If the C40 isn’t your first choice of controller for PS4 and PC, it should be.
- Developer: Astro
- Platform/s: PS4/PC
- Reviewed on: PS4/PC
- Supplied by: Astro
Astro has for years been a market leader (and my headset of choice), so it should spark some curiosity when such a strong brand applies its experience in making superb quality competitive gaming audio equipment to making a controller.
The outcome is the C40, a modular wireless controller for the PS4 and PC (I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an Xbox controller one day), which has that striking and aggressive Astro style; fully black with red and grey detailing, and a line pattern face plate surrounding the controls.
There is much more to the controller than style alone, with some of the design changes contrasting with the ergonomics of the dual shock.
The controller feels larger and more robust than a DS4. It has more of an Xbox controller’s shape, especially when it comes to the bumpers and triggers. Beyond that, the touchpad has been minimised and shaped to better fit into the overall design.
The overall build quality is superb, as you would expect from Astro, the whole controller is covered in a soft-touch material that feels strong but extremely comfortable and grippy. Even the triggers feel like they have been made of an extremely high-quality material; no part of this controller feels like a cut corner.
The fun of the C40 really begins when you get into the features, though, and as mentioned earlier, it is fully modular. The faceplate can be removed with four hex head screws freeing the three modules: two analogue sticks and a directional pad.
They can then be placed in any slot you wish, even with both analogue sticks on one side. A further accolade of the C40 is that you get two standard-height dome caps, one long concave cap, and a long dome cap that can be swapped out and interchanged, allowing you to fine-tune the controller to your liking.
As if that wasn’t enough, the controller also features two remappable buttons on the bottom that can be set to any control you like, and one last welcome feature is the adjustable triggers. Using two toggles on the back you can set how much travel you want your triggers to have.
This may seem to a lot of people like a pointless feature: I have had plenty ask me, “why don’t they just make the travel as low as possible?” I have actually had low travel set permanently on a previous controller, though the issue with that is it was great for Call of Duty, but I could barely get off the line in Gran Turismo, and Fortnite just picked and chose when it wanted to detect a trigger pull.
Some games will benefit from the full travel and some won’t even work properly or will be more difficult without it, so in my opinion, it is of paramount importance with any adjustable controller that the triggers can be set back to their full travel.
Lastly, the C40 has a built-in rechargeable battery: So far it has never died on me and seems to last a fairly long time.
The only shortfall I have found with the controller as a whole is that the analogues are damn hard to swap, to the point where I’m using an uncomfortable amount of force to swap them out for the long ones.
The Astro C40 has been an absolute pleasure to game on, from getting my backside handed to me in Split Gate to tearing through tracks on Gran Turismo. The sheer amount of customisation alone kept me entertained, not to mention the fact that it has made playing on PS4 so much more comfortable, this coming from a predominantly Xbox gamer.
I can without a doubt say that this is the best controller I have ever used.