Nyko Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip Review: Better than the real thing — except for one detail

The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con grip is a useful inclusion, but leaves a lot to be desired. The controller attachment lets you slide your Joy-Con controllers into a more traditional-feeling shape, and, unfortunately, the one Nintendo gives you for free is the worst one they make. Options like the Charging Grip, which sends power to your Joy-Con, and the Comfort Grip, which feels way better, remind us that the basic grip is actually kind of trash. To which Nyko says, “Hold my beer, we’ll give this a try.”

Nyko Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip Review: Clip Grip is that friend who’s a little too into life-hacking

Going off of Nintendo’s Joy-Con holster design, Nyko’s Clip Grip lets you slide in the two tiny controllers and also gives you that real controller feel. Plus it rhymes, very important in a product name.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Clip Grip is the removable door on the front. Nyko’s added a hidden compartment that holds six Nintendo Switch games and two microSD cards. Not only does it keep things tidy, but it instantly turns the controller grip into a travel accessory. No more storing Nintendo games in your wallet and praying to every god you can think of that it stays put.

Nyko Clip Grip holds six games and two microSD cardsXavier Harding/Mic

The main event, however, is the phone mount. Here’s how it looks.

Clip Grip phone mountXavier Harding/Mic

When not being used the phone clip attaches in the back and out of the way, but you can throw it on the front to give your phone a place to slide into. Nyko expects you to use this phone mount with the recently released Nintendo Switch Online app when playing Splatoon 2 or other online games. You’ll almost definitely laugh the first time you use this thing to play Switch with your phone attached.

Nyko Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip Review: The phone mount is great, but does Nintendo’s app rotate?

Here’s the problem: Nintendo’s app for the Switch doesn’t rotate sideways. Meaning if you plan on interfacing with it at all for matchmaking, sending people messages or anything else, you either have to take the phone out of the grip or turn your gamepad sideways. Depending on what the app does and doesn’t let you do in Splatoon and other future games, this could be a big deal or not important at all. Though if you simply want your phone nearby you while you’re yelling at friends in online play this should be enough.

Nyko Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip Review: Using the Joy-Con setup, smartphone and all, isn’t terrible

So how did it feel to play Splatoon with our iPhone attached? Not bad. It’s hard to argue the overall controller isn’t heavier with this attached, but you quickly get used to the weight. Nintendo’s paint shooter game uses motion controls for aiming and this setup didn’t impede that at all. Though with online currently unavailable, we tested this during the single player campaign — come back to us once we’ve won some online ranked battles with this extra gear strapped to our Joy-Con. Perhaps it has Piccolo’s cape-like effects and makes us even better at splatting.

As mentioned, Nyko’s Clip Grip is super into life hacks and knows the importance of keeping your devices charged. The grip will charge your Joy-Con and also phone, thanks to the USB port on the back.

Micro and regular USB, for power in and outXavier Harding/Mic
The Clip Grip can charge anything attached to it.Xavier Harding/Mic

The Clip Grip itself charges over micro USB. Not the same USB C that the Switch and its controllers use, but it’s not keeping us up at night.

Dog sticker not included.Xavier Harding/Mic

Nyko Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Grip Review: Get a grip

The price for the Nyko Clip Grip is $25, $5 less than Nintendo’s official Charging Grip. The proposition is a good one, considering you get a phone mount and physical game storage. The best part of all, this is on Nintendo. No matter who you buy a controller grip from, you’re still technically using first-party Nintendo controllers since the grips are only meant to hold the first-part Joy-Con controllers. Unlike all those fake GameCube controllers you bought to play Smash Bros. that are probably broken by now. To think they didn’t even offer any life hacks. Nyko’s Clip Grip is available now and launches elsewhere August 1.

July 19, 2017, 11:00 p.m. ET: This story has been updated

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