- Secure feel, the adhesive keeps the Grips in place.
- Increases grip and comfort.
- Works well with KontrolFreek thumbsticks.
- Somewhat confuesing application.
- Strong odor.
Very few companies are as synonymous with quality gaming accessories as KontrolFreek. You may be familiar with their line of performance-enhancing thumbsticks, or their stylish controller decals, but there’s a new kid on the block at KF central, introducing the KontrolFreek Grips.
Available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Grips are the latest innovation in a long line of products which aim to make playing our favorite hobby more enjoyable or efficient. As a fan of KontrolFreek and a previous user of the KontrolFreek Ultra thumbsticks, I just had to put the Grips to the test – and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised.
What exactly are the Grips?
Unlike the company’s flagship thumbstick accessories, the Grips are more comfort boosters than actual performance enhancers. As the name implies, KontrolFreek Grips are designed to provide enhanced grip and hand comfort for any length game session. They’re essentially adhesive cushions for your controller, with a few added features of course.
Beyond offering an improved grip performance and an added softness on the controller handles, the Grips are made out of anti-microbial materials which protect against bacteria, fungus, oil, and odor, and they include moisture-wicking air channels for continuous ventilation. In addition, these multifunctional items are repositionable, meaning you can shift each Grip multiple times to get the best fit.
“While seemingly simple, KontrolFreek Grips are the result of years of research and development,” said Ashish Mistry, CEO of KontrolFreek. “The combination of science and materials position Grips as a natural extension to our product line and a perfect fit with KontrolFreek’s performance-driven philosophy and focus on gaming gear that enhances the gaming experience for all types of video game players.”
On To The Review
The KontrolFreek Grips are perhaps the most unsuspecting little gaming peripherals that I’ve ever used, but as they say, good things come in small packages. The teeny-tiny box contains one Grip for the left side of the controller, and one for the right – which is really all you need unless you have a third hand or you happen to be veering beyond all intents and purposes.
Application is simple, or at least, simple in theory. The grips are oddly shaped and the box instructions aren’t super clear, so figuring out the correct orientation – exactly how the little buggers wrap around the controller – took a moment of head-scratching; but I channeled my inner Tetris master, positioned the adhesive, and stuck it to the controller. Easy as that. I did mess up the first Grip positioning just a bit, but I was able to remove it, reposition, and reapply without any problems at all – no lumps or bubbles, no sticky residue. For folks that like to follow instructions rather than figuring it out as they go like myself, KontrolFreek has a complete How To Video Guide on their website to view as well.
It’s interesting, I’m a huge fan of the DualShock 4 (minus the easily worn rubber thumbstick caps) and I haven’t had any problems with accidental slippage thus far, so I was a bit skeptical of KontrolFreek’s latest product, but let me tell you, I was sold at squish. The Grips are very comfortable, thick enough that you can actually feel them beneath your hands, and textured with a soft, slightly squishy foam layer for comfort. If I could wrap my body in a giant KontrolFreek Grip, I probably would.
All joking aside, the Grips work wonders. For the past week I’ve been playing a variety of different games of varying difficulties and genres, and the Grips have not only withstood the onslaught, but improved my experience. Let me tell you, you cannot underestimate the power of a breathable controller, especially when you’re busy beating the crap out of bad guys while maintaining 100+ hit combo in Batman: Arkham Knight. You’d be surprised how much your hands sweat, but the Grips effectively remove that oily dilemma.
After over a week of play with everything that I could throw at them, the Grips are just as they were on day one, still in place and still secure. As an added bonus, the peel-and-stick accessories in no way interfere with KontrolFreek’s thumbsticks so feel free to load up your controller as many items as you’d like. I will note however that initially, my Grips had a very strong odor that even lingered on my hands when first applied, but the smell has dissipated over continued use and now is barely noticeable.
Should You Buy?
Sure the KontrolFreek Grips work just as advertised but should you buy them? At only $12.99, why not! I wouldn’t say that this particular accessory is a must-buy for gamers everywhere, but if you suffer from sweaty palms, slippery controllers, or are seeking the immediate benefits of better, grip, comfort, and ultimately better performance, than I’d absolutely recommend the KontrolFreek Grips for PlayStation 4. Welcome to FreekNation.
Editor’s Note: This review was conducted with the KontrolFreek Grips for PlayStation 4. All images were taken by and are the property of Taylor Stein.