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

Sony DualShock 4

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

Sony DualShock 4

Standard issue

Classic design
Fewer customization options
Inferior for competitive play

Astro C40 TR

The Astro C40 TR is for players who value the versatility provided by swapping the placements of your D-pad and analog sticks.

Astro C40 TR


Swappable D-pad and thumbstick modules
Free configuration software
Extra remappable buttons
Needs dongle for wireless connection

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.

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CategorySony DualShock 4Astro C40 TR
Dimensions3.94" x 6.34" x 2.24"4.25" x 6.61" x 2.09"
ThumbsticksSymmetricalSymmetrical or offset
TriggersStandardHair Trigger
Extra remappable paddlesNoYes (2)
App/software controlNoYes

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

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.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.