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. In fact, the default force feedback settings for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150 are actually quite good, which is almost never the case.
Usually default settings are set way too high, making the wheel feel excessively heavy and hard to turn. That is not the case here. My only complaint was that the force feedback felt a little muted, like it was too disconnected from the road. With some tweaking, I was able to find some settings that help make the force feedback feel sharper.
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.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
Forza Motorsport 7 has a Soft Lock feature and makes it easy to set the proper steering angle per car in-game, meaning you can leave the rotation set to the maximum in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.
|Rotation||900° (TMX) 1080° (T150)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||100%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
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 > Advanced:
|Steering Axis Deadzone Inside||0|
|Steering Axis Deadzone Outside||100|
|Force Feedback Scale||100|
|Aligning Torque Scale||100|
|Mechanical Trail Scale||90|
|Pneumatic Trail Scale||110|
|Road Feel Scale||105|
|Wheel Damper Scale||0|
|Center Spring Scale||0|
|Dynamic Damper Behavior||100|
|Invert Force Feedback||Off|
|Use Gamepad Steering Filters||Off|
Steering Axis Deadzone Inside should be set to 0 or there will be an area around the center of the wheel that will have no input recognized.
Steering Axis Deadzone Outside should be set to 100 to use the full range of the wheel's rotation.
Vibration Scale vibrates the wheel when you lose traction. I like less vibrations overall, but you can raise this if you want more. Most of the vibrations happen when you lose traction and start sliding the car.
Force Feedback Scale is the overall strength of forces. You can change this on a per-car setting using the Steering Wheel Tuning option in the car Setup.
Aligning Torque Scale is the main force feedback you feel.
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.
Load Sensitivity gives more information about the car's tires. It makes the force feedback feel more responsive.
Wheel Damper Scale makes the wheel feel heavier without adding any information. There isn't much reason to use this with these wheels.
Center Spring Scale pulls the wheel back to the center position. Like the Wheel Damper, there isn't much use for this on these wheels. This seems to only take effect when you are sliding. If you are doing a lot of drifting, you may want to try raising this. For normal racing, it's just unnecessary.
These are fairly small changes, as you can drive just fine with the default settings. These just make the force feedback a little bit sharper, which just feels a bit more natural to me. I actually didn't notice much difference in my driving; the game wasn't any more or less difficult to drive.
In Setup > Tuning & Upgrades > Steering Wheel Tuning:
It's important to set a proper steering angle for the car you are driving. By default, Forza will use the full rotation of your wheel for every car you drive, which is way too high for most of them.
Thankfully, you can set the wheel rotation angle for each car individually. I typically use 720° for road cars, 540° for rally-style cars and 360° for F1-style cars, but if there are some cars you really like, you can always find the real-world steering angle and set it perfectly.
|Rotation Degree||900° Wheel||1080° 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.