The regular way of holding a controller – the palm grip – leaves something to be desired when it comes to performing certain actions at once. For instance, if the run button of a game on PlayStation is mapped to the circle button, you can’t run and move the camera with the right analog stick at the same time. You have to put your right thumb on one or the other.
One way to get around this problem is to switch to the claw grip. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the Claw Grip in Video Games?
The claw grip in gaming is a way of using extra fingers to press buttons on your controller, phone, or mouse, resulting in the active fingers forming a claw. That way, you can use the extra fingers to perform various actions simultaneously.
For example, the alternate firing mode for some weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) is the left button on the directional pad (D-pad). If you’re using the palm grip, which only uses your thumbs and index fingers to press buttons, it means you’re using your left thumb for both moving and switching the firing modes. You can’t do both at once with this grip.
However, if you add your index finger to the mix to form the claw, you can use it to switch the firing modes. And since your left thumb doesn’t leave the analog stick, you can still move while doing it.
Holding your controller this way can give you a competitive edge.
How Do I Use the Claw Grip When Playing Video Games?
Before we discuss using the claw grip, keep in mind that the claw grip is not the natural way to hold your controller, mouse, or phone. It might take some getting used to since it’s uncomfortable. And if it causes pain, you shouldn’t force it — after all, you do use your hands for other things besides gaming.
Here’s how to use the claw grip, whether you’re gaming on a console, PC, or mobile phone.
On a Controller
Start by gripping the controller the normal way. Then, place your middle fingers on top of the controller – you’ll use them to press the bumper and trigger buttons. Next, place your right index finger on the face buttons and your left index finger on the D-pad.
Your pinky and index fingers will support the controller.
On a Mouse
As long as you’ve configured your mouse for comfort, it should be easy. You just place your palm on the mouse, with the index finger on the left button, the middle finger on the middle button, and the ring finger on the right button. Meanwhile, your thumb is on the side buttons.
This makes it so that you can use the middle button without taking your index off the left mouse button.
On a Mobile Phone
Mobile gaming is the future, and if you’re already into it or just getting into it, learning the claw grip can make the experience more enjoyable moving forward.
While some mobile games have pre-configured layouts for anything from two to six fingers, they also allow you to customize the layout how you want. For instance, this allows you to move the aim button to the top-left corner of the screen, and the fire button to the top-right, or wherever is easier for you.
This frees up your thumbs to do other things, such as switching guns, jumping, aiming, and sliding.
Improve Your Gaming With the Claw Grip
Although the claw grip isn’t the most comfortable way to hold your controller, it does enhance your playstyle since you can do more. It might be awkward when you first use it, but give it some time, and you’ll most likely adjust.
And who knows? The claw grip might just be what you need to get that edge you need in gaming.
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