How to use a keyboard and mouse with PS5

Decades of computer gaming can have prolonged after-effects.

Screengrab via PlayStation

Controllers have been the go-to input device when it comes to consoles. All consoles ship with a controller—and for a good reason.

Since consoles are mostly associated with kicking back and relaxing while gaming, controllers tend to be more convenient than a mouse and keyboard setup. Controllers allow players to easily reach all the buttons surrounding them, making it easier to perform the most stunning in-game combos by only moving their fingers.

While most games will be optimized to be played with a controller, some PC players can find it challenging to play a first-person-shooter (FPS) game with a controller. Controllers are a completely different specimen for FPS players. The way of transitioning movement on controllers is different from a gaming mouse

It’s possible to get used to playing with a controller, but most FPS games on console support mouse and keyboard inputs, meaning you can scrap the adjustment process and go back to the basics. Playing games on your console will suddenly feel as if you were on your PC again, which increases the playability of FPS games for players who spent decades gaming with a mouse.

Here’s how you can use a mouse and keyboard on your PlayStation 5.

How can you use a mouse and keyboard on PS5?

If you’re sure that the game you’re looking to play has mouse and keyboard support, all you’ll need to do is plug them in. Sony has been one step ahead of Microsoft when it comes to mouse and keyboard support. The developer has been supporting this alternative input method since the PS2’s release in 2000.

  • Turn on your PS5.
  • Plug in your peripherals and give it a few seconds for them to settle in.
  • If you’d like to customize some of the default settings, head over to Settings.
  • Navigate to Devices.
  • Choose to customize either your mouse or keyboard, and make all the changes you think are necessary.

Sometimes, your PS5 may not pick up your mouse and keyboard instantly and you may need to wait longer than usual. When this happens, you can unplug and plug them back or restart your system to give it a second try. In any case where your mouse and keyboard don’t seem to work no matter what you do, try out a different pair to make sure that your USB ports are working as intended.

Contact Sony or your place of purchase if you think that your USB ports aren’t functioning and your warranty should handle the rest for you.

Can you use a wireless mouse and keyboard on PS5?

Image via Razer

Wireless mice and keyboards aren’t that different from their wired rivals. The USB transmitters that ship alongside them handle all the data transmission and your console will basically see them as the same as your wired peripherals. Almost all wireless mice and keyboards will work with your PS5, but the ones that share a single transmitter will always have a chance to surprise you.

Combination wireless mouse and keyboard setups usually share a single transmitter and your experience will mostly depend on the quality of that transmitter. While a gaming-ready, certified wireless mouse/keyboard will work flawlessly, over-the-counter products may disappoint you. You can still return them if things don’t go as planned, however.

Even if your preferred mouse and keyboard are wireless, the process will be identical to what it was for wired peripherals. To use your wireless gaming equipment with your console, you’ll need to:

  • Launch your PS5
  • Plug in the wireless transmitter of your mouse and keyboard.
  • Wait for a couple of seconds to allow your console to recognize your devices.
  • If you’d like to make further adjustments to your setup, navigate to Settings.
  • Scroll down to Devices and click on it.
  • Customize your mouse and keyboard settings to your liking.

Are there any disadvantages of playing with a mouse and keyboard on PS5?

While most games support gaming mice and keyboards as input methods, they won’t let you play against controller users. You’ll type, browse, and navigate around your console faster, but chances are you’ll be playing against PC users through your game of choice’s crossplay feature.

Almost all shooter titles can detect which type of device you’re using as your input method and you’ll be separated from the console matchmaking pool once you plug in your mouse and keyboard. Though it’s hard to call it a disadvantage since the PS5 is more than powerful enough to run any game at smooth frame rates, a good chunk of PC users will have better frame rates than you, especially if you’re gaming at competitive levels.

Most gamers design their PCs to achieve frame rates above 120 to take advantage of high-refresh-rate monitors. The difference will be hard to notice, but anyone with an above 120 Hz refresh rate will see in-game events faster than someone who’s on a 60 Hz screen. The variance is minimal and even impossible to notice, but it’s still something to consider if you’re looking to climb the ranked ladders.

This may not be the case for the game you’re willing to play, though, so we strongly recommend checking out how your favorite title handles its crossplay and whether it stacks mouse-and-keyboard players with PC users.

Will your mouse and keyboard keybinds reset if you switch back to a controller on PS5, vice versa?

Sony is amazing at remembering what you prefer when it comes to in-game settings. Both Sony and the game you’ll be playing will save your keybinds either to your console in the form of user data or upload them to the cloud to make sure you’ll have access to them at all times.

Your mouse and keyboard keybinds may simply disappear when you plug your controller back in, but they’ll be waiting for you the next time you need their assistance. 

The same also applies to your controller keybinds. Your customized controller settings will revert back as soon as you unplug your keyboard and mouse.

Can you still use a mouse and keyboard setup to play unsupported games on PS5?

Image via CronusMax

While some game designers will take the time to make their game compatible with mouse and keyboard, others may leave this out since it may not be that necessary. You can’t officially use your mouse and keyboard to play a game that only supports controllers, but there’s a workaround.

Despite being infamous among the console communities due to allowing mouse-and-keyboard players to play in controller lobbies, mouse and keyboard adapters can help you play unsupported games with your preferred input method.

Though they’re an unfair advantage to have if you’re a keyboard-and-mouse player in a controller lobby, their power can be used for the greater good. The main reason these devices can bypass input detection methods is that they actually translate your mouse and keyboard movements or actions into controller inputs. This means that your console will still think that you’re using a controller.

These adapters ship their own Windows or mobile software, allowing you to pick out the settings layout you’d like to use for your favorite game. Most pre-adjusted keybinds are usually the work of community members. These volunteers spend a decent amount of time making sure they make the gameplay feel identical to how it is on PC.

Though this method isn’t supported Sony by any means, it’s still a decent alternative for anyone looking to turn their console into a mini PC replacement. Considering how powerful consoles are in terms of hardware, they’ll certainly rise to the challenge and do their best to make you bid farewell to your gaming PC.