Is It Worth Adding A ButtKicker To Your Sim Rig?
So you’ve get a decent sim rig setup and you’ve purchased a quality racing wheel such as a Fanatec CSL Elite. What can you do to elevate your sim rig to the next level?
Let us introduce you to the ButtKicker Gamer2. This little device can be a rather pricey addition to your sim rig setup, costing upwards of £200 for a single device. However, for that investment you really do take your sim rig to the next level of immersion.
Let us answer the question of should you buy a ButtKicker Gamer2.
What is a ButtKicker Gamer2?
If you are looking to elevate the immersion of your sim rig you shouldn’t pass up the mighty ButtKicker. Essentially, the ButtKicker G2 generates haptic feedback based on force feedback that your game produces. That haptic feedback is then delivered through your sim racing chair.
Imagine feeling the force feedback which gets delivered through your racing wheel around your whole rig. This is what a ButtKicker will do. The haptic feedback will shake and vibrate your chair every time you drive your car over a bump, a kerb, when your wheels lock, when you shift gear and more.
ButtKickers can be used across all games that deliver force feedback, including shooting games, flight simulators and racing sims. The ButtKicker really adds a level of immersion by joining your racing seat to your wheel. This allows you to truly feel your car travelling across the road like never before.
What does a ButtKicker feel like in sim racing games?
When you drive a real car, be it around town or on a track, you can feel the vibrations of the car and road in everything that you do. When you change gear your whole car shakes. When you drive across a bumpy surface, you feel it through your seat.
However when you move to a simulator racing rig, all of that feedback disappears. Suddenly you are in a static chair, with all of the feedback coming through the wheel and in to your arms. After a while, you get used to understanding the wheel feedback, and you can quickly differentiate the difference between understeer, oversteer and other road feedback.
Now imagine feeling this force feedback throughout your sim rig, just like you do when driving your road car. This is what a ButtKicker feels like, and it is this feeling that the device emulates.
Suddenly you don’t have to rely solely on the force feedback from the wheel. You now have full 360 degree force feedback allowing you to better experience the real world sensation of driving a racing car.
Once you have experienced a ButtKicker setup, you wont ever be able to go back to racing without it.
Using SimVibe with a ButtKicker
SimXperience SimVibe is an advanced piece of software which elevates the quality of the haptic output of your ButtKicker device. You can install SimVibe on your PC after you have connected all of your devices (up to 8 individual devices), and you will instantly feel the improvement.
SimVibe transforms the regular bass audio output and converts it to true physics based feedback. It utilises all of the connected devices to simulate the correct physics based vibrations at the correct areas across your sim rig. Using SimVibe will allow you to set up an individual device to simulate each tyre of your car.
The 3D spatial vibrations will transform you static sim rig in to rig which feels closer to a motion rig. You will be able to feel every detail across the track surface allowing you to truly push the limits of your driving.
We would highly recommend using SimVibe with your ButtKicker setup.
How many Buttkickers can I use at once?
Software such as SimVibe allow you to connect up to 8 devices at once. This allows you to position multiple devices across your rig to simulate different feedback.
You can use four devices to simulate tyres, with extra devices around your racing chair to emualte the engine and transmission.
So in conclusion, is it worth buying a ButtKicker?
Simply adding a single ButtKicker to your gaming rig will absolutely increase the immersion you feel whilst racing. The true fun comes when you attach multiple ButtKickers to your rig. If you ever race on a sim racing rig with four or more devices attached you will feel true immersion, and you will find it very hard to go back to racing without them.
In a nutshell, yes, ButtKickers are absolutely worth adding to your rig if you get the opportunity. It is true that they can be rather pricey, however they add a new dimension of force feedback you can’t get with a racing wheel alone.
How to connect and setup a ButtKicker
The ButtKicker Gamer2 is driven via the bass audio output, making it compatible across all devices. You can use it on a PC, PlayStation and Xbox, and connects in a similar manner to other audio output devices.
When you purchase a ButtKicker, it also comes with an easy to use chair clamp, allowing you to connect it to any gaming chair. For true immersion you will want to attach the device directly to the bottom or rear of your racing chair. Many sim racing rig companies produce connection brackets allowing you to connect the Gamer2. Racing rig giants such as Playseat and rSeat both offer custom mounting brackets.
Watch the video below for an in-depth look at setting up a ButtKicker with your racing rig.
Grab Your ButtKicker Gear
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Frequently Asked Questions
How does a ButtKicker improve sim racing?
A ButtKicker portrays real world vibration through your racing chair so your racing experience feels more true to life.
How many ButtKickers can I install on the same rig?
You can use up to 8 ButtKicker devices at once. You can position these around your racing rig to simulate all aspects of your car.
How does a ButtKicker vibrate your chair?
ButtKickers use audio waves to provide force feedback effects directly into your racing chair. The feedback feels like real world car effects.