Home Electronics Gaming Review of the Scuf Reflex Pro

Review of the Scuf Reflex Pro

Scuf Reflex Pro

One of the few fully working alternatives to the DualSense is the Scuf Reflex Pro. It performs everything the PlayStation 5’s default controller does, plus a little more, but that doesn’t explain the three-fold price difference.

PROS

  • It feels and acts like a DualSense, and it has all of the same features.
  • Rear paddles that are both comfortable and convenient
  • Thumbsticks with a textured surface

CONS

  • Expensive
  • There is no app or customization options for altering the sensitivity of the analog stick or trigger
  • There isn’t a way to remap all of the buttons
  • A few extras are included

Even when compared to the Nintendo Switch‘s Joy-Cons, the PlayStation 5‘s DualSense gamepad is an extraordinary piece of engineering, with a mind-boggling number of functions for a console’s stock controller. It’s also almost unique, as Sony has been less receptive to third-party controllers than Microsoft or Nintendo have been. I say nearly because there is another option: the Scuf Reflex gamepad series.

Scuf offers three controllers for the PlayStation 5, all of which are based on the same platform as the DualSense. The $199.99 Reflex and $229.99 Reflex Pro have all of the DualSense’s features, including adaptive triggers and vibration (the most expensive model, the $259.99 Reflex FPS, has instant triggers instead of adaptive triggers for better performance in first-person shooters) and programmable rear paddles. We evaluated the Reflex Pro, and it performed similarly to the DualSense with a few enhancements. It is, however, somewhat costly, especially when compared to the $179.99 Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, $99.99 Victrix Gambit Dual Core Tournament Controller, and $49.99 8Bitdo Pro 2. To be honest, none of those controllers are compatible with the PlayStation 5.

Paddles that work with a DualSense

The Reflex Pro resembles the DualSense in appearance and feel, with long, curved grips and a big, trapezoidal touchpad. Even the direction pad, face buttons, and triggers are virtually identical to the DualSense’s, with the circular home button replacing the PlayStation-logo-shaped one as the sole apparent difference from the front.

By lifting up the front tips of the grips, you can see how different the Reflex Pro is from the DualSense. The plastic panel between the outside grips and below the touchpad comes off, allowing you to remove the convex analog sticks and replace them with the concave analog sticks that come with the controller. Both sets of sticks are black plastic with rubber-coated tips, and while they rattling around in the box appear to be quite light, they’re extremely secure once clicked into place. When pushing the stick from the edge, the tips have a pleasing two-tone texture with smooth centers and slightly ridged sides that allow you to maintain your thumb angled in a specific position.

The back of the Reflex Pro is where the controller really shines. Four programmable paddle buttons are located towards the top of the gamepad on a large hump that extends down into the grips’ inner curves. Your middle fingers lie naturally between the two paddles on either side of the Reflex, allowing you to pull any four of them at any time. They’re significantly more ergonomically designed than the Scuf Vantage’s four vertical paddles.

ABOUT REFLEX PRO
Scuf

Any of the paddles can be physically removed by pulling them firmly out of their holes on the bump. The hump doesn’t come off, but rather sits in the natural “dead zone” between the index and middle fingers when they rest on the triggers and grips. In fact, when I played without the paddles, I didn’t really notice it. The paddles are simple black plastic levers that are practical and sturdy-feeling, but not nearly as substantial as the metal paddles on the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller.

The Reflex Pro is distinguished from the regular Reflex by its grips. They’re textured to make the controller more comfortable to handle than the Reflex’s smooth grips. However, that is the only major difference between the two controllers, and for most people, the extra $30 isn’t worth it.

With a limited number of options, manual programming is the only way to go.

A button on the back bump selects one of three control profiles, with the mode indicated by a glowing blue, red, or green light. FPS games (all face buttons), sports games (direction pad left and right, circle and square), and racing games (all direction pad buttons) are all preset in each profile, but you can manually reprogram any paddle for any mode and create your own profiles. The paddles must be reprogrammed manually, but it’s a straightforward process: hold the profile button down until it blinks, then simultaneously press the paddle you’re mapping and the button you want it to trigger.

This brings us to one of the Reflex’s main drawbacks: the lack of customizing software. The only control modifications you may make are to the rear paddles’ mapping, which must be done manually. Other controls can’t be remapped, sensitivity curves for analog sticks or triggers can’t be adjusted, and macros can’t be programmed. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, as well as the 8Bitdo Pro 2 and Victrix Gambit, don’t have these features, but the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller does. These features should be included in a controller of this price.

Only a fabric-wrapped USB cable is included with the Reflex, in addition to the removable paddles and alternate concave analog sticks (one short, one long). There is no carrying case supplied, which is disappointing for a controller that costs over $200.

REMAPPABLE PADDLES
Scuf

The Scuf Reflex Pro is compatible with the PlayStation 4 and can be connected to iOS devices, Macs, and Windows PCs through Bluetooth. On Windows, however, it registers as a DirectInput controller rather than an XInput controller, necessitating the use of Steam’s PlayStation compatibility mode or third-party software such as DS4Windows.

However, the lack of software has no effect on the hardware, and the Reflex Pro feels wonderful. The textured grips and stick caps are a welcome improvement over the regular DualSense controller, which was already a fantastic controller. The back paddles are comfortable and trustworthy, and they fit to the middle fingers ergonomically.

Playing on the PlayStation 5 is a lot of fun.

Everything else about the Reflex Pro is the same as it is with the DualSense, including the fantastic additional features Sony crammed into the controller, which I tried with Astro’s Playroom on the PlayStation 5. The adaptive triggers adjust sensitivity and pull distance depending on the game and situation, the rumble is subtle and precise, and the built-in speaker is as loud and clear as a speaker of that size can be.

I used the Reflex Pro to play Horizon Forbidden West, and it worked well. It was identical to the DualSense in terms of rumble and adaptable triggers. I deleted the rear triggers for testing because the game’s control scheme is incomplete without them, and the Reflex felt almost identical to a stock DualSense.

PROFILE SWITCH
Scuf

Because the game’s inputs for weapon swapping benefit from rear triggers in Souls games, I also played Elden Ring with the Reflex Pro. The far left and far right rear triggers were assigned to L3 and R3 to control crouching and locking into enemies, and the middle left and right triggers were assigned to the left and right inputs on the direction pad to switch between weapons in my right hand and shield, bow, and torch in my left hand. The controller worked perfectly, allowing me to maintain my thumbs on the analog sticks while shifting out my gear, which I couldn’t do in the game otherwise.

An Exorbitantly Expensive Option

The Scuf Reflex Pro is a great improvement over the stock DualSense, but it’s not a huge one. Of course, Sony’s PlayStation 5 controller already has a staggering number of advanced functions, so there’s not much more that can be done. The rear paddles are useful, and the interchangeable thumbsticks have a lovely touch. Aside than that, the Reflex Pro and the DualSense are practically indistinguishable. That doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to pay more than three times as much as the DualSense, especially because the Reflex Pro lacks a casing and an app for more extensive customization.

ADAPTIVE TRIGGERS
Scuf

The Reflex and Reflex Pro are the only gamepads that can accomplish everything the DualSense can, so they’re worth considering if you want a rear-bumper improvement to the basic PS5 controller. If you wish to play Xbox games, we recommend the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, and for Nintendo Switch gamepads, we recommend the 8Bitdo Pro 2. The Elite comes with more interchangeable parts and a case, while the Pro 2 is less expensive than the original DualSense. Both controllers come with apps that allow for even more customization, and they can be used on PCs without the need for driver wrappers or customizing modes. Another good choice for PC and Xbox is the Victrix Gambit Dual Core Tournament Controller, however it is connected rather than wireless. The DualSense and the Reflex are your only options for PS5 thus far.

Review of the Scuf Reflex Pro

Scuf Reflex Pro

One of the few fully working alternatives to the DualSense is the Scuf Reflex Pro. It performs everything the PlayStation 5’s default controller does, plus a little more, but that doesn’t explain the three-fold price difference.


You may also like