Controllers are arguably the most important part of the console & PC gaming experience. Most people are totally content with the packed-in controller, and the vast majority of third-party controller options are less than desirable. Every so often a device comes around that makes that core gaming experience a little better. Astro Gaming, a company mostly known for its audio devices and heavy involvement in esports, recently expanded into the gaming controller market with their pro-centric C40. And after a few weeks of continuous play on both a PlayStation 4 and my Macbook, I can safely say this is one of the best controllers I’ve ever used.
I’ll be first to admit that I’m definitely one of those guys who never really saw the appeal of a controller other than whatever came with my console. So when I caught word of the Astro C40, I wrote it off initially. Sure it’s a competitor to the excellent Xbox Elite Controller and those extra buttons really do help with shooters and racing games, but I wasn’t really sold on the idea of a premium-price controller for the PlayStation. It wasn’t until I learned about the defining feature of the C40 that got me interested. You can swap the controls.
The ability to change up the controls to mimic an Xbox One controller as well as swap out the stick length and even the sensitivity of almost every button really appealed to me. The controls felt great on their own out of the box, but just having the option to make my left trigger respond a bit quicker made the difference for me in fast-paced games like Destiny and Devil May Cry V. As far as the overall feel of the controller goes, the Astro C40 is one of the densest-feeling controllers I’ve held in a very long time. Its lightly rubberized grips and Nintendo-like D-pad makes this controller the complete package for anyone looking for an alternative to the standard PS4 gamepad or a very premium PC controller. Premium is not an understatement when talking about the Astro C40. While the controller feels fantastic, the customization is unlike anything else on the market, and the audio quality from the C40 is on par with Sony’s official controller… but it comes at a hefty price tag. The Astro C40 currently costs $200, and while that is definitely in the Apple price tier, I can’t help but feel like you really get what you pay for here.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for an upgrade to the standard PS4 controller, or are big into shooters or something that puts you in that “hardcore” gamer scene, then the Astro C40 is absolutely worth looking into.
Astro Gaming sent Nick a C40 Tournament Edition for review.