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MSI Force GC20 V2 review

The MSI GC20 V2 offers a cheaper, wired alternative to an official Xbox controller and includes swappable D-pad covers, and works with Android phones too.

MSI GC20 03

Our Verdict


A clear step up quality from the very cheapest units, but you don’t have to spend much more to get an even better experience.

The MSI GC20 is a wired alternative to an official Xbox Wireless Controller. For roughly half the price of the real deal, you lose battery power and headset connectivity but gain swappable D-pad covers, rubber grips, multiple input modes, and a removable cable that also lets you hook up the gamepad to Android phones.

In terms of format, the GC20 is a direct spin on the Xbox 360/One controller formula, with it sporting the same basic shape and button layout. There are some subtle differences, though. The grips are slightly shorter, more rounded, and don’t come to quite such a sharp point as the latest Xbox Series X controller, so they feel a little like a hybrid between a DualSense and an Xbox controller.

The sides also have a patch of grippy rubber on their outer edge, where the grips nestle into the meat of your palm. Despite being such a small patch, it’s surprisingly effective at helping to keep the gamepad secure.

MSI GC20 01

The standard Xbox-style button layout feels nicely familiar but the buttons aren’t as good quality. They’re comfortably a step up from the Logitech F310 and Thrustmaster DualAnalog 4 but lack that final bit of crispness that comes with the official options (let alone the premium controllers). The metal D-pad feels too slippery as well, though the circular alternative is much better.

The thumbsticks offer smooth, accurate movement that’s head and shoulders above cheaper gamepads and comparable to official models. However, the analog triggers lack the smoothness of more premium models.

What the GC20 lacks in button feel it somewhat makes up for with features. The removable cable allows you to plug in a supplied micro-to-micro USB cable that you can then connect to Android phones. However, given that most phones are USB C these days, you’ll probably need a further adapter to get connected, making it feel like a Bluetooth controller would be the easier option overall.

The controller can run in four different modes, indicated by a row of LEDs on the front. The default mode provides standard XInput signals or you can switch the controller to two different DirectInput modes and Android mode. The two DirectInput modes allow you to use either the analog stick or D-pad. You also get vibration motors for haptic feedback, which cheaper controllers don’t include.

MSI GC20 02

While these extra features are nice to have for the price, the big caveat here is that if you’re just after a controller for use with standard PC games, they don’t really add much. In comparison, the PowerA Spectra Infinity does a far better job of providing genuinely useful features for PC/console use. Plus it’s better built and only costs a little more.

MSI Force GC20 V2 pros and cons


  • Decent quality controls for the price
  • A few extra features
  • Low price


  • Lacks finesse of official options
  • MicroUSB socket feels dated
  • No headset connections

MSI Force GC20 V2 specs

The MSI Force GC20 V2 specs list is:

Weight 205g
Connections Wired-only with microUSB socket, 2m main cable and 30cm mobile cable included
Button layout Xbox-style
Extras Four modes (2 x DirectInput variations, XInput and Android)
Battery N/A

MSI Force GC20 V2 price

The MSI Force GC20 V2 price is $40 (£28) making it a mid-price wireless game controller.

Price: Expect to pay $25 (£20).

MSI Force GC20 V2 review conclusion

The MSI GC20 is a decent low-cost alternative to an official wireless Xbox controller. It’s well made with reasonable-feeling buttons and a few extra features with the rubber grips and multiple connection modes. However, it feels like it could do with an update to use a USB C cable and it lacks the headset connections of some alternatives, which are far more useful for sofa gaming. For just a little extra outlay, the PowerA Spectra Infinity is a far better bet.

For our pick of the best game controllers, check out our best PC controllers guide.