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The GameSir X3 offers a unique cooling solution to those looking for a mobile game controller, but it lacks refinement compared to the best on the market.


  • Unique active cooling system
  • Chunky, comfortable holding position
  • Flexible control set-ups


  • Need to plug in for cooling
  • Janky, unintuitive software
  • Controls don’t feel the most premium

Key Features

  • Plug-in coolingThe GameSir X3 has a Peltier cooling fan, which much be plugged in to draw heat away from your handset.
  • Compatibility with all USB-C phonesYou can connect the GameSire G8 Galileo to all Android phones and the new iPhone 15 range via USB-C, though the latter isn’t officially supported through the app.
  • Custom UIThe GameSir app offers a window onto all of your installed games and streaming services.


The GameSir G8 Galileo might just be the ultimate mobile gaming controller on the market, but it’s not the only trick this Chinese brand has up its sleeve.

The GameSir X3 doesn’t bring quite the same level of console refinement to the format, but does manage to carry out its business in a much cooler manner.

This is a familiar clamp-like controller design with an unfamiliar central section dedicated to actively cooling down your hard-driven phone.

At a price of around £100, it’s another controller that doesn’t exactly come cheap. So does the GameSir X3 do enough to distinguish itself in an increasingly competitive field?


  • Unique three-part clamp system
  • Movable USB-C connector
  • Central cooling fan limits optimal compatibility

GameSir has leant into a familiar expanding clamp mounting system for the X3. The idea is that the two halves of the controller grip either side of your phone, hooking into the USB Type-C port on the right.

This is a much chunkier execution of the idea, certainly compared to the BackBone One or the Razer Kishi V2 Pro. Part of that is because the controller sections themselves are way thicker than the competition.

It lends the X3 a real sense of heft, and makes it easy to grip unless you have particularly small hands. I particularly like the grippy curvature onto which your two middle fingers hook on the back.

GameSir X3 in-handHands holding GameSir X3 controller attached to smartphone with racing game.Hands holding GameSir X3 attached to a smartphone playing a racing game.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

But the real heft is added by a third element to the clamp mechanism. Rather than a single expanding bridge, two lead to a central module. This is the Peltier cooling system – in other words, a big fan that draws heat away from your phone’s body via a silicon plate that makes direct contact.

It results in the GameSir X3 being extremely heavy. At 292g, it’s almost 40g heavier than even the monstrous G8 Galileo. You get a decent-quality carry case with the controller, but there’s no way it’s ever going to seem particularly portable.

This does pose some mounting problems too. On the plus side, GameSir puts a tough rubberised ridge section on either side of the phone, which is a much better solution than the fiddly replaceable adapters of other controllers. It also uses a clever flexible USB-C connector, which can tilt up and down.

GameSir X3GameSir X3 game controller with built-in cooling fan on a desk.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

However, the need for a measure of physical contact with the back of the phone rules the X3 out from working properly with certain handsets. It worked as advertised with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus, but phones with larger or unorthodox camera modules sit at an awkward angle, meaning there’s no direct contact with the cooling module. In my testing this included the iPhone 15 Pro (which isn’t officially supported, but works as a regular controller), the Pixel 8, and the Redmi Note 13 5G.

That’s not the only issue with the whole active cooling system either. You have to plug the GameSir X3 (and by extension your phone) into a wall outlet via a dedicate USB-C port in order to operate the fan. With no option to run off your phone’s battery, it instantly makes the GameSir X3 a not-so-mobile game controller.

There’s a second USB-C port for pass-through phone charging, but it’s disappointing to note that there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack.

Performance and gaming experience

  • Clicky, somewhat cheap controls
  • Digital, not analogue trigger buttons
  • Four navigation keys

This kind of mobile game controller is often likened to the Nintendo Switch, thanks to the basic layout of full console controls sitting on either side of a touchscreen. However, with the GameSir X3, that comparison goes even further.

The physical controls themselves call to mind Nintendo’s console in a couple of ways, including a pair of analogue sticks that are well short of qualifying for the ‘full-sized’ description. They’re fine, but they lack the solid precision of the G8 Galileo’s Hall Effect sticks, and they don’t feel as good as the BackBone One’s own undersized sticks either.

Another Switch-like touch is the decision to use digital rather than analogue LT and RT trigger buttons. This is absolutely fine for most mobile games, and might even be preferable for reaction-based shooters like CoD Mobile, but it does make racing games like Wreckfest feel much less satisfying without that fine throttle control.

GameSir X3GameSir X3 attached to smartphone with game on screen, Mario and Yoshi figurines in background.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The D-pad is a curious thing. It feels somewhat cheap under the thumb, and is extremely clicky, almost to the point of parody. However, I couldn’t fault its performance in fast-paced 2D fare like Dead Cells.

The fascia and trigger buttons are also extremely clicky, and generally lack the luxuriously dampened feel of the G8 Galileo and the BackBone One.

There are four navigation keys here, which is pretty common on such mobile game controllers, but which always seems to be one too many for my easily addled brain.

GameSir X3GameSir X3 controller with phone and Kirby figure.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

All in all, the GameSir X3’s weighty but well-balanced body makes for a solid gaming experience, but there’s a certain cheap and plasticky feeling here that the best of its rivals simply don’t suffer from.

As is the case with the GameSir G8 Galileo, the GameSir X3 is a flexible tool that works with games that support controllers and ones with touchscreen controls that can be remapped. The latter is useful for games like Genshin Impact and CoD Mobile, which don’t work with straight USB-C hook-ups.


  • GameSir app provides access to all your games
  • G-Touch mode supports games with no controller support
  • Streaming service recommendations

As with the GameSir G8 Galileo, the X3 is somewhat let down by some slightly janky software.

The free-to-download GameSir app is certainly functional, offering direct access to your installed games and letting you launch them in touch or direct control modes. It also offers tutorial support for the X3 itself, and recommendations on games (including those on streaming services) that might work well with a physical controller.

But the layout is somewhat chaotic, and navigation isn’t sufficiently streamlined or optimised for a controller. I also spotted a few typos, while the aforementioned device tutorial is nothing more than a glorified PDF.

GameSir X3Hands holding GameSir X3 controller attached to smartphone.Hands holding GameSir X3 attached to a smartphone displaying game menu.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

While it’s good that app offers support for multiple inputs, the whole mappable G-Touch mode feels a little finicky and unintuitive. At one point I was told that I was in the wrong mode for G-Touch, which begged the question why the app was unable to simply override the necessary button prompt.

Compared to the BackBone One experience, which does everything to live up to the ‘console-like’ standard, it’s simply not at the races.

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Should you buy it?

You want a controller that keeps your phone cool

If the thing that spoils your mobile gaming the most is an overheating phone, the GameSir X3 is the controller for you with its dedicated Peltier cooling system.

Portability matters to you

The GameSir X3 is big, heavy, and you need to plug it in to a wall socket if you want to take advantage of its standout feature.

Final Thoughts

The GameSir X3 offers something distinctive to the increasingly congested mobile game controller scene, but its Peltier cooling system comes with a few too many trade-offs.

It makes the X3 bulky and adversely affects handset compatibility, while the requirement to plug the controller in to get that fan whirring into life isn’t an ideal situation for an ostensibly mobile device.

Of course, ultra-portability isn’t the be all and end all with mobile controllers, but the quality of the controls themselves isn’t quite up to the very best on the market.

GameSir itself offers a much more compelling controller in the G8 Galileo, which is where most should be spending their money.

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We test all our devices thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Was tested for at least two weeks before the review.

Played multiple games with the controller.

Used with a Samsung Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, Pixel 8, and Redmi Note 13 5G.


Does the GameSir X3 work with cases?

No, you’re advised to remove your phone case before fitting the X3.

Which phones does the GameSir G8 Galileo work with?

Officially, all Android phones, though it will work as a standard controller with the iPhone 15 family.

Can I charge while I play?

Yes, there’s a USB-C port on the bottom of the controller.

Full specs

Release Date
First Reviewed Date

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