Over the past year, we’ve seen a bunch of new custom PlayStation 4 controller offerings hitting the market. These offer a wide range of features that can’t be found on the standard DualShock 4. Of course, this all comes at a price premium.
Today we’re taking a look at the SCUF Impact, the new flagship PS4 controller from SCUF Gaming. This starts at $139.95 (€139.95 and £109.99) with added customization increasing the cost. Previously, a “Send in Service” allowed players to send in their own controller for customization to reduce the price, but at the time of posting, this has been “temporarily suspended.” However, SCUF Gaming is doing a deal where you get pick up a fully loaded SCUF Impact with a decent saving.
The most obvious and significant difference between this and the SCUF (also new) Infinity 4PS Pro is the additional two paddles on the back; a small increase in width has allowed SCUF to squeeze these in. Also coming exclusively to the SCUF Impact is a new “Cable Retention System,” which helps keep things secure. This works exceptionally well when combined with SCUF’s own long cable.
As for the improvements over a standard DualShock 4 controller, the SCUF Impact boasts a variety of features that can help give players the edge. Four removable paddles are the main attraction here, as they allow players to push face buttons without having to lift their thumbs off the analog sticks. It also means no need to resort to the unhealthy “claw grip” technique.
In shooters like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Overwatch, and Titanfall 2, having paddles that allow for jumping, aiming, and shooting all at the same time, are a godsend. The paddles enable you to get kills that you wouldn’t manage with a standard controller.
However, I personally don’t necessarily feel like four paddles are needed, as having one for jumping and one for melee attacks will be good enough for 90 percent of players. of course, it could prove to be useful for other games that aren’t just shooters, and maybe future games in the genre will benefit more with four paddles (hint: Destiny 2). With that said and for gaming presently, I can imagine how being able to reload or switch weapons while continuing to look around could be useful in rare circumstances, but I never felt like it was needed.
Though I have gotten used to the slightly wider shell, having four paddles at the back still feels a little too busy. Personally, I’d be happy with just two paddles, which thanks to the modular design, is actually possible. The paddles’ functions can be reprogrammed using the SCUF EMR Mag Key. So if you decide you don’t want a paddle to be “Triangle” anymore, you can swap it out for something else. This is pretty useful for when a game comes out with unconventional controls.
Like the paddles, the SCUF Impact’s thumbsticks are also modular, and can be removed or swapped out. These come in five flavors: short domed, short concave, long domed, long concave, or standard PS4 thumbsticks. For those of us who spend 100+ hours a month gaming, analog sticks can quickly become a little worn down. Therefore, being able to swap them out will help keep things fresh and the grip effective. A secure locking system keeps the sticks in place.
Something that can’t be swapped out, but should be able to take a beating, is the SCUF Grip. This textured, non-slip surface should help keep the controller in a player’s hands during long, intense gaming sessions. I really like the look and feel of this thing.
Then there’s the SCUF Trigger System, which implements three different mechanics, resulting in quicker inputs. There’s one part that stops the shoulder buttons from going past the activation point, another part that you tune to adjust the initial activation time, and then the actual trigger cover itself, which can be swapped out for a longer alternative. This combo is most useful in, say, a shooter where the player needs to rapidly fire a semi-automatic rifle.
Now, while I like the idea of this, the trigger stops on my 11-month-old SCUF Infinity 4PS managed to fall out while I was traveling, and so I’ve not much faith in them. The one used on the Impact’s L2 trigger is actually already pretty loose and makes an audible clicking sound when pushed down. As for the trigger extenders, I’m not a fan, whereas the tune-able hair trigger mechanism is something that I do love.
Don’t Forget That Warranty
For some peace of mind when buying a premium pad such as the SCUF Impact, it’s worth being fully clued up on the warranty. Each new controller comes with a 90-day warranty, which if you do end up using, will then extend for a further 90 days. However, for the removable paddles, the warranty has been extended to 12 months. So if they break under normal use, you can swap them out.
Finally, let me take a moment to discuss the SCUF Impact’s design and the color choices that are available. Aside from the gaping hole that’s been made to allow compatibility with the majority of headsets, which could perhaps be improved with a little cover to be inserted when not in use, I think this pad looks fantastic. It’s like a DualShock 4 and Xbox One controller had a baby! A combination of two greats. For a step up in price, you can choose from some fancier designs, and start going crazy with thumbstick, button, and trigger colors. You can be as tasteful or tasteless as you like!
Something Old, Something New
Overall, the SCUF Impact is a great controller for anyone who wants to step up their game and reap the benefits of having a custom pad. The additional two paddles don’t do much for me, but I can see them being a welcome feature for some players. After all, it’s about time that the SCUF PS4 range matched that of the Xbox One.
At $10/€10/£10 more than the SCUF Infinity 4PS Pro, I’d say that having the option to use more than two paddles, as well as benefiting from the Impact-exclusive Cable Retention System, are worth paying the small extra for. However, if you shudder at the 6mm added width and know for certain that you’ll only ever need two paddles, then the SCUF Infinity 4PS Pro might be more your thing.
SCUF Impact review unit was provided to PlayStation LifeStyle by SCUF Gaming. For more information, please see our Review Policy here.