A GameSir product that doesn’t look like it fell off a UFO? What madness is this?
Admittedly, the VX AimBox doesn’t have the sleek appearance of the VX2 AimSwitch, though both let you use keyboard and mouse on a console – even Switch. The difference is the VX AimBox is aimed at those who already have a trusty keyboard and mouse setup and want to use them to get a gaming edge.
So, instead of unpacking a bundled mouse and keyboard then being dazzled by the glory of their many, many LEDs, you simply plug the AimBox into your console, plug your wired USB mouse and keyboard into the AimBox’s USB ports, and plug your existing controller into the middle port.
Hey, presto, you’re ready to go. Or, if you’ve got a Nintendo Switch, you can skip the last step entirely. Though we didn’t get to test this facility, you can also apparently plug a wireless dongle into the USB ports to use a wireless keyboard and mouse instead.
But… hang on a minute, you might be asking. Can’t you just plug in a mouse and keyboard into your console? The answer is, yes, you can. More and more games – particularly FPS, which is what the AimBox VX is meant for – support mouse and keyboard controls natively. If your favourite console game supports mouse and keyboard, and that’s the only game you have an interest in playing, you’re not going to get any real benefit from the AimBox VX. In fact, you’ll find that it’s a little slower to spin around using the Aimbox than it is to sweep a mouse that’s been plugged directly into the console.
If, however, you’re a jack of all games and master of none, the AimBox VX will be right up your street. It’s especially useful if you’re a trackball fan; a mouse is great if you’ve got the space, but if you’re perched on a couch you can end up having find somewhere to put the mat. You do need to tweak trackball sensitivity using the GameSir app, something you don’t have to do using a mouse. But with the keyboard on your knee and trackball on the arm of the sofa you’ve got everything it takes to theoretically give you an edge over players who use a controller.
Which brings us to the one questionable aspect of the VX AimBox. Can this get you banned? I can’t guarantee that, but since your inputs are passing through the controller you’re not technically doing anything a controller couldn’t. Microsoft previously confirmed it wouldn’t ban anyone for using the VX2 AimSwitch, though Sony never did get back to me, even after a follow-up email.
As for using an AimBox being considered cheating, that’s a tougher question. I didn’t encounter any lag using the VX AimBox and I ended up using it mostly for single-player games – Deus Ex: Human Revolution in particular. With WASD controlling character movement and my trackball controlling aim, I felt more like a cybernetically enhanced bad-ass than when I was using a controller. The couple of times I used it online? I also felt like I had more control, but I was still middling at best, so it’s not going to turn you into an FPS wizard without a lot of practice.
The VX AimBox is a great little piece of kit, especially if you’re looking for function rather than flash. My one gripe is that some of the fine-tuning has been relegated to the GameSir app; so when I wanted to tweak my trackball’s sensitivity I couldn’t just push a button on the device. But I understand that it’s a necessary trade-off to keep the AimBox compact.
The VX AimBox does exactly what it says on the tin, and if you’re craving a little more control across all your console games, you can’t go wrong.