Scuf Infinity 4PS Pro: is a PS4 controller worth 300 francs?
The Scuf Infinity 4PS Pro wants to be the ultimate PS4 controller. That should certainly be expected from the 300-franc price tag. A standard controller costs 60 francs. Let's see if this premium version has got what it takes with some tests.
The Xbox has long been equipped with an official Pro controller, the Elite. Playstation users are still waiting in vain for Sony to deliver a Dualshock controller for more demanding gamers. Instead, this niche is being filled by third-party manufacturers such as Scuf. Scuf specialises in controllers that can be personalised to the nth degree. However, indulging in these excesses might quickly run you 300 francs, as the Infinity 4PS Pro is proving.
This sexy thing is available in a huge variety of designs. I ordered the following model for testing:
The more bells and whistles you want, the more expensive the controller will be. In addition to a custom design, my model has a special back for more grip, two additional paddles, two different trigger covers, adjustable triggers and the possibility to reassign keys. Let's see what this thing can do.
«Wow, this thing feels awesome»
The Scuf Infinity leaves an excellent first impression. It's very comfortable to hold – provided you like the Dualshock design. The buttons have a pleasant amount of resistance. The analogue sticks have a rubberized surface, which prevented me from slipping off or having to rearrange my grip a single time during the test. Something I have to do pretty often with classic Dualshock controllers. Only the touchpad feels rather strange. There's no click feedback. At first I thought it was broken or stuck. But it was obviously designed this way. Instructions regarding stiff touchpads were only marginally helpful.
But the highlight is the back, without a doubt. Military grade grips, blah blah blah, whatever. Forget about the marketing blurb. What's sure is that this material feels extremely comfortable, offering a lot of grip at the same time. Even with sweaty hands I never had any problems with the controller getting slippery.
Bugs, bugs, bugs...
The Scuf Infinity really is fun to play with – when it works. But we're not there yet. I first had problems even getting my controller to start. I did manage to connect it to my PS4 via Bluetooth. But once I started a game, no button was working except for the Playstation button. It returned me to the home menu, where all buttons were suddenly working again. I was able to reset the controller with a paper clip. To do this, insert your thin metal rod into the small opening on the back, directly next to the right pedal. Still, this is just a temporary solution. After a few minutes, nothing worked again – until I repeated the fixing process.
Only a complete reset including recalibrating the analogue stick finally brought some improvement. See the Scuf website for step-by-step instructions. After operating on my controller a bit, it didn't seem to have any more problems – at least not with the PS4. When connecting it to my PC with a USB cable, Windows did recognise it while some other games didn't. I haven't managed to find a link between the games that weren't compatible. There are no drivers to install for Windows 10. If you've got any idea what the problem could be, please write your theory in the comments.
Update 25/07/2019: Besard Demi from our distributor G4G suspects that the button problem on the PS4 could be a product error. However, this should only occur in at most one percent of the devices. According to Demi, however, PC compatibility shouldn't differ from that of a Playstation Pro controller. Otherwise one would have to fall back on the unofficial DS4 drivers.
Initial difficulties aside, the Scuf really is a master of disguise. You can even exchange the two analogue sticks. I'm afraid you'll have to order replacements separately. Pretty poor, as its competitor, the much cheaper Xbox Elite controller, comes delivered with two sets. They're even magnetised, making them extremely easy to switch out. The Scuf, on the other hand, requires a specialised tool that comes included. Simply use it to twist the fastening rings a bit and bam, you can insert other sticks. It's a bit more complicated than with the Elite, but the process is more fun. It reminds me of a pit stop in Formula One. The controller feels kind of like a real gadget.
This impression only intensifies if you adjust the trigger buttons. You need the enclosed hexagon socket wrench to do this. First you need to remove the trigger covers. There's a tiny hole underneath. Use the key to adjust the sensitivity. You can tighten the triggers so hard that you almost can't push them down. Or you screw them in so loosely that they practically don't resist.
You can also use the same tool to rotate the stopper below the triggers so that the keys travel a short or long distance until they trigger. Shooters require the shortest possible trigger distance, while racing games need the whole length to accelerate or brake precisely. You can also adjust the stoppers with your fingers. Even though I enjoy screwing, I still prefer the Elite controller's design. It only has a small robust switch that selects between a short and long distance. The Scuf Infinity feels less elegant, and even the stopper can't prevent the trigger distance from feeling too long during shooters.
Apart from that, the option to adjust what you want is still great. I only play shooter games with short trigger stops. Which makes adjustable hair triggers extremely useful in my opinion. They're a bit too loose on standard Dualshock controllers. This should be most useful during competitive matches where every millisecond counts.
However, I could only tighten the triggers to a certain degree. Too tight and the key will be recognized as always active by games. Whether I tried it on PS4 or PC, I couldn't fully tighten it for in any game.
Update 25.07.2019: According to Demi this isn't a mistake, but related to professional tournament rules. Overly adjusting trigger distances by tightening the stops is seen as an unfair advantage. Scuf, however, realised that it's confusing that a screw can be adjusted further than games actually allow. The next model is to change this.
Of the two supplied trigger covers I prefer the short ones. They correspond more to the natural resting position of my fingers. The long ones aren't useless, but since I often play with different controllers, the difference is too jarring for me. Contrary to what I read online, the longer covers never came loose by mistake.
You can also attach two pedals at the back. You'll have to push them into their corresponding recess. I must again stress that the magnetic Elite controller is more user-friendly. The pedals on the Scuf are extremely tough. They're perfectly positioned for my tastes and I love the satisfying click when releasing. They require the perfect amount of pressure. I especially appreciate the pedals in games that require the simultaneous use of R1 and R2 or L1 and L2.
They replace the circle and cross, so you never have to take your fingers off the analogue sticks. But you can change their effect with the little round disk. Simply hold on to the logo on the back and push a pedal as well as the desired key, and the key will be reassigned. All keys except Start and Share can be used.
A flawed masterpiece
The Scuff Infinity could've been the best PS4 controller I've ever seen. The rubberized back has a good feel, the keys, apart from the touchpad, have pleasant resistances and the options to modify the controller are immense. But its price isn't justified in any way, if you consider that Microsoft's Elite Controller only goes for half as much and possesses more accessories. Furthermore, it just can't be that the controller doesn't work properly from the start and has lasting quirks on PC.
If you're looking for a really fancy PS4 controller, then the Infinity might be for you. Everyone else, stick with Sony's Dualshock.
Update 25.07.2019: I've added comments from our distributor to the article.
Being the game and gadget geek that I am, working at digitec and Galaxus makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop – but it does take its toll on my wallet. I enjoy tinkering with my PC in Tim Taylor fashion and talking about games on my podcast http://www.onemorelevel.ch. To satisfy my need for speed, I get on my full suspension mountain bike and set out to find some nice trails. My thirst for culture is quenched by deep conversations over a couple of cold ones at the mostly frustrating games of FC Winterthur.
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