Scuffed Up: The Scuf Vantage PS4 Controller is a Bust

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!

At the very start of July I pre-ordered the new Scuf Vantage PS4 controller for my partner’s birthday. With an estimated delivery of late August, the controller seemed like the perfect gift for a person who loves their Xbox Elite controller.

Little did I know, the piece of tech that would eventually arrive two months late in early October would be one of the worst controllers my partner and I have used in a very long time. Put simply, the $229 controller is a huge piece of trash.

Having spent extra on the wireless model, I expected it to work just like any other wireless PS4 controller. It is officially licensed by Sony after all. But oh no, dear readers. This disastrous piece of tech couldn’t be that simple.

Every. Single. Time. It’s turned off and back on, the controller must be manually forgotten from the console and re-paired with it through an annoying and convoluted process.

If you buy this absolute piece of junk I hope you enjoy sitting mere feet from your console every time you wanna turn on a game because using the wireless “feature” of the Scuf Vantage requires that you first turn on a normal PS4 controller, go the the console’s system settings to select the devices menu so that you can access the bluetooth settings.

Once you’re in that menu you must sit super close to your console as to correctly get it paired. Hold two buttons on the Scuf and it will start searching for a signal. Half the time it’s hit or miss on whether or not it will even pair.

Anyways, if things go as planned, the words Scuf will appear in the bluetooth menu, to which you then use your normal PS4 controller to scroll to it so that it may be clicked/enabled.

The connection however is more wonky than the times I tried searching for internet porn circa 2005 on my atrocious home satellite internet. Quick tangent, Hughes Net, the service I had at the time, wouldn’t work in snow, excessive heat, cloudy weather, or basically anytime the sun shined on it. Oh, and it sucked at night time too, worst internet ever. Yet it was still more reliable than this controller. Have I mentioned how absolutely crappy it is?

Like for real, the connection, of which I was just 7 or so feet from the console, is so bad that often it would completely disconnect which then requires forgetting the entire controller from the bluetooth menu and re-pairing it through the above process yet again.

But okay okay okay, assume things are working. How’s the controller then you may be wondering. It’s still crappy! The buttons require an obnoxious level of pressure that makes competitive gaming less reactive, and even when removed, the buttons on the side are too easily bumped/pressed to be of any thing other than a nuisance.

Worst of all, the controller has some serious problems with dead zones in the joysticks that again, make competitive gaming almost impossible. Good luck trying to out aim someone in a gunfight.

The dead zones are problem that is so common that my eventual refund negated the 15% restocking fee and I got all of my money back. Apparently many people are resending this flaming turd back to the company.

To add insult to injury and to add an extra level of muck to this whole miserable affair, the company has been kinda shady.

As stated, the controller was sent way late, but during that time many Twitch streamers were getting custom controllers sent to them free of charge – while I waited for my unit. Of course this was then followed by praise about how good the thing is. Side note, every Twitch streamer who praised this awful piece of technical fecal matter has to be lying.

As a paying customer, and again, this handheld version of cancer cost $229, it was kind of frustrating that they kept telling me that my shipment was late due to backlog while at the same time they sent custom orders to a variety of popular gamers. I get marketing and all that, but if you’re behind schedule, show your paying customers some damn respect and put them first.

A sentiment that was made worse when the controller did eventually show up and it didn’t have the custom colors we ordered. As a note said inside, those would be sent a month later.

DISCLAIMER: This is an article that was originally published on Sophia’s Medium page, but to gain a larger reach and help save potential consumers money, we thought it was in the best interest of our fans to cross-post it here.



Sophia was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!