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. I haven't seen other people mentioning this, so it's possible this might not be too common.
The default settings for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150 aren't terrible, but they make the wheel too heavy and lifeless. I noticed the wheel too often hitting its maximum power in corners. 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, if playing on PC, and what to set in-game to improve the force feedback.
No Force Feedback Bugfix
On release, Forza Horizon 5 has a bug that causes Thrustmaster wheels to sometimes have no force feedback, even though the wheel otherwise works normally. The solution is very simple, if slightly annoying. Simply disconnect and reconnect the wheel while the game is running. This fixes the issue for me.
Surely this will be fixed in a patch, but this is an easy workaround for the moment.
Thrustmaster Control Panel 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 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
|by the game
Spring and Damper are supposed to be used by Forza Horizon 5 to control the Center Spring and Wheel Damper settings, respectively. As far as I can tell, the game currently isn't using them at all on these wheels.
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:
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:
|Invert Force Feedback
|Steering Axis Deadzone Inside
|Steering Axis Deadzone Outside
|Force Feedback Scale
|Center Spring Scale
|Wheel Damper Scale
|Mechanical Trail Scale
|Force Feedback Minimum Force
|Force Feedback Load Sensitivity
|Road Feel Scale
|Off-Road Feel Scale
Vibration Scale should control the vibration you feel when you lose traction. Unfortunately, this seems to do nothing. There is no vibration at all based on the traction, as far as I can tell, and changing this setting does not seem to alter any other force feedback effect.
Force Feedback Scale is actually the Aligning Torque setting, the predominant force you feel in the wheel. This doesn't affect the Center Spring or Wheel Damper, but does scale the vibration effects. 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 uncomfortable. Lowering the Load Sensitivity will balance this out, giving the wheel a much wider dynamic range of forces.
Center Spring Scale is a force pulling the wheel back to the center, while the Wheel Damper Scale simply adds weight to the wheel. Neither of these settings seem to have any effect, either by design or because of a bug. Thankfully, I don't think either of these would improve the force feedback, but whenever this bug gets fixed, I will revisit these settings.
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.
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 and generally adds weight to the wheel. You can adjust this on a per-car basis if you need to add some strength to the wheel.
Force Feedback Load Sensitivity needs to be lowered all the way 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.
Road Feel Scale controls the amount of vibrations you'll feel from the tarmac road surface. With the Force Feedback Scale set to the maximum, this can be a very strong force, particularly on very textured road surfaces, so I have turned this down quite a bit.
Off-Road Feel Scale, just like Road Feel Scale, controls the amount of vibrations you will feel whenever you are not on tarmac surfaces. This is an even stronger force, so I turn this down even more.
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.
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, I think this will be a great game.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.