The 6 Best Sim Racing Button Boxes (Ultimate Guide)

While it may not seem like an essential addition to your sim racing setup just yet, once you get used to using a button box instead of your keyboard, you will never want to go back. But getting the most out of it means you need to be aware of the best sim racing button boxes on the market.

The 6 best sim racing button boxes are:

  1. Grid Engineering F488 Dash Button Box
  2. RealGear RACEpro H22
  3. Apex P911 Button Box
  4. Downforce Button Box
  5. Grid Engineering 911 Dash Button Box
  6. Apex Button Box Vertical Mount V2

Button boxes can sometimes be a large investment, which is why it’s important that you first understand what you need from a button box, and what kind of button box will suit your setup best. Read on below for a more in-depth look at each one and some important info to consider before you buy.

Do You Need A Sim Racing Button Box?

You don’t need a sim racing button box, but they can be very useful. It’s certainly not an essential addition to everybody’s setup, but the quality-of-life improvement you get from utilizing one in a race and the performance boost you can get from using one is enticing for many sim racers.

A keyboard can only do so much for you, and its lack of precision or racing focus makes it not ideal for advanced racers. This can make a dedicated button box more attractive for more advanced racers.

For Beginners

As a beginner sim racer, a button box may not be essential just yet as you will be perfectly fine casually racing with a keyboard as your button box, or without one at all. For advanced and even intermediate racers however, a button box could be just what you need to improve your performance on the track. Most keyboards lack any physical dials or dedicated racing functionality.

There is also the advantage that most button boxes can be configured with labels above every dial and button, making it easy to quickly reach whatever setting you need. A keyboard, or even a sim racing mouse, can go a long way as a beginner, but it can only take you so far.

The 6 Best Sim Racing Button Boxes

1. Grid Engineering F488 Dash Button Box

Buttons & Switches: 23

The Grid Engineering F488 Dash button box is an extremely well-made button box, constructed from carbon fiber and carbon composite with motorsport-grade components.It has 23 buttons in total, including rotary encoders, safety switches, toggles, and a very handy brake bias knob.

Brilliant Functionality

The brake bias knob in particular is distinguishable from the other buttons at a glance and makes adjusting the brake bias of your car super easy and far quicker to do than on a standard keyboard. There are mounting holes so that it can be easily integrated into your sim racing rig as well.

The style and general aesthetic of the button box blend seamlessly with most sim racing setups and it looks great when added into a rig. While each button, encoder, and switch are labeled, you can of course program each button individually to do whatever you want from within your simulator of choice.

These great building materials, mounting capability, and sheer multifunctionality come with a hefty price tag. If you are a seasoned sim racer looking for a button box that will have you covered for years and it’s within your budget, you would be hard-pressed to find a more versatile and durable button box currently on the market.


  • Very good build quality
  • Easily mountable
  • Buttons, switches, and encoders are labeled


  • Very expensive
  • Not the most beginner friendly

2. RealGear RACEpro H22

Buttons & Switches: 15

Depending on your setup, this horizontal button box may be a bit easier to accommodate than the large F488 Dash button box from Grid Engineering. It features 2 safety toggle switches, 6 two-way toggle switches, 4 tactile push buttons, 2 multi-function encoders, and finally a very large brake bias knob.

The brake bias knob is the largest of the 15 inputs and is very easy to use. It’s immediately identifiable, making it a super quick process to find and adjust the brake bias. While the previous button box had each function labeled by default, the RACEpro H22 button box leaves the labeling to you.

They offer 154 pre-printed labels for you to use with the ability and space to make your own. This is great for those who want a bit more freedom with how they program each button and don’t want the hassle of trying to peel off pre-stuck labels.

Easy To Mount

The VESA mounting layout allows you to mount the button box on monitor arms or monitor mounts. While the button box is mounted to a monitor arm it can be easily moved around, so it’s easy to find the ideal position for it or even push it out of the way when you don’t need it.

For most sim racers, this will offer most if not all of what you need from a button box to be more efficient and improve your performance on the track. The price point is also fairly reasonable considering what you get here.


  • Much cheaper than similar high-end button boxes
  • Large easy-to-use brake bias knob
  • Room for your own labels


  • May not have enough functionality for advanced or professional racers

3. Apex P911 Button Box

Buttons & Switches: 13

For the comparatively cheaper price, it’s amazing to find a button box like this, with such good build quality, featuring a carbon fiber front and rear plate. It features 4 on-off-on momentary push buttons, 3 CTS rotary encoders, 3 on-off latching toggles, 1 momentary and 1 latching hazard button, and finally a nice little illuminated engine start button.

The variety of functions on the button box is good but it’s difficult to distinguish one switch or button from another, which can cause confusion when you first start using this button box. There are no pre-printed labels stuck on or that come with the button box so you will have to source them yourself.

 A Small Let-Down

The lack of any dedicated brake bias knob is a letdown for the price, but brake bias can be easily assigned to one of the rotary encoders. There are only 3 rotary encoders so it shouldn’t be too much trouble remembering which one you have assigned to brake bias. This button box is VESA compatible which is great for finding the perfect position.

If you don’t mind some corners being cut with the design of the button box or you prefer having immersive features like the ignition and hazard buttons, this might be the button box for you.


  • Excellent build quality
  • Immersive ignition and hazard buttons
  • VESA compatible


  • No dedicated brake bias knob
  • No labels included

4. Downforce Button Box

Buttons & Switches: 21

The Downforce button box from Apex features all the buttons you’ll ever need. There is 1 toggle switch with a guard, an engine start button, a programmable Apex button, 8 push buttons, 5 CTS encoders, 2 large aluminum CTS encoders used for traction control and brake bias, 3 mini toggle switches, and an optional 7-way multi-switch that comes at a slightly higher price point.

An Optional Extra

I highly recommend getting the version with the 7-way multi-switch as it opens up a huge variety of other functions for you to use on the track, more functionality is always a good thing. The design of the button box is fairly simplistic, with the box itself featuring a carbon fiber rear and face plate that gives it that racer look that blends seamlessly into most sim racing setups.

Nothing is labeled on this button box, so you’ll have to label each function yourself. The inclusion of not only 1 large CTS encoder but 2 is fantastic to see and the size of the knobs themselves is not too small but not ridiculously large either. It is only compatible with PC, and it has VESA compatibility so mounting this horizontal button box should be a breeze.


  • 2 large CTS encoders that are ideal for traction control and brake bias
  • Great functionality at this price range
  • All the buttons you’ll ever need


  • 7-way multi-switch increases the price a fair bit

5. Grid Engineering 911 Dash Button Box

Buttons & Switches: 22

This sim racing button box from Grid Engineering is one of the most comprehensive options on the market. It’s obviously great for Porsche fans, but all sim racers can get the benefits of the massive range of buttons and switches on offer.

A Wide Selection Of Inputs

You get a huge range of inputs with this button box, starting with 12 momentary toggles that you can map to just about any setting you want. You also get three nice rotary encoders for things like brake bias and traction control, and there are a few hazard switches too (one of which comes with a guard).

There are also some programmable push buttons, and a final funky switch that tops off the huge selection of buttons. It’s quite a pricey option, meaning it’s likely out of reach for beginner sim racers. But for more advanced sim racers with the budget, it would make an excellent addition to any sim racing rig.


  • Brilliant Porsche aesthetic
  • Plenty of buttons and switches
  • Excellent build quality


  • Very expensive

6. Apex Button Box Vertical Mount V2

Buttons & Switches: 11

While this is the cheapest on our list, it should have everything you will need from a button box. Its durability comes from its front and rear carbon fiber plates that also make it aesthetically pleasing and ensure it blends perfectly into any sim racing setup.

All The Buttons You Need

It features 2 on/off toggles with guards, 1 engine start button, 4 momentary on/off toggles, 3 CTS encoders, and finally a large CTS encoder for adjusting brake bias. The brake bias knob is at the bottom of this vertical button box, making it incredibly easy to find and use while racing. The button box itself is easy to mount, and due to its small profile, most rigs can easily accommodate it.

Sadly, there are no push buttons on this button box, which is a shame, but for those that don’t necessarily need push buttons and can rely solely on switches and rotary encoders, this will be the most comprehensive button box you’ll find, especially at such a relatively low price point.


  • Small but comprehensive variety of functions
  • Large and easy-to-use brake bias knob
  • Durable carbon fiber rear and face plates


  • Lacks any form of push buttons except ignition

Should You Buy Or Make A Sim Racing Button Box?

If you have the materials or at least a way to source the materials as well as the expertise, making a sim racing button box will generally be cheaper than buying one. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be better.

Button boxes that are made by big manufacturers, with years of experience and some of the best materials on the market to work with, will generally produce a product far more reliable and durable than anything the average person could make. But making your own sim racing button box allows for a great deal of customization and you can adjust everything to your own standards.

Realistically, it’s going to depend on your own skills and needs. There is a button box out there on the market for every kind of sim racer, but sometimes building your own piece of hardware is just way more satisfying!

Final Thoughts

The Grid Engineering F488 Dash Button Box offers the most inputs, multifunctionality, and durability, making it ideal for any advanced sim racer but at an expensive price point. The Apex vertical button box is more affordable, and while it may not have as much multifunctionality, it should have everything a beginner or even a more intermediate sim racer could ever need.