F1 2012 plays very well with a wheel, but being an older title, it doesn't natively support newer wheels like the Thrustmaster TX and T300. 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 for your wheel:
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 one of the lines below:
<xml processor="ActionMap" filename="actionmap/Thrustmaster TX.xml" map="UPDATE" pool="TEMPORARY" /> <xml processor="ActionMap" filename="actionmap/Thrustmaster T300RS.xml" map="UPDATE" pool="TEMPORARY" /> </dataset>
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 your wheel at the bottom of the file, above the line:
For the Thrustmaster TX, use this line:
<FFBDevice name="044fb669" scaleForce="0.6" scaleFriction="0.5" baseFriction="0.0" maxFriction="10.0" scaleEffects="1.0" delay="0.0"/>
For the Thrustmaster T300, use this line:
<FFBDevice name="044fb66e" scaleForce="0.6" scaleFriction="0.5" baseFriction="0.0" maxFriction="10.0" scaleEffects="1.0" delay="0.0"/>
These match the settings used by the T500, which is the closest match to these wheels that existed at the time. This greatly improves the force feedback on these wheels.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
There is no Soft Lock in the game, so to get a proper steering angle, it is best to set the rotation in the Thrustmaster Control Panel. I don't like having to do this as I often forget to set it back to normal, but there is no other option.
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring is not used by F1 2012, so the value actually doesn't 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 is also not used, so can be set to any value without issue.
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||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:
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 simply makes the wheel heavier.
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.