Home GameSir X2s Mobile Controller: Turn your mobile phone into a Switch lookalike

GameSir X2s Mobile Controller: Turn your mobile phone into a Switch lookalike

GameSir announced the X2s a few weeks back and it certainly raised a lot of interest. An upgraded version of the X2 from a couple of years ago, especially now new iPhones all rock a USB-Type C port having ditched the Apple Lighting port opens up a whole new audience as well as the Android crew who could already utilize a device such as this.

Combine this with an increased interest in mobile gaming, and a wider offering with things such as Xbox Cloud Gaming, could mean that the stars align for little hand-held controllers like this that you can just throw in your bag and whip out when you need to.

GameSir sent us over an X2s for review, so we didn’t need to stump up the £50 asking price, but we will get into that later on. First, the controller itself.

So, what is the GameSir X2s?

A glamor shot of the GameSir X2s.
With no device attached, the X2s is barely bigger than an iPhone 15 Pro Max

There are lot of nice things about the X2s, despite its small appearance the body stretches out to fit a mobile phone up to 168mm long in between its buttons.

My phone is an iPhone 15 Max Pro which is around 160mm long. Throw on an Apple case for another couple of millimeters and I am getting towards the top end of tolerance.

The USB connection is at one side, so, orientating my phone that was and fitting it in was a little fiddly. The connector moves up and down (deliberately on sort of a rocker mechanism, which is quite cute, but with it moving while I was trying to connect didn’t make things easier.

Having inserted the USB as best I could I stretched out the other side to fit my iPhone in which was a push. I did accidentally let go before it was in properly and it snapped closed again, but that was my fault. The spring, after a few goes doesn’t seem quite so violent, either that or I just stopped being stupid, and now connection is a breeze.

Once you have a solid connection the only real indication that things have gone to plan is a tiny LED that will light up showing that the unit is drawing power from your phone. There are no batteries here so using it will drain your phone battery.

Thankfully it does have a USB passthrough connector on the bottom of the controller so you can always throw a charger or power bank in there as you play.

How does it feel?

A glamor shot of the GameSir X2s, side on.

Gaming with the X2s was a really pleasant experience to be fair. The joysticks are Hall-Effect switches, meaning they have magnets inside that measure resistance and are far more accurate and sensitive than what we normally get on this type of device. Also, they should not suffer from any dreaded Stick Drift and would be a welcome addition on the next set of Joycons Nintendo comes up with.

The buttons themselves are very small, those of us with big fingers may not enjoy fighting games on the X2s, but if you are looking to play racers, shooters, or even platformers you will be well served here. Just maybe avoid anything with a tricky combo.

The X2s in truth is barely bigger than my smartphone so is easy to just have with you for all the times on the bus or train you might feel like playing a game properly. The controller is responsive and it doesn’t seem as though it is a big battery hog. It just works, I was looking for some indication that it was even connected and operational, but once I loaded a game everything was seamless.

It has a retro styling like an old Nintendo handheld but the grey and lilac color scheme may not appeal to everybody. We think it still looks great though. Its biggest selling point is definitely the joysticks, which even come with rubber caps (and a spare set at that) to make it a bit more grippy.


A glamor shot of the GameSir X2s.
An iPhone 15 Pro Max stretches the X2s towards its upper limits.

At £50 it is not a throwaway purchase that a casual mobile gamer is likely to make to see if they like it. You are paying for a very neat little technology package but you have to be in the market for a good mobile controller.

Having said that other offerings from the like of Razer have been considerably more expensive, but you can still get a legit Xbox controller for less, although granted it doesn’t offer the same handheld convenience.

If you want to get in on the handheld gaming craze, don’t want to drop big money on a Switch, ROG Ally, or a Steam Deck, and want to utilize that stupidly powerful computer you carry around in your pocket every day instead, the X2s will certainly not let you down. Playing games console style is a huge step up from touchscreen controls and it is unlikely that if you buy this, you won’t come to love it very quickly.

It just depends on what you play and how often. You can order the X2s direct from GameSir’s website.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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