Anyone familiar with console or controller gaming understands the pain of using standard controllers. Their less than ideal button layouts make certain movements and actions difficult as they are not easily reached by fingers quickly. Some have learned to nullify this by playing claw on games like Diablo 3, but that is hard to learn and can hurt your fingers. While most gamers choose to suck it up and play with mediocre controllers, the answer for those looking for something better is to buy controllers with paddles.
Controllers with paddles are more common than most people think. People of all skill levels in games use them, from professionals to casual players. There are multiple different types of controllers as well, with the most popular ones being the Xbox One Elite Controller and the wide range of Scuf controllers. For those looking to purchase one of them, this begs the question, which controller is better?
Before answering that, we have to look at all the different options for the Scuf controllers. While the Xbox One Elite comes in one $160 variation, there are four different kinds of Scuf controllers.
The Scuf Infinity4PS Pro is a basic PS4 controller containing two long paddles on the back. It is the only controller with paddles to not have 4. It is also the Cheapest coming in at only $140.
The Scuf Impact controller is similar to the PS4 controller, but is redesigned to be slightly larger. It has the same touchpad, thumb stick, and button layout as a PS4 controller, but the grip is wider and it has four paddles on the back side rather than two. It comes at a mere $150.
The Scuf Prestige is a controller based on the Xbox One controller. It is the controller most similar to the Xbox One Elite, and therefore is the most comparable to it. It features four paddles, can be used on both the Xbox One and on PC, and is $160.
The Scuf Vantage 2 is claimed to be the most customizable controller on the planet. It works on the PS4 and on PC, features the touch pad of the PS4 controllers, but the thumb stick layout of the Xbox controllers. Nearly every aspect of the controller can be customized, from the shell to the trigger covers to the rings around the thumb sticks. It not only comes in standard colors such as blue and green, but also has “designer” shells that such as Supernova and Blue Dragon. Though this does make for a great looking controller, it does not help the price tag. While the base model for this controller costs $165, adding every customization possible makes the Vantage 2 come in at over $240, over half the price of a PS4 or Xbox.
It is hard to tell which controller is best when comparing the Scuf controllers with the Xbox Elite. There are some factors that limit which ones you can use, for example the PS4 cannot use the Xbox controllers, and vise versa. So if you play on PS4 you are forced to get either the Vantage 2, Impact, or Infinity4PS Pro. But if you play on PC or Xbox, there is a clear winner.
By just looking at their button layouts and prices, it is hard to tell which controller is best, but play with both and the Xbox One Elite easily takes the throne. It is the same price as the Prestige, but is so much better in so many ways.
First of all, it feels better in your hand. When gaming with the Prestige, or any Scuf controller for that matter, after even a short amount of time your hands start to get slimy from the grips on the controller. This is not at all the case with the Xbox Elite. It manages to stay dry in your hands while still having better grip than the standard controllers.
Along with not feeling slimy in your hands, they also have less input lag. Though it may not be a big deal for those who play with a cord, as most competitive gamers do, anyone who enjoys the comfort of playing wirelessly knows input lag makes all the difference. Some of the Scuf controllers, such as the Vantage 2, do not even come with a bluetooth feature built in, and instead it has to be purchased for another $30.
However, the most important reason why you should buy an Xbox Elite rather than a Scuf is the quality. Xbox elite controllers have been known to last for years. In our experience, we have never broken an Elite controller, despite all the abuse we put them through. Scuf controllers are just the opposite though. They have been known to break after weeks of use, sometimes not even lasting the first month. Reviews on the controller complain of faulty triggers and controller drift. Overall, Scuf controllers are just not high quality.
Hopefully this comparison helped in deciding which controller with paddles to buy. At such a steep price, it is important to get the highest quality hardware you can.