Gamers have their way to hold a controller but there is one controversial grip that some say made their game better while others reported finger pain instead. This grip is called the Claw Grip – a unique way to hold a controller that maximizes button input.

If you are still holding your controller regularly then it might be time to give Claw Grip a try and see for yourself if it is worth the hype.

In this article, we will talk about how to play claw controller grip, the benefits of it, and if there are downsides to using this grip.

What Is The Claw Controller Grip

The Claw Controller Grip is almost the same as the regular grip with both hands on the sticks. However, the right index finger is rested on the buttons at a curled position resembling a claw.

This type of grip allows players to press buttons without letting go of the right stick. It provides simultaneous movement for fast-paced shooting games like Fortnite or Apex Legends.

For PlayStation-style controllers where the layout is symmetrical, the Claw Grip can be applied to the left hand too. The left index finger is curled up on the D-Pad for added controls.

However, the Xbox controllers have an asymmetrical layout which makes it more challenging to do the claw using the left hand unless you are capable of using the left stick with your fingers instead.

Claw Grip vs Regular Grip: Which One Should You Use

Claw Grip has an advantage over the regular grip because it provides an extra input method – through your index finger. With a regular grip, your thumb will take care of the sticks and the buttons while your index finger takes care of the triggers.

There are instances where the extra button advantage of the claw grip is apparent such as in fast-paced games. However, claw grip does not give you an advantage if you are playing casual games such as The Sims 4.

Moreover, the claw grip has a learning curve. If you do not have a lot of time to practice then it is probably not for you.

In the end, it all boils down to preference. Do you have the time to practice and learn Claw? Do you play games that require you to control the left stick and press a button at the same time? Then feel free to try the claw grip.

But if you are already used to the regular grip and you are quick enough to outplay your enemies, then why change something that is not broken? As long as the regular grip provides you with the fun and enjoyment you need then you are good to go.

Can Glaw Grip Cause Injuries Or Hurt Your Hand

The short answer is no. Using the claw grip does not injure your hand or would hurt your hand. But you will feel discomfort for hours of playing with Claw especially if you are coming from a regular grip or mouse and keyboard.

Gamers usually play for at least two hours every day and with your fingers bent in an awkward position, you will feel discomfort.

Now, just like any other activity, it is highly recommended that you take a break while playing. This relieves your hands from the pressure of bending at an awkward angle.

As much as the claw grip has benefits, there is something worth pondering though. Gaming companies spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars designing a controller with function and form in mind. They manufactured these controllers with a specific grip – the regular one.

So maybe the regular grip is the way to go for long hours of gaming?

Going back, the Claw Grip has its pros and cons. But if you feel that there is something wrong with your hands or fingers, then stop immediately. It is better to play with ar regular grip than risk injuring yourself because of an unconventional way to play.

Do Pro Players Use Claw Grip On Their Controller

There are a lot of professional players that use claw grip on their controller. Fortnite, Call of Duty, Apex Legends, you name and there are at least one or two pro players who use Claw in these games.

Some notable pro players who use Claw are Aydan “Aydan” Conrad, Seth “Scump” Abner, and Josue “FaZe Sway” Sway. These players are controller demons and the claw grip amplified their skills more.

Should you follow their steps?

Not really. As we said, Claw Grip is a personal preference. Whatever settings that these pro players are using took a lot of time and muscle memory to get to the level that they are in right now. Copying their settings could be a benchmark but it will not work with you at a 100% level.

How To Play Claw Controller Grip

Claw Grip has its pros and cons and we also discussed the risks that come alongside using it. It is now time to finally try it out. Follow these instructions to use Claw Grip on your controller.

  1. Hold your controller like you normally would. Thumbs should be both on the thumbstick and index fingers on the top triggers.
  2. Curl your right index finger and lay it down the buttons. You will use the side of your finger to press the controller.
  3. Your right middle finger will press the right triggers while your right ring and pinky finger will hold and balance the controller.
  4. For an asymmetrical controller like the X-Box controllers, your left thumb will hold the stick and it is also responsible for the D-Pad.
  5. For symmetrical controllers like the PlayStation controller, you may use your left thumb on the analog stick. Curl your left index finger and rest it on the D-Pad. Your index finger will then press the D-Pad as needed.
  6. Practice, practice, and practice again.

Note: Step 5 is optional. Some claw grip users only use Claw on their right hand. Others use it on both their hands especially if there are a lot of commands bound to the D-Pad.

The final step to playing Claw on your controller is to practice, practice, then practice again. It will take a lot of time to get used to considering the awkward hand angle. The discomfort and initial growing pains of switch grip also take time to heal.

Another reason why you need to practice using Claw for hours is to determine whether it is the right grip style for you.

Why Not Use A Controller With A Back Button Instead

The Claw Grip was developed to add an extra layer of input quickly. But nowadays, there are a lot of game controllers with a back button or paddles installed. So why not use those instead?

While it is true that there are controllers with paddles available, these controllers are costly compared to their regular controller counterparts.

Just look at the prices of these controllers.

  • Razer Wolverine Ultimate – $160
  • 8bitDo SN30 Pro 2 – $50
  • Scuf Instinct Pro – $220
  • Xbox One Controller Elite – $170

Now, compare it to the prices of these regular controllers.

  • Xbox Wireless Controller – $80
  • PlayStation Dual Sense – $70
  • Logitech F310 – $20

Basically, back paddle controllers are pricey and not everyone can afford to purchase one. Going Claw grip is free. It just takes a little bit more time to get used to.

Should you get a back paddle controller instead?

If you have the budget for it then go ahead. These controllers have remappable buttons that make it easier to play fast-paced games without the need of doing claw grip. Instead of lifting your thumb to press the buttons, all you have to do is to press the paddles.

We know it is cliche but it all boils down to preference and budget of course. If you would rather spend money on games, then Claw Grip or the Regular Grip is the better choice.

Wrapping Up

Alright, we have discussed the different types of controller grips and their pros and cons. But ultimately, you now know how to play Claw controller grip if you want to. Hopefully, this guide is a huge help. By the way, do not forget to take a break from gaming now and then.

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Aim is a content writer who loves playing Apex Legends and Dota 2. He also plays casual games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Pokemon titles on his Nintendo Switch too. He sometimes streams on his Facebook Gaming page called Aimpossible.