The GameSir G7 faces a tall task: to beat Microsoft's Official Xbox Controller at its own game. Priced almost identically to the OG, it can't claim a spot as the 'budget option', and almost immediately upon opening the box, you realise why.
The GameSir G7 isn't meant to be a budget option. Looking almost identical to the Xbox's own spawn, It also comes with an extra faceplate, to help you match it with your console (or PC). In a novel move, it also invites customisation with the faceplates being paint-friendly.
But as I took the controller out of the box, for my weeks-long period of using it for my much-needed downtime gaming, mostly on my PC, for this GameSir G7 review, I soon realised GameSir isn't just going for a slight aesthetic advantage: it has done what Microsoft has already done very well with its Official Xbox Controller, but better.
The first thing that struck me about the GameSir G7 is its sleek and stylish design. The controller looks almost identical to the original Xbox controller, which is a testament to its familiarity and ergonomics. However, the GameSir G7 comes with its unique touch, such as the textured buttons that provide a satisfying tactile experience while gaming. The controller's four rumble motors also deliver precise feedback, enhancing the immersive experience of playing games.
The controller I tested was the wired one, and it sports a high-quality fabric cord, which feels more premium than the standard rubber cable of most controllers. The cord's length is ample, and it doesn't tangle easily, which means I could comfortably play games at my desired distance without worrying about any cord-related interruptions.
One thing that sets the GameSir G7 apart from other controllers is the ability to swap out the faceplates, which are paint and decal-friendly too. This feature allows gamers to customise their controllers, giving them a look that reflects their personality.
I was impressed with the ease of swapping out the faceplates, which didn't require the controller apart. To switch, I simply had to unclick the one already attached via a small notch on the controller's top and click the other one on. They attach via several small magnets so will click very satisfyingly in place, if that's the sort of thing that gives you a thrill...
Two faceplates were included, a black and a white one, with GameSir not only enabling customisation, but in fact inviting it, even going so far as to feature design-your-controller contests on their website.
The GameSir G7 comes with a host of advanced features. The controller's high-speed, ultra-low input latency aims to deliver the ultimate competitive advantage, with a polling rate at 265Hz and input latency below 0.00377s. In human language, it's very quick to react to your inputs.
Another feature is the software that comes with it. The GameSir Nexus software allows gamers to create controller profiles by mapping buttons, adjusting sticks & trigger zones, configuring vibration levels, and more. You can save up to three profiles and use any of them when gaming starts, depending on the game you are playing. The software also enables gamers to update the controller's firmware, ensuring it stays up to date with the latest features and fixes.
The GameSir G7 also comes equipped with ALPS 3D joysticks, providing smooth and precise 360-degree control. The clickable L3/R3 buttons, located underneath the controller, give additional input options for play. And if you want to use a headset while gaming, the controller comes with a built-in 3.5mm audio jack, and next to it is a mic mute button, essential for when online multiplayer becomes a little too intense for PG language...
The GameSir G7's performance is nothing short of exceptional. The controller's ultra-low input latency is no oversell, as it responded quickly and without delay to any of my inputs. This feature makes it an excellent choice for competitive gamers who need an edge over their opponents. I found that the controller's customisable software was a big upside too, as I could create profiles that suit specific games, mapping the buttons according to my preference.
The joysticks are smooth and precise, making it easy to navigate through menus or engage in gameplay, made even easier with the textured edge along the outer edge of the top of the joystick, which gave me very precise control without fear of slippage. I also found the clickable L3/R3 buttons to be a nice addition, providing extra input options for play. The grip is as comfortable as the Microsoft one, too, thanks to GameSir realising you shouldn't try to fix something that ain't broke.
The LT/RT and LB/RB buttons tend to get considerable wear and tear for any serious gamer, and I always find that those buttons on the OG controller lose their responsiveness and spring a fair bit sooner than I'd like. However, after a couple of months of some heavy-duty button-smashing, there is still not a hint of give in the switches supporting those all-important buttons on the G7.
The GameSir G7 wired controller retails for around £49.99/$34.95, which is pretty much identical to the Official Xbox Controller. It's a good price for a great controller, and if you shop around or wait for sales events, you can probably score it for a little less than that.
Should I buy the GameSir G7?
The answer here is a resounding yes. Whenever I've needed a new controller for my Xbox and/or PC, the Official Xbox one has always been my choice. Until now. The GameSir G7 does everything Microsoft's own does, the maker smart enough to realise that you don't need to reinvent the wheel, retaining the original's sturdy build and excellent ergonomics, while improving the gaming experience for the user. It has great feedback, excellent grip, ample scope for customisation both inside and out, and it costs the same as the original. Yes, it's wired, but if you're old-school like yours truly and don't mind being tethered, it's a no-brainer.