One Cheapo Accessory Made My PS4 Controller Way Better

One Cheapo Accessory Made My PS4 Controller Way Better

I really like Sony’s DualShock 4 controller. I use it a lot, both for playing games on PS4 and also, lately, for PC games. But there is one aspect I’m not wild about: those slippery thumbsticks.

I like how the thumbsticks respond — they’re nice and springy, and they are a good height. But I don’t love the material they’re made out of. I haven’t experienced the “disintegrating thumbstick” problem that some people have reported, but my thumbs do tend to slip off the thumbsticks, particularly if I’ve been playing for a while.

I know that it’s possible to perform surgery on your DualShock 4 and replace the thumbsticks with the Xbox One’s less-slippery sticks, but that seems like a lot of work, so I had been holding off. Meanwhile, I kept seeing photos of people’s DualShock 4’s with various types of colourful rubber nubs over the thumbsticks, so I decided I’d try some out. I did a little googling and settled on the Grip-iT Analogue Stick Covers. They were five bucks, so I figured, what the hell.

I’ve been using them for about a week, and I’m a big fan. (They also work with plenty of other controllers, including the Xbox One, but I don’t find the Xbox One thumbsticks to be very slippery, so I only use them on the DualShock.) It took a little doing to get them on right — there kept being an air bubble on the left thumbstick for some reason — but now that I have them on, they have made my thumbsticks far less slippery. It takes some getting used to — the thumbsticks are now a tad squishier than I’d been used to — but after a few days, I can’t imagine switching back. My thumb catches easily on each one and I never have to quickly “reset” my thumb in the middle of a game.

I’m pretty new to thumbstick nubs, but I’m guessing a bunch of you out there use them too. If so, what brand do you use? What controller? How do you like them? Have you found one brand to be better than others?


  • I got some of these about 5 years ago for my 360, was like using a new controller after that.

  • My left thumbstick is deteriorating so I did some hunting. Saw a guy on a NZ store suggest that some of the thumb-pads from KontrolFreak were amazing. Got some Classic Ultra’s coming ($20NZD, $25 Inc. Freight) and gonna find out how they comfy they are ^.^.

      • Strangely exact same issue here i had 2 controllers with the exact same problem. Got both of them on launch as well, thankfully EB gave me 2 brand new ones as replacement less than a month ago.

        • Did you need your receipt/proof of purchase? I bought mine from JB but I don’t reckon they’d be as helpful as my local EB

          • I had it on my EB card, but i would suggest a proof of purchase in some way.

            Weird thing was they took them out of the packaging when they gave them too me. Apparently Sony has requested that is what they do.

  • Never noticed a single problem with the Dualshock 4, definitely not my thumbs slipping of them.

    • Same here, I’m loving the DS4.

      It is good to know that there are little fixes like this for those that do have issues. After all, everyone has different sized hands and some sweat more than others.

    • I got a new white controller recently and noticed that Sony has changed the rubber coating on the sticks so it is more slippery than my original black controller and the red controller I got when it came out. Still don’t have major problems though.

      • I have a launch day black and just got a white one when I was in Japan. Just checked them and you are right they have changed the rubber.

        The whole time both controllers seemed different but I thought I was just being a weirdo. Must be the sticks throwing the back part of my brain a tiny bit off.

  • I just ordered a set of aluminium replacement sticks for mine because I wore through the pitifully thin rubber coating they put on the plastic and those silicone grip things do the exact opposite of grip for me

  • I haven’t thought they felt slippery on ps4s I’ve played, but the disintegrating thumbsticks is a legit issue that I’ve seen and I guess these would solve that problem.

    • I think the triggers are great. Overall I think its the best controller to come out yet for any device… it has a great weight and feel…. I recently picked up and used my old xbox 360 controller (my old favourite) and it felt like a cheap toy in comparison. It has also become my full time pc controller.

      • Yeah I bought a white DS4 and a blue tooth usb receiver and use my DS4 instead of my wired 360 controller on PC too now.

        Playing games like Evil Within and Shadows of Mordor cranked at higher detail and FPS while using the PS4 controller makes it seem like I have an Uber PS4 or something lol.

  • I don’t find them slippery, but I’m using the original controller that came with my PS4. I have however worn through the rubber on my left stick, which is shit. You’d think they would used a more durable material. I might have to invest in some of these things.

    • I’ve returned about 10 controllers over the course of the last 12 months for replacement due to that issue. The guys at EB in Midland have been really awesome and have even commented that they’ll probably just keep replacing them until Sony fixes it permanently. Thankfully, the last two I have gotten seem to be from a newer batch and don’t seem to be wearing anywhere near as fast.

      Diablo 3 and FIFA are the worst culprits 🙂

      • Turns out the newer ones have way different rubber on the sticks. I just looked at my white one and launch black one and it is night and day difference. Sony must of did it on the quiet, either way they addressed the issue so kudos to them.

        • Yes, very much so. I have had 2 controllers since launch (obviously swapped numerous times) and the two current ones are significantly better wearing. I still suspect it will happen eventually, but at least they’ve survived longer than a month or two.

  • you can custom build a controller, including custom sticks and buttons.

  • I had the exact same experience with the Dualshock 3, although with a different part of the controller. A cheap, $10 clip on accessory gave my triggers ledges at the bottom and I never looked back.
    People whinge about the Dualshock 3 triggers. I don’t.

      • I got them years ago from EB, I haven’t the faintest clue which company put them out. A quick internet search and a look at my controller hasn’t helped, either. Sorry!

  • I got a pack off eBay for like $2. They are the best thing ever.
    Also I had deteriorating thumb sticks after 6 months.

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