Between the Impact and the Infinity 4PS PRO, premium peripheral factory Scuf Gaming has been no stranger to highly customized PS4 controllers. Building one from the ground up, however, is decidedly new territory.
The end result is the Vantage ($199, about £156, AU$276), a high-end modular officially licensed gamepad with excellent feel and a slew of customization options, all of which firmly positions this quality accessory ahead of similarly priced pro-controller offerings.
That said, several bothersome drawbacks ultimately prevent Scuf’s latest innovation from attaining the perfection it’s striving for.
When you get your hands on Scuf’s Vantage, there’s no doubting the unmistakable ergonomics at play. Simply put, it just feels right. The overall build is slightly larger than Sony’s official DualShock 4, and much like the PS4 pack-in controller, Scuf’s peripheral rests comfortably in your hands, making use of some nicely textured, rubberized handle grips.
The Vantage’s bulk (between 256 and 287 grams) is also similar to, if not a little heavier than, the DualShock 4’s, but it’s noticeably lighter than the Razer Raiju Ultimate. You can actually remove either or both vibration feedback motors to adjust the Vantage’s mass at any given time, and it’s as simple as popping off the faceplate and releasing them by hand from the handles—no tools needed.
In similar fashion, almost everything on the Vantage is adjustable or customizable: The analog sticks, which are offset like an Xbox One gamepad and forgo the traditional PlayStation layout of Scuf’s own Impact controller, can be changed between concave, convex, tall, as well as a selection of different colors.
Various unique magnetic faceplates can be pulled off and swapped out on the fly, including a limited edition Black Ops 4 variant, though you’ll need to buy a whole separate limited edition controller to partake in that one (you’re actually better off buying the LE and then purchasing additional faceplates to swap out). Magnetic d-pads can also be switched, either between cross-shaped or disc-shaped.
Moving to the top, shoulder buttons possess a nice amount of give, and the springy back triggers can have their tension, travel and even button lengths adjusted, by which you can simply snap plastic pieces off and on. Then you’ve got your multi-functions: Wedge-shaped proprietary Sax buttons adorn the sides of the Vantage, while the ever-present Scuf paddles, four to be exact, are situated on the backside of the controller.