This is the USB-C game controller your iPhone 15 needs [Review]


GameSir G8 Galileo review★★★★
GameSir G8 Galileo makes iPhone gaming more fun.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Wrap your iPhone 15 in the GameSir G8 Galileo and you have the physical buttons, triggers and sticks needed for high-end gaming. And it has a USB-C port so it works with Apple’s latest handsets. Plus the game controller includes swappable sticks, pass-through charging, a headphone jack and more.

I tested GameSir G8 Galileo with my iPhone 15. I had a heck of a good time.

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GameSir G8 Galileo review

Apple’s latest iPhone chips have become so fast that they can handle console-quality games. And that’s not theoretical — the full version of Resident Evil Village recently launched for the iPhone 15 Pro. And Resident Evil 4 will be out for the handsets in December.

And those are just the start. Amazon Luna+ and other cloud-gaming services bring a wide array of console and PC games to iPhone.

But trying to play these titles with virtual controls on a touchscreen is frustrating. Trust me… I have plenty of unpleasant experience.

Fortunately, iOS supports external game controllers right out of the box, no additional software driver needed. And with something like the GameSir G8 Galileo, playing RPGs and other advanced games is much more fun.

With controls you can touch, it’s much more like sitting drown in with your PC or console. The screen is a lot smaller, but that makes gaming more portable.

iPhone game controller with all the extras

GameSir G8 Galileo
G8 Galileo is like a bigger and better Joy-Con for your iPhone.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The GameSir G8 Galileo mimics the design of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con. Or you can think of it as an Xbox controller that’s been cut in half and your iPhone inserted in the middle.

I’ve tested quite a few iPhone game controllers over the years and this one is the largest. The benefit of that is that it feels the most like an Xbox controller. The downside is it’s more to tote around.

To get specific, I measure it at 8.5 inches wide by 4.1 inches tall by 2.0 inches thick. It’s 0.55 pounds. It’s easily portable, but not pocketable.

Another advantage of the G8’s size is it can easily handle the largest iPhones. My 6.7-inch one fits nicely. There’s even plenty of room for the hefty camera hump.

Plus, there’s space for a 3.5mm headset jack. Plug in a pair of headphones so you can game without bothering anyone.

This is a solidly-built piece of kit. The exterior is mostly plastic, but it strongly resists my efforts to twist or flex it more than. a slight amount. And I’ve used GameSir’s products before and they’ve stood the test of time.

That said, anything covered in buttons and sticks is inherently breakable. Don’t mistreat the accessory and expect it to last for years.

GameSir G8 Galileo has every button, stick, d-pad and trigger you'd expect.
GameSir G8 Galileo has every button, stick, d-pad and trigger you’d expect.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

USB-C convenience, not Bluetooth

To insert your handset, start by plugging it into the GameSir G8’s USB-C connector. This swivels up to make an easy connection. Then stretch out the two sides of the controller until it wraps around the handset. After a bit of practice this process becomes something I do without thought.

There are multiple advantages of USB-C. For one, there’s no chance of latency because the game controller is directly plugged into the iPhone.

Also, the accessory does not require a battery — it gets its power from your handset. As long as your iPhone is ready to go, the G8 is too. And if the battery in your iOS device is low, plug a USB-C cable into the controller and the handset will get charged up.

Plus, you never have to pair the peripheral. Two people can swap it back and forth by simply plugging it in. And that includes many Android users.

A downside of USB-C for iPhone users is on the new 2023 models have that type of port. The GameSir G8 Galileo isn’t for iPhone 14 or earlier models with a Lightning port..

Also, the placement of the connector means there’s no room for thick iPhone cases. Your case has to be 1mm thick or less.

Buttons, triggers and sticks

GameSir G8 Galileo even has R4 and L4 on the bottom.
GameSir G8 Galileo even has R4 and L4 on the back.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

I’ve spent more hours than I can possibly count with a game controller in my hands. The new mobile model from GameSir feels very familiar. All the buttons, sticks and triggers are exactly where they’re supposed to be. I picked it up and started playing without ever fumbling to find a button or D-pad.

If it’s not obvious from the pictures, G8 Galileo has a complete set of controls. That includes R4 and L4 on the back, and these are programmable. Speaking of which, there are some limited capabilities to reconfigure the buttons, like switching A-B and X-Y.

And the buttons are nicely clicky and the sticks are responsive. I stopped thinking about the controller within a couple of minutes and just played my game.

If you don’t like the size of a stick, G8 Galileo ones with a couple of alternatives in different sizes and thicknesses.

The sticks and triggers use the Hall effect so they won’t develop drift. That makes this controller an improvement over the Joy-Con.

Let’s play some games!

To test the GameSir G8 Galileo, I used to play a range of games with my iPhone 15. (I love my job.)

I started with Diablo Immortal (which I don’t like as much as the other Diablo games, but that’s not important right now).

Cloud-gaming services are the best way to get console-quality games on an iPhone, so next I tried the G8 with Amazon Luna+. Lego DC Supervillains is an old favorite so I played a couple of levels of that.

And I tested the clip-on accessory with Spyder, a fun Apple Arcade game, just to cover all the bases.

Whether the application was local or running on a cloud server, GameSir’s controller worked perfectly in my tests. There was no noticeable latency or any other problems. Honestly, this is what I expected. The software for the accessory is built into iOS, and without the risks of a wireless connection there’s almost no way there could be latency.

If you want to know what’s available, you can find a list of hundreds of iOS games that the G8 Galileo definitely works with on the GameSir website. And most Apple Arcade games support controllers, too.

GameSir video

Watch a video by the manufacturer of this game controller to see it in action:

GameSir G8 Galileo final thoughts

Gaming on a iPhone is so much better with an external controller. And the new one from GameSir is an ideal way to take advantage of the console-quality titles that are now headed for the iPhone 15 Pro series.


As great as the accessory is, it’s also the largest product of its type I’ve ever tested. And it’s not compatible with iPhone 14 or earlier.


GameSir G8 Galileo costs $79.99. That’s in the same price range as other well-made game controllers.

Buy it from: GameSir or Amazon

If you’re looking for a quality alternative that’s a bit more portable, check out my recent review of Turtle Beach Atom Controller ($79.99). Or the new USB-C version of BackBone One ($99.99) uses a design similar to the G8, but somewhat smaller.

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.


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