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 game plays very well on the Thrustmaster TX and T300. 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. Adding to the lifeless feeling was that the vibration effects from the road surface were too light and easily overwhelmed by the other forces.
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.
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 fix 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 and to strengthen the vibration forces. 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.
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. Be careful, though, raising this too high will make the force feedback way too strong and violent. You will probably only need to raise this to 1.1 to get the result you want.
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. I found this very light on these wheels, so I have raised it to the maximum value.
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 much stronger, so I keep this at 1.0.
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, though, I think this will be a great game.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.