A few weeks ago we were kindly sent a couple of controllers, a headset, and a cable kit from Gioteck to take a look at. Now, I know what you’re thinking – didn’t we review the VX4 (and the WX4) a while ago – yes, we did. However, this is the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller – what makes it ‘premium’? Read on to find out!
Before we get into the details on the controller, let’s do the usual and see what you get for your money. The package contains the controller, a micro-USB cable, a small instruction booklet, and a notice card telling you that your controller should be good to go but to check the Gioteck website to see if there are any firmware updates. As of today, the 27th of May 2021, there is no updates available for the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller.
The controller itself is available in Dark Camo, Black, and what can only be described as Fortnite Purple. We were provided with the Dark Camo variant meaning I kept losing it when I put it down (due to the camouflage…) We’ve used it on a number of platforms, including the PS4, PC and the PS5, but how does it perform? It is worth picking up if you need a second controller for less than half the price of the official counterpart? And what feature has been removed, making this less appealing than the previous version? Let’s find out…
In terms of the design, weight, and size of the controller, it’s practically identical to the VX4 which I previously reviewed HERE. It’s equipped with the same longer trigger caps which are a little bit sharp (but you get used to them after a few hours), the ‘legs’ are a decent size to grip onto, and the touchpad is quite small yet works perfectly and is very clicky. However, the build quality seems better than the previous iteration as the screw holes are nicely rounded and no longer rub against your fingers – one of my complaints previously.
Another thing they have changed are the thumbstick heads. I wasn’t a fan of the previous controller as they were far too flat, smooth and big, resulting in my buying some rubber caps to regain my grip. This time they’re smaller, thicker, have an easy to grip ridge, and they feel much comfier in long game sessions. It’s as if someone jotted down all the things I didn’t like and tweaked them a little!
In regards to the build quality, just like last time, this controller will easily withstand a throw against the wall – I haven’t tried that but I did try to bend it and may have accidentally stood on it due to being unable to see it (seriously), and it still works fine without any battle damage or cracks on the shell. Also, the controller has had no issues at all with drop-out, neither on my PS5, PS4 or the PC – it’s remained connected at all times via wireless and proceeded to turn on the consoles without any problems at all.
That brings me to compatibility. This is a wireless controller, yet you can use it wired or wireless, and it’s touted as working on the PS4, PS4 Pro and the PC. But, considering the controller is detected just find on the PS4 as a DS4, the controller also works perfectly on the PS5 – for PS4 games only. If you’re not aware, Sony has, annoyingly, disabled the use of the DS4 for any native PS5 games, so you can only use the new DualSense with those (for now). However, the 4,000+ PS4 games which work on the console via Backward Compatability all work fine with the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller (bar the VR titles).
Just like last time, the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller has some of the DualShock 4 features, with a few omissions. Let’s talk about what’s missing first…
There is, yet again, no lightbar within the controller. This means that you can’t use it with any PSVR game as they rely on mapping the light on the top of the DS4 in order to provide motion tracking. However, there is a small LED on the front of the controller which actually lights up the same colour it would have if it was a lightbar. So, if you’re playing Maid of Sker and your health is running out, the green light will begin to turn red after a few hits. This was in the previous model but the light is much brighter and shines perfectly through the hole this time, rather than sitting deep within the plastic and hard to see.
My question is, if they can emulate the DS4’s light, why not put a lightbar in so it works with VR? Unless they’re not allowed to?
And… that’s about it. The motion controls, touchpad, vibration, and even the built-in speaker are all here and work perfectly with any game that supports them, it also has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom for your wired headphones. So, if you’re not looking to play any PSVR games, or you just want a game to play your PS4 games on the PS4 and/or PS5, the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller is yet another brilliant cheap alternative to the official controller.
But wait, there’s more…
One feature has come over from the previous version, the turbo button. Pressing this button then any of the face or trigger buttons will instantly enable turbo-mode for it. This has come in handy many times such as trying to get the final trophy in Doodle Devil: 3volution – I propped something on the Cross button and turned on Turbo as the trophy required pulling the slot machines literally thousands of times! It’s a shame there’s no indication if you’ve enabled Turbo or not, but it’s quick and easy to enable or disable if you need to.
Robert, why is this a ‘PREMIUM’ controller!
Okay, time to answer the question you’re all asking – it’s premium because it has two built-in rear programmable buttons! That’s right, a £29.99 PS4 controller has rear buttons. For comparison, the official adapter for the DS4 was £24.99, and that’s just for the rear buttons and not the controller. The position of these buttons are just behind your fingers that rest on the ‘legs’ of the controller, requiring a little force so that they’re not easily pressed by accident.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t find them the easiest to use at first, just like with the NACON Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller, but I quickly got used to them. Programming them is easy, just turn the feature on with the switch on the back (set to ‘M’ for some reason) and then hold down the ‘Set’ button until the front LED flashes. All you do then is push the face button you want to map and then the rear button you want it mapped to. That’s it, whenever you push the rear button, the controller will think you’re pressing the other face button.
This is super useful in games that require you to hold a face button to run or jump, forcing you to take your thumb off the Right Thumb Stick – now you don’t have to. I’ve been playing Mass Effect recently and running in that requires holding Cross, I mapped it to the rear Right Button so I could keep my thumb on the stick in case I have to quickly stop and aim.
My main disappointment
I’m not sure why Gioteck have done this, but they’ve removed one of the best features of the previous Gioteck VX4 – Wireless Controller. When you plug the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller into your PC, it’s detected as an Xbox 360 controller, forcing Steam to issue prompts for the Xbox and not the PlayStation buttons. Considering the colours are different and people may not know the layout of the Xbox Controller, I would have thought they would have mimicked the previous controller which was detected as if it was a DS4 within Windows as soon as you plugged it in.
Now, I imagine this is because pretty much every game on PC supports the Xbox controller, including the Epic Games Store and Microsoft’s own Windows Store. But, places like Steam automatically maps the DS4 into an Xbox controller if a game doesn’t support it natively, so having it detect as if it was an official DS4 wasn’t an issue – it was actually a major selling point. Why…
The Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller can’t be used with the PlayStation Remote play application on PC anymore, it only works with controllers that are seen as DualShock 4’s (like the previous controller). However, if you connect the controller to your PC via Bluetooth, it did show up on mine as a generic ‘Wireless Controller’ and Steam thought it was a DS4 – but it still didn’t work with Remote Play. To test this, I unplugged it and connected the VX4 from last time, it worked perfectly.
So, if you’re looking to use the PlayStation Remote play on your PC, this premium edition of the controller doesn’t appear to work.
Now, just to confuse me, this isn’t the case when using the controller on either an Android or Apple device! I connected the controller to both my iPad and Motorola G8 and it worked with the Remote Play app perfectly, as if it was an official DualShock 4. It was detected as a generic device on the Android yet as an official DS4 on the iPad. As such, if you’re looking for a cheap (in terms of price) controller to remote play with on the go – with the addition of two rear programmable buttons – then this new Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller seems to work just fine.
If you really wanted to get the controller to work with Remote Play on PC, you could install various programs which can make the PC think you’re using Sony’s controller, but I’m just looking at what you can do out of the box with no extra faffing about!
When I published my last review, I had a lot of people asking this:-
• To connect the controller wirelessly, hold down the SHARE and HOME button on the controller whilst it’s off, the LED will begin to blink. At that point, you should see it in your Bluetooth menu, ready to connect.
• If the controller is on or connected to something else, hold the HOME button for about 20 seconds and it’ll turn off.
• If you want to connect to a PS4 or PS5, the easiest way is to connect it via the cable, wait until the LED goes orange, then simply press HOME – it’ll automatically be synced to that console and you can disconnect to use it wirelessly.
Official Trailer (just imagine there are rear buttons as well):
Do I think the Gioteck VX4 – Premium Wireless Controller is worth picking up? If you’re looking for a new PS4 controller, or a secondary one, and feel you’ll benefit from having an additional two rear buttons and a turbo-fire function, then yeah, I can’t recommend it enough. The controller feels nice to hold, it contains all the same features as the DS4 (bar the lightbar on the top), and it feels very rugged and well-built, yet it does have a smaller-than-usual touchpad and long triggers that take a while to get used to. I also found that it works perfectly with the Remote Play app on mobiles and tablets, yet it isn’t compatible with the PC application, unlike the previous version of the controller.
So, it has both positive and negatives over the previous controller which we reviewed HERE. However, for £29.99, I don’t think I’ve seen any other controller with programmable rear buttons other than Giotecks new WX4 controller for the Nintendo Switch – which I’ll be taking a look at tomorrow!
Gioteck VX4 - Premium Wireless Controller£29.99
- - Has two programmable rear buttons!
- - Feels good in your hands, improved thumbstick pads over the last version which are comfier to use
- - Features all DS4 functions except the lightbar
- - Can be used on PC as an Xbox controller and mobile/phone devices as a DS4 (for Remote Play)
- - Includes turbo for all face buttons
- - Doesn't work with Remote Play on PC
- - The touchpad is still a little small
- - The triggers are still quite long and sharp (they do eventually wear-in)