The GameSir T4 Kaleid wired controller is the latest and greatest controller to join the upper echelons of value for your money from GameSir, a company best known for its mobile controller solutions.
The first thing you’ll notice about the GameSir T4 Kaleid is its striking translucent design, which may not be for everyone. Still, if you’re like me and have fond memories of tech from the early 2000s, you’ll more than likely appreciate GameSir’s take on what is clearly (no pun intended) based on a modern Xbox controller.
Outside the general shape, sticks and button denominations, the similarities end with an Xbox pad, as the GameSir T4 Kaleid is a wired controller, sporting two additional bumper-style buttons on the back in addition to a macro switch for programming shortcuts and turbo functionality. Unlike an Xbox controller, the GameSir T4 Kaleid also supports gyro-aiming on the Nintendo Switch and PC via the GameSir app.
Starting with Nintendo Switch compatibility, as the GameSir T4 Kaleid is a wired controller with a removable USB-C style connector, Switch users will first have to go into their settings and turn on the Use Pro Controller with USB option on if they haven’t already done so. From there, outside not being able to wake up the Nintendo Switch, the GameSir T4 Kaleid, by and large, behaves exactly like Nintendo’s own offerings, minus NFC support.
In practice, using the Kaleid in games like Splatoon 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom felt natural and responded as they should. In terms of the actual feels of the buttons, however, I found that the face buttons on the GameSir T4 Kaleid were a little too flush or recessed for my liking but something that didn’t really hinder my experience when actually playing a game.
“…outside not being able to wake up the Nintendo Switch, the GameSir T4 Kaleid, by and large, behaves exactly like Nintendo’s own offerings, minus NFC support.”
Back in 2022, I took a look at the GameSir X2 Pro, a mobile-focused controller designed for smartphones, and one element from that device that I feel would have been ideal for the T4 Kaleid is its swappable magnetic buttons which allow the user to change the face button layout to reflect Xbox or Nintendo styled orientations, especially considering the T4 Kaleid’s Switch compatibility.
The overall feel of the GameSir T4 Kaleid in the hands is similar to something like the Nintendo Wii U Pro controller with its mostly plastic chassis. Thankfully, GameSir’s offering includes textured triggers and a frosted textured backing, which gives a better grip, something that should alleviate any slipping for users prone to sweaty hands.
Sporting hall effect sticks, the GameSir T4 Kaleid ensures longevity with no stick drift while feeling very similar to the Xbox controller with, perhaps, slightly large domes for your thumbs to rest on. Moving over to the PC side of things. GameSir offers a free downloadable app for the T4 Kaleid, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store app on Windows 10 and 11.
The app allows several profiles to be created, which gives those who want to jump in and customize their experience for particular titles the option to do so. Options to change the gyroscope can also be tweaked via the app, although, from my testing, I found the gyro functionality more responsive overall on the Nintendo Switch side of things. Finally, the app allows users to change the lights on the T4 Kaleid in a manner PC gamers should be accustomed to if they’ve ever owned a piece of RGB-equipped tech.
“As a bonus, the GameSir T4 Kalekid supports Android devices, which works well in emulators and games that support controller input…”
Holding the macro button near the bottom of the GameSir T4 Kaleid allows the user to input a macro command or toggle through turbo speeds, which work well but can be confusing and may require reading the manual a few times. The turbo functionality, in particular, has a lot of use case scenarios, especially on the Nintendo Switch side of things, for games like Animal Crossing, which feature lots of repetitive tasks and walls of text, something that can significantly be alleviated with turbo.
Using the GameSir T4 Kaleid on PC was mainly a painless experience; however, despite the controller using Xinput to interface with the computer, some games seemingly only work when launched via Steam Big Picture. Once in-game, however, the GameSir T4 Kaleid perform as expected of any high-quality input device with the added bonus of the turbo functionality and macro key, allowing for things such as turning weapons fully automatic in first-person shooters such as Halo Infinite.
Finally, 2D or older games that take advantage of the d-pad work well with the GameSir T4 Kaleid, allowing for easy fireballs in games like Street Fighter and frame-perfect platforming in games like Celeste.
As a bonus, the GameSir T4 Kalekid supports Android devices, which works well in emulators and games that support controller input, but ultimately will only benefit those who have a set-top box or are comfortable using a wired controlled in a stationary setting.
Ultimately, the GameSir T4 Kaleid is a solid wired controller that doesn’t skimp on features while feeling close to first-party offerings, minus the steep asking price usually associated with the big three console manufacturers.