Forza Horizon 4 has a bad reputation when it comes to force feedback wheel support, and most people recommend just playing it with a controller. While there is no doubt that the game is primarily intended to be played with a controller, in some ways it actually works very well with the Thrustmaster T248.
These wheels were released well after this game came out, so they don't have native support in the game. The actual driving works perfectly fine, but you can't navigate the menus and use the interface with the wheel. You can bind a few functions to the buttons on the wheel, but you will need your keyboard nearby to do most things. The default force feedback is a little weak on these wheels and needs to be strengthened to bring out more information. With the right settings applied, the force feedback actually feels quite good.
The game is obviously not a simulation like Assetto Corsa, so you have to manage your expectations accordingly. It feels different to play an arcade racer with a wheel than it does a simulator, and I have a feeling this is where much of the criticism comes from. If you primarily play simulation-style games, you will have get used to the physics, but once you do, there is a ton of fun to be had.
It is difficult to find the single best settings for every situation since there are so many cars and types of races in the game. I tried to find a nice balance that works well for the majority of cars and races. In this guide, I will show you what you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, on the wheel and in the game to improve the force feedback.
Forza Horizon 4 doesn't have a Soft Lock feature, meaning you can keep turning your wheel past the point it can in the real car. The best way to solve this is to set the steering angle on the wheel itself. I use 540° as it is an overall good setting for most cars in the game, but you can always change it on a per-car basis since it's so easy to change on the wheel.
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 used by Forza Horizon 4. Since it is commonly recommended turning them off, make sure they are set to 100%.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
Forza Horizon 4 Settings
In Settings > Control Settings > Wheel > Advanced:
|Steering Axis Deadzone Inside
|Steering Axis Deadzone Outside
|Force Feedback Scale
|Center Spring Scale
|Wheel Damper Scale
|Force Feedback Understeer
|Force Feedback Minimum Force
Vibration Scale controls the vibration you feel when you lose traction. I find this annoying on these wheels, so I turn it off completely.
Force Feedback Scale is actually the Aligning Torque setting, the predominant force you feel in the wheel, not the overall strength of the force feedback. Setting this too high will make the wheel quite jerky, especially on dirt roads.
Center Spring Scale is the force pulling the wheel back to the center. This is not very powerful, so raising it to the maximum actually works fine.
Wheel Damper Scale adds weight to the wheel. Raising this too high will make the wheel much too heavy and lifeless.
Force Feedback Understeer controls how light the wheel gets when you enter understeer. It's recommended by the developers to not change this value.
Force Feedback Minimum Force is actually the Pneumatic Trail Align Torque setting. This lets you feel the weight shift of the car. I have this set fairly high, so you may want to lower this depending on your preference.
In Settings > Difficulty Settings:
Coming from more simulator-style games, I found it really helped to turn off Traction and Stability control to get the cars to feel more responsive. Be aware, however, that it may not be right for all cars and all types of races.
The in-game steering wheel animation only turns 90° left or right, despite the actual steering rotation value. For this reason I highly recommend playing from the Drivers camera, which hides the wheel and only shows the car's dashboard. This is actually a much more natural camera view for playing with a wheel and one that I hope more games will adopt.
I heard such bad things about this game's wheel support that I largely overlooked it. Once I actually sat down and tried it for myself, however, I found that those issues really aren't that bad. Once I got used to the physics, I started having a lot of fun with this game. I highly recommend trying it out.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.