Recently, we took a look at a heavily modded Xbox One controller from Evil Controllers. Now, we are looking at another modified controller but this one is only modified in terms of hardware and does not offer any ability to cheat. This Xbox One Elite controller from Scufgaming makes some key changes that offer some competitive advantages without actually breaking the game.
It’s the controller of choice for many competitive shooter players on Xbox One, but how does it fare as a daily-use controller for a regular gamer? Well, you’re just going to have to keep reading to find out.
Best of all, we we are giving away our custom-ordered SCUF One Elite review unit to one lucky reader!
Introducing The SCUF One Elite
While a lot of modded controllers are focused on things like rapid-fire and other tricks, the SCUF One Elite is focused on key hardware changes that fundamentally shift the feel and performance of a gaming controller for competitive gamers. The tweaks you’ll find won’t really make a difference if you’re sitting around playing a single player game, but for shooters and other games where every little detail can mean the difference between winning and losing, the SCUF One Elite truly shines.
There aren’t many other controllers on the market like the ones offered by Scufgaming. The Controller Shop is another online store that offers similar, modded controllers, but they don’t offer the same level of customization as Scufgaming.
As far as price goes, the base controller is available from $157.85, but the SCUF One Elite controller plus the chosen mods that we picked cost $180, along with a $14 shipping charge. The mods that we added to this controller were two rear paddles, adjustable trigger stops, a custom back grip, and alternate joystick grips. So while it might look like a stock Xbox One controller at first glance, the hardware modifications make some pretty serious changes to the way this controller plays games. Of course, the question is whether or not it actually enhances gameplay or detracts from it.
Before we get into detail on the controller itself, we need to talk about the ordering process, because you can’t play with the controller until you have it. The process was painless; you simply choose the mods you want and pay for the order. The company promised that the controller would arrive in less than two weeks and it was delivered in about nine days. The entire ordering experience was far better than the time I had with Evil Controllers, which took far longer to ship, in addition to other issues.
The packaging for the SCUF One Elite is simple but effective. It’s attractive and comes with all the instructions you need in order to learn how to adjust the triggers and use the controller properly. This means you can pull the controller out, sync it with your Xbox One and be mowing down the competition within minutes of it arriving at your door. This is really all you can ask for from a custom controller. When spending this kind of money, you want your controller to arrive on time, with the correct mods, and everything you need to play. In that regard, SCUF delivers perfectly.
As for the controller, I liked pretty much everything about it right out of the box. My only complaint is that the paddles feel a little stiff, but that’s definitely something that I’ll get accustomed to over time. Otherwise, my initial impressions were overly positive. The One Elite comes with a nice gray finish that is both subtle and stylish. It’s just a nice-looking controller, simple as that.
A key thing to note about this device is that it is a modified official Xbox One controller. This means it doesn’t have any strange design flaws that you often find with third-party offerings. Instead, it feels just like the official controller in your hands, a fact that is very important for most gamers. Of course, not everything is exactly the same.
The first major difference you’ll notice is the grippy texture. This is designed to give you a stronger hold on the controller, which is something that comes in handy even more so as your hands become sweatier. Sometimes a game can get just too intense, and if your hands are sweating a lot it can obviously become difficult to hold onto the controller properly. I must say I was thoroughly impressed with the grip offered by the SCUF One Elite. It strikes a good balance between being grippy enough without going overboard.
Next, you’ll notice the joysticks. We went with a regular length, SCUF concave option, but they also offer different grip textures and different lengths depending on your preferences. Personally, I’ve found that I like the length of a standard joystick, but it’s nice that they offer alternatives. When I reviewed the Xbox One, I took issue with how loose the controller’s joysticks were. On the SCUF One Elite, the joysticks feel more like the Xbox 360 controller, which immediately put a giant smile on my face the first time I played with it.
The thing that really makes the SCUF One Elite controller standout is the paddles on the back. You can choose which buttons to bind to the paddles when you order the controller and we opted to go with A and B. From there, you can set key functions in the game to those buttons, thus making it so you never need to remove your thumbs from the joystick. For example, in Titanfall, I set jump to A and melee to B, and I never once had to stop aiming with the right stick to hit the face buttons. If you have ever played a first-person shooter before, I don’t need to tell you how big of an advantage this is.
I mentioned that the paddles felt a little stiff at first, but I was shocked by how quickly I managed to get used to them. Within one game, it felt completely natural to me and now I wonder how I will ever go back to having to use traditional face buttons. We’ll talk more about that in the gameplay section, but I will definitely say that the paddles are well-designed.
The last important mod is the adjustable triggers. These make it so you don’t have to press them as far in order to activate them. Adjusting them is simple enough. You pull off the side panels from the controller and use the provided tools to rotate the screw to a point where the triggers feels comfortable. I like the way they were tweaked out-of-the-box, but having the ability to further adjust them to your liking is a great feature, and it’s nice that they make it really easy to change.
To put it simply, there isn’t much I don’t like about this controller from a design perspective. When I used it the first time, one of the joysticks stuck a little, but after about five minutes, it loosened up and was never a problem again. Scufgaming has clearly used its experience in designing controllers for competitive gamers to make this one of the most well-designed modded controllers on the market.
Gaming With The SCUF One Elite
Before I get too enthusiastic with the details, let me just start off by putting it really simply: this is the best controller I’ve ever used. I’ve used pretty much every controller from the Atari 2600’s joystick to the PlayStation 4 and the SCUF One Elite easily beats all of them in terms of comfort, performance, and features.
That’s a pretty bold claim, so I suppose I should back it up with facts. As I mentioned before, the paddles really make this controller stand out. You wouldn’t think something as trivial as a couple of buttons on the back of the controller would really make such a fundamental difference in the way you play games, but it truly does. There were a number of occasions where I got to kill the enemy by being able to jump without having to take my thumb off the right stick, so I was able to keep aiming at my opponent and bring them down while having a level of mobility that they didn’t.
That sounds like cheating, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s just having better hardware than your opponent – you are not breaking the game in any way, unlike other modded controllers with rapid-fire and other such mods. It’s something that’s hard to explain until you have the controller in your hands and really experience how much of a difference it makes. But it’s actually quite drastic, and you’ll notice it immediately the first time you use it.
The shorter throw on the triggers does help a bit, but it’s not as groundbreaking as the paddles on the back. Being able to shoot a little quicker will always help you out, but many gamers might find that they’re actually not used to the shorter throw, and they may want to adjust it to be closer to normal. Still, it’s a feature I definitely enjoyed having, and even though it didn’t seem to change my performance as much as the paddles, it was most certainly helpful.
You can really see a performance gain from the grip, though. Even if your hands don’t sweat that much, I still found it to be quite a bit more comfortable than the standard plastic surface of the regular controller. It’s definitely worth the small extra cost to grab this mod if you’re ordering one yourself.
To put it simply, there’s no better way to play games on your Xbox One than with the SCUF One Elite. I’ve reviewed a lot of products here at MakeUseOf, and rarely does one immediately impress me as much as this one. From the moment I took it out of the box, to all the games I played with it, I literally could not fault the device. You might even say that it was love at first sight.
The only real drawback I can say is the price. The SCUF One Elite with our selected mods cost three times more than a stock Xbox One controller, which is certainly a large enough difference to hold many people back from taking the plunge. However, the comfort and advantages that it offers are worth every penny, and if you’re looking for something more from your controller you should go order a SCUF One Elite immediately.
MakeUseOf recommends: Buy It. Plain and simple.
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