Scuf Impact review: A pro PS4 controller that's great for (most) PC gaming

Scuf Impact
Scuf Impact

When you talk about 'pro' controllers, Scuf has been around longer than most. Their engineers have been making custom, professional controllers for many years, stretching back to the days of the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Scuf has a partnership with Microsoft to offer custom options for the superb Elite controller, but the company's latest and greatest is the Impact. Technically, it's a PS4 controller, but it's also sold as being great for playing PC games, too.

But is it? And is it worth buying over an Xbox One controller to use with your PC titles?

More: The best PC gaming controllers

Hardware and design

Scuf Impact

Obviously, being a PS4 console controller the design somewhat mimics the Sony DualShock 4. It's not a carbon copy, though, as Scuf's Infinity4PS is, this one is their own variation on the design and it's all the better for it.

If you're not a fan of having both thumbsticks in the middle, then this won't change your opinion. But compared to Sony's controller, the Impact is a little taller, a little wider and has a redesigned grip. We're talking marginal in every case, but the sum of the parts is a controller that feels much better to hold in the hand than any regular DualShock 4 based option.

Around the back, you'll find four paddles, and these are removable. So you can have anywhere between one and four or none at all. The headset jack is a little easier to access since technically it's now on the front of the controller. Up top, Scuf has adjustable hairline triggers with trigger stops to get that perfect feeling for you.

Scuf Impactg

The adjustable triggers are one key difference to an Xbox Elite Controller. Microsoft gives you trigger stops, but that's it. The Scuf Impact allows you to fine tune how the triggers feel, so as to get it just right. It should also be said that this same system can be applied to Scuf Xbox controllers if you wish.

When it comes to the visual design, it's over to you. Scuf has a ridiculous amount of options to customize to make your controller look and feel perfect for you. Change the color of all the buttons, the thumbsticks, the rings around the thumbsticks, the shell, make it look how you want. The Impact I have here also has Scuf's optional "military grade" grip which is amazing. It's odd to look at, but it's just soft enough and makes a big difference to the overall feel of the controller.

How much you change and customize will have a direct impact on the price, too.

Performance in PC games

Scuf Impact

Using a DualShock 4 controller with the PC is nothing new and for the most part, there shouldn't be many compatibility issues. At least outside of the Windows Store anyway.

While Steam, for example, has support and configurations built in to support the PS4 controller, even opening Big Picture mode when one is connected, games like Forza Horizon 3 don't even recognize it's plugged in.

Playing games from my Steam library though, the Impact was tremendous. Not all games are suitable for a controller of course, but those that are, like Grid Autosport, work flawlessly. Steam will interpret the PS4 controller to mimic a Steam Controller, hence the support.

And because the paddles are merely mimicking other button presses, you can make full use of those, too.

The bottom line

The Scuf Impact is an outstanding controller, but it's not one you should ever buy for PC first. If you also have a PS4, then do it, it's easily the best PS4 controller around and it works great with PC games that aren't from the Windows Store.

But if you just want a good controller to play any PC game you should still get an Xbox One controller without question. We're only looking at the Scuf Impact from the side of PC gaming, and it's too expensive and not quite supported enough to warrant the price at $139.95. Only buy it if you're a PC/PS4 gamer.

If that is you, though, you're in for a real treat.

See at Scuf Gaming

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at