Looking for a cross-platform Bluetooth gamepad that is easy-to-use, has multiple connection methods, and even a Turbo function? If so, the GameSir G3s gamepad just may be what you’re looking for. This plug-and-play Bluetooth gamepad has a built-in 600mAh polymer lithium battery that lasts for up to eighteen hours along with a 32-bit MCU chip. Best of all, it doesn’t require any drivers or software installation – it’s automatically detected by most systems.
Like with most gamepads, though, you may have to do a bit of remapping depending on the system and/or app you’re using it with. For example, I use Dolphin Emulator on Xubuntu to play GameCube games, and I found that some of the buttons are off due to the setup of the original GameCube controller vs this one. Luckily, I was easily able to do some remapping in Dolphin’s GCPad Configuration settings.
On the other hand, when using Mupen64Plus to play Nintendo 64 games, it’s a lot more work. The gamepad originally wasn’t working at all, and I had to do extensive research and tweaking within the Config Editor to get it working.
If you plan on using this just for mobile gameplay (Android 4.0+, iOS 5.0+), you shouldn’t have nearly as much trouble since this is a cinch to pair and is recognized by most emulators and compatible games. It is also said to be fully compatible with Windows and PlayStation 3 consoles (yes, 3 not 4).
What’s in the Box
In the box you’ll find the controller, phone mount/clip, USB receiver, and two types of micro-USB cables (micro-USB to micro-USB and micro-USB to USB).
GameSir G3s Buttons Overview
As you can see in the illustrations below, there are quite a few buttons, lights, and LED indicators on the gamepad. There is also an included phone mount that clips onto the controller and holds your phone securely while you play.
Along with the usual ABXY buttons, Start, Select, D-pad, and dual analog sticks, there is a Turbo button, Clear button, four triggers on the back, and three LED indicators on the front to let you know which mode it’s in (Android, Apple, or Mouse).
Attaching the Phone Mount
The attachable/detachable phone mount is a welcome feature for me. I know from personal experience that many other Bluetooth gamepads either have a permanent mount that can’t be removed (can be pulled up and put down when not in use) or don’t have one at all. So, I think it’s nice that one is included in case you want to use it. On top of that, it is really handy and easy to attach.
There’s an included manual with illustrations just for the mount to help you attach properly. There is a little buckle on the bottom that you pull down to open the clip, and then, you can put it around the gamepad and close the buckle to lock it in place.
Using the GameSir G3s Gamepad
To start using the gamepad, simply press the center Home button for 2 seconds, and it will turn on and light up. If you don’t like the lights, you can press L1 and R1 at the same time for five seconds in order to turn them off. Also note that there is a sleep feature, so if you walk away or just put the gamepad down while it’s still on, it will go to sleep after five minutes.
There are three different ways to connect the gamepad. If you’re using an Apple device, only Bluetooth is supported. If you are using Android, a Smart TV or TV Box, you can connect via Bluetooth or by using the USB wireless receiver (OTG support is needed for mobile devices). On your PC and PS3 you can use Bluetooth or the wireless receiver. You can also connect directly via the micro-USB cable if you happen to lose the wireless receiver or just prefer it.
When the battery is low, the Home and ABXY buttons will start to flash once every second, and you’ll need to charge the gamepad using the micro-USB port on the back. There is an included micro-USB cable, but you can also use your own. While charging, the Home and ABXY buttons flash once every two seconds.
If you’re an avid mobile and/or PC gamer, the GameSir G3s Bluetooth gamepad is pretty much a no-brainer. There’s no need to have two separate controllers when you can just use one for both.
The gamepad functions very well and responds really well to button presses. Of course, I don’t do excessive or really quick button presses, so you may have a different experience. However, I haven’t noticed lags or delays, it’s very comfortable when holding and very easy on the eyes!
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