It prices as a lot as three DualSense controllers, and you may’t remap rear triggers to its paddles
The PS5’s DualSense is likely one of the most feature-packed controllers ever made. And at $69.99 (or slightly more for bolder colors) it’s costly sufficient as is that if you must purchase one other one. Nevertheless, peripheral model Scuf has packed much more into its Reflex lineup of controllers, in flip ballooning its value.
It begins at $199.99 — half the price of a digital version PS5. And the associated fee goes up with the $229.99 Reflex Pro (the mannequin I examined, which prices greater than three DualSense controllers) and the $259.99 Reflex FPS. The Reflex FPS lacks each haptics and adaptive triggers in favor of Scuf’s extra clicky “instant triggers,” however that’s apparently what professional players need: fewer options and a better value.
The Reflex and Reflex Pro controllers have the identical options as Sony’s controller, adaptive triggers, touchpad, superior haptics, headphone jack, rechargeable battery, and all. It even has comparable system integration; your PS5 can ship updates to it as it could to Sony’s Dualsense. But Scuf has taken liberties with some design and performance selections (a few of which had been finished to create alternatives so that you can spend much more cash).
The greatest draw (and, maybe, essentially the most divisive high quality) of all three Reflex variations is the rear-mounted paddles. Each one has a non-removable module on its again with 4 paddles stemming from it. These may be mapped to execute nearly any perform on the controller, other than duplicating the house, choices, or create capabilities. The Reflex additionally can’t remap the rear triggers, which Scuf doesn’t acknowledge in its online FAQ. However, the controller’s instruction manual precisely lists what capabilities may be remapped.
Here’s the assertion that Scuf spokesperson Lexie Harkness offered to The Verge as to why it opted to not embody this perform:
“The internal structure of the DualSense controller is very unique, and the adaptive triggers represent technical limitations for other components. Since the L2 and R2 triggers are in a relatively accessible location already, we decided to prioritize other functionalities which give the user more options for harder to access areas.”
I can take not having the ability to remap a number of the controller’s key OS-level capabilities, however missing set off remapping to the paddles is a significant blow to the worth proposition of this expensive product — to not point out to Scuf’s key viewers that desires a no-compromise controller. Also, the triggers could also be “relatively accessible” for many individuals, but it surely doesn’t assist people who could require extra accessibility to play video games. Scuf’s Instinct lineup of Xbox wireless controllers has the same limitation.
It’s price mentioning that, with the PS5, Sony’s DualSense helps customized button assignments, letting you remap any perform (triggers included) to any of the face buttons. Like Scuf’s controller, this excludes the house, choices, or create buttons.
The Reflex Pro continues to be an excellent controller, in the event you’re capable of overlook that flaw. And as for what it can remap, the perform works as meant. You can toggle between three saved profiles with a rear backlit button, letting you turn between a number of customized management schemes. Unlike the Xbox-specific Instinct controller that Scuf makes, the Reflex’s paddles may be yanked out one-by-one, in the event you choose fewer of them, or simply to have them on one facet of the controller as a substitute of each.
Your curiosity could range with customizing controls, however it could possibly make it simpler to execute sure controller capabilities that sometimes require extra of a attain. I remapped the “look behind” perform in Gran Turismo 7 to a rear paddle, which was extra intuitive to me than the default L1 button mapping. In Elden Ring, I modified toggling by means of gear from the directional pad to considered one of these paddles. That saves me from awkwardly reaching over to the directional pad, which is a specific nuisance throughout battle.
As for different adjustments that Scuf made to the DualSense, the corporate eliminated the labeling from the face buttons, giving the Reflex a extra refined look than the DualSense — assuming that you simply’re already intimately accustomed to Sony’s conventional format. The different adjustments are typically constructive, aside from the house button. In place of the PlayStation brand that rises barely out of the DualSense, there’s a barely extra awkward to press button right here. It would possibly really feel wonderful to some folks, however I sometimes did not press it, which isn’t an issue that I’ve with the DualSense.
You can get a Reflex in another colours than what Sony presently provides for its DualSense. The basic coloration of the controller (which has a soft-touch coating) can’t be modified after the acquisition, however the body that surrounds the joysticks may be eliminated. By eradicating that body, which locks seamlessly into footholds on the backside of the Reflex’s grips, you may swap out the joysticks themselves, too, together with the coloured rings that encompass them. Along along with your buy, Scuf features a few swappable joysticks of various heights, and with convex or concave surfaces, to accommodate completely different play types. The firm says you’ll sometime be capable of buy extra sticks and their surrounding rings in numerous colours.
Despite these adjustments, the Reflex feels an identical to a DualSense if you’re targeted on the sport and never the controller. Yet, my favourite change right here is the patterned rubber grips added to the Reflex Pro and FPS (however not the usual mannequin). This makes it really feel just like the definitive PS5 controller. It matches extra snugly in my arms throughout extra intense play classes, in addition to making it much less susceptible to sliding round on my espresso desk between gaming classes.
Having paddles on a controller isn’t for everybody, but it surely’s a type of issues it’s possible you’ll not be capable of reside with out after you’re accustomed to it. And for individuals who have by no means purchased a controller like this, it’s possible you’ll solely notice what your choice is by attempting it out. It’d be simpler to suggest that extra folks give it a attempt, if solely the $199.99 beginning value for Scuf’s Reflex wasn’t so excessive. And sadly, with virtually no wi-fi options to the DualSense presently accessible, Scuf expenses extra for these further options than they’re price.
Scuf is aware of the way to make already-good controllers a bit of higher. But these costs solely serve to maintain most gamers from having the ability to expertise them. In the absence of different equally customizable choices, I nonetheless can’t suggest this to most individuals. I’ll simply sit right here, crossing my fingers, and hoping that Sony will finally make a PS5 model of its Back Button Attachment, or an much more premium wi-fi controller of its personal that prices lower than this one.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge