Gioteck are a creator of third-party peripherals for the PS4, Switch and PC. We’ve been set two of their premium wireless controllers to take a look at, the VX4 for the PS4 and the WX4 for the Nintendo Switch. In this review, we’ll be focusing on the WX4 and take a look at what it can and can’t do, although we have nothing to compare it to other than our drifting Joycons (which Nintendo refuse to acknowledge is their technical mistake), so we’ll try to describe our impressions more than comparing it to the Pro Controller.
Just like the VX4, the WX4 comes in multiple versions – you can either pick up the Black wireless version (which is the one which was kindly sent to us for review) or you can grab a wired version in either Blue, Red or Silver. The main difference, other than the wireless functionality, is that the wireless model also supports both rumble and motion controls, whereas the wired version has those features omitted to further bring the price down. As such, I’ll look at all the features within the wireless version within this review.
As I stated above, my left Joycon has decided that I want to constantly push ‘up’ on my thumbstick, making precision games and platforming much more difficult due to the fault which Nintendo of Europe refuses to acknowledge. But I digress – what I’m getting at is that the Gioteck WX4 came at the perfect time as I was in dire need of a replacement controller asap. So, for the last few weeks, I’ve done away with handheld mode and opted to play my Switch via the desktop mode (with its flimsy kickstand) and via the TV – something I’ve avoided doing up until now.
First of all, the design screams ‘Xbox One’ to me when I look at it, with its very familiar style, albeit with alternated button colours to the MS variation. The only Xbox One controller I own is a third-party wired one, which is designed like R2D2, and placing both that and the Gioteck WX4 next to each other, it’s as if the Gioteck one has used the same mould, it’s almost identical in shape and size. As such, those who have handled the Xbox One controller before will be instantly familiar with how comfy and well this sits in your hands – although it is much lighter, even with the motion controls and rumble in there.
One issue I had with the VX4 was the placement of the screw holes on the rear of the unit – the WX4 still has these holes, which are quite sharp, but they are higher up where your fingers won’t usually rest during general use – much better in my opinion. In general, the entire build quality is good, just like the VX4, it’s built solid and impossible to bend or damage during regular use – I’d even go as far as saying it’ll survive a few throws to the wall out of frustration with certain games as well…
As I don’t have a pro controller, what’s missing between the WX4 and the Joycons? First of all, although there is rumble built into the wireless controller (which is quite a decent silent rumble), it’s not the HD version we saw in the joycons. Although truth be told, I’ve not actually played any game on the switch which fully makes use of the HD rumble as it all feels the same to me.
Next up is Amiibo support – there’s no NFC reader built into the controllers. I gave up on the premium DLC-unlock purchases a few years ago, selling off my entire collection to get a little extra cash, but for those out there who use them in the various games, you’ll have to use your Joycon or alternative controller to scan them in.
As I said previously, the wireless controller has the rumble and motion controls built into the unit, both offering a great experience and delivering satisfactory gameplay. Sure, the motion controls aren’t as sensitive and accurate as the Joycons at all times, but you’ll barely notice the difference when you’re in the middle of a game and using the feature to look around. The wired versions of the WX4 don’t contain these two additional features, meaning if you want the best experience with the controller then you’re best off with the wireless version which is only available in Black.
Also, the wireless one can be used with a micro-USB if it’s low on battery or you’d rather use it plugged into the dock instead of wirelessly.
As I stated in my review of the VX4, this controller has implemented a few things which I wish that controller had. First of all – and this is going to sound silly – there’s a light indicating what controller number you are (1, 2, 3 or 4) and it’s nice and bright due to the LED being shone through some plastic to emphasis the light so you can see it. Yes, it’s such a small thing and nobody who picks up the controller will think twice about it, but the VX4, which has a colour-changing LED based on what the lightbar would have been on the DS4, requires you to look into a small pinhole to see what colour the recessed LED is. Funnily enough, the same pin-prick hole is present on the WX4 as well, although there is nothing behind it.
The thumb grips didn’t cause my thumbs to slip as often as the WX4‘s brother. Now, I’m not saying they didn’t slip – because they did due to the top texture being very smooth bar a few nobbles on the top of them – but it was a lot less than the bigger thumbsticks on the VX4. The resistance of the thumbsticks is more than the Joycons (along with a bigger distance to travel as the joycons are surprisingly tiny), but I never had any issues with the dead zone or performing precise movements within games.
On a similar note, the Gioteck WX4 is made from a textured plastic. It’s not a texture you can specifically feel but it’s very grip-friendly and won’t slip around in your hands if you begin to have some intense gaming sessions and sweat a little.
One thing I really don’t like about the Gioteck WX4 is the position of the screenshot button and the hidden feature it holds. The Joycons place the screenshot button below the ‘D-pad’ to make the unit symmetrical so the WX4 tries to mimic this by putting it in the middle of the unit at the bottom – this makes it slightly awkward to reach and push when you want to take a quick photo whilst something is happening on screen. The button itself works fine, press for photo and hold for video, but the position would have been better at the top, like on a PS4 controller.
The secret Turbo mode.
Just like the VX4, the WX4 has a turbo mode which is easy to use but terribly designed this time around. Whereas the PS4 equivalent had its own button, the Switch version is a secondary feature to the share button. So, you have to hold down the photo button, thus causing the device to start recording the last 30 seconds of gameplay, and then tap the buttons you want to enable or disable turbo for. This means you’ll constantly be saving videos and using up your precious space just so you can toggle the mode – this should have been its own button, not shared with the photo button.
The D-pad also leaves a lot to be desired. At first, I thought the D-pad was great as all directions had a clicky feeling to them as if each direction was micro switches or at least had a study button underneath them. In reality, the D-pad isn’t as responsive as you’d hope when you’re gaming. I had to push down harder than I would expect in order to get a response and sometimes you would hear the button ‘clicking’ as it goes down, but you had to push it a little harder in order for the action to take place. It’s not a major issue, as you get used to it, but it was a slight annoyance.
Now, this isn’t an issue only with this controller – from what I’ve seen on the internet. Each time I wanted to use the WX4, I had to re-assign the controller every single time. Thankfully, once you’ve gone through the process of syncing the controller officially, as you would with any Switch controller, the re-connection process is simple. You have to hold down the Minus button and the Home button until you see all the lights flashing, then keep your finger on the Minus button whilst letting go of Home. After about three seconds it’ll be connected as normal. This happened every time it was disconnected.
Speaking of disconnections, as this is a third-party controller, it instantly shuts off once the Switch goes into standby (and you can’t turn the console back on with this controller) and, after a few minutes of non-use, the controller will turn itself off to save battery. I believe this happens to most, if not all, of the third part controllers due to updates to the Switch’s firmware, but it was another mild annoyance which obviously doesn’t happen with the official pro controller and Joycons.
What does this controller work with?
So, just like the VX4, what does the WX4 work with? The official box it comes in states the Switch, PS3 and PC. I’ve been using it on both the PC and the Switch, as I’m unable to test on the PS3. In regards to the PC, when using the cable, it took a little while to install the drivers (automatically) but it eventually showed up as a generic Xbox One controller. Now, as soon as I plug it in, it shows up within seconds.
However, I couldn’t get the controller to work wirelessly with either my PC or my iPad – this may be due to the format of the Bluetooth being used or maybe the controller is only set to work wirelessly with the Switch? I’m not sure – but, the controller was created primarily for the Switch and it worked on there fine – both wired and wireless – other than the reconnection points I made above.
I personally liked the WX4 controller from Gioteck, it feels a lot comfier than placing your Joycons in that terrible holder which you got with the Switch initially, and the overall design allows the controller to just melt in your hands and slide right into place. However, the placement of the photo button and inconsistent D-pad brings down the quality of an otherwise, sturdy and well-designed controller. I’m aware that other third party controllers have issues with the Switch, in terms of having to be reconnected once they disconnect due to time or rest mode, so I’m glad it’s a quick and easy process to re-enable the connection.
If you’re looking for a controller to use with your Switch in desktop or TV mode, and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the official pro controller (and you don’t need the NFC reader), then the Gioteck WX4 is a great alternative. The build quality is great and will survive many bumps and drops, perfect for a secondary controller or a replacement to the tiny form-factor of a single Joycon in multiplayer mode.
Gioteck WX4 - Wireless Controller£19.99-£24.99
- - Very comfy design (almost identical to the Xbox One Controller)
- - Despite being hidden, it has a turbo feature and the wireless controller has both motion controls and rumble support
- - Works on both PC and the Switch with no issues
- - Lightweight but very sturdy
- - The photo button doubling as the turbo button was a silly design choice
- - The D-pad isn't the greatest due to having to push relatively hard sometimes which can cause you to accidentally push another direction at the same time
- - The controller does turn off and disconnect if the Switch goes into rest mode or you don't touch the controller for about five minutes (this is an issue for most third-party controllers)
- - There's no NFC reader (which is to be expected if I'm being honest)