F1 2018 is best played with a force feedback wheel, though you wouldn't know it by the default wheel settings. For the Thrustmaster T248, the default settings don't do the game justice. The steering angle is wrong and the force feedback is far too strong, making the wheel feel very heavy and disconnected from the track. When you are trying to drive at the limit of grip, every little bit of information transmitted through the wheel is important.
Thankfully, it's quite easy to fix these issues. In this guide, we will look at the settings you need to set in-game, on the wheel and in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, when playing on PC, to improve the force feedback.
The first thing that needs to be fixed is the steering angle. By default, F1 2018 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||Value|
|Overall Strength of all forces||65%|
|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 2018, 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 2018 Settings
The T248 is recognized by F1 2018 as the TS-PC F1 Advanced. The T248 was designed this way to allow for compatibility with older games. All the button bindings work fine like this.
In Game Options > Settings > Controls, Vibration & Force Feedback > Control & Calibration Schemes > Thrustmaster T248 > Calibration:
You can raise the Steering Linearity to make the wheel slightly less sensitive when the wheel is centered, but this is up to personal preference.
In Game Options > Settings > Controls, Vibration & Force Feedback > Control & Calibration Schemes > Thrustmaster T248 > Vibration & Force Feedback:
|Vibration & Force Feedback||On|
|Vibration & Force Feedback Strength||75|
|On Track Effects||17|
|Off Track Effects||25|
Vibration & Force Feedback Strength is the overall strength of the force feedback. Raising it too much starts to overwhelm the wheel, making the wheel feel heavy and lifeless. I find the range of 70-75 works best. This also scales the vibration effects, so if you lower this too much, you will have to raise the vibration effects to compensate and vice versa.
On Track Effects is the vibrations felt based on the track surface. This is a strong effect, so this needs to be kept quite low. This can vary by track.
Rumblestrip Effects is the vibration felt when running over a kerb. This is fairly light, so can be raised quite a bit.
Off Track Effects is the vibration felt when you leave the track. This is fairly strong. Raising this too high will make the wheel quite violent if you go off the track.
Wheel Damper gives weight to the wheel when the car is slow. This is most notable in slow-speed corners. Without this, the wheel goes weightless, which feels strange. Even a small amount of damper gives enough weight to feel more natural, without being too strong.
Understeer Enhance drastically lightens the wheel when you start to understeer. I find this more distracting than anything. The wheel lightens so much when you start to understeer that it feels more like the wheel is broken rather than something that is happening to the car.
In all the F1 games, it's so important to get the steering angle set correctly. When it's wrong, it always gives a terrible first impression of the game. Properly configured, though, the game plays great with a wheel. If you have a VR headset, you may be interested to know that F1 2018 works surprisingly well in VR using VorpX.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.