While a keyboard and mouse are generally considered a better option for games where precision is needed, accessories brand KontrolFreek aims to improve the precision of controller gaming with its line of Precision Rings. Originally launched in 2019 with two resistance options, hard and medium, KontrolFreek’s Precision Rings are tiny circular foam pieces that slip around the thumbsticks on your PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch controller to provide more resistance to your movements, which is particularly helpful in shooters when you need to take careful aim. Now, KontrolFreek is expanding the line with a new soft option, which provides less resistance than the medium and hard versions.
Ahead of this announcement, I got the chance to try out all three Precision Ring options. The rings slip easily around each of your thumbsticks, settling into the little groove below. Fortunately, they’re easy to remove as well, but take care that you don’t pull on them too hard–I did manage to break one of mine. Once a ring is added to each thumbstick, you’ll feel much more resistance as you try to move the stick in any direction. The difference between each level of resistance is extremely subtle, but I found myself preferring the new soft rings as they allowed for slightly better movement. However, I still found that using the Precision Rings on their own with the default thumbsticks made me feel as though I couldn’t maneuver or turn as fast, though my aim and precision was improved.
However, KontrolFreek does recommend pairing the Precision Rings with another of its popular accessories, the Performance Thumbsticks. Available in a variety of colors and sizes, these third-party thumbsticks literally attach to the top of the default thumbsticks and offer a better grip due to their non-slip rubber surface. By increasing the height of thumbsticks, you’re also getting a more ergonomic grip on the controller, reducing stress on your thumb, hand, and wrist. You can attach both the Precision Rings and Performance Thumbsticks to a controller, and I found that this is indeed the ideal combination. Not only does your hand feel like it’s in a more natural position; it also gives the thumbstick more space to move around, so the Precision Rings feel less stiff than they do when used on their own.
I was much happier with my ability to maneuver around when using the Performance Thumbsticks and Precision Rings together, but you may still need to increase your movement speed in the game’s settings to find the perfect level of sensitivity for you. In terms of performance, I was satisfied with how the rings improved my accuracy in games–aiming for headshots in Resident Evil 2 felt noticeably easier with fewer misses, and firing quick shots in succession in Control seemed to take down enemies faster as I was hitting them every time. The Precision Rings cushion the thumbsticks and make them quieter to use as well.
One concern that did cross my mind with the Performance Thumbsticks is the potential for them to leave scratches on the default thumbsticks underneath as you remove them. They come off fairly easily but require a bit more effort to remove than the rings do. If you decide to start using these, you should be aware of that risk–I wouldn’t suggest removing and adding them back on a daily basis.
The bottom line
Ultimately, the KontrolFreek Precision Rings are great accessories to have on hand if you play a lot of shooters, though it’s hard to recommend them without picking up the Performance Thumbsticks as well, which come with the potential risk of minor thumbstick damage. At just $13, the variety pack is worth it for the price, and you’ll get to try out all three resistance strengths to figure out what feels best for you. The Precision Rings take some getting used to, but if you’re someone who struggles to aim with a controller, the benefits are likely worth it.
You can check out both the Precision Rings and Performance Thumbsticks at Amazon below and visit KontrolFreek’s Amazon store page for more of the brand’s gear.