GameSir G4 Pro Multi-Platform Game Controller
A couple of months ago I reviewed the GameSir X2 Bluetooth and came away suitably impressed. The X2 Bluetooth was easy to use, felt great and appeared to give me a competitive advantage in Call of Duty Mobile (my rank is now better than 86% of Call of Duty Mobile players and rising). One of the only downsides of the X2 Bluetooth was the lack of analogue triggers. It was also strictly a mobile device. As GameSir offer a wide range of controller options, I decided to put the GameSir G4 Pro Multi-Platform Game Controller through its paces and find out if it was as good as the X2!
Disclosure: GameSir provided Blog of Dad with the GameSir G4 Pro for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about GameSir products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.
GameSir G4 Pro
The GameSir G4 Pro is an impressive controller that has delivered more than I expected. It is well constructed, has some innovative features and is extremely versatile. The G4 Pro is comfortable to hold, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable to use.
Some issues with Android key assignments were the only negative with this otherwise excellent controller, and if they are resolved with future firmware updates, the G4 Pro makes a compelling argument for being the go-to multipurpose controller.
Even without an update, the GameSir G4 Pro works fantastically with cloud-based Xbox gaming on Android phones, and all of my tested gaming on a PC.
Easy to use
Multiple connection options
Pleasing feel and gaming experience
Extra functions (turbo, screenshot)
Works well with the xCloud Beta
Can be remapped for specific games
Remapping possible, but not immediately obvious how
Phone holder not as robust as on the X2 Bluetooth
GameSir G4 Pro – First Impressions
The GameSir G4 Pro is a multi-platform gamepad that is designed to be both enjoyable to use and flexible. At first glance, the G4 Pro somewhat resembles a wireless Xbox controller, although there are some key differences that I will explore shortly.
The mostly-black design looks great and the wrap-around hand grips provide a comfortable hold on the controller. Despite having a similar layout to an Xbox controller, the detailing and straight edges give the GameSir G4 Pro a distinctive look. This is far from a mere clone.
I have reasonably large hands and was pleased with how comfortable the G4 Pro feels. Every button and trigger is easily reachable without performing wrist gymnastics, which makes for smooth and enjoyable game play. At the same time, I don’t feel cramped and extended play is comfortable.
That extended play comfort is further enhanced by the weight of the G4 Pro. It feels solid, but not heavy (257 grams), and the balance is good. Even with my Samsung Galaxy A52 in the built-in holder, the comfort remains good, if a little top-heavy.
That built-in holder is a key feature of the GameSir G4 Pro – one that separates it from many other Xbox-style controllers and signals its intentions as a multi-platform powerhouse. A strong-feeling hinge clicks confidently into the two possible viewing positions and feels secure during play. There is no loose movement in the hinge. The adjustable holder feels a little less sturdy, although I fear that I may have been spoilt by the superb X2 Bluetooth setup.
All of the buttons, triggers and thumbsticks have a reassuringly springy feel. The d-pad too feels capable – not the best, but far from the worst around.
GameSir G4 Pro – Connectivity
One of the big selling points of the GameSir G4 Pro is its broad-ranging connectivity. It boasts support for iOS, Android, PC and Switch. That’s quite impressive! In an even more impressive bit of attention to detail, the X,Y,A and B buttons are all magnetically attached, and can be reconfigured to change between the Xbox layout and the Switch layout. There is even a Six-Axis Gyroscope to really enable Switch users to enjoy the G4 Pro!
The GameSir G4 Pro uses Bluetooth to connect to mobile devices and the Switch, while USB can be used to connect to a PC. There is also a wireless USB receiver hidden in the base of the G4 if you prefer a wireless PC controller. I used the G4 Pro Bluetooth connection with my Samsung Galaxy A52 and it connected flawlessly the first time.
Once connected to a device, the GameSir G4 Pro will automatically reconnect when powered on. This has worked well with my phone – no messing about to reconnect required.
When using the GameSir G4 Pro with multiple devices, you do need to use a key combination when powering up to switch device. X + Home will reconnect with the PC, while A + Home connects to Android. The B and Y (+ Home) buttons connect to iOS and Switch respectively. Don’t worry, you don’t have to memorise these combinations! They are printed on the back of the GameSir G4 Pro. The Home button conveniently lights up in corresponding colours to indicate which device your G4 Pro is connected to – handy if you are using it with more than one device.
It took me a few goes to realise that I had to switch connection type when moving between my Android phone and PC. This was a minor source of frustration until I realised that the gamepad was still talking to my phone even when plugged into the PC via USB. I should have paid greater attention to the manual – it is clearly stated in there!
I also tried the wireless USB receiver in my PC and again, it worked immediately. Interestingly, because the G4 Pro was already assigned to the PC (when I connected with USB), it automatically connected to the wireless setup.
I have not tested the GameSir G4 Pro with a Switch or iOS, but my positive experience with Android and PC leads me to believe that it would be equally smooth.
The GameSir G4 Pro is powered by a 800 mAh battery, which provides plenty of game time. I couldn’t say exactly how long, because after quite a few hours of testing I still haven’t fully drained my first full charge. I think it’s fair to assume that the G4 Pro battery will survive some pretty epic gaming sessions!
GameSir G4 Pro – Use
I loved the X2 Bluetooth for general Android gaming, but with Project xCloud delivering full-blown Xbox titles to my phone, I wondered whether a controller with analogue triggers would be a better option.
The GameSir G4 Pro works brilliantly with the Xbox Game Streaming Beta! Out of the box its key configurations have worked with all of the games I have tested – 1st Person Shooters, driving games and fighting games have all worked extremely well! The analogue triggers were a particularly welcome addition, providing good range and control during driving games. With the full release of Xbox Game Streaming for Australians slated for later this year, I can’t wait to put the GameSir G4 Pro to good use!
UPDATE – The GameSir G4 Pro works with Call of Duty Mobile
The GameSir G4 Pro was not quite as great for my favourite Android mobile game – Call of Duty Mobile. There is an odd quirk with this game where the right bumper registers as the right trigger. It is not a huge deal, but it does make a noticeable difference on the G4 Pro, particularly as the bumper can sometimes be a little tricky to register when holding the G4 Pro in a certain way. While certain GameSir controllers can easily be remapped in the GameSir app, there doesn’t yet appear to be that option for the G4 Pro. Hopefully a future firmware update brings that customisability, because the G4 Pro is an otherwise excellent controller in Call of Duty! For now, I will be sticking with the excellent X2 Bluetooth for this game.
The GameSir G4 Pro can, in fact, be mapped to work perfectly with Call of Duty Mobile! The trick is to reconnect the controller in G-Touch mode. To do this, press G + Home to turn on the gamepad, then navigate to the GameSir app. In the app you will now be able to add Call of Duty as a game in your collection. You will also need to grant the GameSir app permission to add the all-important floating button.
When you start Call of Duty in this way, you then have the option to map your controller buttons to the corresponding part of the touch screen! In theory, this should work for other games too.
X = Home connects the GameSir G4 Pro to the PC. Both the USB and wireless options work well, with stable connections produced every time I have tried to connect. The GameSir G4 Pro produces a reassuring rumble from its (pleasingly powerful) asymmetric motors to confirm the connection.
The G4 Pro is ready to go almost immediately. A quick Windows message appeared to inform me that the G4 Pro was set up and ready to go. From there it is simply a matter of jumping into games, checking your ideal button configuration and remapping accordingly, and then enjoying the fun!
For a long time I was primarily a console gamer, with sports games like FIFA a heavy part of my rotation. Since ditching the console and relying almost solely on PC for my gaming fix, I have tended to avoid trying to play those games. Even on my brilliant mechanical and optical gaming keyboards, games like FIFA just don’t feel… right.
So naturally, the first game that I tested with the GameSir G4 Pro was FIFA 21. With EA now a big part of Xbox Game Pass for PC, a whole wealth of excellent sports games are available to me.
Playing FIFA 21 with the GameSir G4 Pro on PC was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Frankly, it just about killed any desire that I had to drop money on a console. I realised that a proper gamepad had been the missing piece in my gaming puzzle, and now my setup is almost perfect!
Even with the wireless connection there was no noticeable latency. The GameSir G4 Pro felt fast and precise. Each press of a trigger, button or thumb stick felt confident and reliable. The inbuilt rumble was strong and satisfying – especially when I slotted my first goal against Portsmouth in front of a home crowd! Frankly, I hadn’t expected such satisfying feedback from such an affordable controller.
I jumped into my favourite racing game, Forza Horizon 4, to further test the ability of the G4 Pro. Normally I play with the mighty Logitech G920 Driving Force wheel, so I know how good this game can feel! The experience with the GameSir G4 Pro in Horizon 4 was fantastic! The thumbsticks feel fast, accurate and responsive. This enabled me to fly down gravel backroads in highly inappropriate cars with a great feeling of confidence. If anything, the fine controls of the G4 Pro made me feel even more confident than when using the wheel.
The vibration through my hands as I swung my Ferrari dangerously through gravel-covered corners was very pleasing! I have read in forums that a controller is actually better for mastering such dark arts as drifting in Horizon 4, and after using the G4 Pro I’d believe it. Obviously I’m not about to ditch the steering wheel setup for racing any time soon, but I would also have no hesitation picking up the G4 Pro and having a thoroughly good time!
The Home button launches Xbox Game Bar, which is handy for fast access to certain widgets, social functions and performance metrics. Lifting the phone holder reveals the screenshot button and turbo button. These seem a little hard to get to, although the reality is that they are buttons I rarely use. I tested the screenshot button and it worked perfectly with the PC, taking a near instant snapshot of the action.
I couldn’t think of a sensible use for the turbo button off the top of my head, so I jumped into Halo and tried assigning it to random buttons. It was easy to engage – just tap the turbo button while long-pressing the desired action. Turbo can be assigned to multiple buttons – I made both melee and jump turbo (with amusing results). Cancelling the turbo assignments is as simple as double-tapping the turbo button. This removes turbo from all assigned buttons. I’m sure this will be a very useful function to have in the right context – I just haven’t figured out what that is yet.
GameSir G4 Pro – Final Thoughts
The GameSir G4 Pro is an impressive controller that has delivered more than I expected. It is well constructed, has some innovative features and is extremely versatile. The G4 Pro is comfortable to hold, responsive and thoroughly enjoyable to use. Some issues with Android key assignments were the only negative with this otherwise excellent controller, and if they are resolved with future firmware updates, the G4 Pro makes a compelling argument for being the go-to multipurpose controller. Even without an update, the GameSir G4 Pro works fantastically with cloud-based Xbox gaming on Android phones, and all of my tested gaming on a PC.