Until now, gaming PCs had a great advantage in gaming, especially when it comes to first-person shooters. Not only is their hardware potentially more powerful, PCs have tons of great third-party peripherals. There are tons of great plug-and-play PC-compatible controllers that allow PC gamers to use anything they like and make themselves comfortable while gaming.
First-person shooters have always been something of a special case because a controller’s analog sticks—even with the sensitivity set to max—simply can’t aim as quickly as a mouse can. But now, finally, the future is here—it’s possible for Xbox gamers to use a mouse and keyboard to play their favorite console shooters.
Unfortunately, doing so is a little tricky. You can’t just plug-and-play—there’s some moderately convoluted setup involved to get this to work. Lucky for you, we’re here to walk you through it step by step.
Why Use a Mouse and a Keyboard on Xbox One?
PC and console players are being brought together into the same playground with more and more cross-platform games. One reason that cross-platform games have been relatively rare until now is that hardware-based gap we talked about. As mouse-and-keyboard setups become more accessible to console players, we’ll probably see more cross-platform titles coming out.
For now, only a handful of Xbox One games support a mouse and keyboard, and none of them do so natively. Here’s the current list of supported titles:
Fortnite, Warframe, Minecraft, X-Morph Defense, Warhammer Vermintide 2, Bomber Crew, War Thunder, Deep Rock Galactic, Strange Brigade, Metro Exodus, Paladins, and Sims 4. Future releases include Gears 5, Children of Morta, Day Z, Minion Master, Moonlighter, Vigor, Warface, Wargroove, and Roblox.
Xbox One Keyboard and Mouse Adapters
So, how do we fix games that aren’t compatible with your awesome mouse and keyboard combo? Easy. Let’s talk console keyboard and mouse adapters:
Cronus Max for Xbox One
The Cronus Max is the optimal solution and you can get it from Amazon for about $85. It is a USB device that will be able to automatically recognize your mouse and keyboard once you plug it into the console.
You will need to keep your console close to your PC during setup, but afterward, you can move it back to its normal location.
Titan One for Xbox One
A cheaper solution is the Titan One. It’s similar to the Cronus Max; the main reason it costs less is that you’ll need to download some extra software and map your controls manually.
Xim Apex for Xbox One
Our premium pick is the Xim Apex adapter, which goes for $125 on Amazon. It has no input lag and provides three USB ports for input. The Cronus Max is a fine product; the Xim Apex is just a tiny bit better.
Furthermore, the Xim Apex comes with an iOS and Android app, giving you more (and potentially more convenient) setup options.
How to Set Up the Cronus Max
Connect your Cronus Max device to your PC with the mini-USB cable supplied with the device. Keep in mind that the device will not work with some USB 3.0 ports. If your computer does not recognize the device, try using a USB 2.0 port.
- Windows should automatically recognize the device and install the PC PROG software.
- Open the Cronus PRO software and open the ‘Tools’ tab.
- Choose ‘Options’ and select the ‘Device’ tab.
- Within the ‘Device’ window, set the Output Protocol to XB1.
- Adjust the default sensitivity settings if you like and keep the Bluetooth setting disabled.
- Close the Cronus PRO window and disconnect the Cronus Max from the PC.
- Connect the Cronus Max to your Xbox One with its output port.
- The device will start the authentification process and its LED display will show AU.
- When authentification is over, everything is ready.
- Connect the mouse and keyboard that you wish to use to your PC.
- Connect the Cronus Max to the PC again.
- Open the Cronus PRO software and run the X-aim plugin from the plugin menu.
- Select the option ‘Enter Capture Mode’. At this time your Cronus Max device should show 3 lines.
- Calibrate the mouse.
The process is now complete. Thank God, right? Plug the Cronus back to the console and connect the mouse and keyboard to the Cronus USB port.
Your PC peripherals are now ready for Xbox gaming. 🎉
How to Set Up the Titan One
Our second choice, Titan One, also uses the PC PRO software. Connect the device to the PC via mini-USB cable and it will install automatically.
- Once the software is installed, open the software and go to ‘Tools.’ Choose ‘Options’ and then select the ‘Device’ tab.
- Set the Output Protocol to XB1 or Automatic.
- Remove the batteries from your Xbox One controller.
- Connect the Titan One device to the Xbox One. The device will automatically enter authentification mode and will display AU on its LED display.
- Plug the controller into the Titan One. It will show 0 on the display when the authentification is successful.
- Plug the Titan One into the PC again. Also, plug in the mouse and keyboard you want to use.
- Open PC PRO and ‘Enter Capture Mode’ to connect the mouse and keyboard to the Titan device.
After setup, connect the Titan to your console and connect the mouse and keyboard to the Titan One device. Next, try running a game and controlling your character using the keyboard & mouse. 🎉
How to Set Up the XIM Apex
This one is a bit more complicated to set up than the other two.
- Note that there are optional iOS and Android manager apps for XIM Apex. If you’d prefer to use them, download them and follow the instructions within the app.
- To proceed with setup on your PC, find xim.tech on the internet and download the Apex manager apps.
- Once you install the firmware tool on your computer, start the program.
- Press and hold the button on the XIM hub and connect it to your PC via a USB port.
- When you see the lights on the device turn blue, release the button.
- Connect the XIM Apex dongle to another USB port on your console.
- Connect the hub to the dongle.
- Connect the mouse and keyboard to the hub.
- Connect an Xbox controller to the hub via USB cable.
- Once the connection is successful, the hub will flash green lights.
We are almost there. Your devices are connected, but we need to use the manager app to load a profile onto the Apex.
Use the manager app to download a profile for a specific game. You will need to tweak the game settings afterward because the XIM Apex device sets sensitivity to maximum by default. The setup is now complete and you are ready to play! 🎉
There you have it. Now you can play some of your favorite games on Xbox One using a mouse and keyboard. Hopefully, that will boost your abilities and scores, especially in first-person shooters. If you’re interested in learning how to connect an Xbox One controller to a PC, we’ve got you covered there, too.
Although this ability is limited to a few games at the moment, consoles are slowly catching up to PCs in some respects. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll even have native mouse and keyboard support on an Xbox console. Until then, stick to racking up those PC headshots using your awesome gaming mouse.
- Mouse and Keyboard Support on Xbox One, Xbox Support