What do you want to know
- Xbox Cloud Gaming is available on phones, web, and PC as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
- You can stream dozens and dozens of games via the web, which is great for low-power non-gaming PCs. But you are limited to gamepad and touch controls.
- Now, it looks like Microsoft is preparing to test mouse and keyboard inputs with Xbox Cloud Gaming as well.
Mouse and keyboard support has long been teased for Xbox Cloud Gaming, and now we’ve seen the first glimpses that it could be in testing.
If you’re part of the Windows Gaming Insider package through the Xbox Insider app on Windows 10 or 11, you have access to a more advanced update ring for the Xbox app and Xbox Game Bar. A recent Xbox app update tweaked the Xbox Cloud Gaming interface a bit, including iconography for mouse and keyboard support, as well as a filter for the search tool, to let you find games that support mouse and keyboard.
At the time of writing, Xbox Cloud Gaming (as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) only supports controllers and touch controls. On PCs and laptops, generally speaking, you’ll be forced to use an Xbox gamepad if you want to play titles over the internet. Xbox Cloud Gaming has perhaps the highest quality library of any major PC streaming service, with games from Microsoft itself, Bethesda, and EA in effect across the platform. However, for those who don’t have a gamepad or just prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard, services like NVIDIA GeForce Now have long been the go-to platform for Windows-based cloud gaming. With this latest change, it might start flowing the other way.
As you can see from the images above, the Xbox app for Windows 10 and 11 now includes a mouse icon next to the controller icon as it checks for required devices for cloud gaming. At the time of writing, the system is a bit buggy in this build, with tiles refusing to load and cloud games refusing to start with this version of the app. However, it does offer a glimpse of what the future potentially holds.
If you scroll down a bit too, there’s also a new search box that lets you filter cloud games by entry. One of those filters is, indeed, mouse and keyboard, sitting alongside touch controls for Windows tablets, as well as tried-and-true controller support. On phones, people typically use a variety of Xbox clips and mobile controllers to play cloud games, but it’s always been an intriguing proposition to run cloud games on PCs with attached peripherals as standard.
Since Xbox Cloud Gaming uses Xbox console hardware to deliver its titles, it stands to reason that only games that support mouse and keyboard on Xbox consoles will receive the same level of support on Xbox Cloud Gaming. . Indeed, enabling the filter only lists Psychonauts 2 and Sea of Thieves, two games that actually support mouse and keyboard on console. I guess these are two games currently being tested with this new feature.
It is unclear when and when this will be ready for public consumption. It will be interesting to see how well the video algorithm can handle the more precise movements of a mouse, especially since mouse and keyboard support on Xbox itself hasn’t always been the best. better.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment, and will update it with any official information as it arrives.
You can grab Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $15 per month, or $1 for a new user trial.
Thanks to K3v8az for the tip!