The Dreamcast Keyboard & Mouse – Be Prepared For Anything

In their hardware days, Sega was always known for being ahead of their time. The Dreamcast Keyboard and Dreamcast Mouse are interesting example sof thinking outside of normal console gaming protocol in order to bring Sega fans the best console experience possible.

Like many of Sega’s quirky peripherals, there aren’t a whole lot of uses for them. But the Keyboard and Mouse actually have a few tricks up their sleeves.

First-Person Shooters

 Fans of the FPS genre are always complaining that console controls just don’t cut it for shooters when you want quick response time and pin-point accuracy. Usually, these gamers will just stay on their PC to game, but if for some reason they find themselves with nothing but a Dreamcast and a copy of Unreal Tournament, the Dreamcast keyboard (teamed with a mouse) may keep them from going insane.

Just about any other FPS on the Dreamcast like Quake III Arena, Outtrigger, Heavy Metal Geomatrix, and a handful of others (including the leaked Half-Life release) also support the Mouse and Keyboard so you can get you true game on.

Web-Browsing & Linux

One of the coolest things about the Dreamcast at the time of its release was the built-in modem. Not only did it allow you to play online multiplayer games, but you could also surf the Net on your couch or use your Dreamcast for a PC device (especially teamed with a Dreamcast VGA adapter). The web browser disc came with the Dreamcast and worked with any standard dial-up connection or a broadband connection teamed with the Dreamcast Broadband Adapter.

The the geekier crowd that wasn’t satisfied with Sega’s web browser, Linux was also an option to turn the Dreamcast into a more PC-like device.

Typing of the Dead

 If you ask me, the one game that makes the Dreamcast Keyboard worth owning is Typing of the Dead. Yes, this game from Sega is essentially the light-gun classic House of the Dead 2 but with Keyboards instead of guns. As my friends at Bits, Bytes, Pixels, and Sprites demonstrates, Typing of the Dead is a quirky but fun expedition that shouldn’t be missed by true Dreamcast fans.

Other Game Support

There are also some other games that support the Dreamcast keyboard, but I haven’t figured out the purpose behind all of them.

  • Phantasy Star Online was a killer app for the keyboard when you could chat with other players when the servers used to be a-blazin’.
  • Worms World Party added keyboard support for those people like me who are used to the PC controls but were disappointed with the limited possibilities in the Dreamcast version of Worms Armedeggon.
  • Starlancer was a PC game first, so I imagine the controls can map nicely in that game, but I haven’t tried it.
  • Virtual On: OT also supports it, but I haven’t a clue how that would work out.
  • And finally, I have see keyboard support a bunch of fighting games, but I haven’t really figured out how that is beneficial.
  • If anybody can clue me in more on this topic, I’d appreciate it.

Dreamcast Keyboard & Mouse Adapters

If you have a spare PC mouse and keyboard and don’t want to spend a little extra money for the authentic Dreamcast gear, there are a few third-part adapters that will allow you to use your PC gear on the Dreamcast. Keep in mind, all the ones that I have seen require the older PS/2 keyboards and mice, not the USB ones that are most common now.

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Anonymous says:

Uh. Heavy Metal Geomatrix isn’t a FPS.

kevinski says:

^ I was gonna say the same thing.

I have a Dreamcast keyboard, as well as half of the U.S. Dreamcast game library, so I suppose that I should test the keyboard compatibility sometime.

jopamine says:

too bad it doesn’t work with chu-chu. the compatability with VO:OT interests me.

Anonymous says:

I thought it did work with Chu Chu? Pretty sure it also works with Mr. Driller.

Keyboards work surprisingly well with 2D fighters, actually. One of my first fighters was the PC version original Mortal Kombat, and it was quite good with the keyboard.

Typing of the Dead looks very interesting; i’ve got to get a keyboard just to try that. And running Linux on anything is always cool.

Caleb says:

Dude you forgot homebrew and emulators!

Quake 1 (Makaqu) using a dreamcast keyboard and mouse is AWESOME as will be ToV when it gets done.

Plus Beneath a Steel Sky (emulated) and other adventure games use the keyboard.

Other homebrew games like Feet of Fury use the keyboard for extra modes as well!

As more and more stuff gets emulated and created people will be glad that they kept their keyboards!

Right now prices are pretty good so if you see a mouse and keyboard around $9 American grab it for future use.

…Plus playing Quake 3 with a standard dreamcast controller is painfull.

Caleb says:

And by using there F1-F12 buttons in Phantasy Star Online you can make your character do battle poses and stuff when you are on the ship.

In this way you can totally make other players jealous! And be annoying! And this was YEARS before most modern MMORPGs made their characters dance!

jopamine says:

for chu-chu, i was actually talking about the mouse, but i guess it’d be hard to choose which arrow you wanna put down. WHICH IS WHY THEY NEED TO MAKE IT ON DS AND WII!

and with pso, i thought you could do animations with the controller, i could be wrong tho.

X says:

There’s mouse support in Rez.

mason says:

where do you get these third party adapters?

Benjamin M says:

4×4 evo has a code that can only be used by typing in the keyboard…it gives you like $999,999 to buy all the trucks and trick them out…really cool. I like your site.

Anthony says:

I have always wamted a DC KB/Mouse, but sadly I never got one when I had mine….

I should have never sold it to GameStop back in the day. I am a predominatly PC gamer nowadays, and nothing is better than playing a FPS game via KB/MOUSE. I think I will get me one sometime in the future just to try these old school games on my TV in the livingroom.

I know that DOOM1-2 has beed emulated for the DC with MANY mods! You guys want some homebrew games for the DC? Look no further tham here.

Indead says:

I played Silent Scope last night with my brand new Dreamcast mouse. It’s an absolute dream to play, no need for fumblin’ around with that just a bit too awkward to be precise DC joystick.

Kingbuzzo says:

What’s a good keyboard adapter? I have one by innovation and it’s horrible

Mike says:

The keyboard adaptors absolutely suck, just get one of the official ones.

PS, I don’t exactly recomend the Japanese laptop-like keyboard, get the big one which says either Dreamcast or SegaNet (or maybe DreamArena).

Mike says:

Don’t forget you can also use BSD and DreamShell.
They are neat little OSes for the DC

Maldoror68 says:

here is the updated list:

keyboard + Mouse:
Counter Strike Dreamcast
Quake 3
Unreal Tournament
Half-Life Blue Shift
Half-life Opposing force
Half-Life mod – They Hunger
Half-Life mod – Paranoia DC 1.1
Hidden & Dangerous
Soldier of Fortune
Rainbow Six
Heavy Metal Geomatrix
some PC ports(doom / quake, etc…)

Silent Scope
Stupid invaders / les zinzins de l’espace
Railroad Tycoon
some emulators (dreamCPC / Scumm…)

Phantasy Star Online (chat only)
Planet Ring (chat only)
ChuCHu rocket (chat only)
Starlancer (chat only ?)
The Typing of the Dead (Qwerty only)
The typing of the Date (lots of jap’ texts – qwerty only)
Toy racers (chat only)
Worms World Party
Virtual On OT (chat only ?)
Feet Of Fury

please update if you find somethin’ missing

Hunter says:

i’m pretty sure you can use the american keyboard with the neon genesis evangelion typing games, unless they have american text, not sure how that would work out

harry says:

Starlancer is chat only sadly that sucks

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