Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

F1 2012 - Best Thrustmaster T248 Wheel Settings

F1 2012 plays very well with a wheel, but being an older title, it doesn't natively support newer wheels like the Thrustmaster T248. Using the in-game control settings, you are still able to bind the steering, pedals and buttons to actions in the game, but you will still need the keyboard to navigate through all the menus.

With a little text file editing, you can add native support for these wheels, including full menu navigation and improved force feedback, making the experience even better. Importantly, this does not prevent the game from saving your progress, as is common in other titles when you start editing their internal files.

In this guide, I will show you how to edit the necessary files to support these wheels, then look at the best settings to use for the force feedback in-game.

Device Action Map Files

Every supported input device has a file (called the device 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:

Place it into: Steam Library\steamapps\common\F1 2012\actionmap


Action Map Paths

Just adding the file isn't quite enough. We need to tell the game to use this new file.

Edit the actionMapPaths.xml file in the same folder. Add a new entry that contains the name of the file you just created using the line below:

  <xml processor="ActionMap" filename="actionmap/Thrustmaster T248.xml" map="UPDATE" pool="TEMPORARY" />

</dataset>


Force Feedback

Now the game will know how to use the buttons on the wheel. We can go one step further and improve the force feedback by editing the file: steamapps\common\F1 2012\forcefeedback\devicesetup.xml

You need to add an "FFBDevice" entry for the wheel at the bottom of the file (above the </FFBDevices> line):

<FFBDevice name="044fb696" scaleForce="0.6" scaleFriction="0.5" baseFriction="0.0" maxFriction="1.0" scaleEffects="0.2" delay="0.0" />

</FFBDevices>

This greatly improves the force feedback on these wheels.

Thrustmaster Settings

The first thing that needs to be fixed is the steering angle. By default, F1 2012 uses the full rotation of your wheel, which is far too much for an F1 car. The steering angle should be 360°, meaning you can turn it 180° to the left and 180° to the right.

On-Wheel Setting Value
ROT 360°
FORCE 4
FFB 1

FORCE at 4 bars with FFB at 1 creates a perfectly linear force feedback response with no clipping, which is the ideal for any racing game.

TM Control Panel Setting Value
Rotation 360°
Overall Strength of all forces 65%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 100%
BOOST Off
Auto-Center by the game

Rotation and Overall Strength are identical to the ROT and FORCE wheel settings, respectively. Changing it in one place overwrites the other. I recommend changing these on the wheel and ignoring the values in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.

Spring and Damper are not used by F1 2012, so the values actually don't matter. Some games require them to be on for their force feedback to work, so I keep them at 100% as a general rule.

BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.

F1 2012 Settings

I had trouble trying to get an existing profile to work fully with the wheel. You can drive just fine, but not navigate the menus. I had to create a new profile to get full wheel support.


In Options > Driving Controls:

Setting Value
Control Profile Custom
Override Input Device Type Steering Wheel

Until you set these values, the game won't use the wheel to navigate the menus.


In Options > Driving Controls > Advanced Wheel Settings:

Setting Value
Steering Deadzone 0%
Steering Saturation 0%
Steering Linearity 0%
Throttle Deadzone 0%
Throttle Saturation 0%
Brake Deadzone 0%
Brake Saturation 0%

The Saturation values are inverted from you might expect. 0% uses the full range of the wheel or pedals.


In Options > Driving Controls > Force Feedback Options:

Setting Value
Feedback On
Environmental Effects 50%
Feedback Strength 70%
Wheel Weight 20%

Environmental Effects is the vibrations you feel from kerbs and the road surface.

Feedback Strength is the main force you feel in the wheel.

Wheel Weight is a damper force that adds some weight to the wheel, most noticed in slow corners or when the car is stopped.

Conclusion

If you try to play with the default settings, the game is impossible to play. The steering angle is way too large and the force feedback is far too heavy, giving a really bad first impression. Once you set these proper values, however, the game becomes a lot of fun to play. If you have a VR headset, you may be interested to know that F1 2012 works surprisingly well in VR using VorpX.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

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