Handheld gaming holds a special place in my heart, as there is a level of privacy and autonomy that console gaming just can’t offer. I love that I can play my handheld consoles while riding riding the bus downtown, waiting for an appointment, or just sitting at the couch. There is also a sense of comfort knowing I can have my console in my backpack anytime I like. While it is great to play on the big screen, I find that I more often appreciate playing games privately. Nintendo has had a number of iterations on its Switch, and with the latest OLED model, the future is looking very good for handheld gaming!
In this review, I will cover some of the features and key components of the Skull & Co. Gripcase and Maxcarry Case for the Nintendo Switch OLED. If there are any aspects I missed or if you have experience with this gripcase, please comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll be sure to address those comments.
What is included?
Included in the packaging is:
- Skull & Co. Gripcase Lite
- Snap Grips, Trigger Grips and Plus Grips
- Maxcarry Case
There are two components to installing the Skull & Co. GripCase on your Nintendo Switch OLED: installing the clear shell on your console, and installing the grips on the clear shell.
- Start with one of the shoulder corners – it doesn’t matter which side. Be sure to get the front edge of the case clear around the L or R shoulder button.
- Push the case on the bottom of whichever shoulder button you started with.
- Lift the case around the remaining shoulder button.
- Push the case around the remaining bottom corner.
Installing the case in this order makes installation very easy, in my experience.
Skull & Co. has improved the design of their gripcases over the years. The first iteration of their gripcase had swappable grips, but they used a reverse alligator clip design which required the case to be removed completely in order to do so. The Lite and OLED models include grips that slide on and off, allowing the user to leave the gripcase on their Switch at all times, also making the process of swapping grips much faster and easier.
Form and Function
This case just makes the Switch work better! I said this about the Skull & Co. Gripcase for my OG Switch and Switch Lite, and I feel the same about the case for the OLED model. The OLED Gripcase makes my Switch look nicer (I love that Skull & Co. offers color-matched grips!), and I really noticed that it makes my Switch feel more solid. The gripcase is made of a flexible, shiny, clear, semi-rubbery TPU material, and it has a much more tactile feel than the OG case. It gives the entire shell a more grippy feel to it, which gives me a greater sense of comfort and security. I do appreciate the design choice of a clear shell to allow the logo on the Switch OLED to show through. I think that’s one of the selling points of the console, and it would be a shame to cover that up with a case. The only downside to this material is that, in my experience, it really shows smudges and fingerprints. It wasn’t a big deal for me, but it might be for some users.
In contrast, the grips themselves are made of a rigid TPU material that are less grippy. The Snap Grips have very pronounced ridges in them that are noticeable to the touch and provide a bit of additional grip. The Trigger and Plus Grips have very small dimples that do add to the aesthetics of the case, but they don’t add much for grip. I really appreciate that Skull & Co. offers various grip sizes in their Gripcases to accommodate virtually all hand sizes. More on that in the next section…
I’m a huge fan of handheld gaming, going back to the original Gameboy as a kid. I’ve never used cases of any kind for any of my handhelds until getting my Switch. I just haven’t ever found them necessary, as I’ve never had an issue with discomfort while playing. That changed with the Nintendo Switch. I own a OG Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED, and none of them feel comfortable in my hand without a case. After short gaming sessions, I feel tension at the base of my thumbs, which diminishes the experience for me. The Skull & Co. gripcase completely alleviates this for me.
All of the discomfort was gone as soon as I installed it on my Switch OLED. I can more easily access both sticks without feeling like I’m going to drop my Switch. I really appreciate having the three grip sizes, as this case can accommodate almost any hand size. For me, the Snap Grips were too small, and I didn’t feel like a had a very secure hold with the Plus Grips. The Trigger Grips were just right, though. They were big enough for me to hold the Switch comfortably, and the trigger edge was the perfect place for me to rest my middle fingers. Again, the flexibility and customization is greatly appreciated here!
The Gripcase is fantastic, but really works best when paired with a carrying case. The Maxcarry Case is the most functional that Skull & Co. carries, and if you ever travel with your Nintendo Switch OLED, this is a necessity. The case is made of a very premium small-knit nylon material. The branding is very low-profile and professional, from the rubber logo in maroon to the matching zipper pulls.
The inside of the Maxcarry Case looks very similar to many comparable cases on the market, with one exception. On many cases, we see a zipper compartment in the upper compartment (under the lid), but that has been left out of this design. That could be to minimize scratches to the system, or to keep the vertical size of the case at a minimum.
This case incorporates a dual-flap system that is common in cases like this. The Switch OLED is stored in between the flaps and held securely by a velcro strap. In my experience, you don’t need to use the velcro, but it’s there for peace of mind. On the top side of the top flap, you can securely store ten Nintendo Switch games, which really should cover you for any outing.
The bottom of the case has three compartments, with the left and right compartments delegated to the grip handles. The middle compartment could be used for a portable power supply, earbuds, separate cartridge cases, or things along those lines. The ridges in the center compartment allow you to position your Switch in different angles to reduce glare, should you decide to use your Switch in a tabletop mode.
Check out the Skull & Co. website to find this and other outstanding products!