SCUF’s Vantage Controller is a premium and fully customizable controller that offers PlayStation gamers an experience similar to that of the Microsoft Elite. Known for their innovative designs and features, the SCUF brand is well respected amongst gamers of all levels, including the pro scene.
SCUF Vantage Controller Overview
The Vantage is available in a wired and wireless version, both offering the same level of customization and features that SCUF has become known for.
Leading the controller revolution since 2011, SCUF has largely dominated the market with their ever-expanding portfolio of patented intellectual properties. These IPs are the controller features and improved ergonomics that set their controllers apart from others. In 2015, SCUF signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft to allow them to use their IPs in creating the Elite Controller. Nearly forty of their unique patents were used in creating the Vantage.
The officially licensed Vantage controller reimagines the DualShock 4 and is designed to improve performance, maximize hand use, and reduce fatigue. Appearing for the first time on a controller is the Sax or side action buttons that are located on the sides of the controller right about where your fingers naturally rest. Underneath you will find four paddles that like the Sax buttons are easily remapped and make it so your hands never have to leave the thumbsticks while simultaneously performing tasks such as reloading, jumping, or changing weapons.
If you are a fan of shooters, the Vantage features several trigger customizations, including adjustable hair triggers, lengths, stops, and tension.
One Touch Audio allows you to easily control audio by swiping the exclusive touch bar for volume or pressing down to mute. One Touch Audio only works in the wired mode when the headset is plugged in.
As with all SCUF controllers, the Vantage also features many physical customizations in the form of removable magnetic parts. Thumbsticks and D-Pads can easily be swapped out and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, faceplates can be changed to give your controller a new look, and you can also remove the vibration modules to reduce weight and turn off the vibration function.
All these extra features can make your gaming sessions more enjoyable as well as give you an edge over your competitors, but they also come at a premium cost. Starting at $169.99, the SCUF Vantage is currently available for sale in the United States and Canada.
For the record, I purchased the $199 wireless Vantage Controller at my own expense, I did not receive a promotional controller free of charge from SCUF.
The Cons Of Scuf Vantage
Unfortunately, one of the dark sides of early adopting cool new tech is that you may encounter a few bugs and quirks that need to be released into the wild before they can be corrected. Reports of the SCUF Vantage behaving badly for some, including myself, spread quickly over the internet.
Problems ranging from dead zones in one or both thumbsticks, drift, latency, to remapped buttons not being stored, and Bluetooth connectivity issues with the wireless version have cast a buyer beware red flag over the Advantage. SCUF has acknowledged the issues and stated they were hard at work on a firmware update that will fix these problems.
Of course, it’s disappointing when expensive new toys don’t perform as expected but despite the issues that I encountered, I wanted things to work out. After using the Vantage for about a week it started to get better, and I didn’t think I could go back to a standard DS4.
I was so excited the day my Vantage arrived. I immediately plugged it in and entered a Black Ops 4 multiplayer match with its default settings. Admittedly, it felt a little weird at first despite the fact that I’m familiar with the use of paddles from my Xbox Elite controller. My brain was untrained in the ways of Sax buttons and why did my DualShock now feel like an Xbox controller? It was a bit daunting at first, but after several tweaks and adjustments, I had found my perfect setup.
The first noticeable problem I encountered were the dead zones on my left thumbstick and unresponsive buttons, which is not ideal for playing an online shooter. I soon learned that the faceplate wasn’t quite seated correctly which was causing the unresponsive buttons, but the thumbsticks still behaved erratically. The next time I used the Vantage, I noticed that none of my button remapping had been saved. Perhaps, I did something wrong, so I checked the included manual and once again remapped buttons only to have them forgotten the next time I started up the PS4.
Then came the Bluetooth issues. I couldn’t turn on my PS4 with the SCUF in either wireless or wired mode, but that was nothing compared to the fact that the controller didn’t work at all as a wireless controller despite the fact that I paid extra to have that feature. Even in wired mode, I often had to disconnect the cord for it to pair back to my PS4.
SCUF Addresses Controller Issues
I was obviously frustrated and reached out to SCUF as well as searched the internet to see if others shared my experience. I was not alone! Seeing the potential in the Advantage, I was reluctant to send back the controller and was thrilled when SCUF agreed to discuss the issues I was having.
I talked with Matt, Jonas, and Duncan who is the CEO of SCUF. We addressed all of my issues, and I learned that an upcoming firmware patch/software reconfiguration tool will wipe out all the problems and could be coming as soon as next week. They have also discovered that the most common issues people are having seem to be more prevalent on those of us using the Vantage with a PS4 Pro and only affects a limited batch of the controllers. Going forward all new Vantage controllers should ship bug-free.
For me personally, the problem with the thumbstick has seemingly worked itself and I haven’t noticed the issue lately but for those of you still experiencing problems, the software reconfiguration tool will correct the dead zone issue. I’d also recommend removing the faceplate and sticks, then replace the sticks, press firmly down and slowly rotating them both clockwise and counterclockwise before replacing the faceplate.
Bluetooth connectivity issues will also be addressed once the software tool is released, but the team passed along some tips that will help out right now. It should also be noted that the remapping issue is also fixed by turning off the device before the console.
How To Fix SCUF Vantage Bluetooth Issue
- Reset the controller to default settings by pressing PS and Options buttons until the controller restarts.
- Restart your console by pressing the console’s power button.
- Remove all Bluetooth devices from your PS4’s Bluetooth devices menu.
- Pair your SCUF Vantage again following the manual’s pairing steps (start by pressing PS and Share buttons until the Light Bar flashes) and begin playing!
And then, once you finish your gaming session and before you turn off your console:
- Ensure that the Wired/Wireless switch is all the way to the right (Bluetooth mode)
- Press the PS Button until the Quick Menu appears.
- Select “Turn Off Device” under “Sound/Devices”
- Turn off your PS4 by pressing the console’s power button.
Another thing that should be noted, is that the hair-trigger adjustments are not created equally for all games. My initial setting was conducted using Black Ops 4 but caused permanent aiming down sights in Destiny 2. If you find the controller working for navigating the menus, but not in a game, it’s probably due to the hair triggers being over screwed.
The Vantage is a complicated piece of equipment that has a bit of a learning curve and a few kinks to work out but I’m going to give SCUF the benefit of the doubt and stick with them and the controller. Thanks to Matt, Jonas, and Duncan from SCUF for taking the time out to listen to my concerns as well as help me work out any issues I was having with the Vantage. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the Vantage removed all doubts that I had about the controller.