Today, there’s no denying that Xbox is PlayStation’s fiercest rival in the video games industry. With the release of Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 respectively, both being among the best-selling video game consoles in history, it’s good to know that certain Xbox-exclusive games, like Halo 5: Guardians, can be played on our computers via cloud gaming.
That being said, not every PC gamer owns a gamepad to play their Xbox games with. After all, we already have a mouse and keyboard on hand, so we don’t usually need a controller unless it’s for specific games like Devil May Cry 5 or Elden Ring.
So, can we play Xbox games on a PC without a controller, then?
No, many Xbox games aren’t playable on a PC without a controller, except for a limited number of games that support mouse and keyboard configurations. Even if we mainly play PC games using a mouse and keyboard, we should always have a dedicated gaming joystick (or Xbox controller) around for specific uses such as this.
Unlike third-party software, like a PS Vita emulator, Xbox games are entirely playable on PC due to Xbox’s impressive cloud gaming network. However, it can be time-consuming for the developers to implement mouse and keyboard support as well, especially since the games were specifically built to run on Xbox consoles with Xbox controllers in mind, so the games inevitably require controllers to be played on PC too.
Can any type of Controller be used to Play Xbox Games on a PC?
Since we need a controller to play many Xbox games on PC, can we use gamepads manufactured by other companies – like Logitech or Razer – to play them, instead of Xbox’s original one?
Yes, we can use any type of joystick to play Xbox games on PC, as long as they support Xbox’s default button mappings too. This makes it convenient for PC gamers to play Xbox games on their computers using their current gaming controllers at home.
I believe this is one of the primary reasons why Xbox’s PC Game Pass appeals to PC gamers like me. Not only can we play Xbox games on our gaming rigs via cloud servers, but we don’t have to buy another gamepad if we already have one (or a few) as well.
Plus, using a joystick to play first-person shooters (FPS), like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, makes it easier to snap our crosshairs onto targets due to slight aim assist; something that isn’t completely adopted for PC games because of the use of mouse and keyboard.
Truthfully, some of us feel that makes PC gamers a bit more competitive than console gamers in general, noting the skill level required to play Esports games on the computer. Still, it isn’t the platform that defines the players’ abilities. Instead, it’s the amount of practice and effort a person puts into refining them, especially when using a gaming joystick, be it on a PC or console.
Can Xbox Games be played on a PC using a Mouse and Keyboard?
There are many types of Xbox games on the market, including real-time strategy (RTS) titles like Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition. With that in mind, can we play them using a mouse and keyboard, instead of a controller?
Yes, many Xbox games can be played using a mouse and keyboard. But, a majority of them only offer limited support (compatible with a mouse OR a keyboard), leaving only a handful of others that are entirely compatible with both.
Here’s Pure Xbox’s showcase of a few of them, with a long list provided on their website:
Well, besides a mouse and keyboard, there isn’t any gaming device available out there (apart from gamepads, of course) – at least, not yet. Come the next decade or so, we might see holograms being used as virtual reality (VR) games too, so who knows?
If that’s the case, we could find more left-handers playing PC games as well, seeing that many current-generation gaming peripherals still favor right-hand layouts to this very day. Mind you, left-handed gamers do exist; just look at CS: GO pro, Özgür “woxic” Eker!
Can an Xbox Controller be used to Play Games on a PC?
For Xbox owners, is it possible to use an Xbox controller to play games on the PC?
Yes, an Xbox controller can be used to play games on a PC. This does depend on the computer and game themselves, though, because some might require a software download, while others are simply plug-and-play.
Some emulators are compatible with Xbox controllers too. This is especially useful for us who want to play Nintendo games on the computer, seeing that the company isn’t interested in developing PC games at all.
The only drawback of using an Xbox controller instead of a dedicated PC joystick is that we might not feel the ‘rumble’ effect while playing video games, but this wouldn’t be a big issue for many of us.
To me, getting a proper PC gamepad is much more reliable, especially since we’ve established that it can be used for playing Xbox games as well. If we can find one that’s on sale, it might be worth buying, notably for the long run.
Is it possible to use a Mobile Phone as an Xbox Controller for PC?
In 2023, mobile phones have quickly evolved into capable gaming devices too. Boasting updated technologies inside the palm of our hands, can they be used as an Xbox controller to play PC games as well?
Yes, a phone can be used as an Xbox controller to play games on a PC. The most popular app that allows this is PC Remote made by the company, Monect.
Essentially, the PC Remote app on a phone connects the respective mobile to a nearby computer that has the corresponding PC Remote Receiver software (both downloaded from the App Store and Monect website accordingly).
If set up correctly, our mobile phone can then be read as a gaming joystick, changeable to an Xbox controller via the app’s Layout tab. Every button is also customizable, giving us the freedom to create personalized profiles based on the games that we want to play.
Here’s Dv TechChats’ tutorial on getting the PC Remote app working on a phone:
With this nifty program, we can now play our favorite PC sports games using a virtual game controller. This is MUCH more pleasant than using the keyboard to score those long shots while playing the best soccer games of last year!
As PC gamers, we have loads of utility and means at our disposal. It’s all about finding the right ones to use, and knowing how to set them up properly, to enjoy the most satisfying gaming experiences that many console gamers can only dream of.