With the rise in game streaming services alongside plenty of mobile-developed games, the breadth and depth of what mobile gaming offers has grown a huge amount in recent years. Yet, one of the biggest barriers to mobile gaming for many is touch screen controls. As an input, it just doesn’t compare to the precision and ergonomics that a controller can provide. Fortunately, there are some viable options in the form of Bluetooth controllers.
The GameSir X2 Bluetooth mobile controller provides the perfect remedy to the woes of touch screen controls. Connecting via Bluetooth, the controller provides games with an experience much more akin to consoles, all for a fraction of the price (depending on how much your phone costs, of course). Coming in at around $59.99, the GameSir X2 isn’t particularly cheap, but is it worth the money?
Right out of the box, the GameSir X2 comes with a pretty sturdy carry case. Considering the small size of the controller and its portable nature, a carry case is honestly a welcome feature. It looks and acts similarly to the case I use for my Nintendo Switch, providing a hard shell around the controller to protect it from knocks and bumps when in your bag.
The actual controller itself is pretty small, fitting in my hands comfortably for long periods of time. The GameSir X2 visually looks similar to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con, with small analogue sticks sitting diagonally from one another on the pad. I was impressed to see a proper D-pad on the controller as well, an addition that will probably please most fighting game fans.
Featuring click-in shoulder buttons rather than analogue triggers, the GameSir X2 is going to be a bit lacking for those who like to play driving games (unless you can set the controls for right stick acceleration and braking). Having said this, the shoulder buttons work perfectly fine in a variety of other titles, including shooters. A springy clicking noise lets you know when you’ve pressed all the way down, providing plenty of physical feedback on your press.
The back of the GameSir X2 features gripped rubber pads, which offer your fingers some friction to grip onto during gameplay. There’s a similar rubber material on the inside of the controller which holds your phone in place. To get your phone into the GameSir X2, you need to pull the two controllers apart on a sliding mechanism that stretches out to fit your phone. It stretches pretty far and should accommodate mobile phones of all sizes, and probably quite a few smaller tablets as well. Anything up to 173mm will fit.
Unlike the GameSir X2 Type-C, the GameSir X2 features a much wider list of compatible handsets. Connecting via Bluetooth, the controller can hook up to any number of Android and iOS devices alike. This wider compatibility makes it a perfect controller for someone who subscribes to the likes of Game Pass or Apple Arcade. It not only enables you to get the most out of every game on those platforms, but it provides a much more console like experience.
So long as a game then supports Bluetooth controllers, you’re pretty much good to go, and there’s even support for games that don’t. In those cases you can download the GameSir app which will let you map corresponding controller buttons to inputs on the screen. Using this method you can set up the GameSir X2 to work with the games like Genshin Impact that use touch screen controls.