Review cover GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller (Hardware)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

Tired of the notorious joystick drift? The KingKong 2 Pro controller from GuliKit presents itself as a remedy for your woes with a patented technology. Is this the controller replacement you’ve been looking for?

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One could argue that the bane of modern controllers is the notorious joystick drift. Even after multiple reports and class-action lawsuits, the issue persists in first-party manufacturer’s controllers from Nintendo’s Joy-Cons to the Xbox One Elite. The culprit is multifold, ranging from wear and tear of the conductive material to the accumulation of dust. One feature that the drift-prone controllers share is that they rely on carbon film potentiometers. 

To by-pass the issue altogether, gaming peripheral manufacturer GuliKit designed new joysticks that use a system of magnets and leverages the Hall effect to make the use of carbon film and its associated issues a thing of the past; or so it claims. The company revealed its so-called Electromagnetic technology-based joysticks at E3 2021 and integrated it in its newly-released KingKong 2 Pro Controller.

At $60 at the time of writing on the official AliExpress store, the GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller package comes with the following items:

  • GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro Controller
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Protective case
  • User manual

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What caught my eye after unboxing the controller is its protective case. It stands out with its matte, translucent white finish, takes the mould of the KingKong 2 Pro for a snug fit, and has a small compartment to just accommodate the USB cable. It’s sturdy and rather minimalist.

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The controller itself looks like another Switch Pro Controller alternative but packs a sturdy build with a premium finish. This is accentuated by the lightly-textured matte black shell. More textured are the back of the hand grips which bear a dotted pattern which have a nice feel to the touch.

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All of the keys deliver nice tactile feedback and are responsive while in use. The patented sticks are also smooth, and I would say slightly smoother than an Xbox controller like the Nacon Revolution X; but that feeling is minimal, if noticeable at all. The face buttons are also apparently patented to prevent them from getting stuck and disconnected. These also feel and function as you’d expect them to.

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When putting it in use, the GuliKit KingKong 2 Pro ticks most of the boxes for your requirements of a pro controller. It is mainly geared towards the Nintendo Switch and for that system, it is a whole upgrade from the official pro controller. You’ll find every feature you’d expect from Amiibo support to gyro controls and more. 

Indeed, GuliKit brings back its innovative touch with the Auto-Pilot Gaming (APG) feature. With the dedicated APG button, you can map a series of inputs that can run automatically. For example, you can map the fire button in a shooting game and press the APG button in a heated session to take care of the shooting while you concentrate on aiming and dodging with the sticks. Pressing any other button will stop APG mode, so it’s quite easy to activate and deactivate.

Moreover, you can calibrate the a number of the controller’s features like the ZL/ZR triggers’ sensitivity, vibration intensity, stick sensitivity, dead zone and swapping A-B/X-Y. The latter feature can be especially handy when switching between PC and Switch gaming. Indeed, the KingKong 2 Pro is also versatile as it is compatible with Android, Windows and Mac systems as well.

It is also versatile in that it supports both wired and wireless gameplay, a feature that even pricier counterparts don’t include. Its integrated 1000 mAh battery will also last for several dozens of hours which help provide some peace of mind to the user.

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However, all of these calibrations can be intimidating since they require a number of button presses that might not seep into one’s memory from the get-go. They are explained in the user manual but having a dedicated app to tune those settings would have enhanced the user experience and the overall user-friendliness of the KingKong 2 Pro.

A companion software would also help with updating the firmware of the controller which GuliKit regularly does. At the time being, update packages have to be downloaded from the website and manually uploaded to the controller with another series of button presses. Updating from a software would have made things much easier for users.

And since GuliKit seems keen on innovation, I will be a bit nit-picky here to point out that it doesn’t include handy features that some Xbox controllers have for some years already. For example, a headphone jack and back buttons would tremendously help here and I hope to see them in GuliKit’s future controllers.

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As for its drift-free claims, drifting is an issue that generally shows up with time and we might not know soon enough if other issues related to the electromagnetic tech that it uses, like influence from external magnets, can be significant and game-breaking. These might be issues that spring up after time but for the time being, I haven’t had issues with the KingKong 2 Pro. In fact, it is a very enjoyable controller to use that packs lots of handy features and is quite versatile. It’s also promising to see that GuliKit is keeping with its innovation ethos in this space and I look forward to what they come up with next.

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Feature-rich controller
  • Promising tech
  • Build quality
  • Affordable Pro controller alternative
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Learning curve to customising features
  • No software for calibration
  • No back buttons
  • No headphone jack
8.8
out of 10

Overall

With the KingKong 2 Pro, GuliKit reiterates its commitment to innovate with a peripheral that packs impressive tech and a number of handy features.
Why would it even be necessary to even mention headphone jacks and Xbox controllers when this clearly marketed towards the Switch...
 
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Even if it does, consoles that only recognize digital triggers will do as so.

It's weird that Nintendo decided to go with digital triggers for the WiiU/Switch, but used analog triggers for GC.
well, I want the analog triggers for xinput support. I watched another review, seems to have it.
 
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Um, why would you need a headphone jack on a Switch Controller?
Why not? If the best headphones you have are wired (or the one that's accessible is wired) and you're gaming in docked mode, wouldn't having a headphone jack be handy? Also, it's not only a Switch controller (see below).
Why would it even be necessary to even mention headphone jacks and Xbox controllers when this clearly marketed towards the Switch...
It's also marketed for PC and Android gaming; so yes, I think mentioning headphone jacks and Xbox controllers is relevant.
does it have analog triggers?
yes, and the sensitivity can be adjusted
 
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Magnetic sticks are great and all, but that's a Pro Controller, which as far as I know don't commonly suffer from stick drift. So they seem to be promising a lot of improvements that don't really apply to this comparison.
 
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I have one of this controller and the 10min macro can be really useful in certain situations. Great for automated gaming/farming sessions.
 
Magnetic sticks are great and all, but that's a Pro Controller, which as far as I know don't commonly suffer from stick drift. So they seem to be promising a lot of improvements that don't really apply to this comparison.
they still do, just not at the magnitude rate that joycons do. Sticks in general are bad, from virtually all manufacturers due to OEM. Sony's Dual Sense, and Microsofts Controllers (standard and elite) have notorious drift issues due to the oem of the stick having low use lifetime for them.


This controller, as well as the new Aya Neo Next for instance will be the first few controllers that will use this hall effect stick. Time will tell if its a good design
 
Is it fully featured? A lot of third party pro controllers skip out on hd rumble, nfc, etc.
 
That's the bit I don't get - how are unaligned sticks "preferable for modern gaming"? I can game just fine on aligned sticks, and have done so for over a decade.
It's more ergonomically friendly.

For example, DualShock 3 isn't very comfortable for me, but swapping those awful slippery sticks for Xbox One-like sticks helped.

I personally don't mind DS4 as the controller is considerably bigger and spacious between the two sticks so my hands don't feel cramped. The touchpad is kinda useless and so's the light as I never made use of it.
 
Is it fully featured? A lot of third party pro controllers skip out on hd rumble, nfc, etc.
HD rumble isn't a common feature but GuliKit did emulate it with a previous controller. This one does include rumble and NFC/Amiibo support.
 
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5 years will pass on in March and still any company can't make better and cheaper controller for Nintendo Switch than Pro Controller.
 
I got a Gulikit mini dock a couple of years ago, and the button on it fell inside the housing the first time I used it. I wrote them, and they were like “sorry that happened to you” and that’s it.

Decided not to get any of their products again after that.
 
Actually there is another con, when using it with the switch it does not support wake up from sleep with home button.
the pro 2 should be able to wake it. but it looks like you need to turn on the controller before pressing the home button.
 
they still do, just not at the magnitude rate that joycons do. Sticks in general are bad, from virtually all manufacturers due to OEM. Sony's Dual Sense, and Microsofts Controllers (standard and elite) have notorious drift issues due to the oem of the stick having low use lifetime for them.


This controller, as well as the new Aya Neo Next for instance will be the first few controllers that will use this hall effect stick. Time will tell if its a good design
I've never had stick drift problems with any controllers until the Switch and Valve Index. I know it can happen with any controller but in most of those cases it's probably because people are rough with them. I'm gentle with my tech and only the Switch and Index controller sticks seem to break if you look at them wrong.
 
I've never had stick drift problems with any controllers until the Switch and Valve Index. I know it can happen with any controller but in most of those cases it's probably because people are rough with them. I'm gentle with my tech and only the Switch and Index controller sticks seem to break if you look at them wrong.
it's just how new potentiometers are designed. The oems are absolute garbage with supplying the major companies that alternatives now are quickly being developed to get a market share.
 
That's the bit I don't get - how are unaligned sticks "preferable for modern gaming"? I can game just fine on aligned sticks, and have done so for over a decade.
most modern games are 3d. 3d works better with analog sticks. it's easier to reach the analog sticks when they're closer to your thumb. it's not rocket science.
you may perfer how aligned sticks feel, but me and a lot of other people definitely like our sticks unaligned. 2 each their own
 
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also i wouldn't say that aligned sticks are better for ALL sorts of retro gaming- especially when you consider that PS1, PS2, and even PS3 are considered retro by this point.
 
Pro controller is a good controller except for the drift problem, xbox controller beats it in reliability but otherwise I like pro controller better. I am on my second one. Am very disappointed with Nintendo with the drift problem, on my second set of pro controller and joy cons due to this failure.
 
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a little confusion. I meant king kong 2 pro can do it. 8bitdo pro 2 can't.
They cracked the wake up? Its so strong that even Nintendo can’t consistently wake up the switch. One thing that other console are far superior, effortless instant activation of wake up. One press and the power led instantly turn on with Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo controller will fumble for two seconds or more and often failed.
 
"Better"? Wrong - 8bitdo Pro 2.
Cheaper by a hair, better need qualification. It’s only better in some area. I use 8bitdo a lot less since it can’t wake switch up. It’s more versatile and is good for second player, with the flaw of failing to crack wake up it is inferior IMO.
 
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