Scruff App Review — Has Grindr Met Its Match?

Recently, we spent one full week on Scruff. We used it at various hours of the day and night to get a proper feel for what it has to offer. This is our Scruff app review.

Scruff app review

Scruff App Review
  • Popularity - 84
  • Value - 89
  • Features - 87
  • Quality of Members - 82
  • Safety - 84
  • Customer Satisfaction - 80

Final Word on Scruff

The new incarnation of Scruff, in our opinion, breathes new life to hookup apps for the gay community. It does not alienate those seeking purely physical encounters, but it does not ignore those seeking kinder and gentler matchups. With a free version that is powerful, we feel that it merits attention and that it makes a good complement to Grindr. We rate the Scruff app as VERY GOOD.

— Pros and Cons of Scruff —


  • Available for iPhone, Android and Windows phones
  • Free version is very robust and full featured
  • Large and engaging user base
  • Can be used for casual sexual hookups, serious relationships or platonic friendship


  • Some community event announcements are from areas too distant to your location
  • Lack of a browser version

— in Depth Scruff App Review —

scruff app homepage

For years, the premier hookup app for the gay community has been Grindr. As vastly popular as that app is, its own users often voice disdain for it. While effective at finding “anything goes” style hookups, Grindr is not so effective when you are looking for an encounter with added nuance. Don’t get us wrong, a hookup will always be casual in nature — yet, not every encounter that you will want to have will always need to be “intense.” Sometimes you want some variety — some choice.

While not as widely known as Grindr, a hookup app known as Scruff has been gaining favor in the gay community. In existence since 2010, Scruff recently relaunched with a huge makeover. Calling the revamped version of itself “Scruff 5,” the app now has more depth and functionality. This, in turn, has garnered a renewed interest from the public.

scruff 5 redesigned

One of the stated aims of Scruff in modernizing their app was to expand its sense of community. In other words, they did not want to lose the free-spirited and open-minded nature of the community that they had already fostered, but they also wanted to expand outward in order to be welcoming to even more members of the gay community.

— Downloading and Installing the Scruff App —

scruff app

Scruff is available only as a mobile app. There is no desktop or browser-based version. It is available for iPhone and Android devices, as well as Windows phones. It is downloadable for free at those platforms’ respective repositories. Installation is fast and only requires you to agree to the permissions requested by the app. These will include accessing your GPS or IP-based location data.

— How to get Started on Scruff —

To get started on Scruff you must first build your profile. This is a simple process and involves selecting up to five different types of men that you are attracted to. The options include bears, military, daddies, geeks, college types, the boy next door — the list of categories is quite vast. Then you must provide a valid email and choose a password that you will use to access your account. The email that you provide can be used to validate your account via a validation link, but we find it much easier to validate your account opting for SMS validation. This method requires you to enter a four-digit PIN that is sent to your phone via SMS message.

After your account has been validated you are prompted to expand your profile. Don’t worry, the process is fast and painless. You are given the option to enter information regarding your physical attributes such as your height, weight, body type, eye color, hair color and length, the presence of body hair, etc. You can also mention your ethnicity if you choose. Additionally, you can select from various communities and interests that appear in a menu format. We suggest adding as many communities and interests that are genuinely appealing to you. This helps the Scruff algorithm pair you up with prospective matches.

In our test, we found that the more robust and sincere our profile, the better luck we had in engaging with like-minded men. It is during the profile building stage that you should also include a few lines about what you are seeking. Be honest — if all you want is no-strings-attached action, say so. If you want to explore something with possible long-term implications, be honest about it. If you just want to meet up for coffee and have a platonic buddy relationship, be clear about that as well. We found that on Scruff you will find what you seek as long as you are upfront about it. Besides, if your mood or desires changes you can always modify your profile whenever you wish.

Before we forget, one very important part of your Scruff profile is your profile image. On Scruff it must show your face and while it can be sensual, it cannot be overtly pornographic.

— Scruff User Experience —

The basic functionality of the Scruff app revolves around matching. In other words, you are served with a predetermined number of daily matches that you can choose to ignore or attempt to strike up a conversation. Free users receive 100 such local matches and 40 long-distance matches every day. If you are looking for something purely physical, a quick look at a match’s profile pic will give you an idea if it’s someone worth pursuing. If you seek something more meaningful, a read through their profile can fill you in on their likes and outlooks on life. Either way, if one of your daily matches tickles your fancy you can send a message to them with a simple tap on their profile.

Scruff also offers a feature called “ScruffMatch.” This works like Grindr, it’s a swiping feature that allows you to swipe left to indicate “not for me” or swipe right for “I’m interested.” Some users of Scruff use ScruffMatch for their casual encounters and the standard daily matches to find more long-term worthy pairings.

Scruff also offers a feature called “ScruffVenture.” Maybe it was due to our location, but in our testing, we got the most responses to our messages when using this feature. This connects you to other members of nearby communities and cities, It lets you know who is connected so you can start chatting immediately. Also, it lists events based on your interests that are happening nearby. This way, you can expand your matchmaking circle to other geographic regions, or within your own area, but in public venues.

scruff ventures

— Cost of Scruff—

The free version of Scruff is very powerful. Honestly, unless you are planning on being a serious power user you can enjoy meeting new people quite easily with the free version alone. You have access to the full communication package with the free version. The only limits that are placed on you relate to the number of regular matches and Scruffmatches that you can view in a 24-hour period. Even so, the daily quotas are more than generous for most users. An added benefit of the Pro upgrade is that when you conduct searches you can filter the results by a wide selection of criteria. The cost for the Pro upgrade is $14.99 per month.