Using Mouse and Keyboard on PS4: Here’s How It Works.
With the Playstation 4, due to the technical implementation and lack of support for the games and apps, you were limited to the associated controller for a long time. A keyboard or even a mouse were difficult to put into operation without additional (mostly expensive) hardware and then often only worked poorly.
Fortunately, those days are slowly over, as more and more devices and software can be used on the PS4. There are also special solutions such as special keyboards and mouse and keyboard converters specially developed for the PS4. On this page we want to show you what options you have to operate a mouse and keyboard on the PS4 and explain to you how you can connect them and put them into operation.
Warning: Not every game can be played with a mouse and keyboard
A small but fine aspect of using the mouse and keyboard on the PS4 is whether you only want to use the input devices to control the console – rather than surfing the menu or in the Internet browser – or whether you really want to play games with them. The former is usually not a problem at all and above all makes chatting much easier and more convenient.
G******g, however, is another point. Not every game on the market supports keyboard and / or mouse input. Most games are specially designed for game controllers, which is especially true for multiplayer-capable first-person shooters and action games. Means: Even if your PS4 recognizes your keyboard / mouse, it often does not work with such games because the manufacturer of the title has not provided any control commands for it (only a converter can help here).
This is usually because you gain advantages, because aiming in a shooter is simply easier and more precise with the mouse (for this reason there are also Autoaim on consoles). Of course, there are also exceptions that officially even work with a mouse and keyboard on the console. This includes:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- DC Universe Online
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Phantasy Star Online 2
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- War Thunder
Games from genres such as point and click adventures, strategy titles and business simulations look different again. The keyboard / mouse doesn’t really give you an advantage in the game, but the controls are much easier, as you don’t have to laboriously through the nested menus. So here you have a good chance that your hardware is working.
Connect the Bluetooth hardware to the Playstation 4
The easiest and cheapest way to have a mouse and / or keyboard on the Sony console works via Bluetooth. The wireless connection standard, which was once developed for cell phones, has long since established itself in input hardware and is available even on the smallest or oldest version of the PS4. However, it does not work 100% with every Bluetooth input device. Older keyboards in particular cannot always connect to the PS4 (depending on the version standard). So you have to give it a try.
The advantages are clear: a Bluetooth connection can easily bridge a distance of several meters (from the console) to the couch without tangling cables and makes it much easier to navigate in the browser or enter messages while chatting. Bluetooth keyboards / mice are a dime a dozen and are often quite cheap. The setup is done in a few seconds thanks to the universal protocol.
The disadvantage: Not every Bluetooth device can be connected to the PS4 and even if only the standard buttons on the mouse and keyboard work. Means: With the mouse, for example, you can only use the right and left mouse button, with the keyboard you only have the alphabet and number keys. This is sufficient for gaming in most cases, but special keyboard functions (additional keys, individual key assignments or even macros) are usually not supported.
Here are a few examples of Bluetooth keyboards:
- Logitech’s new G 915 is anything but cheap, but you also get everything you currently expect from a high-quality gamer keyboard. Although it is primarily designed for the PC, it also masters Bluetooth, which makes it usable for the PS4. You cannot use the special keys there, but everything else can.
Everything that makes a gamer’s heart beat faster: RGB lighting, mechanical switches, made of fine metal, wireless and … expensive … unfortunately.
- If you want to use the keyboard less for gaming and more for surfing and chatting, you can get the Trust All-in-One Multimedia Touch Keyboard for around 20 euros, which can connect to the PS4 in addition to smart TVs.
Especially suitable for chatting and surfing.
- If you want something more colorful, the KLIM Chroma Wireless Gaming Keyboard with RGB lighting might be something for you. It is also said to be waterproof in case you plan to spill your cola.
Anyone who can do without a big brand name will be happy with this.
- If you want a model that is as space-saving as possible, you should take a look at the Fosmon Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Controller. This is a mix of keyboard and controller that lies in the hand like a gamepad. The part shouldn’t be too suitable for big fingers.
Also fits in your pocket if necessary.
How to use a Bluetooth mouse / keyboard on the Playstation 4:
Connect input devices directly via USB
If you have a keyboard / mouse that can be connected via USB – whether via a direct cable or a USB dongle – you just have to plug it into the USB port of your console. Your PS4 should normally recognize the input device by itself after a few seconds and allow you to control the user interface of the PlayStation. You can also check this in the settings of your PS4, take a look at the items “External keyboard” and “Mouse” in the “Devices” option.
We emphasize “normally” for a reason, of course, because the PlayStation was not necessarily designed to work with the tens of thousands of keyboards and mice available on the market – it is not for nothing that a PC needs a driver (regardless of whether there are standard drivers that is already supplied by the operating system, or special driver software that comes from the manufacturer).
So there is a risk that your PS4 will simply not recognize your plugged-in hardware and that it will not work. In this case you can unfortunately do very little: Either you try a different keyboard or you get a converter that you hang between the keyboard and console (more on this in the next point).
Razer Ornata Chroma
Mouse and keyboard converter
As mentioned at the beginning, not every game supports a keyboard / mouse, even if it is recognized by the PS4, as the manufacturer of the game does not want this because of the gaming advantages. This can be avoided with a so-called “mouse and keyboard converter”.
This small piece of hardware is hung between the PS4 and keyboard / mouse either via cable or via USB dongle and serves as an intermediary, so to speak. It translates commands coming from the keyboard so that the PS4 can do something with them. For example, the ASDW motion control from the keyboard is converted into the corresponding commands that the console would receive from the control axis of the stick on the controller. The bottom line is that a converter leads the PS4 to believe that you are using a controller, even though a keyboard / mouse is being used.
And that means that you have arrived in the gray area, because it is of course not entirely kosher. Especially with shooters you get such a massive advantage in the game (after all, there is also Autoaim that you have in addition to more precise mouse control). So it is not surprising that many gamers consider converters to be unfair and cheat. Converters are also not very popular with game manufacturers, which is why people caught can be banned from time to time.
The advantage of a converter is clear: You can use virtually any standard keyboard and mouse, even if the game itself does not provide for it. In addition, special functions are often possible, for example individual key assignment or smaller macros.
The catch with the converters is that they are hardware on the verge of demand. This means: the demand is not too high and there are not too many manufacturers who develop converters. Not only does that make things quite expensive (you can spend more than a hundred euros), it is also not so easy to find a converter that delivers what it promises. Currently there are only two good devices among the reasonably affordable options:
- The Xim Apex Precision is more or less the successor to the Xim 4, which is one of the most popular and best converters. In contrast to its predecessor, the Xim Apex is no longer necessarily wired, but can be connected to the console via a USB dongle. However, wired devices can also be connected using the hub supplied.
The Xim Apex is the successor to the popular Xim 4.
- The slightly cheaper alternative is the Hama Speedshot. The converter has been around for a long time and has outlived almost all competition for good reason. In contrast to the new Xip Apex, the Speedshot is firmly tied to the cable, but it is also much cheaper.
The Hama Speedshot has been around since the PS3 and it still works flawlessly today.
Special controllers as an alternative to the keyboard
An alternative to the keyboards and mice, which are actually intended for the PC but work on the PS4, and the expensive and questionable converters are special controllers that certain manufacturers offer for the PS4. This hardware is licensed and can be easily plugged in and used. These special controllers are often a wild mix of keyboard, controller and mouse. Here some examples:
- Probably the most famous example of special controllers is the Hori Tactical Assault Commander Pro (V2.0) – Hori TAC for short. This is a mechanical one-hand keyboard with mouse, which is primarily intended for shooters and eighth games and can be configured via an app.
The TAC was the model for many similar models from other manufacturers, which – depending on the model – added additional macro buttons, RGB lighting and other functions. These include, for example, the GameSir Z1 or the Spirit Of Gamer Xpert G700.
The TAC Pro from Hori.
- The SplitFish FragFX Shark PS4, whose model was probably the Hori PS4 TAC GRIP, is also popular. Both devices are a combination of the left half of the controller and a mouse.
- If you’re just looking for something to type faster in chat, a controller keyboard might be something for you. A good model is, for example, the Richer-R Bluetooth wireless keyboard. The module is simply clipped in between the two grip horns of the controller and operated with the thumb.
Not square but practical and good.