Gaming keyboard and mouse with RGB lights

Believe it or not, Sony’s PlayStation 4 works with a mouse and keyboard. This makes it more convenient to type, use the web browser, and generally get around more quickly. Some games even support mouse and keyboard controls.

Unfortunately, most games still won’t work with a mouse and keyboard. Developers don’t want you dominating in Call of Duty because you can precisely aim with a mouse while your opponents are using controllers. Still, this is a handy trick to know, and we’ll show you how to do it.

How to Connect Your Mouse and Keyboard

You can use either a USB mouse and keyboard or a wireless Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

To connect a USB mouse or keyboard to your PS4, just connect it to the PS4’s USB port. You’ll find two USB ports on the front of your console. These are the same ports you use to charge your PS4 controllers. If it’s a wireless USB mouse or keyboard, connect the wireless dongle to the USB port instead. Your PS4 will take a moment to recognize the device, but it should work after just a few seconds.

Dualshock 4 controller on top of a PlayStation 4
George Dolgikh/Shutterstock

RELATED: How to Pair a Bluetooth Device to Your Computer, Tablet, or Phone

You can also connect a wireless Bluetooth mouse or keyboard to your PlayStation 4. Bluetooth is standardized, so any Bluetooth mouse or keyboard should work. You don’t need mice and keyboards marketed just for the PS4 or game consoles.

To connect your PS4 to a Bluetooth device, open the Settings screen on your console, select “Devices,” and select “Bluetooth Devices.” Put your mouse or keyboard into pairing mode and it will appear on this screen, ready for your PS4 to connect to it.

You can customize the settings for connected mice and keyboards. To do so, open the Settings screen, select Devices, and select either “External Keyboard” or “Mouse.” For keyboards, you can choose the type of keyboard, the delay and repeat rate when you hold down keys. For mice, you can select whether mouse is right or left-handed and select a pointer speed.

You can now use your PS4’s mouse and keyboard to navigate the interface. This is particularly handy in the PS4’s web browser app, giving you a mouse and keyboard that makes the browser less of a chore to use. You can chat with your friends, search Netflix and other media apps, enter Wi-Fi passwords and other login details, and do other things that are annoying to do without a mouse and keyboard.

The Best Mice of 2023

Best Mouse Overall
Razer Pro Click Humanscale Wireless Mouse
Logitech G203 Wired Lightsync Mouse
Best Budget Mouse
Logitech G203 Wired Lightsync Mouse
Logitech G502 X plus Lightspeed
Best Gaming Mouse
Logitech G502 X plus Lightspeed
Logitech MX Master 3S
Best Wireless Mouse
Logitech MX Master 3S
Razer Basilisk V3
Best Wired Mouse
Razer Basilisk V3
Logitech MX Vertical
Best Ergonomic Mouse
Logitech MX Vertical
Apple Magic Mouse 2
Best Mouse for Mac
Apple Magic Mouse 2

How to Play Games With a Mouse and Keyboard

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Here’s where you may run into some trouble. In theory, you can use the mouse and keyboard to play games. There’s nothing stopping developers from supporting mouse and keyboard controls in their games. In practice, though, most games don’t support mouse and keyboard controls. You can launch a game and try to use the mouse and keyboard, but they usually won’t work. You’ll need to use the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller instead. You can remap the controller’s buttons, but you can’t remap the keyboard’s buttons to make it function as a controller.

Games don’t even work with a keyboard and mouse when you play them with Remote Play using your PC. You still need a DualShock 4 controller, even when sitting at your PC.

Some games do work, but this is rare. The list is very short. The PlayStation 4 versions of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and War Thunder both support mouse and keyboard, which makes sense as they’re massively multiplayer online games where you also play with mouse-and-keyboard PC gamers.

There is actually a way to play every PS4 game with a keyboard and mouse, but it’ll cost you. Products like the Xim 4 adapter work with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Connect a keyboard and mouse to it and the adapter will translate your keyboard and mouse inputs into DualShock 4 button presses, sending them to your PS4. The adapter will thus let you play PS4 games like you’d play a PC game, keyboard and mouse. The adapter basically works through tricking the PS4 into thinking you’re using a DualShock 4 controller.

This option is rather pricey at $150, but it is an option. You could try modifying a PS4 controller into accepting mouse and keyboard inputs, but that’s a lot more work.

We haven’t actually tried the Xim 4 adapter ourselves, but it has excellent reviews. There are other similar adapters and you can find many of them on Amazon for less money, but the reviews seem a bit more hit-and-miss on those models. For example, this $50 alternative by MayFlash has more concerning reviews.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both support mice and keyboards, but these consoles are still designed for controller gaming. Even in single-player games where balance isn’t a concern, game developers haven’t gone out of their way to support mouse and keyboard controls–although they could. While the PS4 supports mice and keyboards, you’ll need an adapter (or just a separate gaming PC) if you want to actually play most games with them.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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