When you’re used to playing with a keyboard, you want to keep playing with a keyboard. When you’re used to playing with a controller, you want to keep playing with a controller. It’s only natural to develop preferences.
Joy-Con remotes aren’t bad, especially for someone with smaller hands. But their compact size isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix. You just have to use Joy-Con grips to transform your Joy-Con remotes into full-sized console controllers.
Choosing a Nintendo Switch Joy Con Grips
The idea behind Joy-Con grips is simple. They’re an attempt to make the Nintendo Switch feel like it has a more traditional controller. Making that transformation is usually as simple as shoving a Joy-Con into a larger chassis. But finding the right grips can be slightly more complicated. You can narrow down your selection by looking at the following four factors.
Size and Comfort
There are basically two major design types for console controllers. They either imitate PlayStation controllers or Xbox controllers. In the case of Joy-Con grips, the controller style is usually an imitation of the slim PlayStation controller. But occasionally, grips are made to be bulkier, similar to an Xbox controller.
Though most Joy-Con grips look quite similar, for handheld devices, slight differences in size can have measurable impacts on comfort. You’ll want to consider the comfort of the grip, and even the texture of the controller’s surface. It’s these smaller factors which add-up to create the feeling that you’re playing with a regular controller.
Joy-Con grips tend to be simple to install, usually as simple as pushing your Joy-Con into the grip. However, getting them in place isn’t a guarantee they’ll stay there. You want to make sure the grips help your Joy-Con stay in place, even as you move and adjust the controller. This is typically done with the inclusion of tiny rubberized feet within the docking space.
Controller grips aren’t terribly complicated, there’s not too much room for error. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the quality of their construction. You don’t want to inadvertently place your Joy-Con remotes in danger, and you don’t want your grips to fall apart the first time they’re accidentally dropped. Quality construction can even help protect from superficial scrapes and scratches, helping to keep your controller looking its best.
Using Joy-Con grips usually means you’re going to be using new shoulder buttons. As your Joy-Con remote is swallowed up within the casing of controller grips, the shoulder buttons on your Joy-Con need to be redirected. And anytime you’re augmenting controls in this manner, it’s all too easy to lose responsiveness in those buttons.
How quickly do the grip’s buttons trigger the Joy-Con’s buttons? Can you feel any lag time? Different types of shoulder buttons also provide slightly different types of tactile feedback.
Unless you already have established preferences, these are incredibly small difference in the feel and feedback of the controller, and they probably won’t concern you. But many people consider the best design to be spring-based.
AmazonBasics Grip Kit
If you’ve ever purchased an AmazonBasics product, you probably have a good idea of what to expect from their gaming grips. To bottom line things, these grips are a praiseworthy combination of good design and great price. Like with any good gaming grips, it takes about two seconds to pop your Joy-Con inside or outside.
Once you’ve got them in, it’s actually hard to tell you’re using an adapted controller. Provided you’re someone with a preference for console controllers, you’ll find playing with these grips feels totally natural. These grips may not surprise you, but they certainly won’t disappoint.
Build & Design
AmazonBasics Grip Kit controllers are slightly smaller than a typical console controller. They measure 5.3 x 1.5 x 3.7-inches, with each grip weighing about 2 ounces. Their black chassis has an aesthetic which is loosely aligned with the PS4 or Xbox One. On the front panel of these grips, the Joy-Con docking station is positioned perfectly for ergonomic access to both sides of the remote.
In addition to a pair of controller grips, this kit includes two thumbstick grips to attach to your Joy-Con thumbsticks. Each thumbstick grip provides the same texturized surface as the controller grips themselves, which you may find slightly superior to the smooth default Joy-Con thumbstick surface.
The chassis of these grips is composed of ABS plastic. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because ABS plastic is quite durable, and it does well with heat dissipation. You’ll end up with fewer scratches on the controller, and you’ll have fewer issues with sweaty hands from controller contact.
It’s a bad thing because ABS plastic becomes polished by regular contact with human skin. One of the most common places to see this phenomenon in action is on the keys of a PC keyboard. Although the exterior of these grips are coated with a thin rubberized surface, you can expect them to start developing the distinctive polished look of ABS plastic within a year of regular use.
Some people are bothered by the slippery feeling of worn-down ABS plastic. If you’re one of them, you might appreciate the exceptionally low replacement cost of this AmazonBasics Grip Kit. If you’re not bothered by it, then you could realistically use these grips for a decade.
These are the smallest Joy-Con grips on this list, though only by a small margin. Consequently, they might not be the best grips for players with large hands. The differences in comfort are quite small, and there are reasons to choose smaller grips beyond comfort. For example, you might be extra concerned with portability.
To bottom line things, a person with large hands isn’t going to find these grips uncomfortable. But there might be more comfortable options to consider. Both of the included grips include a one-year warranty from AmazonBasics. Like you’d expect, the warranty is limited to things like defects, and not accidental damage.
AmazonBasics grips are a simple solution. FASTSNAIL Grips aspire to do more. Like most Joy-Con grips, these keep your Joy-Con remote near the center of the chassis. And within the docking space, rubberized pads ensure your Joy-Con doesn’t fall out when you tilt the controller forward.
But this design actually allows you to position the control buttons on two sides of the grip. You can have them towards the center of the grip, or towards the right side of the grip. Additionally, this kit includes two Joy-Con grips, each using an ergonomic design intended to feel like a full sized controller.
Given the sheer size of these grips, they achieve that goal with ease. More than that, FASTSNAIL grips are intended to hold up through lengthy play sessions, which is another thing they can unquestionably deliver.
Build & Design
Measuring 6.4 x 5.6 x 2.3-inches, and weighing about 2-ounces each, FASTSNAIL Grips combine the style of the PlayStation controller with the size of an Xbox controller. The underbody of each grip is constructed from ABS plastic, which is both shock-resistant and effective at dissipating heat from your hands. All in all, it offers a little extra protection from wear and tear.
Atop the skeleton of ABS plastic, FASTSNAIL has layered on a unique matte grip. It’s basically a special rubberized non-slip surface. And because the surface is rubberized, the design is also scratch-free, allowing it to retain its attractive appearance over time.
Of course, these grips are vulnerable to other issues. For instance, this gripping surface ensures repeated contact will lead to grime building up across the controller. You’ve got to make an effort to wipe-down your grips on a somewhat regular basis to keep them looking their best.
FASTSNAIL Grips are available in all standard Nintendo Switch colors, including green and pink, or red and blue, black, and yellow. Unfortunately, FASTSNAIL provides no warranty. But truthfully, it needs no warranty. These grips have phenomenal reputation for delivering excellence, which can be seen by just glancing at customer reviews.
As with similar kits, the Fintie Grip kit includes a set of two Joy-Con grips. And as with similar kits, the whole idea behind these grips is to allow you to transform small Joy-Con remotes into full sized controllers. But what Fintie Grip really brings to the table is a uniquely simple installation, and a wear-resistant design. They also have a remarkable matte grip that compares favorably with the grip used by FASTSNAIL Grips.
Build & Design
Each grip measures 5 x 4.1 x 1-inches, and each weighs about 2-ounces. Each uses an ergonomic design that’s most reminiscent of the PlayStation controller. There’s one small exception. The curvature of each hand rest has been made particularly wide, to help minimize fatigue from lengthy play sessions. It also causes these grips to feel somewhat flatter in your hands.
Each grip is constructed with ABS plastic, making them resistant to impact. And that goes a long way towards ensuring a promising lifespan for both grips. The wear-resistant design of each Fintie Grip should actually prevent the ABS from becoming polished for considerably longer than any of the other grips on this list. But after several years of regular use, even the Fintie Grip will start to feel worn-down.
Atop the Fintie Grip, you’ll find slightly enlarged SL/SR buttons. If you’ve tried a variety of controllers before, you may notice a slightly squishy feeling within each shoulder buttons. That’s because these shoulder buttons are constructed from foam instead of mechanical springs.
The foam-based design is actually more durable than a mechanical design, and playing with them feels natural because they snap-back in place after use. They’re almost exactly like mechanical springs in every way that counts. But experienced users who’ve spent countless hours playing with similar controllers may be able to notice the slight difference in feedback.
These grips are marginally larger than the AmazonBasics Grip Kit, but otherwise share almost the same dimensions. Fintie Grip are available in all the standard Nintendo Switch colors, including a set of pink and green, red and blue, yellow, and black. Each color closely matches the specific hues used by the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Con remotes, so all your gear ends up matching rather nicely.
Choosing Among the Best Nintendo Switch Joy Con Grips
If you’re looking for something quick and easy, your best option is probably Fintie Grips. What you’re trying to do is make your Joy-Con feel like a regular controller, and that’s exactly what these grips do. They’re constructed to meet reasonably high standards, and their wide assortment of color options doesn’t hurt, either.
AmazonBasics grips don’t have the same range of color options as the other members of this list, but they do provide something nobody else does. They provide a pair of rubberized thumbstick buttons. If you don’t like the thumbstick surfaces on your Joy-Con, the AmazonBasics Grip Kit is likely your best choice. Their initially beautiful appearance will fade with time, but only after you’ve squeezed out hundreds of hours of playtime.
FASTNAIL Grips are slightly larger than the other two grips on this list. If you’re someone with large hands or long fingers, you probably want a larger controller. The other grips on this list are perfectly fine for someone with large hands, especially relative to the tiny size of a Joy-Con remote. But you don’t want to upgrade the size of your Joy-Con only to discover that the controller still feels small. That makes FASTSNAIL Grips a clear choice for many.