In-depth

Give the gift of precision with KontrolFreek peripherals this holiday season

Git gud (and gift gud) with style.

We’ve all got that one friend, eh? You know the one — they’re always complaining about lag in Vanguard or insisting that they’re being singled out and team-shot inside Destiny 2’s Trials of Osiris. With the holiday season fast approaching, it may very well be up to you to help them lift their play and fill the world with holiday cheer at the same time.

This is where KontrolFreek’s range of performance thumbsticks, grips, precision rings and LED strips fit in.

Thumbsticks

KontrolFreek’s performance thumbsticks work in tandem with existing Xbox, PlayStation and Switch Pro controllers and offer increased comfort and improved accuracy, no matter the game you’re playing.

Easily snapping onto your controller’s thumbsticks, the peripherals come in three height profiles. The low-rise profile barely adds any height to your thumbstick at all and works best with sports and platforming games. The mid-rise profile sits a bit higher, best suited for action-adventure or RPGs. Finally, the high-rise profile sits high above your existing controller and is designed to help you in both first- and third-person shooters.

KontrolFreek’s Call of Duty Vanguard performance high-rise thumbsticks not only come with in-game content (an in-game weapon charm that’s also been represented in the real world here) but offer up an additional 10mm of height on your sticks, translating to enhanced precision and increased control in a game where twitch reactions are key. The high-rise’s four-pronged design means they’ll slip over your stock thumbsticks and remain in place as you play, increasing the arc distance of your controls. The extra height of your thumbsticks means you’ll be lining up shots with reduced deadzone resistance and experiencing less thumb fatigue at the same time. You know what they say about working smarter, not harder.

Once you’ve selected the height profile of your performance thumbstick, it’s time to consider shape. If you’re happy with the concave shape that most controllers offer by default, you can follow suit with the peripheral. If you’d rather convex sticks instead – ones that curve outward — that’s also an option. Better still, you can go the hybrid route if you’re having trouble choosing, therefore getting the best of both worlds. You’ve also got a range of colours to choose from, including red, purple, black, blue, white and orange.

No matter the combination of options that you choose, the performance thumbsticks will provide a solid grip that wicks away moisture and keeps dirt and grime away from your stock thumbsticks.

KontrolFreek offers a buyer’s guide right here that will help you find the perfect gear for your intended recipient.

Grips

KontrolFreek performance grips wrap around Xbox, PlayStation and Switch Pro controllers and are designed for efficiency, comfort and ease of use. A fancy ol’ thermosetting polymer on the outer layer of each grip lets you really dig into your controller without slipping, at the same time maximising air-flow and wicking away moisture.

The innards of the grips are comprised of a special microcellular foam cushioning that conforms to your individual hand shape while resisting bacteria at the same time. Finally, a specialty adhesive means the grips will bond with your controller and stay in place, yet allow for easy removal without residue when repositioned or removed. Installation is easy and outlined in the video below.

Like the thumbstick series, the performance grips offer options to suit every player. If the default grips feel too bulky or too sparse, you can opt for XT (Extra-Thin) and XP (Extra-Padded) options instead. The grips range also comes in a host of colours including purple, red and black.

KontrolFreek also offers up bundles of both its performance thumbsticks and performance grips. True to their names, the bundles come in Inferno (a fiery, eye-catching red), Galaxy (purple) and Nightfall (as black as any Destiny 2 Grandmaster’s heart) stylings.

Precision rings

If you’ve jumped into the likes of Call of Duty Vanguard (or any other competitive shooter for that matter), you know that precision is equally as important as positioning and reflexes; it’s one thing to see an opponent lining you up and another to get the drop on them before that happens.

KontrolFreek’s precision rings operate with that in mind; foam cushion stems wrap around your thumbsticks to provide resistance against your movements. With the rings in place, you’ll be able to crank up movement sensitivity yet benefit from faster and more precise movements. It’s kind of working on the same principles as those resistance bands we all bought at the start of the pandemic, though you’ll likely get more use out of the rings at this point.

With a colour-coded system that allows for different resistance levels – green for soft, purple for medium and black for hard – the precision rings cater to any game or playstyle and are compatible with KontrolFreek’s performance thumbsticks as well.

LED lights

Sometimes playing well is just a state of mind; if you or your mate is more concerned about looking good than anything else, KontrolFreek also has a range of LED lights to enhance your play space. The USB-powered LEDs come in packs of 8 strips totaling 12 feet and can be adhered to your monitor, TV, desk, PC or walls.

Installation is so easy, even I could get it done — and did, as you can see below. I’m presently opting for some blue tones to balance out my Xbox green on top… but I can go full Xbot with a couple easy presses of a button. I also very much appreciate that the lighting can be turned on and off with a simple press of a button without the need to have to go and unplug the strip from its usb power source.

No comments on my desktop filing system or the general state of my working environment otherwise, thanks.

Pro gamer, casual player or anywhere in between, KontrolFreek’s peripherals range has you covered. If you or a friend is looking for a competitive edge in this season’s latest shooter, want a more comfortable grip on a trusty ol’ Day One Xbox One launch controller or just want to make a gaming environment look a little cooler, there’s an amazing stocking stuffer idea just waiting in the wings. All you need to do is get gud — actually, make that gift gud — and pull the trigger.

This post was sponsored by SteelSeries.



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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.

About the author

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