Written by Eric Yee Tuesday, 21 August 2012 14:36
As an avid gamer I tend to put a lot of time into games each and every week. When I get to sit in front of my Xbox 360 I play everything from first person shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield 3 to RPGs and fighting games like Mass Effect 3 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. With all the time I’ve put into games with a competitive fan base, I’ve heard of numerous products and accessories that are supposed to improve your performance and make you a better player.
I never put much stock into the claims of these products. I thought that customers who said the products actually worked only believed it because they spent their hard earned cash on them. After getting some hands on time with Kontrol Freek’s FPS Freek CQC – Signature Edition I can honestly say that I was quite wrong.
Kontrol Freek sent over a set of the FPS Freek CQC – Signature Edition that includes two green thumb caps that snap onto the Xbox 360 thumbsticks. At first the slight raise of thumb placement was a little noticeable but after one game of Conquest in Battlefield 3 I forgot that I even had them attached. I actually have found the slight difference in height better for my thumbs. With the standard thumbsticks I usually have to keep my thumbs constantly bent but with the FPS Freek CQC I can easily rest them at a higher elevation without compromising reaction time or accuracy.
Taking a closer look at how I actually use a controller with and without the FPS Freek CQC I began to notice some key differences. Using just the standard Xbox 360 thumbsticks the tips of my thumbs actually move slightly off center when pushing the stick in different directions. Playing the recent XBLA release Hybrid, I noticed that some headshots moved slightly to the right at the last second missing my target entirely. The standard thumbstick has four little dots that are meant to act as grip but after countless hours of online multiplayer they have worn down significantly.
The design of the FPS Freek CQC offers the grip I didn’t know I was missing. While using these for the past few weeks I’ve noticed my movement input actually did what I wanted. I was making the kills that before would have resulted in me yelling at the respawn camera. While the Xbox 360 controller thumbsticks have a concave design, the FPS Freek CQC uses both concave and convex aesthetics as well as a diagonal stripes. The result is that my thumbs don’t slide around the thumbstick, when I aim at another player’s head the reticule doesn’t go past or stop short; it rests directly between their eyes.
Those with concerns about the impact on speed and reaction time have nothing to worry about. This product offers better accuracy without sacrificing speed. There is no drag and if anything they will save you from auto adjusting misplaced shots.
It is hard to articulate exactly how the FPS Freek CQC is a step up from using a standard controller. After using the product for the last few weeks I’ve tried going back to playing with the regular thumbsticks and it is just not the same. The FPS Freek CQC does offer more precise control and the rubber surface is actually more comfortable on my thumbs.
Anyone on the fence or doubting the validity of Kontrol Freek’s claims should give the products a try. Once you get these under your thumbs you will notice the difference. While I can’t compare the FPS Freek CQC to past Kontrol Freek releases, fans should know that amount of precision and comfort I found using these is enough that I would recommend looking at upgrading.
While the FPS Freek CQC – Signature Edition is advertised as the perfect accompaniment for close quarters combat, I will be using these across the multiple genres of games that I play on a regular basis.
Make sure to check out Kontrol Freek's website for more information on the FPS Freek CQC and their other products.