Heterotrimeric G proteins are categorized into four main families based on their function and sequence, Gs, Gi/o, Gq/11, and G12/13. One receptor can couple to more than one G protein subtype, and the coupling efficiency varies depending on the GPCR-G protein pair. However, the precise mechanism underlying different coupling efficiencies is unknown. Here, we study the structural mechanism underlying primary and secondary Gi/o coupling, using the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor type 2 (M2R) as the primary Gi/o-coupling receptor and the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR, which primarily couples to Gs) as the secondary Gi/o-coupling receptor. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and mutagenesis studies reveal that the engagement of the distal C-terminus of Gαi/o with the receptor differentiates primary and secondary Gi/o couplings. This study suggests that the conserved hydrophobic residue within the intracellular loop 2 of the receptor (residue 34.51) is not critical for primary Gi/o-coupling; however, it might be important for secondary Gi/o-coupling.