While Sony has been forcing the exclusivity of DualSense on its latest console for a year and a half, Scuf is launching the first officially compatible PS5 wireless controller. Aesthetic adaptations, interchangeable sticks, exclusive buttons and additional paddles are the advantages of this model designed for eSports. Are we finally facing the elite of the PlayStation 5? Here is a complete test that answers that.
- Technical features Scuf Instinct Pro
- Finishing and design near DualSense
- Some more features for Scuf Reflex
- Consistent but imperfect grip
- Conclusion: Better than DualSense, but at what cost?
While third-party vendors were able to offer many alternative models to the DualShock 4 on the PS4, including Thrustmaster, Nacon or Razer, the choice of DualSense was until then mandatory for gamers who wanted to enjoy games for the PS5. The Scuf driver manufacturer, like the Xbox Series, was able to circumvent this limitation by offering the model directly from Sony’s latest driver. Understand it Reflex uses the entire electronic part of Dualsensefinely disassembled to accommodate new drives and addition features, in order to create a modular driver and more suitable for competition, but compatible with PS5, Windows PC and Mac, iOS or Android.
On the Scuf website, you will have access to a choice between three models, Reflex, Reflex Pro and Reflex FPS, with the last two models adding a stronger handle at the handle level and removing the adaptive trigger for quick-click models. Count on a minimum of € 219 for the base model and up to € 430 for 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 EUR.
Technical features Scuf Instinct Pro
|Compatibility||PS5, Windows PC, Android, iOS, Mac OS|
|Connection type||USB and Bluetooth cable|
|Action buttons||8 + 4 pallets|
Buy Scuf Reflex at the Scuf store
Finishing and design near DualSense
Without this color change, Reflex would have a hard time differentiating from DualSense. Roughly speaking, the latest driver from Scuf takes over the curves of the driver from which it borrowed the motherboard, and thus offers a very similar design, several elements that can be a priori exchanged from one model to another. However, there are some significant differences in the details the texture of the plastic facade, which is softer to the touch, less stickyand a clearly stronger grip on the Pro model that we have in hand.
Some more features for Scuf Reflex
The main design difference that this Reflex offers is ultimately located under the controller, inside the handle. In the greatest tradition of the brand we find there 4 more plastic palletsnon-removable, accessible from the intermediary or ring finger, can be assigned to the L1 / R1, L3 / R3, D-Pad, or one of the four action buttons on the front panel. A dedicated button allows you to change the configuration on the fly using 3 integrated profiles that can be freely modified. No software application to accompany these adjustments, everything happens very simply, but with limitations.
Analog rods have also changed their shape and material, from a basic model to a concave cap with a thinner texture than the original. Here you will find the same models as the Scuf Instinct we recently tested. And if these rod caps are interchangeableof course, provided you have purchased this option, they cannot be replaced on the fly as in the Microsoft Elite model, but they require the user to remove the center plate to get directly to their mechanical part.
It’s obviously less practical and changing both hats takes a good minute, but suddenly you don’t risk losing a part during operation. Nevertheless, we note that this removable plate is the only source of creaking when handling the controller. A discreet squeak, which fortunately is not felt in the game, but only when one voluntarily pushes on the plate.
After we mentioned the additional pallets and interchangeable handpieces, we checked the other features that this Scuf Reflex provides. Wand angle set point, dead spots, no remapping or trigger jam, as with Scuf Instinct or Xbox Elite 2. Best you can choose to remove the adaptive triggers Typical of DualSense for instant click models, such as mouse clicks, but losing any possibility of trigger progressiveness. And this choice is made at the time of purchase, without possible traceability. The same with the suppression of haptic vibrations, which save a little weight and concentration, at the expense of gaming feelings.
Finally a few words about autonomy of the regulator, which remains unchanged compared to DualSense. Allow 7-10 hours of play to fully charge depending on the use of haptic vibration and adaptive triggers. If you use a model without these two features, you can more than double that playing time.
Consistent but imperfect grip
As we said, Scuf Reflex takes the design of DualSense in broad outlines. We will find here all the qualities of the Sony driver, including the usual grip, with wide handles that fit well under the toes, well – placed symmetrical levers and all the qualities of the buttons we know. The directional cross remains flexible, unlike Microsoft’s design, but the result is accurate and at the same time pleasant. The contact of the front buttons is fast, but with a relatively soft spring. for once, we’d rather see clicks more drier for clearer action.
There is also some flexibility on the slice side of the L1 and R1 buttons, not very suitable for competitive training and which deserves a change for a drier model, such as the design of the Xbox series driver. Nothing to cry about, the depth is about 1 millimeter in the case of Reflex. Finally, there is nothing to say about the touchpad, which is identical to DualSense and therefore retains its accuracy and touch, as well as the motion detection functions, which remain unchanged.
The two main factors of changing the grip and the possibilities of the game are therefore again on the side of the sticks and additional pallets. For the former, it’s a matter of taste and custom. Changing the height to achieve accuracy or speed, choosing a concave or convex shape is more about each person’s feelings than about the real advantage in the game. In each case, the handle is cut well enough to allow a good grip in all types of movements and it must be acknowledged that the models offered by Scuf are really effective, despite the less significant relief at the level of the crown.
We will be a little more critical with pallets. We appreciate that we can play without them without interfering with the original grip, but using them is not the most practical, for two reasons. We first determine the direction of support of the inner blades, which must be pushed up in order to activate, which tends to deflect the hand and therefore affects the use of the analog lever. A point that does not include external pallets whose support is more natural.
Then we regret that the activation threshold is a bit too high for the outer paddles this time, which again means a loss of accuracy on the part of the analog levers. If the position of these pallets is good, we finally prefer the design of the Scuf Instinct model, which is easier to use in the game, with lighter finger support. Here, It will take quite a bit of practice before you actually use these buttons.
Conclusion: Better than DualSense, but at what cost?
Scuf Reflex is a very good PS5 or PC driver in itselfwhich takes full advantage of DualSense, and which allows you to swap some unwanted features like vibration and adaptive triggers for weight gain and quick buttons. Its finish is beautiful, it also comes with a 2-meter braided cable for wire playing and the customization it offers is a definite plus, whether in terms of features, types of analog levers or even aesthetic.
To this are added 4 additional paddles, which with practice and the adoption of imperfect mechanical capabilities allow you to gain performance in certain types of games. But overall, beyond all the qualities of this Scuf Reflex, we regret some shortcomingslargely due to the coherence of the controller with the Sony controller: no application for stick curves or joystick remapping, no possibility to manually shorten the shutter, no coexistence of deep or short triggers, and overall no change in the hardness of the various buttons.
Compared to the Microsoft Elite driver, and especially considering the price of the driver and its capabilities, there really is no account. Nevertheless, Scuf Reflex is still today best driver for ps5with a short lead over its only competitor, DualSense.
Buy Scuf Reflex at the Scuf store
- Good assembly quality
- All the feelings of DualSense
- Possibility to exchange certain functions
- Very convincing shot
- Pallet mapping at runtime
- Quality buttons and chopsticks
- 3 profile memories
- Pallets lower than Elite 2
- No really fast buttons
- Quick or haptic starters, you must choose when purchasing
- Price and especially the price of options
- No software support
The Scuf Reflex driver is placed as an alternative to DualSense, which uses full compatibility with PS5 games or offers more precise customization if you agree to exchange certain features. The other options it offers are clearly designed for competing players and are generally easy to understand, but we expected more from the premium model. Scuf Reflex therefore cannot compete as a real competitor of the Elite 2 model, which Microsoft offers to PC / XBox players, it is to blame for the lack of functions, settings and possibilities. Finally, if we still face a very good driver – the best of the PS5 – its excessive price is still difficult to justify.
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