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Xbox Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead Insiders can test new controller keyboard mapping options

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

It's been a bit of a long stretch since we have seen anything noteworthy coming from the Xbox Insider program in terms of new features. That changed earlier this week when Microsoft quietly posted new updates for Xbox Insiders in the Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings.

Members of both rings can now try out some new features related to certain Xbox game console controllers. The Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings (both with version 2308.230720-2200 updates) can try out ways to map keyboard keys to certain Xbox controllers.

Here's the info from the update changelog:

For the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, the Xbox Accessories app now supports mapping keyboard keys to your controller!

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.

In addition, if you are a member of the Windows Gaming Insider program, you can try out these new controller keyboard mapping features with these controllers via the Xbox Accessories app.

Microsoft does have some additional tips and info about the keyboard mapping feature:

  • 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.
  • Keyboard input support is game dependent, so you may notice some games will offer full support, partial support, or no support.
  • Using or mapping keyboard keys via Bluetooth on PC is not supported. Learn more about the Xbox Accessories app and Bluetooth connections here.

This could be a very nice feature for Xbox and PC gamers who want to transfer some of their favorite keyboard settings to an Xbox controller. There's no word on when or if Microsoft will make this available for its standard Xbox controller.

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