Shift 2 Unleashed is a great arcade racer that still holds up after all these years. It was developed by Slightly Mad Studios, the studio that would go on to make the Project CARS series, so it's not hard to see why it plays so well.
The force feedback for the Thrustmaster T248 is fairly basic, but it tells you everything you need to know about the car. Unfortunately, they didn't add many force feedback settings into the game. Instead, you are forced to adjust the levels of the forces in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, which only works if you are playing on a PC.
The game feels pretty good right out of the box, but once properly adjusted, I think it feels great. In this guide, I will show you how to adjust the settings in the Thrustmaster Control Panel and in the game itself to improve the force feedback.
Shift 2 Unleashed provides almost no force feedback settings in the game. Instead, we have to adjust the force feedback directly in the Thrustmaster Control Panel. Console players, unfortunately, don't have these options available.
You have to remember to reset these back to the default when you want to play another game.
You can adjust the steering angle to your liking. I found 360° works well, but can be a little too sensitive, so I raised it to 480°. Anything much higher than that starts feeling not sensitive enough for this style of game.
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|
Constant is not used by the game.
Periodic controls the vibrations you feel from the kerbs and any bumps or collisions.
Spring is the centering force, which acts as the main force you feel. This is heavy in the corners and lightens when you lose traction.
Damper adds weight to the wheel, which isn't needed on these wheels.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
Shift 2 Unleashed Settings
Unfortunately, there are some issues with wheel support in this game. Annoyingly, you are not able to navigate the menus with the wheel, so keep a keyboard nearby.
Worse, though, is a strange force feedback bug that can happen when you first start an event. Sometimes there is no force feedback, or the force feedback is inverted, causing the wheel to vibrate and spin erratically. The fix is to simply pause and resume the game. Sometimes you have to do this multiple times.
In Options > Gameplay:
I recommend turning off Traction Control and Stability Control for a more dynamic driving experience. The game is pretty forgiving even with these off.
In Options > Gameplay > Controls:
|Preset Config||Custom Wheel|
You will have to manually bind all the controls in the Adjust Controls section.
In Options > Gameplay > Adjust Controls > Advanced:
|Force Feedback Strength||100%|
|Speed Sensitivity (Drift)||0%|
|Steering Lock (Drift)||75%|
Force Feedback Strength changes the overall strength. It's best to leave this at 100% and do all the force feedback adjustments in the Thrustmaster Control Panel directly. Console versions can't do that, so they will need to lower this setting to about 75%.
Steering Sensitivity is the linearity of the wheel. 50% creates perfectly linear steering, which is what you want.
Speed Sensitivity lowers the sensitivity as your speed increases. This is useful on a gamepad, but is completely unnecessary with a wheel.
Steering Deadzone, Throttle Deadzone and Brake Deadzone should all be set to 0%.
Steering Lock is the percentage of the range of the wheel as set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel to use in game. There is no soft lock if you lower this, so you can keep turning the wheel past the point in registers in the game. Leave this at 100% and set the steering angle in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.
On Consoles, the Steering Lock sets the rotation angle directly. I find 480° works well.
Steering Lock (Drift) lets you lower the steering angle for the Drift events. I find lowering the steering angle makes drifting much easier. I am not a drifter, though, so you will have to find what works best for yourself.
I had never played Shift 2 until very recently. It has quickly become one of my favorite racing games. If you have a VR headset, you may be interested to know that Shift 2 Unleashed works very well in VR using VorpX.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.