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" />
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" />
This greatly improves the force feedback on these wheels.
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.
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
|Overall Strength of all forces
|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:
|Override Input Device Type
Until you set these values, the game won't use the wheel to navigate the menus.
In Options > Driving Controls > Advanced Wheel Settings:
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:
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.
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.