Astro C40 TR controller evaluation: Is it definitely worth the cash?

In 2015, Microsoft launched the Elite, a high-end model of the Xbox One controller. It was instantly standard, regardless of costing greater than double what a regular controller price. 4 years later, Sony is but to supply an identical high-end controller choice for the PlayStation four. As an alternative, third-party hardware corporations have crammed that void with combined outcomes.
The Astro C40 TR is the primary PS4 controller I’ve used that bests Sony’s DualShock four. However the brand new controller comes at an astronomical worth.
The C40 TR prices $199.99. You might purchase 4 DualShock four controllers with that cash. Whether or not or not the controller is definitely worth the funding depends on plenty of elements, specifically what sort of video games you play, the place you play, and the way usually you play. In case your solutions are “shooters,” “PS4 and PC,” and “always” (and if in case you have the monetary means) this is perhaps the controller for you.

The Astro C40 TR works in another way than a conventional controller
Newcomers to the high-end controller market will possible marvel why anybody would spend this a lot for a controller that’s not encrusted with diamonds. The brief reply is aggressive benefit. Best controllers characteristic “again paddles” that enable the participant to maintain their fingers on the analog sticks and triggers always.
An instance: Let’s say it’s important to hit a face button to reload your gun. That break up second the place your thumb is transferring from the proper analog keep on with a face button is a second when somebody can flip the nook and kill you. Sustaining fixed contact with the analog sticks means with the ability to pull off difficult slides and bounce pictures, all whereas sustaining excellent intention. For fast-paced shooters it may well make a significant distinction on the highest ranges of play.
The C40 TR has fewer again paddles than a few of its competitors, at simply two, however even for hardcore gamers that ought to be lots. The great factor in regards to the again paddles on the C40 is that they’re constructed proper into the molding of the controller. They don’t appear like removable hangers-on, as is the case with the Scuff Vantage or the Xbox One Elite controller. Right here they match proper in with the design, resting the place the information of your center fingers fall on the again of the controller.
The controller feels proper. There’s a sturdiness to the C40 TR; it appears and feels prefer it might stand up to the wear and tear and tear of some thousand Overwatch matches. It’s received a heft, with out being too heavy. It’s a high-quality construct that doesn’t turn out to be exhausting to hold by way of an extended gaming session. Given the steep funding, this actually must be a controller that may survive for a number of years, and the C40 actually feels prefer it might climate the apocalypse.

The Astro C40 TR is extraordinarily customizable
Whereas best controllers accept a number of additional buttons and a few programmability, the C40 TR gives foolish ranges of customization. The splashiest characteristic is the flexibility to swap the placement of the analog sticks and d-pad. Relying readily available dimension, you could desire the off-set analogs of the Xbox One format or the symmetrical sticks of the DualShock four. I’ve all the time most well-liked the previous, and taking part in PS4 video games with my fingers in a extra snug place is an actual boon.
The stick-swapping course of is attention-grabbing, requiring using a mini hex screwdriver (included within the field). For those who’ve by no means cracked a controller open earlier than it could appear terrifying, however I discovered the method a breeze with Astro’s controller. As soon as the entrance plate is eliminated, the entire elements are swapped round in just some seconds, snapping into magnetic slots. With a bit observe I’m in a position to full the entire course of in simply over a minute. Because of this swapping to a extra d-pad oriented sport like Shovel Knight isn’t a time sink.
There’s software program customization as properly. I can reassign any enter from one button to a different in just some seconds utilizing Astro’s software program on a pc. Settings are all saved domestically on the controller itself, which means the adjustments will carry over it doesn’t matter what machine I’m taking part in on. The one disappointing limitation: Astro doesn’t enable reprogramming of the touchpad button. On the PS4 the touchpad will default to its regular operate, however on the PC it’s basically nugatory. It’s not a dealbreaker, however given simply how customizable the remainder of the controller is, it is a letdown.
One other hiccup: The C40 TR has wi-fi and wired modes, however the wired port on the controller is limiting. The micro USB cable included with the controller match tremendous, however plenty of different micro USB cables I had mendacity round the home weren’t slim sufficient. The passage required to succeed in the USB port is meant to be there for cover of the hardware, however Astro could have gone a bit overboard.
These points are clearly minor and simply trumped by the general design and performance of the C40 TR controller. It is without doubt one of the best items of gaming hardware I’ve ever used, setting a brand new high-end commonplace for controllers. Whether or not that’s price $200 is between you and your pupil mortgage debt.

The Astro C40 TR controller was reviewed with a unit supplied by Astro. You’ll find extra details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.

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