Tips To Use a Mouse and Keyboard for Xbox Cloud Gaming
If you’re a passionate Xbox Cloud gaming lover, you might have tried playing games with a mouse and keyboard and experienced smooth gameplay. Using a mouse and keyboard for your Xbox Cloud gaming is undeniably superior in terms of precision, accuracy, and overall experience. But if you haven't tried using a keyboard and mouse combination, this article will provide all the information necessary to help you use a mouse and keyboard for Xbox Cloud gaming.
Use the Mouse and Keyboard for Xbox Cloud browser extension to link an Xbox console with a keyboard and a mouse. A fast and stable internet is necessary to stream Cloud games and when using a Windows computer, it should at least have Windows 10. To play Xbox Cloud games wirelessly, the keyboard and mouse have to be Bluetooth-compatible.
You might feel stuck in the decision-making stage about whether a mouse and keyboard or a controller are more suitable for Xbox Cloud gaming. It’s worth noting that using a mouse and keyboard combination makes it much easier to play games such as battle shooting, where quick mouse operations determine victory or defeat, and strategy simulations. Also, if you’re a sucker for precision and high accuracy while gaming, gaming keyboards and mice combinations like this are great tools to add to your arsenal. To win those games, you need to get a high-quality mouse and keyboard that can significantly improve your aim and precision.
You may also be interested in learning what makes gaming keyboards so expensive. Be sure to read our related article to find out more.
Can I Play Xbox Cloud Gaming With a Keyboard and Mouse?
Xbox Cloud gaming is a service that allows you to enjoy high-end games on smartphones, tablets, and PCs using Microsoft's cloud technology. Even with a casual PC that doesn't perform that well, you can play a full-on Xbox game using Xbox Cloud technology.
Anyone can play Xbox Cloud games with a keyboard and mouse after installing the Xbox xCloud extension and then activating keyboard and mouse support. However, not all Xbox Cloud games support a keyboard and mouse.
According to this article by Xbox, you can now use wired USB mice and keyboards for navigation in select games and apps.
Xbox Cloud gaming is one of the services provided by the gaming subscription Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which allows you to play over 300 games from the Xbox Game Pass library. With Fortnite being one of the most popular games for many gamers, if you fall into this category, you can check out our article on the best gaming mice for Fortnite to improve your experience.
Traditionally, Xbox Cloud gaming required a controller to play on a PC. This is because cloud gaming servers are based on Xbox consoles and only support controllers. But the recent upgrade by Microsoft on Xbox has placed great importance on peripheral device options, with mouse and keyboard support being the most welcome feature amongst gamers. The latest Microsoft update has enabled gamers to use comfortable mice and keyboards like this one to assist with smoother gameplay and reduce hand fatigue.
How To Connect Xbox Cloud Gaming To Use a Mouse and Keyboard
With the newly introduced keyboard and mouse support for gamers on Xbox Cloud gaming, gaming has become easy for gamers that would love to ditch their controllers. In terms of precision and control, changing avatar and weapon, a mouse stands out. It gives a more precise aim, so, if precision and aiming are a priority, you will enjoy using a mouse and keyboard for Xbox gaming.
To connect the mouse and keyboard for Xbox Cloud gaming, first, install the Keyboard & Mouse for Xbox Cloud extension on the PC browser, then on the link options, choose the Keyboard and Mouse option, and configure the keyboard keys to match the Xbox Cloud gaming controls.
Before the recent support for using a keyboard and mouse with Xbox games, users had to download third-party software like this, from Microsoft. In this part of the article, we’ll provide an extensive guide to help you connect your mouse and keyboard to your Xbox Cloud gaming to help you avoid making mistakes. If you prefer a video guide, you can check out this YouTube video tutorial by Xbox Nation, for a demonstration.
Follow these steps to connect Xbox Cloud gaming to use a mouse and keyboard:
Step 1. Switch On Your Xbox and Connect Your Devices
The first action that needs to be taken is to connect your mouse and keyboard to the available USB ports on your Xbox. If you need more USB ports, a USB hub like this one might be useful. However, if you use a wireless keyboard and mouse, it can be connected via Bluetooth or a USB dongle.
Our article comparing wireless gaming mice vs. wired lists the pros and cons of using each of these two types of mice to help you decide which one to choose.
Step 2. Install the Keyboard & Mouse Extension on Your PC Browser
The next step is to visit your browser extension store to download the keyboard and mouse extension. If you make use of the Chrome browser, visit the Chrome Web Store here. If you use Microsoft Edge for Xbox gaming, you can find the extension here in the Microsoft Edge Add-ons store. You can then download and add the extension. This will help to enable keyboard and mouse support for your Xbox Cloud gaming. After installing, click on the extension and enable the ‘Show in toolbar’ function to ensure the extension is accessible on any page.
Step 3. Run Your Game and Enable the Keyboard and Mouse Extension
After installing the keyboard and mouse plugin, run your game like Fortnite. If your controller is not connected, you might receive a message informing you that the controller is disconnected and should be enabled. Ignore the message and proceed with the game. You’ll then receive a message to enable your analog keyboard and mouse control. Click the dialog and load the game. On the Chrome browser, you may need to activate the extension by clicking the + icon.
Step 4. Configure the Keyboard and Mouse Controls
Once you have the keyboard and mouse working you can then configure the controls to suit your gaming controller settings. Open up the extension and the controls settings will appear. You can then program and link the necessary keys to enable the required functions on the devices. You can also adjust keyboard and mouse settings on your system such as increasing the sensitivity to improve your gameplay. Our guide on how to change mouse sensitivity on Mac and Windows will come in handy here.
Step 5. Run the Xbox Insider Hub App
With the new keyboard and mouse support for Xbox, you no longer need to install the extension software. However, this feature is not fully integrated with all games yet and only works with two games at the moment, Sea of Thieves and Psychonauts 2. All you have to do is run the game on the Xbox interface. If you have trouble getting yourself set up, you can use the Xbox insider Hub app to get early access to the feature. Download the app from the Microsoft Store here and run it to update your Xbox features.
Summary of the Best Keyboards and Mice for Xbox Cloud Gaming
|Keyboard and Mouse Name||Features That Make It a Fit for Xbox Cloud Gaming||Price|
|Redragon S101 Wired||Multimedia keysRGB backlit with 7 different light modes and effectsSplashproof keyboard Quiet keys with tactile feedbacksUSB connectorUp to 3200 DPI gaming mouseKeyboard and mouse is compatible with all major computer brands and gaming PCs.8-piece tuning setDurableProgrammable keys65ips /3600 fps||~ $40|
|Gaming Keyboard and Mouse||Quiet and tactile keyboardRGB backlit gaming keyboardGaming headsetMedia control keysFoldable microphone with volume cord controls and a 3.5mm audio jackAnti-ghosting with 19 key rollovers4 Adjustable DPI settingsGaming mode function keysAdjustable legs for wrist restMouse matErgonomic keyboard||~ $40|
|Razer Turret Wireless||Magnetic table matLasts for over 45 hoursMechanical switches Integrated ergonomic wrist restMade for Xbox one and PC2.4 GHz wireless connection Dedicated Xbox keyTactile feedback||~ $250|
|BlueFinger Gaming Mouse and Keyboard||Keyboard and mouse is compatible with all major computer brands and gaming PCs.RGB backlitBreathing lightNo driver requiredKeyboard letter will not fadeMade of Quality ABS leatherComfortable and durable Standard mouse pad||~ $25|
|Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse||Detachable wrist restNon-slip rubber base Extra large RGB gaming mouse pad All keys are anti-ghosting supported RGB backlight Multimedia key combination Splash proof keyboard design Programmable mouse buttonsKeyboard and mouse is compatible with different windows||~ $45|
|Chonchow gaming mouse and keyboard||Durable WaterproofErgonomic keyboard and mouse Comfortable wrist restAdjustable brightness Uniform backlit2 foldable standCrater switch keysNon-slip rubber padStrong compatibility with different Windows and Mac 4 adjustable mouse DPIInterchangeable WASD keys||~ $20|
Be sure also to check out our article explaining wireless vs. wired keyboards and how to choose the right one for you.
What To Consider When Choosing an Xbox Cloud Gaming Mouse and Keyboard
Your keyboard and mouse are the primary control devices on your gaming PC, and selecting the incorrect ones can have a negative impact on your entire gaming experience. When it comes to your gaming setup, you should prioritize your gaming keyboard and mouse because they contribute to your gameplay performance. Choosing a regular keyboard for your Xbox Cloud gaming would result in ineffective gaming performance. A lagging keyboard and mouse can ruin your enjoyment and your game.
Choose a keyboard and mouse combo with dedicated Xbox built-in dashboard keys for notifications, alerts, and gaming shortcuts. Select an xCloud mouse and keyboard with mechanical switches for faster response and better tactile feedback. Go for high-quality gaming keyboards that will withstand fast and hard keystrokes.
If you have already purchased a gaming mouse and keyboard for your Xbox Cloud gaming, check out our article on how to quickly fix a gaming mouse that’s slow, where we explore how you can adjust a lagging mouse.
Once you enjoy playing Xbox cloud gaming on your PC, having the best-suited components for every area of your setup becomes essential. However, to appeal to a broader audience, most manufacturers label their goods as "gaming," even if the quality is subpar. Numerous keyboards and mice available today are not ideal for gaming. Our article explaining what a gaming mouse is and tips to optimize gameplay explains some of the top features you should look out for when purchasing a mouse and keyboard for Xbox Cloud gaming. This gaming mouse and keyboard could take your gameplay from mediocre to pro-level.
Follow these tips when choosing an Xbox Cloud Gaming Mouse and Keyboard:
Tip 1. Choose a Gaming Keyboard with Special Keys Dedicated to Xbox Games
Nothing beats a gaming keyboard with special keys that enable you to enjoy specific in-game features that are integrated into Xbox Cloud gaming. These features take your gaming to new heights due to their quick responsiveness. Dedicated keys can be programmed to do certain tasks by using an operating system application on your gaming keyboard. These specially dedicated keys offer a few helpful shortcuts while playing on your Xbox. The CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT keys, as well as other keys, are commonly used in conjunction with other key combinations to execute specific actions in the games. Our article about E-gaming shortcuts lists the most popular shortcuts and when to use them.
On gaming keyboards like this, special dedicated keys provide gamers with faster output and easy mobility, especially during multiplayer games. In addition, these keys make weapon and avatar switching easy. This feature defines a lot of the actions and functions of your gaming keyboard while playing games on your Xbox, so be sure to look out for it. If you’re interested in a mouse that is suitable for Xbox games like Fortnite and others, check out our article on the 5 best high-end gaming mice.
Tip 2. Go for a Keyboard With Mechanical Switches Like the Razer Turret for Quicker Response and Tactile Feedback
A distinct feature you must consider when getting a gaming keyboard, especially for your Xbox Cloud gaming, is mechanical switches. According to this article from the proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s annual meeting, keyboards with tactile feedback like this enable faster typing and require less physical effort to activate the key switch. Simply put, tactile keypads are keypads that have been built to provide better feedback to the user when pressed. For instance, when users push a button on a non-tactile keypad they are less certain whether the keystroke registers correctly. Unless there’s a visible indicator, the user can’t tell when they have pressed the button. In contrast, a tactile keypad gives the user instant feedback with a "snap" or "click" sensation. Thanks to this feedback, the user can tell when they have activated the key.
The user of a non-tactile keypad only becomes aware that a button has been pressed when the device does something. This may cause problems like repeated unwanted activation because it can be difficult to tell whether a button was pushed correctly or firmly enough. On a tactile keypad, the button snaps back into place after being activated, preventing this mistake. This pressure is felt on the finger, and in certain situations, it may even cause a sound, like a click, to confirm that the button was pressed. A mechanical keyboard like this is popular for many reasons, a few of which are its quick response time, and easy usage.
The keys of a membrane keyboard are inaudible, as they lack the click noise found in clicky switches. Keyboards with mechanical switches are responsive and can handle various gaming actions and typing tasks. If you play Xbox games a lot, mechanical switches are definitely the way to go. Clicky switches also provide tactility, but they have a loud clicking sound that can be annoying to those nearby. If you want to upgrade to a gaming keyboard, mechanical switches are a great place to start and will quickly turn you into a fan. Our article about the ten best keyboard switches for mechanical keyboards explains what to look for when choosing a particular switch type.
Tip 3. Select a Keyboard and Mouse With at Least a 2.4GHz Connection Speed for Fast Streaming
Choosing a gaming keyboard and mouse like this with nothing less than a 2.4GHz connection speed that allows for smooth streaming without lagging, ensuring you maintain a reliable connection with minimized delay and interference. The 2.4GHz connection speed is also perfect for gamers to stream from another source.
Gaming with 2.4GHz equipment is growing in popularity as it has a number of great advantages over other options. This is because the 2.4GHz keyboard and mouse offer a much more stable connection. This results in less lag and connection issues which are not the same for a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Gamers get to enjoy gaming from anywhere in the apartment without worrying about losing connection because 2.4GHz gives a far wider range of frequencies. This feature provides gamers with more accuracy and precision when there’s a need to make swift movements while gaming.
The most significant feature of a 2.4GHz keyboard and mouse over Bluetooth is the polling rate between the two. This puts gamers with a 2.4GHz keyboard and mouse at an advantage. A 2.4GHz keyboard and mouse can poll up to 1000Hz, which translates to the mouse sending position updates to the computer per second. In contrast, Bluetooth polls typically at a rate of 125Hz (or 8ms) each time it sends data to the PC. You want the quickest possible response when playing games, which is an excellent reason to choose a 2.4GHz keyboard and mouse. Finally, 2.4GHz gaming is far less expensive, making it a fantastic choice for gamers on a tight budget.
Tip 4. Choose a High-Quality Keyboard To Last Longer
Gamers demand a lot from their keyboards, the constant and rapid keystrokes need to register every time the key is pressed. Performing all these actions on a low-quality keyboard will constantly frustrate you because it can’t meet the demands of intense gaming. Therefore, when choosing a gaming keyboard, bear in mind that every part of the keyboard has to be of a higher quality. A suitable high-quality keyboard is resistant to splash, doesn't get glossy, and can withstand harsh usage. Our gaming keyboard recommendations guide explains what to look for when choosing a high-quality keyboard that can hold up to vigorous keystrokes.
Gamers are not gentle when it comes to pressing keycaps as there are often situations that result in key smashing out of frustration. Also, extended gaming sessions wear down PC peripherals, particularly keyboards. In games that require rapid keystrokes, you need a durable and long-lasting keyboard that can endure button smashing. Therefore, a high-quality keyboard cannot be ignored or regarded as unnecessary. If you use a regular computer keyboard and mouse, you will probably face many issues with them because they are not built for this kind of activity. You will experience stuck keys and broken buttons if you use your conventional keyboard and mouse for gaming. Our article comparing regular mice versus gaming mice explains these shortcomings in-depth and discusses the reasons to purchase a gaming mouse.
Gaming mice are also made to handle more rigorous and intense use. The mouse buttons and keyboard keys can be pressed without worrying about problems occurring. They are sturdy because they are made to withstand long hours of continuous use. This reduces the need for regular repairs or replacements. It’s worth noting that mechanical keyboards are far more durable than other types, such as membrane keyboards and domed rubber keyboards. Our article comparing gaming keyboards and membrane keyboards explains the pros and cons of these two popular keyboard types.
A standard mechanical switch can withstand up to 50 million keystrokes. This standard exceeds the membrane and rubber dome keys' 5 million keystrokes rating. When buying your new gaming keyboard, you should look for a keyboard with features like this one. You can also check out our guide on the best PC gaming mice to buy to complement your gaming keyboard.
Tip 5. Select a Mouse With an Optical Sensor for Flawless Responsiveness
If you crave flawless responsiveness when using your gaming mouse, choose one with an optical sensor. A mouse with an optical sensor can function on virtually any surface, even glass, without lagging. In terms of precision, this mouse with its optical sensor outperforms that of laser sensors. To succeed in competitive gaming, you need to monitor movement and move your mouse faster. You can enjoy doing this using an optical sensor mouse. An optical sensor mouse can perform different motions without additional acceleration, letting you move and readjust to your target.
In addition, optical sensor mice are your best bet whether you want to play video games competitively or more casually. With an optical sensor mouse, gamers don’t experience jitters or random motions. This can prevent you from losing focus or swiping your mouse to the right and missing your intended target. The optical sensor’s consistency in gaming mice ensures one less variable, allowing you to concentrate more on the games. As a frequent gamer, your mouse can get filled up with dust and dirt, resulting in the sensor registering faulty inputs. To prevent this, you can read our guide on how to clean a sticky mouse and mousepad.
Apart from the type of sensor the mouse has, you should also consider the position of the sensor. According to this paper from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) CHI conference, the best sensor position in a mouse is the center. This helps optimize mouse movement and accuracy. It also offers a more balanced, natural, and consistent feel when using the mouse. However, there are other factors to consider when determining sensor position such as mouse shape and hand size. This article from Overclock discusses mouse size relative to hand size, in greater detail.
Tip 6. Select a Keyboard With RGB Backlit For Illumination
If you enjoy playing video games anytime, you’re already aware that an RGB keyboard makes it easy for you to identify the vital WASD keys. With this, you can get the most out of each pressed key. It also helps identify point keys that help improve your throws, shooting patterns, and more. In addition, when your system gets excessively hot, or the wifi connection is down, certain colors will alert you. Also, with RGB backlights, you get a quick visual alert when your enemies are coming after you while gaming on your Xbox. Our article about RGB keyboards explains the various ways you can customize your keyboard's light intensity and color sequences.
Tip 7. Go for a Keyboard with NKRO and Anti-Ghosting Features
N-key rollover is a feature that gamers need to look out for when choosing a gaming keyboard for Xbox. With the NKRO keyboard, every single key you press is registered as an individual input regardless of how many keys you press simultaneously. In essence, rollover refers to the maximum number of keys you can press simultaneously without experiencing an issue. Limited N-key rollover isn't available on regular keyboards. In contrast, most high-quality keyboards like this one have at least a six-key rollover.
This feature comes with anti-ghosting as the NKRO keyboard is useless without it. This is because if you press keys the keyboard cannot handle, all strokes would be registered and lead to various incorrect actions. However, with the anti-ghosting technology on keyboards like this, you can be assured of accuracy and precision when executing complex commands. This feature provides a satisfactory experience while playing games on Xbox Cloud gaming. You can make use of a free program like Aqua Key Test or Microsoft’s online app to test for rollover and anti-ghosting in your keyboard.
Summary of Good Xbox Cloud Gaming PC Mice
|Mouse Name||What features make it good for Xbox?||Downsides||Price|
|Logitech G305 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse||Fully programmable Ultra lightweight and durable Compatible with PC and MAC1ms report rateImpressive 250 hours battery lifeAdjustable DPISuited for different hand sizes Great click latency||No Bluetooth optionNot rechargeable No integrated battery||~ $40|
|Corsair Dark Pro Se Gaming Keyboard||Customizable lighting Qi wireless charging Macro buttons Great 3360-variant sensorSuper fastGreat low click latency Interchangeable side gripsLow latency bluetooth iCUE compatible devicesBuilt-in dongle storage||Stiff scroll wheelBattery life can be unpredictable||~ $100|
|HyperX Pulsefire Haste – Gaming Mouse||Ultra lightweight Programmable buttons Up to 16000 DPIGrip tape includedMicro switchesSnappy performance Customizable||Software not available on macOS||~ $45|
|Razer Naga Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse||Super fast gaming mouse 12 button configurationsRazer hyperspeed provides up to 100 hours of gameplay (2.4Ghz)Long lasting battery20 programmable buttonsExtremely low latency20k DPI optical sensorIlluminated RGBInterchangeable panels||Pricey Software not available on macOS||~ $100|
|Logitech G703 Wireless Gaming Mouse||Extra fast gaming mouseAdjustable DPI rangeLong battery lifeHighly responsive sensor Low click latency Powerplay compatible||Right hand onlyExpensiveA bit bulky||~ $90|