You know what the best thing about gaming on a tablet is? Touch controls. You know what the worst thing about gaming on a tablet is? Touch controls.
No, I’ve not been on the gin; depending upon the game you’re playing touch controls can be a blessing or a curse.
Take PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, for example. Unlike your average FPS, this game has a ridiculous amount of buttons, so many it’s in danger of crowding the screen. And in a game where being fast the draw counts, messing around with buttons can be the difference between life and death.
That’s where the GameSir F7 Claw comes in. It’s essentially a tablet version of the F4 Falcon, which we reviewed here. Unlike the F4, it doesn’t fold neatly in one unit but it’s still compact enough to be carried in a coat pocket. But it can still save you valuable seconds when it comes to shooting someone in the face.
Because, make no mistake, this piece of kit is geared towards FPS games. It requires charging (via USB) but it’s not run out of charge for the week or so I’ve been testing it out. Once it’s charged, you clip either or both of the two grip halves to your tablet, the suckers on the back ensuring it has a firm grip.
Then, you load up a game where you drag the buttons about and, raising the claws, drag up to two buttons under the contact points of each claw. Then, you’re ready to go. When you press the L1, L2, R1 or R2 button on the grips, the F7 presses down on the screen, and on-screen control activates. I have a screen protector on my tablet and it worked fine with it, so that’s no obstacle.
Essentially, you’ve remapped your on-screen buttons to the grips, which also make the tablet a lot easier to hold. Now, you can use your thumbs for the on-screen touch joysticks, but use the grips to fire. I found myself reaching for physical thumbsticks that weren’t there, but once I got used to it I found that the GameSir F7 Claw works really, really well. In particular, holding the tablet feels really comfortable and natural.
I’m still a bit rubbish at PUBG Mobile but I am getting better and I can certainly say that the F7 helped by shaving off that second or two when I’d have to reach for the fire button. And, since you’re not plugging it into any ports on your tablet as it works via physical contact, you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues – I used it with an iPad Mini. The GameSir X2 is great but it requires a USB-C connection; here, that’s a non-issue. There are turbo buttons, too, if you want to go on a stab-crazy rampage, though we’re sure you’d never, ever consider cheating like that.
So what’s the catch? There are a couple, though none are deal breakers. Firstly, if you have a fabric case covering the back of your tablet, don’t count on the suckers sticking to it. Secondly, it has the same disadvantage as the F4 Falcon which is that there’s no easy way to find out which FPS games support draggable buttons. If there are games you play that let you drag the buttons around, the F7 will work a treat. But you can’t just look at the Google Play store and pick out games that will support the device.
So, if you play PUBG or some other game where you can drag the buttons about, and don’t have the luxury of USB-C connector, you can’t go wrong with the GameSir F7 Claw. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to make gaming on a tablet that bit more enjoyable. Find out more about it on GameSir’s official website.