Scuf Controller vs. Xbox Elite 2: The Ultimate Comparison

A good gaming controller is the equivalent of a well-oiled machine, giving you the ability you need to clear through your objectives. Whether it’s an FPS, RPG, rogue-like, or any other genre that takes your fancy, the improvement in results you can get from a good controller is unparalleled. To this extent, this guide is here to 

An ultimate comparison of the Scuf Controller vs the Xbox Elite 2 results with the Elite 2 being better overall and the Scuf a flashier, better-looking option. The Elite 2 provides complete control with lots of customization options; the Scuf is more vibrant and its faceplates are easily changed.

For the rest of this article, I’ll give you a direct comparison between the Scuf Controller and the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 and explain why a specialized gaming controller is a good buy for anyone looking to get better results in games. For each controller, I’ll explain both features and help find which of these two controllers is the better fit for you.

The Scuf Instinct Pro

For many, the Scuf controller is the more popular of the two. Scuf regularly partners with streamers who advertise for them and sometimes even strike up partnerships with them to get specific designs on controllers named after them. Ali-A, Swagg, and Backofmyjankz are just a few of the many streamers that have gotten their Scuf controller.

Clearly, the company puts a lot of effort into making its product visible. However, does the product match up to the marketing behind it? 

What’s in the Box

The packaging is pretty standard as controllers go. The controller comes packaged in a Scuf box which contains:

  • The Scuf Instinct controller
  • A user manual
  • Short thumbstick
  • Long thumbstick
  • 2 AA batteries 
  • 6 ft (1.82 m) USB-C cable

For an extra cost of $30, you can opt for the Scuf Universal Players Pack, which comes with:

  • A USB charging cable
  • GamerGrip
  • 2 Pack SCUF Concave Thumbsticks

As previously stated, the packaging and its contents are all pretty standard. Where the Scuf stands out is in what the controller itself offers.

Customizable Faceplates

Scuf is well known for the colorful look of their controllers. Here, they continue in the same vein, with the faceplates of the controller being fully swappable depending on preference. This customization option begins right from when you order it, as the Scuf website gives you the option to customize the faceplate before you place your order.

On offer are 43 different options divided into different categories. With Scuf regularly partnering with other streamers for new versions of their controllers, the variety of looks on offer could considerably increase over time. 

That being said, changing the faceplate after you get them can be pretty pricey. A new faceplate starts from $25 and could cost even more depending on your choice of design. 

Four Remappable Paddles

The paddles are an important feature for many people. The Scuf controller offers four paddles on the back that can be remapped to any function you want. Say goodbye to frantically moving your thumb between the sticks and the buttons as you try to quickly maneuver around Apex. With the paddles, you can now remap your jump, ability, emotes, and anything else you want to a far more comfortable location. 

Having four paddles on the back instead of the two usually seen on more controllers also allows a higher degree of freedom over its counterparts. With this, however, quality might be better than quantity. 

Even though the extra two paddles are welcome because, in theory, they can make your gaming easier, when it comes to execution, you may find that isn’t exactly the case. The paddles are pretty close together, and clicking one by mistake can become commonplace very easily. In this case, two extra can easily become too much, and if you have bigger fingers, you might be better off just removing the extra two paddles.

Customizable Triggers

Another highly sought-after feature of the Scuf controller is the customizability of its triggers. First, the triggers have trigger stops on the back of the controller, which can be adjusted to your preferred setting. These stops reduce the amount of depression required to activate whatever function is mapped to the trigger.

These essentially reduce the time it takes to get shots off in any fps you play. While this might not attract the casual player, more intense gamers understand that a millisecond can often be what stands between you and winning a game. 

The triggers also come with an ‘instant trigger’ function, which reduces the depression time even more. It turns the normal trigger presses into a mouse-like click which can drastically improve the way you play. For semi-autos in fps games, this allows for a hair-trigger that can vastly improve fire rate, giving you the edge you need.

High-Performance Grip and Interchangeable Thumbsticks

The Scuf has a ‘high-performance grip’ for extended sessions according to the marketing surrounding it. It’s a premium feature, only available on the Instinct Pro, which costs $30 extra than the regular Instinct controller. In practice, while the grip does feel nice and wraps around the controller, it doesn’t warrant the extra price on its own.

Along with this comes customizable thumbsticks, which can be popped in and out at your leisure. Which default sticks come with the controller can be chosen when you order, and you have a choice between:

  • Short Concave
  • Short Domed
  • Long Concave
  • Long Domed

Here, the concave option is by far the better choice. Unless you like the look of the domed sticks, the concave sticks feel better. They offer far more grip than the domed, making your thumbs less likely to slip off.

What’s Under the Hood

Separate from what you can actually see on the controller, it’s notable that the Scuf sports very similar software to the Xbox controllers. This makes it fit seamlessly with your console and, as a result, you’ll get any future software updates that come to the normal Xbox controllers. 

The controller is also compatible with your IOS and Android devices. The mobile gaming industry is quickly developing, and this controller could also be a device of choice for many looking to upgrade.

Finally, the controller has a profile switch function. The profile switching allows you to change between three custom profiles. These profiles contain different mapping options for each button on the controller, which you can set. With this, you can switch quickly between your preferred settings without having to remap manually. 

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

Microsoft owns the Xbox Elite 2 controller and, as a result, it’s fully compatible with all their products. As a successor to the Series 1 controller, the Series 2 brings to bear a host of improvements over its predecessor and some entirely new features. 

What’s in the Box

In terms of package contents, the Elite 2 seems to blow its competitors out of the water. While it comes in a regular Microsoft box, the actual contents of the box are above regular. In the pack, you get:

  • The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 
  • Six thumbsticks
  • USB-C cable
  • Two d-pads
  • Four paddles
  • AA batteries
  • A carrying case that doubles as a charging dock 
  • A manual
  • Thumbstick tool

Unlike the Scuf, however, the controller doesn’t come in the same variety of colors. The bland look might be a downside for people looking to personalize the look of their controller to their tastes. However, the Elite 2 comes with a lot of features that potentially make up for this. 

Adjustable-Tension Thumbsticks

The Xbox Elite 2 controller comes with a thumbstick tool in the box, which can be confusing to figure out on first look. Without reference, you might even forget it exists or assume it’s not important. 

In reality, the tool is there to help you adjust the stiffness of your thumbsticks. It’s not particularly common to other controllers, but it could be much welcomed if you’re unsatisfied with the current stiffness of your thumbsticks. 

The stiffness settings have three different levels of increasing restriction to movement. The lowest’ loose’ option gives you the classic Xbox thumbstick feel found on its other controllers. The remaining two options give you increasingly higher tension on the thumbsticks. 

Changing the tension on the thumbsticks is pretty easy as they’re magnetically attached to the controller, so you can pop them off at will. 

If you need a visual guide, this YouTube video from TheNextGenNow shows exactly how to do it:


Paddles and Shift Options

Like the Scuf, the Elite 2 comes with adjustable paddles on the back of the controller, giving you extra options for gaming. However, unlike the Scuf, the Elite’s paddles are fitted horizontally, allowing slightly more control over them. Along with this, you can also swap out the smaller paddles on the Elite 2 for the larger ones on its predecessor (the Elite 1) if you have it available. 

The paddles are fully customizable using the Xbox accessories app, giving you far greater customizability for the controller, although you might prefer the easier features on the Scuf. The four paddle system here, although slightly better than its competitor, is still unwieldy in practice. Unless you need the extra two paddles, you’re probably better off using just two of them.

New to the Elite 2 is a shift function. Using the accessories app, you can choose a default shift button similar to the shift key on a conventional keyboard. Once assigned, the shift button gives the other buttons new functionality. Essentially, your trigger can swap to the X button and vice-versa. 

Hair Triggers

The Elite 2 has three different options for the triggers, which can be changed behind the controller. Each setting increasingly reduces the travel time needed to activate the function mapped to the trigger. The accessories app also allows you to enable hair-trigger functionality for even faster action times.

Battery Life

Usually, battery life is not particularly notable on controllers, but the Elite 2 outdoes all of its competition. Boasting a 40-hour battery life, the controller allows for very long gaming sessions before charging is needed.

This battery life and the carry case charging dock give you a solid experience in terms of the battery. While it’s yet known how well the battery will stand the ultimate test of time, it’s currently one of the best on the market. 

The Xbox Accessories App

As I’ve noted, the Xbox Accessories app can change the majority of the functions on the controller. The Elite 2 allows for full customization of all paddles, buttons, and triggers (apart from a few function buttons).

The app gives you an unprecedented degree of control as you can configure your settings to your exact specifications. Like the Scuf, the Elite 2 also has a three-profile function that allows specific configurations to be saved. 

Unlike the Scuf, the Elite 2 doesn’t ship with IOS support but can be connected to your android device. It’s cheaper with all functionality on one controller and no ‘lower’ model.

Why You Should Invest in an Advanced Controller

The controller that comes out of the box with your Xbox console is a decent buy for anyone, as it comes with the basic functionality needed to enjoy games casually. However, an advanced controller is practically a must for anyone looking to increase efficiency and take their gaming experience to the next level.

An advanced controller comes with incredibly specific features that can’t be substituted by anything else. From rear paddles to customizable triggers, stiffness, trigger stops, and much more, it can make a lot of things easier. 

The paddles alone can make jumping while aiming in FPS games extremely easier since your hand doesn’t have to leave the thumbstick. They can also be customized for RPGs making it easier to map abilities. Essentially, you gain an extra set of buttons that can be mapped to any function. 

The Verdict

Unless you like the colors that come with the Scuf enough, the Xbox Elite 2 controller is simply far better. It’s far better value for money with the extra additions that come in the box and cheaper. The price also goes down more often and even currently sells with a $30 discount on the official store. 

For any Xbox gamer looking to up their game, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is your best bet and by far out does the majority of its competition.

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