WRC 9 continues to improve the series over the already excellent WRC 8. It has some of the best courses available in a rally game and it feels very nice to drive, once you get used to the physics. As expected, it plays great with a wheel, but for the Thrustmaster T248, the default force feedback is too heavy, making the wheel feel sluggish, and the vibration effects are far too strong, making the wheel very loud and hard to control.
Thankfully, the game provides a great deal of customization when it comes to the force feedback settings. I lightened the wheel a bit and lowered or removed several of the effects that were creating excessive vibrations. Now the wheel is light enough to handle the frequent hairpin corners, but still provides plenty of information about the car and road surface.
In this guide, I will show how to correct these issues by setting the proper values in-game, on the wheel and in the Thrustmaster Control Panel, when playing on PC.
WRC 9 automatically sets the wheel rotation based on the value you set in-game, so it is best to leave the rotation set to the maximum on the wheel.
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|
Rotation and Overall Strength are identical to the ROT and FORCE wheel settings, respectively. Changing it in one place overwrites the other. I recommend changing these on the wheel and ignoring the values in the Thrustmaster Control Panel.
Spring is used by WRC 9 to control the Self Centre setting.
Damper is used by WRC 9 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 9 Settings
In Options > Controls > Key Bindings:
|Steer Left Sensitivity||0|
|Steer Left Deadzone||0|
|Steer Left Saturation||100|
|Steer Left Rescale||Off|
|Steer Left Invert||On|
|Steer Right Sensitivity||0|
|Steer Right Deadzone||0|
|Steer Right Saturation||100|
|Steer Right Rescale||Off|
|Steer Right Invert||Off|
These are just the default values. No changes were necessary. You could raise the sensitivity a little bit if you would like the car to turn a little faster when the wheel is centered.
In Options > Controls > Settings:
It's important to set the Max Wheel Angle to 540. For some reason it defaults to 380, deviating from every other rally game I've played.
|Max wheel angle||540|
|Self aligning torque||135|
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.
Overall Force controls the overall strength of the forces, without affecting the vibrations. I find this needs to be changed based on the car and stage you are running. Legends and Junior WRC cars tend to have lighter steering, so you may want to raise this for those.
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. This lets you feel how much grip the tires have. Setting this too high will make the wheel unnecessarily heavy in many instances. Setting it too low will make the wheel feel erratic as the other forces will feel too strong by comparison.
Self Centre is the spring force, which pulls the wheel back to the center. This isn't a constant force, so you're not always fighting against it. Without this, the wheel can feel a little too loose and can overcorrect coming out of corners.
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. They all need to be lowered dramatically since these wheels tend to amplify these effects.
Overall Vibration is lowered to make it easier to balance the individual vibration 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. I would set it no higher than 15 if you want to use it.
Suspension doesn't seem to do anything. Even maxed out, I could never feel anything from this setting.
Ground Surface vibrates the wheel when on different surfaces, though it doesn't feel very realistic. Setting this too high can be very annoying.
Engine vibrates the wheel whenever the engine hits the red line. I have this turned down quite low. You could turn this higher if you like the effect or remove it completely if you don't.
Collision vibrates the wheel when you hit things on the side of the road.
I had a hard time controlling the car when I first started playing this game. The physics are just different enough from other games to require some time to get used to them. Part of that learning curve was dialing in the right FFB settings so I could properly feel what the car was doing. Once you get these settings applied and have some time to get used to the physics, you can have a great time with this game.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions.