Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

Best Forza Horizon 4 Wheel Settings for Thrustmaster TMX / T150

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 and 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.


Settings

In the Thrustmaster Control Panel:

Set the rotation to its maximum.

Under Gain Settings:

Setting Value
Overall Strength of all forces 100%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 0%
Auto-Center by the game

The Damper applies a constant dampening effect (on top of any in-game settings), making the wheel feel heavy. On lower-end wheels, there is plenty of natural dampening in the wheel mechanism itself. (Dampening is used on higher-end wheels to solve oscillation problems.)

The Spring force constantly pulls the wheel back to the center, but, unlike the Damper, it is completely controlled by the game, just like the Constant and Periodic forces. Most games don't use the Spring force at all (their native physics simulations do this already), so it actually doesn't matter what the value is set to in the Control Panel.

I leave the Spring force on in the Control Panel, making the in-game settings the only factor controlling the force feedback. This makes the settings consistent across all games and prevents confusion in the few games that use it about why a FFB setting seems to have no effect.


In Forza Horizon 4:

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
Steering Sensitivity 50

The Force Feedback Scale controls the overall FFB strength. You can turn this up or down depending on your personal preference.

The Center Spring and Wheel Damper only serve to make the wheel feel heavier than it needs to. These lower-end wheels have plenty of native dampening already. Similarly, I lower the Force Feedback Minimum Force setting to further lighten the wheel.

If you don't like the vibration, you can turn it off completely with the Vibration Scale setting. It is used more as an immersive element in this game rather than giving information about what the car is doing.


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.

One problem the game has is the lack of a Soft Lock feature, meaning you can keep turning the wheel past the point you are able to in the actual car. In practice, I found this rarely to be an issue, but it is something to keep in mind. It is also 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 effect 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.

Question or Comment?