Gravel is an intense off-road racing game made by the same developers who created Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO. You can feel there is a solid handling model underlying the physics, though it has obviously been adapted to work in an arcade game style. As a result, Gravel feels surprisingly good with a wheel.
For the Thrustmaster TX and T300, the force feedback is really quite good for an arcade game. Unfortunately, there is very little customization available, so there are a few annoying vibration effects, but they don't detract from the actual racing. The default settings make the wheel too light, so the goal is to increase the forces, without making them too strong.
In this guide, I will show you what you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel and in the game to improve the force feedback.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
Gravel has a Soft Lock feature, so it will automatically set the proper steering angle for each car in the game. Set the rotation to the maximum and calibrate the wheel in-game.
|900° (TX) 1080° (T300)
|Overall Strength of all forces
|by the game
Spring and Damper are not used by Gravel. 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.
In Game Options > Controller > Wheel Settings > Steering Wheel Calibration:
Make sure to run the Steering Wheel Calibration. Oddly enough, the onscreen graphic won't match your real wheel's rotation (despite what the game says), but the number will be correct. Just ignore the graphic, the calibration is working fine. You only have to do this once.
In Game Options > Controller > Wheel Settings:
|Force Feedback Intensity
|Steering Angle Settings
Steering Linearity and Steering Deadzone should be left at 0 for linear steering.
Force Feedback Intensity is the main force you feel. It's mostly the feel of the tire grip. You can set this quite high, but the forces can get violent if it is too high.
Vibration Intensity controls several vibration effects. These seem to be mostly canned effects, rather than physics-based. I wish there was more detailed control, since some of these effects are fairly annoying, like the engine vibration at the start of a race, while others are nice. The more important effects act to give you the feel of the suspension. Some of these feel like actual force feedback, rather than a vibration.
Steering Angle Settings should be set to Automatic to use the automatic Soft Lock.
In Race Options:
I recommend turning off all the driving assists in the Race Options. This will make the driving more dynamic and interesting. Even with everything disabled, the game is pretty forgiving.
You will find these in the menu before you start an event. These options are saved between events, so you only need to do this once.
Gravel completely flew under my radar. By the looks of it, I didn't think it would be the kind of game that would play well with a wheel. I was completely wrong; it's actually a lot of fun with one.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.