Sony DualShock vs Astro C40 TR for PlayStation 4: Which should you buy?

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 money can buy to help you make a decision.

Sony DualShock 4

Standard issue

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$46 at Amazon

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Simple
  • Classic design
  • Bluetooth

Cons

  • Fewer customization options
  • Inferior for competitive play

Your standard DualShock 4 gets the job done, but it lacks a lot of bells and whistles.

Astro C40 TR

Versatility

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$200 at Amazon

Pros

  • Swappable D-pad and thumbstick modules
  • Free configuration software
  • Extra remappable buttons

Cons

  • Expensive
  • 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.

What’s the difference?

Astro is known for its gaming peripherals, but this is the first time that the company has released a premium controller for PlayStation 4 users, and they certainly went all-out in its design. Not only does it feature much of what other third-party controllers have like remappable back paddles and hair triggers, but it also gives players the ability to swap the positions of their D-pad and left thumbstick. The DualShock 4, on the other hand, is just your average controller without all of these extras. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that it’s simple.

Price $46 $200
Dimensions 3.94″ x 6.34″ x 2.24″ 4.25″ x 6.61″ x 2.09″
Weight 210g 320g
Thumbsticks Symmetrical Symmetrical or offset
Triggers Standard Hair Trigger
Bluetooth Yes No
Extra remappable paddles No Yes (2)
App/software control No Yes

What these features mean to you

A few of these features may not mean anything to you at first, but they’re quite important and make a drastic difference in your gaming experience when utilized. Since not everyone is familiar with them, I’ll help you out.

Hair Trigger mode

With hair trigger mode enabled, players can shoot faster since it requires less pressure to press the trigger. This shorten the amount of time it takes to get a shot off, which is especially convenient when using weapons that aren’t automatic. Even milliseconds can make all the difference between winning or losing a match.

Remappable paddles

The Astro C40 TR tends to have fewer back paddles than the competition like the SCUF Vantage, but it still features more than a regular DualShock 4 as that has none to speak of — at least, none built-in. Remapping any of its buttons to the either of the Astro’s two back paddles gives you greater control over your gaming experience.

Swappable D-pad and thumbstick placement

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This is my favorite part of the Astro C40 TR. A lot of controllers let you swap out individual parts like the thumbsticks, D-pads, or triggers, but 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. You can create a layout that emulates either a DualShock 4 or Xbox One controller, whether you prefer offset or symmetrical analog stick placements.

Bluetooth connectivity

Every DualShock 4 has Bluetooth connectivity that allows it 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.

The bottom line

The Astro C40 TR isn’t meant for everyone and is mostly appealing to competitive players, but its premium features are certainly worth its price point if you can spend the money. The only area where the DualShock 4 has a clear advantage is its Bluetooth compatibility. Ultimately, you’ll know what suits your preferences best.

Sony DualShock 4

Standard issue

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$46 at Amazon

Casual appeal

It lacks a lot of premium features, but your regular DualShock 4 still has it where it counts and it gets the job done.

Astro C40 TR

Less is more

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$200 at Amazon

Astro’s finest controller

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another quality controller like the Astro C40 TR that allows to swap the placement of its D-pad and thumbstick modules.