DiRT 3 is a great game that plays very well with a wheel. Unfortunately, because of its age, it doesn't natively support newer wheels like the Logitech G29 or G920. While you can bind the steering, pedals and buttons to actions using the in-game options, you won't be able to control the menus without native support.
Luckily, you can add native support for these wheels by editing a few text files. This lets you control all the menus directly from the wheel and, most importantly, doesn't stop the game from saving progress (as is often the case when you start editing game files). Once you do this and set the proper values for the control settings, you will never know the wheel was unsupported.
In this guide, I will show you how to add native support for these wheels, and then what settings to use to get the best force feedback in game.
Device Action Map Files
Every supported input device has a file (called the action map) that defines it and its button bindings. In order to add support for new wheels, we need to make a new action map file for the device.
Device Action Map
Download the device action map file for your wheel:
Place it into: Steam Library\steamapps\common\DiRT 3 Complete Edition\actionmap
Action Map Paths
Just adding the action map file isn't quite enough. We need to tell the game to use this new file. In the actionmap folder, edit the file actionMapPaths.xml.
Add a new "xmlreader" line near the bottom of the file (above the line
</dataset>) with either lg_g29.xml or lg_g920.xml, according to which wheel you have:
<xmlreader processor="ActionMap2" filename="actionmap/lg_g29.xml" map="UPDATE" pool="UPDATE_TEMPORARY" />
<xmlreader processor="ActionMap2" filename="actionmap/lg_g920.xml" map="UPDATE" pool="UPDATE_TEMPORARY" />
G HUB Settings
DiRT 3 doesn't have a Soft Lock feature, so even if you limit the steering rotation in-game, the wheel will still turn past the actual steering lock. The only way to fix this is to set the steering rotation in G HUB.
Create a new profile for DiRT 3 with the following settings:
DiRT 3 Settings
In Options > Controls:
Choose the preset for either the Logitech G29 or G920. Until you do this, the game may not navigate the menus using the wheel.
In Options > Controls > Advanced Wheel Settings:
In Options > Vibration & Feedback:
|Vibration & Feedback
Vibration Strength controls the vibrations you feel when driving on different surfaces. Setting this too high makes the wheel quite noisy.
Wheel Strength controls the actual force feedback forces.
Wheel Weight just makes the wheel heavier and less responsive.
DiRT 3 recognizes which wheel is attached by the name it reports to Windows. I believe this can change based on whether you are using the older LGS or newer G HUB software, though I have never tested this.
If the wheel isn't recognized by DiRT 3, open Device Manager and check the name the wheel reports under "Human Interface Devices".
This name needs to be copied exactly (including spaces and capitalization) into the action map file as the "deviceName" at the top of the file.
deviceName="Logitech G HUB G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel USB"
While DiRT 3 certainly isn't a full simulator-style game like Dirt Rally, it is still tremendous fun and feels really nice with a properly set up wheel. I still go back and play this game quite often. It's a great arcade rally game. If you have a VR headset, you may be interested to know that DiRT 3 works surprisingly well in VR using VorpX.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.