Can You Use Any Stylus With a Surface Go?

The Surface Go is a powerful little laptop that bridges the gap between laptops and tablets. As such, it supports a touchscreen display and a small keyboard that gets out of your way when needed. It even supports a stylus even if it does not come with one.

Generally, you can use any stylus with a Surface Go if it falls under one of the two compatible types and offers a supported feature set. While the Go only supports two stylus types, they are both common in the market. So, you should be able to find one that works.

While you can use any compatible stylus, you still must ensure your stylus fits you and your application. Therefore, by reading further, you will learn what you should consider when buying one along with the pros and cons of each type.

Stylus Types You Can Use with a Surface Go

The Surface Go line of tablets is one of the most captivating tablets on the market. Wonders of modern technology, these devices offer the full power and application lineup of a desktop computer in an easy-to-use mobile format. You can even use the optional attachable keyboard and use these computers as laptops.

While the little keyboard is a nice feature, making full use of the touchscreen display is the hallmark of tablets and other mobile devices. As such, you may want to add a stylus to your Surface Go experience. While Microsoft offers a Surface Pen that is guaranteed to work, it might not be the right one for you.

Your reason for choosing another brand of the stylus can depend on many factors, most of which will come down to personal preference. However, your stylus will only work with a Surface Go if it falls under one of the supported pen types.

Stylus Types Compatible with a Surface Go

A stylus or electronic pen is a pen-like computer input device that allows you to sign, swipe, and draw on touchscreens and electronic devices. While they all may look the same on the outside, they can be very different on the inside. In particular, they can differ in how they communicate with the computer.

With that said, styluses can either be active or passive.

  • Active stylus – tracks its location and movement on the screen through internal electronic components.
  • Passive or capacitive stylus – works as an extension of your fingers as the computer tracks all movement.

Differences Between a Conventional Capacitive or a Bluetooth Stylus

While both types would theoretically work with a Surface Go, only a capacitive stylus will work out of the box. This is because the Go has no native means for communicating with a stylus. It only has the touch sensitivity of the screen to deduce movement. Because passive pens mimic the actions of your fingers, they should work just fine.

However, there is a way to use an active stylus if it has Bluetooth functionality.

Capacitive Stylus

Capacitive stylus pens are the most common type of stylus. Their power comes from being a more accurate and convenient extension of your fingers. You used them simply by pressing the tip against the screen. As such, you can use them on most touchscreens, making them great for gaming, drawing, writing, and other touch-compatible applications.

Therefore, capacitive stylus pens are guaranteed to work with a Surface Go. They also:

  • Have no battery
  • Work with multiple devices
  • Light and easy to hold
  • Work in any environment
  • Cheap and readily available

These pens just lack other features such as pressure sensitivity. They are also very vulnerable to interference from the rest of your hand.

Bluetooth Stylus

Bluetooth stylus pens can be either active or passive, making them very versatile. Their main benefit is all the other features they have. Some common features include pressure level sensitivity and shortcut buttons. These features require an active Bluetooth connection, thus the name. They also require batteries and compatible software.

Different models will have different features. So, you must check to see if your stylus has the features your applications expect before you can use them.

Things to Consider When Buying a Stylus for Your Surface Pro

A Bluetooth capacitive stylus sounds like the best stylus for a Surface Go. The tablet has Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen out of the box, letting you take full advantage of such a stylus. However, not every Bluetooth stylus will fit your style, budget, and applications. In some cases, you may even be better offer with a simple capacitive pen.

Therefore, you will want to ensure that your stylus:

  • Provides the features you need
  • Offers good durability, reliability, and ease of use
  • Backed by a good warranty policy
  • Fits your budget


The Microsoft Surface Go tablet is guaranteed to work with any capacitive stylus, though you can use a Bluetooth active one in some cases. It all depends on whether your application supports the additional Bluetooth features.