The Xbox Scuf Instinct Pro Controller Is Expensive, but Impressive

A truly personal touch for your gaming

Key Takeaways

  • The Xbox Scuf Instinct Pro is a controller you can customize almost to your heart's content.
  • It feels like your controller.
  • It starts at $199.99 with plenty of different options to choose from.
Scuf Instinct Pro controller.

Lifewire / Jennifer Allen

The Xbox Scuf Instinct Pro controller is a costly addition to my gaming setup, but I don't regret it one bit.

If you've been gaming for a while, you'll know how it used to be with controllers; your choices were either the official controller or a way cheaper third-party solution that was usually far inferior. Those times have changed. Options are vast. The cheap options are still there, but alongside that are a range of official options and well-made solutions from the likes of Turtle Beach, PowerA, and Scuf, among others.

Scuf is now the home of the Scuf Instinct Pro for the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Effectively, it's the Xbox equivalent of the Scuf Instinct Pro for the PS4 and it's a pretty sweet concept. You get to build your controller much like how the Xbox Design Lab works, but with a few neat additions that make more of a difference than simply enjoying fancier new colors.

Having had some time with a customized Scuf Instinct Pro, I was pretty impressed, even if the price does make me balk just a little bit.

A Personalized Option Is Instantly Delightful

Everyone wants to feel special, right? Being able to customize a controller to your heart's content is wonderful. Seriously. In the case of the Scuf Instinct Pro, you head to the Scuf website and start ticking boxes. Nothing is cheap (we'll get to that), but the options are extensive.

Closeup on the control of the Scuf Instinct Pro Controller.

Lifewire / Jennifer Allen

Starting out, you pick a shell with a choice of standard colors or designer layouts. If you're traditional like me, you'll start out feeling fine with something plain, and then you get caught up in the excitement of everything. 

There are a lot of options. Besides the shell, you can designate colors for the triggers, bumpers, thumbtack rings, the get the idea. It's a truly personalized experience. I'm not doing the math, but I'm guessing the choices are huge. 

Things get more practical as you can choose whether you want a short or long thumbstick and whether you want it concaved or domed. These options have advantages and disadvantages that mostly relate to how you hold the controller.

Play with your thumb on the edge of the controller, and it's better to go domed, with more accurate movements theoretically possible via a long thumbstick that's ideal for being a sniper in-game. There's a lot to think about here, but it feels good too to know you're getting something that's more designed for you than an out-of-the-box solution.

Feeling Good

No nice looks would make up for an awkward-to-hold controller, but that's definitely not an issue for the Scuf Instinct Pro. It feels nice. Really nice. I'm used to using an Xbox Elite Controller, and the Scuf Instinct Pro is lighter and a bit smoother to the touch. Best of all, its triggers don't feel like they need time to adjust to.

Scuff Instinct Pro controller next to an Xbox Elite controller.

Lifewire / Jennifer Allen

While the Xbox Elite Controller's triggers are great, there's an adjustment period to them. The Scuf Instinct Pro fits into your grasp so much better.

Practical Customizability

Where the Scuf Instinct Pro does feel appropriately customizable is with its little extras. It's possible to set up three configurations to choose between at the tap of a button (located on the back of the device), like with the Microsoft equivalent. The back is a little more stylish than how the Elite Controller does things, though, as that one has it placed on the front. 

You can swap out the thumbsticks, too, ensuring you have a reliably long one for first-person shooters before tweaking how far the triggers need to be held in to respond. It's all quite intuitive and clearly has taken inspiration from other pricey controllers, all to the Scuf Instinct Pro's benefit. 

Closeup of the Scuf Instinct Pro controller.

Lifewire / Jennifer Allen

My New Favorite Precious

I'm really attached to my Xbox Elite Controller. My controller of choice for my console of choice, it's been a huge help for me even if it cost a lot, and believe me—those additions do add up fast.

The Xbox Scuf Instinct Pro ends up costing more once you factor in color schemes and the multitude of choices, but if you're a dedicated Xbox fan that can afford it, it's worth it. It just feels so nice in your hands. It's a little clicky at times compared to the Xbox Elite Controller, but it's quieter than a regular controller, and it feels suitably sturdy. Crucially, it feels like yours. Not someone else's. 

This is definitely an investment, and I won't blame you for not wanting to spend that much cash on a controller, but I'm not saying you'll regret it either. Because you really won't.

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