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 TX and T300, the default force feedback is a little too heavy and has far too many vibration effects, making it hard to know what any of it is supposed to mean.
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, 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° (TX) 1080° (T300)|
|Overall Strength of all forces||75%|
|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|
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 have this set for the WRC and WRC 2/3 cars. I find the Junior WRC and Legends cars feel quite a bit lighter, so you may want to raise the Overall Force to around 130-140 to get some more strength in the wheel on those cars.
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.
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 at times.
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 have this turned down quite low. You could turn this higher if you like the effect or remove it completely if you don't.
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. Setting this too high can be very annoying.
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.