Thumbstick Extenders – Improve Your Gaming

Thumbstick Extenders – Improve Your Gaming

If you are playing FPS (First person shooter) or racing games with a standard controller adding thumbstick extenders can dramatically increase your skills.

They are cheap, attach easy, and can be the difference between winning and losing. There are multiple brands on the market that come in all different shapes and sizes.

Let’s break it down and see how for just a few bucks you can really increase your kills or decrease your lap times, and pretty much dominate your friends in gaming.

How Do Thumbstick Extenders Work?

The science behind the thumb extenders is simply about creating leverage. By extending the length of the thumbstick, you increase your range of motion with your thumbs on the joystick. This results in having more control and your small movements become extremely precise. Some thumbsticks extenders advertise as up to a 40% increase in range of motion.

Do Thumbstick Extenders Work

Simply adding the thumbstick extenders will make a huge difference, but if you really want to take you gaming up a notch then go to your settings and jack up your controller sensitivity. This will make all of movements faster and yet keep your motions under control.

Immediate Results in FPS

Close Quarter Combat thumbsticksIf you are playing an FPS game your ability to aim any weapon will become so much faster and more accurate. You can really see the difference when using a sniper rifle, because these weapons require the most sensitive thumbstick control. I am not much of a regular FPS player myself, but even I saw a huge difference in my ability to aim faster than my enemies as well as out maneuver them when being shot at.

What is also cool is there are certain thumbstick extenders designed for different skill sets, so you can choose the best type for your playing preferences like CQC (Close Quarter Combat) or Sniper.

Just to mention if you are a super serious FPS player, they are considered tournament legal!

Corning Better in Racing Games

Speed Freek Xbox One Thumbsticks

As an avid racing game player, I use a thumbstick extender on the left controller stick only. What this does it creates the ability to handle turning without having to flick the stick. Turning becomes really controlled and smooth which will result in faster lap times and less braking. I would particularly recommend a thumbstick like the Speed Freek Apex with a concave design, this will help your thumb stay on the stick while turning. In my opinion these are this the best Xbox One Thumbstick for racing.

Concave ThumbstickThey do have thumbstick extenders designed for speed, which are shaped a bit different, but they are usually priced much higher. You will notice a difference just picking up a basic concave extender like the Kontrol Freek classics (pictured on the right). There amazon description will tell you these are for FPS…but mark my word…you will be faster and smooth through the corners when playing a racing game.

How Do Thumb Extenders Attach

The extenders have small hooks that snap onto your controller. As easy as they snap on, they don’t always snap off really easy (which is a good thing).

Over time though you may find that the hooks start loosening up a bit after you have beaten on them. All in all though, these things are pretty cheap and are really not a hassle to replace.

How Long Do Thumbsticks Last?

How long they last will certainly depend on how much you play. My brother uses a thumbstick when he plays Forza 5. I would say he is a regular gamer and he probably needs a new thumbstick extender every 8-10 months. For racing games you typically only need an extender on the left stick so a two pack will last you a long time.

Other Benefits Of Thumbstick Extenders

There are some other added benefits to using these like reduced thumb fatigue. Essentially your thumbs are doing a lot less work and that allows you to play a lot longer. there is also the added benefit of more grip!!


You have to choose thumbsitick extenders based on the type of controller you have. For example, an Xbox 360 thumbstick extender is not gonna fit on an Xbox One controller and vice versa. Basically you nned to choose by the type of console. These links here will take you to the appropriate page on Amazon for your console.

Which Is The Best Thumbstick Extender

There are a few different brands that come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Two really poplar brands are Kontrol Freek and Foamy Lizard. I have used both kinds and they are both good choices. The main difference between the two brands:

Kontrol Freek:

Basic pair is $12-16

  • Lots of options for different grips but all sold separately
  • Made of Rubber and plastic

Foamy Lizard

  • 8 Thumstick Extenders for $10
  • Several grip options in one package
  • Made of all rubber

Any choice I don’t honestly think you can go wrong, plus they are under $20

Do Any Controllers Come With Thumbstick Extenders?

Yes, The new Microsoft Xbox One Elite controller comes with 3 different thumbstick extenders (small medium and large). It retails for about $150 and is the latest and greatest in Xbox controllers.

Xbox One Thumbsticks Wrap Up

Without a doubt adding these simple peripheral on your controller will make a huge difference in your kill ratio and reduce your lap times in racing games. Either brand you choose you can’t go wrong, but you just gotta try’em out and see for yourself. This is definitely a cheap solution to increasing your gaming skills without even having to put in hours of practice – so thumbs up for Thumbstick Extenders!!

Buy Xbox One Thumbstick Extenders At Amazon

(as of 04-02-2018 02:20:19 UTC - Details)

Have tried thumbstick extenders before? What is the brand you recommend? let me know in the comments below.


  • Lamar says:

    I thumbstick extenders and they have definitely improved my driving skill. Everything is definitely much smoother.

    However, I will also say that I broke two Xbox One controllers while using them. I think I am just a bit heavy handed and tend to hold the stick hard to the left or the right. I probably need to adjust the setting a bit more. Whatever I did, it must have broken something in the controller because I can hear it rattling around. The impact is usually that the controller can stick and seem like its edging to one side (always the left).

    All that being said, I continue to use them on the broken controller and they still work great. I’ve just decided to work around it.

    • James says:

      Hey Lamar,

      Thanks for the input. You must have some heavy thumbs…hahahha JK! Thats interesting to hear, I will have to be mindful of that when I talk to people about thumbstick extenders. I am glad to hear though that you are with me, that overall they really can smooth out your driving experience with a controller! My best peice of advice is to go into your controller settings (which would be in game, not console settings) and JACK up your controller sensitivity and see what kind of effect that has on your racing and the heavy handedness. IF you try it our or if you already have it cranked let me know I am curious!

      Thanks for coming by,

  • Dope Fureal says:

    Hey guys! Since this post is over a year and a half old now, any new recommendations for the best thumb extenders and trigger grips for the XB1 controller?

    • James says:


      For racing games I like the Speed Freek extenders. The left stick has a concave design that makes turning much smoother because you can just lean your thumb into the turn. I have a pair and I like them (all though I normally race with a wheel). The one complaint that some people have on them is that they fall off, but I have never really had that issue. On the whole I think these thumb sticks will help you get better car control and faster lap times by simply helping you keep your car more steady through turns.


Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)