Review

Kontrol Freek vs. Budget Thumbsticks

 |  Updated Feb 21st, 2018
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PS4 Controller Thumbsticks

I recently started playing Call of Duty: WWII on PS4, and I’ve always wanted to try out extended thumbsticks to see if they really make a difference. I noticed I was having a hard time getting used to the height of the thumbsticks on the PS4 controller. For me to be accurate, I had to use a lower sensitivity, but this limited how fast I could turn and aim towards a target. I tried raising the sensitivity of the controller thumbstick, but then I had a hard time being precise. Kontrol Freeks / Extended Thumbsticks help fix this issue by allowing you to have a greater range of motion. They won’t magically improve your skills, but I definitely found them helpful, especially for first-person shooters.

The Budget Thumbsticks / Grips

The exact pack of thumbsticks I purchased is no longer available on Amazon, but I did find a very similar set. The pack I purchased included 10 thumbsticks (5 pairs) for $9.99. If you do some digging through Amazon, you’ll find that there are various “Brand Names” associated with these thumbsticks.

They definitely work, but they don’t come close to the Kontrol Freeks in my opinion. The rubbery material is very smooth, and it doesn’t really provide any grip. They have little bumps on them for grip, but I didn’t really like the way they felt. I found them somewhat awkward and clunky overall. When playing with these thumbsticks, I felt like I had to keep pressure down on the them in order to keep my thumb from slipping off.

Kontrol Freek (Control Freak) Thumbsticks

I decided to pickup a set of the Kontrol Freek, FPS Freek thumbsticks and give them a try. They had various different colors and designs, but I decided to go with the WWII edition . The set I purchased was $19.99, a much steeper price than the budget thumbsticks, but I really found them to be worth it. The rubber material provides excellent grip, and they’re very easy to attach and remove.

The Kontrol Freeks felt much better, and I felt I could be much more precise with the extended thumbstick. I’ll definitely get the Kontrol Freeks again if I manage to wear them out. They’re much lighter than the budget thumbsticks, which seems to help the factory sticks retain more of their resistance.

My Recommendation

If you’re strapped for cash, give the budget thumbsticks a try. In all other cases, get a set of Kontrol Freek thumbsticks. If you’re looking to save a couple bucks, the thumbsticks that aren’t associated with a particular game are usually slightly cheaper.

My Current PS4 Controller Setup

Closeup image of my PS4 controller with a single Kontrol Freek on the right thumbstick
Since I started playing Call of Duty: WWII, I’ve experimented a bit with different combinations. What I’ve found that works best is to play with nothing on my left thumbstick and just one of the Kontrol Freeks on my right thumbstick. I didn’t find any real benefit to playing with an extension on the left thumbstick.