Have you ever wanted to play your console games with a mouse and keyboard? I know what you’re thinking already, “You can on Xbox already”. Yes, you can. So for this review, I tested the GameSir VX AimBox mostly on the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. Specifically, The Witcher 3 and Don’t Starve on the Switch and The Forest and Heavy Rain on the PS4. I chose these games to give a broader scope of how the VX AimBox handles different game styles. I also tried it on the Xbox Series X (with X-com 2 and Halo Wars 2) for more variation.
The GameSir VX AimBox is a device that facilitates the use of a mouse and keyboard on consoles. Xbox introduced mouse and keyboard support a year or so ago and it was a hit with players. Since then, questions have been asked about this level of support to no avail (as far as I am aware). So, there is a market for this type of product. So, let’s have a look and see if it’s any good.
The GameSir VX AimBox comes in a well-presented box. Inside, we find a pair of extra USB Type-A to micro-USB and USB type-A to USB type-C braided cables. All of these feel of premium quality, Along with the VX AimBox itself. The VX AimBox has three USB Type-A ports at the front; one each for a mouse and keyboard and the middle one for a controller.
The device itself has a pair of RGB LED lights running along its top. The LEDs are controlled with a large GameSir button in the centre of the device. You can choose from a range of colours to match your stereotypical RGB-rich gaming set up, including; green, orange, purple, blue, and an option that cycles slowly through each colour on a loop.
The device isn’t very heavy at all but feels of adequate quality and never really generates any heat. The box itself has a braided USB Type-A cable attached for you to connect it to your console. The front-facing USB ports support wireless dongles so if you prefer to use wireless peripherals, you have the option. All in all, it’s a nicely packaged and presented device. The GameSir VX AimBox retails for around £50 to £60, so it’s not exactly cheap. Is it worth the price? Let’s see.
The VX AimBox is compatible with all recent consoles, including; PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.
Once you have connected to your console, you need to download the GameSir app to your mobile phone [Google Play, App Store]. The app is widely available on most app stores for free. Connecting the device is as simple as tapping a single button on the app and you are ready to go. Within the app, you can set up profiles for each console/game type and remap the keys to whatever you prefer. It’s a handy feature if you like to change things up depending on your game type. You can instantly switch between profiles or select one of the defaults at any point by using the app.
The GameSir VX AimBox works flawlessly with every console I tested it on. No noticeable input lag or any connection issues at all. After the brief adjustment period, the experience becomes indistinguishable from PC gaming. Granted, you have to acclimatise to using a keyboard and mouse on a console. And get your head around the mapping you’ll have done, first.
So, why would you want to use a mouse and keyboard on a console? Well, firstly, RTS games have always been an issue with console ports. Normally, the range of commands you use vastly exceed the button combinations on a controller. My experience was instantly easier to navigate on Halo Wars 2. I also had better control of the cursor and camera. The experience was instantly enhanced. This also goes for X-Com 2, as everything became quicker to navigate and the overall experience was improved.
I previously played The Forest on PC and on PlayStation 4, and it’s easy to use via a controller. However, basic in-game control was faster and menu navigation was just easier, so there are definite UI improvements that can’t be overlooked. Heavy Rain though became a hilarious and frustrating mess due to its quick-time events. The GameSir VX AimBox remaps any keys to whatever keyboard or mouse press you want. However, that obviously isn’t reflected in the game so, during Heavy Rain’s QTEs, it became way too confusing. Trying to remember what key you remapped R1 or triangle to becomes frustrating and ruined the experience for me. So, that was definitely an instance where using a console’s native controller will always be preferable. To me at least.
The Witcher 3 and Don’t Starve were no different to playing on PC. Both also work perfectly on the Switch’s Pro Controller or Joy Cons, so there was no real benefit to having a mouse and keyboard. Yes, the mouse was faster than a thumbstick, but controllers are just as native to these games. In this instance, it would come down to personal preference.
I purposefully avoided FPS games in my official testing. However, I did dabble in some Call Of Duty WW2 and DOOM 2016 out of interest. In the campaigns, everything was faster and more accurate as you would expect if you are a PC player. Console players will probably find mouse and keyboard a lot easier, too. So, once again, that would be a solid win for the VX AimBox.
In multiplayer modes, however, I had a huge speed and accuracy advantage over other PS4 players. It really felt like cheating. I know you can use a mouse and keyboard on Xbox. However, on PlayStation, it generally isn’t supported so it did feel wrong.
Multiplayer is where I believe the VX AimBox is quietly pitching its market. It is advertised as a “Multi-Platform Console Adapter” and is good at that job as I have already said. But, the first clue that this is actually more than just an adapter is in the devices name; “AimBox”.
Competitively, benefiting from the clear advantages of mouse and keyboard on a platform that doesn’t support it is, as most people would agree, “a dick move”. But, the VX AimBox lets you modify your mouse speed, smoothness, ADS settings (reducing recoil), and even the curve of the mouse movement. These modifications, especially the ADS, result in a dramatic advantage over players. Eventually, will be reported for cheating enough to get banned. Don’t do it, don’t be THAT guy.
“ADS is an acronym for Aim Down Sight. Adjusting ADS sensitivity will determine how much control a player will have over recoil while firing. Changing the ADS sensitivity will not change the sensitivity of looking around. But, it will affect the movement of guns while scoping in and firing. Tweaking the ADS sensitivity can adjust recoil and help players close in on targets faster”.https://www.sportskeeda.com/
So is it worth picking up the GameSir VX AimBox and is it worth the price? Honestly, that depends on you. If you are a PC player who hates playing games on a controller still want console exclusives, then yes definitely it’s something you can take advantage of. The cost depends on what value you put on that convenience; it is the same price as a decent gaming keyboard or mouse alone.
There are definitely some benefits for gamers who, primarily, play on consoles, including gaining two extra USB ports on your console [beneficial if you are like me and run multiple external hard drives!]. Other than that, it’s quite a unique and niche purchase that appeals to a specific group of people. If you are one of those people, then I can tell you it works exactly as it says on the box. Additionally, it looks nice in a gaming set up. Plus it has RGB and as all gamers know, RGB just makes everything better.
However if you buy it just to whoop ass and take names on multiplayer games on platforms that do not support mouse and keyboard or cheat, then you should know there is a special circle of hell reserved just for people like you.
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