Astro C40 TR Gaming Controller Review: Best PS4 & PC Controller

The Astro brand has been well known for its high-end gaming headsets. However, since its acquisition by Logitech, Astro has entered a new market, the premium gaming controller market. The Astro C40 TR is the first non-headset related item from Astro, a premium controller targeted towards PS4 and PC gamers. The C40 TR sports a sturdy yet premium design, great customizability, paddles and more. But at a price of $200, which almost rivals the price of a console, is it worth it?

Unboxing

The front of the C40 box displays the Astro and PlayStation logos as well as Astro’s CR and TR branding.

astro c40 unboxing

The back of the box showcases many of the C40’s features including: Replaceable Thumbstick Caps, Swappable Thumbstick Modules, Mappable Paddles, Trigger Stops, Wireless Connectivity and 12+ Hour Battery Life.

astro c40 tr unboxing

The inside of the box has a graphic of the C40 TR breaking down the various buttons.

astro c40 box

The C40 TR is considered to be tournament ready, which is what TR stands for. So like other premium gaming controllers, it comes with a carrying case, which can store the controller as well as its cables, Wi-Fi dongle, customization tool and extra thumb sticks.

astro c40 review

The additional thumbsticks and tools for the C40 TR are hidden in a neatly organized section under the controller.

astro c40 accessories

Design

The Astro C40 is a heavy and premium feeling controller that sports a soft-touch rubbery exterior that feels great in your hands. It is mostly black with minor red accents on the buttons. The analog sticks are larger than standard PS4 and Xbox One controllers, which allows for better control in most games. The analog sticks are also made of metal which adds to the already spectacular and premium feel of this controller.

astro c40 case

The C40 controller of course has all the normal buttons and touchpad one would expect from a regular PS4 controller in addition to two “paddles” on the rear side of the controller that can be programmed to mimic any button of your choice.

astro c40 tr review

The C40 also offers trigger stops that allow one to decrease travel time of the trigger, this can be very helpful in shooters where you can virtually shoot faster than players using regular controllers. Additionally, the C40 has a switch that allows the user to toggle between two separate profiles that can be set in the Astro software, which we will cover later in the review as well as a switch to toggle between wired and wireless mode.

astro c40 paddles
The C40’s trigger stops and paddles.

Overall, the C40 design is great and offers pretty much everything a gamer could ask for. The only thing some might consider a downside to this controller is that it only offers two as opposed to four paddles. However, you’ll likely never need four paddles and in our experience two paddles is perfect as is it difficult to manage four.

elite series 2 paddles
The Xbox Wireless Elite Controller Series 2 with four paddles installed.

Customizability

The Astro C40 TR offers extremely robust customization, even before diving into its software. The two rear paddles can be easily configured by simply holding down any button and tapping the rear paddle you want to mimic the button you are holding down.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the C40 is that you can remove the front plate of the controller with a provided tool. This not only allows you to swap analog sticks with other options that feature longer or shorter lengths or different textures, but also allows you to offset the analog sticks to resemble the Xbox One controller design.

astro c40 controller review
Here’s the default/PS4 configuration.
astro c40 ps4
Removing the left thumbstick and d-pad.
astro c40 disassembly
This configuration mimics an Xbox One controller’s layout.

The Astro C40 TR software, supported for both windows and Mac, is one of the best we have ever used. It allows you to re-map every button present on the controller and save them to two different profiles which are interchangeable via a switch on the back of the controller.

astro c40 configuration software

Additionally, the software allows you to adjust the sensitivity of both the analog sticks and triggers.

astro c40 software
astro c40 tr configuration software

The app offers real time measurement of the sensitivity so you can test it out as you adjust it to feel how it will perform in game. You can of course set various profiles for different games/consoles.

astro c40 controller configuration software

The software also allows you to adjust the rumble intensity, brightness of LED lights, and the C40’s built-in speaker.

astro c40 tr software
Rumble intensity and LED brightness.
astro c40 controller software
The C40’s speaker options.

Compared to Other Premium Controllers

Astro C40 TR vs. Razer Raiju

The Razer Raiju Tournament Edition is a decent PS4 controller. However, we are not a big fan of its paddle design and overall size. The Raiju Tournament Edition does have a companion app that allows mapping of buttons, but it does not support swappable parts like the C40. Perhaps the best thing about the Raiju, is that it uses low latency buttons that feel almost like the click of a mouse. This can be great if your game of choice requires fast button presses like fighting games. Overall, we think the Astro C40 TR is the superior controller even though it is $50 more. The only reason to choose the Raiju over the C40 is if you only play games that require extremely fast button presses.

razer raiju tournament edition
Razer Raiju Tournament Edition

The Razer Raiju Ultimate ($199) is more expensive than the Tournament Edition ($149) and is a better match for the Astro C40. Unlike the Tournament Edition the Ultimate does offer swappable parts that include, different size sticks and D-pad.

razer raiju ultimate
Razer Raiju Ultimate (front)

However, it does not allow for offsetting thumbsticks, and its overall size is quite bulky. We still believe the Astro C40 is the superior offering.

razer raiju ultimate paddles
Razer Raiju Ultimate (back)

Astro C40 TR vs. Scuf Vantage 2

The Scuf vantage is the most premium offering from Scuf, the company that practically invented premium controllers over a decade ago. The vantage offers more swappable parts that include, rumbles, faceplates, analogue sticks, grips, d-pads, and more. Scuf also has a dedicated software for customizing the controller, but we found it somewhat confusing. Additionally, Scuf controllers feel cheap when compared to the Astro C40.

scuf vantage 2
Scuf Vantage 2 (front)

We have owned a total of 5 Scuf controllers, both Xbox and PS4 variants, all of which broke within 6 months of use. This is the reason we just can’t recommend Scuf controllers. However, if you are solely looking to fully customize your controller with specific colors and designs and are willing to take a chance with Scuf’s poor craftsmanship, then by all means go with the vantage. But the Astro C40 TR is the superior offering by almost all accounts.

scuf vantage 2 paddles
Scuf Vantage 2 (back)

Astro C40 TR vs. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2

The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is great! This is an extremely difficult comparison, since both controllers feel extremely premium and are both highly customizable. The Elite Series 2 controller employs the use of magnets when swapping analog sticks or the D-pad, while the C40 requires the use of a tool to unscrew the front plate. The magnets allow these adjustments to feel effortless, but it does not allow for the analogue sticks to be placed next to each other mimicking the PS4 design.

xbox wireless elite controller series 2 review
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (front)

While with the C40s, you can have it whichever way you prefer. Both of their respective software applications allow button mapping, stick and trigger adjustments and rumble vibration. Since they are supported by different consoles, we recommend getting whichever controller is supported by your console of choice. However, if you are a PC gamer, we give the slight edge to the Astro C40 TR due to its ability customize the placement of the analogue sticks.

elite series 2 paddles
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (back)

Conclusion

The Astro C40 TR is an outstanding product, especially considering it is the first controller offered by Astro Gaming. It is by far the best premium controller offered for the PS4 and slightly edges out the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 for best overall controller, in our opinion. Its premium design is both durable and comfortable for long gaming sessions and its many physical and software-based customization options allows it to fit the preference of just about any gamer.

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At $179, it is by no means cheap. However, all its rivals are similarly priced: the Rzer Raiju is $149, the Scuf vantage 2 is $169 and its closest competitor, the Elite Series 2 is also $179. Overall, if you are on the market for a stylish, customizable and premium feeling PS4/PC controller, we highly recommend the Astro C40 TR!

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Summary
Review Date
Author Rating
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Product Name
Astro C40 TR
Price
179.99