BeamNG.drive is a unique physics-based driving simulator. Every part of the car is realistically simulated, giving it not only the most intricate damage modeling I have ever seen, but also a tremendous amount of variety in the vehicles available. There are road cars, race cars, pickup trucks, buses and everything in between. One mission involves delivering a stack of mattresses to a location without any falling off the car or the hitched trailer. No other simulator that I know of is doing anything like this.
As an Early Access title, it's still very much in development. While the base simulation continues to improve, the actual gameplay elements are still fairly limited. The recent 0.24 update added a bunch of new gameplay features as well as a revamped force feedback system including a soft lock.
The new force feedback works very well with the Thrustmaster T248. Since it is completely physics-driven, there aren't actually many settings to configure. It does support using a LUT, but I have found they aren't necessary on these wheels and can actually make the force feedback worse.
In this guide, I will talk about what the few force feedback settings do and how you will need to use them.
BeamNG.drive automatically sets the proper steering angle for each car in the game, so you should leave the rotation on the wheel set to the maximum.
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 BeamNG.drive, 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.
In Options > Controls > Bindings > Vehicle:
You need to manually bind all the controls for the pedals and steering. I'm not sure if that is typical, or just a bug I ran into, but it was just a one-time setup, so not that big of a deal.
I highly recommend binding keys for "Temporarily increase/decrease FFB strength", as this will need to be adjusted for most cars.
Binding "Temporarily increase/decrease FFB smoothing" can also be useful, though I haven't had to use it nearly as much.
In Options > Controls > Force Feedback:
|1:1 Steering Angle||900°|
|1:1 Behaviour||Faster If Needed|
These settings just set up the basic properties of the wheel.
1:1 Behaviour determines how the wheel will map to cars with steering rotations larger than the wheel's maximum. The "Faster If Needed" mode will use a normal 1:1 steering during the first half of the wheel's rotation. In the latter half of the rotation, it will scale the input as much as is necessary to reach the full lock of the in-game vehicle. This can take some getting used to, but it works very well and is preferable to scaling the entire rotation to fit the wheel.
Force Feedback Configuration:
|Strength||220 default, 170-300 based on car|
|Steering Lock Strength||100%|
|Side Acceleration Strength||0% normally, 10% on track|
|Reduce Strength While Parked||Checked|
|Automatic Secondary Smoothing||Checked|
|Update Rate Limit||Automatic|
|Use Response Correction Curve||Unchecked|
Enabled simply enables or disables the force feedback.
Inverted should be left unchecked for these wheels.
Strength controls the overall strength of the forces. 220 is a good starting point for any car, but this will need to be adjusted depending on the vehicle you are driving. Some have a much heavier feel than others, so there is no way to have one setting that works perfectly for everything. 170 is as light as I have needed for rally stages where there are a lot of heavy bumps. 400 is the strongest I needed for vehicles with very light force feedback like vans, for instance.
Steering Lock Strength enables the soft lock for any vehicle that has a steering rotation less than the wheel's maximum, preventing the wheel from turning past the steering angle of the car in-game.
Side Acceleration Strength applies some information about the lateral g-forces to the force feedback. I leave this at 0% most of the time. When going off-road or doing anything with slower vehicles, this isn't necessary. When doing more traditional racing on a track, I set this to 10%. I find it helps to feel more of the weight of the car in corners. With this at 0%, you strictly feel the traction of the tires, with the wheel going light when you enter understeer or oversteer. In a high speed corner, it can feel a little odd to only feel the tire grip if you are used to other simulators that include g-forces as part of the force feedback.
Reduce Strength While Parked lowers the force feedback strength when the car is stopped, so you don't get overwhelmed with the engine vibration.
Smoothing effectively controls the amount of vibrations you will feel. The lower this value, the more detail you will feel. Larger values smooth out these fine details. Setting this too low will create a very noisy wheel. I find you can lower this to about 120 when driving on a track, depending on the car.
Update Rate Limit will control the frequency the game sends data to the wheel. This is best left at Automatic.
Update Type controls the type of data sent to wheel. It should be set to Fast for these wheels.
Use Response Correction Curve allows a LUT file to be used. These wheels don't need a LUT, so leave this unchecked.
BeamNG.drive is unique amongst all the other racing simulators out there. The physics are very impressive, even if it still feels rather basic gameplay-wise. I'm greatly looking forward to the eventual full release with the direction the game is going. It will be a truly unique game.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.