There are multiple ways to play Xbox games. You can run the usual everyday console route, making the most of Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. You can play via PC, utilising the ultimate power of keyboard and mouse. And you can also play on your mobile device, thanks to the combination of Project xCloud, mobile gaming and Xbox Game Pass. It is here where the GAMESIR X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller comes in.
Since the powers that be at Xbox HQ pushed the arrival of Project xCloud and mobile gaming ideas into Xbox Game Pass, there have been a decent number of Game Pass-ready accessories come to market, with Razer leading the way with their brilliant Kishi for Android. Alongside that are clippable offerings from Venom and PowerA, each of which allow for different ways to attach your phone to controller, to bring the best out of the mobile gaming scene.
At the end of the day, the option you take could well be dictated by which best suits you and your budget, but it must be said that the direct connection ideology, that is utilised by the Razer Kishi, is the optimum option. You see, no matter how solid a Bluetooth connection between phone and controller is, it’ll never beat that of a hardwired connection.
The GAMESIR X2 is a Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller, and as the name suggests it utilises a USB-C adapter – one which directs the gaming magic directly into your USB-C enabled device via a patented flexible connection. This means that it has to be seen as a rival for the Kishi. But is it capable of hitting the heights provided by one of gaming’s leading product manufacturers? Well, yes, it very nearly does, and even though it doesn’t quite reach the highest standards, honestly there’s not a lot in it and this is a nice little alternative to have.
Straight out of the box you’ll be treated to a slab of white and black plastic with the X2, something which makes it feel a little cheap in hand. Running a Nintendo Switch-styled control scheme, with blue and red accents placing focus on the thumbsticks, it seems a bit of a mishmash of ideas. But those ideas work, and once you stretch the X2 out, place your mobile device inside by connecting it to the flexible USB-C port and delicately slam it shut, you’ll find a very good mobile gaming product that just so happens to revel when faced with Xbox gaming opportunities.
The phone connects via the included USB-C port that sits on the left side of the curved yet rectangular X2, before seeing the entire device stretch to accommodate any phone up to 167mm in length. It’s a super simple operating system; one that makes the Kishi’s button pressing/oragami-styled unfolding ideas seem utterly confusing. Throw in a decently rubberised backing plate, grips to ensure the phone is stable, and well-placed rear hand rests, and honestly you should have no issues with phone safety.
What’s also nice is that this system allows for your phone to be used with your usual everyday case in place, something that again is not possible with the Razer product. At least depending on your phone that is. You see, with a maximum reach of 167mm, you may find that those longer phones – like the One Plus 8 Pro for instance – won’t work with a case attached. Should you be able to get within that clearance limit though, then even with a case in place you should be fine. I can’t sit here and say that it’ll work with every phone and every case, but unless you’re running some super thick, highly insulated, JCB-branded workman’s case, you should be fine here. You’ll even find a slight gap present between the bottom of your phone and the X2 itself, giving the chance for clear air circulation and a place for any gaming heat to dissipate. Kudos has to go out to GAMESIR for not just creating a simple system, but also one that will work with ease.
In terms of how things control and we find all the usual buttons and sticks present. Alongside the rather nice coloured thumbsticks are all the standard face buttons (albeit in a Nintendo Switch layout), and four more which work as a weird little D-pad. Honestly, I’m not a D-pad fan, and this strange implementation of it makes me dislike it even more. Other than for keeping costs down, I’m not really sure why GAMESIR haven’t included a proper D-pad on the X2.
Thankfully, there are also both left and right bumper and trigger buttons (of which all are highly clickable and supremely tactile), a home button, a screenshot button and both a G and S button; the latter two work as a menu button in Xbox Game Pass games. It’s nice that all the usual options are all present and work as intended.
Thanks to that USB-C direct connection to your phone, pretty much everything that is in place on the X2 does the job just as any other controller would – there is hardly a touch of lag, connection is solid and it drains very little in terms of battery. And even if you do find yourself gaming into the wee hours on a night train to nowhere, the USB-C charging port that is found at the bottom of the controller covers all bases, happily charging your phone as you game. All you’ll need to be sure of is that you are found rocking a pair of bluetooth earbuds though – the EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Wireless Gaming Earbuds would be perfect – as even if your phone has a 3.5mm audio jack included, the X2 will cover up any port and fails to provide any alternative. But hey, the audio jack is long but dead, isn’t it?
It may seem cheap to look at, but everything about the GAMESIR X2 works as it should, and once you get that whole plasticky vibe out of your head you will find it is capable of being a really decent little alternative to the other mobile gaming options that are on the market. Yes, it may come across as a little bit bootleggy in a world in which big name brands are king, and the price being asked means that anyone looking for the chance to run a dedicated wired system for their mobile gaming will still be tempted by the Razer Kishi, but really, it’s surprising just how good the X2 is.
Unboxing and First Look – GAMESIR X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller