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The Scuf reflex is a powerful PS5 controller for the dedicated player

·6 min read
The scuf reflex feels as good in your hands as an official controller while offering additional benefits, such as extra triggers and an improved grip (The Independent)
The scuf reflex feels as good in your hands as an official controller while offering additional benefits, such as extra triggers and an improved grip (The Independent)

The Scuf reflex is a very appealing PlayStation 5 controller for anyone feeling underwhelmed by the rather unexciting, though well-made, official PS5 controller.

Originating from Scuf gaming – well known for its high-end controllers for PC, Xbox and now PlayStation 5 – the Scuf reflex has been a controller that many have been waiting a good while for.

Finally launched this year, the Scuf reflex offers a seemingly never-ending supply of customisation options, ranging from colour schemes to the shape of the thumbsticks.

Providing a truly personal experience, it’s a far cry from the average PS5 controller. But the big question is: as a premium purchase at a price starting from £199.99, is it worth the money?

If you’re an avid PS5 fan who wants the absolute best that money can buy, then the answer is yes. However, for the average player, it may be too expensive to consider, or maybe you’re on the fence. In which case, keep reading for our full review below.

Read more:

How we tested

We ploughed through dozens of hours of PlayStation 5 games with the Scuf reflex. We played games from different genres – including Fortnite, Elden Ring, Uncharted 4 and Gran Turismo 7 – to see how it performed with different titles. We also evaluated how long its battery life lasted and, of course, how comfortable it was to use for extended periods of time. Here’s our verdict.

Scuf reflex controller: £199.99, Scufgaming.com

 (Jennifer Allen)
(Jennifer Allen)

Rating: 9/10

  • Console: PlayStation 5

  • Manufacturer: Scuf Gaming

  • Weight: 300g

Ordering

It’s not often that ordering a controller is so involved, but that’s required when buying something as personalised as the Scuf reflex. Head to the Scuf site and there’s a wealth of options.

At its simplest, you need to think about a colour scheme, as the Scuf reflex doesn’t just stop with black or white – it has different colours as well as patterns available (for a price). From there, the faceplate trim as well as the colour of the thumbstick rings, bumpers, triggers and d-pad can all be tweaked. Pretty much every element of the Scuf reflex could be changed to a different colour. It’s potentially gimmicky but it’s fun to find your style.

On a more practical level, players can choose different thumbstick designs. Concave or domed can be picked depending on what feels comfy under your thumb, while a choice of short or long thumbsticks proves even more beneficial. A short concave thumbstick means you can move more quickly, while a tall domed layout is ideal for more precision, lending itself to sniping in a first-person shooter game. You can choose one of each depending on if you plan on making this controller for one specific role or not.

Read more: Best pre-order deals for Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

First-person-shooter fans can also go for the Scuf reflex pro, which offers instant triggers over the conventional PS5 adaptive triggers, and provides a short mouse click-like action. The vibration feature can also be removed, thereby making the controller lighter and more accessibility-friendly for those who have issues with the vibration function.

For an avid gamer, the number of options borders on feeling like a kid in a sweet shop, although it’s advised to spend some time thinking about your choices before hitting the order button.

Comfort

At first glance, the Scuf reflex looks like a regular PS5 controller with a fancy paint job. Hold onto it, though, and you soon realise that it has much more going for it. It’s slightly more weighted than an official controller, weighing 300g compared to the usual 280g. It still packs in the usual features, like a built-in mic and a charging point that’s compatible with official accessories, such as the docking station.

Read more: When is Playstation’s newest VR headset coming out?

Its grips feel snug and comfortable under your fingertips. Less smooth than the official controller, yet that’s to its benefit, as it feels easier to grip onto for longer sessions. Alongside those grips are the controller’s triggers, which come in the same colour as the one chosen for the back. That’s a slight omission for customisation but hardly matters, as you’ll be impressed at what you can do with them. Four triggers in all can be configured to just how you need them to be.

The Scuf reflex offers a profile switch button, too, so that you can set up different profiles for different games. If you’ve used an Xbox Elite Controller in the past, this is similar. Unlike the Xbox elite controller (£143, Xbox.com), there’s no app to facilitate it. Instead, you hold the profile button down until it blinks – once blinking, you press the trigger you wish to replicate the button action with. It’s a rare downside to an otherwise well-made controller, but if you plan on playing the same few games, it won’t get in the way too much.

Gameplay

For any controller, how it feels to use in-game is key. Luckily, then, the Scuf reflex feels great. It’s highly responsive at all times, with button presses feeling satisfying. Some third-party controllers can feel clunky or even sound noisy, but the Scuf reflex feels as premium as its price. Our choice of model favoured matching thumbsticks, so we couldn’t test out how the different thumbsticks felt, but these examples were all suitably weighty throughout our test runs.

Read more: 13 best gaming chairs for focus and comfort while you play

Playing a game like Elden Ring requires speedy reactions, and the Scuf reflex certainly didn’t let us down. Racing around a course in Gran Turismo 7 felt good with the Scuf reflex’s adaptive triggers feeling as tactile as any others. The comfort grips to the side meant that our hands never slipped midway through a long period of gaming, which suited us for a late-night run of Warzone where there’s not much chance to release the controller.

Anyone who’s used something like the Xbox elite controller will have found that it takes time to adapt to, but we didn’t find that the case with the Scuf reflex. Right out of the box, it felt good in our hands and button mishaps didn’t occur.

The verdict: Scuf reflex controller

The Scuf reflex is an impressive controller. It feels as good in your hands as an official controller while offering additional benefits, such as extra triggers and an improved grip.

Given the price tag, it’s not going to suit everyone, and for the occasional player, the extra triggers are nice but far from essential. That said, if you play a lot of games and you want the convenience that comes with the Scuf reflex, it’s worth the investment. It’s hard to go back to a regular PS5 controller after using this.

Scuf reflex controller

Buy now £199.99, Scufgaming.com

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