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Fixing the 'You need a controller for this game' error on Xbox consoles

Many players opt for a keyboard and mouse on their consoles to play FPS games. This method of playing is especially popular among those who are mainly PC players trying out FPS games on a console. If you are an Xbox player playing FPS games with a keyboard and mouse, chances are you've run into a bothersome error.

Playing with a keyboard and mouse on Xbox consoles has resulted in a "you need a controller for this game" error popping up in the middle of your games. This is certainly not ideal when playing BR games such as Warzone or Apex Legends. Imagine having a guy downed just to get this error. Yeah, not fun at all.

This error occurs because the console generally detects the controller as the default input for the games. In fact, in order to play with a keyboard and mouse on your Xbox console, you must have your controller connected and powered on. The keyboard and mouse act as a controller "emulator," so to speak.

It can get annoying to have it powered on at all times, but there is no workaround for this as of now. At least, not until Microsoft decides to push an update that may render it possible not to require a powered-on controller for the keyboard and mouse to work.


This is not a new issue either. It has been around for quite some time, as confirmed by an Xbox forum post. One of the users named SlamDeath36 posted a picture of what the error looks like in this exact scenario.

In any case, here are a couple of things that may fix the issue for you.

  • Solution 1: One of the more obvious fixes is to check whether your Xbox controller is still powered on or not. To ensure your controller is powered-on at all times, it is best to use a wired controller. Plug in the USB cord to ensure a constant power supply.
  • Solution 2: Another common fix is to restart the game itself.
  • Solution 3: As cliche as it sounds, restarting your console can also help fix the problem. If nothing else works, restarting the console should.

If any of the above solutions worked for you, be sure to let us know in the comments below. If you have any other plausible solutions, let us know, and we would be happy to add them to our list.


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Hassan Sajid

Hassan has always loved Battle Royale games, right from the start of his gaming career. Aside from utilizing his engineering background in several areas of his life (with a degree from the National University Science & Technology), he loves to use his technical knowledge and skills to contribute towards the gaming community. He has played PUBG and Fortnite extensively and as a fan of the Call of Duty series, Warzone is a no brainer for him. His favourite Call of Duty title is Modern Warfare 2. Hassan uses his in-game experience to create guides and videos that are aimed at helping other Warzone players become better. Hassan is also on LinkedIn and of course Steam.