GRID 2 is an arcade game first and foremost, designed primarily to be played with a controller. It supports using a force feedback wheel, but it still feels very much like playing with a controller. As such, it requires a different setup than you would use for more realistic simulators.
Unfortunately, when you try to play with a Thrustmaster T248, you can barely even navigate the menus because the default bindings are completely wrong for a wheel and pedal set. The menu constantly scrolls unless you hold down the brake. You could rightfully assume that the game is just broken, as you are unable to set appropriate bindings for the wheel and pedal controls.
Thankfully, with a little text file editing, we can fix all of those problems and you will have a very nice force feedback wheel to play with. Doing this will let you navigate all the menus (except for the opening title screen for some reason) and play the game using the wheel as if it was natively supported.
In this guide, I will show you how to make GRID 2 support these wheels and what settings to use in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, on the wheel and in-game to provide the best experience.
Device Action Map Files
Every supported input device has a file (called the device action map) that defines it and its button bindings. In order to add support for new wheels, we need to make a new action map file for the device.
When GRID 2 doesn't recognize a device, as is the case for the T248, it uses a default control scheme simply called the "Direct Input Device." This could be either a gamepad or a wheel and, unfortunately, it is very much set up for a gamepad, leading to the constant menu scrolling problem.
In order to get the buttons configured on the wheel properly, we need to replace the Direct Input Device settings file.
Device Action Map
Download the device action map file for the wheel:
Place it into Steam Library\steamapps\common\grid 2\input, replacing the existing file.
We can improve the force feedback effects a little bit by editing the following file in your Steam Library:
Edit the default device listing as follows:
<FFBDevice name="default" scaleForce="0.6" scaleFriction="0.35" baseFriction="0.0" maxFriction="35.0" scaleEffects="0.85" delay="0.0"/>
These are the settings defined for the T500, which is the closest wheel to the T248 that existed at the time.
With the appropriate Direct Input Device settings for your wheel, you will be able to navigate the menus properly, using the correct buttons on the wheel for selecting and canceling actions.
I use a very small steering angle for this game. This is not a serious simulator by any means. It is designed to be played with this small steering angle and actually works very well. You can raise the steering angle if you like (I would go no higher that 360°), but I think you will find that it just makes the steering feel sluggish, without adding any real benefits.
While it is possible to set the steering angle in-game, GRID 2 doesn't have a Soft Lock feature, so the wheel will keep turning past the usable angle. Since the steering angle is so small, you frequently hit the max lock, and turning past it does not feel good. You can fix this by setting the steering angle on the wheel, which will provide the soft lock.
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 GRID 2. 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.
GRID 2 Settings
Until you can load the new Direct Input Device settings, you will have to hold one of the pedals part way to stop the menus from scrolling constantly.
In Options & Extras > Options > Controls:
In order for the new controls to be used, you must load the "Direct Input Device" preset. Now that you can navigate the menus using the wheel, feel free to customize the buttons as you see fit.
In Options & Extras > Options > Controls > Advanced Wheel Settings:
Make sure to set the Steering Deadzone to 0%, as the default is 20%, which makes the wheel feel completely broken.
In Options & Extras > Options > Vibration & Feedback:
|Vibration & Feedback||On|
Vibration Strength controls the vibrations you feel, mostly based on the texture of the road surface.
Wheel Strength controls the main force feedback you feel. It's mainly the resistance to turning in the corners and going loose when you drift.
Wheel Weight is a damper force that adds a constant weight to the wheel. Setting this too high makes the wheel too sluggish to turn quickly, which is needed constantly in this game.
Bonus Tip: Game Progress Not Saving?
While I was working on this guide, I thought GRID 2 had a horrible bug that would prevent the game from saving any data, whether it be control settings or actual game progress. Doing some research, I found many people had this problem, and the one thing they had in common was that they all had modified the game files in some way. In fact, it isn't a "bug" at all, but rather an anti-cheat mechanism the game has built in to it. Many had tried to get rid of the opening logo movie, for instance, and then the game won't save any data.
Thankfully, modifying the two files we need does NOT cause this to happen, just make sure not to add any additional files into those folders, like creating a backup copy of the original files.
I was very disappointed when I first started GRID 2 and saw what a mess the default controls were creating. I had started to give up hope until I dug into the game files and found that I could modify the default controls without losing the ability to save the game. Now that I can finally play this game properly, I'm having a great time with it and I hope you will too.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.