DiRT 4 plays very well with a wheel, but the default settings are terrible for the Thrustmaster TX and T300. In a game where you need complete control over the car, the default settings make the wheel incredibly heavy and hard to turn. The wheel is constantly fighting against you, making the game a wrestling match with the wheel, rather than about controlling a car.
With the right tweaking, however, you can drastically improve the force feedback. It's strong enough so you can easily tell what the car is doing, but not so strong that you are fighting for control over the vehicle. Unfortunately, the force feedback always has a fairly vague, sluggish feeling, no matter what you do. With that said, these settings are still wildly better than the default and make the game much more fun to play.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
DiRT 4 has a Soft Lock feature in-game to control the wheel's steering angle, letting us leave the rotation set to the maximum in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.
|Rotation||900° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring is not used by DiRT 4, so the value actually doesn't matter. Some games require Spring to be on for their force feedback to work, so I keep it at 100% as a general rule.
Damper is used in DiRT 4 for the Wheel Friction and Tire Friction effects.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
DiRT 4 Settings
In Options & Extras > Input > Device Management:
Make sure to run the Calibration Wizard in game. This is required to have the proper steering angles and for Soft Lock to work. It's possible to cancel out of the Calibration Wizard by hitting the wrong button on the wheel. There are four steps you have to go through for the calibration, if you don't do them all, Soft Lock won't work. If you find you aren't getting through the full process, try pressing a different button on your wheel.
In Options & Extras > Input > Device Management > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Advanced Input Settings:
With the wheel calibrated, you can let the game choose the proper steering angle for each car by using the Soft Lock, instead of manually changing the Steering Saturation every time you get in a new car.
In Options & Extras > Input > Device Management > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Vibration & Feedback:
|Vibration & Feedback||On|
|Self Aligning Torque||62|
|Steering Centre Force||100|
|Steering Centre Force Enabled||On|
Self Aligning Torque is the main force you feel while driving. Setting this too high makes the wheel very resistant to turning and quite violent in general.
Wheel Friction is a damper force to add weight to the wheel. The Self Aligning Torque provides plenty of weight, so I turn this off.
Tire Friction is a damper force that adds a little bit of resistance based on the tires. This is mostly felt when the car is stopped.
Suspension vibrates the wheel based on the bumps in the road. This is a pretty light force on these wheels, so I raise this as high as it can go.
Tire Slip vibrates the wheel when the rear wheels lose traction. I find this more distracting than anything, so I turn it off. If you like this, I would set this to 70.
Collision vibrates the wheel when you hit something.
Soft Lock stops the wheel from turning past the car's steering angle.
Steering Centre Force centers the wheel when you start a stage or recover the car. It has no effect while you are driving.
While DiRT 4 isn't my favorite of the DiRT series, it's still plenty fun. I wish there was more detail in the force feedback, but it's good enough to feel what the car is doing. If you have a VR headset, you may be interested to know that DiRT 4 works surprisingly well in VR using VorpX.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.