Xbox Insider is testing a feature allowing keyboard keys to be mapped to gamepad buttons

Xbox Insiders are now able to utilize a feature that lets them map keyboard controls to the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Image via Xbox

Xbox is working on another new feature which should continue to heighten accessibility and input versatility for Xbox and Windows gaming. A new update has hit Xbox Insider, and this one brought a new feature in alpha testing. It will allow players to map keyboard controls to buttons on certain Xbox controllers, theoretically allowing you to balance controls between several input devices.

Xbox announced the new keyboard/gamepad binding feature for Xbox controllers via the Xbox Insider website on July 24, 2023. The main feature of the Xbox Insider update preview is the ability map keyboard buttons to certain Xbox controllers. Currently, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and the Xbox Adaptive Controller are supported by this feature, though it remains to be seen if the feature is expanded to further Xbox gamepads.

Xbox Insider update featuring new keyboard and gamepad input bindings.
Xbox released the latest update for the Insider program which features the ability to bind keyboard inputs to gamepad buttons on certain Xbox controllers.
Source: Xbox

This new feature for Xbox Insider’s Update Preview should come as a delight to many players with accessibility needs. The ability to shift a function on the keyboard to a button or control on the Xbox Elite controller or Xbox Adaptive Controller is a huge boon in versatility. It also helps capitalize on the already stellar controls of the Adaptive Controller, which won our Shacknews Award for Best Hardware in 2018.

With the keyboard and gamepad mapping feature being tested in the Xbox Insider program now, be sure to sign up if you want to take part in the testing. Otherwise, stay tuned for further updates on the feature coming to Xbox and PC platforms in the future.

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TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 25, 2023 1:24 PM

      Does this mean you could tap strafe in Apex?

      • reply
        July 25, 2023 1:28 PM

        Only if Apex worked with a KB on a console. It's an interesting mapping feature and I'm sure there are use cases for it to map to say the accessibility controller but not sure why I'd personally ever map a KB to a controller.

        • reply
          July 25, 2023 1:53 PM

          Accessibility is the reason because most accessibility devices on the market look like a regular keyboard and or mouse to a computer.

          • reply
            July 25, 2023 2:03 PM

            That is why I said I can see benefit there and think it's a great addition, but from a personal standpoint as someone who really doesn't like to use a controller for games other than driving or sports games I don't know why I would ever use the feature currently. If I could map a KB key to the controller that means the KB works in that game and I'd rather just use it.

    • reply
      July 25, 2023 2:46 PM

      With the amount of people using input remappers these days to spoof their m/kb as a game pad to get aim assist in apex and cod, makes sense to just build it into the OS

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