GameSir has grown in popularity in recent years, as a provider of mobile gaming peripherals. With the F4 Falcon, GameSir brings something slightly different to other controllers on the market. There’s no application to install, instead, capacitive pads send the signals from the buttons to your display. That’s great on paper, but how well does this idea translate to real-life though!
- Very compact
- Good battery life
- Epitome of Plug & Play
- Good price
- Might struggle with phablets/cacses
- Does change your gaming grip
The GameSir F4 Falcon hits a little bit differently. I’ve used a few game controllers before, all of which have been connected via Bluetooth with their own discreet companion app. Here, there is no such thing. Instead, transforming the F4 Falcon from its compact form into the controller/cradle exposes capacitive pads on the right and left which are then placed on the screen. It’s a first for me, that’s for sure.
There are some significant benefits from this approach. The battery will benefit from the lack of a Bluetooth radio, despite how efficient BT5.0 is. In addition, the lack of any companion app means this is platform-agnostic and can be used with Android and iOS.
Once opened up, the F4 Falcon has a shoulder and turbo button on each side with the GameSir logo in the middle, front and centre, and the Type-C USB charging port just behind it. The blue material on the underside of the F4 Falcon is of a slightly softer, rubberised plastic. There is a rubber cushion of significant size where the back of your mobile device will sit during gaming sessions. On the bottom is a spring-mounted clasp to ensure a snug fit.
The F4 Falcon does feel a little cheap as its construction is entirely plastic, and not particularly dense plastic at that. In my testing, it seems durable enough to be thrown in a bad with devices.
- Platforms: iOS & Android
- Connection: Plug-and-Play
- Battery Capacity: 90mAh
- Charging Time: 1-2 Hour(s)
- Continuous Use: Approximately 40 hours
- In The Box:
- GameSir F4 Controller
- Type-C Cable
- Package Size: 82.3 * 45 * 25.5mm
GameSir F4 Falcon – Performance & Use
How does it perform then? I’m not a mobile gamer by default (Ed: PCMR!) but compared to using purely on-screen buttons I found this a nice departure. If your hands are anything like mine, you can find some of the buttons on games crowded, and as such find your hands covering the screen more often than not. Being able to move some of the buttons out of the way and using the F4 Falcon did see my performance improve. It could hardly get worse though – FPS games on controllers are not my forte!
Your mileage may vary depending on the games you play. Some are more suited to using a hybrid control mechanism.
I tested a few Android devices, with a variety of cases and found approximately 75% of them sat well and were playable. Again, your mileage may vary here. The case that is in the featured image on the Huawei P30 Pro has to come off in order to make Call of Duty playable in any real sense. Bear that in mind.
The Blue shoulder buttons can be configured in the individual games. My recommendation would be to bind one of them to crouch/jump, with the other to a specific action. This allows movement with your hands on the display, and a quick toggle to the buttons in the event they’re needed. If in FPS games, aiming is the obvious bind. The Turbo buttons didn’t feature much in my testing. Their supposed use is to deliver single, three, six or nine actuations which could prove useful in FPS games. I didn’t find it to be the case though.
The buttons do feel a little wobbly but do have a satisfying click to them but the springs seem strong and give good feedback. Where you need the mechanical buttons to shine the most is on the Blue trigger buttons, and thankfully they are the better of the two sets. The black Turbo buttons, if you use those, are a little mushier.
I did find a slight issue in that my grip changed when using the F4 Falcon. My palms ended up covering the speaker on occasion. Again, your mileage will vary here as it will be device dependant.
The battery life on the F4 Falcon is as expected – brilliant. Up to 40 hours of claimed continuous usage seems about right compared to the 20 hours I managed to rack up in a week of usage (some of which was in standby).
The GameSir F4 Falcon won’t turn your Android/iOS device into a Nintendo Switch. As a result of its use it might make some games play a little easier. It did for me, and I know a couple of other reviewers have found similar results during their testing. Likewise, it won’t turn you into a pro gamer. What it will do is elevate your comfort in FPS games, and allow you to game easier on the go. It’s incredibly portable when folded up and can be fit into a pocket or bag easily, so is perfect for commuting or longer journeys.
The case you’re using on your phone might affect the use of the F4 Falcon. Very large devices and those with beefy cases might struggle. Platform support for both iOS and Android is compelling though.
For around £30, there are many controllers you may opt for instead of the F4 Falcon. Other devices will require Bluetooth, and will probably be bundled with a gallery of compatible games. The lack of any of that faffing means the F4 Falcon is a legitimately good mobile peripheral, something I don’t find myself saying too often.
This is a big thumbs up if you are a frequent mobile FPS gamer – other games don’t tend to make the best use of the F4 Falcon whilst still working.