Windows Central Verdict
GameSir has successfuly cornered the budget controller market and continues to outdo it's competitors by packing impressive pro features into sub-$50 controllers like Hall-Effect and microswitches. The T4 Cyclone Pro is another 'almost' slam dunk, though it's a shame we are still waiting for wireless offerings from this brand on Xbox.
Simple and understated design
Hall-effect sticks and micro-switch ABXY buttons
30-hour battery life
Texture on the grips could be more pronounced
Dust and thumb-print magnet casing
Xbox layout but not Xbox compatible
Software can be temperamental
Why you can trust Windows Central
We've tested a bunch of GameSir controllers at Windows Central, from console to PC to mobile gaming, they have the value end of the controller market in a chokehold, and they rarely miss when it comes to providing feature-packed peripherals at a low price point. The T4 Cyclone Pro will be no different, so there will be few surprises in this review — though I will continue to sulk about the lack of a wireless option on Xbox from GameSir. More so as the marketing around this controller was confusing, which I'll get to later...
We know they can do it, we already have the wired GameSir G7 SE controller and Microsoft has loosened the reigns on the permissions, so let's just hope we get some good news next year.
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.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Pricing and availability
Price: $49.99 at Amazon
Connectivity: Wireless, USB cable, Bluetooth
Platforms: Windows PC, Steam Deck, Android, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Mac OS
Extra controls: 2 programmable mapping buttons on rear
Battery life: 30 hours
Features: Microswitch buttons, Hall effect joysticks and triggers, motion controls, dual rumble motors and regular/fast trigger options
GameSir is a Hong Kong-based company that specializes in gaming peripherals and accessories. The GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro is a wireless controller that works with Switch, PC, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. It's available in Midnight (black) and Daybreak (white). While the T4 Cyclone Pro is Xbox layout, you can also purchase the GameSir T4 Cyclone for a Nintendo layout and sacrifice some of the pro features.
The GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro is available to buy from GameSir’s official website and Amazon, where it is currently 10% off when adding a coupon before checkout. The controller retails for $49.99, which is a reasonable price considering its performance and features. It comes with a user manual, the controller itself, a 2.4 GHz dongle for use with a PC, and a USB-C charging cable.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Build quality and design
The GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro has an understated, simple and classic controller design mimicking the standard Xbox wireless controller, which is a great source of inspiration. However, it comes up that tiny bit smaller in stature and a little lighter in weight by around 2 ounces, it's also a tad smaller than the GameSir G7 so don't be expecting a wireless copy of that if you buy this. The shape itself though feels immediately familiar. GameSir always manages to build controllers that don't feel like they cost less than $50, so I applaud them for this.
The build is of a high-quality black plastic that feels smooth, durable and comfortable with a stippled plastic texture on the rear which feels nice to hold. The black plastic does have some drawbacks though in that it's a total fingerprint and dust magnet, as shown in this photo I took when it was barely out of the box.
The dust magnet aspect isn't a deal breaker for me, and won't be for many. How many people will be regularly photographing their controllers up close? If you are particular though, this may nark you so keep a microfibre cloth handy!
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Ergonomics and comfort
I've always enjoyed the comfort of GameSir's textured handles, and when reviewing the GameSir T4 Kaleid it was definitely on my list of positives, but I've just come fresh out of reviewing the BINBOK Ultra Pro controller which has rubberized grips and now I'm probably feeling more critical.
The texture on the rear of this controller was so subtle, it was hard for me to pick up on camera so I've had to use a stock photo to show a clear image of it. Nitpicking the depth of the embossed texture may seem over the top here, and the textured plastic is still perfectly fine, Xbox uses the same on their standard offering. Not everyone is a fan of rubberized grips so this may come down to preference. The shape and size of the controller itself it ergonomically sound, the rear buttons are easy to hit with the middle fingers, and the layout of the buttons are all perfectly distanced. No grumbles there.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Controls and performance
The controls are where the GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro really comes to play, with a quality belying it's cheaper price. As with their other offerings this year, we're getting Hall-effect sticks as standard (and as we should with a Pro controller). These babies are smoooooth. Once you've experienced Hall-effect it's really hard to go back to standard analog sticks. The magnet mechanism that powers the sticks just feels more sensitive, and while yes they claim to have no stick-drift and a longer life span, I'm very much concentrating on the here and now, and it feels great.
One noticable omission from the GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro is the anti-friction rings that were included on the G7 SE controller. GameSir is notorious for having all of the essential components for making the perfect controller but seemingly not knowing how to combine them all in one single model. For example:
- GameSir G7: Microswitch buttons, yay! Wired, meh.
- GameSir G7 SE: Added Hall-effect sticks, yay! Took away the buttons and replaced with membrane. Also wired.
- GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro: Hall-effect sticks, tick! Hall-effect triggers, tick! Microswitch buttons? Tick! And WIRELESS? Tick! But... took away the amazing anti-friction rings, and it doesn't work on Xbox.
That's just including those 3 models in particular, but you can see my frustration. Each controller GameSir has made this year inches towards perfection but doesn't quite cross the finish line and it sometimes feels like self-sabotage. Ok that's a lot of feelings over some anti-friction rings, lets move back to what is great about this controller.
The ABXY buttons that all the marketing teases as 'Xbox layout' (sorry I had to go there one more time) are as satisfyingly clicky as you would expect, and have the same 0.6 actuation distance as my beloved GameSir T4 Kaleid. Some have commented that the buttons can feel a little too low, for me it's perfect. If you prefer the Nintendo layout, but don't want to purchase the lower-priced T4 Cyclone with it's membrane buttons, you can use the GameSir software to change these.
The Mode button on the Cyclone Pro controls the turbo, trigger modes, rumble, lighting, and face button layouts if you want to change settings on the fly. Just like on the T4 Kaleid, it’s not an intuitive process, so keep the instruction manual on hand, or save yourself the bother and use the mobile app.
The rear mappable buttons are just something I expect on a controller now, and why I ultimately hope Microsoft will start including them as standard on their base range. My main game of choice is Diablo 4 which while not something that requires extreme precision controls, does require a lot of repetitive button presses and I find the option to remap some of the moves to a more comfortable position for my hands invaluable.
Another sneaky use for the back buttons is helping my son play racing games. My youngest loves Forza, Hot Wheels and the like but isn't quite old enough to get around a track without crashing into a few trees (though neither am I and I don't have age as an excuse). I've sometimes mapped the brakes to the rear on controllers like these so I can give him a hand when he lets me 'help' him hold it with him.
The triggers on the controller can be switched between analog and hair-trigger depending on the game you are playing, but there's no physical button for this like with some controllers. You'll either need to hold the M button and the triggers for 2 seconds or again, use the app.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Remapping and software
The remapping software for the GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro is accessed through your smartphone, a departure from the PC software used with the GameSir T4 Kaleid. While some may find this change unwelcome, I personally prefer using my smartphone for remapping, especially since I primarily tested it on the Steam Deck.
If a phone app is the primary method for customizing a controller, it should ideally replace the need for additional instructions. Unfortunately, the app lacks crucial information. Initially, I struggled to connect my controller to the app. Despite the clear requirement for Bluetooth pairing, pressing the Bluetooth button on the controller didn't initiate pairing mode. The app itself provided no instructions for this, leading me to consult the paper instructions, which advised holding the home button and A for 5 seconds. This process wasn't intuitive, and it raises questions about why such guidance couldn't be a pop-up message within the app during the pairing attempt.
Once past these initial hurdles, the app is relatively straightforward to use, allowing users to remap buttons and adjust vibration settings with ease. Some Play store reviews criticize the app for occasionally forgetting settings once closed. Contrary to these claims, my experience was positive, and I found the app more reliable than its PC counterpart. However, I wanted to note these potential issues for other users.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Competition
I've just come fresh out of reviewing the BINBOK Ultra Pro controller, which is a lesser-known brand and slightly more expensive. But my experience with it has made me a tad more critical of this GameSir offering simply because it was so incredibly comfortable. It incorporates rubber grips similar to the Xbox Elite controllers and it supports Windows PC, Steam Deck, macOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. It does come at a slightly higher of $56.99 though, and it omits those all important Hall effect sticks. Not to mention, it's not exactly a looker. It's worth some consideration though as the size and feel of it will probably be more comfortable to those with larger hands. In fact, I've given them both the same score as it's really just a preference battle between them.
The PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller offers another option for those uninterested in' pro' features. Retailing at $49.99, it often goes on sale for considerably less, especially in various colors. The Nano variant, sometimes priced at less than $30 during sales, caters well to a younger audience (and I have a few versions for the kids).
Lastly, the 8BitDo Ultimate controller is $49.99 with an additional charging dock. While aesthetically pleasing, it only adds rear buttons as extra features.
GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller: Final thoughts
You should buy the GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller if ...
✅ You want a budget controller packed with pro features
Once again GameSir have managed to pack in all that Hall-effect goodness and satisfying clicky switch face buttons into a controller that costs around $50. They have set the bar so high for this price range, they put other brand's controllers to shame.
✅ You're looking for a multi-platform controller
Ok, it doesn't work with Xbox, but not many wireless controllers from third parties do. If you want a controller for PC, Steam Deck, and Nintendo Switch that requires minimal fuss to switch between platforms, this is a good choice.
You should not buy the GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro controller if ...
❌ You're expecting a wireless version of the GameSir G7 range
This measures slightly smaller than the G7 which if you have larger hands may be an issue over long periods, and it omits those fantastic anti-friction rings around the sticks which if you've used the G7 SE you may want again in other models.
❌ You want a wireless controller for Xbox
The advertising around this controller was confusing, and perhaps unintentionally misleading in advertising a Nintendo layout version and Xbox layout version, as it simply does not work with Xbox.
The GameSir T4 Cyclone Pro did impress me, as I expected it would. I've come to expect a certain standard of quality with GameSir's controllers and they haven't let me down yet. That being said I was disappointed in the advertising for this controller. To quote the press release specifically, it said "The T4 Cyclone has an ABXY Switch layout and the T4 Cyclone Pro has an Xbox ABXY layout, so these highly popular controllers cater for everyone." To include Xbox multiple times in the wording of the PR seems at odds with a controller that is not compatible with Xbox, given that GameSir has made some fantastic Xbox controllers too.
Knowing that Xbox has loosened the reins of its proprietary wireless technology, and we've already seen the PowerA MOGA XP-Ultra this year as a result, I sincerely hope that GameSir has something up its sleeve for Xbox too, even if it's simply making a wireless version of the GameSir G7 SE. While the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro is an interesting contender, it's a prestige item at a $200 price point and we desperately need other brands like GameSir to give us more budget wireless options. I hope they are reading this and nodding their heads in agreement!
Designed for seamless compatibility with Switch, PC, macOS, Android, and iOS devices, this wireless controller offers pro-level performance without breaking the bank. With its sleek Xbox-inspired layout and Hall-effect sticks, the T4 Cyclone Pro ensures precision and smooth gameplay. GameSir continue to make no compromises on quality with it's controllers.
Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.