This page has been updated for version 1.44.
American Truck Simulator recently updated its force feedback to a physics-based system, giving a more realistic experience. It previously only used a Centering Spring and some vibration effects, which was a fairly lackluster experience. The Thrustmaster T248 works great with this new system.
This isn't anything like a racing game where you need to feel the grip to play the game well. This is just about creating a relaxing, immersive experience. To that end, these settings keep the wheel relatively light and keep the vibration effects from being too strong and annoying.
In this guide, I will show you the settings I use to improve the force feedback.
Trucks have a large steering angle, so we want to use the maximum available for these wheels.
FORCE at 4 bars with FFB at 1 creates a perfectly linear force feedback response with no clipping, which is the ideal for any racing game.
|TM Control Panel Setting||Value|
|Overall Strength of all forces||65%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Rotation and Overall Strength are identical to the ROT and FORCE wheel settings, respectively. Changing it in one place overwrites the other. I recommend changing these on the wheel and ignoring the values in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.
Spring and Damper are not used by American Truck Simulator, so can be set to any value without issue. As a general rule, I leave these at 100% since there are some games that require them.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
American Truck Simulator Settings
In Options > Gameplay > Truck Settings:
|Steering Animation Range||900°|
You will want to set the Steering Animation Range to match what is set on the wheel so that the in-game wheel animation correctly matches your real input.
In Options > Controls:
Unfortunately, American Truck Simulator only provides sliders with no numerical display to set the values in-game, making it annoying to set these values. Each slider is controllable with the left and right arrow keys and has 100 ticks, so you just have to count your keypresses to get the value exactly the same.
|Centering at High Speed||100%|
|Centering at Low Speed||22%|
Force Feedback can be turned off by unchecking this box.
Overall Gain is the main strength of the driving force you will feel. I find it easier to raise this to the maximum and balance the other forces accordingly.
Centering at High Speed adds a Center Spring force when traveling at high speed. I leave this at the maximum to give a reasonable weight to the wheel when on the highways.
Centering at Low Speed adds a Center Spring force when traveling at low speed. I lower this to make the wheel a little lighter when parking.
Internal Friction adds a constant weight to the wheel. I lower this a little since the wheel tends to be heavy in this game.
Engine Resonance is the vibration you feel from the engine. I like this, but it needs to be set very low or it will make the wheel shake way too much.
Terrain Surface is the vibration felt when driving over dirt or rough roads. Raising this too high will make rumble strips and going off-road shake the wheel too much.
Bumps is the vibration felt when going over bumps in the road, or driving over a curb. This is quite strong, so I lower it to make it more comfortable.
Collisions is the vibration felt when you hit a car or anything on the side of the road. Like Bumps, this is quite strong, so I lower it a bit.
Gearbox Grind may only have an effect with an h-pattern shifter, which I don't have unfortunately. It doesn't seem to do anything in the sequential shifting mode. I've left this at the default value.
Understeer Slip vibrates the wheel if you enter understeer. This happens very infrequently in normal driving. I don't particularly like the effect, so I lower it to make it more subtle.
I play American Truck Simulator in a very casual way and these settings may reflect that. I leave all the stability options at their default values, which will impact how the wheel feels. If you are looking to play in a highly realistic way, these settings will probably need some adjustments to give the wheel more weight.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.