The original Race Driver: GRID is really designed for controllers, so using a wheel feels odd, especially if you are used to more modern, simulator-style games. That said, in the event you want to try it out, there are a few settings you have to change to make the game even playable with a wheel. It won't take long, however, for it to become obvious that using a wheel feels very much like a gimmick more than the proper way to play the game.
While these settings are specifically for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150, there are so few settings here, they will work with any wheel.
I tried a lot of different settings using a wide variety of cars and tracks, and, while not perfect, this is the best I could come up with.
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 GRID Settings:
In Options > Driving Options > Force Feedback / Vibration :
|Force / Vibration||On|
In Options > Driving Options > Advanced:
|Steering Saturation||20% - 40%|
The Steering Saturation controls the steering angle. At 20%, the steering angle will be at 180°, which matches the in-game animation. 20% or 25% is really best for most courses in the game. To properly drift around all the tight corners, you need to be able to throw the wheel around extremely quickly, and you can only do that with a very small steering angle.
For tracks that don't involve constant drifting, you can raise the Steering Saturation to 40% (TMX) or 35% (T150), which gives a more natural 360° rotation. This won't match the steering animation, but the wheel will feel more natural.
Unfortunately, there is no soft lock in this game. You can keep turning the wheel past its maximum angle and not feel any resistance. It's annoying, but largely not a problem since the steering angle is so low.
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, raising the maxFriction value to 45.
<FFBDevice name="default" scaleForce="1.0" scaleFriction="0.8" baseFriction="0.0" maxFriction="45.0" scaleEffects="1.0" delay="0.0"/>
These are the settings used for the G25, which is the closest wheel that existed at the time to the TMX or T150. This change is quite subtle, but there is no reason not to match the settings.
No Force Feedback Effects?
A common problem with GRID is that the force feedback effects will work for one race, but disappear in the next, or just not work at all. If this happens, make sure VSync is turned On in the Graphics Settings. This fixed the issue for me.
Bonus Tip: Running in a High Resolution
As a bonus tip, GRID is limited to running in a 720p resolution for a lot of people, depending on their graphics card. There is an easy solution to this problem.
In your Steam Library, edit the file:
Near the bottom of the file you need to change the values in the
For instance, to run at 1920 x 1080, you need to raise the maxWidth to 1920. Set the mem value to your graphics card's memory in megabytes. I have 8GB on mine, so that becomes 8192 (8 x 1024).
<data> <res maxWidth="1920" mem="8192"/> </data>
With these settings applied, the game feels pretty good with a wheel. A lot of the street races are clearly designed with a controller in mind, requiring a lot of tight turns in quick succession. It can feel pretty gimmicky playing with a wheel in those situations. Overall, though, there is a lot of fun arcade action to be had.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.