Astro C40 Gaming Controller Review | TechSwitch

    The Astro C40 is an undeniably costly luxurious, however its stellar customisation choices, ergonomic design and top-notch wi-fi efficiency justify its hefty price ticket.

    Superb ranges of customisation
    Comfortable, ergonomic design
    Stable wi-fi connectivity
    Great battery life

    Software might be buggy
    Very, very, very costly

    Key Specifications
    Review Price: £189.99
    RF Transmitter: 2.4Ghz Wireless
    Latency: 5ms
    Battery Type: Lithium Ion Rechargeable
    Audio: 3.5mm Jack
    Data/Power – Micro USB
    Weight: 310g
    Dimensions L:168 mm W:108 mm H: 53mm
    PS4/PC compatibility

    The Astro C40 is the most recent in a rising wave of professional-grade controllers focusing on the rising esports market.
    It goals to tackle high canine competitors such because the Razer Raiju and Xbox Elite Controller by providing players unprecedented ranges of {hardware} and software program customisability.
    While the software program is a bit temperamental on PC and its price ticket is eye wateringly excessive, these after a best-in-class pad to assist take your aggressive gaming to the subsequent stage will battle to do higher than the Astro C40.
    Related: Best PS4 video games

    Design – An reply to the Xbox Elite controller
    The Astro C40 is designed to work with PC and PS4. As a end result, its button structure is tailor-made to Sony’s console, not Microsoft’s out of the field. But that doesn’t cease it having a unique appear and feel to competing controllers with the identical structure, just like the Razer Raiju Ultimate Edition.
    For starters the controller’s barely smaller, that includes 168 x 108 x 53mm dimensions. This makes it really feel way more just like the common DualShock 4 than its Razer competitors.
    But, like all esports pads, the controller options additional set off inputs on its again. You’ll additionally see neat purple switches, which can be utilized to regulate the actuation level of the pad’s triggers – like those seen on the Razer Wolverine and Raiju Ultimate.
    If the characteristic set sounds acquainted, it ought to. Pretty a lot each esports controller has an identical characteristic set. And when you’re simply going to make use of it as it’s out of the field, there’s little to justify why you’d pay a lot, particularly when the Xbox Elite 2 and Razer Raiju Tournament are each noticeably cheaper, retailing at £169.99 and £149.99 respectively.
    However, when you’re an influence person, or plan to apply it to PC, there are a selection of key perks that assist justify the Astro C40’s elevated asking value. The largest from a design perspective is its extra elegant and strong customisation system. Pretty a lot each esports controller allows you to swap out issues just like the controller’s joysticks and d-pad, and the Astro is not any exception.
    Out of the field you’ll be handled to a alternative of two commonplace domed caps, plus one tall concave and one tall domed cap. Online it’s also possible to buy a disk module to exchange the d-pad. These choices are commonplace, however what makes them stand above their Razer competitors, is the usage of a screw, not magnetic swap out mechanism.

    The Razer Raiju’s magnetic customisation system – which helps you to change which caps you utilize simply by pulling the previous ones off and slotting the brand new ones in – is nice for velocity and comfort. But with long-term use, the mechanism has some shortcomings. The docking mechanism can loosen over time, resulting in inaccuracies.
    Which is why I desire the C40’s, Elite-like, screw system. Here you need to manually take away a plate from the entrance of the controller. This might be executed with most accurately sized screwdrivers, although the controller consists of an “upgrade” device out of the field. From there, you need to take away and change the components you need to tweak and re-attach the plate. The system is extra fiddly, nevertheless it results in improved construct high quality and makes the controller really feel considerably extra sturdy and barely extra correct than its magnetic competitors.
    The system additionally has one superb characteristic you received’t discover on competing pads – you’ll be able to swap the areas of the joysticks and D-pad. This means the Astro C40 is without doubt one of the solely pads round that may be customised to have the identical joystick/d-pad association as each the Xbox One and Playstation controllers.
    My solely minor quibble is that the left entrance button inputs switches aren’t fairly as tactile and responsive as those seen on the Razer Raiju Ultimate. Though they’re nonetheless a minimize above the marginally spongy inputs you’ll get on common Dualshocks, so that is hardly a deal-breaker.
    Related: Best gaming headset 

    Software – nice when it really works
    The improved tweakability extends to the C40’s button mapping. Using the controller on PC, you’ll be requested to obtain Astro’s controller configuration software program, which does just about precisely what it says on the tin.
    It allows you to remap and regulate crucial issues like sensitivity on just about each one of many controller’s inputs. As an added perk the controller can retailer two configurations domestically, so that you received’t have to begin from scratch when you join it to a second PC.
    The software program options an awesome UI that makes remapping a trivial matter and is the perfect expertise I’ve had because the Steam Controller – although that comes with its personal efficiency points I received’t focus on right here.
    The solely draw back is that the software program doesn’t work with the PS4 and at instances might be extremely buggy. For causes I nonetheless can’t clarify, the software program wouldn’t recognise the C40 on among the PCs I examined it on.
    On quite a lot of events, it will merely begin and say no controller was related, even when the C40 was related to a USB 2.0 port, utilizing the included micro-USB cable. The situation is especially annoying because it means the PC received’t recognise the controller in any respect when gaming.
    The solely workaround I discovered was to enter the PC’s system settings and manually power the machine to view the C40 as an Xbox 360 distant. This meant it will work for gaming, however the configuration software program nonetheless wouldn’t recognise it, eradicating one of many key causes you’d need it.

    Connectivity and battery – dependable wi-fi and event stamina
    Thankfully that was just about the one situation I had with the C40. The controller options the identical wired and wi-fi connectivity because the Razer Raiju and Xbox Elite 2. But the inclusion of a 2.4GHz dongle for PC makes connection stability noticeably higher than Razer’s Bluetooth connectivity. To date, I’m but to expertise any latency utilizing the controller, even when gaming wirelessly.
    I additionally discovered Astro’s quoted 12-hour battery life is, for essentially the most half, correct, which suggests even essentially the most avid of players ought to be capable to get a full day’s use out of it earlier than having to recharge.
    Related: Best PC video games
    Should you purchase the Astro C40?
    If you’re an informal PS4 gamer, then no. You shouldn’t purchase the Astro C40, even you probably have the money to burn. With pricing set at practically £200, the Astro C40 is full overkill for anybody however essentially the most aggressive and hardcore of players.
    But, when you’re a budding esports athlete or a hardcore gamer on the lookout for a brand new gamepad, you’ll battle to do higher than the Astro C40. The controller affords unparalleled customisability and is without doubt one of the finest constructed pads I’ve examined, even within the high finish peripherals market. This, plus its stellar wi-fi connectivity and cozy, ergonomic design make it probably the greatest gamepads in the marketplace.

    Deputy Editor

    After graduating from King’s College London, Alastair began his profession overlaying authorities expertise coverage and cyber safety at The International Business Times. He later joined Incisive Media as…

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