Microsoft is experimenting with the ability to map keyboard keys on Xbox Series X which is currently available in beta to Xbox Insider members.
The Xbox Series X could be receiving the ability to have keyboard keys and shortcuts mapped to controller buttons which would be a further step toward accessibility and versatility on the platform. Announced via the Xbox Insider Alpha patch notes, the functionality is currently limited to the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, it is not yet known whether this will be open to users with the standard Xbox Wireless Controller.
The full post explains how Xbox Insiders can utilize the new feature: "To get started, open the Xbox Accessories app > Configure > create a new profile or edit an existing one > select a button to map > choose Primary or Shift > then move over to the new Key tab". However, you won't have free reign of every keyboard command and shortcut yet. "You may only map a given controller button to a single key, along with any combination of modifier keys (Win, Shift, Ctrl, Alt). For example, you could map Ctrl+Alt+W, but not Ctrl+Alt+W+E".
As expected from a feature in beta, keyboard input support remains limited and game dependent and a full list does not yet exist but this could change with time. A reported glitch is that some titles on the surface could have a "trial" tag next to them if the functionality is claimed but not offered. The "learn more" button also does not work at the time of writing, but this could be ironed out in the coming days, too.
It remains to be seen how some of the best Xbox Series X games will benefit from being able to utilize keyboard key presses and shortcuts. Whether this gets fully released and support begins on the platform would change how users can interact with games going forward.
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Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming and oversees all hardware coverage for the site. She looks after buying guides, writes hardware reviews, news, and features as well as manages the hardware team. Before joining TRG she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+ and she has also been PC Guide's Hardware Specialist. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of Trusted Reviews, The Metro, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.