WRC 7, like most rally games, really shines when you play it with a wheel. Unfortunately, the default force feedback settings don't give the best first impression. The forces are too violent and there is too much vibration that makes it very difficult to tell what the car is doing. Maybe on higher end wheels this is less of a problem, but on the Thrustmaster TMX and T150, it just makes a mess out of the force feedback.
Thankfully, the game provides a great deal of customization when it comes to the force feedback settings. I tested every setting until I found a nice balance of forces so you aren't fighting the wheel and still get plenty of information about the car and road surface.
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 WRC 7:
In Options > Controls > Steering Wheel > Settings:
|Steering Dead Zone||0%|
|Max Wheel Angle||540|
In Options > Controls > Steering Wheel > Force Feedback and Vibrations:
|Force Feedback Level||75%|
|Level of Force Feedback Vibration||60%|
|Shock Absorber Force||50%|
All the forces needed to be lowered quite a bit and especially the vibrations. I really do like how the game separates the forces and vibrations and gives separate overall levels for each type. It makes it easy to keep the same proportions of forces, while raising or lowering them all equally.
Much of the fun of a rally game comes in how connected you feel to the car. If you don't feel as if you can control it well, the game simply isn't fun. It can feel more like guesswork than actual skill when you are speeding around corners. Once I got these settings dialed in, and with a little practice in how the game physics work, I felt like I knew what the car was doing and had the confidence to drive it naturally.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.