The GameSir VX Aimbox is back, upgraded to its new incarnation, the GameSir VX2 Aimbox.
I reviewed the original VX Aimbox back in March and came away fairly impressed. It allows you to use a PC mouse and keyboard, wireless keyboards included, on a PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Yes, quite a few games, Halo for example, support keyboards and mice natively, but the AimBox is designed to be used with games that don’t have that support baked in.
And, while it’s not as fast as native mouse support, it’ll give you an edge – particularly when it comes to targeting – over someone with a standard controller. At least, that’s the story with the original. My experience of the VX2 Aimbox has been… interesting, to say the least.
The VX2 adds a headphone socket which, on all consoles but the PS5, lets you use your own microphone and earphones without having to plug and unplug them. Is that a cool feature to have? Yes. Is it an essential one? Not really.
The VX2 AimBox’s big selling point is that it will let you play any PlayStation 5-native game with a mouse and keyboard. The previous version supported PlayStation 4 games on the PlayStation 5 but not PS5 specific titles. All you need to do this time around is plug in a keyboard, mouse and PlayStation 5 controller into the VX2, then plug it into your PlayStation5 and you’re good to go. Right? Well, not quite.
There are several caveats to using the GameSir VX2 Aimbox to play PlayStation 5 games with a mouse. Are these problems due to shoddy construction and sub-par standards? No – the issues are, by and large, down to Sony and the PS5’s infrastructure.
The biggest hurdle here is that you can only use the VX2 Aimbox with certain third-party controllers. You see, Sony, like Microsoft, locks down its hardware. If you were around in the PlayStation 2 era you might have run into those 16MB memory cards that required you to plug in a standard official 8MB card. Why? Because the alternative was, as Mad Catz did, was to pay Sony to produce officially licenced products.
There is, right now, one official third party PS5 controller, the Scuf Reflex, priced at £219.99, which is currently very hard to come by. We’ve covered the HexGaming Ultimate PS5 controller, and the Mega Modz PS5 controller, both of which are excellent, but they both use the internals of a PlayStation 5 controller, so your console sees it an official PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.
So, it’s not really GameSir’s fault that you can only use the VX2 Aimbox with certain third party controllers, though it did set itself up for a challenge by attempting to get round these licensing issues. There’s nothing inherently awful about the GameSir VX2 Aimbox.
GameSir is, however, to blame for the absolutely abysmal instructions that come with the device with regards to using it on a PS5. I spent hours trying to get this to work, but kept failing because you need to set the PlayStation 5’s communication method to USB cable, then plug in an official PlayStation controller. After communicating with PR and GameSir, I was eventually advised of this, and I was able to get it working on PlayStation 4 games.
Why did I have to ask? Because while that information is on the PlayStation 4 page of the manual, it’s missing from PlayStation 5 page. The PlayStation 5 page only talks about using the VX2 to play PlayStation 4 games and doesn’t even mention playing PlayStation 5 titles. Maybe the manual was printed before GameSir had nailed using the Aimbox with PS5. Maybe the the information’s on the website, I reasoned at the time. The website certainly pushes its “PS5 games support”. Maybe there’s even an updated manual?
So I went to the website, found the VX2 Aimbox and clicked on manuals. Instead of being taken to the VX2’s manual, I was sent to a generic product category page. Still, I clicked on accessories… and the VX2 Aimbox was nowhere to be seen. This isn’t some pre-release product I’ve been sent; you can buy it from Amazon right now.
I eventually had to scroll all the way down the original product page, which stated it only worked “with Sony-licensed third-party controllers, for PS5 games”. Wait, so it only works with the Scuf? Actually, no, it means third-party PS4 controllers, which then sends you to a page on Sony’s own website.
The controllers are, according to that website, the Razer Raiju Pro, Nacon Revolution Pro, Nacon Wired Compact and the Hori Wired Mini. Those first two cost over £100, double the VX2 Aimbox’s £49.99 price-tag. Luckily, I was able get a wireless Hori pad cheaply off Amazon and… finally, it worked!
In essence, this is all that you need to do:
- Plug your mouse and keyboard into the VX2 Aimbox.
- Plug the Hori Wired Mini (or one of those four controllers mentioned above) into the VX2 Aimbox.
- Plug the VX2 Aimbox into the PlayStation 5.
- Turn the PlayStation 5 on (or if it’s already on, press the button the VX2 Aimbox)
The above steps took about a minute. However, it took me a good week and a half, with support from a patient PR contract as well as GameSir itself to get it working. If those steps had been outlined in the manual, or if GameSir’s website was more logically structured, with a device’s product support actually being in the product support, it would have been so, so much easier.
Once it was working, finally, I had a good time with the GameSire VX2 Aimbox. You can tweak the sensitivity settings if you like, using the handy app, but it works really well. It made Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart a little easier, though there are games that can use keyboard and mouse directly. Of course, it doesn’t make sense that you’d need a PlayStation 4 pad to emulate a PlayStation 5 controller, but there you go.
Is the GameSir VX2 Aimbox worth having? If your console is in reach of a desk or somewhere you can rest a mouse and keyboard, yes. The original VX Aimbox has all but been retired, so the VX2 is the version you’ll likely get your hands on.
What about if you already have the VX Aimbox? Unless you have a PlayStation 5, it’s not worth a purchase, headphone socket or otherwise. If you do have a PlayStation 5 and you’re prepared to eat the cost of a Hori controller, by all means take the plunge.
But, on the PS5, be prepared for your first attempt to be a trial. Between the insufficient instructions and a website which bears the apparent influence of a gin-addled M.C. Escher, the GameSir Aimbox VX2 isn’t the most user-friendly device out there.