I’ve never really had much truck with third party controllers. There’s a reason for those memes about your little brother having the crappy one, or your mate having spare pads that look like Fisher Price toys. For me, it’s usually first party or nothing. Well, that was before I got my hands on the Gioteck WX-4.
This is going to be a short review because of two main factors: I don’t use third party controllers, and therefore have nothing to compare it to.
I did, however, use the WX-4 in my entire time with GRIME, which I reviewed here. It’s not reflected in that review, just thought I’d mention that as my “stress test”. Let’s see how it holds up, shall we?
Out Of The Box
Being a moderately smaller controller, the Gioteck comes in a moderately small box. I know, hard hitting journalism right here. Gone are the days of massive boxes and elaborate, garish packaging.
Much like the setup, there isn’t really much to go with this little beast. You get the controller, a shorter-than-I-would-have-liked USB lead and a handy instructions/warranty fold out. Of course, if you’re into it, there are some twisty cable ties as well to keep everything nice and… secure, I suppose.
The Size In One’s Mitts
I’m not an expert on hand sizes, or the comparative ratio of controller/mitt size. The Gioteck is what I would call a micro controller; not as large as a standard Switch Pro controller, but not tiny. This is where the Mad Catz comparison in the title comes into play.
This might be a niche reference, so I don’t expect everyone to see the comparison here, but I loved the Mad Catz Microcon controller. It was about the size of a GameCube controller, but not as elaborate with the button layout. Long story short, it was a cracking little controller.
The Gioteck runs a similarly gamete: it’s a compact controller, but it’s not too small that it feels flimsy. It’s got a decent weight to it; it’s not a lumbering paperweight nor does it feel like a Fisher Price toy.
Now, this is where the review will seem a little flimsy. Not because I can’t write good or nothing, I just don’t have the full spectrum of connectivity options for the WX-4. For one, I only have the Switch Lite and two, my PC doesn’t like Bluetooth devices. Seriously, I’ve tried. Dongles and all.
Pairing up to the Switch is easy enough. The instructions make it simple: go into the Switch’s controller pairing mode, hold the home and plus button and voila, you’re good to go. If battery is dying, you can run it through the USB lead too. The catch being, however, that you won’t be able to charge/run your Lite off of the mains as it’s the same port for both leads.
PC-wise, I had no issues running it through Steam. The only niggle on my end was I’m used to playing with an Xbox One controller, and the button layout on a Switch is different. As in, B/A and X/Y are reversed, as are the triggers. So, Steam recognises it initially as a Switch controller.
When I started playing GRIME, I was able to change the configuration in the game’s menu, easily enough. But if, for example, a game doesn’t have that option, Steam will allow to customise it to your own preference.
You’ve probably gathered by any of my reviews, I am not professional. No, wait, I’m not technically minded. I take my job very seriously. Anyway, that’s not the concern here. We won’t talk about why I failed to get the gameplay video I recorded into the article.
Long story short, the Gioteck WX-4 is a snappy and responsive controller. As mentioned, GRIME was the PC game I pushed this through. The difficult combat and platforming suffered no lag, just my own personal failings.
On the Switch, it was Hades that set the benchmark. I’d figured after some eighty hours in that game, I’d worked out the nuances and response times. It got me through a few playthroughs, with different builds and weapons. The only setback is that I’m used to having my Lite in my face. That wasn’t possible with a controller and a console, so I had to have it propped up in the dock.
It just meant sitting further back from the tiny screen, is all. Otherwise, Zagreus went through the various stages of escape with little to no trouble.
Get To Grips
Short review short, the Gioteck WX-4 is a rather decent, compact controller. Apologies that this isn’t the Digital Foundry-esque level of intricate, technical detail. But then, if you’ve made it this far, you know what a Finger Guns review is like.
I will keep the WX-4 as my go-to for PC gaming, even if it has to be wired. Whilst the Xbox pad suited its purpose, the swapping back and forth between the PC and console is a chore. Now, thanks to Gioteck, I have a dedicated controller for each system.
Whilst I’m never going to recommend a third party controller over a first party one, if you need one in a pinch for cheap, or as a proper controller for your Switch, this is my recommendation for decent priced offering. Pro controllers are extravagant, and at nearly half the cost, the WX-4 is a fair compromise.
So, if you’ve got a party coming up and want something cheap to host, or you don’t want to hold your Lite to your face constantly, this gets my thumbs up.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a controller from Gioteck. For our full review policy, please go here.
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