Nyko Intercooler Grip Hardware Review – Fan For Controllers
It’s happened to all of us. The clock on a multiplayer game is ticking down. The score is so close. The win is up to you, and you choke. It’s not because your skills aren’t up to snuff. Your hands just slipped. Sometimes sweaty hands happen during normal play too. It’s a hot day and you just can’t keep your hands firmly planted on the controller, whether it’s a first-person shooter, a visual novel, or a puzzle platformer.
The Nyko Intercooler Grip is a fan for your hands that attaches directly to the bottom of your controller, fitting flush with the existing contours of the DualShock 4. It’s a simple device, an intake fan that blows air through four slits located in front of and behind the controller grips, cooling your hand near the base of your thumbs and fingers. Keeping your controller from slipping isn’t necessarily about cooling, but about airflow, and the Nyko Intercooler Grip effectively keeps air moving around your hands during gaming sessions.
This simple nature comes with a few setbacks though. The fan sits directly over the headphone jack, so you’ll either have to use a USB/Bluetooth wireless headset, or go without. It seems like it would have been simple to run a small extension cable through the unit and provide an audio output jack on the bottom, and its omission means that gamers who rely on the headphone jack will have a choice to make. My guess is they’re going to choose a headset over this fan.
Form and Flow
I personally find my hands getting sweatier during challenging raids in Destiny or while doing intense things like the time trials on Crash Bandicoot. In moments like these, the shape of the controller is important, knowing how your fingers sit in relation to each of the buttons and having a solid enough grip to quickly access whatever function you need to. The form of the Nyko fan is not conducive to these things, having a flat back and no comfortable place to put your fingers, which naturally want to curl around the controller grips.
While it may fit flush with the controller and keep your hands from getting too sweaty, it completely changes how you hold the DualShock 4. This is more for people who simply get hot while gaming and want a way to keep their hands a little cooler, rather than providing a solution for those more intense gaming moments that require a solid and firm grip on the controller. It should be noted that the Intercooler Grip is not a one size fits all accessory in terms of hand size. The fan never felt comfortable to me and I never quite got used to having it on my controller, though my wife’s smaller hands seemed to be more contented with the device being attached.
The cooler has its own battery and recharges via the same type of USB connection that charges your DualShock 4, so you don’t need to worry about the fan killing your controller any faster. The internal battery lasts for slightly less than an hour before dying, and though Nyko claims that it can be charged and used at the same time, I found that the power drain is faster than the device can charge. While active charging may keep it from losing charge as quickly during use, you will not be able to plug it in after it has died and continue to use it. To return to full charge without use will take between one and two hours.
The Nyko Intercooler Grip is a simple product that does exactly as it advertises, but has a few too many drawbacks to be consistently useful. Hopefully future R&D can take the basic functionality of the Nyko Intercooler Grip and streamline the form while not blocking crucial controller functions. While my wife will find it useful for the hour or so that she can use it at a time, the chunky form and covering of the headphone jack cripple my controller during the times when I would take advantage of the airflow the most.
Nyko Intercooler Grip provided by Nyko for review purposes. For more information on reviews, please read our Review Policy.