This console generation has seen numerous genres make the jump from a wholly PC focus to home consoles, most notably MMORPGs, such as Neverwinter on Xbox One and Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn on the PlayStation 4. However, with these games that have been traditionally relegated to PCs, there have been some hurdles to overcome in the transition to consoles.
One of the hurdles for MMORPGs on consoles is communication. The most common way that people communicate while playing MMOs is by typing messages with their keyboards, a luxury on consoles that requires buying an extra peripheral. To that end, numerous companies have stepped forward to bring a solution in the form of portable keypads, the latest being the Nyko Type Pad for the PlayStation 4.
Initial set-up of the Nyko Type Pad is painless enough, though to get it to attach to the bottom of the DualShock 4 it takes a little bit more force than one would expect, and removing it is also a bit awkward. Unlike many other keypads, simply plugging in the device isn’t enough for the set-up, but rather, it requires going into the PS4’s settings, and connecting it to the system as its own separate Bluetooth device.
As some might expect, having a chunky keypad attached to the bottom of the DualShock 4 changes the way the controller feels. However, it’s not significant enough to be a detractor. Indeed, even during especially long play sessions, it’s easy to forget that the Type Pad is even connected to the controller at all, which is a major plus for the device.
So while it doesn’t adversely affect the feel of the DualShock 4, the Nyko Type Pad is inefficient in the most important area: using it to type messages. While it’s still faster than selecting one letter at a time using the on-screen keyboard, the Nyko Type Pad’s buttons are too close together, resulting in plenty of instances of two buttons being pressed simultaneously. Needless to say, the Nyko Type Pad is definitely not for gamers with larger fingers.
Another issue with the device is its color scheme. This is, of course, a purely cosmetic gripe and does not have any effect on the way the Nyko Type Pad functions, but it’s still worth mentioning. For one reason or another, Nyko decided to go with a black and orange color scheme, giving the Type Pad a look that stands in stark contrast to the sleek, blue and black color scheme one usually associates with PlayStation 4 and its peripherals. Most people aren’t buying a device like the Type Pad for its looks, but nevertheless, it does stick out like a sore thumb.
All that being said, the Nyko Type Pad boasts some convenient features that aren’t found on all keypad devices. There’s a dedicated @ button as well as a dedicated .com input, which makes browsing the web on the PS4 much easier. Secondly, the headphone jack on the bottom of the device has zero negative effect on the audio quality from headphones, as we found in our testing. And while some may think that having to charge the Nyko Type Pad separately from the DualShock 4 would be an annoyance, having its own battery keeps the device from draining the DualShock 4’s short battery life, and charging the device will be an infrequent practice anyway.
Ultimately, the Nyko Type Pad is a fairly competent device in many areas, except where it matters most, and that’s using it to type out messages. While it will get messages written faster than using the on-screen keyboard and some of the convenience features are nice, expect plenty of typos. And with the relatively high price tag compared to other keypads available for PS4, it’s hard to recommend the Nyko Type Pad over its competition. Those in the market for a device like this should check out some of the other options available first, or wait to see if Sony will offer a first-party keypad, like the upcoming Xbox One Chatpad.
The Nyko Type Pad is currently available for $34.99