Founded in 2010, Scuf Gaming set out to change the one size fits all mentality of the video game controller. The Scuf Playstation 3 controller and particularly the Scuf Xbox 360 controller were met with great enthusiasm and rave reviews. Today the company can even brag that 85% of pro-gamers use one of their controllers. A new generation of consoles of course means a new generation of controllers, and so the Scuf One for Xbox One has arrived on the market. The amount of back orders at the time of writing this article is massive.
The Scuf One combines all the familiar elements of the previous model with a number of new features. For the uninitiated, the signature feature on any of Scuf Gaming's controllers are the paddles on the back, which can number either two or four on the Scuf One. At its core this system means that players no longer have only two fingers and two thumbs engaged in the controls since the paddles are activated by either the middle or ring finger. This also means that less of the hand is actually holding the controller; to compensate the handles are deeper than on the traditional controller.
The paddles can be mapped to any of the the controller's eight functions, ideally allowing the gamer to never take his right thumb of its stick while playing and thereby greatly enhancing accuracy and speed. Mapping the paddles is as simple as placing the Electro-Magnetic Remapping key on the back of the controller and simultaneously holding the chosen button and paddle. The new paddle hatch can be put on to deactivate the paddles when not they're not needed, increasing their durability.
The other central feature of the Scuf One is the adjustable hair trigger, which is now completely internal. This system allows the gamer to reduce trigger latency by using the 0.9 mm key to set the stop mechanism to the minimum necessary trigger pull distance. In other words this eliminates the trigger slack, i.e. all the trigger pull distance after the action has already registered in game. Though this may not sound like a big deal, it was designed primarily for the first person shooter genre, wherein aiming and fire speed are essential for a good performance. The rapid pace of FPS game series such as Call of Duty, Gears of War, and Borderlands makes every speed advantage huge.
In addition to these more integral features are the customisable thumb sticks. These come in two different shapes, concave and domed, as well as three lengths, regular, medium, and long, for a total of six different options depending on your personal preference. Scuf recommends making the left stick concave and the right one domed, and also recommends the tall sticks specifically for FPS gamers as these facilitate aiming.
All of these features participate in the company's goal of reducing stress related hand injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury. In addition they remove the need for highly damaging hand techniques such as claw/crab. Ergonomic is truly one of the central focuses of Scuf Gaming.
Multiple comfort and aesthetic options are also available to customers. For comfort there is the option of three different types of grip: the standard grip, i.e. basically smooth plastic, the Scuf Grip, i.e. a military-grade high grip finish, and the Pro Grip Handles, i.e. a customisable rubber grip. Options two and three can even be combined so that the rubber grip extends across the entire back of the controller. In addition, the rumble packs in the controller can be removed entirely, adding to comfort by substantially reducing the overall weight.
For aesthetics Scuf Gaming truly offers a limitless number of choices. The in-house Hydro-Imaging and paint finishes allow for any kind of design and style, including a wide variety of pro team themes and camouflage patterns. The LED lighting, face buttons, D-pad and trim colors, thumb stick colors, and more can all be altered to whatever suits the customer.
The single downside of buying a Scuf controller is the sheer expense. With base prices starting at $110 and climbing all the way to $150, and with every alteration costing a surplus fee, the price tag is intimidating for many potential customers. The rationale here is to see the purchase as an investment which will last for hundreds of hours, meaning that the per hour cost is far less than a typical $60 game, which may be played for only a few dozen hours. Another option is to send in your Xbox One controller and have it modified for only around $50.
For an example of the hefty cost, here is the basic black Scuf One FPS ($110) with the following basic adjustments: four paddles (if you want your thumb to never leave the right stick, $16), adjustable triggers (sneakily not included in base price, $11), rumbles removed (you should never play an FPS with rumble on anyway, $4), Scuf Grip ($16), and lastly tall left stick concave and tall right stick domed as per the recommendation ($7 + $7). The total is $170. If you want all that on a white controller with a different color of LED lighting (white is standard) be prepared to spend $210. If you stick to the essentials, i.e. two paddles, adjustable triggers, and tall sticks concave/domed on the basic black model you can get away with $135 (before tax), which is still as much as two normal controllers.
It is also important to remember during the online ordering process that the very nature of the process means that nothing is pre-assembled. Every controller is made to order and therefore typically takes a minimum of seven to eleven days to build, finish, and test, so get ready to anxiously track your order. Faster options are also available for those who are both impatient and willing to pay a premium.
Overall, the Scuf One is a vital piece of equipment for any serious FPS gamer, though its benefit also extends in a lesser form to the more casual player. Scuf Gaming has created another high quality product that, if you go for the basic model, is definitely worth the expense and the wait.