The Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain second screen app is a pain to use, unless you drop $10 for this clever little accessory from Nyko.
Afghanistan, as portrayed in MGS5, is a confusing place. Alternately rocky and sandy, it's largely featureless which makes it easy to lose your bearings. I find myself constantly referring to the in-game map, especially to find my way out of a sandstorm.
But using the in-game iDroid has a tendency to slow me down, and in a game as big as MGS5 speed is key to making the most of my precious gaming time. So I found another way.
The Nyko Smart Clip isn't a new product. It's also not an expensive one. It has one job — to bolt your smartphone to your PlayStation 4 or your Xbox One controller — and it does it remarkably well.
In the box is a light plastic kluge with a hinge, along with two sets of custom-made rubber bands. Place the plastic bit on top of the controller, wrap the rubber bands around the back, unfold the thing and insert your phone. Done.
While it's fairly light and a little fragile, it does the job well. Over the past few nights I've been able to look down at my controller while keeping Snake on the move, deftly navigating past Russian outposts and long-range patrols that my intel team had discovered.
It also comes in handy when you're stuck inside a dumpster, allowing you to keep your eyes out front while simultaneously tracking the movement of that guard you've previously identified.
Removing your phone and folding it back up, it's hard to fully use the controller. So, you'll need to remove it from time to time, putting wear on the rubber bands. That's why they give you a spare set.
While it looks kind of weird, for ten bucks I'm hard pressed to find a better accessory for MGS5. And I have a feeling this will see some use when Fallout 4 launches later this year.
FYI: My setup here includes the Nyko Smart Clip, an iPhone 6 Plus, a Spigen Neo Hybrid case, a launch day DualShock 4 modded to have Xbox One sticks (which you can read more about here) as well as the latest adhesive grips from Kontrol Freek.