We’re living in a golden age of gaming, playing the latest titles and reminiscing how far the gaming industry has come, both in terms of hardware and graphics. However, if we had to pick an area that has seen the most improvements, its hardware, specifically controllers. Now, controllers come in various shapes and sizes, but some of the popular choices are the official Xbox and Designed for Xbox controllers, which work on both PC and Xbox. In this review, we have the GameSir G7, an Xbox-certified controller that ticks almost all boxes.
GameSir reached out to us to review the G7, I was pretty excited to get my hands on it. And sure enough, I was pretty impressed by the overall ergonomics of controllers and how they’re better than keyboards and mice for certain games. At the end of this review, let’s also look at if it’s worth the price.
GameSir G7 Review
Before heading to the contents of the review, let’s look at the box contents of the GameSir G7.
- GameSir G7
- A braided 3-meter USB Type-C cable
- A white magnetic front plate
- A GameSir Sticker
- User’s manual
- A redeemable code for one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
|Compatibility||Xbox and PC|
|Connectivity||Wired — 3m Detachable USB-C Cable Included|
(No Bluetooth connectivity)
|Audio||3.5mm Headphone Jack with Mic and Mute Button|
|ABXY Buttons||5 Million Actuation Tactile Microswitches|
|Thumbstick/Joysticks||ALPS Hall Effect Magnetic Thumbsticks with Low-Fiction Ring|
|Triggers||Hall Effect Magnetic Analog Triggers|
|Rear Buttons||Two Rear Remappable Buttons (M1 and M2)|
|Product Size||152 x 103 x 63 mm / 5.98 x 4.06 x 2.48 in|
|Net Weight||256g / 0.56 lbs|
|Package Size||160 x 118 x 113mm / 6.30 x 4.65 x 4.45 in|
|Software||GameSir software for tweaking and customizing the controller experience.|
GameSir G7: Design and Build Quality
The G7 boasts a design that resonates quite a bit with the original Xbox controller, and rightfully so because it is an Xbox-certified controller. The build quality is excellent, and the overall package feels very sturdy and inspires confidence in hand. I have average-sized hands, and so far, I have no complaints with regard to comfort.
The controller, by default, comes with the black front plate installed, but swapping the same with the included white front plate is a piece of cake since the plates are held by pretty strong magnets. Personally, I like the white color better because it goes well with the black textured back and looks great.
Speaking of the back, much like the recent Xbox controllers, the back of the controller, where the lower half of your ring and pinky fingers rest, is textured. The same is the case with the lower sections of the Left and Right bumpers and Triggers. This not only enhances the grip of the controller but also the overall look. However, it’s also an invitation for dust and grime buildup, which may require you to regularly clean your controller and clean your hands before picking it up.
One of the minor gripes I have with the controller buttons is with the legend. Under bad lighting conditions, it’s hard to make up what each button does, and I would’ve much preferred if the legend was white. You could get a hang of it soon, but I thought it was something worth mentioning.
GameSir G7: Ports and Controls
The Type-C port is located on the top of the controller and is recessed quite deep, which is one of the grimes that I have with the G7. As it’s buried deep inside, not all Type-C cables will fit. Now, on one hand, this might be a good thing for the Type-C port on the controller because there’d be zero strain on it. On the other hand, if the included cable breaks or goes missing, GameSir doesn’t sell a Type-C cable; hence, you might need to scour the internet and try multiple cables.
There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom with a microphone button right beside it. The controller has a typical Xbox layout, an Xbox button, and two action buttons. However, the G7 has two more programmable buttons, one which is set to take screenshots by default, and the other is set to nothing. The D-pad buttons require slightly more actuation force than the original Xbox controller, but we’re sure they’ll get lighter the more you use them.
Not everyone might like the ABXY-pad because of its clickiness due to the mechanical key switches underneath. I faced no issues using it, and the switches and clickiness kind of grew on me after some time. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, since the majority of controller owners have grown used to membrane ABXY buttons. Sure, it takes away the same charisma of the membrane ABXY keys and their feedback, but the mechanical keys aren’t bad.
The analog sticks are potentiometer-based ALPS joysticks, while the triggers have hall effect magnetic sensors. The rubber around the thumb grips is also textured and improves the overall grip. Like the back of the controller, the triggers, left button, and right buttons are textured for enhanced grip. Although, the triggers are not adaptive like PlayStation 5’s dual-sense controllers. The controller has four vibration motors — two above and two beneath, in the grip (More about them later).
GameSir G7 Gaming Experience
I’m a Linux guy, and while the controller works fine on most Linux Distros and Steam Deck, to get the most out of it, I had to boot into my Windows installation, which had been eating dust for the past month or two. I also redeemed the included Gamepass Ultimate code and was pleasantly surprised by how well the platform integrates with Windows. Enough about Windows, the games that I tried were mostly racing games like Forza Horizon 5 and Burnout Paradise Remastered, as they can get the most out of the haptics in the controller.
The haptics are on par with the official Xbox controller — The motors on the triggers can get pretty sharp, whereas the rumble in the stem can get pronounced. Besides, you can tune the same alongside mapping and adjusting the buttons and triggers in the GameSir Nexus app.
Speaking of the app, it’s very comprehensive and allows you to tune and adjust quite literally everything. It is easily one of the things that set the G7 apart from the official Xbox controller. Besides, thanks to the 3.5mm headphone jack with a dedicated mic button (which is also absent in the official controller), I could quickly mute my microphone during certain instances, and the overall experience was excellent.
I wasn’t the only one who thought the analog sticks and triggers were noticeably smoother on the G7 than the official Xbox controllers. Coincidentally, GameSir sent the G7 to David, one of our contributors, and here are his thoughts on the same.
The analog sticks are incredibly smooth. The low-friction ring on the faceplate makes movement along the perimeter of the throw to be much smoother than both my PS5 and Xbox One controllers. The Xbox One, for more of an apples-to-apples comparison, feels smooth on its own, but when used following the G7 it almost feels gritty in contrast.David McElheran
His description of the mechanical ABXY keys was also really well put together.
The other buttons have a satisfying tactile feeling. I can’t tell how the actuation force differs from the Xbox One controller because the tactile feedback on the Xbox One controller is present at the very beginning of the button throw, but on the G7 the feedback seems to be produced by the button bottoming out. Because of this, the peak force required for actuation occurs at different points in the throw. This changes the feeling of the buttons dramatically. The Xbox One has a bit stronger feedback because it occurs at the beginning of the throw, it’s very clear whereas the G7’s feedback ends up being a composite of the microswitch and the button cover reaching the end of the throw together. I prefer the tactile feeling of the Xbox One controller, but not by much and it might just be more of a habitual attachment.David McElheran
GameSir should consider making a Wireless version
The absence of Bluetooth could easily be a deal breaker for lots of people, and I wish the G7 gets a wireless version. Price is another reason why people might skip the G7 and opt for the Xbox controller. For $45 and the features it brings to the table, we feel the controller is well-priced.
However, the wired nature of the same is enough excuse for people to spend $10 extra and get the official Xbox controller. Or perhaps to make it more appealing, GameSir could consider lowering the price of the G7 to, say, $35. It turns out GameSir has reduced the price of the G7 to $37, which makes it worth buying.
GameSir is also banking on G7’s customization aspect. However, to focus on the core functionality and experience of the controller, we stuck to reviewing the specifics. Although, my colleague David will have a separate take on customizing the controller, which you can read here.
GameSir G7 Controller Review
The G7 is customizable from both inside and outside, is made of high-quality materials, and feels great to use. The extra features, such as the mute button and a 3.5mm headphone jack, make it well worth the price of $45, only to be let down by its wired nature. The G7 may not appeal to a larger audience because many would still consider the official Xbox wireless controller for $49.