I certainly don’t claim to be a Nintendo fan, which may be why the Nintendo Switch’s innovative hardware didn’t particularly grip me when it was first announced. That said, I did give the system a fair chance to sway me once it launched, and while its mobile capabilities are undoubtedly impressive, the hardware itself leaves much to be desired. The Switch, specifically in its mobile form, is far too small for a larger-handed gentleman like myself, making the act of controlling games on the platform more of a challenge than the games themselves. What is more, the material that makes up the hardware has always felt cheap and fragile to me, like the slightest shift of the wrist would snap its JoyCons right off.
Even though I don’t consider myself in Nintendo’s core fanbase, a few of the platform’s games have intrigued me, and yet I’m turned off from giving them a chance due to the unsatisfying experience of using the actual hardware. The Switch’s standard Pro controllers remedy this in its console form, but when going mobile, it’s just felt too finicky to play. This is why I jumped at the chance to try out the system in Satisfye’s new Pro Gaming Grip. The idea of giving the platform’s mobile form a sound structure seemed like exactly what the doctor ordered.
The Pro Grip is a wide-set peripheral that fits the entire Switch system with JoyCons attached. The system slides into the grip with ease, and I felt a difference the moment I picked it up. Unlike the system’s normal mobile mode, the Pro Grip actually fills up my hands. No longer do I have to alternate between holding the system by the fingertips to comfortably hit the buttons, and holding the system firmly while having to contort my fingers inward. In addition to its satisfying size, the Grip gives the system a more ergonomic shape, so it feels less like a flat tablet and more like a dedicated gaming platform.
While the Grip offers a much sturdier gaming experience than the Switch on its own, I was initially taken aback by one facet of the Grip’s design. One of the Grip’s handles is far more skewed than the other, with the left handle running relatively flush to the console and the right cocked at an exaggerated angle. Almost immediately after starting to play, however, I realized this design choice was meant to compensate for the system’s offset analog sticks. It proved to be a smart decision, as it naturally lead my thumbs to exactly where each stick sat.
The Pro Grip makes handling the Switch more comfortable for players with bigger hands, but gamers should be aware that the Grip does add a notable bit of weight. Bigger hands generally mean bigger bodies, so the extra weight shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the Grip’s target audience, but smaller people after a more manageable Switch experience on-the-go may have to take breaks more frequently than they would otherwise. Also, the Grip does nothing to fix the Switch’s various other hardware issues, including the loose and wiggly analog sticks, or the trigger buttons’ frustrating size and unsatisfying feedback. Obviously, these issues aren’t the Grip’s fault, but for how much the Grip fixes the system’s playbility for us big-handers, it doesn’t fix everything.
Nintendo’s release of standard Pro controllers made couch gaming on the Switch more accommodating for us larger folk, but mobile alternatives like JoyCon covers did little to improve our travel with the system. Fortunately, the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip is what does it. Again, it doesn’t address all of the system’s big-hand problems, but it makes it far easier to hold and control, which is top of the list when talking about mobile gaming. I might finally try taking the Switch out of the office now.
While the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip was likely made for big-handed gamers, it is available for all to enjoy. To learn how the Grip handles for gamers with more petite appendages, check out EGM’s small-hand review by my fellow editor Emma.