As a gamer for 30+ years, I have gone back and forth between PC and console and with each platform, there are pros and con to each ones type of controlling adapter. Be it a controller as simple as the NES 5 Button or the endless key bindings one can use with a PC keyboard and mouse. Every generation of gaming sees improvements in the way is allows the player to move and navigate as smoothly as they can, to get a total immersion sense, while experiencing the game. Some gamer’s, who have always played on PC, don’t understand the use of a controller, especially since the speed and reaction times of a mouse and keyboard are much faster then that of a handheld controller. At least, that how it used to be.
I concede that traditional controllers, while great for the consoles that have been made for, are just that; made for consoles. The speed and reaction times that have been programmed by their developers, are all locked in and while they can be adjusted in game menus, doesn’t really adjust the controller to what would be optimal. The problem becomes compounded when you try to use a controller for a system, like a PC, when it’s really not built to keep up with the game play of a PC. (Meaning that most PC games run at higher FPS, making the game feel faster, requiring faster responses from the player) The Astro C40 is where the game has finally changed, and players who prefer controllers, now have similar options to PC players.
The new Astro C40 controller is made and configured like a PS4/Pro controller. It’s size is a bit larger than a standard PS4/Pro controller, but smaller then an Xbox controller, and has a bit of weight to it as well. It has the standard PlayStation buttons,, along with side by side thumb-sticks and D-Pad. Also, on the top of the controller are the L1/L2 & R1/R2 bumper and triggers, respectively, and on the face of the controller you have the Option and Share buttons that flank the touch pad/button in the center. There is also the PS power button, located between the thumb-sticks, and the thumb-stick also act as the traditional L3&R3 buttons. Like the Xbox elite controllers, there are 2 buttons on the bottom, right next to where your fingertips would be, that can be mapped to any button of the players choosing. Along with those buttons, there are sliders that are called trigger stops, essentially allowing the player to get a full trigger pull, with only 25% of the trigger going down.
With the provided software, the controllers thumb sticks and triggers can all be adjusted to what ever sensitivity players feel most comfort with. This is similar to setting the DPI of a mouse, before adjusting any in game settings. Like previously stated you can quick fire in FPS games by toggling the trigger stops and setting the triggers sensitivities to max.
Then comes the best part of the controller, the Modular aspect. There are 4 hex screws that hold down the face plate of the controller and keep each section in place. Once loosened, the face plate can be removed, and the thumb-sticks and D-Pad can be interchanged to best suit the player. Their are red lines to guide placement, however its pretty straight forward. The tops of the thumb-sticks can also be swapped if the player chooses, with either convex or concave toppers, provided with the controller.
Packaging is quality, with a hard shell, zipper case, which houses the controller, 6′ charging cable, another quality piece as it is made with solid material, and reinforced around the charging connector. The case is also housed in a thick cardboard box, with a silhouette of the controller and the Astro logo. The packaging alone, makes you feel like someone took the time to protect the item they have worked so hard to make. And for $200, it better be safe in its box.
Overall, as a person who has played with both controllers and keyboards and mouse, I really love this controller. I am sure people will stick to their beliefs that there is not a controller that can stand up to a mouse an keyboard when it comes to PC gaming, however it’s really up to the person playing the game to make that decision. As a mid-30’s gamer, who doesn’t have the reaction time that I used to, my eye can’t keep up with the speed a mouse rotates screens and the slower, smoother rotation of a controller helps me play games. Also, after playing consoles for so long, not having the money for a decent PC for some time, I grew accustom to playing with a controller and find transitioning back to be difficult for some games. This controller allows me the benefit of having the controller in my hands, with the ability to change it’s layout and sensitivities, like gaming with a keyboard and mouse, however it will never have the same response time, and I OK with that.
- Solid design
- Solid packaging
- Easy to use software
- Easy to change layout
- Sensitivity adjusting
- High quality build
- Expensive, $199.99 USD (+$50.00 Optional 2Yr protection warranty)
- The grip is slick as wet dolphin skin
- With thumb-sticks off-set, share button hard to access
Astro Limited Warranty
*Make sure to register any product with Astro, as they offer limited warranty on most of their products which covers any factory issues with said product. So as longs as you didn’t break it, or cause it to break, they will RMA it and either fix it or send you a replacement.