Thanks for stopping by for my review of Kontrol Freek analog nubs: The CQC, Infinity, and Havoc. In this video review I will discuss my impression of the Kontrol Freek products overall quality and which analog nub I like the best.
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I have always had an uncomfortable time with controllers because the proportions of my thumbs and pinky fingers are very small and affect my overall grip. Look! I’m a freak! I’m a monster! They chase me with pitchforks! This may seem like a small problem to someone with big hands and fat thumbs, or maybe it just seems like “my problem” but it actually is a common complaint I hear from gamers that controllers feel awkward or uncomfortable. For a gamer, her hands are her life. Hand cramps and wrist strain are no joke, especially when a game I just have to play is coming out and my hands are gnarled and twisted from a night of gaming-induced insomnia. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Enter Kontrol Freek, unable to spell but fantastic at creating these little analog nubs. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I’m ashamed to say I never thought of modifying my controllers in any way to accommodate my stubby thumbs. It is actually a brilliant idea and I really tip my hats to the people over at Kontrol Freek for promoting these products to help people get a custom fit with their controllers. Ask anyone that has ever had something tailored, custom is better.
The first FPSFreek nub I tried was the CQC and I was first struck by the design when I opened the box. It looked so nice, I just wanted to see how my controller looked with the nubs on and it brightens it up very nicely. The tip of the FPSFreek is made of a soft rubbery material with a nice grip. Right away I started playing Kingdoms of Amalur and noticed the controls were more responsive. It was easier, faster, and more precise control over menus and sorting my inventory. Definitely a perk, but it didn’t prove itself necessary yet. Yes, the rubber material is fantastic, with perfect grip.
Yes, the convex center, surrounded by a lip gives me more control. But, once again, my thumbs are the problem. The added height by the nubs force me to slide my grip a bit lower than I would like. At this point, I was not convinced, so I popped in Modern Warfare 3. The benefit of precise control was displayed on the screen in the very first match. My accuracy was higher, I had more head-shots than usual and I used a sniper class that I never use so I actually started to change my playing style because of using these nubs. That really started to get my attention and I could start to tell that the designers of these nubs made them with specific ideas on how to improve the first person shooter experience without touching a single line of code.
I was totally inspired by the concept of solving virtual problems with real-world solutions. I was sold, but I wanted to try some long-term gaming just to see if the FPSFreek nubs helped with my hand cramping. It did, overall, reduce the strain on my hands and make navigating menus and riding horses easier. The added bulk of the nubs still created some fumbling and awkwardness during battles and, to much disappointment, did not make Archery any more fun.
After my varied and interesting experience with the CQC FPSFreek nubs, I expected that the Infinity and the Havoc would both present unique gameplay perks and challenges. The first game I tried them with was Halo: Anniversary and I again found that the rubber grips gave me much more precise control. Really, the only differences is the grip strength and the way the nubs look. The Havoc is sleek black with an embossed skull and a softer grip. The Infinity has a military aesthetic, navy blue with an eagle and a strong grip, great for people with butterfingers. For all my hopes, neither of these concave nubs could compete with the CQC, but I adore the Infinity’s grip strength.
That’s why my final critique really is my most important. I used to same controller with most of these FPSFreek nubs and the original Xbox analog sticks became scuffed and worn, no matter how carefully I applied or removed them. I think they are better suited to long-term use, rather than repeated removal but I found that alternating the nubs gave me the perfect level of control. For instance, for my run-and-gun class for COD:MW3 uses a shotgun, making the Infinity ideal for the right analog stick but I preferred the CQC on the left stick. A softer plastic or rubber coating on the bottom of the nub would probably solve the wear and tear issue.
I can’t wait to play Halo 4 with these nubs and I am currently torn between the FPS Freek Elite and their very unusual “U”-shaped controller attachment. Kontrol Freek also have a line of nubs for Sports Games as well as some really cute-looking retro arcade style nubs… That I also want. I want too many things.
I highly recommend at least visiting the Kontrolfreek.com website.
Do the Kontrol Freek nubs sound like something you might want? What kind of game do you need a custom analog stick for? If you already own Kontrol Freek or any other brand of nubs, let me know your impression of them down in the comments below.