This page has been updated for version 1.48.
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 TMX and T150 work very well 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 aggressive.
In this guide, I will show you the settings I use to improve the force feedback.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
Trucks have a large steering angle, so we want to use the maximum available for these wheels.
|Rotation||900° (TMX) 1080° (T150)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||100%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
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° (TMX) 1080° (T150)|
|Uneven Surface Simulation||40%|
Steering Animation Range should match what is set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel so that the in-game wheel animation correctly matches your real input.
Uneven Surface Simulation adds some randomly generated wobble to the wheel, to simulate more diverse road surfaces. I like the idea of this, but I found it can get quite annoying, so I lowered this quite a bit. If you like it, feel free to raise it.
In Options > Controls:
|Centering at High Speed||100%|
|Centering at Low Speed||40%|
Force Feedback can be turned off by unchecking this box.
Overall Gain is the main strength of the driving force you will feel. I raise this to give the wheel a little more power. Setting this too high makes the wheel quite heavy.
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 turn this down a little to make the wheel a little lighter when parking and navigating city streets.
Internal Friction adds a constant weight to the wheel. 50% is the default and works fine.
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. This also needs to be kept quite low or it will shake the wheel too much.
Bumps is the vibration felt when going over bumps in the road, or driving over a curb.
Collisions is the vibration felt when you hit a car or anything on the side of the road.
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.