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 TX and T300.
The default force feedback is actually quite light on these wheels and needs to be strengthened to bring out more information. There is an incredibly irritating vibration effect that, thankfully, is very easy to turn off. With the right settings applied, I think 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.
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. I have a found a nice balance that seems to work well for the majority of cars and races.
In this guide, we will first look at the settings you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, if playing on a PC. Then we will look at the in-game settings to improve the force feedback.
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.
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring and Damper are used by Forza Horizon 4. Since it is commonly recommended to turn 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||0|
|Steering Axis Deadzone Outside||100|
|Force Feedback Scale||60|
|Center Spring Scale||100|
|Wheel Damper Scale||0|
|Force Feedback Understeer||25|
|Force Feedback Minimum Force||40|
Vibration Scale controls the vibration you feel when you lose traction. I find this very 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.
Wheel Damper Scale adds weight to the wheel. There is no need for this on these wheels.
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. Raising this adds strength to the forces at the center point of the wheel.
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.
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.
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.