WRC 8 was a big step up for the WRC series. The physics are believable and the courses are intricate and detailed, making this a very strong competitor to DiRT Rally 2.0. Rally games play incredibly well with a force feedback wheel.
For the Thrustmaster TX and T300, the default force feedback is functional, but the wheel is often too heavy and resistant to turning. There are too many vibration forces that cover up the detail of the road. Thankfully, the game provides a great deal of customization when it comes to the force feedback settings. I was able to find settings that make the wheel noticeably lighter and more detailed in its feedback as well as remove many of the annoying vibration effects.
In this guide, we will first look at the settings you need to set in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, if playing on a PC. Then we will look at the in-game settings to improve the force feedback.
Thrustmaster Control Panel Settings
WRC 8 automatically sets the wheel rotation based on the value you set in-game, so you can leave the value in the Thrustmaster Control Panel at the maximum.
|Rotation||900° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
Spring is used by WRC 8 to control the Self Centre setting.
Damper is used by WRC 8 to control the Tyre Load setting.
BOOST should always be turned off. For an in-depth look as to why, see my BOOST Force Feedback Analysis.
WRC 8 Settings
In Options > Controls > Key Bindings > Steering:
I turn the sensitivity up just a little bit to make the wheel more sensitive when centered. You might even raise this a bit more, depending on your play style.
In Options > Controls > Settings:
|Max wheel angle||540|
|Self aligning torque||80|
I like how the WRC games separate the force feedback from vibrations and have separate overall levels for each type. It makes it easy to keep the same proportions of forces, while raising or lowering the overall strength of each type.
Self Aligning Torque is the main force that tells you what the car is doing. Effectively, this is trying to keep the wheels straight, and is what causes the wheel to snap around as the tires straighten out of a corner.
Tyre Load is a damper effect based on the load on the tires. Setting this too high will make the wheel unnecessarily heavy in many instances. I turn this off as I don't find it adds much useful information.
Self Centre is the spring force, which artificially pulls the wheel back to the center. I find the Self Aligning Torque does this more naturally, so I turn this off. If you want a more aggressive pull back to the center, you can raise this.
Recentre Force is only used when you reset the car after going off the track. It just puts the wheel back to the center. It has no impact while you are driving.
The vibration forces tell more about the surface of the track, though they are largely canned effects.
Tyre Slip vibrates the wheel whenever the car loses traction. If this is too high, it can be very jarring every time you slide the car around a corner. I don't care for this, so I turn it off.
Engine vibrates the wheel whenever the engine hits the red line. I don't particularly like this, so I have turned it down very low. You could turn this higher if you like the effect.
Suspension creates a low frequency rumble based on the suspension. It's not a totally realistic feeling, but it does a fairly good job making you feel the bumps in the road.
Ground Surface vibrates the wheel when on different surfaces, though it feels more like a buzzing than the actual feel of the road. On gravel stages, for example, it creates a nearly constant vibration that is very annoying. I turn it off completely, but if you like this, I would set it around 40.
Collision vibrates the wheel when you hit things on the side of the road.
Especially in a rally game, simply being able to control the car is half the fun. Your wheel needs to give you the right information to be able to do this. Once you get the force feedback working correctly, you can really start enjoying the game without being distracted by the feeling of the wheel.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.