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 whole 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 TX and T300. 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.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
BeamNG.drive automatically sets the proper steering angle for each car in the game, so you can leave the Thrustmaster Control Panel set to the maximum.
|Rotation||900° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
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.
In Options > Controls > Bindings > Vehicle:
I needed 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:
|Steering Lock Type||1:1 Hybrid|
|Steering Lock Angle Degrees||900° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
These settings just set up the basic properties of the wheel.
Steering Wheel Lock Type determines how the wheel will map to cars with steering rotations larger than the wheel's maximum. The 1:1 Hybrid 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 actually works very well and I prefer it to just scaling the entire rotation to fit to the wheel, which is what 1:N mode will do. This is personal preference, though.
Force Feedback Configuration:
|Strength||250 default, 180-400 based on car|
|Reduce Strength While Parked||Checked|
|Side Accel Feedback||0% normally, 10% on track|
|Update Rate Limit||Automatic|
|Use Response 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. 250 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. 180 is as light as I have needed and can be useful for very high downforce cars or rally stages where there are a lot of heavy bumps. 400 is the strongest I found necessary for vehicles with very light force feedback like vans, for instance.
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. These wheels can handle this at a very low value. At 0 I found some of the road noise could get annoying, so I raised this just a bit to soften that effect. I haven't found this needs to be adjusted much between vehicles, but the option is available.
Soft Lock 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.
Reduce Strength While Parked lowers the force feedback strength when the car is stopped, so you don't get overwhelmed with the engine vibration.
Side Accel Feedback 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.
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 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.