There is no better way to show your love for a game than by sticking a set of KontrolFreek’s performance thumbsticks on to your controller.

With the release of Call of Duty Black Ops 4 arriving, the leading innovator of gaming accessories is back – this time with a set of stunning thumbsticks that allow Black Ops 4 players the chance to pour their love over Ruin, one of the best Specialists in the game.

There have been a number of Call of Duty inspired thumbsticks fall out of the KontrolFreek stable over the years. We’ve seen WWII designs, green Modern Warfare themed additions, glow-in-the-dark Zombies flavoured ones and, to celebrate the announcement of the game, even those featuring the iconic Black Ops 4 logo. Now though, with the game releasing and the hype being made real, it’s time for KontrolFreek to bring to market another set, this time featuring the iconic markings of Ruin’s in-game weapon – the Grav Slam.

Coming in the usual set of two, these stick add-ons have been designed with Call of Duty players in mind, with one 11.86mm high-rise stick to allow for improved shooting accuracy and a mid-range partner sitting at 7.05mm which ensures that any Black Ops 4 player has extra grip and comfort whilst on the battlefield. This combination works a treat too with KF promising that this specific combo will not only see your range of motion increased by 120%, but able to deliver much more precise in-game movements too. After using these well-designed sticks for a little while, I find myself in a place where I can pretty confidently stand behind those KontrolFreek claims.

But there are all manner of mid and high rise stick combinations that KontrolFreek deal with, so why should you bother with this Grav Slam edition? Well, after being designed in partnership with Treyarch Studios, they are without a doubt going to appeal to all Black Ops 4 players, especially those who take on the role of the super powerful Ruin and like to dish out a bit of punishment with his gravity-exploding Grav Slam. And whilst the immediate visual draw is going to drag in a number of players, it is the overall feel and confidence that these stick additions bring that should be the real reason for your purchase.

See, not only does the metallic silver top go with the brilliant Black Ops orange base, but the laser-etched Grav Slam logo on top sets everything off nicely. There is a lovely bit of squish to the grey upper part too, and seeing as this is the bit your thumbs will actually be in contact with, it’s a good feel that will see you set up right for even the longest Black Ops Blackout matches. With a very slight convex lid that displays a little Grav Slam face and Ruin’s name, there is little chance you will ever find yourself slipping away from the action either. Even though I’m one of those gamers out there who prefer the feel of the concave designs that KontrolFreek have created elsewhere – seriously, if you haven’t used their Galaxy enhancers then you don’t know what you’re missing – this slight rise is still more than acceptable for my use.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I can highly recommend the KontrolFreek Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Grav Slam performance thumbsticks to any Xbox One or PS4 player who is fully immersing themselves into the world of Black Ops 4. However, that said, I do have two very minor complaints and even though they are extremely picky, I feel that they just have to be mentioned. Firstly, and even though the design on the top of the sticks is lovely and all that, picking out Ruin’s name is nigh on impossible. Blame my old age if you must, blame my poor eyesight too, but even when I’ve asked others to look at the sticks, I’m currently on a 50/50 split to whether the wording says ‘Ruin’ or ‘Run’. Like I say, it’s not a big deal, but a slightly larger bit of text would be preferred.

To go alongside that slight negative is the fact that the left hand stick, the mid-rise of the two, doesn’t quite fit the left thumbstick of the Xbox One controller, at least not as snugly as the multitude of other KF products do. This isn’t a deal breaker as the standard KF three pronged attack sits neatly over the thumbstick like it should, but from there on out, it’s relatively easy to spin it around. After testing with multiple controllers, I thought that maybe it was just a dodgy set of performance thumbsticks I was using, but testing with another set proves the same. It’s never bad enough that the stick addition will fall off – in fact, that is nigh on impossible due to the greatness of the pronged fixing – but it is slightly annoying and disappointing to see.

All that said, these are certainly two very minor mentions that are far-outweighed by the positives that the Grav Slam sticks bring. Not only do they look stunning and feel great, but the KontrolFreek Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Grav Slam Thumbsticks are pretty much an essential purchase for anyone looking to get the upper hand in their game.

If you have never dipped your thumbs into the world of performance thumbsticks but are tempted by what they bring, then the Black Ops 4 Grav Slam sets for Xbox One and PS4 are a great way to get involved.

You never know, they may even help push your K/D ratios into the positive!


Massive thanks go out to KontrolFreek for providing the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Grav Slam Thumbsticks Review. If you wish to purchase some, head to KontrolFreek and they will happily sort you out. 

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