Being I’ve been slowly building out my sim rig for racing and drifting. The latest addition is the Buttkicker Gamer Pro which does just what its name would suggest – adds haptics in your seat thanks to a large transducer attached directly to a gaming chair or cockpit and an amplifier connected to a gaming console or PC. It can even be set up in multi-unit configurations. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
Buttkicker Gamer Pro overview
The Buttkicker Gamer Pro is a haptic apparatus designed to add vibrations from audio sources or telemetry data and turn them into haptic feedback for a sim rig, home theater, or sim-racing rig like I’ve been testing it on. On my sim rig, the transducer is attached to my Secret Labs gaming chair, and it’s like sitting on an 18-inch subwoofer that’s turned up really loud. You can feel everything – and I only have it set at about ¼ power.
Gamer Pro can create these vibrations straight from an audio source like in-game audio, or through the HaptiConnect app and optional plugins, specific parameters can be adjusted like RPMs, shifting, and suspensions noise.
Buttkicker Gamer Pro Video
Getting the Gamer Pro set up
Setting up the Gamer Pro is fairly straightforward. The transducer is attached to a sim rig – in my case, a SecretLabs Gaming chair. Then, there is an amplifier that connects to a computer via a USB-C connection.
A quick-release cable connects the transducer and amplifier and a power button on the amp makes it easy to enable or disable the unit.
Buttkicker’s app, HaptiConnect, is available in three different versions. The base will take audio and route it to the Gamer Pro as well as another audio device.
The Standard Track pack comes in at $30 and works for all racing titles like iRacing, Assetto Corsa, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Forza Horizon 5, iRacing, and more. These plugins allow the tuning of specific parameters like RPMs, suspension, and wheel spin.
The $30 Standard Flight Pack includes plugins for flight titles.
Lastly, HaptiConnect Ultimate includes all of the plugins plus any future plugins for $60.
If you are racing on a PC, which is where I primarily tested the Buttkicker, these plugins are the best way to experience what it has to offer; being able to fine-tune feedback was essential for me to really enjoy the Gamer Pro.
For example, when drifting in Assetto Corsa, I found the suspension parameter too much as I bounced on and off track. It would interfere with the RPM level that I enjoy while racing; being able to turn off the suspension made the whole experience much more enjoyable for me.
Playing ACC without the plugins and running the Gamer Pro solely from in-game audio, there were additional audio cues that were a bit distracting. For example, when passing underneath objects there is a “woosh” audio cue that gets picked up by the Gamer Pro and is a large deep vibration. To me, it was more distracting than immersive.
Buttkicker Gamer Pro: In-use
For the most part, it is a fun experience to add some more vibrations to my sim-racing rig. It can be quite loud, though. So if you are in an apartment or somewhere where roommates or neighbors might get annoyed, I would suggest skipping this upgrade.
Personally, for my single gaming chair setup, I probably would have been just fine with the Gamer Plus. I typically only have the Buttkicker Gamer Pro set around 22 on the amplifier, so there is plenty of headroom that I don’t take advantage of.
One downside of my setup is that clamping the transducer onto the height piston of my chair limits how far down the chair can go. Typically, I like to have the chair all the way down for sim racing but that isn’t possible with the Gamer Pro. It’s not a huge deal, but it does tweak the ergonomics of my setup which I didn’t care for.
Overall, while it’s not a necessary add-on to get faster on the racetrack, the Buttkicker Gamer Pro is a heck of a lot of fun and adds more immersion to any sim-racing setup. I’ve been really enjoying using it while drifting in VR. Check out the video above for some gameplay. While I personally wouldn’t use it for gaming or watching media, it’s a welcomed addition to the sim rig.
FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links