Review cover Skull & Co NeoGrip + Maxcarry case (Hardware)
Official GBAtemp Review

Looking for some quality, comfortable accessories to accompany your brand new Switch OLED, or even just improve your standard model Switch setup? Skull & Co has got you covered!

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Avid GBAtemp review readers should, hopefully, remember the Skull & Coy JoyGrip that I reviewed not all that long ago. In that review, I was very impressed by the quality and comfort that this alternative Joy-Con grip offered, and it’s one of the items that solidified Skull & Co in my mind as a purveyor of high quality, third-party Nintendo Switch accessories. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Skull & Co NeoGrip + Maxcarry case combo pack. The NeoGrip takes the JoyGrip’s concept and brings it to the next level, offering a similarly styled grip housing to be used with the Switch in handheld mode, and designed for use with both the original style Switch and the newly released OLED model. How well does the Skull & Co touch come across in this latest accessory bundle? Let’s take a look.

Tech Specs

Includes:

  • 1xNeoGrip body
  • 1x pair of Snap Grips
  • 1x pair of Trigger Grips
  • 1x pair of Plus Grips
  • 1x Maxcarry Case (Black)
    • Dimensions: 11”x5.9”x2.75 (280x150x70mm)
    • Weight: 11.6oz/330g
    • Material: EVE hard shell with 1680D nylon fabric cover

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Taking the bundle out of the box, the first thing that stuck out to me was just how much comes included with this package. Packaged inside is the Maxcarry case, the NeoGrip with trigger grips attached, and two sets of additional grips. The NeoGrip itself is designed to fit the Switch snugly inside, no matter which model you end up using, and is designed to attach primarily by the Joy-Cons, with a thin strip running along the top back of the handheld console for support, designed to take up minimal real estate in order to allow access to the cartridge slot, kickstand, and vents for the system. You’re also able to choose your aesthetic here, with the grip housing being available in both white and black options. The white casing comes with three grips in the same color, which match the OLED model’s Joy-Cons nicely, while the black option comes packaged with neon red and blue grips. That said, no matter which one you get, you’re able to swap essentially any of these Skull & Co slide-on grips onto the NeoGrip.

The build quality here is exactly what I expected from my previous experience with the company, with both the housing and the detachable grips being made from sturdy, thick plastic that feels like it poses zero risk to snapping, cracking, or breaking. The grip comes set up already for the OLED model, but switching it to more appropriately fit a standard model Switch is as simple as grabbing a screwdriver to remove the thin strip of plastic used to extend the grip for those extra couple of inches that the OLED has. This is where I ran into my first issue, as despite the quality of the housing itself, the screws that were used to hold the OLED model extender in place, and then subsequently get reused to screw the two halves of the regular NeoGrip back together, were not very quality at all. They’re necessarily tiny little things, and one of them completely broke from applying what I feel was a pretty appropriate amount of pressure when trying to screw the grip back together after removing the extender so my standard Switch would fit more snugly. This isn’t a dealbreaker of an issue, as the two screws that didn’t break hold the NeoGrip together just fine, but it caught me off guard and I felt it was worth noting that in the review; if you’re buying this for use with a regular Switch, be extra careful when removing the extender. 

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Attaching the grip to the Switch is an incredibly simple process; simply detach one of the Joy-Cons, slide the console with one Joy-Con attached into the grip, and then attach that final Joy-Con to finish assembling everything. Within seconds, the grip is attached and a difference can be noticed immediately; no longer does holding the Switch in handheld mode cause cramping, sore fingers, and just all-around feel unnatural. With the NeoGrip, I found my handheld gaming time just all around felt so much more natural, and the added comfort helped me keep gaming for much longer than I typically would without docking the Switch. Much like with the joygrip, the experience can be customized via interchangeable hand grips that are as easy to replace as sliding one pair off, and sliding the new pair on.

The NeoGrip comes with three pairs; trigger grips that leave a natural resting place for your fingers while using, plus grips for those with larger hands, and snap grips that sit more flush against the back of the housing, allowing for a grip set to remain attached to your console when storing it in a slimmer case as well as just offering an option for those who don’t want controller handles protruding from the back of the Switch. The open-back design of the housing also allows for the kickstand to be opened as normal on both models, and used as you’d expect. Really, the only complaint I have here is that for such a solid design and experience using this with a handheld Switch, it’s a serious shame that the NeoGrip is not Switch Lite compatible. Being an entirely handheld console, something like this would be super beneficial for the Switch Lite, and I do hope that Skull & Co is considering a model compatible with. All of that said, I’m clearly a fan of the NeoGrip here, and it’s quickly become my go-to Switch accessory.

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As mentioned above and in the title of the review, the NeoGrip comes included with Skull & Co’s Maxcarry case for transporting the Switch. I’m not going to spend a ton of time focusing on the case in this review, as GBAtemp Senior Editor and fellow reviewer Prans already covered this case in his Skull & Co GripCase + Maxcarry Case review. To briefly touch on it, though, the case comes equipped with everything you’ll need for transporting both your Switch and the NeoGrip. Made out of a hard shell EVE material and covered with nylon fabric, the case offers ample protection for your Switch when transporting it from home to whatever locations you’d like to game in. There’s ample space inside to house the Switch even with the grip attached to it, as well as extra compartments for any accessories, power bricks, or anything else you’d like to bring with you, and cartridge storage for up to ten Switch games. There’s also a sawtooth rail built into the lining of the bottom compartment that allows the case to double as a kickstand base for use in tabletop mode. All in all, for as much as I love the NeoGrip itself, I love this case just as much. It’s spacious and large, without being too cumbersome or heavy, and the hard shell casing puts my mind at ease when traveling with my Switch.

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When it comes to reviewing third-party accessories like this, I like to consider “what problem is this addressing?” Skull & Co products have typically had an answer for that, and this bundle is no exception. Most who try using the Switch in handheld mode can attest to how uncomfortable it is, and how it doesn’t feel “natural” at all. The NeoGrip is a solution to that issue, and a darn good one if I do say so myself. Customizable to your preference, with compatibility between Switch models old and new, and packaged with a carrying case worth the extra cost all on its own, I’m clearly in love with the NeoGrip and Maxcarry case. It’s almost a shame that I had some issues with subpar quality hardware, because if I didn’t? I’d see this accessory bundle as nearly perfect.

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Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Comfortable solution for playing the Switch in handheld mode
  • All in one bundle for traveling with Switch
  • Customizable to your color, grip style, and Switch model preferences
  • Versatility of use with Maxcarry case
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Poor quality of screws despite grip durability
  • No Switch Lite compatibility
8.5
out of 10

Overall

Skull & Co continue to impress with another accessory set that’s customizable, easy to use, and decently high quality for the most part. Once again the company is fixing problems for Nintendo, and doing so in a stylish manner.
How much weight does it add to the Switch? The weight there is the case only, no?

I like the case, specially. Looks robust.
 
IMO, the ergonomics of joycons is a lost cause, so instead of a grip, I use Hori's split pad pro. When docked, the official pro controller or the 8bitdo pro controller are both awesome.
 
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Am I the only one who doesn't have much issue with the way Joy-Cons feel to hold? This grip looks pretty low key, which seems nice--all the ones I see tend to add way too much bulk
 
"No Switch Lite compatibility"

Why is this a negative?
Which Switch grip is also compatible with the smaller Switch Lite?
Onibaku sort of hit what I was going after with that, and I probably could’ve worded the “con” better to reflect that. In essence, I just think that this is such a solid solution to using a Switch in handheld mode that I’m disappointed the option doesn’t currently exist for the handheld-only Switch Lite. Skull & Co have made a Lite version of their previous Switch case so I’m hopeful that this one will get the same treatment.
 
I've had a GripCase since the original Kickstarter campaign and I've never taken it off. It just makes playing in handheld mode so much more comfortable. I'm one of those people that can't stand playing handheld consoles as-is, it always makes part of my hand fall asleep/go numb after a while, and the GripCase completely solved that. But this seems like a nice, well thought out upgrade to the GripCase. It looks a bit flimsy (that thin plastic strip being the only thing holding everything together could have used being a bit wider but I suppose there's not much force applied to it so it should hold up) and I do like how the GripCase covers nearly every part of the Switch including even the trigger buttons, providing good protection against scratches and dust and better protection against drops, as a grip this doesn't really offer much protection against such things, but that's why you have the case so it still serves its purpose well.
The JoyCons being removable just like without using a grip/case at all is a big plus. I'd have to take my GripCase off in order to get the JoyCons off and it's a very tight fit in the dock so I'd usually take it off anyway when I play docked. But that they managed to keep mostly the same functionality while making the JoyCons easy to remove is a big selling point and makes me consider upgrading. It should also fit better in the dock with the grip still attached hopefully.
They do have a version for the Lite though.
Not of the NeoGrip. But I suppose the NeoGrip's unique features (allowing access to the kickstand and the removable joycons) aren't much use on a Switch Lite so the GripCase which provides more complete coverage makes much more sense for that model.
 
Am I the only one who doesn't have much issue with the way Joy-Cons feel to hold? This grip looks pretty low key, which seems nice--all the ones I see tend to add way too much bulk
I like how the naked joycon feel. They feel great, but they wobble around while I'm playing. I have pretty big hands. Maybe I'm squeezing the joycon too hard. It's hard not to when making a dash for the finish in MarioKart. It gets intense.

What I like about these types of cases is how solid the switch feels. I have this one, by Satisfye. It's solid, I love it. For me, it's not much heavier than the switch already is.
 
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