Any Fortnite player will tell you that in order to score that sweet “Victory Royale,” you need to find the perfect balance between building and gunslinging. This can be a little difficult when you’re fumbling around trying to choose the right tool. It isn’t an issue for PC gamers who can use any of the 101 keys on a standard keyboard to help them craft a fort of gargantuan proportions. But this can quickly get overwhelming for console players, who only have handheld controllers at their disposal.
This is precisely the issue that SCUF Gaming has set out to solve with its newly developed PlayStation 4 controller, the SCUF Vantage. This customizable controller not only gives players far more buttons to use than the standard DualShock comes with but also comes with four new features never-before-seen on similar devices.
“We want to move past the limitations of standard controllers,” SCUF CEO Duncan Ironmonger tells Inverse. “We’ve built on our previously successful designs to let professional Esports players and casual gamers alike use more of their hand real estate.”
A split-second decision can make or break a game of Fortnite. So SCUF has spent 18 months figuring out the how to make pulling off that game-winning combo on a console as simple as it is on PC.
- Design: Immediately you’ll notice that the Vantage looks a lot more like an Xbox controller than that of a PS4. That’s all because of the joystick placement. Instead of sticking with the DualShock’s two central thumbsticks, they went with an elevated left stick. Ironmonger said this layout proved to be the most comfortable during testing.
- Sax Buttons: You’ll find two extra buttons directly adjacent to the R1 and L1 triggers, known as the Sax Buttons. These two lateral triggers fall directly where your index fingers would rest on the controller, making easy use of otherwise empty space.
- Audio-Control Touch Bar: Underneath the right thumbstick and D-Pad lies the audio touch bar. This gives players the ability to adjust in-game audio without taking their hand off the controller. Without this, you would have to fiddle with your headset or access the game’s audio menu to adjust settings.
- Removable Vibration Modules: Surprisingly, the majority of a controller’s weight comes from two modules at the bottom of the handles that spin around to create a vibration. This effect is meant to create an immersive experience, but the Vantage gives you to option to take them out completely. This drastically reduces the weight of the entire controller, which really makes a difference to pros that have a controller in-hand for eight to twelve hours a day.
- Removable Faceplate: The Vantage’s faceplate easily clips on and off. This allows for customization as well as making it simple to swap out buttons and joysticks.
Past Controller Innovation
On top of these additions, the Vantage will continue to make use of past features that made SCUF a household name in console Esports. The company has long dominated the industry and that comes down to the sheer number of patents they’ve filed in an already niche market. The company has 38 with another 65 pending. The most recognizable being the rear paddle system, which gives gamers four more buttons on the back of the controller.
The Vantage tries its best to put the infinite possibilities of a keyboard right into the palm of your hand. This comes at a bit of a price, as the controllers start $169.95 and will take some getting used to if you’ve been using the DualShock for years. But if you’re willing to learn your way around some new buttons, you can spend less time cycling through building options and more time dancing after you secure the Victory Royale.