Two years on from it being “months away,” where is Xbox mouse and keyboard support?

Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare

Microsoft has been considering keyboard and mouse support for its Xbox consoles for a while now. Seen as part of its Play Anywhere programme, this possibility should interest us on PC, both because it encourages developers to make games with our preferred input in mind and because it could add many players to the pool for cross-platform games. 

At E3 last year we spoke to Microsoft’s vice president of Xbox and Windows gaming, Mike Ybarra, about its progress and this year he confirmed that, while it’s still not officially supported, Microsoft won’t block third-party access because it helps those with accessibility issues.

Lost console gamer? Check out the best gaming keyboards, then write a letter to Microsoft explaining how badly you want support.

It’s possible to use adapters with an Xbox One and One X to give it a level of keyboard and mouse support in games, but they can be expensive and sometimes quite difficult to track down. There is also the possibility that it might deliver an unfair advantage in some games, but Microsoft has confirmed it and Xbox devs could, but won’t, take steps to block it.

It’s possible to use adapters with an Xbox One and One X to give it a level of keyboard and mouse support in games, but they can be expensive and sometimes quite difficult to track down.

There is also the possibility that it might deliver an unfair advantage in some games, but Microsoft has confirmed it and Xbox devs could, but won’t, take steps to block it.

But we still don’t know when Microsoft will actually bring in official gaming support.

“Still the plan is to bring keyboard and mouse to the console,” Ybarra told us last year. “When we think about that, we have to give a lot of developer choice, but also be very mindful, because in the competitive space if you go keyboard and mouse against a controller you naturally have an advantage with the precision of that input.

“So we want to give developers the option to support keyboard and mouse and if they do, the option to play with just mouse and keyboard people, with just controller people, or you don’t care because you think you can compete with all of them at the same time. So that’s something that’s on the roadmap still. We’re not announcing a date, but definitely something we wanna do.”

The closest we’ve ever had to a date was when Microsoft confirmed in October 2016 it would enable mouse and keyboard support “in the future,” a few months after Phil Spencer specifically told us it was “months away” at E3 2016.

It’s now 2 years and counting.