GameSir X2 phone gaming controller review: Budget Backbone

Our Verdict

The GameSir X2 is one of the best telephone controllers for both iOS and Android, from its tactile buttons and durable design to the included case and low price, it’south awesome value for money. But it’s missing audio jack, weird software support, and triggers with no travel keep it from taking the crown every bit *the* best.


  • Tactile buttons
  • Power and audio passthrough
  • Lightning and USB-C versions
  • Example included
  • Bully value


  • Triggers take no travel
  • Basic software support
  • No 3.5mm sound jack passthrough
  • Restricted instance back up

Laptop Mag Verdict

The GameSir X2 is one of the best phone controllers for both iOS and Android, from its tactile buttons and durable design to the included case and low price, information technology’s awesome value for money. But information technology’south missing audio jack, weird software back up, and triggers with no travel go on information technology from taking the crown as *the* best.


  • +

    Tactile buttons

  • +

    Ability and audio passthrough

  • +

    Lightning and USB-C versions

  • +

    Case included

  • +

    Great value


  • Triggers have no travel

  • Bones software back up

  • No iii.5mm sound jack passthrough

  • Restricted case support

See the GameSir X2. Yeah, information technology’due south a weird name, merely it’s one yous’re going to love past the end of this review considering this is the upkeep phone gaming controller of your dreams.

Since reviewing it, my Courage Ane has been a revelation to my gaming on-the-go — allowing me to pass time on long-distance journeys with some proper good games on
Apple Arcade
or dip into a picayune bit of
Xbox Deject Gaming.

Only I’m also aware that it’due south pretty pricey at $100 (£100) + a monthly cost for Backbone+ ($50/year) if you want to unlock all the software features. Information technology’s non necessarily the about toll-constructive mode to unlock the full mobile gaming potential of your iPhone, and speaking of iPhone, that’southward all Backbone supports (for now). Android users are out in the common cold.

Popular:   This MSI gaming laptop with RTX 3070 drops to its lowest ever price

That’southward where the GameSir X2 comes in: a lower-cost alternative with either a lightning, USB-C or Bluetooth connectedness, which delivers the same Nintendo Switch-esque transformation to either your
or Android phone. Does it evangelize on its promise at a lower cost? Let’southward find out.

GameSir X2: Price

The GameSir X2 comes in three models: with USB-C or Lightning at $69 or a Bluetooth version at $59. Straight off the bat, I didn’t exam the Bluetooth model, and then we’ll focus on the beginning 2.

That is a seriously competitive toll, which puts it at $30 less than the Backbone One and the Razer Kishi.

GameSir X2: Design

(Image credit: Futurity)

Of grade, for whatsoever game controller to be good, it has to nail one thing: the hardware. Well, I’m glad to say GameSir mostly sticks the landing.

This has a nice, solid build quality, which has stood up to some of my more torturous handling when flinging it in a handbag for long-distance travel. The fact that at that place’s a full-sized back to the controller rather than a spine, like the
Backbone One
or Razer Kishi, gives it a more solid feeling in the hand besides.

All the buttons have a satisfying, tactile click to them and the analogue sticks are fantastic to use: smooth and precise with plenty of room to travel. For comparison, the Backbone One buttons are just as clicky, merely the sticks are a niggling shallower and have slightly less space to move.

GameSir X2

(Image credit: Time to come)

And when information technology comes to modest blueprint decisions, GameSir actually shows it cares. From the rubberized grips round back and the included case for boosted protection, to the connector freely moving up and downward by 50 degrees, ensuring you don’t damage your port or plug. Information technology besides protrudes a trivial more, and so chances are if your instance doesn’t have a lip roofing the bottom, you lot could use the GameSir X2 with the case on.

Popular:   Apple AirPods Pro 2: Everything we know so far

It’southward a very thoughtfully designed piece of kit for gamers, disallowment one thing. The triggers don’t accept any travel. And coming from any modernistic game controller to this fifty just feels weird. I’d like that precise control of dispatch dorsum, please!

GameSir X2

(Epitome credit: Future)

GameSir X2: Connectivity and support

GameSir excels and notwithstanding falls behind the Backbone One in the connectivity department. The big win here is that with a USB-C or Lightning version, no phone user is left backside. Sure, there is Backbone for Android coming presently, only they’ve remained very tight-lipped about it so far!

Equally I said in a higher place, that connector being on a 50-degree swivel makes information technology so much easier to plug your phone into it. And while the stretch is said to support phones up to half dozen.5 inches in length, I have used monsters like the
ZTE Axon 30 5G
(6.9-inches) and
RedMagic seven
(half-dozen.viii-inches) with no issues whatsoever.

GameSir X2

(Epitome credit: Future)

On the iOS side, this essentially means support for phones up to
iPhone xiii Pro Max
size with no need for an attachment to support the bigger camera bump of the
thirteen Pro, like what the Backbone I needed.

But while the X2 gets out ahead here, we achieve the second (and the biggest) trouble. In that location is no iii.5mm headphone jack for audio passthrough. I get we live in a wonderful world of
truthful wireless earbuds
and chances are most of you will be happy with that setup. Only it volition never exist truly latency-free, which can make rhythm games nigh impossible.

This is the easiest feature asking GameSir volition e’er have to fulfill: requite me a headphone jack!

GameSir X2: Software

GameSir X2

(Image credit: Time to come)

The software is basic. At that place are no two ways of saying information technology.

On the Android side, it’s just a simple companion app that lets yous tweak the button layout depending on what you’re using. The reason is that the hardware buttons are in “Nintendo” layout (B at the bottom) rather than the “Xbox” layout (A at the bottom), which can lead to confusion for you and the games you’re playing.

Popular:   Best USB-C hubs for MacBook Pro in 2022

For iOS, the app supports Bluetooth controllers only, so you’re out of luck in terms of whatsoever tweaking. Instead, the Backbone app provides a full suite to access your games, capture content and talk with other players.

Of course, there is Backbone+, which gives you additional features like Twitch streaming and 15-second smart clip capture, done by buffering said video. With the features mentioned before available for gratis, Courage is leaps and premises ahead of the GameSir X2 in this department, so you’ll have to make a choice: does that slicker software experience warrant the extra amount of investment?

Bottom Line

GameSir X2

(Image credit: Future)

The GameSir X2 got and then close to beingness called the all-time telephone gaming controller overall. A durable build, buttons that experience great, analogue sticks with a smooth fluidity, and other consumer-friendly decisions like throwing in a costless instance and keeping that price nice and low.

Merely the small-but-impactful omissions do stop this from taking the aureate: shoulder buttons that don’t have whatsoever travel, a companion app that is bad-mannered to use and doesn’t actually do anything, and the lack of a iii.5mm headphone jack pass-through for latency-free audio.

So instead, we’re just going to take to phone call the GameSir X2 the all-time upkeep phone gaming controller. But that’s a pretty damn good title to have!

 Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you’ll find Jason looking for proficient dogs to pet or thinking virtually eating pizza if he isn’t already.