Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

Using a keyboard to play Nintendo Switch games can provide advantages such as improved precision, comfort, and communication in multiplayer games. While the list of Switch games with native keyboard support is limited, adapters are available to allow you to use a keyboard with any game.

You may have noticed some players using keyboards to play Nintendo Switch games. It’s a curious sight, but there’s a method to this madness! In this article, we’ll delve into why some people opt for keyboards when playing Switch games.

Keyboards Offer a Competitive Edge

Keyboards provide a level of precision that can be hard to achieve with traditional console controllers. Although the Joy-Cons and Pro Controller are great, the ability to press individual keys on a keyboard offers better control and accuracy for some players and some specific types of games. In particular, games that don’t require analog controls, such as 2D platformers, can be much easier to play on a keyboard with good feedback, large buttons, and the ability to spam those buttons.

Keyboards can also be more comfortable to use during extended gaming sessions. Personal preferences play a role in this, as not all gamers feel at ease with controllers. If you have a flat surface like a desk to play on, resting your palms while playing with a keyboard can be easier on your wrists than gripping a controller.

If you use both a keyboard and mouse combo, you can get a significant advantage over players who are using controllers as well, although this depends on the specific implementation or whether you’re using a third-party solution for games that don’t natively support these peripherals on Switch.

Typing in Multiplayer Games Is Easier

When it comes to online multiplayer games, communication is key. While the Switch does offer a virtual keyboard, it can be cumbersome and slow to use, especially during gameplay. A physical keyboard allows faster and more efficient communication with other players.

The Nintendo Switch offers a voice chat function via a separate smartphone app, but for any game or app where you have to do lots of text entry, a keyboard is the best option.

It’s Easy to Use a Keyboard (and Mouse) With the Switch

The Nintendo Switch has native USB support, meaning you can plug a USB keyboard directly into the console. Some games even have native support for USB keyboards, making it easier than ever to incorporate this alternative control method into your gaming experience. Although mouse support is less common, a few games are also compatible with a clicky rodent.

Which Switch Games Have Keyboard and Mouse Support?

While the list of Switch games with native keyboard support is limited, there are still some notable titles worth mentioning.

These include Tactics Ogre: Reborn, Doom 1 and 2, FUZE4, Hypnospace Outlaw, Factorio, and Quake. Notably, Quake has native mouse and keyboard support, meaning you can play it the way it was meant to be played.

What If My Game Doesn’t Support Keyboards?

For games without native keyboard support, peripherals like the VX2 AimBox can enable you to use a keyboard with your Switch. These adapters map keyboard inputs to controller inputs, allowing you to play virtually any game using a keyboard. While these solutions may not be perfect, they do offer an alternative way to enjoy your favorite Switch games with the added benefits of a keyboard.

That said, whether you’re using a keyboard natively with the Switch or through an adapter, not every keyboard will be compatible. If you already have a USB wired keyboard, or a wireless keyboard with its own USB adapter (not Bluetooth) you might as well plug it in to see if it works. However, if you’re buying a keyboard to use with a Switch or with a keyboard adapter, it’s a good idea to confirm through product descriptions and reviews that a given model works with the console or third-party peripheral.

VX2 AimBox Keyboard Mouse Adapter

This little gadget lets you emulate controller inputs using a keyboard and mouse. By using a companion smartphone app, you can customize how it all works and feels, to really hone in that edge in your games.

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