Forza Motorsport 7 is an arcade racer first and foremost, designed primarily to be played with a controller, but it actually plays well with a wheel. The default force feedback settings for the Thrustmaster T248 are usable, but it feels fairly lifeless and disconnected from the road. Thankfully, this can be improved a lot by adjusting a few settings.
Unfortunately on the PC, you can't navigate the menus using these wheels, but you can drive just fine. I have heard the console version doesn't have this problem. It's not a huge issue, but you need to keep a keyboard nearby.
With there being so many cars of wildly different types in this game, it is difficult to find the best settings that work for every situation. I focused on the sports cars, but they seem to work well across all the different types. Remember that you can adjust the force feedback strength individually for every car in the game.
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 improve the force feedback.
Forza Motorsport 7 doesn't set the rotation automatically for the vehicle you are driving, so the easiest thing to do is to set it manually on the wheel. I typically use 720° for road cars, 540° for rally-style cars and 360° for F1-style cars.
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|
|Overall Strength of all forces||65%|
|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 not used by Forza Motorsport 7, so can be set to any value without issue. As a general rule, I leave these at 100% since there are some games that require them.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
Forza Motorsport 7 Settings
In Options > Controller > Input Options:
|Combine Gas & Brake||Off|
The game doesn't automatically recognize the T248 on the PC, so you need to manually bind all the controls for it, including the steering and pedal inputs.
In Options > Controller > Advanced:
|Steering Axis Deadzone Inside||0|
|Steering Axis Deadzone Outside||100|
|Steering Axis Invert||Off|
|Acceleration Axis Deadzone Inside||0|
|Acceleration Axis Deadzone Outside||100|
|Acceleration Axis Invert||On|
|Deceleration Axis Deadzone Inside||0|
|Deceleration Axis Deadzone Outside||100|
|Deceleration Axis Invert||On|
You also need to manually set the proper Deadzones for the steering and pedals.
Deadzone Inside will ignore the input in the center of the wheel or the beginning of the pedals.
Deadzone Outside will ignore the input when the wheel is turned to its maximum or at the end of the pedal travel.
|Force Feedback Scale||100|
|Aligning Torque Scale||130|
|Mechanical Trail Scale||90|
|Pneumatic Trail Scale||110|
|Road Feel Scale||105|
|Wheel Damper Scale||100|
|Center Spring Scale||60|
|Dynamic Damper Behavior||100|
|Invert Force Feedback||On|
|Use Gamepad Steering Filters||Off|
Vibration Scale vibrates the wheel when you lose traction. I find this quite distracting, so I turn it off completely. If you want to use it, I recommend keeping it very low.
Force Feedback Scale is the overall strength of forces. You can change this on a per-car basis using the Steering Wheel Tuning option in the car Setup.
Aligning Torque Scale is the main force feedback you feel. This needs to be quite high to get the proper strength in the wheel. I have this set to be quite aggressive, so feel free to turn this down if you find the bumps and jolts too strong.
Mechanical Trail Scale is lowered to make the force feedback a little sharper and more responsive.
Pneumatic Trail Scale is raised to add some weight to the wheel.
Road Feel Scale controls the vibrations you feel from bumps in the road surface. This is largely personal preference. You can raise or lower this to your liking.
Load Sensitivity gives information about the car's tires. You will feel the wheel get heavier as the tire's grip is pushed harder.
Wheel Damper Scale adds some weight to the wheel.
Center Spring Scale pulls the wheel back to the center position. Setting this too high starts removing actual force feedback information and simply replacing it with the center spring.
Dynamic Damper Behavior adjusts the damper effect based on the car's speed. Lowering this gives a more constant damper effect. The damper isn't that strong on these wheels, so this works fine at the default.
In Setup > Tuning & Upgrades > Steering Wheel Tuning:
The easiest way to set the proper steering angle for each car is to change the rotation on the wheel and leave the Steering Lock Range at 100. However, if you want to set a perfectly accurate steering angle for a particular car, set the rotation on the wheel to 900° and change the Steering Lock Range. The game has a Soft Lock, so the wheel will stop turning at the exact angle you want.
|Rotation Degree||900° Wheel|
There is quite a lot of confusion about whether to set the Steering Assist to Normal or Simulation. When you are using a gamepad, the Normal Assist does some magic to adjust the input as well as the physics to make steering easier. When you are using a wheel, only the physics changes apply, nothing happens to your actual inputs. In Simulation mode, both the input and the physics changes are removed entirely for both gamepad and wheel.
Some people say that when you are using a wheel, the Simulation setting improperly affects something about the physics. The posts I found discussing this were several years old and written before a major patch that completely revamped the force feedback system, so it's entirely possible the information is outdated. I have been using the Simulation setting without issue, so I'm assuming this was fixed.
Being used to the physics in Assetto Corsa, I actually found Forza 7 fairly difficult to play. The physics are different enough to make you have to relearn how to drive. I was hoping that some of that could be fixed by changing the force feedback settings, but, in the end, it's just an inherent part of the game. Once I got used to it, though, I starting having a lot more fun. There are a lot of great tracks and huge number of cars to drive, leading to some very interesting race moments.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.