The X2 Pro is GameSir’s first officially licensed mobile controller designed specifically for use with Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming. It improves on the previous X2 Mobile controller in many ways by adding features that are deserving of the “Pro” moniker, such as programmable back buttons, interchangeable thumbstick caps, and customizable face buttons to suit your playstyle. While the compact size isn’t comfortable for long gaming sessions, this is still a great option for gaming on the go with your Android phone.
GameSir X2 Pro – Photos
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 controller features an expandable design similar to the Backbone One or Razer Kishi V2 to support Android phones ranging from 110-179mm in length. It also features an articulating USB-C connector that allows for a more universal fit, and even accommodates most phone cases.
Because 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 may introduce while gaming. And, since it’s powered by your Android phone, you don’t have to worry about your controller running out of battery during use. However, if your phone is running low on battery during gameplay, you can simply plug in a USB-C cable to the bottom of the X2 Pro controller as it features USB-C passthrough charging for supported Android devices.
Since the X2 Pro is designed for Xbox, it features dual offset analog sticks, the Xbox button, Xbox-style A, B, X, Y button layout, as well as the Menu and View buttons found on the Xbox Series X|S controllers. 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 1-month free Xbox Game Pass to get you started, although it’s only for new members and doesn’t stack with existing memberships.
The analog sticks are super snappy and responsive, but quite small in diameter by default. Thankfully, the X2 Pro includes two different sets of rubberized thumbstick caps in convex and concave variants that make the sticks feel much better to use. If you prefer a different layout for the face buttons, they can easily be popped off and swapped thanks to a unique magnetic system. The software can even be configured to match your preferred layout, as well.
Below the left thumbstick is a very clicky D-Pad with very low travel. It’s definitely got a different feel than the standard Xbox D-Pad, but it’s extremely 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 top of the X2 Pro are two Kailh micro-switch mechanical shoulder buttons that are both snappy and responsive thanks to the tactical feedback they provide. GameSir claims they feature around 40% less travel distance than standard membrane controller buttons. Just behind the shoulder buttons are two very smooth analog triggers that offer precise control that’s accurate down to 0.1mm.
The rear of the X2 Pro features slightly raised textured grips for added comfort, with a customizable rear button embedded on each side. The mostly-rectangular shape of the controller isn’t the most comfortable design to hold, but its rounded edges and small grips help to contour to your hand a bit.
The X2 Pro is available in two colorways: Midnight (black) and Moonlight (white) and includes a hardshell zippered carrying case to store the controller, as well as room for a charging cable for your phone or headphones, if desired.
GameSir X2 Pro – Software
While the X2 Pro is plug-and-play 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 that features a collection of mobile and cloud streaming games that you can jump into with a single press, as well as a Category tab if you want to explore a specific genre. Most of the recommendations are filled with your typical Android mobile game fare, but there are plenty of standouts highlighted that are playable on mobile such as Apex Legends, Dead Cells, Genshin Impact, and more.
GameSir X2 Pro – Software
The other use for the GameSir app is to easily customize your controller and update its firmware when needed. While you can easily swap the ABXY button layout with a tap, there’s no way to customize the back buttons from the app, which feels like a weird omission. Additionally, there’s a Help tab that includes everything found in the controller’s small manual.
Outside the app, you’ll be able to customize the two rear buttons on the fly by pressing and holding the Menu, View, and rear button for a few seconds followed by your desired button binding to lock it in.
GameSir X2 Pro – Gaming
As we move towards a streaming-centric future with all of our media, many are still trying to figure out the best way to play games on the go. While I still don’t believe these expandable controllers are the perfect solution, I think the elegance of snapping your phone in 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 “Pro”-level features that make playing your games on the go an enjoyable experience. Since the controller is built 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 responsiveness of the X2 Pro. I definitely recommend throwing on one of the thumbstick cap options as the default thumbsticks are incredibly small and I found my fingers slipping off frequently while performing quick movements.
Despite the heavy emphasis on Xbox, the X2 Pro works with all major cloud gaming services such as Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and more. Additionally, it works with most 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 thumbstick placement. As previously mentioned, the X2 pro is basically a small rectangle with rounded edges, and the lower half very quickly dug into the palms of my hands and caused discomfort, making it not the most comfortable controller to hold for long periods of time. Additionally, the offset nature of the right thumbstick places it very low on the controller, which required awkwardly shifting my right hand down a bit when playing FPS games. This is a non-issue with regular controllers since they have a stem for your hand to hold onto, but the lack of any stems on the X2 Pro makes it a bit awkward to hold at times.