's designed to be used with a controller, right? In the case of the Xbox One, the growing convergence with Windows 10 makes it a more appealing concept. Games like Halo Wars 2 are just better with a keyboard and a mouse.

We know that official keyboard and mouse support is coming to the Xbox One at some point in the future, but if you can't wait, there is a way to get in on the action right now.

You can use a USB keyboard for limited functions that are already official, and you have been able to for some time. It's particularly useful for sending messages and participating in Twitch or Beam chat. But if you're remotely interested in keyboard and mouse support, it's probably for gaming reasons. For that, for now, you need some help.

Say hello to XIM Apex

One method uses a product called the XIM Apex, and it's a pretty ordinary-looking thing that acts as a go-between for the keyboard and mouse and translates the input signal to something the Xbox One can understand. The set-up process is not exactly elegant, it involves a dongle and a USB hub to attach both a mouse and a keyboard, but it does work.

XIM Apex

As you can see in the video above for all intents and purposes the XIM 4 makes it just like you're gaming on a PC. Latency is very low and judging by the legion of happy fans online from previous models, it's reliable, too.

But it's also not particularly cheap at $99. If you just have to have keyboard and mouse support right now, the XIM Apex is the way to go. Otherwise, just wait it out with the rest of us and let Microsoft do the work. It's also incredibly hard to get hold of, and right now you need to get your name on the waiting list if you want one. Resellers on places like Amazon and eBay have some, but at a $50 premium, only you can decide if it's worth it.

See at XIM

Another option ...


An alternative to the XIM Apex that costs a little less is the CronusMax. The idea is the same, in that it's a USB device that acts as a go-between for a keyboard and mouse, translating it into a controller input for the console to understand.

The CronusMax also lets you use any controller on any console, or so its boasts. If for some mad reason you'd prefer to use a PlayStation 4 DualShock controller on your Xbox One, by hooking up through the CronusMax, you can.

At $95, it's a hair cheaper than the XIM Apex as well. This is also sometimes hard to get hold of, so you'll have to be quick to nab one when they're in stock.

See at Amazon

Updated April 17, 2018: Added details on the XIM Apex which has replaced the XIM 4.