Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

Best Dirt Rally Wheel Settings for Thrustmaster TMX / T150

DiRT Rally is a great game to play with a force feedback wheel. The game transmits a lot of information about what the car is doing through the wheel. Given the difficulty of controlling a rally car, you want the best control possible through the wheel.

Unfortunately, the default force feedback settings in Dirt Rally don't work very well for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150 (they are essentially the same wheel). Different wheels have very different characteristics for the force feedback abilities as they use completely different mechanisms.

Using the default force feedback settings, the Thrustmaster TMX and T150 will feel too heavy and hard to turn quickly, when it should be relatively easy. Thankfully, DiRT Rally allows you to change the force feedback settings on a very granular basis.

After doing a lot of research and my own testing, I found the best settings for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150. These really made a big impact on my enjoyment of the game.


Settings

In Options & Extras -> Controls -> Advanced Wheel Settings:

Setting Value
Steering Deadzone 0%
Steering Saturation 100%
Steering Linearity -4 - 0
Throttle Deadzone 0%
Throttle Saturation 100%
Brake Deadzone 0%
Brake Saturation 100%
Soft Lock On
Center Steering On

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 at 0, or the wheel will be over sensitive when centered and harder to control.

In Options & Extras -> Controls -> Vibration & Feedback:

Setting Value
Vibration & Feedback On
Self Aligning Torque 90%
Wheel Friction 0%
Collision 125%
Soft Lock 150%
Steering Center Force 100%
Tire Friction 80-90%
Suspension 80-90%
Tire Slip 80-90%

Tire Friction, Suspension and Tire Slip you can adjust to your own liking, probably in the range of 80 to 90, depending on how strong you like the force feedback.

In the Thrustmaster Control Panel:

Set the rotation to its maximum.

Under Gain Settings:

Setting Value
Overall Strength of all forces 100%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 0%
Auto-Center by the game

The Damper applies a constant dampening effect (on top of any in-game settings), making the wheel feel heavy. On lower-end wheels, there is plenty of natural dampening in the wheel mechanism itself. (Dampening is used on higher-end wheels to solve oscillation problems.)

The Spring force constantly pulls the wheel back to the center, but, unlike the Damper, it is completely controlled by the game, just like the Constant and Periodic forces. Most games don't use the Spring force at all (their native physics simulations do this already), so it actually doesn't matter what the value is set to in the Control Panel.

I leave the Spring force on in the Control Panel, making the in-game settings the only factor controlling the force feedback. This makes the settings consistent across all games and prevents confusion in the few games that use it about why a FFB setting seems to have no effect.


Conclusion

Before making these changes, I found the game fun, but often annoyingly hard to control. After applying these settings, I was no longer fighting with the force feedback and I finally had complete control over the car. This makes the game so much more enjoyable to play because you can actually control the car in difficult situations. I highly recommend you try these settings.

Question or Comment?