SquidGrip Controller Grip Product Review
With the holidays fast approaching, it seems only logical to research which products you'd like to add to your wishlist. Luckily for you, I've gone and researched this one already! SquidGrip is a controller skin that supposedly enhances grip, reduces sweat, and is comfortable to the touch.
SquidGrip is available for standard console controllers for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 at the SquidGrip website. The average SquidGrip costs around $15.00. This review was conducted on a PlayStation 4 controller.
It seems that controller customization (or as I like to call it: personalization) is all the rage in today's gaming scene. Everybody has to buy custom controllers with specific functions and additions to improve their gameplay. Specially colored controllers are a huge seller, as players get tired of plain old black DualShock 4s and what-have-you. Thumbstick grips, elevated or otherwise, are also a major seller for casual and hardcore gamers alike. I've even seen special covers for the PS4 controller's light-bar to turn the light into the Superman logo!
Controller grips can be purchased cheaply on sites like Amazon, though you'd be wise not to buy there. A lot of controller grips, though they are colorful and showy, aren't very functional in the long haul. Some grips cover the entire controller, some cover just the back. Some grips are silicon, some are made of more comfortable material. Some are colored, and others aren't.
The point I'm trying to make here is that thought should be put into the way you personalize your controller. Don't do it "just because everyone else is". Make the decision yourself, based off of reviews like this one! Now let's get down to business.
What does SquidGrip do?
According to the official SquidGrip website,
SquidGrip provides a low-profile, firm and padded surface for your hands - without disrupting the natural feel of your controller. Developed using moisture-wicking technology, no other product alleviates sweaty hands and improves overall grip and comfort like SquidGrip.
SquidGrip's "moisture-wicking technology" is a little misleading, and the quote missed the small flair of personalization a SquidGrip adds to a controller, but they pretty much summed it up!
Now how well does SquidGrip do what it says it does?
The Grip Itself
First things first, does the SquidGrip actually give a player better grip on their controller? Yes.
The SquidGrip is thick enough that a player's hands sink in a small amount when holding the controller, giving it a memory-foam type of feel, yet thin enough that it doesn't interfere with the controller handling. Small ridges in the smooth grip's surface give it a rigid anti-slip feel and a carbon-fiber appeal.
The grip is extremely comfortable to the touch and adds a small contour to the player's hands, which seems to be extra ergonomic. A person using SquidGrip on their controller will be able to play longer with superior comfort.
Sweaty hands are a huge #gamerproblem. The idea that you're going so try-hard that your palms start to sweat and you lose controller grip is nasty, but it's a very real threat to serious gamers. SquidGrip claims to alleviate players of this, though there are some interesting differences in the way they word it and the way it actually happens.
Though they would have you believe that SquidGrip completely eradicates sweaty hands, I've found that this is NOT the case.
SquidGrip will not prevent your hands from sweating. Even though the foam grip is soft and cool to the touch, it won't aerate your hands. However, the moisture technology isn't a complete lie. While using SquidGrip you'll be less perceptive to how sweaty your hands are. You can play for long hours without worrying about sweat because the "grip" function of the grip works well enough that the controller won't slip anyways. Just watch out if you have to switch to a non-SquidGripped controller halfway through game-time!
For many players, this is a waste of money. An extra $3.00 for some silly stickers that go on the SquidGrip? "I've already spent $15.00, how much more do these people want from me?!" Unfortunately, those people are right.
Although the personalization of the badges is super cool, the badges tend to fall off quite easily. Four badges were included for the PlayStation 4 controller: two long, skinny SquidGrip titles for the sides of the controller, and two circular logos for the front. The circular logos are very nice and stay put well, but the long badges on the sides (where players' hands will constantly rub them) started falling off almost immediately following application.
It's also unfortunate that "badges" are the only customizable function of the controller grip. The grip currently comes in the singular color black, and no other patterns, shapes, or art is featured on them (unless players add their own).
I would still suggest custom badges for the sake of the circular logos, which come in some really neat designs (note the zombie-squid second from the left, top row in the image above). They can add some flair to your controller, or can be used to blend with colored controllers. Players might also consider gluing their badges on.
One thing closed-faced silicone controller grips have on the SquidGrip is easy installation. With silicone, it's as easy as stretch, snap, go. SquidGrip will require delicate application.
Out of the box, players will receive two grips (one for each side), four badges, a sticker, and a much-needed application instruction manual. The instructions have you line up four holes in the side of the grip, with the seam of the controller side before rolling the grip together. It took around thirty minutes for me to get my grips accurately applied. The installation could be made simpler, and in turn faster or more efficient, if the grip had a specific location to line up with. Instead, it's just trial and error.
Of course, the badges don't come pre-installed on the grip and have very sensitive adhesive (in other words: it barely works) on them. They take quite some time to get perfect. The only way of knowing where they go is by analyzing pictures of installed SquidGrips and searching for very small indents on the grips. This definitely could be fixed with a simple light outline drawn on the grips.
On the topic of adhesives used by SquidGrip, there is no sticky residue when the grip is removed. If a SquidGrip was put on a brand new custom controller, the day it came off, it would still feel brand new. The adhesive on the SquidGrip itself is strong and only lifts off at the edges on strange angles.
The grip edges will be a minor problem for players with animals... or women around. Basically anything that sheds a consistent amount of hair is best kept away from the grip. The edges gather a lot of hairs if the controller is put down in such an area. Obviously, the more hair and dirt the edges of the SquidGrip take in, the less sticky it becomes.
Speaking of edges, it's worth noting that the edges of badges and even the edges of the grip against the controller should be frequently cleaned with something fine-tipped. They often gather dirt, dead skin cells, hair and other nastiness which can effect the adhesive.
SquidGrip makes a great addition to any player's custom controller, providing great handling, superior comfort, and moisture resistance. It's unfortunate that there isn't much of a personalization factor to this controller modification, apart from the badges which struggle to stay on.
Still, I'd recommend SquidGrip to any gamer struggling with a slippery default controller -- and it definitely trumps floppy uncomfortable silicone wraps.