In my experience, attitudes about hardware exist on a spectrum. On one end are the people who care deeply about the radiance of keyboard backlighting, the tactile feel of each keystroke, the texture and button layout of their gaming mice. On the other end are the people who buy the cheapest mouse and keyboard they can find, and use them until they break. I have always fallen into the latter category.
Thus, the Gamesir VX2 AimSwitch, a keypad and gaming mouse packaged together, had a hefty task before it: to make me care about the difference in quality between it and my crap setup.
Did the VX2 manage to convert a nonbeliever? Yes and no. While there are demonstrable improvements provided by the VX2 over my setup — and particularly over the control schemes of console shooters — it struggles to justify the asking price. Fancy lighting and aim improvements for shooters are certainly boons, but are they worth $130? Well, let’s get into it.
Zoom In: Specs
- Size: 4.06 x 10.47 x 8.46 inches
- Weight: 2.55 pounds
- Battery: 3600mAh
- Lighting: RGB 16.8m colors
- Switches: TTC Red Switches
- Cable: USB Type-C Cable (length: 1m)
- Material: Aluminum alloy
As a company, GameSir is to be commended on its presentation. The VX2 AimSwitch comes in an aesthetically pleasing package with a color scheme employing black and light blue, and the combo itself handily impresses on that same front. Both keyboard and wrist rest are encased in a gunmetal grey aluminum alloy, while the keycaps themselves are a matte black.
The gaming mouse provided with the keypad features a lightweight honeycomb design, which allows the RGB lighting to shine through once it’s connected. The GM400 Mouse also employs a soft, flexible fiber cord, making it that much easier to work with. Out of the box, the VX2 Keypad & Mouse certainly look the part of high-quality gaming implements.
As for the other contents of the box, these provide helpful instructions for connecting to various consoles and a scannable QR code to download the G-Crux App. The latter is particularly important because searching G-Crux on the Play Store currently yields no results. And, the app is the only way to swap configurations for the VX2, an impressive albeit critical part of the experience.
Overall, the instruction manual is straightforward and provides the basis for a smooth process of hooking up the VX2 to the platform of your choice and firing up some games.
Once you’ve fired up said games, how does the product hold up? In short, it does so admirably. The GameSir VX2 AimSwitch Gaming Keypad has a nice heft to it, and the textured backing does a good job preventing the device from sliding around during use. The integrated wrist rest is cool to the touch, allowing the user to poise their hand in a comfortable position for extended play. The joystick is an imperfect replacement for the D-Pad on consoles — it simply doesn’t feel right to me, compared to the alternative — but it’s still fully serviceable at its task.
As for the GameSir GM400 Gaming Mouse, the forward and back buttons on the left side of the mouse are convenient additions and appreciable improvements over basic models. With adjustable sensitivity and excellent traction, the GM400 can be tailored and customized to numerous circumstances, granting players a competitive edge, especially where aiming is concerned. Being able to use the GM400 on consoles is a particular boon, and contributed in no small part to many deeply satisfying sniper runs in Planetside 2 during my playtime.
On that subject, what sort of games does the VX2 combo work best with? Which consoles benefit most from the alternate control scheme? As far as genres go (and this is unsurprising), the VX2 was at its most transformative during shooters. Having fine-tuned controls and customized aiming is undoubtedly an advantage over your opponents.
When it stepped outside this genre, however, it became more of a mixed bag. In Grand Theft Auto V, for instance, while controlling cars was much more precise thanks to WASD controls, vehicle shooting became a cramped, awkward nightmare for my mouse-hand.
This illustrates one of my big problems with the VX2, which is its narrow application to a given library of games. If you have a specific need to get a competitive edge in an online shooter, the VX2 is an excellent choice in that regard. Overall, I would recommend using the keypad for shooters, particularly on consoles.
As for PC? It’s more of a tossup, as many computer games employ hotkeys not included on the keypad, necessitating tinkering and rebinding. While the VX2 offers improved comfort and tactile pleasure, it may not be worth the headache. You’ll have to experiment for yourself to find out.
Ooh, Pretty Colors
The VX2 is a beautiful product, especially for someone unaccustomed to having their gaming implements sport any sorts of bells and whistles. To be sure, there’s an absolute glee to be had just looking at the thing in the dark.
The AimSwitch Keypad, however, carried some drawbacks as I used it. Riffling through both the instruction manual and the G-Crux App, I found no means by which to customize the lighting on the keypad. Granted, the default rainbow of shifting colors is visually pleasing on its own, but it would have been nice to see broader customization options given the price of the product.
The lighting on the GM400 Mouse, however, can be adjusted by pressing the DPI and forward button simultaneously. There’s a substantial array of options, and I found myself swapping between a few of them throughout my time putting this review together. When it’s lit up, the GM400 is easily the most visually exciting peripheral on my desk, with vibrant colors shining through the sleek honeycomb pattern.
The GameSir VX2 is a great product. It’s straightforward to operate, sports a sleek, sturdy construction, and both the keypad and gaming mouse boast impressive aesthetics. The primary drawbacks here are the lack of versatility paired with the steep asking price. A cursory search on Amazon puts the VX2 on the higher price range of like products. But I’d say that you get what you pay for.
If you’re a console gamer in need of an edge while playing online shooters (and you’ve got some spending money), the VX2 is an excellent choice. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify the price of admission.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Performance - 8/10
Features and Presentation - 8/10
Value - 7/10
The GameSir VX2 AimSwitch is a fantastic package for competitive FPS players and console gamers. Both the keypad and mouse feature high-quality craftsmanship, stunning RGB lighting effects, and stellar in-game performance. While the price is a bit rich, and fiddling with configurations can be a pain, it’s well worth it for those seeking to up their game.
- Vibrant RGB lighting
- Appreciably improves aiming in console FPS games
- Comfortable, functional designs for both mouse and keypad
- Narrow Application
- Fiddling with hotkeys can be a pain, especially after taking time to set up