7 Questions to Ask Before Buying the GuliKit KK3 Max

GuliKit KK3 Max controller

7 Questions to Ask Before Buying the GuliKit KK3 Max

One of the greatest benefits to PC gaming is that players are free to choose virtually any Bluetooth or wireless controller to use when not playing with a mouse and keyboard. Not only are first-party console manufacturer controllers fair game (such as the PS4 DualShock or the Xbox controller), but several third-party companies have their own reliable peripherals available for use. Some of the more popular and cost-friendly options are the controllers from Chinese manufacturer GuliKit, with the GuliKit KK3 Max being one of the more popular choices for players looking to get similar functionality as the Xbox Elite controller for a fraction of the price. But when planning on taking the plunge for a premium controller, there are some questions to ask before buying the GuliKit KK3 Max.

Parsing through the Amazon product pages or Reddit posts dedicated to the GuliKit KK3 tells a similar story. In general, most players are happy with the performance and price point of the peripheral. That said, there are some concessions that the controller makes in order to keep its price low. One of these is the sturdiness of its internal components, with some users complaining about trigger or button failures after using the controller for a certain amount of time. However, there are some unique features that the GuliKit KK3 affords players that aren’t available on any other pro controller for PC or mobile gaming.

1. What is the GuliKit KK3 Max?

GuliKit KK3 Max controller

©GuliKit KK3 Max product photo – Original

The GuliKit KK3 Max is the flagship product from Chinese manufacturer GuliKit. In addition to the KK3 Max, the company also has the popular Zen Pro wireless controller and several internal components and controller accessories for sale. The KK3 Max takes several of the features of the high-end Microsoft Xbox Elite controller and places them in a peripheral that is less than half the price and compatible with the Nintendo Switch, PCs, and mobile devices. One of the most important features of the controller is its analog joysticks, which use magnetic housing to create ultra-precise movements, snap-back, and dead zones, eliminating the propensity for issues like stick drift. Further, the controller has a built-in aim-assist function to allow for more precise aiming after changes in stick speed movement.

The rear of the controller features 4 programmable paddles that players can customize as hotkeys for a wide variety of either single-button inputs or complex button commands. This allows the player to execute compound button inputs with a single press of one of the paddles. The controller’s face buttons use higher-quality analog switches that are not dissimilar from what one might find in an arcade stick. The buttons themselves have an audible click and a more satisfying tactile feel to make each keystroke feel more intentional and precise. Ultimately, the GuliKit KK3 Max is a high-end controller at a price similar to most consoles’ standard peripherals.

2. What types of games are intended for use with the GuliKit KK3 Max?

According to GuliKit’s website, the KK3 Max is best for games where precision and efficiency are key. As a result, the company suggests using the controller with racing games and first-person shooters. In terms of how the controller might improve performance in racing games, it all comes down to the higher-quality analog sticks. The precision afforded to players by the magnetic stick housing makes for smoother movement and quicker snap-back to a neutral position. As a result, making tight turns and tricky maneuvers in either simulation or arcade racing games becomes easier. Similarly, the GuliKit KK3 reportedly gives some distinct advantages in competitive online modes from first-person shooters with the controller’s programmable paddles and aim-assist functions.

3. How does the GuliKit KK3 Max compare to other high-end controllers?

In addition to the official high-end controllers from hardware manufacturers, there are several other “pro” controllers available on the market from third-party companies. In general, most of these controllers tend to range between $150 and $300. The price of these peripherals varies depending on the features they offer and the quality of their internal components, with most of the higher-end controllers having the highest quality components capable of lasting for thousands of hours of play before needing replacement. While the GuliKit KK3 comes in at a significantly more consumer-friendly price ($79.99), its internal components have varying reports of durability. Some players experience no issues at all while others have internal components fail (such as button switches, triggers, or analog sticks) after just a few hours of play.

4. On which consoles is the GuliKit KK3 Max available?

The GuliKit KK3 Max is compatible with PCs, handheld PCs, mobile devices (iOS and Android), and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch has its own first-party Pro Controller, but the GuliKit is supposedly a significant upgrade from that peripheral. At the very least, it offers much more customization than the first-party Switch Pro Controller and has some definitive upgrades over its analog sticks. PCs and handheld PCs are compatible with just about any Bluetooth controller, resulting in the GuliKit KK3 competing directly with the likes of the Xbox Elite controller and the ultra high-end SCUF and Razer peripherals. That said, for the price, most gamers report a very positive experience when using the GuliKit KK3 on a Steam Deck or ROG Ally with the Xbox controller layout.

5. What is the total cost of buying the GuliKit KK3 Max?

The GuliKit KK3 Max retails for $79.99 and is available both from the GuliKit website and from official resellers like Amazon. Though the controller has a lower price point than most other high-end controllers, there are reports from players about internal components failing. Thankfully, players can easily purchase replacements for these internal components directly from GuliKit. Mechanical button switches, joysticks, and even joystick thumb pads can each be purchased from the GuliKit website or on Amazon, and are easy to replace with just a little bit of know-how or after watching a quick YouTube tutorial. These individual parts range anywhere from $9.99 (joystick covers) to $29.99 (replacement face button switches or analog sticks).

6. How long are the components expected to last?

In theory, the internal components in the GuliKit KK3 should last for thousands of hours. Like other controllers on the market, the analog sticks, button switches, and back paddles of the GuliKit are compatible with everyday use and should hold up to normal wear and tear. That said, there are some reviews of the product and discussions in Reddit threads detailing some negative experiences. At least a few players voice dissatisfaction with the GuliKit thanks to the triggers or analog sticks failing after just a few hours. Additionally, some note that the controller’s programmable back paddles are fragile and prone to breaking. It seems that, on average, most players’ mileage may vary in terms of the sturdiness of the GuliKit KK3 Max.

7. What are some of the common issues with the GuliKit KK3 Max?

One of the best features of the GuliKit is the ability to program complex macro operations using just a single press of one of the controller’s back paddles, but the back paddles themselves have a mixed reception. Unlike the sturdy metal back paddles on the Xbox Elite controller, the GuliKit back paddles are more fragile and prone to breaking under repeated use. Another more common complaint about the GuliKit is the claim that the controller uses mechanical button switches for its face buttons. Some users claim that the switches are not mechanical at all and have a sluggish response. On the other hand, there are plenty of users who praise the controller for its satisfying mechanical “clicky” button presses.

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