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Alea jacta est: from gamepad to force feedback wheel: your tips how to drive and setup


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#1 Nemo1965

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 14:55

Well, I've finally made the jump into deep water and bought a force feedback racing wheel. The last seven years I've used a gamepad to race rFactor, Gp3 and Gp4 (I play all these games alternately).

 

Of course I have to learn to drive again. I was far from the fastest in the world with the gamepad (xbox controller), but I was quite constant with the system I had to learn myself to drive with (triggers as throttle and brake, left stick as steer, bumptriggers as gearchange). I've improved immediately with the brakes, but the steering and gearchange (stick shift) takes time to get used to.

 

I started this thread NOT to discuss my case and wheel in specific, (a discussion about wether I bought the right one is not so interesting) but a thread about using wheels in race-games in general. What are the pitfalls, the general tips, the settings that work and the settings that not work?

 

Siddley (whom we all know) has already given me some tips in PM's. But perhaps there are very experienced wheelusers here who can remember how they started with a wheel and got some stories that all gamers who use a wheel can benefit from.

 

 



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#2 mahelgel

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:13

When i was driving GPL daily back in the day, i used a joystick as a controller and was fairy quick... When i got a wheel&pedal setup, i just was massively slow, and could not adjust. I never really got the hang of GPL with a wheel. Partly because my drivingstyle in gpl was quite reliant on me correcting all the time, and with a joystick that was possible, but with a wheel i was too slow to correct. My setups where also very much suited to joystick driving, and that didn't work too well with the wheel. Probably a lot of work with both the setups and my drivingstyle would have been needed to get back on track in GPL, and i was just not up for it after many years of driving GPL (probaly 4-5 years)...

 

That said, i drive iracing with a wheel today, and even though i sometimes think that i probably could be a bit quicker with my joystick setup (if my current computer and windows had support for a game port to plug it in), but the enjoyment of driving an iracing car with clutch and a h-pattern gearbox is huge, atleast when you get it right :)

 

As for tips to "convert", i would try to think about the way i drive, and try to drive within the limits of the car for quite  a while just to learn the steering and pedals properly. Also, try to get a good sitting position, as a desk with a office chair just isn't stable enough... Then when you are consistent (at a relativly slow pace compared to what you are used to) i would try to push the limits a bit, to get used to the correcting when the car starts to slide/push, as it is very different with the wheel/pedal setup compared to the joypad.

 

Then i would start looking at the setups. In my experience, i prefer a more stable car with wheel/pedals than i used with the joystick (due to the slower correcting when the car starts to slide, and i find it harder to steer with the accelerator pedal compared to the joystick in my case). Steering ratio, stiffness, differential locks etc (whatever the sim you are racing allows to modify) all makes a difference. 

 

Perhaps the biggest tip is, dont give up... atleast for me the change was massive...



#3 Nemo1965

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 16:58

When i was driving GPL daily back in the day, i used a joystick as a controller and was fairy quick... When i got a wheel&pedal setup, i just was massively slow, and could not adjust. I never really got the hang of GPL with a wheel. Partly because my drivingstyle in gpl was quite reliant on me correcting all the time, and with a joystick that was possible, but with a wheel i was too slow to correct. My setups where also very much suited to joystick driving, and that didn't work too well with the wheel. Probably a lot of work with both the setups and my drivingstyle would have been needed to get back on track in GPL, and i was just not up for it after many years of driving GPL (probaly 4-5 years)...

 

That said, i drive iracing with a wheel today, and even though i sometimes think that i probably could be a bit quicker with my joystick setup (if my current computer and windows had support for a game port to plug it in), but the enjoyment of driving an iracing car with clutch and a h-pattern gearbox is huge, atleast when you get it right :)

 

As for tips to "convert", i would try to think about the way i drive, and try to drive within the limits of the car for quite  a while just to learn the steering and pedals properly. Also, try to get a good sitting position, as a desk with a office chair just isn't stable enough... Then when you are consistent (at a relativly slow pace compared to what you are used to) i would try to push the limits a bit, to get used to the correcting when the car starts to slide/push, as it is very different with the wheel/pedal setup compared to the joypad.

 

Then i would start looking at the setups. In my experience, i prefer a more stable car with wheel/pedals than i used with the joystick (due to the slower correcting when the car starts to slide, and i find it harder to steer with the accelerator pedal compared to the joystick in my case). Steering ratio, stiffness, differential locks etc (whatever the sim you are racing allows to modify) all makes a difference. 

 

Perhaps the biggest tip is, dont give up... atleast for me the change was massive...

 

:up:

Thanks, exactly the post that helps me but is also interesting for all other wheelusers in games.

 

I am running the 1998 mod for Gp4 now - in Canada, to feel the connection -  and I am not much slower than with the gamepad, because especially the braking has improved. The steering though... phew. Especially the hairpin I have to approach with such a wide line to get in to the inside kerb. With the gamepad I would flick the car that way - much quicker response as you wrote. With the force feedback wheel I have now I have to able to apply maximum lock and then some.

 

I think I would like to read about from you or other posters: does a wheel need deadzone? Any lessening of the sensitivity? With the gamepad I had a deadzone of 50 percent on both throttle and brake and a reducing of sensitivity of the wheel at higher speeds at about 70 percent... :drunk:


Edited by Nemo1965, 07 June 2014 - 17:00.


#4 mahelgel

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 17:50

With my G27 i use no deadzone, and i have linear response on both pedals and wheel. I do not use speed sensitive steering. As for the feedback, i use different setups in each sim. 



#5 Nemo1965

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 15:31

With my G27 i use no deadzone, and i have linear response on both pedals and wheel. I do not use speed sensitive steering. As for the feedback, i use different setups in each sim. 

 

I am using 100 percent in Gp4 but it is a bit much. Over the bumps the cars shudders so much I have to hold to steer with two hands. Which is difficult because I have a sequential shifter on my right hand side of the wheel.

 

EDIT: I must admit I feel a bit down. I am deadslow and still haven't gotten the sensation of feedback through the wheel. In rFactor I've installed a special plugin that is supposed to make the wheel go light at understeer.


Edited by Nemo1965, 10 June 2014 - 12:02.


#6 gilez

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:07

Hmm, each wheel and each game have different settings and I'm not playing Gp4. (I remember Gp2 and Gp3 with an analog joystick and that was loads of fun!).

So search for some good Gp4 community and you will find the answers you're looking for.

 

 

You're not alone in feeling frustrated, and in my experience the games were mostly the culprit for the frustration. I remember GPL, I loved that game but, man how tiring it was to drive! With a ffb wheel even more tiring... of course my mediocre driving skills did the rest..

 

But now i think i reached heaven. Assetto Corsa + T500 RS. I have never raced with iRacing, rFactor or rFactor 2 or NFS, so I cannot really compare. But when I drive with my ffb wheel in Assetto Corsa I have a smile on my face, I could drive for hours and I don't feel that fatigue.

 

Conclusion? I think sometimes you have to blame the game for a poor wheel experience. In any case I'm sure the Gp4 community can help you to improve the joy of driving with a wheel!



#7 ApexMouse

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 14:35

Have you used the correct settings in the profiler? Assuming it's logitech. 

 

The FFB you get will change radically depending on profiler settings, the game itself, and the caster you use on the car setup (more = heavier steering).

Also, make sure you're getting a 1:1 ratio of wheel rotation to game rotation. The FFB settings you use in game are also of massive,massive importance. Try looking around the web for ffb guides for GP4. Different wheels need different settings. 



#8 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:38

Apexmouse (fantastic nick!) :up: and Gilez,

 

Thanks for the input. Yesterday my friend Sid (whom I met on this forum) gave me some tips and some settings, and I am getting less frustrated.  With the rFactor 1991 mod I bettered my time with the Lotus 91b at the Red Bull Ring with a second, on Monaco with the F1 1965 mod I came within three seconds of my gamepad time. And I had fun, for the first time. Though I have to say I was also deadtired from just twenty laps!

Sid also wrote me: 'Remember that the wheel will only tell you about the grip at the front of our virtual cars.'

 

That is something I can not yet feel. Now I usually have slow understeer in the corners, where the wheel just fights the direction I want to go. I only feel the wheel go 'light' in changes of direction.

 

He also wrote:

You can also experiment with the amount of rotation your wheel has, I prefer mine fairly direct, 400 degrees. Not so realistic for the old cars, but hey :-)))
 

That I don't understand.

 

Regards all!



#9 ApexMouse

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 20:18

Good to hear you're starting to get some enjoyment out of it! That is the entire point after all, haha. 

 

I would not be overly concerned with your speed between the pad and the wheel, most proficient pad users are much slower when they first try a wheel. As evidence, I can't get within .5 of a second of my Assetto Corsa time trail gamepad times with my wheel (despite my experience with it), as it's only been re-set up for a couple of days. Annoyingly lost all my FFB and configuration settings on my sims. Forgot how much of a royal pain getting everything set properly is! Plug and Play, I think not. 

Regarding your point about feeling the understeer, that's an area where I've always thought rFactor was bit weak. The best way I got my head around it is to practice on a track with very long sweepers, like jerez or suzuka, and just play with the steering angle in the middle of the long corners. You'll gradually develop a feeling for the changing weight of the wheel.  Also, reducing the engine sound 5% or so might help you hear the tyre squeal as the understeer kicks in. 

 

One thing I used was the realfeel plugin. Within the file is a numerical setting that controls the 'magnitude' of the weight loss in the wheel due to slip angle in the front tyres. It definitely helped me feel the front axle better, particularly coming from GTR2, which models understeer much more noticeably. If your comfortable installing mods then installing realfeel should be no problem. I would probably try and get used to the stock FFB first however, to see which you prefer. 

 

There isn't such a thing as 'correct' FFB settings, it's just whatever feel best to you and your expectation of what it should feel like, A few key points in rfactor though:
 

Make sure you have the FFB Effects settings (the low - med - high selection, not the percentage slider) on 'low'. This is the only setting that is purely simulating what the road surface and physics engine are sending to the wheel. The other two settings use pre-defined artificial effects (rattling,shuddering) for things like bumps or going off track.  

 

Also, consider having that slider set to something less than 100% to avoid 'clipping' where the wheel motors are at maximum torque and start bouncing off their limiter, resulting is some nasty juddering and shaking and loss of feel.  Naturally though, this ties in to whatever settings you've selected in the profiling software, in terms of force feedback strength and damping. I realise this is a lot to suddenly get your head around, but if your still following so far then bravo! No doubt you'll have questions, ask away.

 

In Game Stock Car Extreme (worst title for a game, of all time), which is exactly the same engine and control system as rFactor, I use -95% on the (in-game) slider, with 'low' selected. That, together with 100% FFB strength in the logitech profiler (I use a G27)  and 0% everything else in the profiler, gives me a pretty decent starting point in most cars.

 

Thats enough about FFB for the moment I think!

 

Regarding the steering and 'directness', it comes down to how much 'x' degress of rotation on your steering wheel gives the front wheels of the vehicle in game. Think of the amount of steering lock your road car has (probably 900 degrees). This is absolutely useless for racing cars, as you have to have the work the wheel like a hamster on crack to turn corners. Now look at an F1 car. They use 270 degrees, making the steering much more 'direct', if you take my meaning - the driver turns the wheel a great deal less for the same rotation of the front wheels.

 The vast majority of  modern racecars will use 270 degrees on the steering wheel, coupled with 10-14 degrees mechanical steering lock on the front axle. If they use 540 degrees of steering wheel rotation, they will use 22-25 degrees of steering lock on mechanical set-up. This might be a source of the issue of you were talking about above about the Montreal hairpin - you might not have enough steering lock to make the turn properly. 400 is a bit of an funny number to use, but any number is possible really.

 

RFactor doesn't auto-detect how much wheel rotation you have set in the profiler or by hardware default, so you have to use something like 270 or 540 (whatever works for you really), in the profiler, then use the correct amount of mechanical steering lock in the car set-up to get a steering ratio suitable for a racecar.  If you use 900, none of the cars can have enough lock put on them (I'd imagine), so you'll be working the wheel an awful lot to get around corners.  You also have to tell Rfactor in the controls menu the degrees of rotation you've set, otherwise the rotation of the in game wheel won't match the real wheel you're turning. 

I hope that isn't too much or stuff you already knew. Please feel free to fire away with questions, that was just me trying to get key points down. Dont worry about getting frustrated -  there's quite a steep learning curve with this stuff and you always think it could be a bit better. F1 1965 style is also pretty demanding from a driver perspective as well. I had a chuckle when I read about how worn out you got, I just did 50 laps in the DRM mod Capri and I am absolutely broken .  :rotfl:

 

:up:

 

Edit : Good Lord, I appear to have accidentally written war and peace. Apologies for my lack of conciseness :lol:  


Edited by ApexMouse, 13 June 2014 - 20:22.


#10 Siddley

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 10:47

I always wear gloves when 'driving' - it helps to keep the finish of the rim ( leather on the G25 - allegedly ) clean, and gives a better feel.

 

The gloves are thin leather and fabric moto-x type - I also wear them when riding my dirt bike. Horse riding gloves also work well, I used to steal my wife's but she kept stealing them back  :lol: 

 

I can't think why some people wear approved racing gloves - unless their wheel has a habit of bursting into flames...



#11 Nemo1965

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 17:59

Apexmouse, you can write War & Peace (which I've read several times in my life) all the time. This is exactly the kind of stuff that future users of this Forum are going to cherish!

 

I always wear gloves when 'driving' - it helps to keep the finish of the rim ( leather on the G25 - allegedly ) clean, and gives a better feel.

 

The gloves are thin leather and fabric moto-x type - I also wear them when riding my dirt bike. Horse riding gloves also work well, I used to steal my wife's but she kept stealing them back  :lol:

 

I can't think why some people wear approved racing gloves - unless their wheel has a habit of bursting into flames...

 

I told you in the other thread about the guy that fell out of his race-seat right? And he now wears a helmet when he is racing online!

 

Another funny story: when I was looking for reviews about Force Feedback Wheels, there was one guy who wrote about the Trust Force Feedback Wheel (which I have now). 'It is very good,. Correction: it WAS very good. After I played for 1,5 hours in GP Legends the wheel started to smoke...'



#12 Nemo1965

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:32

And oh, here is a general tip for wheelusers. Don't start your computer with the wheel attached! It screws up the steering. Suddenly your wheel is not centered any more.



#13 Siddley

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 14:20

I think that depends on your driver software. The G25 doesn't mind being started up when the computer boots. My wife minds when it goes through it's lock to lock self test routine though - wheeeeep, clack, wheeeeep clack :lol:
 

I haven't sim raced for a few weeks now, I must get back into it. Currently I'm concentrating on my enduro bike and a new off roader we have bought, an XT-225



#14 Nemo1965

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 18:23

Currently I'm concentrating on my enduro bike and a new off roader we have bought, an XT-225

 

 

Niiiiice!

 

(Read this like this: )



#15 gilez

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:12

A few more things that come to mind:

 

I will go out on a limb and say, ignore the FFB for now! First get used to the wheel and pedals.

One thing that can make you frustrated is movement speed and physical strain. The thing is simple. As your hands are farther from the axis of movement than with a gamepad or joystick, and you mostly steer with 2 hands on the wheel, it is a totally different kind of movement, much bigger. The increased movement length will make you feel slower. Don't worry though! With some practice your muscles will start to memorize the movement and you'll feel less tired, plus you'll learn to anticipate the rotation and get the right reaction times. The increased distance from the axis gives you the advantage of more "detailed" rotation, thus in theory a greater control.

 

For the steering wheel settings i think ApexMouse gave you (and me..) some great advice.

 

But...then there is the most important thing: brake, gas and clutch pedals!

As a general reminder, before each driving session make sure you fully press the gas, brake and clutch pedal so that they reset the full movement range, in a word they calibrate. It has happened to me many times that I find the brake pedal too sensitive, only to discover that it had "forgot" the range. (And if your steering wheel doesn't automatically calibrate when you plug it in, i.e. fully rotate to left and right and then go back to center, you can do it manually: fully rotate the wheel in both directions before playing).

 

Another thing: braking is the single most important thing in racing, so you need to feel comfortable (and confident) about it. If you find the brake pedal too soft you can put some rubber or other stuff (some people use a tennis ball or similar) behind the pedal to give you a more "solid" feeling. It really depends on your sensations and on the specific pedals.

 

 

One last thing: I haven't tried a Trust wheel, so I cannot comment on that model, but as a general piece of advice I would say to try and get something more mainstream, especially because the games get tested with a limited amount of wheels, and that can make quite a difference, especially for FFB. But I don't know, maybe that model is just great.


Edited by gilez, 16 June 2014 - 05:26.


#16 Nemo1965

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 12:15

 

A few more things that come to mind:

 

I will go out on a limb and say, ignore the FFB for now! First get used to the wheel and pedals.

One thing that can make you frustrated is movement speed and physical strain. The thing is simple. As your hands are farther from the axis of movement than with a gamepad or joystick, and you mostly steer with 2 hands on the wheel, it is a totally different kind of movement, much bigger. The increased movement length will make you feel slower. Don't worry though! With some practice your muscles will start to memorize the movement and you'll feel less tired, plus you'll learn to anticipate the rotation and get the right reaction times. The increased distance from the axis gives you the advantage of more "detailed" rotation, thus in theory a greater control.

 

For the steering wheel settings i think ApexMouse gave you (and me..) some great advice.

 

But...then there is the most important thing: brake, gas and clutch pedals!

As a general reminder, before each driving session make sure you fully press the gas, brake and clutch pedal so that they reset the full movement range, in a word they calibrate. It has happened to me many times that I find the brake pedal too sensitive, only to discover that it had "forgot" the range. (And if your steering wheel doesn't automatically calibrate when you plug it in, i.e. fully rotate to left and right and then go back to center, you can do it manually: fully rotate the wheel in both directions before playing).

 

Another thing: braking is the single most important thing in racing, so you need to feel comfortable (and confident) about it. If you find the brake pedal too soft you can put some rubber or other stuff (some people use a tennis ball or similar) behind the pedal to give you a more "solid" feeling. It really depends on your sensations and on the specific pedals.

 

 

One last thing: I haven't tried a Trust wheel, so I cannot comment on that model, but as a general piece of advice I would say to try and get something more mainstream, especially because the games get tested with a limited amount of wheels, and that can make quite a difference, especially for FFB. But I don't know, maybe that model is just great.

 

 

Thank you, great tips. Perhaps I should first test it without the FFB. Interesting views on the neurological side of using a wheel. I am deadtired after ten laps with the wheel, while I could grind and grind an grind with the gamepad.

 

Regarding the Trust Wheel: there was at test in a Dutch games mag several months ago. The Trust came out best in both force feedback, the clamp of the steer on the desk and overal durability of the material. I once had a wheel my brother gave me and it popped off the desk at certain times. Never again!



#17 Siddley

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 15:14

I have modded my pedals for heel and toe use, the stock G25 configuration makes it almost impossible. Plus my right ankle doesn't really work properly, having been partially severed in a bike crash...so my pedal spacing requirements are fairly weird.

A heavier brake is a must also, otherwise when you blip the throttle you will be locking the wheels.

 

But as you currently have a sequential shifter this is all in your future :lol:

 

When I get the production version of my h-pattern shifter worked out I'll send you one to try. But that is also in the future, first I need to learn how to cast parts in aluminium which is an art as well as a science.



#18 Nemo1965

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 16:55

I have modded my pedals for heel and toe use, the stock G25 configuration makes it almost impossible. Plus my right ankle doesn't really work properly, having been partially severed in a bike crash...so my pedal spacing requirements are fairly weird.

A heavier brake is a must also, otherwise when you blip the throttle you will be locking the wheels.

 

But as you currently have a sequential shifter this is all in your future :lol:

 

When I get the production version of my h-pattern shifter worked out I'll send you one to try. But that is also in the future, first I need to learn how to cast parts in aluminium which is an art as well as a science.

 

:up:

 

That would be aweswome.

 

I tried in my youth to cast alloy and it was a nightmare. Can't help you there. But here's my tip: is there a local trade-school or something in your surroundings? You know; where usually guys learn plumbing, maconry, stuff like that? Approach the shop-teacher and say you have a nice project for them. Make it a kind of competition: who can cast the best alluminium shape for your shifter.

 

I tell you: there will be a bunch of 14 to 16 year olds you can beat at a simultaneous chessmatch easily, but can make stuff in about thirty seconds that will drop your jaw on the floor.


Edited by Nemo1965, 16 June 2014 - 16:55.


#19 Siddley

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 17:38

The industry here is all agriculture - olives and grapes for winemaking...it's good in one way because a litre of very nice wine only costs a euro  :lol:  but difficult if you work with metal...

 

I will figure it out, metalworking is what I was born to do, the only real talent I have  ;)



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#20 Nemo1965

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 19:26

A question for me and for the masses:

 

How do you find out how much rotation a wheel has? I am driving the Ferrari 641 at Monza and I can't get the thing around Curva Grande without lifting!

 

Unfortunately, my wheel works with the standard windows control panel, no special software for me. 

 

If I compare the wheel in the game with mine, the wheel in the game stops turning earlier than my real wheel. I mean: there is three or four degrees more turn in my wheel than the game's wheel...


Edited by Nemo1965, 18 June 2014 - 19:26.


#21 ApexMouse

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 15:06

Nemo, 

 

If you go control panel - hardware - devices and printers - your wheel - right click, get 'game controller settings' - properties - then 'settings'. In here you should see a display very similar to this one, in which you can adjust the rotation settings and FFB global settings. You then match the RFactor controls menu rotation to whatever you've selected here, and then set the car's steering to suit as per my previous.  Hope this of help, it's quite buried for something so important. 

 

Logitech%20Profiler%20-zero%20spring_inl


Edited by ApexMouse, 19 June 2014 - 15:06.


#22 Siddley

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 19:00

You can tell rFactor how many degrees of wheel rotation you have set using the Windoze control panel, so that the in-game wheel turns to match your physical wheel.

I'm not sure how you do that though, I always turn the in-game wheel off to put less load on the graphics card.


Edited by Siddley, 19 June 2014 - 19:01.


#23 Nemo1965

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 21:43

Nemo, 

 

If you go control panel - hardware - devices and printers - your wheel - right click, get 'game controller settings' - properties - then 'settings'. In here you should see a display very similar to this one, in which you can adjust the rotation settings and FFB global settings. You then match the RFactor controls menu rotation to whatever you've selected here, and then set the car's steering to suit as per my previous.  Hope this of help, it's quite buried for something so important. 

 

Logitech%20Profiler%20-zero%20spring_inl

 

 

Well, my controlpanel says all these things, except for the rotation of the wheel... I will have another look. Thanks for the tip.



#24 Nemo1965

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 13:10

Okay, One tip for all switchers from gamepad, joystick to wheel:

 

Get rid of the in game-wheel. Either block it by positioning your monitor differently or adapt the in-game visuals so that your wheel in real life (on the desk or playset) is, as it were, merging with the dashboard of the virtual car.

 

In my next edit I will tell, more, apologies if this tip was already given!

 

EDIT:

 

When Sid (see above) said he removed the in-game-view of the wheel in rFactor, I thought: 'But then... but... it's so cool to... and...' Still, with pain in my heart, I removed the wheel from the in-game-view, so I had not a visual wheel that turned more than the real wheel. 

 

And, critically, I raised the seat so much forward and up that the edge of my wheel (in real life) stuck for a fifth or so above the virtual dashboard.

 

At first, I was just amazed how well I suddenly drove. 'How can I see that brakingpoint so much better? Why does that line through that pesky chicane trouble me less?' Yesterday, I was four seconds slower than my virtual teammate in the same car. Now I was seven seconds quicker!

 

Then I understood, both why I had resisted the idea of not seeing the wheel in game any more, and why I was suddenly driving so well. With my game-pad, I always looked at the track and the wheel in game, to position my car. I did the same with the force feedback wheel, but because it was so big, and I was watching TWO WHEELS (!) ofcourse my visual focus had detoriated enormously. 

 

With this new setup, I was looking forward on the track much more, and I was more feeling the wheel in my hands, instead of watching it to check the lock and rate. 

 

A minus is, is that I can't change or check the rotation of the wheel, but I can live with that, I think!


Edited by Nemo1965, 20 June 2014 - 13:18.


#25 Siddley

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 21:35

Excellent news, I can't help too much with the transfer from gamepad to wheel.

I went from joystick to wheel but the space of time in between was something like 5 years...

 

The visual cues are really important...I'd say about 50% or more.

 

Meanwhile, if you have any tips to help me riding an enduro bike then please assist :lol:



#26 Nemo1965

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 19:56

Enduro-bike? That has a long, but rather vertical front-axle,right?

 

Mind your seating-position, perhaps.

A question for you all. In a setup-guide I have, the advice is that you should use about 90 percent of your steering wheel axis in the slowest corner. Does that sound right for you?

 

Regards

 

J.



#27 ApexMouse

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 21:48

Sounds reasonable to me. 



#28 BlinkyMcSquinty

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 15:53

Many years ago I raced a long NASCAR 2003 Michigan race, and the guy who was comfortably ahead of me suddenly suffered a drop in performance at the end of the race, and I won. I asked him what happened, and he told me he was using a joystick, but near the end suffered cramps. Ever since then I have been a solid convert and preached the benefits of a proper ergonomic driving position so that fatigue and stress on the body is minimized.

 

Hey, if you can go hours with a pad or joystick and it works for you, no problem. But for me, a wheel and pedals with the proper driving position is the only way to go. No fighting a sliding pedal or anything, and just because of sliding pedals I embarked on building a sim rig, something I also heartily endorse. I worked very hard to make sure that I never can use equipment as an excuse.

 

And the brake pedal, wow, the most important thing. Some famous racing driver once said that it isn't how you use the brakes, but how you come off them matters. For me, executing consistent braking and nailing the apex every lap brings great satisfaction. I was never able to do that until I got my Clubsport pedals with the load cell. Worth every penny and the best investment I ever made.

 

I got into sim racing because I wanted to expereince what my driving  heroes had to deal with, and thus appreciate what it takes. So for me realism matters. I fiddle a lot with my controls so that everything feels natural, just like a real car.

 

For me, having a dark room with no lights, a realistic driving position and controls brings a level of immersion that just sucks me in. The outside world with it's distractions and worries disappears, it's just me, the car, and the track. And of course that car ahead, the one I have been stalking for the last five laps, waiting for a mistake or the opportunity to stick my nose inside and make the pass work.



#29 Nemo1965

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 10:29

As the OP'er of this thread, I feel it is my responsibility to post something about my progress or lack their of.

 

For the last six months, I am ashamed to confess, I have used my game-pad again. I felt it was just too tiresome and irksome to install the wheel, set-up the pedals, play, remove them to work, install again...

 

Another, perhaps more important, problem, I was just so much slower with the wheel than the gamepad...

 

However, yesterday I got the wheel of out the cupboard again, and I have found way to set the wheel aside on my desk when I want or have to work. I leave the pedal on the floor.

 

I will play the historic F1 1991 mod for rFactor the most, mixed up with some GP4 (the 1994 and 1995 mod are good fun and not so damn difficult).



#30 ardbeg

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 16:12

Two things to remember:

1) If you use a digital (on/off) controller, the software will do part of the driving

2) If you use a joystick, the movements you do are very small compared to the wheel

 

So, in situation #1 you have realize that you are now doing all the work and basically start from the beginning.
In situation two, switching from joystick, you must be prepared to use the muscles. The no resistance, small, movements with the joystick are gone and instead you have to be prepared to make some pretty brutal movements with the steering wheel if the tail suddenly steps out.

One thing I have found is that if you wheel is not solidly secured, then you automatically use less force. You do not want the wheel to come lose. Solution => make sure the wheel does not move, you should feel confident you can give it plenty of abuse without it coming lose in your hands. Of course, the quality of the wheel itself comes in here as well and cheap plastic that bends when you touch it will never give you confidence.

 

If you can not secure your wheel tightly, it might be an idea to use less rotation. Calibrate it so you can use small movements, going back towards the joystick range again. If the wheel has a good sensitivity around the middle, and no dead zone, it might work.



#31 Nemo1965

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 19:12

Two things to remember:

1) If you use a digital (on/off) controller, the software will do part of the driving

2) If you use a joystick, the movements you do are very small compared to the wheel

 

So, in situation #1 you have realize that you are now doing all the work and basically start from the beginning.
In situation two, switching from joystick, you must be prepared to use the muscles. The no resistance, small, movements with the joystick are gone and instead you have to be prepared to make some pretty brutal movements with the steering wheel if the tail suddenly steps out.

One thing I have found is that if you wheel is not solidly secured, then you automatically use less force. You do not want the wheel to come lose. Solution => make sure the wheel does not move, you should feel confident you can give it plenty of abuse without it coming lose in your hands. Of course, the quality of the wheel itself comes in here as well and cheap plastic that bends when you touch it will never give you confidence.

 

If you can not secure your wheel tightly, it might be an idea to use less rotation. Calibrate it so you can use small movements, going back towards the joystick range again. If the wheel has a good sensitivity around the middle, and no dead zone, it might work.

 

Thanks for the tips! By the way, I bought the wheel I have specifically because it came out the best on that aspect: being sturdily attached, once attached. My brother had a beautiful steer with great feel that had just a lousy connection-method.

 

At the moment I am just really testing to find the right set-up for the car and for the wheel. In some corners (the long right-hander in Barcelona) I can really hang on to the steering, slowly straightening while I progressively press the throttle. Especially 'esses' like the uphill-chicane at  Barcelona), the car switches from understeer to oversteer to understeer to oversteer in all three phases of the corner.



#32 ardbeg

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 22:16

Especially 'esses' like the uphill-chicane at  Barcelona), the car switches from understeer to oversteer to understeer to oversteer in all three phases of the corner.

Is that not the beauty of racing, finding a way to balance it closer and closer to the limit? :)

 

There is no catch-all secret to being fast but confidence and consistency are always the foundation of a good race and a good lap time.

 

That said, there is one area where many fail to improve: Turn in!
Braking are of course important, so is feathering the throttle and all that, but if you are bad at turning into the corner, you will never become a "fast" driver. Typically, many think that "smooth" is the key. Drive smoothly and distinctly and all is well, they think. And it is often true, however: Smooth does not mean that you should move the steering wheel slow, it means that you should move it with precision and (again) confidence.

 

Situation is like this: You charge down the straight using all the horsepowers your car can manage and you hit the brake just after the 100 meter mark. The car slows down and you start easing off the brakes a bit to avoid lock up. You are at the turn in point. Now what do you do?
9 out of 10 will start their smooth turn in and they keep some brakes on because they have read that trail braking is good. Will the trail braking help the turn in? Yes and no. Yes because the braking makes the front tires more loaded and therefore they get more grip. No because the longitudinal brake force is added to the lateral force and the net result is close to zero. There are of course some types of corners where trail braking is good, but let's stay with normal 90 degree corner here.

 

If you decide not to trail brake, you will have to sacrifice speed at turn in and that you have to get it back somewhere and that somewhere is at the apex. This is where the trick comes in: You turn in hard and distinct. Not abrupt, but decisive, in perfect synch with the release of the brake pedal.  If you turn on with a slow movement, you do not upset the car, weight transition goes slow  and all is well. But slow. You do actually want to upset the car, you want a weight transition but you want one that works for your advantage. So you turn in with a wry smile on your face and with that you throw plenty of load on your outer front tyre. You give the tire that is most important for your turn an extra dose of grip just at turn in. Now, that extra grip allows you to have more speed all the way into the apex and since you are faster there, you will accelerate out quickly.

 

Downside with that method is of course that if you turn in at the wrong place, at the wrong speed, then you'd look silly :)



#33 Nemo1965

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 20:33

Is that not the beauty of racing, finding a way to balance it closer and closer to the limit? :)

 

There is no catch-all secret to being fast but confidence and consistency are always the foundation of a good race and a good lap time.

 

That said, there is one area where many fail to improve: Turn in!
Braking are of course important, so is feathering the throttle and all that, but if you are bad at turning into the corner, you will never become a "fast" driver. Typically, many think that "smooth" is the key. Drive smoothly and distinctly and all is well, they think. And it is often true, however: Smooth does not mean that you should move the steering wheel slow, it means that you should move it with precision and (again) confidence.

 

Situation is like this: You charge down the straight using all the horsepowers your car can manage and you hit the brake just after the 100 meter mark. The car slows down and you start easing off the brakes a bit to avoid lock up. You are at the turn in point. Now what do you do?
9 out of 10 will start their smooth turn in and they keep some brakes on because they have read that trail braking is good. Will the trail braking help the turn in? Yes and no. Yes because the braking makes the front tires more loaded and therefore they get more grip. No because the longitudinal brake force is added to the lateral force and the net result is close to zero. There are of course some types of corners where trail braking is good, but let's stay with normal 90 degree corner here.

 

If you decide not to trail brake, you will have to sacrifice speed at turn in and that you have to get it back somewhere and that somewhere is at the apex. This is where the trick comes in: You turn in hard and distinct. Not abrupt, but decisive, in perfect synch with the release of the brake pedal.  If you turn on with a slow movement, you do not upset the car, weight transition goes slow  and all is well. But slow. You do actually want to upset the car, you want a weight transition but you want one that works for your advantage. So you turn in with a wry smile on your face and with that you throw plenty of load on your outer front tyre. You give the tire that is most important for your turn an extra dose of grip just at turn in. Now, that extra grip allows you to have more speed all the way into the apex and since you are faster there, you will accelerate out quickly.

 

Downside with that method is of course that if you turn in at the wrong place, at the wrong speed, then you'd look silly :)

 

These are really good tips, because indeed I try to trail-brake all the time. I steer towards the apex with the brakes applied then release the brakes, let the car 'calm' down and then start applying throttle... With the game-pad (and Grand Prix 4 :well: ) that works rather well...  I can kind of 'circle' the car through the corner like that, making the car under-steer on purpose and then take away the under-steer by generously applying the throttle...

 

But with the wheel (and rFactor :cry: ) I am just dead slow... because the car will either a. not calm down but start spinning like mad. b. will slow down so much I am braking at the same point as the AI cars but almost come to a standstill...

 

Your post, in other words, hits the nail right on the head... I just have a technique that is totally wrong for more realistic racing games like rFactor... Thanks a lot!

 

EDIT: To demonstrate how slow I am: usually I can hang with the AI in rFactor on 95 percent... with the game-pad and NOT the historic 1991 F1 mod.  With that mod, and with the wheel, at Barcelona, I am eight (8!) seconds slower than my virtual team-mate, and he takes four (4!) seconds on me in the last bloody sector!


Edited by Nemo1965, 18 December 2014 - 20:36.


#34 ardbeg

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 22:48

It's important to differentiate oversteer and powerslide. Any setup (almost) can be either over- or understeery depending on how you drive (basically how you perform your turn in) and the technique I describe will create a temporary oversteer on a neutral car. This oversteer will "throw" the car towards the new direction and that little push is what you need to get it into the apex and keep the speed up.
 

A car that always oversteer, even when you turn in slowly, will not be fast.



#35 Nemo1965

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Posted 20 December 2014 - 21:20

It's important to differentiate oversteer and powerslide. Any setup (almost) can be either over- or understeery depending on how you drive (basically how you perform your turn in) and the technique I describe will create a temporary oversteer on a neutral car. This oversteer will "throw" the car towards the new direction and that little push is what you need to get it into the apex and keep the speed up.
 

A car that always oversteer, even when you turn in slowly, will not be fast.

 

Good news, thanks to your tips I have taken 2 seconds from my personal best at Barcelona. And I also discovered that the 8 seconds difference with the AI was largely because my virtual team-mate drove that lap with qualifying tires and 3 laps of fuel aboard. While I had 110 litres aboard... I did a race with full tanks, and I was three seconds slower than the leading AI-car: 1 second per sector. That is not too depressing, considering the AI was at 95 percent strength.

 

I can still turn in more decisively. If anyone is interested, I can post the youtube-clip of my fastest lap with a half full tank.

 

At last but not at least: progress!


Edited by Nemo1965, 20 December 2014 - 21:21.


#36 Nemo1965

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 16:43

ZYKRc86.png

 

One second to go...

 

EDIT, after my evening-test session:

 

I can't believe it... but I did it, just as far the virtual Riccardo Patrese:

 

jsI8C1n.png

 

Some remarks:

 

First Ardbeg :up:  You gave me the best driving advice, ever!

 

Second: regarding the F1 1991 mod and rFactor in general. What always turned me away from rFactor, always after a while, is that whatever I did with the set-up, the behaviour of the car never seemed to improve. I finally found part of the answer here. 

 

In this article ('Setting up the F1SR 1991 Jordan J191 – things come together when it’s “so tight it’s loose” ') the alas anonymous poster explains why all the stuff he ever learned with sim-racing games did not work with this mod (and I think with rFactor in general).

 

Read the article, but in general: if the car understeers in rFactor, don't soften the front anti-rollbar in relation to the rear- anti-rollbar, a trick that works so well with Gp4. In rFactor it messes up the front-rear weight ratio. I could improve my times today so much because I made the front anti-roll bar just as tight as the rear, tuned down the camber in the tyres and played around with the diff - a very small bit! As the very sensible writer of the articles says: the default set-up is very good. Don't mess around with it too much!


Edited by Nemo1965, 22 December 2014 - 21:15.


#37 gilez

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 00:49

Is that not the beauty of racing, finding a way to balance it closer and closer to the limit? :)

 

There is no catch-all secret to being fast but confidence and consistency are always the foundation of a good race and a good lap time.

 

That said, there is one area where many fail to improve: Turn in!...

 

Totally agree with ardberg, there is so much "steering" you can do with the throttle and brake! Last Sunday I was playing AC and driving the Ferrari F312T (1975 Niki Lauda F1 car, huge rear tyres!) at Spa. One of the tricky corners at Spa is Pouhon, a long fast double-apex left hander. You come in very quick, and good entry and exit are paramount. Now, throttle and brake help me twice to steer the car in that corner: during turn in, lifting the foot from the brake at the right moment and turning in "hard and distinct" gives me the additional grip to get the car close to the (first) apex, and immediately afterwards applying full gas at the right moment puts the car in a slight oversteer that keeps the nose of the car facing the inside of the road so I can make a tighter line on exit without losing speed. Each car has its own weight distribution and suspension geometry, so it will react to weight transfers in a different way, and it is fun to find out how you can get advantage of that during cornering.

 

In order to do this, I recommend one thing: good pedal setup, especially the brake pedal. On my T500RS i stiffened the brake pedal so that it gives a lot of resistance and my foot memorizes the pressure it applies and not the travel distance. The other advantage of a stiff brake pedal is for heel-toe: very simple now. With good braking consistency I found out my virtual racing has improved a lot. When racing multiplayer in AC i can often end up in the top 3 because i make few mistakes and my laptimes are consistent, even though i'm not the fastest guy in qualify.


Edited by gilez, 23 December 2014 - 01:02.


#38 ardbeg

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 06:41

 


First Ardbeg :up:  You gave me the best driving advice, ever!

 

Thanks Nemo, and good luck finding the next tenth :)
They will get harder and harder to find but I think you'll notice that when you get confident with your distinct turn in, your confidence will increase at the other parts of the corner. Regarding setups, it is generally useless to start messing with them until you drive consistent lap times. When you can do 10 laps without incidents and stay +- a few tenths, then you can go into the garage. Going for PB each lap will not give you that consistency since you will automatically try to brake a little later and so on. Then you'll never know if it was the setup or that you got lucky when you get you new personal best :)



#39 ardbeg

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 06:43

 

 

In order to do this, I recommend one thing: good pedal setup, especially the brake pedal. On my T500RS i stiffened the brake pedal so that it gives a lot of resistance and my foot memorizes the pressure it applies and not the travel distance. The other advantage of a stiff brake pedal is for heel-toe: very simple now. With good braking consistency I found out my virtual racing has improved a lot. When racing multiplayer in AC i can often end up in the top 3 because i make few mistakes and my laptimes are consistent, even though i'm not the fastest guy in qualify.

Yes, the brake pedal is very important. I have a Fanatec with pressure sensor and it changed the driving completely. It's so easy to feel how much I am braking. None of us would dare to drive in traffic with a real car that had a brake pedals with travel-distance sensors...