Brian Koponen

Programming and Tech Tips

NASCAR Heat 2 - Best Thrustmaster T248 Wheel Settings

NASCAR Heat 2 plays very well with a wheel, but it does need some tweaking to get the best experience when using the Thrustmaster T248. The default settings don't provide enough force feedback and the steering angle isn't set properly. Thankfully, these issues are easy to fix.

There is no soft lock in this game, meaning that you can continue turning the wheel past the point you can in the real car. Nothing happens in game when you do this, the input is ignored entirely, but it makes it much harder to control in corners when you can't tell when you've reached that maximum rotation angle.

In this guide, I will show how to correct these issues by setting the proper values in-game, on the wheel and in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, when playing on PC.

Thrustmaster Settings

The big issue with NASCAR Heat 2 is setting the steering angle correctly. In some games, the lack of a Soft Lock feature isn't that big of a deal because you only very rarely reach that point. In NASCAR, however, the steering angle is very small and you will frequently hit the maximum rotation angle. When the wheel keeps turning past that point, the game just doesn't feel right and the cars are harder to control as a result.

We can correct this by changing the rotation angle on the wheel itself, which will provide the rotation lock, and modifying the in-game settings to match this.

On-Wheel Setting Value
ROT 270°
FORCE 4
FFB 1

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
Rotation 270°
Overall Strength of all forces 65%
Constant 100%
Periodic 100%
Spring 100%
Damper 100%
BOOST Off
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 NASCAR Heat 2, so the value actually doesn't matter. Some games require these to be on for their force feedback to work, so I keep them at 100% as a general rule.

BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.

NASCAR Heat 2 Settings

In Options > Controls > Wheel:

Setting Value
Input Device Steering Wheel
Rotation Angle 270°

To work properly, the Rotation Angle needs to be less than what was set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel for some reason. Even though this is set to 180°, it will still use the full 240° rotation.


In Options > Controls:

The settings don't have any numerical values, just a simple slider. The default value is usually the center, which I will refer to as 0 in the following settings. The sliders can go from -5, if fully to the left, all the way to +5, if all the way to the right.

Force Feedback Settings for T248
Force Feedback Settings for T248
Setting Value
Steering Sensitivity 0
Brake Sensitivity -5
Throttle Sensitivity -5
Force Feedback Strength +3
Impact Effect On

Steering Sensitivity should be left at 0. Raising this will make the in-game wheel reach full lock before the actual wheel does. Lowering it will prevent the in-game wheel from being able to reach full lock.

Brake Sensitivity and Throttle Sensitivity are personal preference, but I recommend turning them all the way down to get a more linear response.

Force Feedback Strength controls the resistance to turning based on the tire grip. This can be raised to the maximum without clipping, but the forces are quite strong. I keep it at +3 for a more comfortable experience in long races.

Impact Effects shakes the wheel when you hit other cars or the wall.

Conclusion

The only thing that can't be fixed is that the steering wheel animation doesn't match your input exactly when in cockpit view. The animation only goes 90° left or right and it changes based on how fast you are going. Thankfully it's pretty close to the real life motion, so it's easy to ignore.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Question or Comment?