Like many gamers, I’ve had a lot of thumb and wrist pain over the course of my life. When I played console games for hours at a time as a kid, particularly control stick-intensive ones like Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, my fingers would often be sore afterwards. The cycle continued as I got into PC games in high school, which meant many more hours spent smashing keyboard keys and flicking my mouse every which way. I was also a flute player at the time, so I was relatively used to holding my wrists in awkward positions for long periods of time, but it still wasn’t great.

As you can imagine, none of this was good for my hands and wrists. In spring 2020, shortly after the pandemic began, I bought a pair of Ritual Motion’s Warrior 2 Gaming Skins. I had only just started freelancing seriously and was typing for hours a day; after I took a quick evening break, I was back at my keyboard to game for hours every night. My wrists were starting to get very sore and painful at the end of the day, to the point where I had to bow out of a few gaming sessions with friends because I was busy icing my wrists. I didn’t expect much from the skins – I figured I’d try them as a stopgap, and that if the pain continued, I’d just go to the doctor. I knew from past experiences that wrist pain should be taken seriously.

It’s been almost two years now, and I’m still using my Warriors every day! For those who are on the fence, I thought I’d examine what I like and dislike about the skins and describe how they’ve helped me for the past few years. The goal is to answer the question: are the Warrior Gaming Skins worth it?

Author’s note: Although I am employed by Ritual Motion as a freelancer – the same company that sells the Warrior skins – I bought the skins almost a year before I started working for them, so these are my unbiased thoughts on how well they work.

Materials and craftsmanship

Warrior Gaming Skins are made primarily of two materials: a stretchy moisture-wicking fabric and, if you have the series 2 skins, a cloth Velcro strap around the wrist area. The moisture-wicking fabric is thin but very stretchy. Though my gloves fit fine – I have small hands and I’m short, so I got the youth size – I was initially worried about accidentally tearing the fabric when I rip them off of my hands and the end of the day. I’m happy to say that this hasn’t happened: the fabric seems extremely strong despite its thin nature. This also means that it might be good for people with certain fabric sensitivities: it’s not a big, heavy weight on your hands.

I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but after wearing these for hours during work and gaming, I completely forget that I’m wearing them. They took some getting used to initially, as does any new brace of piece of clothing, but after a while, I rarely noticed them. They really do just blend in with your hands and feel like a second skin. The material has never struck me as itchy, scratchy, or heavy; it’s light and breathable. I haven’t really been able to test their moisture-wicking properties, as I’m not one to get very sweaty during my gameplay (looking at you, Apex Legends players), but they seem as though they’d work well if you do get sweaty hands. The cloth straps on the series 2s are my favorite part of the material: even with me wearing these for 8+ hours several days a week, the straps haven’t lost their elasticity or their power to hold your wrists in place. The Velcro does tend to catch a lot of fuzz from your clothes, though, so make sure you keep any fluffy sleeves away from the straps.

Appearance

Just because you’re wearing wrist skins doesn’t mean they have to be boring. The Warrior Gaming Skins come in a bunch of different patterns and prints, from plain plaid to controllers to rubber duckies, which is my personal favorite. They’ve also branched out into pride skins and other designs for worthy causes over the last few years, so there’s something for everyone. I do wish they came in plain colors, but let’s be honest – I’d probably still get one with a print anyway. Mine are the Ritual Universe print.

My beat-up pair of Warrior Gaming Skins.
My extremely beat-up pair of Warrior 2 Gaming Skins.

My skins have held up fairly well appearance-wise over the last two years. They’re starting to fade a little bit on the inside, but that’s from months and months of me gripping my mouse way too hard (and forgetting to take them off when I do chores and stuff like that). Based on the render on the website, I was afraid the print would be stretched or fuzzy, but it actually looks really sharp in person. The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the seams – the dark black stitching makes it look as though the skins are inside out, as a few other reviewers have pointed out. It’s not a deal breaker, especially with how well the skins have kept their appearance over two years, but it’s definitely something I would change if I could.

Effectiveness

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty: how well do the Warrior Gaming Skins actually work? The answer will be different for everyone depending on the severity of your pain, but these skins have worked fantastically well for me. I used to get mild to moderate wrist pain literally every single time I typed or gamed longer than 20 minutes. After wearing these for a week and not changing my work and gaming routine at all, my pain was gone. In the almost two years I’ve been wearing them, my pain hasn’t come back at all – unless I forget to wear them, of course. They really do work!

I find that the extra strap on the series 2s really makes a difference. I like being able to adjust how tightly my wrists are held, which in turn affects the pain reduction. The way the skins work is that they hold your wrists in place while you’re typing or gaming, which prevents much of the movement that can cause pain. The compression also promotes additional blood flow to your hands and wrists, which helps stop pain faster and keep it away. It’s a one-two punch that really helps, particularly with the extra compression from the straps. I haven’t personally tested out the series 1s, but if your pain is less severe or you want to take preventative measures, they seem like a great option. It’s worth noting that if your pain is severe or you notice any other symptoms, like clicking in your thumb joint, you should stop playing and see a doctor. These aren’t a substitute for medical devices.

 

All in all, I’ve been extremely satisfied with my Warrior Gaming Skins, and I’m looking forward to using them for years to come. I’ve been saying for months now that I ought to order myself another pair just in case these get lost somehow, but I’ve been dragging my feet…it might be time to change that. If you’re concerned about your wrist, thumb, and joint health while gaming or if you work from home and spend all day typing, these skins are a no-brainer. And hey, if you’re spending that much time in front of a screen, why not pick up some blue light glasses while you’re at it?