Drop the controller? Play in the refrigerator? Not anymore, thanks to the Nyko Intercooler Grip for Xbox One controllers. This unique accessory adds a fan to your controller so your hands don't get too hot.
Snapping on the SpeakerCom
Nyko already has a clever accessory that snaps onto an Xbox One controller, called the SpeakerCom. The accessory manufacturer has also produced an Intercooler for the Xbox One that keeps the console from overheating (unnecessary though such a product might be). It was only a matter of time until these two ideas came together for the Intercooler Grip.
The Xbox One version of the Intercooler Grip attaches to the bottom of first-party controllers, much like the SpeakerCom and Chatpad. It connects via the holes next to the data port on the bottom of the controller. The Grip doesn't actually connect to the data port itself and thus will work with controllers that do and don't have 3.5mm jacks. Third-party controllers won't work, due to their different form factors.
Oddly, I couldn't get the Grip to connect to my Elite Wireless Controller, no matter how hard I tried. I can use the SpeakerCom and ChatPad with both regular controllers and Elites, but the prongs of my Intercooler Grip absolutely would not connect to the port on the Elite.
The front of the Grip features a large intake fan on its center and two vents that blow air out on the sides. The back has two outgoing vents in the same position. It's worth noting that the Grip protrudes from the front and back of the controller much more than the SpeakerCom and Chatpad. I'm sure the extra volume is necessary to move air around sufficiently, but it's angular and less aesthetically pleasing than similar controller plug-in accessories.
On the bottom of the unit is an on and off switch that toggles the fan. To the left is a micro-USB port for charging via the included micro-USB cable. Like the Speakercom, the Intercooler Grip does not draw power from the controller. It has an internal battery, so you'll need to charge it to use (or play with the micro-USB cable connected to a power source). The actual battery life has been great in my time with it, so charging shouldn't be a major issue.
A fan for your hands
Switch the Intercooler Grip on and you'll immediately notice the unit's fan kick into action. It produces an audible sound like you might get from a laptop cooler. I'm sure some players wouldn't appreciate the noise coming from the controller, but that's the price you pay when you want a fan to blow air on something.
Of course, the real issue is whether the Grip actually cools your hands. And it does! You can feel the air blowing out of the front and back of the controller directly onto your hands. They won't get cold from holding this thing, but they will definitely stay cooler thanks to the four fan vents. It's a novel feeling, air blowing onto your fingers and palms – but certainly not unpleasant.
I rarely have any issues with sweaty palms, as I keep my place cool enough and don't get too worked up while gaming. But players with genuinely sweaty hands or who live in hot environments will definitely find the Grip helpful.
The Intercooler Grip is mostly an easy recommendation for anyone who needs such a product, but there is one catch. This thing has no headset jack. That means you can't use a wired headset with your controller while using the Grip. Nyko's old Type Pad had a headset pass-through jack and worked with both pre-2015 and post-2015 Xbox controllers, so it's disappointing to see that feature omitted here. But I'm sure it adds to the cost, and this is a pretty cheap accessory. Just know that you probably won't be combining voice chat with this particular gadget.
The Intercooler Grip for Xbox One retails for $19.99 and is currently a bit cheaper on Amazon. If you've got hot hands, you'd better give it a look!
Xbox One review unit provided by the manufacturer.
Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!