Mar 03, 2022
The Astro C40 is the latest of the growing number of professional-grade controllers that target the ever-growing esports market. It is designed to compete with the top-of-the-line competition like those of the Razer Raiju and the Xbox Elite Controller by offering gamers the highest levels of customizing software and hardware. Although the program is slightly unstable on PC and the price is exorbitantly high, if you're looking for the best pad that can elevate your gaming experience into the future will be struggling to beat it.
Its C40 is a sturdy and imposing gamepad that is hard to mistake with any other controller. It's entirely covered with a matte black rubberized material. It has an abrasive black plastic panel that covers the face, which holds buttons for the direction pad, analog stick, and buttons on the face. It weighs 11.2 ounces, considerably more heavy than the stock DualShock 4 and more than one ounce more than the bulky Xbox Wireless Controller. It's extremely comfortable in large hands, and the added weight gives it a solid feel without being heavy. There aren't any cosmetic options to customize the C40. The matte black gaming pad is the only one you can choose. The controller has customized faceplates that can be modified, but most of the controller's features are standard.
Alongside the heft and contours, there's also a pleasant rubber-like coating as well as some grooves on the back of the handle. These features make the controller feel as comfortable and functional as any other controller I've played with. Combine that with top-quality triggers and buttons that offer just the appropriate amount of resistance, and C40 is an absolute pleasure to play with.
Swapping sticks is an interesting process and requires a hex screwdriver mini (included within the packaging). If you've never cracked the controller's back before, it could be a bit intimidating; however, I found it to be easy using Astro's controller. After the front plate has been removed, the components can be swapped within a matter of seconds and then snap to the magnetic slot. After a bit of practice, in a position to complete the entire procedure in less than one minute. So, switching to a more d-pad-oriented sport similar to Shovel Knight is never a time-sink.
Software customization is available too. You can change every input to the next within minutes using Astro's software on computers. Settings are stored in the controller's local memory, so the changes remain the same regardless of what device you are using. The only issue is that Astro cannot allow reprogramming buttons on the touchscreen. For its PS4, the touchpad will be set to its original function; however, on the PC, it's practically useless. It's not a major issue in the grand scheme of things, but considering how flexible the rest of the controller is, it's a pity.
The C40 TR is a wireless controller with wired options; however, the wired port in the controller is not as efficient. Its micro USB connection that comes with the controller worked perfectly, however. The path required to get to a USB port is meant to protect the device; however, Astro might have gone overboard. These are minor issues and are easily overruled by the overall design and performance that the controller C40 TR offers. It's among the best gaming hardware that I've used that sets a new benchmark for high-end controllers. The value of $200 is between you and the student loan obligation.
If I'm paying $200 for an Xbox controller, I want this to be the sole PC or PS4 controller I'll ever need. If I'm playing games, it's the Astro C40 TR that can be far superior to its predecessor, the DualShock 4, in every imaginable way. It's also a fantastic PC controller. It's just that it's not able to switch on the PS4, which is why my older DualShock 4 always has to accompany me like an irritating twin brother. Although it could be due to a hardware limitation, it's a disappointment for many reasons. And it does not mean that the C40 TR's astronomically high price is any less palatable. A basic DualShock 4 will run you around $60 to $140 more than Astro's gaming pad. It's a significant price gap with a controller that's unable to perform basic tasks such as switching on the console regardless of who's responsible.
If you're in the market for a fashionable, custom PC/PS4 gamepad and aren't afraid to spend top-of-the-line keyboard money on it, you won't beat C40 TR. Don't let it away. DualShock 4 is out to pasture at this point. It's got a long time ahead of it due to its powered button which is a dedicated one.