Controllers can make or break your gaming experience, so how do you know which is best for you? We’ve tested out the best premium controllers money can buy to help you make a decision.
Astro C40 TR
$200 at Amazon
- Swappable D-pad and thumbstick modules
- Free configuration software
- Fewer extra remappable buttons
- Needs dongle for wireless connection
The Astro C40 TR is for players who value the versatility provided by swapping the placements of your D-pad and analog sticks.
SCUF Vantage (wireless)
$200 at GameStop
- Interchangeable faceplate customization
- More remappable buttons/paddles
- Audio touch bar
- No app/software support
- Cannot adjust vibration modules to different levels
The SCUF Vantage caters to those who like to physically customize their controllers right down to the triggers and faceplate.
Which model is for you?
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be comparing the wireless SCUF Vantage model to the Astro C40 TR, which is the only C40 model that Astro offers. SCUF also offers a wired Vantage controller that’s slightly less expensive than its wired counterpart, and packs the same features.
What’s the difference?
Both controllers are premium products that appeal to the professional gaming crowd, but they offer differences in a few key areas that could make or break your purchasing decision. Is it important for you to switch the positions of your D-pad and thumbstick? Do you need six or only two extra buttons? One may suit your needs better than the other.
|Dimensions||4.25″ x 6.5″ x 2.5″||4.25″ x 6.61″ x 2.09″|
|Thumbsticks||Offset||Symmetrical or offset|
|Triggers||Hair trigger||Hair trigger|
|Extra remappable buttons||Yes (6)||Yes (2)|
What these features mean to you
You may not be familiar with some of the above features and what role they play on your controller, so I’ll break them down for you to help you make a better decision as to which controller is right for you.
Hair trigger mode
Hair triggers enable faster shooting by only needing a small amount of pressure on the trigger for it to register in-game, thus cutting down on the time it takes to get a shot off. It may not seem like it, but even just milliseconds make all the difference in a fast-paced multiplayer FPS. Both controllers, in this regard, offer hair triggers.
Swappable D-pad and thumbstick placement
This is what makes the Astro C40 TR truly interesting. While most premium controllers allow you to swap out various parts like their thumbsticks and D-pads, you usually can’t swap their placement. No matter what type of D-pad or thumbstick you put in, it’ll need to go in its designated spot — i.e., you can’t put a thumbstick where the D-pad was. That’s not the case with the Astro C40 TR, so you can essentially create a layout that emulates either a DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller, whether you prefer offset or symmetrical analog stick placements.
On the SCUF Vantage, you’re stuck with an offset layout. If you prefer a different type, you’ll need to purchase another controller entirely.
Additional Remappable buttons
The Astro C40 TR and SCUF Vantage each feature extra remappable paddles on the back that are not found on a standard controller. These allow you to remap any button to them so you can perform actions in games quicker and more efficiently. Where the SCUF Vantage has the advantage is that it features six such buttons — two next to the outer sodes of each bumper and four paddles on the back — whereas the Astro C40 TR only has two paddles on the back.
Though more paddles would seem better, some people may only need two, in which case Astro’s offering may be more appealing.
Like the DualShock 4, the SCUF Vantage has Bluetooth connectivity that allows to it turn on and wirelessly connect to your PS4. The Astro C40 TR does not have Bluetooth. Instead it packs a separate 2.4GHz USB dongle in order to use it wirelessly.
With the SCUF Vantage you can choose from dozens of faceplate designs, ranging from licensed designs based on your favorite games or streamers to more generic, plain colors. Thanks to the SCUF Vantage’s magnetic faceplate, these are all easily interchangeable at a moment’s notice.
The bottom line
Both controllers are fantastic premium products for those willing to spend the extra cash. While the design of the Astro C40 TR’s triggers and swappable D-pad/analog stick positions is incredibly appealing, you may want the paddles the SCUF Vantage offers. It’s all about preference, but rest assured you’re picking up a great controller either way.
Astro C40 TR
Less is more
$200 at Amazon
Astro’s finest controller
It may have fewer extra buttons, but the Astro C40 TR is perfect for those that need the versatility of being able to swap the positions of your D-pad and thumbstick.
$200 at GameStop
Greater physical customization
Those looking to physically customize their controller in almost every way, right down to the triggers, need look no further than the SCUF Vantage.