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Mouse and Keyboard for XBox 360?

I like first person shooters, but most of my friends play them on consoles (e.g. XBox 360) and I'm a PC gamer. Therefore, I'm used to the keyboard/mouse combo to control movements. I find that I have much more control rather than the continuous movements that a joystick provides. Both a joystick and mouse provide relative movements, it's just that with a joystick, you can hold it down and it will keep spinning, with a mouse there is no equivalent. That's part of the reason why I find a mouse much easier to control than a joystick.

Is there any way I could hook up a keyboard or mouse, or buy some kind of custom joystick that emulates the control that a keyboard/mouse gives you for console games? I'm mainly interested in a solution for the Xbox.

I should be able to play on the same console as my friends that are using the traditional joysticks; I'm not looking for a solution where we would play with each other online somehow (e.g. me on a PC and them on an Xbox). We should be able to play the same game together offline.


3 Answers 3


By snooping around a bit, I've stumbled across the XIM.

While I would not normally buy into taglines on a product's site (the XIM declaring itself to be "The Highest Precision Xbox 360 Mouse and Keyboard Gaming Adapter in Existence"), I did get there after coming across this amazingly elaborate guide.

The guide explains how to build your very own XIM (this seems like a rather complex process, and one of the building blocks is actually an XCM XFPS), and explains what makes it such an accurate keyboard/mouse adapter. The guide seems to have been written rather passionately, which certainly lends to the credibility of its claims.

The guide is from 2008, so I imagine modern XIMs are even better than the one it shows how to build (assuming the instructions are still viable).

  • This looks like it could be a fantastic solution. Could you please add it as an answer to the other question?
    – Senseful
    Jul 5, 2011 at 3:35
  • Thanks, but I don't think it strictly answers the other question (which is also why I don't really understand why it's considered an exact duplicate...)
    – Aubergine
    Jul 5, 2011 at 5:05

The use of keyboard and mouse has not been built into any current games. MS forbade any developers to add keyboard/mouse support for the first xbox, to differentiate it from a pc. However they have issued no such mandate for the 360. You can currently use a keyboard for text entry on the dashboard, and i would think you would need it for text entry in FFXI. Use of a keyboard/mouse in-game would have to be included by game developers. Not my thing, but it seems to be a good idea.

  • Please mind that MS offers the 'chatpad' gamepad extension for text entry also.
    – jv42
    Jun 7, 2011 at 10:41
  • that's only to type. not to play.
    – Sir Ksilem
    Jun 7, 2011 at 11:22
  • I was referring precisely to the FFXI part. A keyboard cannot be 'required' by a Xbox360 game, and the chatpad is meant to fill that kind of uses.
    – jv42
    Jun 7, 2011 at 11:29
  • Part of the problem is that for FPS purposes, keyboard/mouse combo brutally outclasses any joystick or gamepad. Microsoft really doesn't want its Halo fanatics to realize that PC users would kick their asses without even trying hard. Jun 7, 2011 at 12:43
  • @Shadur, while the keyboard/mouse combination is superior, I don't think Microsoft really cares who would beat whom. I think it's more likely that they knew that allowing keyboards and mice meant allowing a ton of third-party peripherals - Microsoft does OK with keyboard and makes a decent trackball, but they control a fraction of that market. Requiring 360-specific controllers meant creating a new market that they could easily dominate. Jun 8, 2011 at 0:39

If the only thing tying your friends to their consoles is the controllers themselves (rather than the online community, their collection of games, etc.), remember that it's relatively painless to configure and use a USB Xbox 360 controller, classic Xbox controller, and many other gamepads on your PC. That would let you keep the comfort of the mouse and keyboard and let your friends use controllers.

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