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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Best “Pro” Premium Game Controllers

The modern game controller is a surprisingly effective piece of precision engineering. But if you want even more custom options and a dash of premium materials, there are even better options out there.

These “pro” controllers, called by different names and coming from different suppliers, are the Cadillac to the standard controller’s Chevy. They come with extra buttons and triggers, control bindings that can be adjusted on the fly, and even parts that can be swapped or precision-tuned by the end user. For gamers who want a frankly ludicrous amount of customization, and hopefully the tiny edge that will grant them victory in online and local games, there are no better options.

Just be prepared to pay for the luxury. These controllers are niche, high-end accessories, costing twice as much as a regular first-party console controller or more (which isn’t exactly cheap on its own).

The Best PlayStation 4 Pro Controller: SCUF Vantage Controller ($170)

scuf, vantage, controller, pro controller, wireless

Sony doesn’t offer a super-premium version of its much-loved Dual Shock controller, but third-party supplier SCUF Distributing is ready to pick up the slack. The boutique manufacturer’s Vantage controller offers no less than six extra buttons over the standard DS4: two extra side-shoulder buttons near the first knuckle of either index finger, and four secondary “paddle” triggers on the back for your middle and ring fingers. The front allows the player to swap out different D-Pad options (including a full Nintendo-style cross or a “disc” for easy diagonal movement) and different grips on the analog sticks.

The customization options don’t end there. The primary triggers have two plastic covers for length choices, with adjustable tension springs for both. Even the vibration motors can be removed to reduce the controller’s weight. An integrated volume slider unfortunately only works in wired mode. For those players who want a truly unique controller, SCUF offers custom paint jobs for a surcharge.

And speaking of charges, they’re steep. The wired version of the SCUF Vantage starts at $170 without color choices. The wireless version, which can work in wired mode as well and comes with a freebie carrying case, costs a cool $200.

The Best Xbox One and PC Pro Controller: Microsoft Xbox Elite Controller ($150)

xbox one, elite, elite controller, pro controller, wireless

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