The Nintendo Switch is a versatile console, advertised and praised for the many ways players can use it: docked for a full-screen experience, portable for trips on the go, with Joy-Cons turned sideways to play with a friend, or with a Pro Controller for the most precise controls. Now that it’s been out for a year and a half, players are settling in to their favorite ways to play, and third-party accessory makers are stepping up to make each mode of Switch gameplay more comfortable.
Enter the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip, a hefty piece made to make gaming on the go more comfortable. This solid plastic grip is longer than the Switch itself and adds grips to the side of each Joy-Con controller. While the Joy-Cons are flat and rectangular, these grips are more like what you’d find on the Pro Controller or similar offerings from Microsoft and Sony. While you can’t slide your Switch back into its dock with the Gaming Grip on, legs on the bottom let you sit your Nintendo Switch upright on a desk with enough room for the included charger to reach the bottom port.
The Pro Gaming Grip adds a heightened feel of solidity to the Switch, though this comes with a trade-off in terms of the overall weight of the system. The Switch unit is held in place with friction from some rubber grips, which worked well to hold the system steady without any sliding or rattling. While this worked well and I couldn’t shake my Switch free by accident, it does seem reliant on the rubber not wearing down or aging over time, so it may not be future-proof. The additional weight, overall frame, and solid-feeling handles made me more confident in gripping and moving my Switch tightly through tense moments in Splatoon 2 matches and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild combat. However, despite the more comfortable grips, my hands did get tired over time simply from having to hold up the now-heavier console.
The handles themselves are angled, which initially threw me off. The frame is asymmetrical, and seems aimed to naturally position your thumbs over the Switch’s asymmetrical thumbsticks. This took some adjusting, especially for my right hand, which was now angled lower. The difference was great enough to disrupt my muscle memory for games, and with my smaller hands hitting the ABXY buttons took more movement than I was used to and the + button took a bit of a stretch. This may not be an issue for larger hands, however.
There’s also a plastic ledge along the back of the frame, and this, more than the changed button placement, proved disruptive to me. It wasn’t uncomfortable. On the contrary, my fingers rested more naturally on the plastic ledge than on the shoulder buttons, which sometimes led to me trying uselessly to press shoulder buttons when I was actually just holding plastic. It’s something that could likely be learned, but it took just that little bit longer for me to think about what to press compared to the Pro Controller or Joy-Cons.
There are a few accessories that come with the Pro Gaming Grip, including a padded case big enough to carry the entire ensemble, some rubber extension grips to go over the thumbsticks, and a redesigned USB charger. This charger is made to fit in that gap between the frame and the Switch when it’s set down, and I thought it was a clever design. It lines up nicely without putting the frame off balance. I was perplexed by how short the charger was, though. It’s little more than a foot long, so if you want to charge your system while playing, you’ll have to be sitting right on top of your computer, outlet, or other source of USB power. The rest of the case is nicely made, with ample storage space for games and other accessories.
Overall, I can see myself using the Pro Gaming Grip in the future, given the right circumstances. It could vastly improve something like a long airplane trip, where I could rest my elbows and weight of the console on the tray in front of me and have more of the comfort of a Pro Controller, without the need to actually bring along another controller. For day-to-day use, though, when I’m swapping back and forth between docked and portable mode and overall weight and carry size are a priority, I think I’ll stick with my Switch as it is.
Looking for a review from someone with larger hands? Head over here to read my coworker Nick’s impressions of the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip.