The Astro C40 gaming contoller comes from an organization much better identified for its headsets. For years, save for the odd dabble in life-style gear, headsets have been Astro’s declare to fame.
Maybe it’s time that adjustments, although. I’ve spent the final month or so enjoying round with the Astro C40, and whereas it’s not a excellent gadget, it’s clear Astro’s trademark consideration to element may benefit all kinds of premium peripherals.
Of course, it’s going to value you. Astro’s headsets are typically not low-cost. Neither is the C40, retailing for a staggering $200. For context, that’s about 3 times the price of a traditional PlayStation 4 controller, and $50 greater than Microsoft’s high-end Xbox One Elite Controller.
That mentioned, the C40 is about on a par with SCUF’s PS4-compatible Vantage line, and isn’t too way more costly than Razer’s Wolverine. Premium controllers are dear.
The C40 does fairly a bit to justify its price ticket. It’s constructed like a tank, initially—however a tank wrapped in clouds. It’s hefty, however coated in soft-touch plastic that’s each bit as luxurious right here as it’s on Astro’s headsets. When we obtained the Xbox One Elite Controller just a few years in the past I fell head-over-heels in love with it. The C40 is the primary rival I’ve discovered that had the identical fast, out-the-box affect. It seems like a $200 controller.
It additionally has some tips I haven’t seen anyplace else. The C40’s foremost gimmick? It’s a PlayStation 4 controller that’s joyful to accommodate Xbox followers. By default the C40 ships with the PlayStation 4’s normal structure, that means two analog sticks facet by facet. Dig round within the case and also you’ll discover a small hex driver although, with which you’ll be able to take away 4 screws and subsequently a boomerang-shaped plastic faceplate.
Once eliminated, the analog sticks and D-pad pop proper out. In a matter of seconds you possibly can rearrange this PlayStation 4 controller so it has the offset analog sticks of an Xbox controller.
The C40 isn’t the primary PlayStation controller with staggered sticks—the SCUF Vantage line I discussed earlier options an Xbox-like structure. The means to shuttle is new although, as you would simply as simply swap again to a PlayStation structure for sure titles.
Will you? Hard to say. I really feel prefer it’s in all probability a change you make as soon as after which it’s completed. I strongly favor the Xbox’s stick association, and I’m certain Sony’s DualShock 4 devotees really feel the identical in reverse. It’s arduous to think about anybody going by the cumbersome unscrew-and-swap course of day after day, however…properly, the choice’s there.
Another trick that’s distinctive to the C40: It contains its personal wi-fi transmitter. The PlayStation 4 normally connects by Bluetooth, however Astro’s omitted that from the C40 in favor of a 2.4GHz wi-fi transmitter. That could be annoying for PlayStation house owners, and it’s undoubtedly a bit odd there’s no Bluetooth assist, nevertheless it comes with advantages on the PC—specifically decrease latency and better reliability.
As a facet observe, Bluetooth is normally reserved for high-end desktop motherboards, so it’s nice to have a tool that works seamlessly with what’s within the field. No further Bluetooth dongle buy required—nor do you should purchase a separate proprietary wi-fi dongle, as you’d for the Xbox One Elite Controller. Factor that in, and also you’ve narrowed the worth hole between the C40 and Elite.
It’s value noting that the C40’s battery life is improbable. Sony’s first-party controllers are infamous for fairly poor battery life. Even model new, you’re fortunate to see six to eight hours per cost. Astro lists the C40 at 12 hours or extra, relying on rumble depth and so forth.
Anyway, the remainder is fairly normal for high-end controllers, even when it looks like a novelty to these upgrading. The C40 contains three pairs of analog sticks: concave, convex, and a set of taller sticks, one concave and the opposite convex. I’ve heard scattered studies that put on and tear on sticks is occurring quicker than you’d anticipate, however I haven’t seen any issues myself but.
On the rear you’ll discover set off stops, enabling both full-analog set off pulls (for racing video games, and many others.) or shorter on/off activations (for shooters). Above which can be two further sliders: One swaps between wired and wi-fi modes, the opposite between two profile configurations.
The C40 additionally contains two grip buttons constructed into the rear of the controller, which might duplicate the face buttons or be mapped to clicking within the sticks, the latter of which I admire. And whereas it’s in all probability best to do any remapping inside Astro’s software program, there’s additionally a button on the rear that permits for on-the-fly adjustments. That’s a neat novelty.
Let’s speak about Astro’s software program although, as a result of it’s a reasonably versatile instrument for lovers. Remapping might be the perform folks will use most, and it’s value mentioning you possibly can remap any button. Want to swap the D-pad and face buttons for some purpose? Or map the bumpers to the D-pad? You can.
Astro additionally contains power graphs for the triggers and sticks, and it’s right here you possibly can actually dig into the C40 and make it your individual. For occasion, you would make it so transferring the stick even 20 % of the way in which is the same as a full 100-percent tilt, or give your self a bigger lifeless zone for extra finesse. The identical goes for the triggers: Those typically want much less tweaking, however you possibly can be sure to have a 100-percent pull on the set off stops it doesn’t matter what sport you’re enjoying.
My one criticism: You must plug within the C40 to tweak it, however you probably have the wi-fi dongle plugged in as properly then the software program defaults to making an attempt to replace the dongle’s firmware, with no method to click on previous and see the controller settings. You want to unplug the dongle. Not an enormous deal, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly complicated and unintuitive. At first I believed I’d someway bricked the C40.
The solely factor that holds me again from wholeheartedly recommending the Astro C40 is its value. $200 is some huge cash, even for a high-end controller. To its credit score, the C40 does greater than the Xbox One Elite Controller and SCUF’s varied choices, however is it sufficient? Hard to say—particularly on PC, the place the Xbox controller remains to be the default for many video games.
Still, I’ve so few issues with the C40 itself. Great battery life, dependable connectivity, sturdy construct high quality, set off stops, grip buttons…the C40 does all of it. Plus, it’s a PlayStation controller you possibly can arrange with offset sticks. There are cheaper methods to perform that, however I’m not complaining. If you could have the cash to spare, the C40 might be one of the best third-party controller accessible in the present day.