Tech Up! Astro Gaming C40 TR PS4 Controller

By Luke Hemming 17.03.2020

Despite the somewhat astronomical cost, the C40 TR could potentially fill the elite controller gap in the PlayStation market by managing to sway even the most casual gamers with its high end build quality and features. Here's a thorough look at it.

For those considering themselves gaming professionals, a high quality controller with as much customisation as possible is a necessity as opposed to a luxury. For the rest of people, the initial thoughts of spending nearly four times as much on a controller is almost always met with scoffing and a bit of hatred towards the gaming elite. It's only until a hands on test of a piece of hardware like the C40 is given, however, that you begin to see all those "professionals" might actually have been on to something.

Image for Tech Up! Astro Gaming C40 TR PS4 Controller

 
From the initial unboxing, the C40 reeks of quality. Cradled in a lightweight but durable hard-case, it's comforting to know that the investing in such a large purchase will be safe from the most uncaring of hands. Lob it into a bag, transport across county lines, this isn't getting a scratch on it. With such favourable impressions giving by just by the quality of the case, finally unleashing the Astro C40 is just as awe-inspiring an experience.

Any previous misconceptions about why such a large amount of money can be spent on something as standard as a controller are quickly dismissed from as simple an act as wrapping fingers around hardware. This thing reeks of quality, and there are no concerns about any standard wear and tear affecting it in any way. It feels exciting to hold, as if something of such high a standard is going to rise gaming ability from substandard shooter fan to Rambo levels of precision and accuracy.
 
From the time spent on the C40, FPS stalwarts are certainly going to be the users getting the most out of this. With only a quick bash on the few shooters owned on this reviewer's system, it already feels difficult to imagine the thought of triggers over the set of paddles installed at the rear of the hardware. Moulded comfortably into the C40 also seems like a welcome change over some other 'Elite' Controllers on other systems. Even for somebody not blessed with the intricate knowledge of what is required to succeed in shooters at a competition levels, the speed increase of a quick back tap over a stretch to a top trigger feels like the split second that was the difference between frustration and domination.

Image for Tech Up! Astro Gaming C40 TR PS4 Controller

 
One set of paddles isn't the most comprehensive compared to others on the market but they certainly feel like enough. Triggers also have an interesting feature of how far they depress, which allowed for some quick shots without waiting for the full depress from stationary position to the base of the controller. Assigning a short depress while racing also made for quick braking and sharp turns. These are features never considered before, but seem natural and godlike when using regularly.
 
Catering to any migraters also, the included screwdriver allows a quick and simple button configuration change more akin to a standard Xbox Controller. On personal preference, this has always felt a more comfortable fit for the majority of games. As a fan of platformers requiring inch perfect precision too however, one of the main concerns would be how quickly it would be to flip back and forth between layouts. Add to that taking apart a piece of hardware that feels so sturdy and expertly put together feels wrong on almost every level, even more so to yours truly, who has never experienced anything more than taking joy-cons out of their dock. Thankfully, pins are easily removed quickly, and everything slots back into place without ever feeling loose due to the magnetic slots firmly holding everything securely until all screws are locked back in.
 
With a bit of time experimenting it's easy to get this process down quicker than a Witcher 3 loading screen. The software to compliment the C40 was no issue to use, and it's easy to get lost in how much tweaking is on offer with the options of trigger and stick sensitivity, audio and rumble options, as well as button configuration changes, as expected. This reviewer also loved the idea of all changes being saved to a specific profile to make for an easy sync, and a quick switch between the two at a touch of a button. Add to this the software sporting as much of a professional polish as the controller itself, and its hard to find fault in such easy to use software.

Image for Tech Up! Astro Gaming C40 TR PS4 Controller

 

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
As with anyone who sees themselves firmly in the camp of casual, recreational gaming, the £189.99 price point is always going to be a bit of a sticky wicket for the uninitiated. After spending so much time with the C40 however it's hard to imagine ever going back to what was considered, in this reviewers eyes, as controllers simply being a means to an end when gaming. The Astro C40 has quickly become a necessity, and will easily win over any players wanting to take a punt of really upgrading their hardware. The sheer build quality and professionalism involved in the project means reaching for any other controller is not even a decision that needs to be wrestled with. It has even managed to convince this casual that the pros know what is needed to compete. It won't be at all surprising to see the Astro C40 as the standard in any competition, televised or otherwise. Take the leap, this is what control should feel like.

 

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