With the rise of VR headsets there’s been a whole new industry for accessories appeared almost overnight, from prescription lenses to fancy gun stocks, both of which I’ll be reviewing shortly. Today I’m checking out the Mamut Touch Grips for the Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest. These little bits of plastic aim to bring the Oculus Rift controllers more inline with Valve’s new Index Knuckle controllers. In other words, the Mamut Touch Grips allow you to let go of the controllers entirely.
The Mamuts are essentially two rubber grips that slide onto the Oculus Rift Touch controllers. They extend and widen the handle and thus provide a bit more room for larger hands. On the outside of each Mamut there’s a textured surface to help improve your grip and overall they feel quite comfortable, though they don’t make a huge difference. The Oculus Rift S controllers were already quite comfy to hold, after all.
But the big selling point are the straps that run across the back of your hand. These two shoe-laces get weaved through holes in the Mamut Touch Grip and also tied around the circular sensor on the Oculus Touch controllers. On the bottom of the grips an anchor of sorts lets you adjust the strap tightness for a nice, snug fit or in case you ever felt like cutting off the circulation to your hands entirely. I’d advise not trying that, though.
Aside from the obvious added sense of security the Mamuts provide when waving your hands about the key selling point is that they allow you to let go of the Touch controllers entirely. Now obviously there’s still a point of contact where the straps hold the Touch Controllers firmly against the palm of the hand, but other than that you can completely uncurl your fingers. In-game this lets you properly let go of objects and walk around without feeling like you’re holding onto something all the time.
I know that doesn’t sound like a massive deal, but with the current iteration of Touch Controllers the weird way in which you use the grip button creates an unnatural feeling. This helps eliminate that, adding a little extra layer of immersion into your VR gaming. It feels good to walk up to a sword and wrap your hand around it rather than just flexing a finger. It also makes throwing in games much easier to judge. I don’t know about you, but when I throw things in VR I tend to struggle to remember that I only need to release a finger rather than all of them.
My one real complaint is that I would have preferred a single, thick strap. While the two shoe laces certainly aren’t uncomfortable it does mean you have two thinner points of contact running across the bank of your hand which is less comfortable than one single strap that distributes the force more evenly.
All in all the Mamut grips are a nice addition to an Oculus Rift, but for what they are they do feel overpriced. Currently, the asking price for a set is $37 plus shipping which can obviously add a fair bit to the total. Shipping here to the UK, though, was free so the total price amounted to £31. Considering the Mamuts are basically just shaped plastic and some shoe laces they don’t quite feel like a bargain.
Still, now that I’ve got the Mamut Touch Grips on my Oculus Rift S controllers I don’t want to take them off. They’re a relatively small upgrade but one that’s worth making if you have the cash to spare.