Believe it or not, game controller accessories do make a world of difference!
Introduction: One recurring thought that I like bringing up on this site is how game controller accessories are truly, what I believe, make a game controller an extension of the gamer.
And while previously I talked about how aesthetic customization can reflect the gamer’s personality, there is another aspect in these accessories that has a big role in making a controller truly the gamer’s own.. and that has to do with the gamer’s play style.
Sounds a bit over the top? Yeah probably, and that would lead us to believe that the way that game controllers have been designed since the beginning of time should be able to accommodate any person of any size or level of sweat displacement.
Ergonomics and the modern gamer
One of the things that I have constantly emphasized in this site is that, despite multiple approaches hoping for the universal, the harsh reality is that a gaming controller isn’t meant to fit nicely into everyone’s hands.
No two sets of hands are the same, as things such as finger length and width, roundness of the hand, grip and space between fingers all factor into making people’s hands significantly different. There’s no way that the level of comfort I may have when I hold my controller would be the same for another person – it could be similar, but not exact.
Aside from that, the pores in our hands are all different, too. Some people have the tendency to excrete a lot more sweat than others, especially if they grip too hard.
This sweat makes it harder for the gamer to hold their controller firmly – if they keep holding, chances are the controller might slip out of their hands; if they let go for just a bit, there’s a possibility that they will lose any momentum they have in game.
Gamin’ ain’t easy.. but it probably should be!
Bless the hearts of manufacturers worldwide who have come around and created some unique stuff to help gamers resolve some ergonomic issues they may have – things like having a special controller grip to reduce moisture buildup, for instance. These aren’t complicated contraptions, by no means, though.
Rather, these accessories are able to give the gamer an improved bit of control when they play without the unnecessary gutting of the controller’s insides – by keeping these “augmentations” external, not only will this benefit the user’s comfort and performance, but removal and cleanup is not inconvenient at all.
So, what are these game controller accessories? Let’s find out.
The Analog Stick Grip Caps – better control for your thumbs!
Some of us may have already chosen a side when it comes to the convex vs. concave stick debate, but for some people the decision for their analog stick surface’s curvature does not end there.
Sweat still effects the amount of grip available to the human thumb on the analog stick, and constant sweat would make it difficult to maintain the precision that gamers have from the start of the session.
Sure you can always wipe off the sweat, but wiping can also mess the grip surface on the analog stick – residue from wiped sweat almost becomes a transparent sheet of water on the stick surface that lessens the quality of the thumb grip. And when it dries, the grime makes it even harder to maintain any grip at all.
So how about we cap that analog stick with something better?
A good solution is having analog stick caps. These are rounded grips that cover the analog stick’s entire knob area, which is already a great help ensuring that dust does not collect on top of your controller’s analog sticks.
Making these parts of your controller dirt free is the first step to reducing grime on your analog sticks!
What’s interesting to note is that on the top of the cap, there is usually some intricate design – it could either be the product logo, rounded protrusions or a ring of dots on the surface. Don’t be deceived, these actually serve a greater purpose.
Those designs actually keep your thumb in place!
That’s right, the protrusions or etchings on the analog stick cap do not only help in lessening the amount of moisture on the surface, but it also improves the amount of grip that your thumb has on the stick, as well as give some added support to ensure better control and more precise movement.
It’s a very welcome piece when it comes to first-person shooters as a lot of actions in-game rely on effective movement and aiming. In some ways, these analog stick caps give the best of both worlds by infusing the strengths of both convex and concave sticks to give optimal control to the gamer.
So with dust protection, reduced moisture and functional surface design, these grip caps are a good first step for helping your gaming performance.
Analog Stick Grips with varying height – keeping performance within reach!
Some variants of these analog stick grips feature varying elevations in their product. This extension also looks a bit off, especially when we’re used to the convention of having both sticks at the same height.
But in essence, there is a lot of merit in adding a bit of height to your thumb sticks.
As someone whose got pretty big thumb knuckles myself, I definitely feel a lot of fidgeting because my thumbs often touch. I feel like it sends signals to my brain that my thumbs making contact disrupt any movement that I do with the analog sticks.
There are gamers who have large hands that their thumb knuckles would be touching, which is very uncomfortable to deal with. There isn’t that much space already between analog sticks, so the thumbs’ combined girth cramps up that area even more and further limits movement.
These stick extensions elevate and even out spacing.
The nice thing about having these extenders is that in elevating the analog stick, the amount of inward rotation of your thumbs is lessened to the point your thumbs do not touch each other at all. Now you have a fuller range of motion for your thumbs!
Coupled with the etchings on the grip’s surface, and you get added stability and control without having to worry about slipping as you tilt and spin your analog sticks as you see fit.
Trigger Extensions – let’s put those trigger fingers to work!
There also gamers out there who may not have the most optimal position for pulling on the trigger buttons. I’m probably one of those..
I’m not comfortable having my middle fingers dangle away from the controller’s body that I would rather have them placed firmly on the controller grips until I need it.
This can become an inconvenience to players who hope to perform better in FPS games, as the time it takes to move their fingers to the trigger buttons before pressing is a lot of time!
This can easily be the difference maker from getting fragged by your opponent.
Not all of us have the ability to adjust and adapt using muscle control. The next best thing is to extend your triggers.
Trigger extensions do just that – it lengthens and widens your controller’s trigger buttons. This allows you to rest your fingers comfortably on the triggers and readies them for pressing.
The response time for trigger extenders are immediate as they hinge around the controller’s trigger buttons, giving quick response in-game while at the same time lessening the travel time to press those buttons.
The result – better timing and faster shots!
This is the perfect accessory for gamers whose grip make it hard for them to comfortably position all their fingers within the buttons that they need at command.
Full, optimal control – the whole controller shebang!
Now, if you are looking to further optimize your finger positioning in your controller, the best thing to go for is a whole-controller adapter. Better yet, let’s call it by its product name..
The Avenger Reflex Controller Adapter!
This adapter is essentially a series of lines, hinges and springs that span across and around the entire controller and rest at strategic points on your fingers.
What this does is allow you to press buttons on your controller with as little effort as possible and get the quickest response as well. This adapter takes note of the fullest range of motion for each button in order to assign buttons sensibly.
No more unecessary movements, no more excessive fidgeting. Each minor movement will give you the input you need!
What’s groundbreaking about this kind of accessory is that it may not just be considered an accessory – in fact, this adapter is acknowledged as a fine example of accessible gaming – this significantly helps gamers with minimal muscle control of finger movement to better grasp their controllers!
It’s definitely comforting to know that a product like the Avenger Reflex Controller Adapter could help gamers with physical impairments enjoy console games, especially FPS games – not so much to give them an unfair advantage in games, but to help level the playing field without having to break and modify their controllers.
Game Controller Accessories are simple but go a long way.
In closing, I would like to believe that gamer folk know that their gaming experience is a huge deal, and that having some controller accessories here and there can give them a leg up with their competition (or at least, level the playing field for them).
Or some would even say that installing these kind of accessories can even lessen the amount of wear and tear on their controller.
Personally, I think these little upgrades breeds some confidence in your gaming style as it limits external factors like slippage, response and comfort from hindering how you play. It’s definitely good to have a couple of these set up on your game controllers, so stay tuned to this site to read more about grips, extenders and augmentations for your controller.
Sounds interesting to you or know of other accessories that will improve how you use your controller? Leave a comment below!