Hands-on with the GameSir X2 Pro controller: Designed for Xbox Game Pass

Cloud gaming is really simple and has a special pick-up-and-play appeal. The newest Android controller for cloud gaming with an Xbox focus, the GameSir X2 Pro, allows the user a little more customizing flexibility.

The GameSir X2 Pro is the immediate sibling of the GameSir X2, which was made available more than a year ago. Since then, the business has made some distinctive improvements to the range, adding some flair for ardent mobile gamers with products like the GameSir X3, a flamboyant and colorful gaming controller that felt a little superfluous. However, the GameSir X2 Pro builds on a tried-and-true design with a few minor adjustments here and there.

CUSTOMIZATION AND COMPATIBILITY A controller made exclusively for Android USB-C devices is called the GameSir X2 Pro. Any recent Android phone may be connected to the gamepads using a USB-C connector, allowing you to start playing right away.

The X2 Pro stands out due to its strong emphasis on Xbox, and more specifically Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The simplicity of use that comes with the Xbox Game Pass app for Android is immediately noticeable. You can use the Xbox menu directly from the controller thanks to how well the controller is mapped for the Microsoft app.

Alternative options include Stadia, Amazon Luna, and GeForce Now, all of which the controller continues to function flawlessly with. Although running the app natively is always the easier option, you may easily start such services from within the GameSir app.

No matter what gaming app you use, you’ll discover that the X2 Pro can handle it thanks in large part to significant upgrades over the X2. This year, the X2 Pro has a few distinctive customization options, similar to the X3 but lacking the latter’s extensive lighting and powerful fan.

The face buttons are your first choice for customisation on the front. As long as you have long fingernails or a little prying tool, those buttons ABXY can be removed. The buttons, which are held in by magnets, can be removed and inserted into a new slot.

By doing this, you can, if you so choose, adapt the button layout to that of the Nintendo Switch. After doing that, open the GameSirs app and select the Switchs layout so that the buttons will function correctly.

The two rear buttons are an important addition. You can assign those buttons to any task that the other buttons perform, based on your preferences. You must go through a somewhat difficult process using the View and Menu buttons on the controller’s front to accomplish this. Despite the fact that there is clearly a sizable market for custom controls, I personally don’t really need remapped back buttons.

COMFORT AND CONTROLS In terms of controllers, GameSir packed a lot into the X2 Pro. Two ALPS joysticks are located on the face, and while they feel decent overall, I wish they weren’t so rigid. It feels like I have to exert more pressure than usual in any direction, which may be confusing when you’re immersed in a game. The concave thumbstick caps that come with the controller certainly improve my grip and eliminate that sensation.

The Hall Effect triggers are an improvement over the previous model in that you can push the triggers gradually to receive degrees of feedback as opposed to a single click. Because you can change your pressure, this version is considerably superior and makes playing racing games lot simpler. The bumpers on the back were swapped out for incredibly responsive and clicky Kalih micro switches. Overall, the level of travel in them feels decent and is conducive to cloud gaming.

You also get a lovely Xbox-branded button that opens the Xbox menu in the, of course. You can invite friends and leave the game quickly with only one press. A good screenshot button is located across from it; I found it to be useful. Low latency is provided through a direct connection to your device. The only lag I was experiencing was from streaming the games I was playing from the cloud, without a doubt. No input lag was present when playing locally.

Although the hardware is very responsive and pleasant to use, I had to overcome one obstacle during my cloud gaming sessions: comfort.

Compact and comfortable will ostensibly always be at odds with one another. The GameSir X2 Pro is designed to be as small and lightweight as possible, making it simple to play virtually anyplace. That ultimately results in some comfort being compromised.

My primary issue with the right joystick is not particularly how it works, but rather the grip I need to get in order to use it correctly. I often find myself using a claw grip for prolonged periods of time because the joystick is so low and near to the edge where my palm rests, which causes hand pains.

Given the compact form factor, there isn’t much room left for the thumbstick, but it takes some getting used to having to extend my thumb all the way to my palm and pinky at the same time. The left thumbstick is in a normal location, and the rest of the GameSir X2 Pro feels perfectly fine, but because the X2 Pro is simulating an Xbox controller without the same amount of space, the left thumbstick is simply too close for games like Powerwash Simulator, where you’re constantly using the thumbstick to repeatedly spray back and forth.

AESTHETICS AND DESIGN The GameSir X2 Pro’s overall grip is comfortable even with the thumbstick scenario, especially thanks to the rubberized coating on the back near the programmable buttons. The device’s remaining components are made of good plastic that isn’t too heavy in the hand. Because of how hefty the controller was, even with a Fold 3 cradled in the middle, I never got tired playing.

The GameSir X2 Pro, like the X2, takes up very little room while your phone isn’t in it. You could put the controller in a purse or even a pocket if you were so inclined after it returns to its compact form factor, though it wouldn’t be comfortable.

The gamepad is packaged in a stylish fabric case with a bag for wireless earbuds or charging cables—whatever you think the X2 Pro could require. Not to mention, the Xbox-focused X2 Pro offers a one-month Game Pass Ultimate trial, so you can play right now regardless of whether you decide to subscribe.

DO YOU NEED TO GET A GAMESIR X2 PRO? The design and comfort issues of the GameSir X2 are also present in the X2 Pro. Some people might find the right thumbstick to be a deal breaker, but not everyone. The X2 Pro does a nice job of upholding that pick-up-and-play quality in keeping with the notion of mobility and simplicity. Those who require that kind of comfort would probably have no problems, especially during brief game sessions.

The GameSir X2 Pro costs $79.99 and is a good value at that price. The X2 Pro is a genuinely wonderful addition to your cloud-gaming experiences thanks to the swappable buttons, programmable back keys, and upgraded hardware.

The X2 Pro is a terrific option for people who have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership or wish to try one. It would also be an excellent option for any other service, such as Stadia or GeForce Now. Midnight and Moonlight are available on the GameSir X2 Pro (black and white).

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