The precursor to Versus X was a band called Vague Venture, which played a new wave/new romantic style and was founded in 1984 as a trio with a drum computer. This was the first band that featured Arne Schäfer on lead vocals in 1985, although he had practiced singing with his home taping experience before. One year later, Stefan Maywald joined on drums and by this time, Schäfer's influence pushed the band concept more in the progressive direction. In 1989, this finally led them to split up because of musical differences. So, Maywald started parallel work with a band called Apogee.
Later, the group was named Versus X after an expression Schäfer found in a book about physical chemistry (he is a professional chemist). Schäfer just thought it sounded good and it may be interpreted as "against the mainstream." At that time, Schäfer performed some solo concerts using acoustic guitar, keyboards, and vocals. At one of these concerts, Ekkehard Nahm saw his performance, which captured his interest. He spoke to Schäfer after the concert, recognizing his strong Peter Hammill influence. They agreed to meet again and soon afterwards, Nahm joined the band.
In 1995, Stephan Dilley joined on bass. Dilley and Maywald had to quit playing with Versus X to be able to perform their jobs in distant places. Maywald was replaced by Uwe Völlmar, whose powerful and precise, but also very sensible playing style fit perfectly with Versus X music.
After being forced to play without a bass player for about a year, in which Nahm took over the bass parts using his Moog Taurus pedals. Versus X added Jörg Fischer (bass) as the last musician to join Versus X.