REVIEW – Mobile gaming has been an interesting product area over the years, with phones evolving from barely playing Snake™ to having full-on console and PC ports in recent years. One of the most exciting new developments for mobile gaming has been sufficient network speeds to enable cloud-based gaming, where a server farm can do the heavy lifting and bring the latest triple-A games right to our phones on the go. However, trying to play controller-based games with touchscreen controls ranges from annoying to infuriating, so a controller is a must. The GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller looks to be a perfect console quality (or better) controller, at least judging from the spec sheet and marketing blurbs. I agreed to take it for a spin (playing hours of games for “work” is just delightful).
What is it?
The GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller is a controller designed to clamp onto a mobile phone (or similar sized USB-C device) in order to provide in-game controls (instead of on-screen touch controls). The controller works with most Android phones with Type-C ports, as well as the latest iPhones with Type-C.
What’s in the box?
- GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller
- Three additional joysticks (magnetically removed and attached)
- Manual and quick start guide
Design and features
The GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller is very similar to the now-ubiquitous Xbox One/Series S/X controller (which in my opinion is a great thing). The curve of the handles and button placement is instantly familiar to anyone who’s used these types of controllers, with a few small additions, like the “M” and screenshot buttons below the D-Pad.
The controller slides out to fit even the largest phones (up to 185 mm), and is not much larger than a regular Xbox controller so it was easy to take on a trip during the review period. It’s not as compact as the GameSir X2, but I’ll take the ergonomic curved handles over the more compact form factor any day. I do wish GameSir had included a nice carrying case like with the X2 though.
All of the buttons worked flawlessly for me through hours of gaming, no issues with press registration or travel.
The GameSir logo button below the right thumbstick lights up when connected to a device, and works as a Home/Xbox button (depending on the app you’re using).
Up top, we have shoulder bumpers and shoulder triggers. Both the thumbsticks and triggers are Hall Effect (magnet based) controllers, meaning they don’t have mechanical parts to wear out (leading to stick drift). If they are ever drifting, you can recalibrate the controller for a perfect centered position. I had no issues with stick drift during the review period, but I did have a trigger not registering at all, which was fixed by calibration and worked perfectly after. The thumbsticks are very similar in shape to native Xbox Series controllers, but with a bit grippier texture around the edges which I prefer now after a brief learning curve.
The underside of the controller has a USB-C charging passthrough port and a headphone jack. The audio jack is a nice touch: you often get a bit of latency in fast paced games with Bluetooth earbuds/headphones, so going wired eliminates that problem. Also note in the picture above the extra long USB-C connector, this pivots about 30 degrees to allow a phone to be inserted into it. I had no issues with my OnePlus Open with the factory slim case, but if you have anything besides a slim case you might need to remove the case to insert the phone. My phone also has a large camera bump, but there’s a nice recessed area on the left side of the phone platform to accommodate it.
The backside of the controller also has two triggers that can be mapped to any other button press in GameSir’s software. This can be a really nice feature in some games – sometimes your thumb is always busy controlling movement and it’s hard to break away to press one of the ABXY buttons.
I briefly tried each of the three extra thumbsticks to see if I’d like them more. I didn’t, but it’s nice to have them included just in case! To replace the thumbstick, the front of each side simply pulls off, and reattaches via magnets.
The GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller is plug and play, I tested first without installing their app at all, and Xbox GamePass as well as Diablo Immortal worked with no issues at all.
The app provides some settings, firmware updates, and then a series of suggestions and links to supported streaming apps (like Xbox GamePass and Steam Link). The app was easy to navigate, and the calibration menu helped me troubleshoot one trigger not working at first (it shows what buttons are being pressed live and then includes instructions on how to calibrate the controller).
The video above shows some of my streaming gameplay with the GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller. I did all my testing with my OnePlus Open (unfolded as shown in the video above). I really enjoyed every minute of it, and have zero complaints about the hardware and ergonomics.
On Android, there are multiple modes (which you can change by long pressing the two small black top buttons). The default mode supports most games, but there’s also an alternate Android controller mode, as well as a touch-replacement mode that they call G-Touch mode. This one is very nice to have because it lets you map spots or areas on your screen that can then be directly controlled by the joysticks and buttons. This mode requires the GameSir app to configure, but I’ve had issues in the past with multiple mobile controllers where certain games simply don’t work with said controller, and this G-Touch mode would solve that issue.
What I like
- Comfortable hand grips
- Nice feeling joysticks, triggers, and buttons.
- Low latency USB-C connection
What I’d change
- Would have loved a transport case to be included
- If including extra joysticks, maybe two of each style?
- Ability to easily move the ABXY buttons to different spots (for emulators or personal preference)
I love my gaming, and the GameSir G8 Galileo Type-C Wired Mobile Gaming Controller is the perfect complement to my shiny new big folding phone. I love that it’s plug and play with just about everything I do, but also has the G-Touch mode to map controls to touchscreen spots in case of incompatibility in the future. I foresee many hours in my future going through Xbox Gamepass games or streaming something like Elden Ring or The Witcher 3 from my PC to my couch or bed.