Jacob Hale reviews the SCUF Impact, the newest Scuf controller available to PS4 and PC users.
I have tested the product excessively over the last few weeks on multiple games such as FIFA, Paragon and, of course, the Lego Harry Potter Collection, but obviously, it was predominantly used on Call of Duty.
For a long time, console esport players had to either settle with the problems that came with standard controllers, or learn to play Claw. Over the last few years though, Scuf has become the go-to company for gamers looking for comfort, style and performance.
Who are SCUF?
The brainchild of British-born Duncan Ironmonger, Scuf Gaming controllers have long been the standard-bearer for esport professionals in console shooters, calling themselves a “global leader and innovator in esports”.
This title was backed up by the Esports Industry Awards in 2016, where Scuf won the “Best Hardware Award”.
Scuf are partnered with many organisations such as Splyce, Excel Esports and Team Infused, who all field strong British teams across multiple esports, as well as global powerhouses such as Evil Geniuses and Gfinity Elite Series’ Team EnVyUs.
Teams and players across the globe competing in games such as Call of Duty, Halo and Gears of War rely on Scuf products to give themselves an edge that separates them from the casual gamer.
What sets SCUF controllers apart?
Scuf implements several key features to their products; a trigger-stop mechanism, different designs and, their unique paddle control system.
The paddles on the back of the controller are what Scuf are known for. These paddles are ergonomic and perform the actions of the core buttons on the faceplate.
This increases reaction time, giving players no need to remove their thumbs from their thumbsticks and therefore increasing movement efficiency.
What an Impact
This review looks at the Scuf Impact. The Impact is an evolution of the great products already provided by Scuf, becoming an instant fan-favourite by implementing a different size and shape than the standard PS4 controller, instead resembling the beloved Xbox 360 controller.
It also includes four removable paddles as opposed to the usual two, an improved cable retention system and optional wired connectivity (more on that later).
These are the specifications of my controller:
Graphite black/’elite’ controller with gold buttons
Four paddles with Electro-Magnetic Remapping
- As I said, the paddles are the most important part of the Scuf brand. Unlike before, the Impact offers four removable paddles, meaning you can choose how many you use and in whatever positions are most comfortable to you. I opt for three paddles, removing one of the inside paddles due to my incessant accidental pressing of it.
- The Electro-Magnetic Remapping is important too. It allows users to change which button each paddle is connected to – for example, changing the default Square paddle to be Triangle. The process only takes a few seconds to do and gives users complete control over how they want to use their controller.
Black adjustable hair trigger, trigger stop mechanism and military grade grip
- The military grade grip is self-explanatory; a strong grip on each side of the controller to help you keep hold in those long, sweat-inducing gaming sessions.
- The trigger stops are exactly as named – there is a small tab on the triggers that stop the trigger when it reaches its activation point, reducing any unnecessary movement.
Standard PS4 thumbsticks with Ring & Lock System
- I have grown used to the standard thumbsticks and did not want to make the change, but I have used the SCUF Domed thumbsticks which are of the highest quality and well designed too.
- The Ring & Lock system makes for an easy change of the sticks, and also come in a variety of different colours.
Cable retention system
- The cable retention system is particularly important for players who will be attending big events. As well as keeping a better, safer hold on the cable, the Impact allows wired functionality instead of Bluetooth. This comes after there were many issues last year with players getting Bluetooth lag at events due to the sheer amount of Bluetooth devices being used in the arena.
- Removing the rumbles simply makes the controller lighter. I have always played with vibration off so this is natural for myself.
I did not include some of the other features available with Scuf products, such as a Control Disc in place of the D-Pad.
To hear the experts explain it, watch the video of their announcement below.
— Scuf Gaming (@ScufGaming) April 5, 2017
It is worth noting that all of these features are customisable, and I really recommend visiting the site and looking at all of the options available to you.
MY EXPERIENCE: This is my first Scuf controller and will not be my last
My first impression was a good one; the product came extremely well packaged in a hard-cased box, which included the controller itself and the various tools used to adjust it.
When I first got hands-on with my Scuf Impact I struggled. A lot. This was purely due to muscle memory, and it felt very unnatural at first to not move my right thumb between thumbstick and X button, for example, every time I wanted to jump.
Nonetheless, within a couple of weeks it became second nature and I saw my game greatly improve. I have never been the strongest in gunfights; the Impact gave me that little bit extra to react in situations that would usually be of detriment to my team.
It is clear why professionals in so many console esports opt to use Scuf products, especially in shooters where twitch reactions can be the difference between thousands of pounds.
Although not important to the esport aspect, the design capabilities of Scuf products, providing options with all different colour combinations and additions, is a great way to customise your peripheral and make it your own.
It has also opened up the possibility for many teams, players and personalities to get their own branded designs.
“I have never been the strongest in gunfights; the Impact gave me that little bit extra to react in situations that would usually be of detriment to my team.”
The only thing that I have a real problem with when it comes to Scuf products is the price. For the most part, you’re looking at a minimum of £100 for a controller, and for someone that may not have much of a return on investment or spare cash, this could be problematic.
The Impact itself ranges between £109.99 and £134.99 between the different collections, and this is just their base price. For example, the Ali-A Scuf Impact starts at £134.99 but, when fully maxed out, reaches over £190.
In a market that primarily targets younger people who may not have as much disposable income, this is a heavy investment, especially to those who are not competing or making money from playing.
Despite this, I firmly believe that if you have the money and want one, you should absolutely make the purchase.
The Scuf Impact has done wonders for myself and would likely offer you the same. This is my first Scuf controller and will definitely not be my last. There’s a reason it is considered a necessity to a majority of pro teams and players.
What about the Scuf Infinity?
I also managed to get my hands on the new Scuf Infinity 4PS Pro – an upgrade of the original Scuf Infinity 4PS.
This comes with the basic features offered on a Scuf with two paddles (though these ones are now removable, like the Impact), trigger extenders and stops, and interchangeable thumbsticks.
As with all Scuf products, the custom colour options are extensive – you are able to mix and match every colour combination and find what suits you perfectly, as well as add optional extras such as military grade grip and a control disc.
This model starts slightly cheaper than the Scuf Impact, ranging from £99.99 to £124.99. This means it may be more suitable for those looking to test what a Scuf could offer them before they commit to a bigger purchase.
Featured image courtesy of SCUF Gaming