UMS Ultra Bubblebox Review

UMS Ultra Bubblebox
PriceEtsy
ReleaseOctober 23, 2022
CompatibilityNS / GC / N64 / PC

Other Edition

Star Light CTRL

Introduction

The Bubblebox was designed to be a more ergonomic option for platform fighters like Super Smash Bros, Rivals of Aether, and Rushdown Revolt. The firmware is flexible enough to cater to different games, including non-platform fighters. Also available is a WASD variation that is still for platform fighters.

Performance

What is particularly nice about the Bubblebox’s layout is that, despite being similar to other box/rectangle controllers, there are still minor nuances like distancing that could make you prefer it over industry competitors.

Going for the WASD layout gives you more buttons. For example, there are two extra buttons in the middle for select and home, which Ultimate players should appreciate.

As for Melee players, when the Bubblebox is in Melee mode, those buttons are bound to D-pad left and right, which are the Uncle Punch save state buttons, sparing you from playing Twister with your fingers.

Regarding the keycaps, depending on availability, you may be able to get bubblegum, hexagon, round, or square styles. The stock Gateron switches feel fine to use as they are light, quiet, and fast, but if you prefer something else, you will be glad to know that the switches are hot swappable.

Note that the Bubblebox was designed to accept Gateron switches, but it is not compatible with optical switches. MX switches that are 3 pin and 5 pin are fine.

Thanks to the foam underneath, the Bubblebox should not slide around during play. Also, its size makes it appropriate for both lap and desk play. The matte texture of the casing provides a comfortable resting space for one’s wrists.

Hardware

The Bubblebox is built with quality hardware. Despite its slim and light build, there should not be any denting or malleability if you press on it. If a keycap breaks, just replace it.

The Bubblebox runs on a modified version of the Haybox firmware, meaning you get full XInput support. Native Nintendo Switch and PC support is achievable by way of a regular USB cable.

If you opt for the DIY kit, you get:

  • 3D printed body in your desired color & layout
  • 3D printed bottom panel in your desired color
  • 3D printed keycaps in your desired color & style
  • Hardware & screws
  • Model BirdD USB-C breakout board
  • Raspberry Pi Pico PCB (optional)
  • USB-C to GCC cable (optional)

The USB-C to GCC cable provides GameCube compatibility, but if you would like Nintendo 64 compatibility, you would need a USB-C to N64 cable.

What you would need to source includes:

  • 22-30 gauge solid-core/stranded wire
  • Soldering supplies
  • Hot swap sockets
  • MX keyboard switches

There is a chance you will get an Allen key with your order. You might also be interested in a premium hard shell case for your Bubblebox.

Appearance

The Bubblebox has a simple look that can be summarized as a plain case color and plain keycap color. The keycaps come in colors available for Polymaker’s ABS & ASA filaments, such as black, light gray, light blue, and purple. You might also be able to request colors not currently in stock.

Conclusion

It would not be surprise if a Smash player wins a major tournament with this nifty innovation!

  • Optional WASD layout
  • Hot swappable switches
  • Durable hardware
  • Versatile size
  • Slim & lightweight
  • Anti-slipping
  • Comfy texture
  • Modded firmware

Rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Links

  • Etsy (UMS Ultra)
  • Etsy (Star Light CTRL)