DiRT Rally is a great game to play with a force feedback wheel. Unfortunately, the default force feedback settings don't work very well for the Thrustmaster TX and T300 (they are essentially the same wheel). They make the wheel feel too heavy, making you wrestle the wheel around corners. Rally cars actually have rather light steering, so you shouldn't be fighting for control of the car.
Thankfully, DiRT Rally allows you to change the force feedback settings on a very granular basis. Dialing in the right settings made the game much more enjoyable. Now I can clearly feel the weight transfer of the car, making it much easier to control.
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 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.
|Rotation||900° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring is not used by DiRT Rally, 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. Since it's commonly recommended to turn Damper off, make sure it's on.
DiRT Rally Settings
In Options & Extras > Controls > Advanced Wheel Settings:
It is important to calibrate your wheel. Without calibration, the steering angle won't necessarily be set correctly and your wheel rotation won't match the in-game wheel.
|Steering Linearity||-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 at 0, or the wheel will be over sensitive when centered and harder to control.
In Options & Extras > Controls > Vibration & Feedback:
|Vibration & Feedback||On|
|Self Aligning Torque||60%|
|Tire Slip||0% / 100%|
|Steering Center Force||100%|
Self Aligning Torque is the main force controlling the force feedback. 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; it doesn't feel good on these wheels.
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 vibration felt from the road surface. Rough gravel surface will vibrate nearly constantly, where smoother pavement won't vibrate at all.
Tire Slip is a canned effect that vibrates the wheel whenever the rear wheels lose traction. Even though this is a fairly light force, I usually turn this off. If you do like it, I would put it at about 100%. That makes it noticeable, but not so much that it gets annoying.
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.
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.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.