How To Play Claw Grip On Console Controllers

By Alex Mercer

December 7, 2018

Claw grip is a unique grip gamers use to maximize their button input on console games. Video game players have found two different ways to hold the console controller with a regular and claw grip. However, what exactly is the claw controller grip, and is it better than the traditional grip?

The claw controller grip utilizes more fingers on the buttons than the traditional grip. It’s called claw grip because the hand is shaped like a claw when playing. Players use their thumb and index finger to hit the buttons and the middle and ring finger to hit back triggers on the controller.

This article will show you all the benefits of using a claw grip on a controller.

Claw Grip On Console Controllers

The claw grip is similar to the regular grip, with a slight tweak on the right hand. The reason it’s called claw grip is that the right-hand looks like a claw, as it’s bent to maximize button inputs.

claw grip on console controller

The claw grip is a unique grip used by video game players. The controller is rested in the palm like a normal controller. However, the player will use the index finger for the buttons instead of the thumb.

This means the player needs to move the middle finger up and play all the top buttons and triggers with the middle & ring finger.

Players with bigger hands or who have difficulty gripping the controller tend to find higher success using the claw grip.

Claw Grip Compared To Regular Grip

The claw grip is better if you can normalize your playing habits with it. The claw grip is so difficult to play with because it’s uncomfortable for the hands at first.

Console controllers are built to rest in your hand to press and hold for hours. Claw grip is good for players who have good flexibility and durability in their fingers. Players with shorter fingers may feel discomfort over a long period.

The regular grip is the alternative grip to the claw grip.

If you were to pick up a controller to play, this would be the regular grip. 2 fingers behind the controller, index and middle fingers used for the triggers on top, and of course, your thumbs for moving the joysticks/D-pad and using the buttons.

regular grip on controller

Modern-day controllers average anywhere between 15-20 buttons. These buttons must be within reach, whether to hunt down an opponent or pause the game to get a drink.  

Using the regular grip, the pinky and ring fingers are useless. They typically sit in the back of the controller for support. The middle finger often hangs off the back of the controller for most players and is sometimes used for the back triggers.  

The thumb and the index finger will be doing most of the work. Carefully hitting all 15-20 buttons and triggers in precise moments is something that takes timing and practice.  

Does Claw Controller Grip Hurt Your Hands?

The claw grip is not bad for your hands but may cause discomfort over time. Video game players often spend over 2+ hours at a time playing games like Call Of Duty or Fortnite. Having the wrist and fingers bent at an awkward angle may cause discomfort.

Players with longer fingers can reach all the buttons on the controller with the claw grip. Players with smaller hands are much better suited with a regular grip.

Claw grip, however, can feel awkward on the hands, and players have reported having issues playing claw over time. The controller was built by experienced engineers to be played in a certain way. Console companies have spent millions of dollars to perfect the design of the controller.

Companies like Microsoft and Sony design their controller so you can play video games for hours. Using an unconventional grip such as a claw goes against what the manufacturers of these controllers want.

When using an Xbox One or PS4 controller, we always recommend sticking with the traditional way of holding a controller.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Gaming Articles Here.

How To Play Claw Grip On Console Controllers

Gamers have found that claw grip is more beneficial because of the precise movements between fingers. With the regular grip, players must move their right thumb off the analog stick to hit a button on the right side of the controller.

To play claw grip on PS4 & Xbox One, position your hand as you normally would on the controller. Next, put both of your thumbs on the joysticks; this is where they’ll remain.

The right index finger will then be used to tap all of the buttons on the right side of the controller. The middle finger and ring finger on the right hand will hit the top buttons and triggers.

Claw grip allows users to keep their thumb on the right analog stick and hit buttons on the right side while still using the middle and ring finger triggers.

In shooting-style games, players typically look around with the right analog stick. Now, players can jump or slide with their index finger and still shoot/throw items with their middle finger.

There is no lag time between each button input, allowing the gamer to be more precise.

We can’t stress enough how hard it is to adapt to claw grip, especially if you’ve played a regular grip your whole life. If you can master it, you’ll be one of the select few who can master the button inputs and be on target.

Here is a live look at Luke TheNotable on YouTube, playing with the Claw Grip:

Do Pro Players Use Claw Grip?

Yes, pro players do use claws. Famous Fortnite players like Ghost Aydan use claw grip on their controllers. He explains here how exactly he holds his controller.

Although the two controllers are vastly different, the claw grip depends on your preference. I find the claw grip awkward, no matter what the controller. However, players (even pro players) have successfully used both grips.  

PlayStation controllers have a downward angle when holding the controller naturally, allowing players to put their index fingers on the button comfortably.

Also, Xbox buttons bulge out more, which may be harder to hit when playing claw. Again, it’s all personal preference and how big your hands are.

The best grip is based on your preference and hand durability. If you have a hard time bending your fingers to play claw grip on the console, stick to the traditional regular grip.


Several players believe the claw grip works for only certain games (sports games, adventure games, etc.). Most players find the claw grip uncomfortable and don’t use it at all.  

We recommend buying a thicker controller for PS4 or a thick grip case for your Xbox controller. We recommend buying a thicker controller for PS4 or a thick grip case for your Xbox controller.

These grips are great to make the controller thicker for those with larger hands. If you prefer not to use the claw grip, making the controller fill the hand as possible is often a comfortable alternative for many gamers.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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