Gulikit KK3 Max Controller Review

In theory the Gulikit’s KK3 Max Controller looks almost perfect. Hall Effect Joysticks and Triggers, swappable back buttons, RGB lights, Bluetooth 5.3, gyro, low polling rate and some more features. It’s priced at $79.99 yet it competes with Xbox Elite 2 in terms of features. Let’s review it.

What’s in the box?

  • Gulikit KK3 Max Controller
  • 4 back paddles and 2 back buttons
  • 4 spare face buttons
  • plastic case
  • wireless dongle and a button tool
  • manual

I’m impressed how good and comfortable it feels. The quality is very good and it feels balanced in hands.

KK3 Max Controller Features

Compatibility

You have 3 connectivity methods:

  • Wired – USB-C to USB cable (max 1000Hz polling rate)
  • Bluetooth 5.3 (125Hz polling rate)
  • Gulikit’s Wireless Dongle (included, 1000Hz is possible)

You can connect Gulikit’s KK3 Max to:

  • PC – wired, dongle, bluetooth
  • Switch – wired, bluetooth
  • Android, iOS, macOS – bluetooth, probably wired too
  • Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, Playstation 4 – won’t work out of the box, butGoku adapter will work. I tested it with Goku and Xbox Series X and it worked just fine.
  • Playstation 5 – won’t work, but it might using something like Besavior U5 adapter. Haven’t tested it.

Joysticks

The famous no stick drift Hall Effect joysticks. Honestly, the they feel great. Comparing them to Gamesir G7 SE joysticks they feel somewhat similar, but I like the Gulikit’s thumb grips more.

Here’s a circularity test of KK3 Max. I tested it around 10 times and it usually was at average error of 0.0% which sounds too good to be true, I don’t know if that’s not somehow software enhanced. But the lowest result I got was an error of 0.2% and 0.5% as seen on the screenshots below.

The joysticks aren’t from K-Silver, so it’s not JH16 or anything like that. Jim from Aknes (Gulikit’s distributor) confirmed it’s Gulikit’s own joysticks, model GL1806.

Triggers

Triggers feel alright, they feel somewhat heavy and precise. You can switch them between hall effect and regular clicky modes (using switches in the back of the controller) which is great.

Personally, when in regular hall effect mode the triggers can feel like they have a short travel distance, but it might be just my personal feeling. You need to press them a little harder than on Xbox One controller or Gamesir G7 SE controller. After a month of using I’m not a big fan of them.

Polling rates

Gulikit KK3 Max is advertised as a controller with wireless 1000Hz polling rate. And it’s true. Wired and wireless with 2.4GHz dongle it was close to 1000Hz for me in the tests. Bluetooth was much worse at below 125Hz. But dongle works great on PC, you just plug it in the USB port, sync it and it works.

Fake mechanical buttons?

It’s advertised to have mechanical buttons and they feel great, but a teardown done by a Reddit user shows that it’s just conductive rubber domes in casing.

So basically they are just a regular membrane buttons with a clicky mechanism which you can find in most of other controllers. If you’re looking for that mechanical buttons you can look for Vader 3 Pro or the upcoming Apex 4.

Back paddles

KK3 Max comes with a box of 4 metal back paddles and 2 buttons. In the back of the controller you have 4 slots for them. You can plug the paddles and buttons in any configuration you want them. They are very easy to mount and dismount.

Back button mapping

You can’t map the back paddles/buttons to keyboard keys, but you can map them to face buttons and R3, L3 (joystick clicks) quite easily

  • Hold the Setting button along with the back button you want to map. You will feel a short vibration, indicating that the mapping process has started.
  • Press the desired button that you want to assign to the back button
  • You will feel a long vibration, indicating that the mapping configuration is complete
kk3 mapping

In Steam the KK3 Max controller is recognized as “Xbox One Controller”, so you can’t do mapping using Steam Controller Configuration.

D-pad

I don’t use D-pads that often in games, but comparing it to KingKong 2 Pro the D-pad feels slightly better, maybe more precise? It’s quite small and caved-in in the middle.

Battery

Battery in KK3 Max has 3.7V 950mAh of power and it’s replaceable, which is a big plus. The battery indicator is the RGB light behind the Gulikit’s logo in the middle of the gamepad, it will slowly turn orange when it’s low. I can’t say how much it lasts because I mostly used the controller wired to PC.

Firmware

Firmware upgrade is very easy, here’s the latest “GuliKit KK3 MAX NS39 V3.0 Firmware“. You just have to download it and move the file into controller’s flashdrive, wait a few seconds and that’s it.

Unfortunately there’s no software of any kind. Users have asked Gulikit to make software so you can for instance map buttons to keyboards keys (which is helpful for games with partial controller support), but to no avail for now. But for basic adjustments you can do them on the fly using controller buttons, more on that below.

AKNES Gulikit KK3 MAX Controller, Hall Joysticks&Triggers Controller for Switch/Android/iOS/Steam Deck, 4 Back Buttons, Maglev/Rotor/HD Vibration, Wired/Wiress with 1000Hz Polling Rate for Wins-Grey
  • 🎮 【3 Vibration Mode】3 Vibration modes: Gulikit Maglev motor vibration, HD linear motor vibration and rotor motor vibration, choose from 2 strength levels, light to strong.
  • 🎮 【Multi-Platform Support】Compatible with Switch, Switch OLED, Switch Lite, Steam Deck, Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. Achieve a 1000Hz polling rate on PC-Windows, wirelessly or wired, with the included “Hyperlink” adapter. The Bluetooth Version is Bluetooth 5.3.

What can you adjust?

  • Back Button and Paddles Mapping
  • Back Trigger Mode Setting – you can switch between Hall Effect analog trigger and Digital microswitch trigger
  • Set motion aim assist for FPS games – low, medium, high and disabled sensitivity aim assist
  • Enable or disable Joystick Dead Zone mode
  • Adjust Joystick Sensitivity – 50%, 100% or 150%
  • Adjust light brightness – Off, Low and High
  • Rapid Fire – Normal, Auto, Disabled
  • You can swap A-B with X-Y
  • Adjust Vibration Intensity – Weak, Strong, Off
  • Adjust Vibration Mode – Rotary motor, Gulikit Maglev haptic mode and HD vibration mode
  • APG Recording File Share (APG Button)
  • 3.7V 950mAh battery – it is replaceable

All of these settings can be adjusted using controller’s settings button (the middle gear button), which is very simple.

You can’t adjust Joysticks tension which is a bummer.

My opinion

kk3 max photo

Honestly this controller feels and plays great. If you are upgrading from a regular Xbox One controller it will be like night and day. If you compare it to Xbox Elite 2 or Flydigi Vader 3 then there are some things that are better and some that are not.

At $79.99 price point it’s a great controller with tons of features, but no software. And it’s one of few controllers with both Hall Effect joysticks and triggers. One thing I have to point out – the previous controller from Gulikit – KingKong 2 Pro had some quality control issues down the line. Hopefully that won’t be the case here, but I will update the review if I have any issues with it. r/Controller is also a good place to check if others have any complaints.

This review is in progress, I will update it when I get more data on battery, durability and other things. Here’s a video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F5T3rie-R0

Right now you can purchase Gulikit KK3 Max from

Gulikit KK3 Max
kk3 max review

Gulikit KK3 Max is a very comfortable controller with Hall Effect Joysticks and Triggers. Well worth the price at 79.99.

Product Brand: Gulikit

Editor's Rating:
9

Pros

  • great ergonomics, feels amazing in hands, similarly to Xbox Elite 2
  • low input lag and 1000Hz wired and wireless polling rate
  • customizable metal back paddles
  • great hall effect joysticks and triggers
  • it feels like a real upgrade to KingKong 2 Pro

Cons

  • no dedicated software from Gulikit
  • you can't map the buttons to keyboard keys (no macro)
  • fake (but still very decent) mechanical buttons
  • can't adjust joysticks tension
Marcus Richardson
Editor-in-chief

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Gulikit KK3 Max Controller Review”

  1. Sad to see there is no software of any kind, especially to view the battery levels, like you can do with the xbox kontrollers.
    I was hoping to buy these, but the functionality the xbox gives me I will stick to them still. Maybe their 4th edition they will have it in the bag.

    Reply
  2. I have just received my KK3 Max, it has some nice features, and the build feels good overall. But compared to my Gamesir G7 SE, I realise that I got the right controller the first time. The shoulder buttons are a little mushy, so rolling onto them does not have the level of feedback I have come to expect.. The additional Switch buttons clutter it. Completely agree with your observation on the trigger feeling heavy and with a shallow action. The additional knurling on the triggers is surprisingly annoying. Having four rear paddles without PC software is just odd. There isn’t a headphone jack. And unfortunately the other controller I use is the DualSense Edge, so even the premium features don’t compare there. Bizarrely the case can’t even accommodate the controller with rear paddles attached, and given there is a charge cable pass-through, so it seems they intended it to be used regularly. Having said all that, I would be wrapped with the Max had I not had the comparisons I suspect. Or if I used a Switch. Thanks for the informative review Marcus, I wish I had found it before I ordered, but such is hindsight.

    Reply

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