SCUF INSTINCT PRO Review | Expensive luxury controller for Xbox and PC

 There are now plenty of custom controllers for the consoles, but many of them are wired. So the elite controller from Microsoft was the most common alternative if you wanted to keep some luxury in your paws. With the SCUF Instinct Pro, there is now a wireless alternative with enormously extensive configuration options in the store - at least visually. However, this has its price. The basic model already costs 219.99 euros and each adjustment causes a hefty surcharge. Is it at least worth it?


A first look at the SCUF store makes it clear: if you order a controller here, you can more or less put together a unique piece. Visually, in particular, there are tons of options, including quite a few faceplates with different colors and patterns, along with color choices for pretty much everything from the D-Pad to the triggers and shoulder buttons. Sticks of various lengths and with concave or convex surfaces are also available.


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However, the first disillusionment comes quickly. The configurations are not included in the already exorbitant price of 219.99 euros. Every pattern and almost every color selection drives the price up further. If you use all the options, you will quickly land well over 300 euros. You then have a quasi-one-off for individualists, but ultimately you can't do more with it than control video games. The less pretty counterpart, the Xbox Elite Controller 2, can still be had for less than 150 euros with a similar range of functions.


SCUF INSTINCT PRO Review | Expensive luxury controller for Xbox and PC

However, you have to admit when unpacking that SCUF delivers a high-quality controller with the Instinct Pro. The design and ergonomics essentially correspond to the original controller, so there is largely no need to get used to it. The faceplate, which is secured with a magnet, has a pleasantly silky surface and can be removed with one hand, for example, to replace sticks or a D-Pad. The battery/rechargeable battery compartment also has a magnetic attachment. The well-formed handles are extremely safe to hold thanks to the textured rubber coating.


The arrangement of the standard buttons also corresponds to the Xbox original, but you quickly discover a few extras. First, we discover a microphone mute button, which of course only works with wired 3.5 mm jack headsets. Easily accessible at the top, slightly lower between the D-Pad and the right stick. It goes past the jack connection and chats pad connection to the bottom of the controller.


There we first find four additional keys, the arrangement of which is simply a dream and corresponds exactly to the position of the middle finger. All four keys have a fairly crisp pressure point, which is still easy to use but prevents the keys from being pressed accidentally. Clearly solved better than, for example, with the highly sensitive Victrix Gambit. The four additional keys have three different assignment patterns that can be changed using the profile selector switch on the bottom. By default, these are BYXA, B Left Right A, and Left Right Up Down. However, the assignments can also be freely configured and stored in the profiles using keyboard combinations.


We also discover two toggle switches for switching the trigger paths in two stages (long and short). The latter will especially delight shooter and action fans. In short mode, the trigger paths are so short that they almost achieve the haptic feedback of mouse clicks. However, there is no multi-stage solution like the Victrix Gambit mentioned. It is generally pleasing that all buttons, triggers, and sticks react very precisely and precisely. The only thing we weren't 100% happy with was the action buttons. We still like the Razer Wolverine's clicky-sensitive buttons best here, but that's a bit of a matter of taste.


SCUF INSTINCT PRO Review | Expensive luxury controller for Xbox and PC

Nice: there is even a guide for a number of games and genres on the SCUF website regarding the configuration of sticks and buttons, which is definitely worth reading. On the other hand, it is surprising that, despite the high price, there is not an Xbox app for more in-depth function settings such as trigger travel, stick reaction, or even button assignments. That would be the ultimate luxury but would justify the hefty price a little more.


The controller is at least versatile. On the Xbox consoles, it works flawlessly via Xbox Wireless. It can also be used on the PC (or the console) with the included two-meter USB cable. Incidentally, the controller has a Type-C connection, so you can easily use longer cables from third-party manufacturers. It can also be connected to the PC via an Xbox wireless dongle and last but not least you can also connect the Instinct Pro via Bluetooth.


In the practical test with different game genres (and very extensively during our test phase for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen), we were able to convince ourselves that the Instinct Pro does not allow itself any weaknesses in practical use. All controls react precisely and quickly, and we particularly liked the extremely short trigger paths (when activated accordingly). There is nothing to complain about in terms of ergonomics anyway. If anything, we were bothered by the rather loud and unpleasant-sounding vibration motors.


CONCLUSION

Nice thing, but crazy-expensive

With the Instinct Pro, SCUF has delivered a successful alternative to Microsoft's elite controller. The ergonomics fit since it is closely based on the original controller anyway. The additional keys on the underside are perfectly arranged and have a crisp pressure point that prevents accidental activation. Switching the trigger path is great, with a short path the triggers almost feel like mouse clicks in terms of switching behavior. The extensive configuration options in the store, which turn the expensive controller into a real one-off, are also impressive.


The catch, however, is the price. At over 200 euros, the basic model is already very expensive, if you add customization, even over 300 euros are possible. In addition, the rather loud vibration motors got on our nerves in the long run. It's also a shame that there isn't an app to make even more profound changes, such as the behavior of the sticks. Which of course changes very little in the basic qualities of the high-quality gamepad. Personally, however, this would be far too expensive.



PROS

  • many configuration options in the store
  • good ergonomics
  • almost perfectly arranged additional keys
  • Sticks and D-Pad interchangeable
  • high quality
  • three profiles possible
  • Modifications possible without tools

CONS

  • very expensive
  • uncomfortably loud vibration motors
  • no more in-depth configurations via the app are possible

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