The PS5’s DualSense is one of the most versatile controllers ever made. And at $69.99 (or a little more for brighter colors), it’s expensive enough if you have to buy another one. Nevertheless, the peripheral brand Scuf has put even more into its Reflex line of controllers, raising costs dramatically.
It begins for $199.99 – half the cost of a digital edition PS5. And the cost goes up with the $229.99 Reflex Pro (the model I tested, which costs more than three DualSense controllers) and the $259.99 Reflex FPS. The Reflex FPS lacks both haptics and adaptive triggers in favor of Scuf’s more clickable “instant triggers”, but that’s apparently what professional gamers want: fewer features and higher cost.
The Reflex and Reflex Pro controllers have the same features as the Sony controller, adaptive triggers, touch pad, advanced haptics, headphone jack, rechargeable battery and all. It even has similar system integration; your PS5 can provide updates to it as it would to Sony’s Dualsense. But Scuf has taken liberties with some design and functionality choices (some of which are made to create opportunities for you to spend) even more money).
The biggest draw (and arguably the most divisive quality) of all three Reflex variations are the rear-mounted paddles. Each has a non-removable module on its back with four paddles emanating from it. These can be assigned to perform almost any function on the controller apart from duplicating the house, options or creating functions. The Reflex also can’t remap the rear triggers, which Scuf doesn’t acknowledge in its online FAQ. However, the controller manual will specify exactly which functions can be reassigned.
Here is the statement Scuf spokesperson Lexie Harkness provided to: The edge why it chose not to include this feature:
“The internal structure of the DualSense controller is very unique and the adaptive triggers represent technical limitations for other components. Since the L2 and R2 triggers are already in a relatively accessible location, we have decided to prioritize other functionalities that give the user more options for areas that are more difficult to access.”
I can’t bear not being able to remap some of the key OS-level features of the controller, but the lack of trigger remap to the paddles is a major blow to the value proposition of this expensive product – not to mention silence from Scuf’s main audience being a no-compromise controller. Also, the triggers can be “relatively accessible” to many people, but it doesn’t help people who need more accessibility to play games. Scuf’s Instinct line of wireless Xbox controllers has the same limitation.
It’s worth noting that, with the PS5, Sony’s DualSense supports custom button assignments, so you can remap any function (including triggers) to any of the face buttons. Like Scuf’s controller, this excludes the home, options, or create buttons.
The Reflex Pro is still a very good controller, if you can overlook that flaw. And what is it? can remap, the function works as intended. You can switch between three saved profiles with an illuminated button on the back, allowing you to switch between a few custom control schemes. Unlike the Xbox-specific Instinct controller Scuf makes, the Reflex’s paddles can be pulled out one at a time, if you’d rather have less of them, or just have them on one side of the controller instead of both. .
Your interest may vary with adjusting controls, but it can make it easier to perform certain controller functions that typically require more reach. I reassigned the “look back” function in Gran Turismo 7 to a rear paddle, which to me was more intuitive than the standard L1 button mapping. In Elden Ring, I changed gear switching from the directional pad to one of these paddles. That prevents me from clumsily reaching for the directional pad, which is especially a nuisance during combat.
As for other changes Scuf has made to the DualSense, the company has removed the labeling from the face buttons, giving the Reflex a more refined look than the DualSense – assuming you’re already well acquainted with Sony’s traditional layout. . The other changes are generally positive, except for the home button. Instead of the PlayStation logo sticking out slightly from the DualSense, here’s a slightly trickier button to press. It might feel good to some people, but I didn’t press it every now and then, which isn’t an issue I have with the DualSense.
You can get a Reflex in a number of different colors than what Sony currently offers for its DualSense. The overall color of the controller (which has a soft-touch coating) cannot be changed after purchase, but the frame surrounding the joysticks can be removed. By removing that frame, which snaps seamlessly into the footpegs on the underside of the Reflex’s grips, you can also swap out the joysticks themselves, along with the colored rings around them. Along with your purchase, Scuf includes a pair of interchangeable joysticks of different heights and with convex or concave surfaces, to suit different play styles. The company says you can buy more chopsticks and their surrounding rings in a variety of colors in a day.
Despite these changes, the Reflex feels identical to a DualSense when you’re focused on the game and not the controller. Still, my favorite change here is the patterned rubber grips added to the Reflex Pro and FPS (but not the stock model). This makes it feel like the definitive PS5 controller. It fits better in my hands during more intense gaming sessions, and also makes it less prone to sliding on my coffee table between gaming sessions.
Having paddles on a controller isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of those things you might not live without once you get used to it. And for those who have never bought a controller like this before, you may only realize your preference by trying it out. It would be easier to recommend more people give it a try, if the $199.99 starting price for Scuf’s Reflex wasn’t so high. And sadly, with practically no wireless alternatives to the DualSense currently available, Scuf charges more for these extra features than they’re worth.
Scuf knows how to make the already good controllers a little better. But these prizes only serve to prevent most players from experiencing them. Lacking other equally customizable options, I still can’t recommend this to most people. I’ll just sit here, crossing my fingers, and hoping Sony will eventually make a PS5 version of its Back Button Attachment, or an even higher-end proprietary wireless controller that costs less than this one.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / Media Today Chronicle