When it comes to smartphone gaming, I still love having physical buttons and an analog stick to play some of my favorite games and Gamesir The X3 fits that claim perfectly. Whether you choose to emulate, stream, or play a single-player game on your smartphone, you’ll eventually need the perfect accessory to avoid cumbersome touchscreen gameplay. This is where the USB-C gamepad fills that void and delivers a very similar Nintendo Switch experience. While USB-C gamepads like the Razer Kishi and previous Gamesir products still exist, the X3 may just be the best implementation of a periscope controller for a smartphone. After using Gamesir X3 extensively for about two weeks, here’s what we think of the gamepad:
Gamesir X3: Build quality, features and accessories
Gamesir X3 has been built to last and be beaten by players who want to play competitive games like Call of Duty Mobile or their favorite RPG. The facial buttons are surprisingly satisfying to click, and the trigger buttons feel great to use for shooting games. Having said that, the material used for the main body of the gamepad uses plastic as a material which can be uncomfortable for some users. However, on the flip side, the material is directly responsible for keeping the gamepad light as there is some significant weight added to the gamepad due to the cooling fan.
One feature that stands out from other gamepads, such as the Razer Kishi, is the inclusion of a large fan. Smartphones can often heat up when playing high graphics games and often result in throttling that directly affects performance. Even gaming smartphones with large internal cooling can often heat up and make it difficult for players to play games for longer periods of time. To address this common problem, Gamesir X3’s fan is a logical match and fits perfectly into the overall design.
As for customizations, Gamesir X3 has a wide range of accessories that can be used depending on your playing style. For example, if you enjoy playing platform games, the Gamesir X3 is equipped with a traditional D-Pad that feels great to use. However, if you prefer an Xbox Elite Controller-style D-Pad, you can swap it out with an additional D-Pad whenever you want. Similarly, the Analog sticks can be customized to your liking as you also get additional easily interchangeable thumbstick caps. If you prefer a longer analog stick, you can easily pop it out and swap it out with a longer one. These customization options also apply to the face buttons. Since the buttons are magnetically attached, you can easily remove them and rearrange them to your liking, as some players prefer the Xbox XBAY button layout.
Finally, in terms of connectivity, Gamesir X3 comes with two USB-C ports that can be used for two very different purposes. Since the Gamesir X3 connects directly to the smartphone’s USB-C port, one of the external ports can be used to charge the smartphone over the line. This USB-C port is strategically placed on the bottom right side of the gamepad so it won’t interfere with gameplay. In addition, the second external USB-C port is located directly below the large fan, which requires additional power to operate. This is where I find the design of Gamesir X3 a bit illogical because if players want to charge their smartphone and use the fan simultaneously, they will need to use two USB-C cables.
Gamesir X3: Performance & Usability
Since Gamesir X3 does not use Bluetooth connectivity, there is little to no input lag when using any of the buttons to play the game. This makes Gamesir X3 a perfect candidate for playing both competitive online games and single player titles. It also makes it the ideal accessory to have if you’re emulating your backed up games on Android devices. Gamesir X3 is compatible with almost any emulator application. In my testing it works fine with Retroarch, Dolphin, Citra, ePSXe, PPSSPP, M64Plus FZ and other confusing applications. Having said that, the only limitation you will run into is that you will need to map the Gamesir X3 buttons for each app separately. That’s not necessarily Gamesir’s fault, as most of these emulators are open source and have no official support for Type-C gamepads. Having said that, once you have all the buttons mapped, you can basically enjoy almost any game right from the PS1/PSP generation without any hiccups.
While Gamesir X3 is a perfect candidate for emulating games, it can also be used to gain an advantage in mobile games like BGMI, Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile. Since these games do not support USB-C gamepads natively, you can bypass their limitations. That’s because Gamesir X3’s official companion app lets you map every button with touchscreen controls for these games. Interestingly, you can use Gamersir’s app to map the buttons to the touchscreen controls yourself, or use one of the community-created mapping settings.
For other games like FortniteAsphalt, GTA, Minecraft and many other single player games, Gamesir X3 works natively and works well. Having said that, Gamesir X3 serves another great purpose: game streaming.
Gamesir X3: The Perfect Game Streaming Accessory
Gamesir X3 can also act as a perfect accessory for game streaming on the go. Although game streaming is not available in India, I managed to test it out on a localized network. Gamesir X3 works perfectly with Xbox Streaming App, Nvidia GeForce and Moonlight. Since the gamepad does not use a Bluetooth connection, the input lag is negligible. However, once 5G launches in India and game streaming becomes available, Gamesir X3 can be used to stream games anywhere as long as you have a stable 5G connection.
Essentially, Gamesir X3 becomes a gateway to access PC/Console quality games on smartphones via game streaming. Thanks to the design of the gamepad, you feel like you are playing high-fidelity graphics games on Nintendo Switch. While one check out real world game streaming Currently not able to over 5G network, I am confident that Gamesir X3 will be the best accessory for game streaming.
Gamesir X3 might just be the best thought out mobile gamepad designed for smartphones. It can be used to simulate games, play competitive online multiplayer matches, and stream games. It is also the only mobile gamepad that offers customization options to suit different playing styles. Having said that, by far the most important feature that Gamesir X3 implemented is its cooling fan. Powerful cooling fan on Gamesir X3 keeps your smartphone cool during intense gaming sessions, but it also makes the controller a bit bulkier than other options. Personally, I prefer the fan; However, if you want something more portable, the Gamesir X2 or Razer Kishi are a better option to consider.
Editor’s Rating: 4/5
- Cooling fan
- Customizable buttons
- Comfortable to use
- Excellent compatibility with applications
- Touch screen mapping
- Dedicated screenshot button
- Fans add a little weight
- Build quality could be better
- Not suitable for bulky phones