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Gamesir X2s mobile controller review: Could have been perfect

Published Apr 4th, 2024 4:53PM EDT
Gamesir X2s Mobile Controller
Christian de Looper for BGR

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Gamesir X2s

Rating: 3 Stars

The Gamesir X2s has a great feel and cool retro design — but it’s missing some important features.


  • Great build
  • Cool design
  • Excellent feel


  • App is terrible
  • No headphone jack
  • Can’t use with a case
Buy FromList PriceSale Price
$45.99$45.99See It

Mobile gaming is on the rise. Setting aside the fact that game-streaming is finally becoming a viable way to game on the go, we’re also starting to get better games on mobile devices. As such, you might be looking for a decent mobile controller to play those great new games on — and Gamesir has been building some of the best for some time.

The latest of Gamesir’s controllers is the new Gamesir X2s, which not only looks super cool, but also looks a little more uniform than options like the Backbone One. Additionally, the controller boasts claimed non-drift hall effect joysticks and a premium build. How does it perform in the real world?

Gamesir X2s design

The overall design of the Gamesir X2s is pretty cool. It’s a very retro-looking controller that’s kind of reminiscent of the SNES combined with the Nintendo 2DS. It has a gray and purple color scheme. The controller has a fairly typical button layout, and it’s designed to offer a similar layout to the Nintendo 2DS, which makes it pretty easy to get used to.

Gamesir X2s mobile controller on a wooden tableImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

There are some buttons that are unique to this particular controller though. For example, there are the “G” and “S” buttons towards the top, which are supposed to be programmable through the Gamesir app.

On the bottom of the controller can be found a USB-C port, which is helpful for charging. This port can’t be used for data transfer, but it is handy to be able to power your controller when you’re gaming, especially when it comes to games that are more power-intensive. Notably missing is a headphone jack — which makes the inability to use the USB-C port for data transfer even worse. At least then you could connect wired headphones through a dongle, but with the controller using up the USB-C port of the phone itself, there’s no way to use wired headphones here.

Right side of the Gamesir X2s mobile controllerImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Generally, I like the overall look of the Gamesir X2s, and while I do wish the controller allowed for wired headphones, for many gamers, this won’t be a big issue.

Gamesir X2s build and compatibility

Design aside, the Gamesir X2s has a solid feel. A big part of this is the full-size backplate, as opposed to the smaller frame offered by a controller like the Backbone One. I also felt like the controller had a slightly more solid build compared to the Backbone One. However, to be clear, the Backbone One still felt great.

The buttons on the controller were nice and clicky, and felt very solid. In particular, I liked the clickiness on offer by the L1 and R1 buttons, though while it does emulate the feel of the Nintendo 2DS, some users will want a little more travel. When pressing the button, it actually sounds like you’re clicking a mouse.

The joysticks feel great too. Gamesir is quick to point out the no-drift build, and indeed, I never experienced drift while gaming with the X2s. Gamesir includes additional grips for the joysticks in the box, with two additional size options on offer beyond the default no-grip option. The larger grips felt a little too big for me, but I liked the feel of the smaller grips.

Gamesir X2s joystick gripsImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The device is compatible with phones up to around 6.6 inches, and it was wide enough to physically fit my iPhone 15 Pro Max, even with a case on. Unfortunately, however, it’s not built to support phones with cases. The USB-C adapter doesn’t extend long enough to connect to the USB-C port of a phone with a case. This should be easily fixed. After all, there are rubber bumpers built into the controller, and simply making those removable would fix this issue, at least for many phones. Alas, you’ll have to remove your phone’s case whenever you want to game, which immediately puts this controller behind an option like the Backbone One for me, simply for the lack of convenience.

Gamesir points out that the phone supports foldable phones, but the truth is that you’ll have to unfold your phone to use the controller, simply due to the extra depth of a folded phone.

Gamesir X2s software

The Gamesir X2s is customized through the Gamesir app, which I found to be very poorly designed and buggy. Despite theoretically supporting both iOS and Android, only the Android app actually detected the controller, meaning that I was unable to customize buttons and controls on the iPhone. Thankfully, the Android app immediately recognized the controller and allowed for customization.

Gamesir X2s appearing in the Android appImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

This isn’t to say that you can’t use the X2s with an iPhone — you can. But you won’t be able to customize buttons and controls.

This is in stark contrast to the Backbone app, which is well-designed, easy to use, and makes it easy to jump into your preferred games. Hopefully, Gamesir will work on improving their app over time.


The Gamesir X2s has a lot going for it. I really like the design and build, and frankly, the controller looks great. But there are things that seriously let it down, like the terrible app experience and the lack of a headphone jack or the ability to use the USB-C port for data.

The competition

Backbone is a leader in the mobile controller space, and for good reason. I prefer the build and design of the Gamesir X2s, but there’s no denying that, functionally, the Backbone One is a better product. That’s due to the headphone jack and the much better app experience, plus the fact that it works with a case. While I wish Gamesir offered these features (it would really make for the perfect controller for me), those issues are enough for me to prefer the Backbone — however if you don’t care about them, perhaps you’ll prefer the Gamesir X2s.

Should I buy the Gamesir X2s?

Yes, but only if you don’t plan on using it with a phone case, don’t care if you can’t customize buttons on iPhone, and don’t need to use it with wired headphones.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper is based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. He has been expertly reviewing tech products for more than 8 years, and brings experience in deep technical analysis of consumer electronics devices to BGR's reviews channel.