Gamesir has once again outdone itself with the Galileo G8, offering an incredible mobile gaming controller that feels sturdier, more capable, and more customizable than the alternatives. Now I’ve played some of my favorite mobile games with it, I honestly can’t imagine not using it for the foreseeable future.
With Apple now embracing the same USB-C technology as Android phones, the mobile controller market is wide open for brands to offer a single controller for both Android and iOS gamers. One such device is the new GameSir G8 Galileo, the latest product from a company we’re big fans of here at Pocket Tactics following our experiences with the T4 Cyclone Switch controller and X3 USB-C controller.
While touchscreen controls are fine for some, the old school among us, myself included, prefers an actual controller, elevating the experience of even the best budget gaming phones to something you can’t seem to put down. The Galileo G8 does just that, and as you’re about to find out in this review, it does it better than any other mobile gaming controller I’ve ever used. So, let’s get into it, shall we?
You can pick up the GameSir G8 Galileo via the official GameSir site and various online retailers for $79.99. That’s $20 cheaper than the popular Backbone One, with a sturdier design to boot. It’s only available in grey, with this particular shade reminiscent of the original PlayStation console. However, the faceplates on either side of the controller are easily removable, so there’s a chance we might see some alternative parts for them in the future.
The GameSir G8 Galileo utilizes precision-tuned Hall Effect thumbsticks. This design decision means not only do you get pinpoint accurate responses from the controller, there’s also no danger of frustrating stick drift à la the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. The sticks are a delight to use, especially for racing games like Asphalt 9 or Riptide GP 2, and provide a fluid gaming experience similar to that you might expect from a pro version of a console controller.
While there’s a library of games you might want to play, some might not feature official support for GameSir controllers, or any other, for that matter. However, with the Galileo, you can easily get around that with some impressive on-the-fly customizable mapping. I wanted to play a bit of FC Mobile, which doesn’t currently have controller support. That’s not a problem with this controller. All you need to do is open the game with the official GameSir app, do a little customizing, and you’re ready to go. Considering I’m not exactly a technological whiz-kid, I found it incredibly easy to map the controller to the touchscreen mechanics.
Outside of all the usual buttons and triggers you expect on a mobile gaming controller, the Galileo also includes a pair of mappable L4 and R4 buttons behind the controller, perfectly positioned for the placement of your hands when gripping the device. These are particularly useful for playing something like Honkai Star Rail – another game now possible to enjoy with a controller thanks to the impressive mapping – as you can assign the buttons to different attacks while using the XYBA buttons for interaction control. It’s just another way in which this controller offers a level of freedom not found with many other devices, and I’m a big fan.
If all that wasn’t enough, there’s no shortage of ways to utilize your G8 Galileo with official support for Xbox Game Pass, Steam Link, PS Remote Play, and, of course, the massive library of Android games on Google Play. There are also plenty of big-name mobile games with official support, including Genshin Impact, Diablo Immortal, and more. Simply put, it’s easy to find things to play with this mobile controller.
While we’ve already mentioned the big draw features, there are lots of little things that make the GameSir G8 Galileo an even more attractive prospect. Pass-through charging means you can juice your phone while you’re playing, there’s a 3.5 audio input jack for those who still prefer to use wired headphones, and the analog sticks are easily replaceable, with GameSir providing three alternative thumbsticks with each device.
In terms of ergonomics, the GameSir G8 Galileo is intelligently designed and feels like a proper gaming controller. What I mean by that is that I’ve experienced some mobile controllers that feel flimsy, especially where the device extends at the back. You don’t get this with the Galileo. It’s chunky, but in the best of ways, with plenty of space between the back panel and your camera lens.
Comfort is pivotally important in a mobile gaming controller, especially if you’re anything like I am and are partial to the odd all-night Honkai Star Rail session. Fortunately, the Galileo feels great in your hands, helped by the grip texture on the back of the thing. It’s perfectly sized for most, even my Sasquatchian meathooks, and thanks to a relatively lightweight build, it doesn’t induce the sort of wrist ache you might get from something like a Nintendo Switch with default Joy-Cons even after hours of play.
Another selling point for the GameSir G8 Galileo is how durable it feels. I’ve not thrown it down the stairs, so I can’t say for sure, but it feels like this thing is pretty drop-proof. This durability extends to the moveable USB-C port, which isn’t rigid but bends backward and forwards, making it much easier to connect your device to the controller without feeling like it could snap if you pulled it back out at the wrong angle. To quote legendary R&B outfit Ashford & Simpson, it’s solid, solid as rock.
While we already touched on this element above, it’s worth reiterating that the Galileo G8 performs like a dream. Not only that, but the GameSir app itself is incredibly easy to use, with just a couple of steps to load a game into it and map it before you can get on with the fun stuff and start playing. It might take a little while to get to grips with it, but once you do, the whole experience is incredibly smooth and makes for less time messing around with complicated mapping mechanics and endless calibration.
All-in-all, the GameSir Galileo G8 is a beast of a mobile controller, offering stellar customizability in terms of both mapping and analog sticks, a durable design that feels like it could survive getting thrown across the room in a fit of gamer rage, and precise control inputs that far surpass anything else I’ve experienced with other devices. All that could improve it would be the option to connect to your device wirelessly, but otherwise, it’s a fantastic bit of kit and my new go-to when playing some of my favorite mobile games.