GameSir G4 Pro is the cross-platform game controller you’re looking for [Review]

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GameSir G4 Pro review
GameSir G4 Pro game controller can be used with iPhone and Android devices. And iPad and PC too. Plus Nintendo Switch.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The GameSir G4 Pro is a wireless game controller that works with iPhone and iPad but also PC, Android and Switch. It resembles a wireless Xbox controller but with a flip-out mount for holding an iPhone.

I did quite a bit of gaming with the G4 Pro. Here’s how it stood up.

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GameSir G4 Pro review

There are so many ways to play games. Use different platforms and it’s easy to find yourself with a bunch of controllers taking up space. And emptying your wallet.

The GameSir G4 Pro is a cross-platform option that works with a variety of device types. You can easily swap it from your PC to your iPhone. From your Android to your Switch.

It mimics the shape of an Xbox controller so you should find the shape familiar. But with a nice twist: it includes a mount to hold your iPhone or Android while you’re playing. And there are no wires to deal with.

Hardware and design

GameSir obviously set out to recreate an Xbox controller. The layout of buttons and joysticks is essentially identical. Shoulder buttons, triggers, everything.

And beyond simple arrangment, the buttons feel right. They’re nicely clicky, not mushy. Well, the D-pad is a bit mushy, but is an exception. And it didn’t interfere with my gameplay.

Vibration is strong enough to feel. And the rubber-covered grips make holding the controller comfortable.

I’ve spend a few thousand hours holding an Xbox controller, so the GameSir G4 Pro felt immediately familiar in my hands. My learning curve was nonexistent — I went straight into gaming.

And designers threw in a nice twist. For some reason probably related to patents/copyrights, the Nintendo Switch flips the position of the A and B buttons when compared to an Xbox controller. No problem. The ABXY buttons on the G4 Pro are held in with magnets. Pop them off and rearrange them as you wish.

The 800 mAh battery lasted me through a couple of marathon gaming sessions before needing a recharge. Juice it back up via the USB-C port on the front and the USB cable that comes with this accessory.

GameSir G4 Pro with Xbox Wireless Controller
The GameSir G4 Pro is designed to mimic a Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller but do much more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Swapping between iPhone, Android, PC and Switch

Switching the GameSir controller to another platform is as easy as turning it off and on.

iPhone/iPad: Hold down the B button with the power button and the G4 Pro will start up acting like a wireless Xbox controller. Use Bluetooth to connect this to your iPhone or iPad and you’re ready to play.

I tested it with and iPhone and iPad and had no problems. That includes playing Apple Arcade games and ones with MFi support. (Devs have to build support for controllers into their games.)

Android: Hold down the A button and the power button to start the game controller in Android mode. Make a Bluetooth connection to your handset and you’re ready to go.

I tested this with an Android game designed for external controllers and it worked well.

PC: Hold down the X button and the power button to start up the G4 Pro in PC mode. You can connect via the USB-C to USB-A cable that GameSir includes in the box. But I prefer the handy 2.4GHz wireless dongle. Remove this from the bottom edge of the controller and plug it into the PC.

I used the Game Controller Tester Windows app to be sure the computer and controller were operating normally.

The 2.4GHz dongle is hidden in the bottom edge of the GameSir G4 Pro.
The G4 Pro has both a USB-C port and a 2.4GHz dongle.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Nintendo Switch: Hold down the X button and the power button to start up GameSir’s accessory in Nintendo Switch mode.

I do a lot of gaming but I can’t cover all the bases. I was unable to test the G4 Pro with a Switch. That said, it works beautifully with every other computer I tested it with.

If you forget the various key combinations for the various types of devices , they’re written on the back of the controller.

Mount

A flip-out handset holder on the front of the controller frees up your hands so you can play games while easily seeing the screen. This isn’t a particularly sophisticated design, and makes the G4 Pro slightly front heavy, but it’s entirely usable. And it can hold the display at a wide range of angles.

The spring-loaded clip is padded to reduce the odds you’ll scratch up your device. And it can handle handsets almost 3.5-inches wide. If your device is exceptionally thick, there’s a clip-on holder. It certainly had no problems with my iPhone 12.

Clip an iPhone or Android into the GameSir G4 Pro for on-the-go gaming.
An iPhone 12 fits nicely into i the GameSir G4 Pro‘s flip-up mount.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

GameSir G4 Pro final thoughts

Don’t buy a bunch of different controllers when all you need is one. I found the GameSir G4 Pro a good option for playing on a variety of devices: phones, tablets, PCs and whatever the heck the Switch is.

Pricing

The G4 Pro is $49.99 on the GameSir website. It’s also available for the same price on Amazon.com.

Comparable products

Pure iPhone gamers who don’t want to go wireless might take a look at the Rotor Riot Wired Game Controller ($49.95). Plug this into the Lightning port and bob’s your uncle. And it has a built-in iPhone mount, too.

Or the standard Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller ($59.99) works with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
But it doesn’t include an iPhone mount. Consider the OtterBox Mobile Gaming Clip ($29.95), which fits perfectly on the Xbox controller.

And the GameSir X2 Bluetooth just launched. This game controller has a split design that puts the buttons and joysticks on either side of the screen.

Incidentally, the GameSir G4 Pro fits neatly into the OtterBox Gaming Carry Case ($44.95).

GameSir provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.