As gaming consoles have evolved over time, they have gained the ability to run more graphically intensive, demanding games.
Along with internal hardware upgrades and screen resolution, the one crucial component that dictates the actual tactile gameplay experience has also become much better with time. Yes, we are talking about game controllers — the components that you actually interact with while gaming.
In this comparison review, we will take a look at three of the controller options for the PlayStation 5 from Scuf Gaming, one of the most prestigious and acclaimed companies when it comes to innovative, high-performance, and customizable third-party game controllers.
The Reflex line of Scuf controllers routinely receives rave reviews and here, we take a look at the Scuf Reflex, the Scuf Reflex Pro, and the Scuf Reflex FPS.
Read on to find out more about these controllers, their essential features, and which might be the ideal choice for you.
Scuf Gaming prides itself on taking the concept of the original DualShock controller and improving on it in a variety of different ways.
The aim is to provide better build quality, better ergonomics and comfort, and a better set of features, combined with unprecedented customization options.
The entire Reflex line of PS5 controllers is a reflection of this philosophy as the products have entirely unique feature sets. This means that a more expensive model is not always on a linear upgrade path—it might gain a few features but lose others so as to be perfect for a very particular use case.
The Scuf Reflex is the lowest priced of the three controllers under review, with an MSRP of around $200.
The clear upgrade on the base model is the Reflex Pro, coming in at an MSRP of around $230.
The Reflex FPS is the most expensive of the lot, coming in at an MSRP of $260. This is a special controller that is tailor-made for first-person shooters or FPS games. It has an appropriate feature set that facilitates competitive FPS gaming.
If FPS gaming is your priority, the Reflex FPS emerges as the automatic choice. For general purpose use, you can choose from the Reflex or the Reflex Pro depending on your budget and your feature requirements.
Design and Ergonomics
First, it is important to understand the commitment Scuf Gaming displays to creating truly customized and customizable controllers. Each controller is available in a variety of different sizes, enabling gamers to choose the perfect size for their hands. All three controllers come with a top touchpad for touch input.
Different people also have different preferences when it comes to the weight of controllers, so the Reflex line comes with removable weights that enable you to make your controller lighter or heavier according to your preferences.
Out of the box, both the Reflex and the Reflex Pro weigh in at 300 grams, while Reflex FPS is significantly lighter at 236 grams, necessitated by the requirements of typical FPS gameplay.
The design options are also vast, with color choices and removable faceplates that can allow you to alter the design of your controller instantly. Apart from custom options, you can also buy these controllers preconfigured and predesigned from the factory.
The Reflex model comes in the base colors of white and black. The Reflex Pro provides more color options, with black, white, blue, red, orange, and steel grey. The Reflex FPS utilizes a dual-tone finish where a matte black center area can be combined with blue, red, light grey, and steel grey colors.
The one major difference between the models is in the grip. While the Scuf Reflex comes in a standard finish, the Reflex Pro and Reflex FPS are available with their popular high-performance grip finish. This uses a surface that is highly textured, thereby preventing slipping and enhancing comfort for those long hours of gameplay.
Another interesting customization users can opt for is choosing either the D-pad, which is useful for quick changes in direction during gameplay, or a control disk, which provides a circular control interface that allows for more granular control of direction.
All three Reflex controllers can operate wirelessly using Bluetooth, with a wireless range of up to 45 feet.
They are compatible with the PS5, while also working with Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. They can also be used wired with the help of the integrated USB type C port and the included USB type C cable. This is also used for charging the internal batteries of the controllers. Each controller has an integrated stereo headset jack along with a mute button.
A common feature of all three Reflex controllers is the rear remappable paddles. These paddles are placed in the rear of the controller for better ergonomics and quicker function. Users can remap up to four gaming functions or actions to the four remappable paddles for a superior gameplay experience.
Users can also save up to three custom mapping profiles to the controller and recall them instantly. Each controller has a profile switch button that you can press to cycle between the saved profiles. The LED indicator on the button changes colors according to the selected profile, giving a visual notification.
An excellent feature of all three Reflex controllers is the interchangeable thumb sticks. Two thumb sticks, present on either side of a controller, provide players with the most convenient granular control over movement and game parameters. Different players prefer different sizes and shapes of thumb sticks.
Scuf offers replacement thumb sticks in different lengths and sizes that can be swapped out within seconds. This enables players to have the right thumb sticks for their use, with the option to choose different thumb stick configurations for different games.
Triggers and Vibration
The main point of difference between the Reflex and Reflex Pro on the one hand and the Reflex FPS on the other lies in the way they integrate triggers and vibration.
The Reflex and the Reflex Pro use integrated adaptive triggers. These triggers are gradual, offering different degrees of resistance to different input levels. Combined with the rumble provided by the vibration motors in these two controllers, they can provide resistance feedback and make the gameplay experience more immersive.
Adaptive triggers are also excellent for modulated inputs, where the degree of pressure can decide the degree of the input. This is particularly useful in racing or flight sim games where modulated input can be an integral part of the gameplay experience.
Both the Reflex and the Reflex Pro include both adaptive triggers and vibration motors. However, these cannot be found on the Reflex FPS.
The loadout of the Reflex FPS does away with the rumble and the adaptive triggers. Instead, it utilizes the reduced weight and employs instant triggers, also called hair triggers.
FPS gaming requires swift movement, split-second decisions, and the shortest possible reaction times. To facilitate this, the Reflex FPS provides instant triggers that do not have any resistance, are light to operate, and have a very short actuation.
This, combined with the fact that there is no vibration on offer, removes every resistance from the FPS gamer and enables them to translate the best possible performance according to their abilities.
For this reason, the Scuf Reflex FPS is often the go-to choose for professional gamers, with massive use in competitive FPS gaming tournaments, where it is legal to use.
All Reflex controllers are infinitely customizable, with thousands of options.
First, you get to choose between the base colors, new colors like aqua, lavender, mango, slate, sand, and mint, and from 20+ designer options for the faceplate. You can also choose from among nine color options for the faceplate trim.
For the thumb sticks, you can choose from a combination of four-color options and four types, short concave, long concave, short domed, and long domed. This choice can be made independently for the left and right thumb stick.
You can also choose a different color for the thumb stick rings on either side. In relation to this, you can choose between standard or instant triggers, with a plethora of color options independently for the bumpers and triggers.
Finally, Scuf lets you individually customize the colors of the D-pad, the button kit, the Options button, the Home button, and the Back button.
You can also choose to have the rumble motor installed or left out.
You can add a black or white player pack, which includes color-matched cables and a sturdy carrying case. While the options can vary slightly based on the model, this is an incredible level of customization for a PS5 controller.
Durability and Lifespan
While the customization, design, and features of Scuf Reflex controllers undoubtedly take center stage, it’s also essential to discuss their durability and lifespan. These controllers are designed to withstand intense gaming sessions and regular use, demonstrating Scuf Gaming’s commitment to quality construction.
The high-grade materials used in the build of these controllers ensure they can handle a significant amount of wear and tear. The controllers’ bodies are constructed using hard plastic that provides a sturdy feel without compromising on the ergonomic design. Furthermore, the buttons and thumb sticks are designed for long-term resilience, which is an important factor considering the repeated and often forceful use they will experience.
The lifespan of these controllers can depend on various factors, including the type of games being played, the intensity of usage, and the care taken in maintaining the controller. However, given the solid build and quality materials used, a Scuf Reflex controller can easily last for several years with proper care.
Battery Life and Charging Times
A key aspect of the gaming experience is the battery life of a wireless controller and the time it takes to charge. A longer battery life ensures that you can have extended gaming sessions without interruptions, and short charging times allow you to get back to your game quickly if your controller does run out of power.
The Scuf Reflex line controllers are equipped with high-capacity batteries. On a full charge, these controllers offer up to 8 hours of continuous gameplay, which should be sufficient for most gaming sessions. Standby time is also impressive, with the controller remaining powered for many weeks if left idle.
As for charging times, using the included USB Type-C cable, a completely drained controller can be fully charged in approximately 2-3 hours. The USB Type-C port allows for faster power delivery, ensuring your controller can be ready to use in a short span of time.
The Scuf Reflex line of controllers represents excellent quality and features, allowing for all-out gaming performance.
Both the Reflex and the Reflex Pro are excellent for general purpose gaming use, with the Reflex Pro providing a more premium and ergonomic experience due to the premium grip.
The Reflex FPS, on the other hand, is a smart choice for amateur or competitive FPS gamers.
The high degree of customization gives you the chance to end up with a PS5 controller that you can truly make your own. In a world of high inflation and irrational gas prices, that could bring joy to your heart.
How do I pair my Scuf Reflex controller with my PlayStation 5?
To pair your Scuf Reflex controller with your PlayStation 5, you need to put both the console and the controller into pairing mode. On the PS5, go to Settings > Accessories > Bluetooth Devices and select the option to add a device. On your Scuf controller, press and hold the PS button and the Share button simultaneously until the controller’s LED starts to flash. Your PS5 should now detect the controller, and you can select it to complete the pairing process.
How do I remap the buttons on my Scuf Reflex controller?
Remapping buttons on your Scuf Reflex controller can be done using the built-in remapping function. By pressing and holding the remapping button on the back of the controller, and then pressing the button you want to remap and the paddle you want it assigned to, you can customize your controller to best suit your gaming needs.
Can I replace the thumb sticks on my Scuf Reflex controller?
Yes, one of the significant features of the Scuf Reflex controllers is the ability to replace the thumb sticks. Scuf provides thumb sticks of different lengths and sizes that can be swapped out easily. This means you can customize your controller’s thumb sticks to match your preferred feel and gameplay style.