If you’re looking for that extra edge during online competition or simply want greater comfort and control in your everyday gaming life, up your game with the FPS Freek CQC, available starting this week from KontrolFreek for only $10.99.
The FPS Freek CQCs are rubber toppers that pop directly over the existing analog sticks of your DualShock 3 or Xbox 360 controller as well as some third-party gamepads. For instance, they work great with the Logitech ChillStream controller I use for my PC gaming. I also tried one with my Wii just for kicks and was surprised to find that it fits just fine. While it doesn’t securely latch onto the analog stick as a proper compatible product would, as long as you don’t tilt the Nunchuk upside down the grip remains snugly in place while in use. Even though it’s larger than the circumference of the Nunchuk stick’s head, it didn’t slide or bobble around as my finger tilted the stick.
Applying the FPS Freeks is as simple as lining them up over the analog sticks and gently pushing down until the three clips slip over the bottom edge. Removing them is just as easy, however if you game on multiple consoles I would strongly suggest that you have a pair for each controller rather than buy one set to switch back and forth. As I’ve taken them off and on to try different controllers, I’ve noticed that the clips have left small indentations on my DualShock sticks and on my Xbox 360 controller some of the rubber has completely scrapped off. Granted, the Xbox 360 controller is the same wired model that came with my launch Xbox 360 console, so after all these years the coating was probably already worn down and ready to give way. Still, over the long haul the best option is to have a dedicated pair for each controller to reduce wear and tear.
The good news is, once you put these bad boys on your controller of choice, you won’t want to be taking them off any time soon. These new Signature Edition models feature a unique design that basically combines the best aspects of the PS3 and Xbox 360 analog stick ergonomics into one. Like the DualShock’s sticks, the CQCs have a textured, convex surface. This central nub rests within a small well similar to the concave tips of the Xbox 360 controller, thus creating a little lip around the rim that helps prevent fingertip slippage during quick movements. This convex/concave hybrid design combined with the soft feel of the rubber ensures maximum grip and maneuverability.
Another great thing about the CQCs is the way they raise the height of the analog sticks. They only extend the sticks by maybe a quarter or half of an inch at the most, but you’ll be amazed by how much more leverage you have during gameplay. Comparing side by side, playing games with one FPS Freeked stick and one normal on the same controller, it was like night and day how effortlessly I could tilt around the CQC stick with one thumb versus how much more I was fighting the snap-back resistance of the other stick. This may not sound like a big deal — it’s not like the existing PS3/Xbox 360 controllers don’t perform well as is — but with first-person shooters and any fast, twitch-style game, the increased sensitivity allows you to pivot and change targets on a dime.
Whether I was playing Killzone 3, Maxy Payne 3, Black Ops, Dead Nation or even non-shooters like Dragon’s Dogma and Malicious, the heightened sense of comfort and control I gained when using the FPS Freek CQC was very subtle. But that’s the thing. Subtlety is key when it comes to control. Even if it’s only by a nanosecond, any boost in performance to reaction time, movement and adjusting aim can be the difference between maintaining a long kill streak/multiplier and getting fragged.
Subtle but highly effective, that’s the FPS Freek CQC Signature Edition.