I’ve never been one for the after market mods or parts when it comes to video gaming. Mad Catz arcade stick? Forget it. A controller with built-in combo buttons? Defeats the purpose. So when KontrolFreek contacted me asking if I’d take a look at their controller gaming accessory I accepted with some apprehension.
So what are they? KontrolFreek makes two products: FPSFreek and SpeedFreek. FPSFreek, as the name denotes, is designed to improve accuracy for first person shooters such as Halo and Call Of Duty. They essentially extend the length of the PS3 or Xbox 360’s analog sticks and by doing so provide more leverage, which results in smaller degrees of movement and ultimately greater accuracy. SpeedFreek, on the other hand, is best suited for driving games when your button mashing will be limited to shoulder buttons and triggers (more on this later).
I first checked out the SpeedFreek. Initially I just tore these suckers out of the box without giving them a second look. Big mistake. I didn’t realize it, but these were not intended for FPS shooters. As a result I quickly discovered that these were not built for this type of game, especially when I tried to move my thumb from the right analog stick to the adjacent buttons. Because the SpeedFreek design is essentially a U shape, it tends to encapsulates your thumb and prevents any quick back and forth movements between the buttons and analog stick. Popping in a driving game and removing the right SpeedFreek accessory quickly resolved this quandary and in no time flat I was off the races.
While I can’t testify to a 10 fold improvement in car control I did notice that is was easier to control vehicles and after extensive game play I experienced less fatigue. But, as noted with my FPS experience, if the driving game calls for a good amount of button pushing and the use of the right and left analog stick (which is unlikely) you’ll find your thumbs tripping over the controller’s right analog stick.
The FPSFreek had me far more excited since a large portion of my gaming are first person shooters and since this accessory just extends the length of the analog stick they appeared to be applicable in all gaming situations. So I fired up some Call of Duty 5 and went at it. Without a moment of doubt my accuracy had improved. Unfortunately, it had been a few weeks since my last outing on COD (take a week off and you lose your edge) so my senses weren’t as sharp, but nonetheless within minutes I could feel the affects of the FPSFreek accessory. It was most noticeable when lining up my cross hairs on the enemy target as I didn’t wobble my gun around trying to find the sweet spot on the Xbox 360 controller, which if you’ve used you know just how unforgiving the analog sticks can be.
Attaching both KontrolFreek accessories is very straight forward, but the FPSFreek proved to be the most challenging. Unlike the SpeedFreek, which easily snap on to the top of the analog stick, the FPSFreek required me to use much more force and push directly down on the analog. So much force in fact that I was worried I might break the analogs or the accessory itself. So I suggest airing on the side of caution when affixing either Kontrol Freek accessory and take the approach of measure twice and cut once carpenter philosophy before before attaching.
Both the FPSFreek and SpeedFreek are very affordable after market accessories for the PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers. While both have their place, and despite being more challenging to attach the FPSFreek appears to have much more quality and usefulness since a larger portion of the gaming market are FPSes. Some might scoff at the SpeedFreek since they appear to be just plastic molds, but there is no detesting the added benefits that they bring to the game.
You can buy each one here for $9.99 or both for $17.99.
- Enhanced game play
- Easy to use
- FPSFreek difficult to attach
- SpeedFreek design can hinder thumb freedom
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."