When GameSir reached out and asked if I wanted to test out their newest game controller and write a review, I had to stop and think about it.
I mean, to test it properly, I would have to put in some serious gaming hours on a variety of different games. Sounds awful, right?
So, with my arm fully twisted, (ahem), I reluctantly agreed and fired up my Xbox to see what this thing was capable of.
The G7 SE is a wired controller that works with Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and Windows 10/11 computers.
I know most people like to use wireless controllers with their consoles, but a wired controller does have its advantages. That advantage is longevity.
You see, wireless controllers have a bad habit of dying halfway through a game when the battery runs out. That’s not fun for anyone. Thankfully, the GameSir G7 SE just keeps on going, and the three-meter, detachable USB-C cable means you can sit almost anywhere to play.
The G7 SE has a 3.5mm headphone jack and is almost exactly the same size as the Xbox Wireless Controller from Microsoft, but because it has no batteries, it’s about 60 grams lighter.
Key Features of the GameSir G7 SE
Of course, there’s no real need to get a third-party controller unless it offers something that the OEM controller does not. But, the G7 SE does.
The GameSir controller uses Hall effect sticks to prevent drift. The Nintendo Switch was notorious for drift in its Joy-Con Wireless Controllers, but Sony and Microsoft have also had issues.
Most often, drift is caused by wear and tear on the analog sticks. That’s why it’s great to have the Hall effect technology. It uses magnetic sensors to ensure a contactless system that has a claimed accuracy of up to 0.1mm, although I am not sure how you or I could realistically measure that.
The G7 SE also has two back buttons (paddles) that can be mapped to buttons of your choice. Each button has a hardware lock that you can use to disable them from accidental button presses when not in use.
The ABXY buttons are membrane buttons. They are not as “clicky” as a standard Xbox controller, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and they work just fine.
In addition to the regular Xbox buttons, there is a mute button next to the 3.5mm headphone jack. This makes it quick and easy to mute your mic when you are in the middle of the action.
Additional headset controls can be found by pressing the M button and up and down on the D-pad to adjust the headset volume. You can also change the mix between game volume and chat volume by pressing the M button and using left and right on the D-pad.
Finally, there are four vibration motors: two in the grips and two in the triggers. Not everyone likes the vibration effect, so you will be pleased to know that you can turn those on or off, or adjust the intensity.
Customizing the G7 SE Controller
And that leads us nicely to the customization options. There is a GameSir app for Xbox and Windows. Once you install it, you can set up four custom profiles for your controller.
Each profile lets you configure things like stick sensitivity, vibration strength, and button mapping. You can also opt to use a hair trigger, which is great for first-person shooters, but terrible for driving simulators.
I used different profiles for different games, and switching between them couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is press the M button and one of the ABXY buttons. The controller will flash and vibrate briefly to let you know that the profile has been changed.
All G7 SE controllers also come with a magnetic faceplate. You won’t know it unless you look for it, but you can remove the paint-friendly top cover and decorate it any way you want.
Once you are done, it will snap back into place. I hope GameSir releases some after-market faceplates with printed designs because my art skills are not much to write home about.
What I Liked
The G7 SE feels sturdy and well-built. It’s not a weird shape, and the quality feels as good as an OEM controller. The buttons are nice to press and the Hall effect sticks are a joy to use. In terms of gameplay, this controller does everything that you need from it, and more.
But, let’s talk about that cable for a minute. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I did enjoy having a wired controller. Yes, you can connect Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless controller to your Xbox, but I never did have a cable long enough for that, so I always used it wirelessly.
Using a wireless controller inevitably means that your batteries will die, and sometimes you do too. While you scramble around for batteries or a spare controller, your character is defenseless and often meets an untimely end. Not so with the wired GameSir G7 SE.
I also liked the customization options. The ability to map and switch between profiles makes this a very versatile controller. Especially if you share your Xbox with others in your household.
The headset volume controls were another welcome addition. My headset has inline controls that can be hard to find or adjust on the go. Having volume, mute, and mixing options right there on the controller was super handy to have.
What I Didn’t Like
When you move from an OEM controller to a third-party controller, there is always an adjustment period. I have been using the G7 SE for just over a week now, but muscle memory can be hard to break.
For instance, on the Xbox Wireless Controller, the view and menu buttons are below the central Xbox buttons. On the GameSir G7 SE, they are above it.
That’s not a big deal when you pull up the map on the Battlebus to find somewhere to drop with your squad. However, if you are running for your life while trying to find a reboot van to call in reinforcements, you want to find those buttons immediately and without looking down. So, that takes some time to get used to.
Another thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the contrast on the ABXY buttons. Or more specifically, the Y button. Maybe I am being picky here, but in low light, the shade of yellow that GameSir chose for the Y does not look the best against the white ABXY buttons.
Of course, seasoned Xbox gamers like myself know where the Y button is, and I understand the desire to match the colors on the original controllers, but I still feel there could have been an improvement here, for accessibility, if nothing else.
Lastly, and this is also kind of picky, the vibration motors can sound a little too buzzy. They are more high-pitched than the Microsoft equivalent. The motors don’t lack strength, but they do sound a little different.
Pricing & Availability
The GameSir G7 SE currently sells on Amazon for $44.99. However, if you want an extra faceplate for customization (black or white), you will have to purchase the controller directly from GameSir for $49.99.
GameSir is based in Hong Kong and offers free worldwide shipping. That said, if you don’t live in that part of the world and want your controller to arrive as fast as possible, I would look at ordering on Amazon.
I think $44.99 is a good price for the G7 SE. It’s at least $10 cheaper than the Xbox Wireless Controller, and it also comes with a free month of Game Pass Ultimate, (new subscribers only). Third-party controllers with features like these often cost a lot more.
I enjoyed using the GameSir G7 SE, and I have no problem saying that it has become a permanent part of my gaming setup.
Are there things that I wish I could change? Absolutely, but for me, the pros far outweigh the cons. The G7 SE is a great controller, and well worth your money if you need to add something like this to your current setup.