Since the early days of PlayStation consoles, the DualShock controller has been a primary PlayStation accessory and a vital part of the gaming experience.
With the PlayStation 4 console, we have the new and improved DualShock 4 technology supporting it. A great controller with lots of new benefits, you’ll want to look after yours for years to come, especially since PlayStation Now will give you many more uses for the device.
The DualShock4 will be the key to bringing PS Now to televisions and Blu-ray players once the plug-and-play streaming service is ready for non-console gaming.
Controllers can take a hammering over time, especially if you’re a committed gamer who puts in a lot of hours. Not to mention the harsh treatment they often get—anyone who’s thrown their DualShock down after a particularly rough defeat will attest to their durability and strength! However, even the hardiest equipment needs a little protection to keep it performing at its best, and your DualShock controller is no exception.
One of the best ways to protect your controller is adding thumb grip covers to your analog sticks. The rubber can become worn and slippery if you play a lot, and can cause you to lose your grip at a vital moment; for competitive gamers, this could be catastrophic! Adding thumb grips prevents wear to the controls and extends the life of your DualShock 4 controller.
Let’s take a look at the best thumb grip covers for PS4 and why you should consider investing in your own covers.
Note: Some of these thumb grip covers work for not just your PS4 controller, but for PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers as well.
The benefits of thumb grips
Thumb grips were primarily designed as replaceable covers to prevent wear to control buttons. Easy to put on and take off, these plastic caps are available in different styles and sizes to match your preferences.
Find convex buttons more comfortable than concave ones? Need extra thumb grips? Looking for extra height on your analog controls? There’re stick caps to suit all players.
The extra friction is perfect for those big moments where a slip of the thumb could cost you the game, and you get better precision and control over your gaming.
You can also adjust your controller to suit you. If you find chunkier or higher thumb sticks fit your hands better, thumb covers can create the right feel for you simply and easily. With the right thumb covers, you should find your controller much more comfortable to handle.
Most grips are carefully designed to reduce the discomfort caused by playing long periods, making gaming less harsh on your thumbs. That’s something we can all appreciate! What’s more, many grip packs have multiple covers for you to choose from, so you can try them out and find the one that works best for you.
Love to modify and customize your gaming equipment to match your style? There are thumb covers for you, too. From wild colors and unusual designs to covers licensed by your favorite game franchises, many companies are catching on to the console mod market and offering plenty of gaming accessories to help you make your PS4 your own.
Choosing the right thumb covers
There’s no single right choice for everyone; all gamers want different things from their controller, and you might need to experiment a little before you find the thumb caps that suit you best. The guide below should help you work out where to start looking, and gives you some idea of the different features and styles on the market today.
Whether you’re looking for covers to give you a competitive edge or you’re customizing your controller and looking for coordinating accessories, you’re sure to find something that stands out in the list below. We looked at trusted review sites, hands-on experiences and the manufacturers themselves: Take a look at what we discovered.
KontrolFreek FPS Thumb Grips
Bright and colorful, the KontrolFreek range ensures you’ll never misplace your controller again! The company focuses on comfort and grip, and it doesn’t compromise on style either. There’s licensed game-branded covers for some of your favorite titles, including the Call Of Duty franchise, and the Sentinel and Phantom covers are slick, stylish and practical.
The grips are geared towards FPS players for camera and movement management and are designed to enhance games in this genre, but you’ll see an improvement no matter what you’re playing. KontrolFreek’s range is compatible with PS4 and Xbox One, so you can also take them to use on a friend’s console or mix and match at home if you’re lucky enough to own both.
KontrolFreek is at the pricier end of the thumb grip spectrum, but they are worth the investment. Users report noticeable improvements in their playing when using the grips, with increased control for better, faster responses.
You can expect to pay a bit more for a set of grips from KontrolFreek, which may be at the higher end of your budget, but may prove a wise investment. Looking to splash out on modding your DualShock4? The new Black Ops III Reveal grips are bold, smart and a fantastic accessory, although the $17.99 price tag may be too steep for some.
Grip-iT Analog Stick Covers
Favored by many pro gamers and recommended by leading studios to enhance gameplay, Grip-iT Analog Stick Covers are pretty much everything you could want in a thumb grip. Compatible with your DualShock3 and DualShock4 controllers, the Grip-iT set gives you two color options: blue and black. The two sets are designed with the iconic Grip-iT logo on their surface texture, giving you great traction and helping you keep hold of your sticks during even the tensest moments.
Not a budget option by any stretch, but very affordable as a gaming accessory, the Grip-iT covers are highly recommended by gaming enthusiasts and professionals alike. You can expect to pay a small amount for your set of four covers.
The durable thumb caps will last you for years and will extend the life of your PS4 controller, so they are a great investment to make and could save you from shelling out more down the line to replace a worn stick.
Australians, you can get your Grip-iT thumbstick grips at the official Grip-iT Stick Cover website for Australia.
And don’t forget to visit the official US store for Grip-iT to learn more.
GelTabz Performance Thumb Grips
Comfort is at the heart of the GelTabz design—these soft, easy-to-fit covers are the perfect fit for your DualShock4 controller and an ideal playing accessory for PS4 gamers as a result.
Although they don’t give the altered height and custom grip that other thumbstick covers do, they create plenty of friction and stop your thumb from sliding on the control. If you’re a competitive gamer or if you’re looking to improve your gaming skills, these covers might be the right tool for you.
Available in a set of four, these are pricier than most other covers, coming in at around $15 for 4 grips on Amazon and slightly more from gaming retailers. For this reason, they might be a little above the budget you’re willing to lay out.
For those looking to invest in a long term playing aid, GelTabz might be the way forward for you. Of all the thumb covers tested here, these were reported to be most comfortable during extended periods of play and the least likely to leave you blistered and sore after a long session.
KELUX Thumb Grips
If flexibility and customization is what catches your eye, the KELUX range is perfect for you. Their PS4 thumb grips are available in packs of ten and sell at around $10-15: a little over a dollar per cover.
That’s exceptional value, so you might expect a decrease in quality. Don’t worry—these grips are reported by users to be very effective at enhancing your DualShock4 and keeping it protected against wear and tear.
The five sets of thumb grips offer you small, medium and tall options as well as convex and concave covers, with the unique KELUX dot textures complemented by a new cross design. Whatever feels best on your thumbs, this pack is sure to have something for you. Try them all out until you work out what suits you—you can also use the spares for older controllers and other consoles, since they are multi-platform compatible.
Making the right choice
Choosing the right thumb grips for your DualShock4 is tricky, because you won’t know what suits you best until you’ve tried it. If you’re new to using thumb grips, consider a multipack option such as the KELUX range so you can try out all the sizes and surfaces.
If you know what you’re looking for and want the best on the market, Grip-iT and KontrolFreek are the places to look. No matter what your budget and needs, our list has a top thumb grip covers for PS4 to suit every type of player.
90's girl with a love of retro games and old school consoles - currently in the market for a working Commodore 64...
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