After getting my hands on the SCUF Impact, I had to test out its Xbox One sibling, the SCUF Elite, and going in I was optimistic simply because of how loudly I sang about the Impact. I was expecting great things, SCUF are a big name when it comes to professional controllers, and they’ve proved they aren’t messing around and stand up there with the best of them. I won’t bore you with a lengthy introduction this time around, it’s the SCUF Elite for Xbox One wireless controller, let’s see what it’s like.
The packaging was similar to, if not the same as, the Impact with a black box inside a card sleeve with what’s inside emblazoned on it. Upon opening the box, you’ll set eyes on your controller in all its glory. Again, like the Impact, or any SCUF product for that matter, you’re able to choose any design on their website, and although we didn’t get the choice this time around, we were blessed with a vibrant but bold red front fascia that certainly makes a statement. It’s basic, sure, but it’s bold, brass and very loud. Below the controller in its protective foam was a circular space that was for a differently designed directional pad. Unless you read the instruction manual provided first before exploring, you’ll wonder how this thing can be fixed onto the controller, but I’ll come to that later. SCUF also sent me a very robust and great quality charging cable and replacement components, but again, I’ll come to those later.
Remove the controller, and you’ll have mixed feelings as this thing is heavy. I myself liked that fact as it feels a lot more solid and premium manufactured, hard to break and extremely durable. It sits nicely on my lap when I’m playing a game, so why would the weight bother me? Other players may feel the opposite, they like a lightweight controller for portable reasons, such as taking it with them to competitions, for example. On the front of the controller, it looks no different from a standard Xbox One controller apart from a small, thin switch that is situated directly underneath the Xbox button. This switch toggles 2 profiles that are programmed using the Xbox Accessories app on your console. On the back of the controller is where things get interesting. Four grey paddles are lined up 2×2 just beside each hand grip. Each paddle is wide enough for fingers to lean on and requires minimal pressure to activate the buttons underneath them. It is hard to accidentally press them whilst playing, so if you’re like me, you’ll program one of the profiles assigned to the middle switch to deactivate them altogether. Further up the controller and beside each trigger button are small green-coloured switches that can be toggled to control how far in you want the trigger buttons to go before activation. This function is ideal for those with fast trigger fingers and don’t wish to fully depress the triggers to shoot a weapon.
Unlike the Elite’s PS4 brother, you don’t need a magnetic dongle to program buttons. Instead, using the Xbox Accessories app on your Xbox One console, you can easily assign each button to perform the functions of other buttons to allow full customisation. You can program as many profiles as you like on the app, but you can only affix 2 to the controller at any one time.
So, I mentioned the differently designed directional pad and the small pack of replacement components SCUF packaged with the Elite; well each hand grip, thumb stick and the directional pad can be removed by simply pulling them off. Each component is only secured by a relatively strong magnet, so they can easily be dislodged using a little bit of effort, but they are strong enough that they won’t accidentally pop off. The replacement directional pad was a circular variant reminiscent of the ones found on an NES controller. This type of pad is ideal for fighting games as they make circular motions commonly required for performing special moves a lot easier to pull off, it’s also angled to make travelling to the pad shorter. There are no tools to use or screws to fiddle with, just your own 2 hands. One thing I thought the Elite could have benefited from was some form of carry case but you can’t have it all.
Something worth noting is a realisation that occurred to me whilst doing a bit of research on the SCUF Elite. This thing is basically a standard Xbox One Elite controller with SCUF branding. It’s identical in almost every way except for the directional pad and the positioning of the paddles. This doesn’t make it any kind of a rip-off, SCUFs variant is a powerhouse but also more expensive.
The SCUF Elite is hard to knock compared to the standard Xbox One Elite; it’s basically down to preference. In my opinion, SCUF’s Elite has better positioned paddles, and its rubber grips are sweat resistant. Sure, you do get a carry case and replacement triggers with the standard Elite, but SCUF’s product just feels more professional, it’s just the weight that may put players off.
Developer: Scuf Gaming
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 2017