Scuf Gaming Reflex Controller review

While the exclusivity of DualSense on its latest console has been enforced by Sony for a year and a half, Scuf is marketing the first officially compatible PS5 wireless controller. Aesthetic fit, interchangeable sticks, exclusive buttons and extra paddles, these are the benefits of this model designed for eSports. Are we finally facing the elite on PlayStation 5? Here is a complete test to answer that.

Summary

  • Technical characteristics of Scuf Instinct Pro
  • Finish and design close to DualSense
  • Some extra features for Scuf Reflex
  • A consistent but imperfect grip
  • Conclusion: Better than a DualSense, but at what price?

While third-party manufacturers had been able to offer many alternative models for DualShock 4 on PS4, including Thrustmaster, Nacon or Razer, the choice of DualSense was until then mandatory for gamers who wanted to enjoy PS5 games. Controller manufacturer Scuf has, as on the Xbox Series, managed to circumvent this limitation by offering a model directly from Sony’s latest controller. Understand it Reflex uses all the electronic part of a Dualsensegently separated to accommodate new mechanics and additions of features, with the aim of creating a modular controller and more suitable for competition, but compatible with PS5, Windows PC and Mac, iOS or Android.

On the Scuf page, you will therefore have access to choose between three models, Reflex, Reflex Pro and Reflex FPS, with for the last two models adding a thicker grip at the level of the grips, and removing adaptive triggers for models with fast click. Count a minimum of 219 € for the basic model and up to 430 € for a custom version, with vibration removed and clickable palettes added. A big difference compared to DualSense, and even compared to Microsoft’s Elite 2 sold for € 170.

Technical characteristics of Scuf Instinct Pro

specifications
Compatibility PS5, Windows PC, Android, iOS, Mac OS
Connection type Wired USB and Bluetooth
Action buttons 8 + 4 pallets
analog sticks 2
Touchpad Yes
Vibes Yes, haptic
Battery Yes
Weight 304 g

Buy Scuf Reflex in the Scuf store

Finish and design close to DualSense

If it were not for this color change, Reflex would at first glance have a hard time differentiating itself from DualSense. Broadly speaking, the latest controller from Scuf takes up the curves on the controller from which it borrows the motherboard and therefore offers a very similar design, several elements that can be replaced in advance from one model to another. In the details, however, there are some notable differences a texture of the plastic of the facade that is softer to the touch, less stickyand a clearly thicker grip on the Pro model we have in hand.

Some extra features for Scuf Reflex

The biggest design difference that this Reflex offers is ultimately located under the controller, inside the handles. In the brand’s greatest tradition, we find there 4 extra plastic palletsnot removable, accessible from the middle or ring finger, can be assigned to the L1 / R1, L3 / R3 keys, D-Pad arrows or one of the four action buttons on the front panel. A dedicated button allows you to change the configuration, instantly, with 3 integrated profiles that can be changed as desired. No software application To accompany these changes, everything is done very simply but with limitations.

Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!

The analog sticks also see their shape and material change, from the basic model, with a concave cap with a thinner texture than the original. We find here the same models as on the Scuf Instinct that we tested recently. And if these stick caps are replaceableprovided, of course, that you have purchased the option, they cannot be replaced on the fly as on Microsoft’s Elite model, but require the user to remove the center panel to gain direct access to their mechanical part.

It is clearly less practical and it takes a good minute to change the two hats, but suddenly you do not risk losing a part in the operation. However, we will note that this removable plate is the only source of squeaks when handling the controller. Discreet squeaks, which fortunately do not feel in play but only when you press the plate voluntarily.

Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!

Having mentioned the extra pallets and the replaceable sticks, we have reviewed the extra features that this Scuf Reflex offers. Stick angle adjustment point, dead points, no remapping or trigger jamming as found on Scuf Instinct or Xbox Elite 2. The best you may decide to remove the adaptive triggers typical of DualSense for instant click models, like a mouse click, but in the process loses any possibility of progressiveness of the triggers. And this choice is made at the time of purchase, with no possibility of traceability. Ditto with the suppression of haptic vibrations, which save some weight and concentration, to the detriment of game sensations.

Finally a word about the autonomy of the controller, which remains unchanged compared to DualSense. Allow 7-10 hours of gameplay for a full charge depending on the use of haptic vibrations and adaptive triggers. You can more than double this playing time if you go for the model without these two features.

A consistent but imperfect grip

Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!

As we have said, Scuf Reflex designed by DualSense takes up broadly. We therefore find here all the qualities of the Sony controller, including the usual grip, with its wide handles that fit well under the fingers, its well-placed symmetrical sticks and all the qualities of the buttons that we know. The intersection remains flexible in contrast to Microsoft’s proposal, but the result is both accurate and pleasant. The contact of the front buttons is quick, but with a rather soft spring. for once we would have preferred to see here click drier for a clearer action.

On the side of the L1 and R1 dial buttons we also find some flexibility, not very suitable for competition exercises, and which would have deserved a change for a drier model, like the proposal for the Xbox Series controller. Also nothing to cry bad about, the depth is about 1 millimeter in case of Reflex. Finally, nothing to say about the touchpad, which is identical to the one on DualSense, and which therefore retains its precision and touch, as well as for the motion recognition functions that remain unchanged.

Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!

The two main factors for changing the grip and the game options are therefore again on the side of the sticks and additional palettes. For the former, this is a matter of taste and habit. Varying the height to achieve precision or speed, choosing the concave or convex shape, is more about each person’s emotions than a real advantage in the game. In all circumstances, the grip is sufficiently well cut to allow a good grip in all types of movements, and it must be admitted that the models Scuf offers are really effective, despite a less marked relief in the level of the crown.

For the pallets, we will be a little more critical. We appreciate being able to play without them without disturbing the original grip, but their use is not the most practical for two reasons. First we will point out the direction of support for the inner shovels, which in order to be activated must be pushed upwards, which tends to unbalance the hand and therefore influences the use of the analog stick. A point that does not involve the outer pallets whose support is more natural.

Then we regret that the activation threshold is a little too high, for the outer paddles this time, which in turn implies a loss of precision on the side of the analog sticks. If the placement of these pallets is good, we ultimately prefer the proposal with the Scuf Instinct model, easier to use in the game, with lighter support for the fingers. Right here, it will take some practice before you really utilize these buttons.

Conclusion: Better than a DualSense, but at what price?

Scuf Reflex test: PS5 finally has its Elite controller!

Scuf Reflex is in itself a very good PS5 or PC controller, which takes full advantage of the excellent DualSense, and which allows you to swap some unwanted features such as vibration and adaptive triggers for weight gain and fast buttons. Its finish is beautiful, it also comes with a 2 meter braided cable for wired games, and the customization it offers is clearly a plus, whether it’s features, types of analog sticks or even its aesthetics.

In addition, the 4 extra paddles, which with practice and acceptance of imperfect mechanical choices make it possible to achieve performance in certain types of games. But overall, in addition to all the qualities of this Scuf Reflex, we apologize for any shortcomingsmostly due to the controller’s affiliation with Sony: no application of the curves of the curves or rearrangement of the joystick, no possibility of manually shortening the triggers, no coexistence of deep or short triggers and generally no change in the hardness of the various buttons.

Compared to a Microsoft Elite controller, and especially in terms of the price of the controller as well as its capabilities, the account is not really there. Still, Scuf Reflex is up to date the best controller for ps5with a short lead over its only competitor, DualSense.

Buy Scuf Reflex in the Scuf store

Conclusion

Strengths

  • A good build quality
  • All the sensations in DualSense
  • The ability to exchange certain features
  • A very convincing grip
  • On-the-fly palette mapping
  • Quality buttons and pins
  • 3 profile memories

Weak points

  • Pallets lower than those in Elite 2
  • No really fast buttons
  • Quick or haptic triggers to choose from when buying
  • The price and especially the options
  • No software support

The Scuf Reflex controller is positioned as an alternative model to DualSense, taking advantage of full compatibility with PS5 games or offering a more precise adaptation to certain types of games if you agree to switch certain features. The additional options it offers are clearly designed for competitive players and are generally well understood, but we expected more from a premium model. Scuf Reflex therefore fails to position itself as a real competitor to the Elite 2 model that Microsoft offers for PC / XBox players, the fault is the lack of features, settings and options. Finally, if we’re still facing a very good controller – the best from the PS5 – its exorbitant price is still hard to justify.

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