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SCUF’s New “Instinct” Adds Another Contender for Best Xbox Series X Controller

Chris Rausch

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Is your standard Microsoft controller holding your gaming experience back? The SCUF Instinct controller for Xbox Series X can help. With improved function, enhanced customization, and better ergonomics, this controller can help you game better for longer –  as long as you can afford the price tag.

SCUF Instinct Series

Available as the Instinct or Instinct Pro, this controller from top peripheral creator SCUF aims to offer the best bang for your buck when it comes to premium Xbox controllers. It starts at $169 for the standard Instinct and $199 for the Instinct Pro before cosmetic customizations (available through their building tool). This is a similar price range to the Xbox Elite and Razer controllers, but with in-depth customization it can easily become the most expensive option. Fortunately, additional expenses are optional.


Included with both controller models are 4 types of thumbsticks (2 long and 2 short of concave and convex heads), an additional 8-sided directional pad which can be swapped in, and a USB cable which can be used instead of the wireless connection for better latency.

Look

Outside of custom coloration or designs on the faceplate, the controller looks similar to the standard Xbox Series X wireless controller that is included with the console. They are the same size and design, but the Instinct does add additional grip to the full handle for better grip (and a cool textured look). 

However, the Instinct controller has an obvious difference – the mute button that can be pressed to toggle mute on the fly for an attached headset. The easily accessible button is likely to be more convenient than a mute button on a headset wire or headset itself, allowing you to communicate more efficiently during the heat of action. 

When the controller is powered on, the indicator by the mute button will light up in 1 of 3 colors (red, green, or blue) which distinguishes the 3 different controller profiles that users can toggle by pressing the “profile” button on the back.

Paddles

The major selling point of the controller – as well as most other SCUF products – is the paddle buttons on the underside of the controller. Previous models included longer trigger paddles that required you to hold the controller differently to reach them, which can make it harder to game for longer periods of time. 


The Instinct and Instinct Pro feature shallow buttons that are located close to where most gamers find their ring and pinky fingers resting when holding the controller. This lets you more comfortably and naturally press the 2 buttons that are located on each side. Plus, these buttons can be remapped on-the-fly without the need for a 3rd party program or app just by holding down the “profile” button.

Triggers

The Instinct Pro has a feature unique to it that allows you to choose between 2 modes for the main triggers – click or pull. The switch, which is located between the triggers and the back paddles, limits how far the trigger will go before registering the input. As a result, FPS gamers who want to spam as many shots as possible can lock the trigger for rapid fire while racing game players can still enjoy the pedal-like feel of pulling the trigger down progressively. This can also be easily changed with a quick flip of the switch, allowing adjustable experience within games – not just between profiles.

Wrap Up

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best premium Xbox Series X controller for you. Both SCUF Instinct models offer exceptional customization in design, plus the unique trigger switch on the Pro model is an incredibly useful feature for variety gamers. Users with smaller hands will also enjoy the shallow back paddles that don’t require an adapted grip to reach comfortably.


Compared to other options in the market, the SCUF Instinct is a happy medium for customization, features, and price point. It doesn’t have the most features or the flashiest look, but it can be used in just about any application and customized to work for you.

In my 4+ years as a professional tech copywriter, I've written about everything from laptops & routers to the software that facilitates billions in online sales each day. If it relates to, connects to, or belongs on the Internet, I'm in. Equipped with my Associate's in Computer Science and a computer I assembled myself (no big deal), I write about all things hardware, software, gaming, and digital tech to keep you up-to-date on important news, releases, and tips & tricks.

Nintendo

Kirby, a Brief History

Colin Edge

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No one can deny that Kirby, with his round little pink self, has captured the hearts of millions and garnered international fame. The franchise has spun out more than thirty games starring the blush blob, earning big bucks for Nintendo and HAL Labs. But before becoming a video game icon, Kirby was actually created rather haphazardly. 

How Kirby became an adorable pink circle

The first Kirby game was called Kirby’s Dream Land, released on the Game Boy in 1992. Young designer Masahiro Sakurai was assigned to create a game that was simple enough for anyone to pick up and learn to play. (To this day, Kirby games are easy and accessible.) 


While the game was in development, Sakurai created a basic avatar to perform the primary movements of play – a little ball with arms and legs. This was meant as a placeholder, later to be swapped for something more definite. But throughout testing and animation, the team fell in love with this white blob, and they ended up sticking with it. But he was just that – white.

Since Kirby’s Dream Land released on the original Game Boy, its protagonist’s color was indefinite. Adding to the confusion, the game’s North American box art depicted a white Kirby, while the Japanese art showed the pink character we’ve come to recognize. Sakurai always imagined Kirby to be pink, while Shigeru Miyamoto (who created Mario and worked as a producer on Kirby) always imagined our hero to be yellow. Color was an afterthought – literally. They didn’t nail down the official pink hue until after the first game’s release.

Another thing that didn’t come until the second game was Kirby’s ability to copy his enemies’ powers after slurping them up. Kirby’s Adventure dropped on the NES in ‘93, and implemented copy abilities, which are now a characteristic trait of the spherical savior of Dream Land. 

How Kirby got his name

Sakurai’s project had a working title of Twinkle Popopo. But Nintendo wanted to go with a name that could create more draw for Western customers. After throwing around several options, the team finally named their character after… a lawyer.

John Kirby was a lawyer who worked long and hard on Nintendo’s behalf in a legal fight with Universal. The movie studio had sued over Donkey Kong, claiming the primate videogame character’s name was too akin to King Kong. (It’s like, totally a different Kong, geez.) Nintendo eventually won the suit, and named a character after Mr. Kirby as a way of saying thank you.


After many platformer adventures, pinball titles, 3D games, and Super Smash cameos, Kirby is now one of the most beloved characters in the video game industry’s history. Whether happily floating above Planet Popstar or bravely dueling with Meta Knight, his innocence and simplicity has captivated kids and grownups alike. And from the looks of it, he’s not stopping anytime soon.

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AR/VR

The Best Asymmetric Virtual Reality Games Out Now

Jesse Hoyt

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Virtual reality is fun, but playing with friends makes it better. The problem is that not everyone can afford a VR headset, so we put together a few games you and your friends can play with only a single VR system.

5. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Better talk fast because the clock is ticking and there’s a bomb in your hands! Available in VR and regular screen, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes puts one player in charge of manipulated bomb components to keep it from blowing up. Another player is supplied only with a guide. The thing is that every bomb is different and the reader has no idea what your bomb looks like. Speed is vital. Communication is key.


4. Fast and Low

Shoot and move in this SWAT simulator game. Despite its less-than-finished appearance, this game has solid bones with “realistic” gunplay, suspect interactions, damage, and room clearing. One player can hop in on PC while another gets ready to get rowdy in virtual reality. Take your time as you move room to room searching out hostels, but don’t be too trigger-happy because some are going to surrender. Take them alive if you can.

3. Reiko’s Fragments

Do you want to scare the living daylights out of your friends and family? The Reiko’s Fragments might be for you. Virtual reality is already pretty terrifying with even the smallest of scares, but now your friends can take control. One person takes the reins and puts on the headset; the rest can pull up their phones and get to scaring.

2. Takelings House Party

This is a true party game. Grab a few friends with phones to take up the mantle of “Takelings,” thieving humanoids hell-bent on making your home life miserable. The person in VR needs to take these things out by any means necessary. That includes hammers, nailguns, toasters, and waffle makers. It’s still in early access but is worth a buy if you like party games.

1. Smush TV

Have you ever wanted to face your fear of being crushed under tetrominoes while electronic music pumps in the background? Smush TV is just that where a player in VR does their best to climb to the top of a Tetris tower while avoiding getting smushed. The other flatscreen player is on a mission to drop these blocks on the other’s head.

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AR/VR

No, Shooting Guns in VR Does Not Translate to Shooting Firearms in Real Life

Jesse Hoyt

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Guns and virtual reality go together like peanut butter and jelly. The shooter genre is one of the biggest in the VR space right alongside melee hack and slashers. Naturally, some people are bringing up the idea that video games may cause violence once again or rather may teach people how to be violent. There’s a mild connection there with VR being a highly interactive medium where you physically act out an action, but the truth is that there’s just not much you can learn especially with complex things like firearms.

It’s important to note that VR can only teach people to use firearms only as effectively as any other learning medium like books or videos. There are no special movements or techniques taught in VR that aren’t found elsewhere. In fact, I’d wager that most people who consume media on the regular probably already know how to load a magazine into a firearm and pull a trigger. These actions are already intuitive though and would be fairly easy to figure without instruction anyway.


Virtual reality can’t simulate the weight of a firearm nor dealing with concussive force from a gunshot. Virtual makes firearms simple. Reload. Click. Shoot. Easy. It removes all of the individual actions necessary for operating a weapon. It doesn’t teach you how to clear a malfunction or even load rounds into a magazine. Or control recoil and correct trigger pulling technique. The list is long. Although, manipulating firearms isn’t a particularly difficult process in the first place. Virtual reality doesn’t cover any of the things that make for a proficient shooter.

I’d even argue that virtual reality might actually teach terrible habits for people that might get into hobbyist shooting later on. The first is reinforcing poor trigger control. With real firearms, you need to be particular in the way you pull a trigger. Incorrect technique can throw shots off target by a lot. Virtual reality controls have more stability and little trigger resistance. They don’t require a consistent form. 

Recoil control is something else that’ll suffer when using VR. With real firearms, recoil is typically controlled by tightly bracing it to your body or locking your wrists. Virtual reality is a different story. Most recoil control is done just by pulling the controllers down, yet another way to throw off your shots in real life.

Virtual reality isn’t effectively teaching anyone to use firearms. In fact it’s probably doing just the opposite. This is just a recycled argument of “video games cause violence.” 

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