Astro C40 TR vs DualShock 4 back button attachment: Which should you buy?

Complete package

Astro C40 TR

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$199 at Amazon

Pros

  • All-in-one
  • Swappable D-pad and thumbstick on controller
  • Free configuration software and app
  • Hair triggers

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only stores up to two profiles

The Astro C40 TR is a premium controller for players who value versatility and quality above all else. It only sports two remappable buttons, but its configurable thumbstick positions and hair triggers more than make up for any shortcomings.

Extra accessory

DualShock 4 back button

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$80 at Amazon

Pros

  • Cheaper at MSRP
  • Modifies existing controller
  • Buttons feel good to use
  • Stores up to three profiles

Cons

  • Out of stock nearly everywhere
  • Jacked up prices at most stores
  • Attachment feels easily breakable

The DualShock 4 back button attachment is meant to enhance your existing PS4 controller, but it lacks the quality to turn it into something special. Considering it’s out of stock everywhere or insanely overpriced, it’s hard to recommend right now.

What’s the difference?

While the Astro C40 TR is a complete controller, the DualShock 4 back button attachment is just that: an attachment meant to enhance your existing DualShock 4 controller. It’s an accessory. The attachment aims to serve a similar purpose as the Astro C40 TR by giving players two extra buttons to remap, but it can’t overcome the inherent problems in a DualShock 4 controller itself. Keep that in mind while we dive into their other differences.

Price $199 $30 MSRP
Weight 310g 25g (235 with DualDShock)
Remappable buttons 2 2
Bluetooth No Yes (with DualShock)
Thumbsticks Offset or symmetrical symmetrical (with DualShock)
Triggers Hair triggers Normal (with DualShock)
Profiles 2 onboard (unlimited on app) 3 onboard
App software Yes No

What these features mean to you

If you’re unfamiliar with controllers, you may not know what hair triggers are, how remappable buttons function, or why it matters what position the thumbsticks are in. We’ll break down why these features are important to you and how they affect the controller.

Hair Trigger mode

Hair triggers shorten the amount of time it takes to press a trigger by cutting down on the distance it travels. This allows players to shoot faster since it requires less pressure to press the trigger. When playing fast-paced shooters, milliseconds could mean the difference between a win and a loss. Hair triggers are especially useful when using semi-automatic weapons.

The DualShock 4 does not have hair triggers, making it much less efficient than the Astro C40 TR in that regard. It’s one of the reasons why you might want something like the back button attachment.

Swappable thumbstick placement

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If you buy the Astro C40 TR you have the option of swapping the positions of the left thumbstick and D-pad, meaning you can play in a symmetrical layout like the DualShock 4 or offset layout like the Xbox One controller. Those forced to constantly use both layouts may find it difficult to repeatedly switch back and forth between the two. The Astro C40 TR eliminates this problem by giving you the choice.

All DualShock 4 controllers are stuck with symmetrical layouts for their thumbsticks.

Remappable buttons

The bread and butter of both products are their remappable buttons. Both the controller and back attachment offer two remappable buttons in the form of paddles. When it comes to this, they’re pretty on par with one another as they function in much of the same ways. You can remap any buttons to those back paddles.

Onboard profiles

You can save your customized control schemes to onboard profiles on the Astro C40 TR and the DualShock 4 back button attachment. These let you swap quickly between different control scheme setups depending on the type of game you are playing or if someone else is using your controller.

The former only allows you to store two onboard while the latter lets you store three. Where the Astro C40 TR bests the attachment is that it also allows an unlimited amount of profiles to be stored through its supported app. There’s no app for the back button attachment.

In-store and online stock

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Frankly, Sony should be ashamed of how hard it is to find the DualShock 4 back button attachment. It wasn’t marketed as a limited edition product, but it might as well be. You’ll be hard-pressed to find it at any retailer, whether in-store or online. For the few shops that do have it in-stock, like Amazon, you’ll see marked up prices that you should absolutely not be paying.

The Astro C40 TR may still be more expensive, but at least you can find it in-stock.

The bottom line

If the DualShock 4 back button attachment was actually in-stock and selling for its normal $30 MSRP, it’d be much easier to recommend. As it stands, that’s not the case. Considering you’ll need to spend close way too much money to get your hands on one, you’re better off spending a bit more and getting the Astro C40 TR. It offers everything the back button attachment does and then some.

Outstanding features

Astro C40 TR

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For when money isn’t the issue

$199 at Amazon $200 at Best Buy

The Astro C40 TR offers it all, whether you’re just looking for some remappable buttons or want the complete package with hair triggers and the like. I’ve been using this controller for some time now, and I love every part of it.

Budget choice…

DualShock 4 back button

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…if you can find it in stock

$80 at Amazon

The DualShock 4 back button attachment modifies the controller in a meaningful way, but not enough that you should seek it out and spend more than $30 on it. Go splurge on a premium controller instead.