Cloud gaming is good, but you still have to equip yourself. GameSir X2 Pro wants to be the best controller to turn your smartphone into a console.
Coincidentally, cloud gaming on platforms like Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate or Nvidia’s GeForce Now is forcing the creation of a new market: that of gaming accessories for smartphones that allow them to be transformed into a portable console. Many unequal references have been on the market for a long time, but have been refined in the last two years. The GameSir X2 Pro is one of them.
Design and ergonomics: the Xbox PSP
The GameSir X2 Pro continues the design momentum of the first X2, while refining many elements anyway. This time around, the controller is officially endorsed by Microsoft’s Xbox label. Also, the default button layout now matches that of an Xbox controller instead of a Nintendo one. Above all, the biggest evolution is now the inclusion of R2/L2 analog triggers, whereas before they were just a click away.
There are also the classic Home/Select buttons, instead of the GameSir buttons which essentially performed the same function before, but Android could detect them in a very strange way. Also, the Xbox button works perfectly this time. The last button is the screenshot button, which is simply Android’s built-in shortcut. As a result, it works every time and is very comfortable to use.
If you don’t know the principle of the command, it’s very simple: it is extendable thanks to a spring system, and therefore allows you to lock many of the largest phones on the market between its two large parts. The GameSir X2 Pro is a USB-C controller, which means that it is directly connected to the device and therefore does not generate any additional latency compared to a Bluetooth controller. For cloud gaming in particular, this is extremely important.
But that also means that the smartphone or device you want to use it with has to have its USB-C port absolutely centered on its edge. This is the case for most smartphones, but models like the Asus ROG or the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 will stick out from the body of the GameSir X2. Functional, still, but the idea of creating your own portable console like this doesn’t quite work out in that unsightly way.
If your smartphone has a classic format, GameSir X2 Pro transforms it into a real portable console. Connecting your smartphone is also incredibly simple thanks to the USB C port that can be flipped up for easy pairing. The advantage of this product over a Razer Kishi V2, for example, is that its back remains flat even when lying flat. As a result, the console thus created remains comfortable even during long gaming sessions, this is one of its great advantages over the competition.
Please note that in GameSir X2 Pro, you can once again choose between convex or concave sticks, both types of tips are supplied straight out of the box. Only on this model, you also have the possibility to change the place of the A/B/X/Y buttons, if you want to find the Nintendo design of the previous models. Of course, you will have to go through the GameSir application to then configure the controller in Nintendo format. It’s a good customization option to find, though we wouldn’t recommend it: Android apps expect to use Xbox design much more than Nintendo’s.
The buttons on the console are of very good quality, more so than previous models. We particularly like the fact that its width has been extended a bit in GameSir X2 Pro. There remains a problem that is simply impossible to solve in this format: the A/B/X/Y are very close to the right stick, which can sometimes complicate its use. However, we quickly get used to it. The directional pad is also on the clicky switches and not on the membranes, which might offend some gamers who prefer the feel of classic controllers.
Despite these flaws, we hold our own for the best cloud gaming optimized mobile controllers on the market. In this Pro version, GameSir just finally integrated all player feedback, while removing the superfluous that can be found in GameSir X3. One disappointment remains: the M1/M2 shortcuts on the back, which can only play an already present key. Impossible to assign them another function in an emulator, for example. They thus become very complicit, when they could have offered much more.
Transportability: well protected
The GameSir X2 Pro is sold out of the box in a “so gamer” red and black hard case. This case is very rigid and ensures that once it is dropped in your bag, the controller will not be damaged. However, due to its telescopic format and wide body from the start, the GameSir X2 Pro is not the easiest solution to carry today and takes up a lot of space. At this point, the Razer Kishi V1 is still the easiest to carry around, though its comfort is far from on par with the controller we’re testing here.
Features: prevent application
Since GameSir X2 connects directly to USB-C on your smartphone, you will necessarily need to use an Android smartphone to use it. As said before, the port of the device you are using should be centered on the bottom of the smartphone for best effect. However, there is no more limit than that. Some older versions of Android require you to agree in settings to run the device on your phone’s battery, but that’s the only limitation on its use.
Charging your smartphone while gaming is also possible, thanks to the presence of a USB-C transfer port at the bottom of the controller. The latter only allows electricity to be transferred: don’t expect to connect a wired headset to it, for example. It may not be compatible with some devices either, but the reasons for this are hard to find. Using it with a 65W PowerDelivery charger on Samsung or OnePlus devices, I didn’t have any issues.
GameSir has its own app to manage the controller (in particular, to change the layout from Xbox to Nintendo) and to be able to use it in games that don’t support the controller natively… but we advise against using it. To have access to all its functions, you will necessarily have to install the APK outside of the Play Store, and the manufacturer’s past suggests that it would not be the last to recover too much data for our liking. The GameSir X2 Pro works perfectly fine without it, you can always skip it and use workarounds to find the features promised by it. We are on Android, after all.
- Comfortable during long sessions
- Carrying case provided
- Finally the Xbox format
- analog triggers
- step to upload
- nebula official app
- No Lightning version
- Anecdotal M1/M2
That’s it: after an X2 model with certain limitations and an X3 gone too far, the GameSir X2 Pro is exactly what we wanted for this dedicated cloud gaming controller. Analog triggers, comfortable for long sessions, official Xbox support for effortless use on all existing cloud services… It just has it all, except it’s not as portable as its competitors. And that our iPhone gamer friends can’t enjoy it. By avoiding the official app from the manufacturer, this is one of the best mobile drivers for Android smartphones.
This page contains affiliate links to some products that JV has selected for you. Each purchase you make by clicking on one of these links will not cost you more, but the e-merchant will pay us a commission.