DiRT Rally 2.0, the rally car simulator from Codemasters, is best played with a force feedback wheel. The game transmits a lot of information about what the car is doing through the force feedback of the wheel. Given the difficulty of controlling a rally car, you want to get as much information from the wheel as possible without fighting the force feedback.
The default force feedback settings in DiRT Rally 2.0 aren't the greatest for the Thrustmaster TX and T300 (they are essentially the same wheel). While not terrible or unplayable, they make the wheel rather heavy and unresponsive. You don't feel a lot of the track surface detail, which can be quite useful information in a rally game.
Thankfully, we can fix these issues easily with the right in-game settings, giving a much better feel for the car and the road. In this guide, we will first look at the settings you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, if playing on a PC. Then we will look at the in-game settings to improve the force feedback.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
DiRT Rally 2.0 has a Soft Lock feature, so it will automatically set the proper steering angle for each car in the game. Set the maximum steering angle in the Thrustmaster Control Panel and calibrate the wheel in-game.
|900° (TX) 1080° (T300)
|Overall Strength of all forces
|by the game
Spring is not used by DiRT Rally 2.0, so the value doesn't actually 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, on the other hand, is used by DiRT Rally 2.0. Since it's commonly recommended to turn Damper off, make sure it's on.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
DiRT Rally 2.0 Settings
In Options & Extras > Input > Connected Devices:
It is very important to calibrate your wheel by highlighting the wheel and choosing Device Options. Without calibration, the steering angle won't necessarily be set correctly and your wheel rotation won't match the in-game wheel.
In Options & Extras > Input > Connected Devices > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Advanced Settings:
|-4 - 0
Setting Steering Linearity to a negative value makes the steering more sensitive when the wheel is centered. This can be useful for older cars that have a larger degree of rotation, if it feels like you are unable to turn the wheel fast enough around corners. For modern style cars, Steering Linearity should be set to 0, or the wheel will be over sensitive when centered and harder to control.
In Options & Extras > Input > Connected Devices > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Vibration & Feedback:
|Vibration & Feedback
|Self Aligning Torque
|Steering Centre Force Enabled
|Steering Centre Force
Self Aligning Torque is the main force you feel. Setting this too high makes the wheel much too heavy. You shouldn't be fighting for control of the wheel very much in a rally car.
Wheel Friction is a mostly constant damper force that simply makes the wheel heavier, not adding any useful information. I turn this off completely.
Tire Friction is a damper force that is based on the tire data. Functionally, this will make the wheel harder to turn at certain times, more prominently on tarmac.
Suspension controls the vibrations you feel in the wheel from the road surface. Rough gravel surface will vibrate nearly constantly, while smoother pavement won't vibrate at all. This can be turned up even higher, depending on how you have the wheel mounted. A lighter weight desk may start shaking a bit at higher levels.
Collision controls the vibration when you hit a rock or something on the side of the road.
Soft Lock is the force you feel when trying to turn the wheel past the real-world steering angle.
Steering Centre Force is only ever used when you start a race or reset the car to re-center the wheel. It has no effect when you are driving.
DiRT Rally 2.0 remains one of my favorite racing games. Playing it with one of these wheels feels great, especially with the settings dialed in properly. This makes the game so much more enjoyable to play because you can really control the car in difficult situations.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.