Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

Best F1 2012 Wheel Settings for Thrustmaster TX / T300

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>


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 your wheel at the bottom of the file, above the line:

</FFBDevices>

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.

Setting Value
Rotation 360°
Overall Strength of all forces 75%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 100%
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:

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 90%
Wheel Weight 0%

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.

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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