Windows Central Verdict
The GameSir G7 Wired Controller for Xbox & PC pairs stellar build quality, respectable controls, and an enticing array of features with an attractive price tag. Personal nitpicks aside, this is an excellent option for anyone who can live with a cable attached to their controller.
Wonderful construction with easily swappable faceplates
Generally great controls and button actions
Seamless rear button remapping and integrated audio controls
Easy-to-use app on Xbox and PC gives you plenty of control
No wireless option
Ergonomics and some controls come down to personal preference
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GameSir is a global manufacturer of gaming accessories and peripherals hailing from China, most recently known for its array of mobile gaming controllers. The GameSir G7 Wired Controller for Xbox & PC is the company's latest attempt to deliver a pro-grade controller on a budget, and it may be its best effort yet.
In my time with the GameSir G7, I noted the rock-solid build quality, surprising number of features and additions, and an ease of use I simply wasn't expecting. General nitpicks regarding the controls and ergonomics and the inevitable existence of a frustrating wire don't detract from what is another fantastic affordable controller option for Xbox and Windows PC gamers.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review unit provided by GameSir. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
G7 Wired Controller: Pricing and availability
GameSir is based in China but has a global distribution network that ensures the G7 Wired Controller is available around the world. However, you may not find GameSir stocked at many of the most popular retailers, with Amazon seemingly being the best place to go for most of GameSir's products and accessories. This could change in the future, as the G7 Wired Controller is still a relatively recent release and GameSir is continuing to rise in popularity.
|Category||GameSir G7 Wired Controller for Xbox|
|Connectivity||Wired, USB Type-C to Type-A, 3m|
|Controls||ABXY face buttons|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Dual analog joysticks|
|Row 3 - Cell 0||Dual analog, hall effect triggers|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Dual bumpers|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||D-Pad with audio controls|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Xbox, Share, View, Menu buttons|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||Rear M1 and M2 remappable buttons|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Master "M" button for on-device control|
|Features||Four rumble motors, one in each grip and trigger|
|Row 10 - Cell 0||GameSir Nexus Xbox & PC app|
|Row 11 - Cell 0||Optional "hair trigger" setting|
|Row 12 - Cell 0||Instant remapping via the "M" button|
|Platforms||Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One|
|Row 14 - Cell 0||Windows 10 & Windows 11|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone jack|
|Row 16 - Cell 0||Built-in audio controls with D-Pad and "M" button|
The GameSir G7 Wired Controller retails for USD $44.99, making it a value-driven option that's right in line with many other similar wired controllers, and more affordable than the official Xbox Wireless Controller.
G7 Wired Controller: Build quality and design
When I first held the GameSir G7 Wired Controller, I immediately observed two things: one, this controller exhibits the same effortless lightness as many wired controllers due, thanks to the lack of an internal battery; two, this controller feels very well put together. I have to commend GameSir for crafting a controller with no noticeable flexing or creaking (except when I deliberately search it out near the thinner plastic around the triggers).
Everything feels meticulously constructed, and I never once worried that the GameSir G7 would eventually fall apart on me. GameSir has also implemented some features that may bode well for the controller's long-term durability, although I understandably can't test that after my limited time with it.
Firstly, the G7's two analog joysticks are encased by "Anti-Friction Glide Rings," which are essentially strips of smooth plastic that sit between the joystick and the controller casing. These rings are meant to reduce the friction of the joystick pushing against the controller at its maximum setting, thus providing a more comfortable experience and (theoretically) combating wear and tear on the joystick stems.
Out of the box, I did notice that the right joystick felt effortlessly smooth to rotate at its maximum axis, especially compared to my daily driver, an Xbox Wireless Controller. However, the left joystick was significantly rougher and less comfortable than any controller I've ever used, which is what made me notice the discrepancy in the first place. It wasn't until I was researching the G7 for the purpose of this review that I realized GameSir was advertising this smoothness as a feature. Fortunately, this seems to be a very minor issue specifically with the default black faceplate that came installed on my unit — swapping to the white faceplate made both joysticks feel as smooth as butter.
Second, the GameSir G7 employs hall effect sensors for its LT and RT triggers, a unique type of sensor also used by some flight simulator setups like the Honeycomb Alpha Flight Controls. Hall effect sensors detect movement via subtle changes in magnetic fields, which, in theory, makes them more sensitive, more granular, and smoother than traditional solutions. It's true, the G7's triggers feel perfectly linear and tracked my every action with ease, but hall effect sensors also hold another potential advantage: their durability.
Finally, as hinted at before, the GameSir G7 Wired Controller features easily swappable faceplates. You get both black and white in the box, and GameSir advertises that both faceplates are paint friendly and can be easily customized for a truly unique controller. I didn't try this, content with simple black (and the option for white), but I was concerned that the faceplates would contribute to any build quality issues. Instead, I feel this is a major plus for the GameSir G7, as the extra layer of plastic makes the controller feel even more rigid in the hand.
The magnets used to connect the faceplates to the G7 are also secure enough that I never noticed movement or flexing, to the point where I frankly forgot the faceplates were removable at all after using the controller for a few days. When you do want to swap faceplates, it's simple enough to pry them off the controller with your bare hands (even with the cable attached) and effortlessly snap on the new faceplate.
G7 Wired Controller: Ergonomics and comfort
GameSir clearly considered the design of the Xbox Wireless Controller when building the G7, and it shows. The G7 Wired Controller looks very close to the default Xbox peripheral but is slightly smaller in every dimension. This compact design, and lighter weight, may make it more suitable for players with smaller hands than Xbox's own controller.
Both the handles and the triggers are nicely textured with grips, and my hands or fingers never slipped, even when in the middle of an intense gaming session. I also didn't notice a build-up of grime on the controller during my time with it, with the plastic used feeling resilient and without being uncomfortable to touch. My only complaint with the ergonomics of the controller is the aggressive curve of the handles into the trigger housing, which is far more substantial than that of the Xbox Wireless Controller.
This curve seemed to force my fingers away from the trigger house to rest more on the grips, which wasn't uncomfortable on its own. However, reaching for the triggers required just a little bit more work, with my hands sitting in a slightly unnatural position while playing. I got used to this after only an hour or so of playing, but the Xbox Wireless Controller always felt more immediately comfortable to hold because of it. Overall, however, the GameSir G7 Wired Controller is familiar, easy to use, and generally quite comfy.
G7 Wired Controller: Controls and performance
How comfortable a controller is to use matters little if the actual experience of using it to game falls short of expectations. Fortunately, matters are almost universally good with the GameSir G7 Wired Controller. I didn't wholeheartedly love or prefer every aspect of using this controller, but it's clear that GameSir put a lot of thought into how to make this a compelling and quality peripheral for players of all types and skill levels.
I had no issues whatsoever with the analog joystick buttons and movement controls, for example, and the "anti-glide" rings did translate to a noticeable reduction in friction versus the Xbox Wireless Controller (with a non-faulty faceplate, of course). The hall effect triggers were also very smooth and surprisingly sensitive, especially when using the "hair trigger" mode (which makes the triggers binary, with any movement activating them). However, the tension and depth of the triggers make them feel slightly hollow, in a way, compared to the Xbox Wireless Controller's more traditional trigger actions.
The ABXY face buttons were, surprisingly, a standout feature. GameSir employs multi-layered microswitches for the face buttons, which results in a beautiful and tactile click versus the mushy clack of the Xbox Wireless Controller. I greatly prefer the feel of this action, although it's not entirely perfect. I felt that the buttons themselves were a little too short, resulting in my fingers tending to slide over the buttons during intense action. GameSir also advertises "only 0.6mm" of depth for these ABXY buttons, but I only would've preferred them being just a little less shallow than that.
The bumpers are perfectly fine, but I'd give this edge to the Xbox Wireless Controller for its superior tactile click and more firm action. So far, most of the GameSir G7 is more than adequate, with personal preference deciding if the company's slightly different approach to controller design puts it above or below Xbox's industry standard. One area where I feel the Xbox Wireless Controller completely trumps the G7, however, is the D-Pad.
The action itself is just okay, but I genuinely didn't enjoy the shape of the GameSir G7's D-Pad, which feels too shallow and sloped at the edges. It's also purely four-directional rather than the unique hybrid 8-directional D-Pad of the Xbox Wireless Controller, which feels more intuitive and comfortable to use. I also felt that the Xbox, Share, View, and Menu buttons, while they work as intended, were too hard to find by feel alone due to their short stature and soft edges. This is a reoccurring theme with the GameSir G7, a minor complaint I attribute to the swappable faceplates taking up precious space. Overall, GameSir gets an "A" for the feel and performance of its basic controls on the G7.
What about beyond the basic controls? The GameSir G7 Wired Controller features three additional buttons compared to a standard controller, with the rear remappable "M1" and "M2" buttons pairing with the front-facing "M" master button for on-device controls. Like with other pro-grade controllers, the G7's rear buttons can be remapped to act as any of the other buttons on the controller, and they work perfectly. My only concern is that they're incredibly easy to press and that their position directly below where my finger naturally sits due to the controller's curve led to multiple accidental presses while playing. I would've preferred the rear buttons to be situated slightly farther in and up, or for the buttons to require more pressure to activate.
G7 Wired Controller: Control remapping and software
The "M" button at the front is what ties everything together, and GameSir genuinely nailed this experience. Using the "M" button, you can near-instantaneously change your controller settings on the fly. By holding down the "M" button and the rear button of your choice until the indicator light flashes, you can either press any button on the controller to instantly remap the rear button to it, or you can press the rear button again to remove its mapping entirely. If you hold down the "M" button and a trigger until the controller vibrates, you can toggle the "hair trigger" mode on and off.
The D-Pad includes integrated controls for headset audio, as well as game and chat audio mixing, which you can utilize by holding down the "M" button while using the D-Pad. All of this works very well, and as soon as you memorize the combinations, you can configure your controller however you like for every game you play in a matter of seconds. Nearly all of the crucial controller features you need to control are available without software, which commonly doesn't exist for third-party controllers on Xbox.
GameSir also delivered here, too, though, as the GameSir Nexus app is available for free on both Xbox and Windows PCs. Using this app, you can create and switch between multiple controller profiles, individually remap every single button on the controller (except the "M" button), configure joystick dead zones, ensure that the joysticks and triggers are working as expected, and customize the (excellent) vibration via the four built-in rumble motors. It's easy to use, feels reliable, and isn't missing any of the features I'd expect it to have.
G7 Wired Controller: Competition
There's no shortage of amazing controllers for Xbox and Windows PCs, but the majority of people are likely using the default Xbox Wireless Controller. To be fair, this controller is the industry standard for a lot of good reasons and is still at the top of our list of best Xbox controllers. It's also a good deal more expensive than the GameSir G7, is larger in stature, weighs more, and requires AA batteries or a separately purchased rechargeable battery. If you need wireless, though, your options are limited, and the Xbox Wireless Controller can often be found on sale for close to the same price as the G7.
If you want a wireless controller that's more customizable and premium than the Xbox Wireless Controller, you can always pay 2-3 times more than you would for the GameSir G7 and pick up the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, which is now available in a slightly more affordable "Core" model. For most people considering this controller, though, most of the competition is going to be between other similarly priced wired controllers.
The only company that immediately comes to mind is PowerA, which has a range of affordable, quality wired controllers for Xbox and PC. The GameSir G7's impeccable build quality and considerate additions may give it the edge over PowerA's most popular models, however, and the G7's compact design makes it a worthy competitor even for the PowerA Nano Enhanced.
G7 Wired Controller: Should you buy it?
You should buy the GameSir G7 Wired Controller if...
- You want a high-quality controller that feels durable and long-lasting
- You want a great, affordable controller with some extra features and customization
- You're perfectly okay with a wired-only controller
You should not buy the GameSir G7 Wired Controller if...
- You need a wireless controller
The GameSir G7 Wired Controller delivers a genuinely great basic controller experience in a more compact body than the Xbox Wireless Controller and a handful of useful and thoughtful additional features on top that benefit hardcore gamers and those who want a controller that'll last. It's difficult to find things to nitpick about the G7, and most of my complaints really did come down to personal preference compared to my controller of choice, the Xbox Wireless Controller.
If you're in the market for a wired controller, especially if you have a tight budget in mind, the GameSir G7 is a fantastic option for players of all skill levels and should work well for those with smaller hands, too. GameSir continues to up its game in the controller space, as its recent mobile controllers like the GameSir X2 Pro are also extremely easy to recommend. Whether you game on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, or a Windows PC, the GameSir G7 Wired Controller is a stellar peripheral.
GameSir's latest controller drops the over-the-top designs and just delivers an all-around incredible controller for Xbox and Windows PCs. While you'll have to live with a wire, GameSir's attention to detail and quality makes the G7 one of our favorite budget controllers.
Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
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