Gear Review: KontrolFreek Destiny 2, Edge, Striker, and Gamerpack Alpha Thumbsticks

It’s been another busy year for KontrolFreek. In addition to launching a brand new line of performance apparel for gamers, the company has continued to do what it does best–release a wide range of its signature analog thumbstick grips for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, even branching out to offer select models for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers. Here’s a look at a handful of the latest thumbsticks KontrolFreek has to offer!

Destiny 2 CQC Signature Edition:

KontrolFreek’s Signature Edition CQC grips for Destiny 2 are basically a reprint of the same grips released previously for the original Destiny, only the sparkle-flecked silver coloration has been replaced with a new gold top with white base color scheme that exudes class and elegance. From purely an aesthetical point of view, these are the ultimate thumbstick adornments to give your favorite controller a collectible presentation. Unfortunately, though, there’s a huge problem, because that glorious gold luster is quick to discolor with ugly bluish-green smudges after only a short usage time. Imagine my horror when I looked down at my controller one day to find that the once beautiful grips suddenly looked like this:

Yeah, it was a serious bummer. And it’s odd, because I’ve had the opportunity to test out dozens of different KontrolFreek products over the years, and I’ve never had a single one degrade or discolor like this. (The rubber on a few has worn down or flaked off over time, but after extended use that’s to be expected.) The good news is that these analog stick toppers perform exceptionally well in terms of enhanced grip and gameplay quality of life. The Tricorn logo laser-etched at the center has both concave and convex elements, while the outer edge is rimmed with little nubs kind of like a bottle cap. The mid-level height extension also allows for an easier transition from a controller’s stock analog sticks. You’ll be pleased with the performance, but if the collectability factor is high on your priority list you’ll want to keep them inside the box or placed on a controller for display purposes only.

Destiny 2 Ghost:

Like the trusted AI drone flying around to provide assistance on your Destiny 2 adventures, KontrolFreek’s Ghost grips are here to boost your Guardian’s performance in PVP and PVE. Modeled in the exact likeness of a Ghost, complete with cool-grey coloring, the grips look suitably sleek and futuristic and alien. The middle eye serves as a central grip point for the thumb, while the four angular points form an undulating ridge that can be used for different needs. Putting the thumb onto one of the raised peaks allows for more subtle and precise stick movement, while dips between the points form grooves that smoothly cup a larger surface area on the thumb to support broader motions. What’s also handy about this design is the fact that you can, in essence, twist the grip like a dial to configure the peaks and valleys in a position that feels most comfortable to your play style. Similarly to the other Destiny 2 grips, these ones are a medium height for a greater level of comfort and accessibility.

Striker:

Built with the sports gaming enthusiast in mind, the Striker grips feature a low-level height extension combined with a spider webbed soccer ball grip pattern. The uniformly concave surface area cups the entirety of the thumb with a soft, supple sensation, providing a little extra grip along with increased comfort to endure long sessions spent on the virtual hardwood, pitch, or football field. Games like FIFA, Madden, and Rocket League are specified benefactors, but personally I found the Strikers to arrive in perfect timing for the new PS4 port of Windjammers, granting better control over flinging that power disc around. The Striker’s chartreuse top with neon lime green base color scheme certainly is eye-catching too.

FPS Freek Edge:

FPS Freek Edge is one of the more uniquely designed sets of thumbsticks KontrolFreek has to offer. Colored a bright, vibrant blue, the Edge grips pair a low-height left thumbstick featuring a convex, domed spiral star pattern with a high-rise right analog stick featuring a concave etching of the same spiral star, the two styles serving as ideal complements to one another. The dual height configuration really is the way to go for heavy FPS gaming, as the low height on the left is ideal for effortless movement, while the higher right stick provides greater leverage and range of motion for quick, pinpoint targeting accuracy. In terms of grip, the Edge’s spiral star etching forms eight contact points for the thumb to find. The raised surface on the left stick feels great, but on the right side the concave cut combined with the smooth perimeter surface felt a bit too slippery for my tastes. Once the thumb is drawn out of the center star it tends to slide off the outer lip, which isn’t a problem for quick movements but becomes a factor when making small adjustments and holding position. However, one of the surprise benefits of the two star patterns is how much easier they make in-clicking L3 and R3. If those buttons are of particular importance to your play style, Edge may be worth adding to your FPS Freek arsenal.

GamerPack Alpha:

Like training wheels for your thumbs, the GamerPack Alpha bundle has to be the best starting purchase for anyone new to KontrolFreek and the world of performance analog stick grips. The pack includes two pairs of thumbsticks at a deeply discounted price compared to what it would cost to buy any two sets separately. The included grips consist of two low-profile Alphas along with two medium-height CQC Signature Editions. The Alphas are entirely concave, coated with a spattering of tiny gripper nubs, and feature an extra-wide surface area. The CQCs, on the other hand, have a hybrid concave/convex design with a raised KF logo on top of an underlying ribbed grip pattern. The two designs are simple and straightforward, not intended to specialize in a specific genre, but rather to complement each other for all-around gameplay across a variety of genres. Having four also means you can mix and match configuration to find what’s most comfortable to your tastes. Start with these to see what suits you, then decide when you’re ready to expand your horizons to higher stick options and other more specialized designs.

Buy From: All KontrolFreek thumbsticks are available at Amazon.com or direct purchase from www.kontrolfreek.com.

Disclosure: Products featured in this review were provided to VGBlogger.com for coverage purposes by KontrolFreek.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!