Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

Forza Horizon 4 - Best Thrustmaster TMX / T150 Wheel Settings

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, it actually works very well with the Thrustmaster TMX and T150. Like most games, the default settings make the wheel feel too heavy and hard to turn, but this is easily corrected with the proper in-game settings.

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.

There are, of course, many different cars and types of races in the game, making it difficult to find the single best settings for every situation. The settings I found lighten the wheel considerably, making it much easier to navigate the twisty-turny courses, while having a fairly strong force feedback response for the track surface and tire grip level.

Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings

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 only way to solve this is to set the steering angle in the Thrustmaster Control Panel. I use 540° as it is an overall good setting for most cars in the game.

Setting Value
Rotation 540°
Overall Strength of all forces 100%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 100%
BOOST Off
Auto-Center by the game

Spring and Damper are used by Forza Horizon 4 for the Center Spring Scale and Wheel Damper Scale settings.

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:

Setting Value
Vibration On
Steering Axis Deadzone Inside 0
Steering Axis Deadzone Outside 100
Steering Linearity 50
Vibration Scale 20
Force Feedback Scale 60
Center Spring Scale 0
Wheel Damper Scale 0
Force Feedback Understeer 25
Force Feedback Minimum Force 25

Vibration Scale controls the vibration you feel when you lose traction. It is used more as an immersive element in this game rather than giving information about what the car is doing.

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.

Wheel Damper Scale adds weight to the wheel.

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. I lower this to further lighten the wheel.


In Settings > Difficulty Settings:

Setting Value
Braking ABS On
Steering Simulation
Traction Control Off
Stability Control Off

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.

It is important to note that 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.

Conclusion

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 either have been fixed or only affect certain types of wheels and not the TMX / T150. Whatever the case, the game is a lot of fun and I highly recommend taking it for a spin.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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