Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

Best Forza Horizon 5 Wheel Settings for Thrustmaster T248

Forza Horizon 5 feels fairly similar to its predecessor. I'm sure some of the details of the handling and physics have been updated, but it maintains the same general driving characteristics. The games play great for what they are doing, so there isn't a good reason to change things too much.

Unfortunately, though, there are definitely some bugs that need to be fixed across the game as a whole, and some of those directly affect the force feedback. In particular, several force feedback settings seem to be locked into a single value and cannot be changed, despite having sliders for them.

Despite that, the game plays very well on the Thrustmaster T248. The default force feedback is decent, but the main problem I had to solve was that the wheel was too quick to reach the maximum force in corners. It didn't feel natural and made the wheel feel heavy and lifeless.

Thankfully, there are enough settings available to fix this and make the wheel feel much more natural and informative. With the adjustments I made, the wheel has much more power available to deliver bumps and information about the tires without going dead in the corners. It can make the wheel a little loose in certain conditions, but I think the tradeoff is worth it.

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 fix the force feedback.

Thrustmaster Settings

Forza Horizon 5 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.

On-Wheel Setting Value
ROT 540°
FORCE 4
FFB 1

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 Value
Rotation 540°
Overall Strength of all forces 65%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 100%
BOOST Off
Auto-Center 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 supposed to be used by Forza Horizon 5 to control the Center Spring and Wheel Damper settings, respectively. I've tried every combination possible, but, as far as I can tell, the game currently isn't using them at all.

BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.

Forza Horizon 5 Settings

In Settings > Difficulty:

Setting Value
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, especially Stability Control.


In Settings > Advanced Controls:

Setting Value
Vibration On
Invert Force Feedback On
Steering Axis Deadzone Inside 0
Steering Axis Deadzone Outside 100
Steering Linearity 50
Vibration Scale 0.1
Force Feedback Scale 1.5
Center Spring Scale 0.0
Wheel Damper Scale 0.0
Mechanical Trail Scale 0.9
Force Feedback Minimum Force 0.7-0.8
Force Feedback Load Sensitivity 0.6
Road Feel Scale 0.7
Off-Road Feel Scale 0.2
Steering Sensitivity 0.5

Vibration enables or disables the vibration effects. These are different than the shaking of the Road Feel and Off-Road Feel effects.

Vibration Scale controls the strength of the vibrations. These tend to create a buzzing feel and noise that I find annoying nearly every time you shift gears and randomly as you drive on paved roads. It also adds impact effects when you hit something. I recommend keep these effects very low or turned off completely, but it is personal preference.

Force Feedback Scale is actually the Aligning Torque setting, the predominant force you feel in the wheel. I raise this all the way up to increase the maximum range of forces available to the wheel. Doing this alone would make the wheel far too heavy and uncontrollable. Lowering the Load Sensitivity will balance this out, giving the wheel a much wider dynamic range of forces.

Center Spring Scale is the force pulling the wheel back to the center. This setting seems to have no effect, either by design or because of a bug. I've set this to zero since the main force feedback already centers the wheel with plenty of power.

Wheel Damper Scale adds weight to the wheel. These wheels don't need a damper, so I set this to 0. Like Center Spring Scale, this setting doesn't seem to actually work, though. I can't feel a difference no matter what value I set. (Tested with the Damper at 100% in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.)

Mechanical Trail Scale most obviously controls how light the wheel gets when you enter understeer. It's recommended by the developers to not change this value from the default of 1.0, but I find lowering it just a bit makes it easier to feel the understeer happening.

Force Feedback Minimum Force is actually the Pneumatic Trail Align Torque setting. This will adjust the strength of the forces at the center point of the wheel and generally adds weight to the wheel. I find I need to adjust this on a per-car basis. Even a 0.1 difference makes the wheel noticeably heavier.

Force Feedback Load Sensitivity needs to be lowered to compensate for raising the Force Feedback Scale so high. Lowering the Load Sensitivity effectively widens the range of forces available to the wheel. The forces can peak strongly as necessary for bumps and such, but will have a much smoother feel when driving, instead of constantly reaching the max force in every corner. You can raise this if you want the wheel to feel a little heavier overall.

Road Feel Scale controls the amount of vibrations you'll feel from the tarmac road surface.

Off-Road Feel Scale, just like Road Feel Scale, controls the amount of vibrations you will feel whenever you are not on tarmac surfaces.

Steering Sensitivity can be used to change the steering angle, but since there is no Soft Lock feature and the steering wheel animation only moves 90°, there is no way to know when you've hit the maximum steering lock when using this setting.

Conclusion

So far, I'm enjoying the new locations and the overall gameplay of Forza Horizon 5. Unfortunately, it is no surprise there are a lot of bugs that need to be fixed. Once they get everything worked out, though, I think this will be a great game.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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