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. It plays great with a wheel, but for the Thrustmaster TMX and T150, the default force feedback settings don't give the best first impression. There are far too many forces and vibrations making it difficult to tell what is happening with the car.
Thankfully, the game provides a great deal of customization when it comes to the force feedback settings. I tested every setting until I got the wheel light enough to handle the frequent hairpin corners, yet still with strong forces to provide plenty of information about the car and road surface.
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 9 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° (TMX) 1080° (T150)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||100%|
|Auto-Center||by the game|
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||90|
The vibrations needed to be lowered quite a bit, but the main forces can remain quite high. I like how the WRC series games separate the force feedback from vibrations and has separate overall levels for each type. It makes it easy to keep the same proportions of forces, while raising or lowering them all equally.
Overall Force controls the overall strength of the forces, without affecting the vibrations.
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. I turn it off completely as it really doesn't add any useful information except to make the wheel slightly harder to turn.
Self Centre is the spring force, which pulls the wheel back to the center. If you use this at all, keep it very low, just enough to provide a slight assistance to keep the wheel straight. If you turn this up too high, it will make the wheel feel very heavy, constantly resisting any turn you put in the wheel.
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, but they need to be turned quite low, or else your wheel will be vibrating constantly.
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.
Engine vibrates the wheel whenever the engine hits the red line. I don't particularly like this, so I have turned it down to the point where you practically can't feel it at all. 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.
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.