Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored by Hyperkin or any of their affiliates. I bought and paid for the product myself.
In VR, gaming can now be super active. If you play any sports type games, or action games, you will find yourself running around your room throwing punches, swinging swords, and likely hitting walls, TVs, pets, or even friends and family. After my third or fourth wall punch I figured there must be some sort of shell or skin to protect the Vive controllers, so I hit the web and found that Hyperkin has created a handful of Vive accessories.
I actually wasn’t able to purchase them at that time, as they either hadn’t been released or were already sold out. But a month or so later, I found they were in stock and available to purchase. So I gave in and bought some, and I am so very glad that I did.
Hyperkin’s GelShells for both the controller and HMD skins are available in a few different colors:
First up, the Hyperkin HTC Vive GelShell Wand Silicone Skin, priced at $19.99. I chose white, to match my headphones and the computer I’m currently building. I must say, aside from protection, the skins really add an awesome, sleek, science fiction vibe to Vive. I’ve included some photos to show off my set up.
The installation was super simple and only took a minute. You simply slide the controller into the trackpad opening on the gel skin and pull the remainder of the skin over the rest of the controller. The fit is perfect, really impressive how the sensors, trigger, and trackpad cut-outs line up flawlessly on the controller. The skin adds just enough thickness to absorb any light impacts, but not too thick to make it difficult to hold.
I tend to play a bunch of very active games and work up a sweat when I Vive and I didn’t realize just how much sweat was coming off my palms (palms are sweaty/mom’s spaghetti?). The skin, thankfully, protects the controller from your sweat seeping in through any of the buttons, which is a relief and allows me to get more immersed in a game as I’m not constantly worried about sweat anymore.
The grip leaves a bit to be desired. The silicone is, to me, a bit more slippery when wet than the actual controller, but I haven’t dropped one once since I’ve gotten them. So it’s not that bad, just something to note. Plus you could always add some tape for added grip factor if that is something you are looking to improve.
Now onto the Hyperkin HTC VIve Head Mounted Display Silicone Skin, priced at $14.99. The installation is a bit trickier than the controllers, as you have to unplug the top cables from the Vive to get the skin on properly. I had never unplugged those cables prior, so I was quite nervous about attempting it. Thankfully there are some Youtube videos demonstrating the best way to get these cords unplugged (I used GamerMuscleVideos which you can view on Youtube). Basically, you push down on the section of the HMD where the HTC logo is and the plastic clicks out and you now have access to unplug the cords directly from the HMD.
Once the cords are unplugged, it’s a breeze. Simply slide the skin over the HMD and just make sure everything lines up on all sides before plugging the cords back in and snapping the plastic piece back on to your headset. When I snapped the plastic back, a tiny bit of the skin was stuck under it. Thankfully, I was able to tug slightly and the skin slipped out and into its proper placement.
It’s been over a month of daily use and they have been holding up very well. I do sometimes feel the tight fit of the controller skin has loosened slightly from use, but nothing that interferes with gameplay and it’s so minimal; it’s hardly noticeable.
I highly recommend these to any fellow Viveminds who are looking for that extra level of protection as well as a welcome bit of style. They help with sweat, light impacts and a great deal, for me personally, as I now can game with sweaty hands worry free.
At a total of $34.99 for both the controller and HMD skins together, it’s an easy buy if you’ve got the cash. It can also make a great gift!
A list of all Hyperkin HTC Vive related products:
- Hyperkin GelShell Wand Silicone Skin $19.99
- Hyperkin GelShell Head Mounted Display Silicon Skin $14.99
- Hyperkin Life Line VR Controller Wrist Straps 14.99
- Hyperkin Clamp Mount $9.99
- Hyperkin Polygon VR Protector Bag $79.99
- Hyperkin HTC Vive VR Foam Guard Replacement $19.99
- Hyperkin HTC Vive VR Lens Protectors $9.99
- Hyperkin VR Head Mounted Display Sanitary Mask $9.99
Head over to HyperkinLab to pick some up for yourself. Or just do a search on Amazon.com for “Hyperkin HTC Vive.”