There are pros and cons to using both the mouse and keyboard combo as well as the controller. While you might prefer one over the other, some game genres are objectively better to handle using one or the other. There just something not right when you play fighting games or platformers with a mouse and keyboard and it’s the same when playing shooters or strategies with a controller. Luckily, we have companies like GameSir which have a beautiful little workaround for that problem in the form of their VX2 AimSwitch keypad and mouse that promise to be the one gaming combo you’ll ever need for all of your gaming systems.
The VX2 AimSwitch is not the first attempt at a multi-system controller peripheral, but it sure is among the best looking. It does this by contrasting the angularity of the keycaps with the base that features nothing but smooth, curved lines. It then adds numerous little visual details that further spice up the overall attractiveness of the package. Space grey base is broken up by a thin silver line that encircles the keys while they are spiced up with the addition of angular texture on the WASD caps. This is then further enhanced once you fire up the RGB effects which are individually programmable for each of its keys.
The back-plate of the keypad is made out of very durable and damage resistant aluminum while the rest is made out of plastic. Thanks to this and all the aforementioned design choices, the keypad looks entirely premium while being a real joy to use. Its compact form factor (240mm x 162mm x 50mm) coupled with its weight of only 530 grams makes it extremely portable and able to fully fulfill its purpose of wirelessly controlling multiple different game systems. The connections and the remaining battery are clearly designated on the nifty little status LED screen situated above the keys.
The wrist rest isn’t detachable like in the previous model of the AimSwitch but is reasonably sized and downward sloping, which makes the keypad very comfortable to use. With that being said, people with larger hands or those with less of a claw grip might find that it’s not long enough to rest their palm on. While that may be the case, the keypad is still completely usable with your palm resting on the table due to the fairly optimal keypad angle.
Since it’s all about gaming, the VX2 AimSwitch keypad features the essential 36 keys that you usually find on the left side of a full keyboard. Their placement is exactly the same with the only exception being the size of the letters T and G as well the F5 and spacebar buttons. Some of the special functions like the page up and down as well as insert and delete have been moved to keys on the right edge of the keyboard, to be used in combination with the function key.
Under the keycaps, you have the TTC red mechanical switches which are ideal for gaming. They are linear and silent, requiring 45-grams of actuation force with actuation occurring at 2mm point of the full 4mm travel distance. The font, while somewhat gameresque, doesn’t go overboard with it and could just as easily be a part of a non-gaming keyboard. It’s somewhat on the thick side which does have a nice consequence of making those pretty RGB effects very visible and bright.
The last notable thing about the keypad is the nifty little analog stick situated under the keys that’s accessible with your thumb. In most games, it served the same purpose as a D-pad would on the controller which are mostly utility functions like changing weapons and accessing different menus. Its travel distance is really short so moving it won’t be any more time consuming than it would be pressing a button on the D-pad. You might accidentally push it in the wrong direction a couple of times, but after a short adjustment period, using it becomes second nature.
Then there’s the second part of the VX2 AimSwitch combo – the GM 400 mouse, which attaches to the keypad. As if the keypad itself wasn’t good looking enough, GameSir really outdid themselves with this one. Not only does it feature the beloved honeycomb design but it manages to elevate it by putting a transparent white panel underneath. The result is that the RGB lights present throughout the mouse appear that much more beautiful – akin to what the pudding keycaps can do to transform your keyboard. You get a couple of different effects like the static color, spectrum cycling, and the wave which look really amazing and synergize well with the RGB effects on the keypad.
Aside from that, it’s a 6-button mouse with excellent ergonomics and an ambidextrous design even though the side buttons are present only on its left side. It’s medium-sized and comfortable in both the claw and palm grip, coming in at 125mm in length, 63mm in width and is 42mm tall at its tallest point. In addition, it weighs only 75g, which, when combined with its ultra-light fabric cord, makes it among the lightest mouses on the market and very easy to handle in all situations.
Attractive visual design aside, the purpose of the VX2 AimSwitch is two-fold. First is to make console gaming more enjoyable to gamers who like the feel of a mouse and keyboard and second is to give you a bit more of a competitive edge due to increased precision while playing. Both of those are tied to how functional and responsive the controls are, and in most cases, the VX2 does its job very well.
It’s no wonder, since, from a technical standpoint, the keypad, the mouse and the adapter are extremely capable pieces of hardware. The VX2 AimSwitch keypad utilizes GameSir’s Agility X 2.4GHz wireless connection which was rock-solid in all of our testings and translated to low latency and instantaneous responsiveness. Aside from the fast and linear switches on the keypad, the mouse comes equipped with a flagship PMW3360 sensor that goes up to 12 000 DPI and a 1000Hz pooling rate which can easily be switched on the fly using the buttons on the mouse itself. To further add to the list is the 3600 mAh battery that will afford you around 10 hours of gameplay with all the lights on.
A key selling point of the VX2 AimSwitch is how versatile it actually is since you can hook it up to all current-gen consoles as well as the PC via the USB wireless receiver. In the case of the Nintendo Switch and the PC, you simply plug it in and let it do its work, while the PS4 and the Xbox require you to also connect it to their respective controllers using its micro USB attachment.
Before you do anything, however, it’s advised that you download the GameSir G-Crux app for your smartphone. This will be the primary way of adjusting all the various settings or re-binding keys of both the mouse and the keypad. In our experience, this wasn’t exactly necessary for the keypad itself as the default button placement was really intuitive but it felt somewhat necessary for the mouse. On consoles, you’ll most definitely have to play around with both the DPI and the sensitivity of movement in both the app and the games to achieve optimal results.
This can vary from game to game, but luckily, the app supports saving and naming different presets which can be switched to by simply using the FN key in combination with ALT and numbers 1-5. It’s only a shame it doesn’t support creating macro button combinations as this would have really made it overkill in terms of competitive advantage when compared to using a controller.
With that being said, having the keypad and mouse double as the controller takes a bit of time to get used to while you memorize the function of each individual key. For example, on the PlayStation 4, among other buttons, you have the R serving as the square, F as the triangle, C as the circle and the spacebar as the X while the mouse buttons serve as R2 and L2 since those are mostly used as keybinds for aiming and shooting. To help with the transition, GameSir provides you with a nifty instruction manual detailing all the default keybinds and you even have an RGB setting that highlights the buttons used for the connected gaming system.
After getting to grips with the controls and adjusting some settings, the VX2 AimSwitch really becomes an awesome little gaming combo. We did most of our testing on the PlayStation 4 and even took it for a spin on the Nintendo Switch, as well as the PC with great results. While it won’t be as precise or as fast as a mouse on the PC, the very testament to its high level of functionality is that our first two matches of Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch using the VX2 were both a victory royale. And in Paladins, over on the PlayStation 4, we were decimating the opposing team in almost every match. The added precision of aiming with a mouse still made it much easier to line up the headshots and score the kills.
Again, every game will require some tweaking before you find that performance sweet spot and much of it will depend on the type and game genre you’re going for. For example, Call of Duty: Warzone on the PlayStation 4 required us to significantly boost the sensitivity both in-game and in the G-Crux app until we finally felt like the movement was responsive enough to make us competitive. The aforementioned Fortnite or Paladins, on the other hand, required just a slight sensitivity boost in the game itself.
The VX2 was made with first-person shooters, MOBA’s and other competitive games in mind and it’s using it with them is where you’ll get the most out of it. That’s not to say that you won’t find any enjoyment in more casual, singleplayer experiences – especially if you like the feel of using a mouse and keyboard. I’m personally primarily a PC gamer so having a more precise camera control in many third-person games definitely felt better than doing it with the analog sticks.
The final thing to point out about the GameSir VX2 AimSwitch is that it costs 150 US dollars. For that price, you’ll get an awesome peripheral combo that can really change the way you experience console games. While it won’t make you kiss your controller goodbye, its versatility, ease of use, beautiful design and high functionality make it a great, and often a much better alternative. Although the workaround it uses in order to work properly on consoles won’t give you the same pinpoint precision that you get on the PC, it will still give you a substantial edge when playing which will ultimately result in you having pure, unadulterated fun.