Free Xbox Cloud Gaming update to deliver fantastic new control options

Whether you're playing on PC or Xbox Series S|X, this Cloud Gaming update will really up your game

Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Future)

Although these days I do most of my gaming on consoles, at heart I'm still a PC gamer: as someone who's was PC gaming back in the days of Doom my hands still gravitate to the WASD keys whenever I put them on a keyboard. So I'm excited to hear that Xbox Cloud Gaming for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and other platforms will soon get keyboard and mouse support.

The change would solve one of the minor irritations about the otherwise excellent Cloud Gaming service: the device a game was made for isn't necessarily the device you're playing it on, and that means you might not be able to use the controls you're used to. Microsoft Flight Simulator is a good example of that: while you can play the console version and the PC version with mouse and keyboard, you can't do the same with the Cloud Gaming version: that needs an Xbox controller.

Let your fingers do the walking (and flying, and shooting)

According to Microsoft Flight Simulator boss Jorg Neumann, quoted by Windows Central, that's going to change. "The platform team is working on this," Neumann says. "I don't know their dates, but it's coming."

That's great news, I think. I love the Xbox controller, but some games just play better when you're kicking it old-school with a keyboard and mouse. Flight Simulator is probably the most obvious example, but I find I'm considerably less rubbish at first-person shooters on PC than I am on consoles. It's not just muscle memory – I've been doing console shooters since the original Halo, so there's 21 years of Xbox burned into my mind and muscles. It's that some games just play better, particularly FPSes, RPGs, RTSes and racers. 

The hardware helps too. The best gaming keyboards and the best gaming mice are overkill for my gaming skills, but they deliver a response and precision that controllers just can't match – and of course you can't program your official Xbox Series X controller to display wild colour schemes either. 

The change isn't going to happen imminently – expect it to take months rather than weeks – but when it drops it's going to be yet another thing to love about your Game Pass subscription. I can't wait to see how some of my favourite games play.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).