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Gamesir X2s Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller review — Do mobile gaming peripherals have a new king?

Mobile gaming is a difficult beast to tame. On the one hand, you have the “Do you not have phones?” saga that will forever live on in memory as one of the most out-of-touch gaming design choices in history. On the other hand, you have an extremely profitable and high-traffic market, like PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile. Almost all the big live service games have a mobile variant, which means you can enjoy some of your favorite games without needing to turn on your PC or wait for your console of choice to boot up. And the tools at our disposal are even more impressive than ever.

GameSir knows this, and they know this well. They’ve been in the market for a long time now and they’ve produced some of the most well-known handheld peripherals. From 3rd party controllers for your console to Bluetooth and cabled mobile handhelds for mobile gaming, GameSir has tackled a lot of design iterations — and we’ve got our hands on GameSir’s latest controller, the X2s Type-C. So how does this one stack up?

I’ve spent a week with this thing, and there’s a lot it does good and one thing it does very… interestingly. Firstly, the X2s is extremely compact, and because of its hall effect sticks and triggers it avoids the glaring issue that almost every non-hall effect controller on the market seems to have – stick drift. Ergh, just writing that out makes my skin crawl. Like the infamous Red Ring of Death on the Xbox 360, stick drift has burdened consumers since joysticks have been a thing. However, hall effect joysticks use a magnetic field and conductors, whereas standard joysticks (i.e. the PS5’s Dualsense) use a potentiometer to do the hard work. Because of more moving parts in the latter, and after significant use, the joystick will instead return off-center, “drifting” the camera or character to one side. When you’re shoving your controller of choice in your bag, and the joysticks are stuck to one position for a significant time, it kills your mobile gaming experience. GameSir knows this, and they’ve made the wise decision to go full hall effect.

The X2s is extremely expandable, so much so I can fit a 6.49” phone (a Samsung Note20 Ultra) without issue. The Type-C connector is on a sort of pivot hinge, so you’re never actually bending the connector out of shape when you’re inserting and removing your phone — a fantastic design choice. The spring inside the X2s is, well, very springy, and clamps down on the phone with a lot of pressure. Hold it upside down, shake it, and your little screen doesn’t seem like it’ll pop out.

Your first thought might be “Hey, I’ve seen this before, haven’t I?”, and you’d be right — but it shares a lot of similarities with the Nintendo Switch joycons than just its visuals. The buttons are extremely clicky, especially the d-pad — which is less springy like you would see on a ball hinge d-pad and feels more so like it’s four buttons under the plastic. Of course, because of the intent to follow the handheld design choice of the Nintendo Switch, it can be a bit uncomfortable to get used to. This is where the GameSir’s other handheld, the G8 Galileo, shines: the extended grip makes it much more comfortable to use for long periods. However, you do trade off portability and size when you start adding extended grips to your controller, so I can understand why they’ve gone down this route. Plus, the joystick grip covers they include make it a bit more comfortable to use this handheld, which is nice.

Now, the big question – how does it handle your mobile gaming apps? How do Google Play games run (noting that I was only able to review via an Android phone)? What about Microsoft xCloud? Well, I can report that, for both, it’s plug-and-play. Yes, GameSir has an app that lets you personalize your handheld to your liking, but you don’t need to use it. It’s seamless, and it’s amazing. I mean, who really wants to spend ages tinkering away trying to get it to run?

It works, and it works very well.

The X2s Type-C is a remarkable little beast. Of course, its shortcomings extend from its form factor design choice – but I understand the trade-off when you’re going for size and portability. The integration of a USB Type-C on the bottom left of the handheld is also so handy — just plug in a power pack and you can play til the wheels fall off. GameSir has made one very nifty controller.

With a deep interest in writing, Ben followed that into a Journalism degree. As an avid lover for gaming, he is constantly expanding his library with console, PC, and VR games. He's obsessed with stealth games and loves hunting down the smallest of details inserted by devs.

90

Excellent

Gamesir X2s Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller

Review Guidelines

The X2s Type-C is remarkable. While its shortcomings extend from its joycon-style form factor, there’s so much packed into this controller that seems to make up for its grip issues — especially the other design choices. The connector’s pivot hinge limits the likelihood of it snapping, the use of hall effect sensors in the joysticks and triggers means you won’t experience drifting, and the type-c connector at the bottom is a nice inclusion so you’re not just limited to your phone’s battery life. GameSir went above and beyond with this.

Ben Lombardo

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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