The standard DualSense controller does a great job in its own right, and for most gamers, it is the default choice when using the PS5. The DualSense served as my introduction to PlayStation controllers; I've used Xbox controllers to game on my PC and Xbox One for the better part of a decade, and it was interesting to get started with the PS5. What I liked most was the feedback on offer, and it definitely made playing games on the PS5 that much more immersive.
After using the DualSense for over a year, I wanted to see what else was out there, and landed on the Scuf Reflex. Scuf is a gaming accessory maker that's now owned by Corsair, and it has delivered highly customizable controllers aimed at the Xbox, PC, and PlayStation over the years. For the PS5, Scuf has three controllers on offer: Reflex, Reflex Pro, and Reflex FPS.
The Reflex is the base variant in the series, starting off at $199. The Reflex Pro has the same design but comes with a textured finish that makes it easier to hold and use the controller, and it retails for $219. The Reflex FPS is significantly lighter than its siblings, and features instant triggers in lieu of the pressure-sensitive triggers on the other two models. Like exotic cars, the lightness comes at a cost, with the controller starting off at $249.
Obviously, the cost of the Reflex series plays a major part in the buying decision; with a DualSense controller now on sale for $49, you're paying four times as much to get your hands on Scuf's customizable controller. That said, having used the Reflex Pro for over three months, I do not see myself going back to a standard DualSense anytime soon.
The Reflex Pro is a noticeable upgrade to the DualSense, and that was immediately evident the moment I started using the controller. The build quality is fantastic, and the Reflex Pro has a reassuring heft to it that feels great in-hand. The best part about the controller is the customizability; you can pick it up in six different color schemes, or go with a custom option that allows you to choose between 41 faceplate designs.
The model I'm using has the Omen designer faceplate, and going this route costs an additional $30. If you want to go with a custom solid color, you'll have to shell out $15. You also get to switch out colors for the faceplate trim, pick a design for the thumbsticks — concave or convex — and select accent colors for the rings around the thumbsticks, choose different colors for the triggers, D-pad, face buttons, the back, and even the home button.
In short, there is an exhaustive level of customization on offer here, and you can easily make the Reflex Pro your own if you're interested in a truly unique PS5 controller.
I like the interchangeable thumbsticks as they change the feel of the controller, and you can switch these out without any tools. The biggest differentiator for the Reflex Pro has to be the paddles at the back. You'll find four paddles that are easily accessible with your middle and ring fingers, and they deliver a good feedback.
What's particularly great is that you can program the four buttons with relative ease, and if you don't see yourself using all four paddles, they're removable too. My favorite feature here is a profile switcher that lets you change button assignments on the fly, with three different profiles available.
Basically, you're getting a lot of features here that you won't find on the standard DualSense, and the Reflex Pro absolutely makes a difference while gaming.
The rumble and vibration feedback is exquisitely detailed, and the 300g weight combined with the textured finish at the back make the controller a delight to use. The face buttons are slightly on the mushy side and not as tactile as the DualSense, but the triggers and thumbsticks are definitely a cut above.
The paddles at the back are incredibly useful in titles like Elden Ring, and the easy customization ensures they can be used across a variety of games. Ultimately, that's what made the Reflex Pro a significant upgrade over the DualSense. It feels better to hold and use, has a better build quality, and the paddles make a huge difference when playing PS5 games.
The Reflex Pro's versatility extends to other platforms as well, and the controller works just as well on Windows. You can even use it as a Bluetooth controller with Android and iOS devices, and overall, it is a fabulous offering.
You are paying a lot of money here, but you're also getting a serious upgrade over the standard DualSense controller. On that note, Scuf is selling custom models of the Reflex Pro for 20% off for a limited time with code CYBER20, so if you like the look of the Reflex Pro and want to get your hands on the controller, now is the time to do so.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.