GRID Autosport, just like its predecessor GRID 2, plays very well with a wheel. Unfortunately, when you try to play with a Thrustmaster TMX, T150 or any other unsupported wheel, 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, which makes it nearly impossible to bind the pedals to accelerate and brake. You could rightfully assume that the game is just broken when using an unsupported wheel.
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. With good force feedback and the return of the cockpit view, GRID Autosport ventures closer to the feel of a raw simulator, while maintaining the wild arcade action that defines the series.
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 Autosport doesn't recognize a device, as is the case for the TMX and T150, 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 setup 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 your wheel:
Place it into Steam Library\steamapps\common\GRID Autosport\input, replacing the existing file.
Now, 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.
Force Feedback Settings
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="1.2" scaleFriction="0.3" baseFriction="0.05" maxFriction="100.0" scaleEffects="1.19" delay="0.0"/>
These are the settings defined for the G27, which is the closest wheel to the TMX or T150 that existed at the time. This change is quite subtle, but there is no reason not to match the settings.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
Unlike previous entries in the series, this game plays with a far more realistic steering control, allowing us to use a much larger steering angle than the 180° I used for those. I found that 540° works well for all the cars except the open wheels, where I prefer 360°.
While it is possible to set the steering angle in-game, GRID Autosport doesn't have a Soft Lock feature, so the wheel will keep turning past the usable angle. You can fix this by setting the steering angle in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, which will provide the soft lock.
You can also change the steering angle directly on the wheel by holding the Mode button and pressing left or right on the d-pad. This will switch between 270°, 360°, 540°, 900° and 1080° (T150 only).
|Rotation||540° / 360° (Open Wheel)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||100%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring and Damper are not used by GRID Autosport. 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 Autosport Settings
In Options & Extras > Options > Controls:
Choose the "Direct Input Device" preset. Now that you can navigate the menus properly using the wheel, feel free to customize the buttons as you see fit.
From now on, whenever you start the game, make sure to press some buttons on the wheel before pressing the enter key on your keyboard. If you don't do this, you may need to go back and select the Direct Input Device preset.
In Options & Extras > Options > Controls > Advanced Options:
In Options & Extras > Options > Vibration:
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. This is how you will feel the amount of grip your tires have.
Wheel Weight is a damper force that adds a constant weight to the wheel. Setting this too high makes the wheel feel very sluggish.
Bonus Tip: Game Progress Not Saving?
While I was figuring out how all of this worked, I thought GRID Autosport had a horrible bug that would prevent the game from saving any data, whether it be control settings or actual game progress. I saw that many other people had this problem, and the one thing they had in common was that they all had modified the game files in some way. This isn't a "bug" at all, but rather an anti-cheat mechanism the game has built in to it. I had added several files, trying out different settings, which had triggered this mechanism.
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.
When I initially got this game and couldn't get the wheel to work, I was very disappointed and didn't really play it. Now that I put the time in to get this to work, I've found a whole new appreciation for this game series. There is a lot of fun to be had here.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.