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SCUF Reflex controller review: good enough to take on the DualSense Edge?

Is the SCUF Reflex controller worth the money next to the DualSense Edge? We weigh up the differences
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Sony recently released the DualSense Edge, the PS5’s answer to the Xbox Elite controller, and a far more expensive offering, retailing at £209.99 as standard. This is not a cheap controller, and when we get into this price range, we’re entering the territory of pro-grade gear, the kind of stuff esports professionals use.

SCUF Gaming has been making esports controllers for more than a decade, and wrote the book on real paddles and short trigger distances. Now owned by Corsair, SCUF is the official controller partner for the Call of Duty League, making it the pinnacle of FPS controllers almost by default. Official premium controllers are an enticing replacement for these pricey custom pieces.

Once the DualSense Edge was announced and I felt my envy growing for all of my peers, colleagues, and friends that were buying in, I felt the need to one-up them, in the name of science. So I used my own money to invest in a fully-kitted SCUF PS5 controller, known as the SCUF Reflex.

While you can buy a pre-built Reflex pad, you can also fully customize your choice, picking different colored housing, designs, button and stick types, and more. For example, if you love the idea of paddles but really want to keep the DualSense’s usual adaptive triggers, then that’s totally possible.

Is the SCUF Reflex worth your money?

Is the SCUF Reflex worth your money?

I purchased a customized SCUF Reflex entirely with my own money, using a publicly available discount code, which allowed me to fully customize my controller while paying a flat rate, instead of an additional charge for each customized element. I paid £223.99 for the controller – not including shipping – thanks to the discount code that saved me £87.91. Even though I got a relative “bargain” compared to the usual cost of a fully-customized SCUF controller, I’m in a good position to complain about my wasted investment if I’m disappointed with anything. And boy, am I ever disappointed with a few things.

Let’s get the minor complaints out of the way first. The plastic housing covering the sticks that stretches down the inside of the handles of the controller feels a bit flimsy. At the base of the handles you can unclip both sides and pull the plastic housing away in order to get access to the sticks, and replace them if necessary. It’s nice to have “easy” access (not as easy as the DualSense Edge, mind) to the insides of the controller that you might wish to replace, but the plastic could feel a bit stronger, and it could fit more flush against the rest of the controller plastic.

A bigger issue is that, on my controller at least, the left stick tilts to the side by a millimeter or two when not touched. This isn’t noticeable during play and the dead zone is still tweaked so it does not effect gameplay in any way, but it feels frustrating for a premium-price product to have any issues like this, really. On top of that, the D-pad requires a firmer press to register inputs than I’m used to, which is honestly far more intrusive during gameplay. SCUF controllers do at least come with a six-month warranty, so I can get a refund if any of these issues do end up sending me over the edge (ha).

Those are some potentially massive gripes, especially if you’re expecting top-of-the-line quality from your premium-price product. But when it comes to actually using the controller in an intense game, most of those issues wash away.

When you’re not left to your own devices in a loading screen, forced to acknowledge the item in your hands, you can rub your fingers against the plastic and find imperfections, like plastic edges that could’ve been smoothed down. Hey, look, the transparent plastic surrounding the touchpad also isn’t fully flush with the rest of the plastic housing. Not a dealbreaker, but it certainly makes it feel like something you might buy from Etsy instead of a reputable source like SCUF and Corsair.

But when you’re in a heated match it’s a different situation. The SCUF Reflex sits in your fingers and does everything you want it to. The analog sticks glide as you move them, and the face buttons don’t need icons as long as you have the muscle memory you need to play most games. Something I often forget is even there is the rubberized “Reflex Back,” which is literally a textured, rubber rear for the controller, which does a good job of ensuring it doesn’t slip from your fingers during play. It feels good.

Rubber rear handles is a nice addition.

Rubber rear handles is a nice addition.

Of course, SCUF controllers have always been known for the rear paddles, and there are four of them here. They work just as you would expect. My middle fingers sit on top of the side paddles during general play, and reach inwards just a centimeter in order to tap the inner paddles whenever needed. It’s comfortable, functional, and obvious why SCUF controllers have become synonymous with competitive console shooters. Paddles can be assigned to any button on the controller, and you can set three different profiles for your favorite games.

I also opted for the Reflex trigger and bumper buttons, which essentially replaces the usual squishy bumpers and adaptive triggers with buttons that are much closer to a mouse click. When it comes to quickly firing a pistol in Call of Duty: Warzone, these are much better than the default adaptive triggers – though it does feel like a bit of a shame to lose the adaptive functionality entirely, especially when the DualSense Edge provides different trigger distances, on top of adaptive functionality.

Aside from those features, everything on the SCUF Reflex is as you would expect from a stock PS5 controller. The gyro functions work perfectly, as does the touchpad – and the battery isn’t demonstrably better than the standard DualSense either. Let’s get things straight: it’s a good controller, but the DualSense Edge is doing a few key things better.

The different trigger stop settings is a huge point, for one, and Sony is also selling replacement analog sticks, meaning you can buy a couple now and have drift protection for future gaming sessions. The SCUF controller does have replaceable sticks, but doing it is a bit more effort.

A variety of designs and color combinations are available.

A variety of designs and color combinations are available.

Ultimately, thanks to the higher base price and arguably lesser features, it’s impossible to recommend a SCUF Reflex controller over the DualSense Edge – unless, of course, you want bragging rights. A fully customized controller, with a nice design and color scheme, is a statement, and one you will want to make if you take gaming seriously. The DualSense Edge is nice, but it doesn’t look particularly stylish or distinct when compared to the default DualSense controller.

The SCUF Reflex is a great controller, even better when you can customize everything, but if I didn’t buy it with a discount code, and instead had paid the standard £300+ cost, I would be far less forgiving.