For those of you that are unaware what a button box is, I shall attempt to briefly outline it’s purpose. Button boxes come in all shapes, sizes and come kitted out with numerous buttons, switches, catches, lights and what ever else you desire to be added to them. All of the mentioned can then be assigned with a chosen function for example ‘pit Limiter’ , ‘head lights’ you get my jist. I think it’s fair to say their primary goal is to add immersion and I’d like to think a bit of simplicity.
for some time now I’ve wanted a button box. On a few occasions I’ve been close to buying an Elgato stream deck to use for both this feature along with functions to do with my streaming. But that being said, I liked the idea of having some physical buttons which I only used for features of the car across a multitude of titles. So every sim that required a pit limiter for example, I would have a dedicated button on a button box to simplify things.
After browsing multiple companies who sold button boxes, I settled on Simracing4u. I liked the appearance and quality of the build, which at this point I was basing off photos. And the price point stood out too, it appeared very good value for money.
The order was placed and the button box was built for my order before it set sail to its new home. Upon arrival it was pleasing to see great care had gone into protecting the parcel in transit, something we take for granted but which is so often poorly done by sellers. Once opened I was very pleased by the build quality, my initial opinion from the photos was correct and I wasn’t disappointed. The box itself is almost seamless and looks very premium, the screws which hold the box together are neatly plugged with caps which makes them discreet and almost unnoticeable. I’d opted for the 31 function box in red which came kitted out with the following selection of buttons, switches:
- 1 red illuminated start button
- 2 latching toggles with carbon type covers
- 4x Encoders (12 functions)
- 4x Momentary mini toggle (8 functions)
- 8x red momentary buttons
Buttons / Switches
Obviously straight out the box I pressed, twisted and catched to my heart’s content. One thing I was impressed with was the feeling of the buttons, they feel really positive and have the perfect amount of resistance to them. I prefer the feel of them to the type of buttons that are mounted on my Fanatec V2 rim. You can feel them spring back under your finger, rather than what feels like a heavy click with not much return from the style on the fanatec wheel.
The rotary dials have a positive click and are great for adjusting brake bias, TC or other similar settings. I have always found rotary dials which are positioned on a racing wheel difficult to use precisely, so this has been a much better alternative for me. the two latching switches are a nice touch and look the part on any button box, unfortunately my preferred method of use for them isn’t quite achievable due to how the Arduino software works. Id prefer them to work only when the cover is in the open position with the switch flicked upwards, in what I’d call the on position. By then dropping the cover it automatically knocks the switch down into the off position, this way also gives a visual reference of the switch being active or not. Unfortunately they do not work this way, and instead require the switch being shut then returned to the on position to deactivate the switches function. It sounds long winded when written but it’s a minor gripe and one that quickly becomes a seamless operation. I use one of these switches for activating my cars ignition in ACC where I then use the illuminated engine start button for the ‘starter’ function. The metal starter button has a nice heavy feel and looks great on the rig when lit up. The final selection of switches are the mini toggles, these have an up and down function with quite a sharp positive click , I like to use these for operating headlights and wipers etc I use an upwards click to activate the wiper and then a downward click to cycle the speed of them, super easy to use during race conditions.
When purchasing your button box from Simracing4u there is an option to attach a set of stickers to your order. This is something I did, I feel with that amount of buttons, you need a clear reminder of what’s what so I’d certainly recommend doing the same. The stickers cover pretty much everything you’d require but I wish there had been a little bit more variety in colour to help certain bits stand out.
The rear of the button box has 4 metal threaded pieces set into the box and come supplied with the 4x m5 Allen head bolts. I purchased a Simlabs button box mount, which made mounting the button box super easy and id highly recommend looking at one if you consider one of Simracing4u boxes. It’s worth noting that the button box comes fitted with a 1.8m USB cable which gives you lots of leeway when deciding where to mount the button box. Once mounted it becomes a simple plug and play and requires no updates or driver for operation, perfect!
I am very happy with the Simracing4u button box, it has become a staple part of my sim rig and simplified button operations in the game. 31 functions is more than enough for me and gives me a few spare for any sim titles that have any unique functions that need to be assigned. Not only does it function well but it adds some immersion and looks the part sat on the rig, I find some satisfaction from flipping the latching cover and then pressing the start button. It’s a much nicer operation than pressing a key on your keyboard or selecting it via in game menus. I have no concerns when recommending Simracing4u and I’m certain if you happen to purchase one of their button boxes you will not be disappointed. If you have any further questions feel free to drop a comment below or contact the owner of Simracing4u, he’s been extremely helpful to myself with questions I’ve asked.
check them out – Simracing4u