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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.

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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Consoles

What Video Games Get Wrong About Firearms

Jesse Hoyt

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Video games are full of fantastical elements and unrealistic representations of real-life things, but that’s what makes them fun. But sometimes, there are just things that irk you a little. Firearms are one of those things for me. I’m an avid shooter and video games will pretty often get them wrong, so I thought it might be fun to talk about some of video games’ biggest mistakes when it comes to guns.

Shotguns

Shotguns in video games were what actually inspired this article. Video games get these things wrong every time without fail. They’re most often portrayed as weapons that are basically pea-shooters if you’re more than 10 feet away. That’s just not the case. In real life, a shotgun’s effective range is much longer. Think more like 38 yards (35 meters). Shotgun loads do spread a good bit, but not nearly as much as most people have been led to believe. The spread is roughly that of a baseball for the first 20 yards or so. Of course, it is important to note that most of the time shotguns are programmed this way in video games for balancing reasons since video games often misrepresent fighting distance as well. 


Engaging at Range

I’m not a veteran or anything, but I do consider myself a little bit of a “war/history nerd.” I had to do a little digging on what actual combat looks like these days. I was surprised to find out that most infantry vs infantry fighting is done at distances where you can barely see who’s shooting at you or at least where it’s difficult to be bang-on with your aim. Most video games prefer to portray combat as close quarters, notably like Call of Duty and Battlefield. 

Full Semiautomatic

The burst of machine-gun fire is a given in almost any FPS, especially from submachine guns, assault rifles, and light machine guns. You’ll find that most accurate fire is done by way of semi-automatic shooting. That means one pull of the trigger equals one shot. At most distances, full auto fire is difficult to control and burns through ammunition too quickly. Usually, automatic gunfire can be seen from light machine guns. This automatic fire is typically used to pin enemies down/ prevent them from moving as well as provide cover for squad members.

Video games get a lot wrong about firearms, but that’s not really the point. Games are designed for escapism and having a good time not being incredibly realistic (although that is a great bonus sometimes). I won’t hold it against devs for getting things wrong now and then, if I even notice it in the first place.

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Nintendo

7 N64 Games We’d Like to See on Nintendo Switch Online

Colin Edge

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In Nintendo’s latest Direct presentation, we were thrilled to find out that N64 and Sega Genesis games will be coming to Nintendo Switch Online. And in their abounding generosity, Nintendo even gave us a sneak peek of the first wave of titles that will be available on the service.

With quintessential mega-hits like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and even Banjo-Kazooie, it’s a solid list. We’re certainly pleased. But the N64’s catalog is vast, and there are so many more titles that simply have to make it onto NSO. 


While some of these games non-negotiably need to be added like yesterday, others are items of the more “wish list” variety. So, just like our Game Boy/ Game Boy Color NSO wishlist, we have some thoughts. Here are seven titles we’d love to see on Nintendo Switch Online:

Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong’s first and only 3D title (for now…) was a silly game. Chucking pineapples and hitting bad guys with trombones – it was a real clown car. But Donkey Kong 64 was also an indisputably elegant platformer. With a few quality of life improvements like more frequent save spots, the game could really get a second wind and bring joy to a new generation of gamers.

Diddy Kong Racing

Now, for Donkey Kong’s smaller primate nephew. It takes real chutzpah to release a kart racing game in the long, looming shadow of Mario Kart. But Rare Ltd. was on fire in the ‘90s, and they pulled off an imaginative, innovative gem in Diddy Kong Racing. Not only did the game implement planes and hovercraft, but it also sported a challenging and captivating single-player adventure mode.

Super Smash Bros.

The OG. It’s hard to imagine a version of Super Smash with only twelve characters and nine stages, but that’s how we did our smashing back in ‘99. They were simpler times. And with Sora bringing the Super Smash Ultimate lineup to a close, it would be fun to go back to where it all began.

GoldenEye 007

Who can forget the way that screen turned red when you got shot? What was meant as a fun accessory to promote the latest James Bond film turned out to be a masterpiece. Also developed by Rare Ltd., GoldenEye was a stellar first-person shooter, and arguably set the stage for games like Halo. This title would be the toughest to get rereleased, due to licensing red tape. But oh how we wish it would!


1080° Snowboarding

This popular snowboarding game actually preceded Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater by one year. Extreme sports were on the rise in the late ‘90s, and 1080° Snowboarding capitalized on it with a game that was graphically sharp and mechanically smooth for its time. Customize your ride at the lodge, then hit one of the trickiest slopes. This one would be a blast to play online with friends.

Mario Party

Yes, Mario Party Superstars includes boards from the original N64 game. But, like Super Smash, Mario Party has been reinvented and added-onto considerably since the first entry. Revisiting this zany series’ inception would be a pleasant trip down memory lane.

Pokémon Stadium

The N64 era was so exciting for so many franchises because it brought our favorite characters into the world of 3D. Consistent with this phenomenon, Pokémon Stadium took those cute monsters and gave them a dazzling three-dimensional makeover. This tournament-style strategy game let you transfer your ‘mons from the 151 Pokédex of the Game Boy games and fight them. It was a pivotal title in Pokémon and Nintendo’s illustrious joint history.


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