The X2 Pro is GameSir’s first officially licensed handheld controller designed specifically for use with Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming. It improves on the previous X2 Mobile controller in several ways by adding features worthy of the “Pro” moniker, such as programmable back buttons, interchangeable thumb caps, and customizable face buttons to suit your playstyle. Although the small size isn’t comfortable for long gaming sessions, it’s still a great option for gaming on the go with your Android phone.
GameSir X2 Pro – Photo
GameSir X2 Pro – Design and Features
The X2 Pro is designed to work with most Android phones running Android 8.0 or later and equipped with a USB-C port for charging. The console features an expandable design similar to one backbone or Razer Keshi V2.0 To support Android phones from 110 to 179 mm in length. It also features an articulated USB-C connector that allows for a more universal fit, and even accommodates most phone cases.
Since the USB-C connector plugs directly into your phone for power, you don’t have to worry about pairing or the potential latency that Bluetooth might offer while gaming. And since it’s powered by your Android phone, you don’t have to worry about your console running out of battery while in use. However, if your phone he With your battery running low while you’re gaming, you can simply plug the USB-C cable into the bottom of the X2 Pro console because it features USB-C pass-through charging for supported Android devices.
Designed for the Xbox, the X2 Pro features dual offset analog sticks, an Xbox button, and an Xbox-style A, B, X, Y button layout, as well as the menu and display buttons found on Xbox Series X | S. It’s fully compatible with the Xbox Game Pass app on Android, and supports Xbox Remote Play from your local console over Wi-Fi. Even better, it includes a code for one month’s free Xbox Game Pass to get you started, though it’s only for new members and doesn’t stack with existing memberships.
The analog sticks are very responsive, but they are very small in diameter by default. Fortunately, the X2 Pro includes two different sets of rubber thumbstick caps in convex and concave shapes that make the sticks much better to use. If you prefer a different face button design, they can easily be removed and swapped thanks to a unique magnetic system. The program can also be configured to suit your preferred layout.
Under the left thumb is a file very Clickable D-Pad button with very low travel. It certainly has a different feel than the standard Xbox D-Pad, but it’s very responsive. Just below the D-Pad is a screenshot button which unfortunately didn’t work with the Android phone I was testing the controller with.
On the top of the X2 Pro are two Kailh micro-switch mechanical shoulder buttons, which are quick and responsive thanks to the tactical feedback they provide. GameSir claims it has approximately 40% less travel than standard membrane button buttons. Just behind the shoulder buttons are two extremely smooth analog triggers that provide control as precise as 0.1mm.
The back of the X2 Pro features a slightly raised textured grip for added comfort, with a customizable back button built into each side. The controller’s mostly rectangular shape isn’t the most comfortable design to hold, but its rounded edges and small handle help contour your hand a bit.
The X2 Pro is available in two colorways: midnight (black) and moonlight (white) and includes a hard-zip carrying case for storing the controller, plus room for a charging cable for your phone or headphones, if desired.
GameSir X2 Pro – software
Although the X2 Pro plugs and plays out of the box with most Android phones, you can download the free GameSir mobile app to enhance your experience. In the app, you’ll find a Discover page with a collection of mobile and cloud streaming games that you can jump to with a swipe, as well as a category tab if you want to explore a specific genre. Most of the recommendations are filled with your typical Android gaming fare, but there are plenty of premium ones that can be played on mobile like Apex Legends, Dead Cells, Genshin Impact, and more.
GameSir X2 Pro – software
Another use of GameSir is to easily customize your controller and update the firmware when needed. While you can easily switch the ABXY button layout with a single tap, there’s no way to customize the back buttons from the app, which feels like an odd omission. In addition, there is a Help tab that includes everything found in the console’s mini-manual.
Outside of the app, you’ll be able to customize the two back buttons on the fly by pressing and holding the menu, display, and back buttons for a few seconds followed by linking the required button to lock it.
GameSir X2 Pro – Games
As we move towards a streaming-centric future with all our media, many are still trying to figure out the best way to play games on the go. While I still don’t think these expandable controllers are the perfect solution, I think the elegance of picking up your phone and not having to worry about pairing or charging a separate device is definitely a step in the right direction.
The X2 Pro delivers on its promise of excellent performance and “professional”-level features that make gaming on the go an enjoyable experience. Since the console was designed with Xbox Cloud Gaming in mind, I spent most of my time jumping into a number of different games from the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
From fast-paced FPS games like Doom Eternal and Metal: Hellsingers to cruising around Mexico in Forza Horizon 5, I was impressed with the response of the X2 Pro. I definitely recommend throwing in one of the thumbstick cap options because the virtual thumbsticks are incredibly small and I found my fingers slipping a lot while performing quick movements.
Despite being heavily focused on Xbox, the X2 Pro works with all the major cloud gaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and more. In addition, it works with most of the mobile games that you can download from the Google Play Store such as Apex Legends Mobile, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile, and more.
My main gripe with the X2 Pro controller is its lack of ergonomics and right thumb placement. As mentioned earlier, the X2 pro is a small rectangle with rounded edges, and the bottom half dug in very quickly in the palm of my hand and caused discomfort, making it not the most comfortable controller to hold for long periods of time. Additionally, the offset nature of the right thumb stick makes it sit quite low on the controller, requiring my right hand to be turned slightly downward when playing FPS games. This isn’t an issue with regular controllers since they have a stem for your hand to hold on to, but the lack of any stems on the X2 Pro makes it a little difficult to hold at times.