The GameSir T4 Pro may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s one of the more flexible controllers I’ve got my hands on.
It won’t work with Xbox or PlayStation consoles but this single controller works with iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac and, although it’s not officially supported, it proved to be just what I needed for my Raspberry Pi. And so, the GameSir T4 Pro has plenty of strings in its bow, then.
It resembles a hybrid of the original Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and an Xbox 360 controller, with a button layout the emulates the former. It’s actually a little more comfortable to hold than Nintendo’s and, while it doesn’t quite feel as hefty, it’s still a solid enough build.
I did initially have reservations about the GameSir T4 Pro’s thumbsticks which, while textured, are flat with a very thin raised ring around each, neither concave or convex. But my fingers never slipped off them once, even when I gave them a real challenge. Doom, Dishonored and the few other first-person titles I tried proved no obstacle, giving me a largely precise degree of aiming control, compared to a mouse anyway.
The real test was Super Street Fighter II Turbo, courtesy of Capcom Arcade Stadium, where both the thumbsticks and the d-pad let me pull off fireball after fireball. I even managed to pull off a few piledrivers, though I did grumble that the T4 Pro wouldn’t let me assign multiple buttons and moves to a single rear button.
To be fair, I’ve yet to stumble across a current-gen controller that will let me smash someone’s head into the concrete with a single button press. But it’s remarkable that the T4 Pro has rear buttons at all; these are usually reserved for more expensive “Elite” controllers, not sub-£50 controllers like the GameSir T4 Pro.
The four rear buttons (two buttons on each side) can be mapped to any single controller button or function, so you can tap to scroll your inventory left or right, switch weapons and so forth, whatever you desire. That said, they’re not as comfortable to use as those found on the Hexgaming Ultimate PlayStation 5 controller, and do feel a little cramped.
If you plan to use the controller for gaming on Android and iOS, it comes with a phone holder so you can mount your device above the controller, effectively turning it into a handheld console. It’s a very welcome feature, and one that works really well.
Force feedback/vibration is fine (you can change the level of vibration), and while I didn’t get to test it out with a Switch game that supported gyro-aiming, GameSir advertises that the T4 Pro also supports that feature. To connect to a particular console you hold down a certain button combination, e.g. A and Home for Android, which is helpfully written on the back of the controller. Speaking of instructions, I have to give GameSir kudos for delivering a manual which you don’t need to squint to read.
To use the controller with PC, you’ll have to use a USB receiver (which is included), whereas Android, Switch and iOS all use Bluetooth. I would have liked to be able to connect to PC via Bluetooth (you can also use a cable) but keeping a dongle plugged in at the back of the PC is a very minor inconvenience. The built-in rechargeable battery ensures you don’t have to hunt round for a pair of AAs and I ended up getting a smidge over the promised 15-18 hours.
However, the one aspect of the T4 Pro controller that does really disappoint is the way that it won’t retain pairing when you switch between platforms. If, for instance you’ve been using the controller on Android but then want to use it with Switch, and turn it on by pressing Home, it won’t automatically connect. Instead, you’ll need to hold down the appropriate pair of keys and wait for it to re-pair. The same is true with the PC, even though it’s not using Android. I’ll admit I’m not much of an electrical engineer, so maybe this is a limit of the technology, but it makes switching between consoles a little more fiddly.
If, however, you can live with that bugbear (I know I can) you’ll find the GameSir T4 Pro is an excellent multi-purpose controller. It’s comfortable to use, pleasing to the eye (partly thanks to the adjustable light-up buttons) and it delivers performance and quality at a price that won’t break the bank.