ButtKicker Gamer PLUS – Review

Cindy F. Cape

Our colleague Miguel V. tells us about the new Buttkicker Gamer PLUS, which is part of the company’s new product line. When attempting to achieve maximum immersion, this is an accessory to consider.


So what’s next?

  • Aluminum cockpit ✅
  • Pedals with load cell ✅
  • Direct drive base and steering wheel with carbon paddles ✅

Today, we bring you what we believe to be the ideal complement for the most ardent enthusiasts and those looking to replicate even the smallest detail of the asphalt and how our car behaves on it. Buttkicker Haptics has released their latest product, the Buttkicker® Gamer PLUS®, a new and improved haptic hardware that reproduces the effects of the track and the car’s behavior in an immersive and precise manner via vibrations that travel through our cockpit until they reach our body.

Let us begin by defining haptic hardware and how it reproduces the vibrations that a driver would experience on the track. Vibration systems are not new to the market; no doubt many of you are familiar with the concept of “body shakers,” and no doubt some of our readers have considered installing some of these shakers in their chassis. Without getting too technical, these vibration systems use magnets and speaker membranes to generate vibrations via an amplifier and audio channels from the same game.

The Americans of ButtKicker have been in the haptic feedback market for more than 20 years and with the Buttkicker Gamer Plus have poured all their experience getting to take a step further not only at the hardware level but finally entering the software level through the app ButtKicker HaptiConnect.


What we will receive at home is the entire package, which includes:

  • ButtKicker Gamer PLUS haptic transducer with universal flange mounting mechanism and holes in the same aluminum body for direct chassis profile mounting.
  • ButtKicker PLUS Power BKA-PLUS amplifier with remote. All cables required for connections.

The included anchor is designed for 40×40 aluminum profiles. At least here we have been unable to make it pass through a profile of 45, so we recommend you to use the holes provided as the second option and leave it well fixed and fastened with screws.

The connection to the PC is made via USB cable type C, which greatly simplifies things; however, for security reasons, we recommend that the last connection you make is the power supply to the current.


With everything in place and the PC turned on, the first thing to do is download the app Buttkicker HaptiConnect Software from the link in our contact email or from ButtKicker’s own website. And this is where the device’s magic lies, because thanks to this app, it receives telemetry data directly from the simulator and converts it into vibrations, allowing it to modify fields such as RPM, pianos, track bumps, or wheel locking.

The app’s configuration, while simple, can be a little confusing because it doesn’t explain how to do it. The first step is to navigate to the configuration highlighted in red in the first image, which will take us to ButtKicker Spatial Configuration. We will select the “Mono” mode with the drop-down menus because we only have a haptic device and all inputs will go through it, and then we will select the output device that Windows will have recognized as a speaker (in my case “Speakers 3”). Look closely because it should say Buttkicker Plus in brackets. Finally, we will select “Output 1” and everything will be ready. Please keep in mind that when you press the test button, the haptic device will connect and produce a strong continuous vibration for approximately 2-3 seconds. If this is your first time using one of these vibration systems, you will undoubtedly be surprised; it is similar to having 200 cell phones vibrating in your pockets.

Only Assetto Corsa Ultimate , Dirt Rally 2, iRacing, F1 2021 Deluxe , and Assetto Corsa Competizione are currently compatible with HaptiConnect, as shown in the image. This list will grow in time. By clicking on any of them, you will be taken to the custom configuration panel for that particular one. Each user can configure up to ten different values, and you can even disable those you don’t want to use. After testing the device for several weeks, we discovered that the first four fields are the most useful and truly convey a sense of immersion:

  • RPM: Increase in vibration as engine speed increases.
  • When passing over jagged pianos, embossed pianos shake violently.
  • Track roughness: the variation in vibration caused by patches or bumps in the asphalt.
  • Strong shaking when engaging or downshifting, more pronounced in open-wheelers.

The rest of the options, in our opinion, do not provide anything new that a Direct Drive base does not already achieve, and we have chosen to disable or reduce their strength with the exception of wheel locking because it is an action that we do not want to occur in our braking and we want to detect it in order to correct it at the slightest sign of locking.

This configuration that you are seeing is completely unique to you, and we recommend that you spend a few minutes investigating what is unique to you because what we find optimal for other users may appear annoying to you.


Another important configuration point, like the app that will transmit signals from the simulator to the haptic device, is the amplifier, which is responsible for translating and amplifying the outputs, allowing us to feel the vibration. We can configure something as simple as the volume, the higher the volume, the stronger the vibration, and the EQ Control or equalizer, which allows us to adjust the level of bass and treble using the LOW-CUT and HI-CUT buttons. We can activate or deactivate both modes using the remote control, and we can adjust the level of the hi-cut filter, which softens the treble outputs, making passages through jagged pianos less strident and wild, transforming the signal into a more continuous and smooth signal.

With everything perfectly configured and ready to go, we only need to enter the track to bring our Buttkicker to life, and we must warn you that the first sensation is strange. We will only have the input of the engine RPM if we are stopped in the pit and the engine is started. It’s a good time to tweak the strength of this field using the app, as it can be changed in-game.We will notice a tingling run through our bodies while the engine is still idling; if we press the gas pedal, that tingling is transformed into slight vibrations that increase in tandem with the engine RPM. We shift into first gear, and a slight jolt alerts us that the pinion has been properly engaged, so we set out on the track.

Here, all of the different fields that we have decided to activate and their respective strengths, generally predominate the vibrations generated by the engine’s RPM and the asphalt irregularities. If we approach the track limits with relief by passing over a piano, we will notice the type of device that is a Buttkicker, each jolt of the car to go up and down quickly from the piano is reproduced in our car and can even vary if we take the piano at high speed (pianos at the exits of the curves) or if we pass over a piano at low speed (pianos at the corners of the curves).

If we leave the track and go off track, we will have to pay close attention because passing through a gravel escape or giving a strong jump on one of those sausages so common today in track escapes can become very annoying. Buttkicker Gamer Plus completely changes the driving experience. We can feel how the car is behaving on the track not only by the sensations transmitted by the FFB of the steering wheel but also by the vibrations we feel in our body, which can go unnoticed even with Direct Drive type bases. Perceiving different inertias through our bodies is one of the major differences between driving in real life and driving in simulation. We will be able to better simulate what a driver would feel on the track with this vibration system.

Final Thoughts

We should also mention that the vibrations significantly improve sensations in areas where the simulator’s FFB clearly weakens. For example, iRacing has suffered for years from having an FFB that is significantly lower than other simulators on the market, particularly moving through the jagged pianos. When we put a wheel in these areas of the track, the base should send us information that we are traveling through a highly bumpy area, but it does not frequently. We notice a significant improvement in this field as a result of this Buttkicker Gamer Plus; what we thought was a dull area of the track becomes one of the most dynamic areas, and we can feel how the entire chassis of the vehicle twists when passing through one of these kerbs.

Overall, we can say that the Buttkicker Gamer Plus is the ideal complement for users who already have a Direct Drive type base and want to take the next step in bringing track driving sensations closer to home simulation. The new Gamer PLUS and Gamer PRO will be available for purchase and shipping on May 1, 2022, with the PLUS model costing $279.95 and the PRO model costing $329.95.

See you on the track!

ButtKicker Gamer PLUS – Review

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