The Crew is an online arcade racing game with physics similar to the GRID or Burnout games. While clearly designed primarily to be played with a controller, it actually plays well with a wheel. In fact, I find it more natural to play with a wheel and all the assists turned off. The force feedback is very limited, but it works well enough for what it needs to do.
The default settings for the Thrustmaster TX and T300 are fine, but can be improved. Given the arcade nature of the game, the most important change we need to make is to lower the steering angle. This isn't a realistic simulator, so trying to play it like one with a realistic steering angle doesn't work well.
The force feedback doesn't take advantage of these wheels all that well. These have a smooth turning mechanism, but this game feels gritty as you turn the wheel. I believe it is an inherent limitation in how the game is calculating the force feedback. It's as if it is a very low resolution calculation, and you can feel that jaggedness in these wheels. It's not a big problem, but you do notice it feels different from other games.
In this guide, I will show you the settings I use to improve the force feedback and what you may want to adjust for your own setup.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
The Crew doesn't have a way to set the steering angle in-game, so you have to do it in the Thrustmaster Control Panel. I find a 360° steering angle has the best balance of making quick corrections without being overly sensitive.
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring and Damper are not used by The Crew, so the value doesn't actually matter. I leave these at 100% since there are some games that require it.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
The Crew Settings
In Options > Controls:
|Vehicle Handling Help Level||Hardcore|
When using a wheel, it helps to turn off all the driving assists to give you more control of the car. Even so, the physics of the game are very forgiving.
In Options > Key Mapping:
You will need to manually bind the buttons and pedals. Bind the D-Pad to the Menu Navigation functions for it to work properly. The buttons you bind for Freedrive Challenges and Freedrive Stunts are also the buttons to use your abilities when in a chase.
In Options > Wheel Controls:
Force Feedback is the strength of the forces you feel. Since there is not a numerical display, I just move this 1 click to the left. Setting this too high makes the wheel heavy and lifeless.
Steering Sensitivity controls the linearity of the steering. Set this to 100% (all the way to the right) to have proper linear steering.
Steering Deadzone and Steering Highest ignore the steering input at the lowest and highest range. Leave these at 0% and 100% to use the full range of the wheel.
The Crew is a fun game when it is working. Unfortunately, I've encountered a lot of server issues that make it impossible to progress in the game. You can still drive around and explore the world, but none of the story missions are accessible when this happens. I'm afraid since this is an older game, it doesn't seem to get much support anymore. It would be a real shame if they ever shut down the servers and don't create an offline mode, since it is still a lot of fun just to drive around the world.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.