Project CARS plays very well with a wheel, but the default force feedback settings aren't the best for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150. I didn't feel as connected to what the car was doing as I wanted and a lot of the road surface details were too vague.
When I went into the force feedback options, I was completely overwhelmed by all of the options available. Even as someone who likes to tinker with settings, this was just too much. On top of that, each individual car has its own customization options. I honestly didn't even know where to begin.
As you would expect, the incredible community around this game has done all of this work already. All I had to do was put some pieces together and try it out. I am very happy to say that the community efforts work beautifully, providing excellent force feedback even on these weaker wheels, making the cars drive very naturally.
In this guide I will show you what you need to download, how to install it and the settings to use in-game.
You will need to sign up for a free account on the Project CARS Forum to download these files.
Jack Spade's Tweaker Files (Scroll down beneath the folder descriptions to find the download link.)
These are a set of customized FFB settings for each individual car in the game. This is an incredible resource.
PCars Force Curve Modifier
This application tests the force feedback response of your wheel and calculates the values you need to input into the Project CARS settings menu.
There are two parts to getting the force feedback working right. The first is to install a set of custom force feedback settings. The second is to calibrate your wheel's force feedback response.
Unpack the Jack Spade Tweaker zip file that you downloaded. You will see several numbered folders, each containing a variant of the same set of customized force feedback settings for each car in the game.
In the folder "1. Standard-Classic", rename the subfolder "FFB standard" to "FFB" and copy this to your "Documents\Project CARS" folder. If a folder named "FFB" exists in this location, Project CARS will use those settings, overriding anything in the in-game UI. In fact, it won't even display these values in the in-game UI at all.
You can use this same technique to try out any of the variants as well, but I found the standard settings worked the best. You can even do this while the game is still running (just exit out of the current race), so it's easy to switch between them.
PCars Force Curve Modifier
Unpack and run the FCM application. From the Wheel menu, run the Force Test with these settings:
|Test Type||Linear Force Test|
|Number of Samples||4|
|Wheel Rotation||900 (TMX) or 1080 (T150)|
When the test finishes, a graph will be displayed with the results of the test. You be able to see quite clearly how the response curve is not the ideal straight line.
Click the "Calculate best R2 value" button.
The graph will change, and the values will now be set to give the wheel a much better linear force feedback response.
Take note of the values for Scoop Knee, Scoop Reduction and Deadzone Removal. You will have to input these numbers into the Project CARS force feedback settings menu in the next step.
In the Thrustmaster Control Panel:
Set the rotation to its maximum.
Under Gain Settings:
|Overall Strength of all forces||100%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
The Damper applies a constant dampening effect (on top of any in-game settings), making the wheel feel heavy. On lower-end wheels, there is plenty of natural dampening in the wheel mechanism itself. (Dampening is used on higher-end wheels to solve oscillation problems.)
The Spring force constantly pulls the wheel back to the center, but, unlike the Damper, it is completely controlled by the game, just like the Constant and Periodic forces. Most games don't use the Spring force at all (their native physics simulations do this already), so it actually doesn't matter what the value is set to in the Control Panel.
I leave the Spring force on in the Control Panel, making the in-game settings the only factor controlling the force feedback. This makes the settings consistent across all games and prevents confusion in the few games that use it about why a FFB setting seems to have no effect.
In Project CARS:
In Options & Help > Controls > Configuration:
|Controller Filtering Sensitivity||0|
These are mostly the default settings, except that the Force Feedback needs to be raised to 100, as that is what the Jack Spade Tweaker Files are calibrated on.
In Options & Help > Controls > Control Scheme > Calibrate Force Feedback:
|Per Wheel Movement||0.00|
|Per Wheel Movement Squared||0.00|
|Wheel Position Smoothing||0.04|
|Deadzone Removal Range||0.00|
|Dead Removal Falloff||(Deadzone Removal value from FCM)|
|Relative Adjust Gain||1.50|
|Relative Adjust Bleed||0.10|
|Relative Adjust Clamp||1.00|
|Scoop Knee||(Scoop Knee value from FCM)|
|Scoop Reduction||(Scoop Reduction value from FCM)|
|Soft Clipping (Half Input)||0.80|
|Soft Clipping (Full Output)||1.39|
|Menu Spring Strength||0.40|
|Low Speed Spring Coefficient||0.92|
|Low Speed Spring Saturation||1.00|
These values, again, are all calibrated for use by the Jack Spade Tweaker Files and don't need to be adjusted any further. To change the overall strength of the force feedback, adjust the Tire Force value.
Getting the force feedback to work to its very best makes a big difference to the enjoyment of a game like this. It is much easier to drive on the limit when you feel more connected to what the car is doing. Part of that is simply learning how the physics of the game work, but another is how much information you are getting through the wheel. If the wheel doesn't feel right, you won't have the confidence to push the limits of the car. With these settings applied, I find driving with the wheel feels very natural, which is exactly what I want.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.