GameSir has outdone itself with the X2 Pro, rectifying problems found in its predecessors, while delivering excellent performance. The swappable face buttons and Hall Effect triggers are highlights of a controller that any mobile gamer would be happy to use.
- Remappable back buttons
- USB-C connection for a reliable performance
- Customizable thumbsticks with textured covers
- Swappable face buttons
- Flexible USB-C connector
- Switch-like design can be hit or miss for some people
GameSir's been making a name for itself by delivering high-quality mobile controllers over the years. Whether you're looking for one that uses Bluetooth or a USB-C connection — or even one that has its own cooling fan — you'll find GameSir has a model for you. Its latest model, the GameSir X2 Pro, attempts to court a more serious crowd interested in a console-quality experience.
I've tested a few of GameSir's previous models in the past, and I'd have to say that the X2 Pro is my favorite so far. Though the outward design largely remains the same, it's made key changes in a few areas that make it more satisfying to use. While I still prefer mobile controllers that mimic controller grips like the Xbox or DualSense, the X2 Pro gives the best Android controllers a run for their money.
GameSir X2 Pro: Price and availability
The GameSir X2 Pro Android mobile controller released on Sept. 1, 2022, for $80. It comes in both black and white color variants that the company dubs Midnight and Moonlight. Regardless of color, the controller sports a dedicated Xbox button, as it's officially licensed with Xbox.
It's currently available on Amazon and GameSir's own website.
GameSir X2 Pro: What I love
GameSir touts that the X2 Pro features Kailh microswitch bumpers and Hall Effect analog triggers. While these may seem like insignificant buzzwords that mean nothing to you, this means that these buttons feel more tactile, and that the triggers are more pressure-sensitive.
The tactile feedback on GameSir controllers is one aspect I think that the company has always excelled in, but adding Hall Effect triggers is a welcome upgrade. Instead of clicking at one defined point like previous models, the triggers on the X2 Pro register varying levels of pressure as you press down in one fluid motion. This makes them more in line with what you'd find on an Xbox Series X or PS5 controller.
Because its grips mimic Joy-Cons, the traditional face button layout with A at the bottom doesn't always work for me, with it being positioned directly above the thumbstick instead of slightly to the right. Muscle memory from Nintendo's system makes me use them as if B and A are swapped, and this can obviously cause problems.
Thankfully, the face buttons are attached by small magnets and can be physically swapped around. One quick tour into the GameSir app, and I changed the button layout so that they registered correctly, too.
Though I don't use them often, the additional back buttons are a nice touch as well. Remapping is as simple as pressing view and menu buttons at the same time, along with whichever back button you want to remap. Once the LED indicators have flashed a couple of times, you can press the button you want to remap it to and it'll instantaneously be remapped.
They require enough pressure that I don't accidentally press them because I tighten my grip unintentionally, but they also rest in the perfect position that I don't need to go out of my way to use them. Your middle fingers should naturally rest on top of them as you hold the controller.
The X2 Pro's flexible USB-C connector is another feature that I think all mobile controllers should emulate. It makes installation and removal of phones much easier, not to mention that it makes it possible to work with some phone cases depending on their size. It's a small aspect that's easily overlooked, but one that's much appreciated.
On top of everything, the package comes with four textured thumbstick covers: Two concave, and two convex. Considering that the thumbsticks still feel too small to use comfortably or efficiently, I'd say these are necessary to use. The fact that you have a choice between two styles just shows that GameSir always has its customers in mind. What works for one person may not work for another, and the theme of the X2 Pro is all about customization.
GameSir X2 Pro: What I didn't like
I don't think I'll ever love the default thumbstick design on GameSir controllers, but being able to quickly put on the thumbstick covers that come in the box kind of makes that point moot.
Aside from that, whether you prefer the Switch-like grip, or want it to closer resemble that of an Xbox controller, is entirely up to personal preference. While I feel that the Xbox controller design provides the best experience, others may not agree.
GameSir X2 Pro: The competition
If the GameSir X2 Pro looks like something you'd want, but maybe don't want to spend $80, then the GameSir X2 Bluetooth is the way to go. Its Bluetooth connection and spring-loaded clamp design make it compatible with most phone cases up to 173mm in length. While I wasn't a fan of the small thumbsticks, it also came with textured thumbstick covers that quickly rectified that problem.
And if you want to spend a little extra with the peace of mind that your phone won't overheat, there's the GameSir X3. It retains much of the same form factor, but features a cooling fan on the back with RGB lighting. While the fan only works when the controller is plugged in, I found that it offered a noticeable difference in how hot my phone was when I was testing it.
One of the best controllers I've ever tested is the Nacon MG-X Pro, and it offers a more traditional grip design akin to an Xbox controller. Though it doesn't sport any remappable back buttons like the X2 Pro, it does feature a Bluetooth connection and textured thumbsticks. The downside is that it's slightly more pricey at $100, but I think the extra cost is well worth it should you choose to go this route.
GameSir X2 Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want remappable back buttons.
- You want the ability to swap your face button layout on the fly.
- You prefer a USB-C connection for its reliability.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- A cheaper mobile controller will suffice.
- You want one with grips like an Xbox or PS5 controller.
With such a similar design, I was skeptical about how much the X2 Pro would differentiate itself from the X2 Bluetooth or X3 models. After using it, I can admit when I'm wrong. Though subtle, the Hall Effect triggers make a world of difference, and the back buttons don't get in my way like others have in the past. It may not have a cooling fan on the back, but I'm alright with that.
GameSir took what its previous models did well and improved in other aspects to make the X2 Pro its best controller yet. I especially love the removable face buttons, as the magnet creates the perfect tension so that they are easy to remove, but still feel secure. Anyone in the market for a controller with $80 to spare will definitely want to consider this one.
The X2 Pro is the complete package, offering just about everything a player would want in a high-quality mobile controller. Minor gripes aside, it's well worth your money.