F1 2018 is best played with a force feedback wheel, though you wouldn't know it by the default wheel settings. For the Thrustmaster TX and T300, 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, I will show you the right settings to use that make the game much more fun and easier to play. First we will look at what you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel and then in-game.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
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. In an F1 car, the steering angle should be about 360°, meaning you can turn it 180° to the left and 180° to the right. While possible to do in-game, setting this in the Thrustmaster Control Panel provides a better Soft Lock.
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring and Damper are not used by F1 2018, so can be set to any value without issue. As a general rule, I leave these at 100% since there are some games that require them.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
F1 2018 Settings
In Game Options > Settings > Controls, Vibration & Force Feedback > Control & Calibration Schemes > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Calibration:
I raise the Steering Linearity to make the wheel slightly less sensitive when it is centered.
In Game Options > Settings > Controls, Vibration & Force Feedback > Control & Calibration Schemes > Thrustmaster TX / T300 > Vibration & Force Feedback:
|Vibration & Force Feedback||On|
|Vibration & Force Feedback Strength||75|
|On Track Effects||20|
|Off Track Effects||45|
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, 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. I find 20-25 works best.
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.