GameFace's Review of the SCUF Instinct Pro

We get hands-on with the Instinct Pro and put it to the test!

Posted on  by Aaron "Better Actions" Knowles

GameFace's Review of the SCUF Instinct Pro

We get hands-on with the Instinct Pro and put it to the test!

Posted on  by Aaron "Better Actions" Knowles

Before we hop into this review, we have an active giveaway on our Twitter to win the SCUF Instinct Pro that we reviewed! Check out our Twitter giveaway here, and follow the steps to be eligible to win!

To kick things off, I was lucky enough to get the chance to check out the SCUF Instinct Pro, as GameFace was provided a unit for review. The hands-on time that I got was not disappointing.

According to the SCUF website, the Instinct Pro “adds a competitive edge with non-slip performance grip and instant triggers that switch from regular to a mouse-like click at the flip of a switch.” And they were not lying.

And according to some sources, the Instinct Pro may be SCUF’s “greatest controller yet.”

The Facts About the Instinct Pro

Compatibility: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One X|S, Windows 10, Mac OS CATALINA, iOS 10+

Weight: 280 Grams

Connectivity: Wireless (Bluetooth), Wired (USB-C Cable)

Dimensions: L (168mm) x W (108mm) x H (53mm)

Ports: USB-C, Extension Port, 3.5mm Stereo Headset Jack

Thumbstick Layout: Asymmetric

Wireless Range: Up to 45 feet / 12 meters

Warranty: 6 months (180 days)

The SCUF website immediately tells its customers the difference between the Instinct and the Instinct Pro. Looking very much the same at first glance, what separates the Instinct Pro is the addition of high-performance grips and instant triggers.

The Instinct Pro is only $30 more than the Instinct. For comfort, compatibility, and customization, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck here.

Initial Impressions

Here are my exact notes as I unboxed the SCUF Instinct Pro (which, by the way, is gorgeous) and laid out all the components.

“Right out of the box, it feels heavy. Much heavier than a standard Xbox One S/X Controller. Same Size, similar shape. Even the cover for the SCUF fits almost perfectly over top of the standard Xbox controller.”

As soon as I removed the controller from the box, the weight didn’t initially feel real. I told myself that there was no way that it could be this heavy. But it was. Slowly, I forgot about the weight, and it began to feel comfortable in my hands.

I did discover that the weight can be lessened by removing the rumble features, which some ‘elite’ players choose to do. But in my opinion, it isn’t necessary. The weight gives it a sense of comfort, reliability, and quality.

“The shape of the grips feels more comfortable; material softer, more pleasant, grippier.”

"The Instinct Pro feels solid. When I pick up my old Xbox controller, I can feel creaks and plastic groans from how I handle it. After a few minutes of holding the Instinct Pro controller (and not even playing yet), it feels comfortable and weighty."

When looking at the Instinct Pro, the initial first thought was that all of the buttons right out of the box can feel a bit overwhelming. The manual, however, quickly remedies this. There are about four short pages of instructions for it, but the pages are sweet, straightforward, and designed to get you right into the game with as little setup as possible.

The manual says, "Meet the Instinct Pro, power it up, and make it yours," and I did just that. I thought, “no way does a manual make it feel so easy to pick up the SCUF,” but it did.

The ease of customization from the manual is super easy! It contains three prebuilt paddle settings for FPS/battle royale, sports games, and racing: all of which were built knowing what the player needs on whichever field, track, or arena they find themselves competing in.

“Make it Yours” seems to be an understatement, but when SCUF says that they mean it. The customizable faceplate just lifts off. The manual comes complete with suggestions for which customizable thumbsticks to use for the games you are playing. And the recommendations are not bad whatsoever; they make a lot of sense which shows that SCUF did a lot of testing with this controller.

The Instinct Pro has two toggles on the bottom of the controller that allows you to shorten the trigger’s travel time to a simple click fire, much like the click of a mouse. This, to me, seems like the coolest customizable setting that I am most excited to try out while gaming.

The other customizable paddles feel strong and are not just plastic that you might easily break by putting the controller down too hard (or, let's be honest, throwing it in a fit of rage). They are built right into the back of the controller and just feel a part of it naturally.

Also located on the back of the controller is the profile select button, which you will use to select a prebuilt controller setup for your customizable paddles (or the profiles you set up on your own). The centrally located button on the rear of the controller is in the perfect place. There is no way that you will accidentally push it and switch to a new profile. Just below the mute button for in-game cha on the front of the Instinct Pro, you will find the indicator light for which profile you have chosen. In my opinion, these two buttons are also ideally located and do not interfere with the use of the controller at all, which I think is essential especially when considering the button mashing that occurs while gaming. Suppose you were to change either of these settings accidentally; in that case, it could be your downfall in whatever game you are playing. The location of these buttons removes this as a possibility.

Let’s talk about cosmetics real quick. Not only does this controller feel durable and rugged, it genuinely just looks great. The matte finish on the customizable cover is a nice touch. The customizable colors of the buttons are also a lovely touch. Even being able to customize the friction rings around the thumbsticks is a simple but beautiful feature when you consider their claim to "Make It Yours."

On the back, the customizable paddles have an excellent honeycomb texture that is almost camo-like and just fits the general feel of the controller. The bumpers and triggers, having been customized for me, are an electric blue that pops. I couldn’t be happier with how it all comes together.

Gaming With the Instinct Pro

As I turned on the SCUF Instinct Pro, the only real disappointing thing about this controller is that it still takes batteries and is not built with a rechargeable battery. However, that might just be my personal preference because I know some people that will not go into a tournament with a rechargeable battery that could die and leave them stranded.

The second thing that I noticed that isn’t as disappointing as my dramatic brain makes it out to be is the magnetic D-Pad. I am a little rough on my controllers, and a magnetic cover on any of the thumb placements or buttons will get abused during gameplay. If it moves around, it can be particularly distracting.

It took a while to even notice that the D-Pad was magnetic. Luckily, after using the controller, the magnetic D-Pad doesn't really shift around. Other than a momentary “oops” thought, the Instinct Pro saved me some worry when it didn’t cause any disruption.

Booting up Call of Duty, the controller already feels much more responsive in my hands than a standard controller. I can also connect the SCUF Instinct Pro via a USB-C cable or Bluetooth. I chose Bluetooth to see if there was any lag or issue with connectivity but quickly realized it was as seamless as using the cable.

The Instinct Pro connected quickly and easily. Nothing else needed to be done other than getting my GameFace on!

The first multiplayer game of Call of Duty: Vanguard with the SCUF Instinct Pro showed me the impact it can have on my performance. I feel more confident, my aim is better, my shots are quicker, and the Instant Triggers feel great.

The Instant Triggers feel like I have a mouse clicker on the trigger of my controller, and the responsiveness is impressive to say the least. I was nervous this would feel like I would crush my controller, but even with the Instant Trigger, I didn’t feel that I would break this controller with just my hands.

I chose to go back and try all of this again with the original Xbox One Controller that I own.

As soon as I picked up the Xbox One Controller, I found myself immediately wanting to go back to the SCUF.

Even though the stock Xbox controller is lightweight, there is no confidence in its quality or handling. It feels significantly less responsive and I genuinely feel like I am going to break it.

The best way to explain the switch from the SCUF and back to the Xbox original controller is that using the SCUF controller is like driving a racecar every single day. One day, your boss says you are going on a work trip and have to drive the bare model rental car. You don't want to do it, but you have to.

Putting my hands back onto the SCUF Instinct Pro feels like home. It feels durable, it feels comfortable, it feels strong, and it feels like it will never let you down. I especially love the feel of the high-performance grip material. It perfectly grips my hands, and the controller sticks in place—no need to fumble and move your sweaty hands around during the match.

Now, let’s talk about price. At $199, the SCUF Instinct Pro is genuinely an excellent choice for competitive controllers. With almost every piece on the controller being customizable, including multiple options of color, material, and sizes for the thumbsticks, it would be hard for you to try and find a setup on the Instinct Pro that would not make you feel like you're #1 on the leaderboards.

Is the SCUF Instinct Pro Controller perfect? That may be up to your personal preference. For me, the only thing that holds it back from being perfect, especially at its price point, is the lack of a built-in rechargeable battery. Still, other than that, I have yet to use a controller as close to perfect as the SCUF Instinct Pro.

If you are worried about the magnetic D-pad or the replaceable thumbsticks messing up your gameplay, take it from me and my white-knuckle grip during tense gameplay that if you pick up a SCUF Instinct Pro, you will not put it down.

If you can spare the additional funds, SCUF offers some excellent deals. Be sure to check out their player bundles. They also offer a travel case for your SCUF controller to protect it when traveling to your friend’s house or to a tournament to kick some serious butt..

If you happen to have a different opinion about these controllers or agree with my review, feel free to share them with us over on Twitter.

Last but not least, don’t forget to get your GameFace on!