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Hands-on: SCUF Instinct Pro Wireless performance controller

Looking to maximise your console performance? The SCUF Instinct Pro is the controller that you need

Updated: Apr 14, 2022 4:50 pm
SCUF Instinct Pro 23

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Long has the mouse and keyboard reigned supreme as the best input method for peak gaming performance, they are inarguably superior to the humble controller. However, not all controllers are created equally which is where the SCUF Instinct Pro comes in, and it’s anything but humble.

With the price of gaming PC components continuing to be sky high and far above MSRP, PC gaming just isn’t accessible to the majority of people. This means console gamers are going to be stuck with their console of choice for a while, so why not give them an opportunity to maximize their performance? Let’s take a closer look at the Instinct Pro and see how it does exactly that.

scuf instinct

SCUF Instinct Pro controller

Compatibility
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Weight
280g/9.8oz
Buttons
Standard Xbox layout +4 programmable paddles
Connectivity
Bluetooth, USB Type-C
Ports
USB-C, extension port, 3.5mm stereo headset jack
Wireless range
Up to 12m/45 feet

Hot-swappable thumbsticks

One of the hallmarks of the console controller is the thumbstick, along for easy movement of the character and camera at the same time, but with OEM controllers, you’re stuck with the original thumbsticks and nothing else. Luckily, the Instinct Pro has you covered here as it included alternate thumbsticks of different lengths. This changes the perceived sensitivity of the stick movement, this then allows for increased performances in some cases. Additionally, the alternate thumbsticks have different shaped tops, concave for maximum grip and convex for more positional accuracy.

Hot-swappable thumbsticks also allow for easy replacement when they wear out. User repairability as a concept has been slowly disappearing over the last decade, with more and more gaming peripherals becoming almost impossible to open, let alone repair. Being able to replace the thumbsticks without needing any tools is certainly a step in the right direction.

Grip-optimized texture

Anyone who’s been getting their ass kicked on Warzone or Apex Legends is familiar with the surface of the controller becoming an ice rink due to a build-up of sweat. This is typically caused by either the overly smooth texture of standard controllers, or the texture pattern not having enough depth to let heat and moisture escape.

SCUF Instinct Pro 17

The Instinct Pro remedies this by implementing a deep-set hexagonal pattern into the grips, this allows for both maximum grip and effective dissipation of heat, sweat, and other moisture that can affect your grip on the controller. As a bonus, the pattern also has a modern geometric look to it, which combines with the gray and orange color scheme of our sample to create a contemporary and striking aesthetic that we really like.

Extra buttons

Due to the size and original intended use of keyboards they’ve always had buttons to spare, creating additional functionality and customizability. Typically, the underside of controllers has been underutilized in this regard with all that space wasted. Well, SCUF has seen fit to finally make use of it by adding four tactile clicky paddles to the back of the Instinct Pro.

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These are ergonomically placed as such that you don’t have to reposition your fingers to press any of them, simply squeeze the controller to click the out paddles, and slightly extend them to click the inner paddles. Happily, they are also fully programmable so you can truly optimize the controller to your game of choice. PC gamers have had the monopoly on rebinds controls for far too long, so it’s nice to see it make the jump to console gaming.

Dual-mode triggers

When it comes to using controllers in shooters, specifically FPS, they tend to suffer in terms of speed as the triggers must be pressed almost all the way down before the input is registered. This is especially apparent when using semi-automatic weapons as you lose a lot of fire rate having to fully press the trigger, then wait for it to reset before pressing again.

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The Instinct pro does away with this limitation as the triggers can be locked into ‘instant’ trigger mode. This shortens their travel distance to a length comparable to that of pressing a mouse button. Additionally, when in the instant mode, the triggers produce a very satisfying audible click, alongside a tactile feeling as you squeeze the trigger. The rapid actuation results in far less delay between spotting an enemy, and firing your weapon, then when you switch back to a racing game, you can simply toggle the triggers back to normal for more analog control.

Profile switching

Switching profiles has been used in the PC gaming scene to totally switch settings from game to game to cut down on irritating remapping and adjustment-making. Until recently console gamers were essentially stuck with whatever layout the developers saw fit to give them

The Instinct Pro has implemented a physical profile shift button on the underside of the controller to rapidly cycle from profile to profile, the profile in question is indicated by a colored LED on the front of the controller so you can be sure which one you’re on at a glance. The colors are red, green, and blue so don’t worry, the SCUF Instinct Pro does technically colored lighting, so RGBreathe a sigh of relief.

The profile switching pairs well with the remappable triggers, allowing you to reach peak performance potential in your games of choice, without having to fumble with settings, keybinds, and confusing options menus.

Customizability

You might have noticed the striking color scheme with dashes of orange in our product photography, while we really like this colorway, some might not find it to their tastes. If this sounds like you, don’t worry as the Instinct pro can be purchased in a myriad different colors, with each individual aspect of the controller totally customizable through the configuration tool over on the official SCUF website.

You can change the color of the faceplate, buttons, sticks, D-pad, triggers, and paddles. This allows you to mix and match and create your ideal bespoke color scheme. Additionally, you aren’t limited to just colors, as when it comes to the faceplate, you can choose from almost 50 different designs. These range from minimalist outrun-esque sunsets, to stealthy camouflage, to vivid cherry blossoms. There’s a design for everyone there so go have a browse and create your ideal controller from scratch.

Final verdict

We’ve just about covered what the SCUF Instinct Pro has to offer to console gamers who want to max out their performance. The paddles expand the range of inputs, the dual-mode triggers allow for vastly increased speed, and the levels of customization available through SCUF’s online configurator blow the official manufacturers out of the water. If this sounds like your next controller, check out the Instinct Pro and the rest of the SCUF range over on their website.

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