Scuf One Xbox One Controller Review

Scuf Gaming is making its 2014 return and is set on providing next-gen console gamers with an attractive alternative to the current line-up of first-party input devices.

The console transition period is always a fascinating one. Both gamers and game developers alike look on as hardware and software manufacturers lift the curtain on their (hopefully) innovative new products while formulating their game plan for the next decade or so. Thus far, both Microsoft and Sony have put forth a noble effort in the design of their upgraded Xbox and PlayStation controllers, respectively. But with ever-shifting demographics in today’s console audience, I’m left wondering why one specific crowd in particular isn’t on the forefront of their minds. I’m talking about the vastly growing sub-section of shooter fans that undoubtedly makes up one of the largest — if not the largest — slices of the console gaming pie.

Microsoft, for example, touts an impressive 40 plus innovations to the Xbox One controller over what the Xbox 360′s controller had to offer. That’s a lot of improvements, big or small. But I would argue that Microsoft’s new pad still lacks one essential element that I think is critical to the bigger-than-ever audience of competitive-minded first-person shooter or third-person shooter gamers: Options. As next-gen as the new controller is, it sure doesn’t offer me any new ways to play my favorite shooters past the aging set up of two thumb sticks, two triggers, two bumpers, and face buttons.

Enter the Scuf One, a competition-level Xbox One controller from Scuf Gaming that’s as competitive as any competitive gamer would hope and dream for. But what it does best is offer the next-gen Xbox gamer options and new ways to play. That goes for anyone serious about shooters. In this review, I’d like to go over what those options are, and to whom this alternative product might appeal.

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Grasping my Scuf One for the first time, I was immediately drawn to its comfortable grip and sticky texture. My particular model came equipped with a mixture of the company’s trademark Scuf Grip and Pro Grip handles. According to their website, Scuf Grip is a 5-stage, hand-crafted, military-grade finish, similar to the grip found on weapon handles. It’s certainly an improvement over the default plastic finish that can be felt where the tips of my ring and pinky finger naturally rest. But I felt the strongest sense of support in the Pro Grip handles that make up the outer sides on the back portion of the controller, precisely where the center of my palms naturally lie. With it’s sticky finish and shaped design, I could feel controller tightly locked in place. I couldn’t recall having to make any grip adjustments during my game sessions with it, which I believe is largely attributed to its grip. Luckily, Scuf’s Pro Grips can be purchased and installed separately, which I believe makes up one of the more meaningful options that the SCUF ONE has to offer.

On the face of the controller, I found Scuf’s thumb sticks offered a similar level of grip that I’ve yet to feel on any first-party input device. Sticks are offered in three different lengths; regular, medium, or long, and have the option of being concave or dome-shaped. Generally, a longer stick offers more precision, which is why you’ll find a lot of pros opting for a longer, dome-shaped right thumb stick for more control over aiming. It took me a few games to get used to my longer sticks, and even required some alterations to my in-game sensitivity, but the results were well worth it. I found an increased consciousness in aiming for the head more consistently. Regardless of length, I feel that the biggest benefit of Scuf’s sticks are the grip, as it simply offers a greater sense of control and noticeably decreases slippage.

Negating the need to take your thumb off the aiming stick to perform simple tasks like jumping and ducking are the Scuf One’s sidewinder paddles. With more depth over the Xbox 360 controller, the Xbox One controller requires a little bit of tweaking to the previous-generation paddle design. The new paddles are wider, angled, and tilted just the right amount to fit precisely where your middle fingers rest naturally. I found it in no way uncomfortable or unnatural, which means you don’t really have to think about it at all. Just one little squeeze of your finger from its natural resting position and you’re performing 180 jump shots like nobody’s business.

Another staple feature of the Scuf controller design is its hair trigger and stop mechanisms. In essence, they simply allow you to not only tighten the distance to the point that the Xbox One’s triggers performs their function, but it also shortens the distance the triggers can be depressed past the point that their function is performed. It essentially allows you to shave a few milliseconds off recovery time by making movements much smaller, which to competitive or experienced gamers can mean life or death. In the case of the Scuf One, they’re now fully removable and internally integrated, meaning you’ll need to crack open the controller’s side panels — a simple but sometimes scary process process — to get access to and tweak the mechanisms. It’s an extra step that you need to take over the previous generation design in order to make adjustments, but it gives the controller a cleaner external look. Note that if you’re like me and tend to hop from shooter to shooter, you’ll likely want to skip this feature as it primarily works best with Call of Duty. If Call of Duty is your jam and is the one shooter you play day in and day out, then you’ll definitely want to consider adding these mechanisms.

In addition to these different levels of performance-enhancing options, there are also literally hundreds of ways to customize the controller with different color schemes, logos, and lights. My particular model came in a matte white finish, which sure is a pleasure to look at, but it made it easier to notice the settled black particles that tend get scratched off the black thumb sticks after heavy use. A quick brush or wipe down is sometimes needed after long play sessions, so bare that in mind if aesthetic maintenance bothers you.

Lastly, a quick word on build quality: Scuf’s design is built off of Microsoft’s first-party controller, meaning you won’t get any of that cheap, plastic-feeling commonly associated with third-party products. This is the Xbox One controller as you know it, but improved. It also comes with a sturdy connector cable built from a stiff rope material, so you won’t have too much trouble in the way of damage. Overall, the build quality, including the exterior paddles, are held to a high and satisfactory standard.

I find you get the best results from the Scuf One about 40 minutes into a game session, after you’ve played a couple of matches and are really beginning to feel warmed up. At that point, the margin for human error, with regards to inputting commands and slippage, becomes minimal. Normally, any mistakes at that point can likely be attributed slippery thumb sticks, sticky buttons, or a weakened or cramped grip — things that are naturally out of your control. That’s where the Scuf One really picks up slack. When you don’t have to worry about losing grip, slipping, or trying to press multiple buttons at once, you can divert 100% of your focus to taking care of business. Best of all, the SCUF ONE simply takes no issue with you demanding more from your controller. When that adrenaline boost kicks in and you’re feeling on point, this guy keeps you embedded in the experience when other controllers might pull you out of your zone. Personally, I like to describe it as a controller that just gets out of your way and allows you to express your movements and actions without resistance.

But who exactly is the Scuf One for, on a consumer level? For competition-level gamers it’s practically a requirement, but a casual gamer that picks up one to two games a year, spends little on gaming peripherals, and maybe only “Prestiges” or “Regenerates” once or twice in a game like Call of Duty or Titanfall, may not exactly find the appeal, especially with its $100+ premium asking price. But if you’re one of those guys or gals that invests hours into your favorite shooter games on a daily basis and doesn’t mind allocating a hefty portion of their gaming budget towards gaming gear, chances are you will benefit from what Scuf Gaming has to offer and won’t find anything else like it on the market.

In addition, I’m also noticing a surfacing trend among both current and upcoming shooters: Enhanced mobility. I’m talking about games like Titanfall, Destiny, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that let you (or will let you) perform maneuvers like double-jumps, slides, dashes, etc. With movement becoming more and more complex in first- or third-person video games and the constant need to make use of the jump button, I find that the traditional controller layout just simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Again, with re-mappable paddles, Scuf gives you the options and breathing room to play with, allowing you to take full advantage of mechanics that are already built into the game and are there for you to make use of without having to resort to alternative grip styles.

To address the elephant in the room, you’re probably asking, ‘But isn’t that cheating?’ The Scuf One certainly gives you the edge over others playing on standard controllers, but there’s a few things we need to consider. First and foremost, it’s in my humble opinion that the standard controller design is clearly dated and a lot of what a device like the Scuf One offers should have come standard with the factory Xbox One controller. Considering the direction we’re currently headed in with shooters and the constant strive to build better and innovative next-gen hardware, I’m surprised options like these aren’t the norm. When you’re on a massive kill streak, the last thing you want to have to worry about is about slippage or about having your reaction time hindered by a limited and aging controller design.

Secondly, PC gamers have had the pleasure of customizing their input devices for decades with countless mouse and keyboard variations and innovations. Year after year, a newer and more efficient mouse designs with better accuracy and more buttons appear on the market, and it’s the hard truth that, generally and idealistically speaking, those who spend more money on their gaming peripherals will get more out of them. I don’t think console gaming should be any different.

Lastly, there is a clear line that separates legitimate play and cheating, and I don’t think Scuf crosses it. There are no “rapid-fire mods” or mechanisms that perform actions for you. As I said earlier, I believe Scuf’s primary purpose it to simply eliminate any resistance to what you are naturally capable of. So, game on!

You can build your own Scuf One controller by visiting the company’s official website. Prices start at $109.95 USD.

PlayStation 4 users will want to keep an eye out for the upcoming SCUF 4PS controller which you can learn more about right here.

If you’re still gaming on the Xbox 360, be sure to check out my review of the Scuf Hybrid Xbox 360 controller.

This product review was based on a Scuf One model provided to us by Scuf Gaming at our request.

  • NuttyTheSquirrel

    That’s cool, UNTIL IT EXPLODES IN YOUR HAND! xD

    https://twitter.com/Deb8te/status/465600930239741953/photo/1

    • Gigers

      did they replace it?

    • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

      Wow. Yeah, hopefully they were able to send you a replacement. That’s the Scuf Xbox 360 controller right?

      Just to be fair, the Scuf One Xbox One controller has the exact same battery compartment as the standard Xbox One controller, meaning it uses either AA’s or the standard Xbox One rechargeable battery, so that should be a non-issue.

    • Ryan ‘Ryman’ Clark

      Jesus… Did the pack the thing with an small IED or something?

  • Gigers

    Great article David I to want to get one but my wallet says maybe one day lol.

  • Anonymous….

    Review the PS4 one when it comes out…

    • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

      That’s the plan :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

    You’re also able to send in your own controller to be worked on as well if you want a cheaper alternative. I’m thinking about asending in my Titanfall edition controller and the adjustments I’ve picked out will land me at$86.85 before shipping

    • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

      Those paddles are a game changer when it comes to Titanfall.

  • Asif Bashir

    First they said mouse and keyboard wins against controllers…So I went on PC used my 360 pad and proved them wrong. Now they come out with overpriced controllers at insanely stupid prices saying it will give you a leg up against people that are basically too poor to afford upgraded plastic. Sorry but if people are stupid enough to fall for gimmicks then good luck. Me on the other hand I am a firm believer that if you have skill and talent then it doesn’t matter what you use.

    • Enochrewt

      I am interested in the replaceable thumb sticks. I’d rather buy one $100 controller and some thumb sticks than 5 controllers over the life of the console because the dead zone goes out of whack after a year. I also get the bonus of using a better controller.

      Am I stupid then?

      • Asif Bashir

        That’s the most ridiculous thing Ive read in ages, you cant be serious can you? In all the years I had an Xbox and the Xbox 360 I have never needed to buy that many controllers. There is no proof or evidence that 1 controller is going to last you 7 or more years either. Also I have never come across dead zones in controllers going ‘whack’ within a year. Perhaps you shouldnt be throwing them around your room then? Or dropping them from a tall building?

        • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

          Hey, it happens.

        • Enochrewt

          I went through 5 controllers through standard (mostly FPS) play last generation. Yes I’m serious, yes the dead zone gets screwed up and drift to the side.

          Could you be a little more of a cock in your next reply? I haven’t gotten my know-it-all asshole quotient filled today.

          • Asif Bashir

            Sorry it’s hard to tolerate stupid people

            • Enochrewt

              Your definition of stupid is stupid. I want to save money on controllers so I buy one with replaceable parts to fix it when it’s broken and I’m stupid? I would consider that the picture of fiscal responsibility.

              I actually find your comments to epitome of stupid. Say what you will, I won’t be paying attention. I’ve had enough of your moronic, runny cunny mouth.

            • Asif Bashir

              Lmfao I can see now why you go through soo many controllers you truly are a thicko, grats.

          • Richie Tellez

            Totally Agree. Went through 6 xbox controller. Mainly playing fps aswell. Xbox controller broke way too fast, in about 1 year. But still i wouldnt buy the “pro” scuff controllers.

    • NinoBr0wn

      Cool story. I mean aggressive opinion.

    • BlGWlGGLYSTYLE

      Guess what dude people waste money on stupider things. Grow up and realize people can have different opinions and values than you. Even if you don’t care about the technical advantages the customization adds value for a lot of people. Moral of the story stop going around being a dick.

  • MrChipdiggity

    I honestly feel like the scuf one is a downgrade from the 360 version I own both I bought the 360 when they first came to the states and the quality is amazing it feels like you could bounce it of a cement wall and it would be just fine now the scuf one I bought not so much feels kinda cheap and parts dont fit all that great and I was having an issue when I squeezed the controller a bit it would ads. so I was forced to loosen the trigger on that side. I am just not keen on the quality of it feels more mass produced. I dont really use it much anymore cause ghosts isnt that good and not many people play so hope for aw. Just my 2 cents.

  • MaynardJames82

    I’ve purchased 2 of these in the past few months. The 1st one shipped with a non working mic port, I returned it and decided to wait for the EMR remapping to become available. I ordered a 2nd controller end of May and the 2nd controller also had a non working mic port. I was about to give up and get another refund, but gave them another change to make it right. (keep in mind the controllers were updated and all equipment worked perfectly with my Day One controller) The 3rd controller arrived, I jumped into a party chat and tested the mic, IT WORKED, however none of my friends were available to chat with. When I eventually got into a chat I found that I could not hear any of them. I did find out that if I pulled up on the chat adapter that I could hear them, but if the adapter got bumped at all or if I adjusted the volume and pressed down it would cut out again.

  • Josh Kent

    Okay so I ordered my Scuf controller 3 weeks ago tomorrow, and it still
    says for the status “PRINTED”? I have sent them an email and still
    haven’t received any kind of message back. It is the Scuf one MLG
    version the newest one along with the chrome ones but I would really
    like to know like how much longer does anyone think it will be. THEIR
    CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKSSSS!!!! But I still can’t wait for my controller
    lol.

  • Josh Kent

    And I understand that I am not the only one who has ordered one lately but 3 weeks without even getting into the workshop I mean that’s insane. If anyone thinks im over exaggerating, check this out. I ordered my controller a week before my friend ordered his controller and his email said 4 days later letting him know that his controller was already in workshop? Not only did it make me mad but I am also the one who told him about the site. Not only that but like I have already said it has been 3 weeks and it still says printed for me nor have I gotten an email saying anything. This is my first ever scuf and I can say that I am not happy with the customer service because I don’t get any. I honestly can’t wait to get my scuf but I don’t know if I will buy another one.

  • Josh Kent

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