Smartphone games are still scorned by many, and in some cases with good reason. Whether it’s a game made natively on Android or iOS or a watered-down port of an established entry, experiences on smartphones simply don’t compare to games on PC or home consoles. But it would be a shame to waste all that glorious processing power, wouldn’t it? The GameSir X2 allows you to tap into your android phonethe natural playing abilities of, and this review will reveal the kind of nostalgic magic it is capable of.
What is GameSir X2 Type-C mobile game controller?
— Dimensions: 4.45 inches L x 7.8 inches W x 1.81 inches H
— Weight: 11.6 ounces
— Input: USB-C
— Compatibility: Many Android phones under 6.57 inches in length
the GameSir X2 Controller is a controller designed to play on an Android device. It’s not a terribly new concept, as there are plenty of Bluetooth-enabled devices that can sync with smartphones, including many PS5s and Xbox controllers. What sets GameSir X2 apart is that it connects directly to a phone’s USB-C slot. What does this mean for games? Low latency rates, which is great if you plan to use cloud gaming apps like Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Just note that to use the GameSirX2, your device must be updated to Android 9.0 or later and less than 6.57 inches in length.
If you squint, GameSir X2 looks like a standard 16-button gamepad with a hollow middle. When a phone is connected, it looks like a Nintendo Switch OLED imitation, although a little smaller. All the buttons a seasoned gamer needs are here, plus a few extras. A solid Nintendo-style D-Pad, four main face buttons, four triggers, and two clickable joysticks make this gamepad feel like many “professional controllers” for modern consoles. There are also start, select, home and screenshot buttons, which will take a quick snapshot of the game you’re currently playing. The device also comes with a carrying case that will hold the GameSir X2 and any Android phone you use with it.
The back of the device has two comfortable anti-slip pads for long gaming sessions. Sliding a phone into the GameSir X2 feels weird at first as there is a thin gap between the phone and where it rests. It was an intentional design choice, as high-end phones sometimes get hot. This small gap allows for maximum airflow so your mobile gaming rig won’t become uncomfortable or worse, crash any game you’re currently playing. Since some high-end games can be demanding on phone battery life, there’s a USB-C charging port right under the D-Pad that’ll let you power up while gaming. Learn more about how we test play equipment.
GameSir X2 Mobile Gamepad: Is It Worth It?
Smartphones are getting more powerful every year, with super-fast processing speeds and bright, flashy OLED displays. But touching a screen instead of shuffling buttons just doesn’t work properly. And that prospect is made even worse when there’s an improvised on-screen gamepad that’s perhaps the worst way to control a game. GameSir X2 controller appeals because it lets you tap into a familiar gaming experience – at least, in theory.
For the purpose of this review I will be using the new flashy Xiaomi 12 Pro, which is one of the newest premium phones in the market. In its flashy innards lies a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a chipset known for its speed and efficiency. Seconds before deciding to slide the phone into the controller, I touched the USB-C connection and immediately thought I had broken the device. The connector dips down slightly if you press on it. Luckily, this is just a design choice, as it allows the phone to slide into the device a bit easier. Swiping an Android phone is quite intuitive. There’s enough space for you to slip your phone in with thinner silicone cases, including the Xiaomi 12 Pro.
I decided to try it on one of my favorite mobile ports, “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.” The game was originally released on PSX in 1997, but is still very playable in 2022, and ranks among the best “Metroidvanias”. If this game doesn’t play well, no other game will. The GameSir X2’s buttons have a very clicky quality, which I rather appreciate. There were no latency issues right off the bat.
Comfortable and portable
Have you ever played a phone with a gamepad via Bluetooth? There are attachments that lock onto a gamepad that will allow you to dock your phone right above it. In theory, this should provide a pretty stellar gaming session, but due to the very high weight, even sturdy wrists will work overtime. GameSir X2 take the popular nintendo switch approach, laying the phone flat, so that the weight is evenly distributed. Depending on your phone, chances are it weighs pretty close to a Switch. If you close your eyes, you might even think someone put a light switch in your hands. Admittedly, the GameSir X2 is a little easier to handle thanks to the padded control grips on the back. I spent a lazy Saturday playing “MOTHER 3” and “Mega Man X” and didn’t feel any tension.
Dragging the phone in and out of the device is also quite simple. When I travel from room to room, I slide the phone out of the GameSir X2 and store the controller with the phone in its carrying case.
Behind the scenes of a retro arcade
The Google Play Store is full of emulators for classic consoles up to the Nintendo Entertainment System. After collecting a handful of my favorite titles, I installed Launch box, a nice backend that organizes games by platform. Sure, you could do it without the GameSir X2, but have you ever tried to play “Super Mario World” using touch controls? That’s enough to make anyone give up games forever and take up an alternative hobby like embroidery or basket weaving.
The GameSir works with modern titles, whether they are more demanding like “Call of Duty Mobile” or throwbacks like “Stardew Valley”. But there’s no point in letting that responsive, clicky D-Pad go to waste. The fantastic thing is that GameSir X2 didn’t require any out-of-the-gate button mapping on any console emulator I’ve used. When performing “We Love Katamari”, each joystick read like I was using an actual DualShock gamepad. I was rolling all the earthly waste material, and I was doing it in a way that was never intended. Going from SNES classics like “Chrono Trigger” to hidden N64 gems like “Mischief Makers” is one of the most fruitful ways to spend an afternoon. That said, whenever you walk around with emulators and roms, consider the murky legal ramifications. In general, the general rule to follow is to only play games of which you own physical copies. But even then, use your best judgment.
Play your way
By using the Gamesir appyou can program different game profiles for supported games, including popular titles such as “Fortnite”, “Minecraft”, NBA2K20″, “Rayman” and “League of Legends: Wild Rift”. update your GameSir X2 firmware to keep it optimized as much as possible.When the gamepad was first released, it got a lot of criticism from fans who couldn’t remap the buttons.Not only can you remap the buttons, but you can choose between “Switch” or “Xbox” layout when it comes to face button placement.There’s a USB-C charging port right under the D-Pad that lets you charge while playing.It’s a welcome addition, especially since the device requires some power from your phone to operate.
Final Thoughts on GameSir X2 Controller for Android
Android’s gaming capabilities are getting stronger and stronger, which makes using it as a dedicated handheld console a more appealing prospect. Of course, a console is only as good as its controller. If you are going to play on an Android phone, I highly recommend the GameSir X2 Android Gamepad. The device allows for comfortable mobile gaming over long periods of time, provided your phone’s battery life can support it. While native Android games play here, the real magic is in using this device as a portable retro arcade, as long as you use your best judgment when buying retro titles.
This post was created by a non-specialist editorial team at Recurrent Media, owner of Futurism. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked in this post.
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