Project Cars Force Feedback Guide
The idea behind this guide is to answer questions that the official guide may have left unanswered. Most of the information here come from hands on test from forum users and how we interpreted the data. While there's some link to complete force feedback templates, the idea here is to adapt Project Cars force feedback tools to your wheel. For a while, i talked about linearity. But it's not telling the whole story. I think we're more talking about Output Optimisation. So even if the sheet / FCM may suggest values that tend to be linear, the end goal is to modulate the FFB signal to make your wheel behave the best it can.
This is the most important part.
Since patch 8.0, default settings are a good reference if you're lost at some point.
What i can recommend when doing test drives is to pick a track and a race car you know. You should have a easier time tracking how the force feedback react to curbs and road bumps. As for race cars, they tend to have a more direct link to the road. It's a good thing to do time trials. You won't lose time going out of the pits and the tires are already warm. I suggest you do 2 or 3 laps at once. Do a normal lap for the first one. Trow the car around for the others to see how it behave in tight situations. Change only a parameter at once. It will be easier to track how things changed. If you're to a point where it feels good. Keep the same track but try different kinds of car that you like. Touring, Road, LMPS. Mix them.
If they all feel good, congratulation. If not, take back you're first car and fix what driving behavior you want to adjusts with the corresponding tool. There's some small explanation below about witch does what.
Here's 5 place where you can get complete FFB templates:
- pCars Feedback Settings
- Jack Spade'S suggested globals and car FFB
- Grimeydog's can you feel it!
- bManic's informative one.
- Yours truly G27 journey.
- naondave's DFGT
- jpmmuc's TS-PC/T300
Keep in mind that the official guide is always a good reference if you think there's anything missing here.
You can check the sheet here,by Diluvian, use this sheet if you want to input your data. You can also try Force Curve Modifier by skoader.
Link for Force Curve Modifier
After lots of discussions, Diluvian wrote a sheet and skoader wrote a program! It will give you base values as a starting point. Right now, the mathematical model is pretty good, but it's not perfect. There's some Logitech Driving Force Pro data but those tools are made to work with any brand of wheel. Wheelcheck.exe will output the same data layout for every wheel model. You can import wheelchek data into Force Curve Modifier.
There's 2 things to keep in mind:
- On a PC, as soon as you change any settings in the windows drivers, you'll get different data from wheelcheck / FCM
- On Consoles, we don't really know how the wheel drivers behave beside overall force strenght.(Some wheels have memory that keeps windows settings)
Here's some examples:
- Logitech MOMO racing(black)
- Logitech G27
- Logitech G29
- Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition
- Accuforce Pro
- Fanatec GT3 RS & CSR
- Fanatec CSW v2
0) Download WheelCheck_1_72.zip.
1) Click on the sheet link, let it open up, once the sheet is open go to MENU
2) FILE -> MAKE A COPY, name it whatever you want. You will need to have a google account to do this.
3) It will open a new sheet as a new window or new tab
4) You start your wheelcheck.exe and let it run 4x times on "Step Log 2 (linear force test)" wait until it finished, it will jump to "disabled" in the drop down menu
5) You go to folder "document". Open the first CSV with the editor and press CTRL+A "copy all" and go to the the workbook Log1 and paste CTRL+V into green field (just left click once and press CTRL+V) and you do the same, for the other 3x CSV files and LOG2, LOG3 and LOG4 workbooks in the sheet.
6) Once all that is done, automatically updates the CALCULATION workbook, you can look at it, screenshot it whatever you want.
7) Go to workbook PROJECT CARS and start adjusting your numbers(*) until your RED LINE gets as close to the YELLOW INPUT line! Take those values to your game settings and fine tweak and tune until you have it. that's it.
*Leave SG to 1, mess with it at the end, if at all. Put DRR at the start of the orange line, DRF between a 1/5th to a 1/10th of DRR. SK around the crossing of the shalow and step part. SR to lower the RED LINE.
**Quick tip, don't waste your time with values you could get from the min force test. Currently data from the "Step Log 2 (linear force test)" is better.
*** You don't have to run the line perfectly straight, at all cost. You'll have to drive the settings. From there it's probably better to read the tools description below and adjusts accordingly.
****Don't try to download and open the sheet in Excel or OpenOffice. It will open but the calculation tab won't translate and it won't work. It has to do how your system handle numbers with , or .
- Open FCM
- Go into File --> Import --> go to your folder "Documents"
- Select the .csv results wheelcheck generated. (You can import multiple files at once.)
- Push the "Calculate Best R2 values" button.
FCM linear test:
- Open FCM
- Go into Wheel --> Force Test
- Pick between 2 and 4 samples. Let the step duration as it is. Set the DoR the same as your drivers.
- Let run the test until it's done.
- Push the "Calculate Best R2 values" button.
At that point, you may say: This isn't Project EXCEL, we're driving CARS here, what the hell all those number means?
First of all, this is a way to try to get a base configuration of a steering wheel. This is merely a starting point. Test drives will be mandatory. From there, you'll be able to make certains feelings come out more by fine tuning the different tools we have access to. I've included some tips how thoses tools works.
FFB: Force Feedback.
Torque: Applied force.
Delta: The sized of the difference between 2 things.
Slip angle: As you turn your wheel, they'll get more "grippy". At some point, you'll have less grip instead of more. You're past Optimal slip angle.
The 2 term below can mean alot of different things, based on context. In this guide, it mostly refers to:
Understeer: When the wheel gets light because you're past the optimal slip angle.
Oversteer: When you dive in a curve too hard and the rear end gets out. You have to counter-steer to catch the slide.
Oscillation: Small signal delta around the more nature FFB signal.
Wheel Acceleration can mean 2 different things, based on context. In this guide, it mostly refers to:
Torque Delta: A change of torque happening over time. It's either the FFB signal moving up or down. When the line is above or below 0, but is staying mostly flat, this is static torque.
- When you drive in a straight line, the car wheel's should align themselves when you let go the wheel, up to fairly high speeds. For various reasons, as soon as you let go the steering wheel, it can go left right left right more by itsefl, instead of slowing down.
- When adjusting Damping, when PWM & PWMS are badly adjusted, turning the wheel won't be linear. The wheel movement will get progressively faster as you turn. This isn't wanted.
TDC:Top Dead Center
FFB Deadzone:Part of the signal that is too low to make the wheel move. Usualy happend around TDC, but can be everywhere. It can also happend if the signal is too fast for the wheel to follow. You can see it in the telemtry but the wheel doesn't actually move.
Linear signal:Part of the signal that gets output as is, 1:1. It's strong enough to move the wheel, but low enough so it's not compressed.
Compressed signal:Part of the signal that gets compressed by RAC or Soft Clipping. The more you compress the signal, the smaller the torque delta will be.
Saturated signal: This can happend anywhere in the telemetry. Could happend in low forces with too much Scoop Reduction. Could happend near max torque when TF is too high against RAC or Soft Clipping.
Clipped signal:Well, easy enough, this signal goes above 1 so the wheel just output maximum torque.
Force Feedback Balance Plan
If you're using Jack's files, install them correctly before playing with the controller FFB. It'll save you time because you won't need to tweak controller FFB before and after. At the same time, If you balance the Car FFB yourself, it will affect how much Tire Force is needed.
It's probably hard to plan how you'll balance the FFB of pCars. Depending on the wheel you have, you may reach a point where you'll have to focus on a mix of forces you want to feel. You may want something balanced towards subtle road feel, an overall stiff or soft steering, an emphasis on over/understeer. The key point is that it's probably better to have 2 nice force behaviors than 4 badly blended. Tennebaum's tennenbaum's take #1. Here's #2
There's 3 big group of forces. Those that comes from the front(Fx,Fy,Fz & Mz) and rear wheels(SoPs). The 3rd group comes from G-Forces(Bodys in Car FFB) when you trow your car into a curve. You can see how things interact with each others. This come from the official guide. Credit to whoever drawn it:
The balance between those 3 group can be vital. Those are the 3 chains of physics input that feed the FFB. I'll explain more about Tire Force below. Here's also a nice post about how those force translate into driving behaviors.
This is the overall multiplier of the Car FFB balance. The Car FFB can be set via the UI or tweaker files. I won't go into details about how to balance that part. It's a whole subject by itself. What matters here is the overall max forces those settings can dish out. An easy test that is to enter a curve really fast, trail break hard without locking the breaks. Try to get to max slip angle. It should reach the top of the telemetry hud. If it reach it and the yellow line gets flat, you're clipping. TF is too high. If the FFB signal gets really close but it keeps moving,without going flat, you're set.
When playing with Tire Force, from a low value, going up, the following happends:
- The FFB can be linear, there's no compression going on. It give a lightweigh wheel, on most hardware, since their max torque output is not really strong. It could be stronger on a Direct Drive wheel.
- As you move TF(For simplicity sake) up you start to need to compress the end of the torque slope to prevent the signal from being clipped. At that point, the beginning of the slope is linear, and the end is compressed.
- At some point, the signal may not clip, depending on Relative Adjusts or Soft Clipping, but the FFB signal gets saturated. From my point of view, a saturated signal is one where the torque deltas are too hard to discern.
- Finaly, if there's too much TF against RAC or Soft Clipping, the signal gets clipped too often.
In essense, the higher TF is, the harder anti-clipping(RAs or SC) tools will have to work. Tennenbaum did an hands on test, videos included, about what TF does against Anti clipping tools.
The last thing i could say about TF is that when you run a setup with only FxyzMz, the Spindle Master Scale(Car FFB) and TF are swappable. As soon as you use any SoP, It's better to use TF instead of moving both SoP Scale and SMS. TF will move the FFB of everycar up or down where SMS and SoP Scale will only do it per car.
tennebaum wrote another great post about how the Car FFB behave againt Tire Force.
PWM / PWMS / WPS(Damping)
FFB wheel construction is very different depending on your wheel's model. When they're not plugged, some will be very free moving and other will be dragged by the wheel's motor. This tool is used to compensate for that. You'll be able to set the behavior of the steering wheel to you taste with that. You want turn ins and turn outs to feel natural to you, where subconsciently, when you turn, it turns at that moment, to the pace you want. Not before, not after.
I'll talk about Per Wheel Movement, Per Wheel Movement Squared and Wheel Position Smoothing as PWM /PWMS / WPS
There's 3 cases where you want to use this tool:
- You like the build in drag of the wheel, it's turning as expected
- There's some "lag" when you turn, you want more responsiveness
- It's too twitchy when you turn, you need to correct your line too quickly
PWM 0/PWMS 0 won't change the default behavior of your steering wheel
PWM positive value/ PWMS negative nalue will give you a slower moving wheel
PWM negative value/ PWMS positive value will give you a faster moving wheel
In both case, you don't want turn ins and turn outs that accelerate. You'll understand if you mess with those values. Most of the time, low values will do the trick.
This is where WPS comes in. Depending on you're whole controller FFB setup, you'll probably need some WPS. The more you put, the less the wheel will oscillate by itself. However, you may lose low torque details at some point. Idealy, you need to find a balance where the wheel doesn't oscillate too much while keeping as much details a possible. Depending on how much smoothing you use within the Car FFB, you may need less WPS because of that.
A common agreement is that every wheel force feedback motor has a deadzone. A place where it can't generate smaller forces. Some wheel have lots of it. Others don't. Without any calculation you'll be able to see how much of a deadzone a wheel has. In pCars, this is dealt with Deadzone Removals.
If you're using the sheet, the following can apply:
DRR = Deadzone Removal Range : You'll set this value where the orange line(Normalized wheel output) starts. You may move that value a small bit(more or less 0.01).
DRF = Deadzone Removal Falloff : Start with something like a 1/10th of DRR and try other values so the red line(Final wheel output) follow the yellow line(input).
** About the DRF, the ui doesn't show 0,00X increment. They are taken into account tho. You can move the value with the arrows.
If we check how Deadzone Removals translate to driving, DDR would be how strong the signal gets boosted around TDC. DRF is how fast the signal boosted to DRR value. Depending on your Soft Clipping usage or high TF value, you may not need to use much Deadzone Removals, if at all. At the other end of the spectrum, if you have a setup who doesn't boost low forces from other settings, a DRR/DRF combo will be needed.
As soon as you use Deadzone Removal Range, you must use Deadzone Removal Falloff. Those 2 settings are tied together. If you don't have enough DRF, you'll get a squared wave osciallation when going in a straight line. An easy way to tune DRR/DRF is to set DRR like mentioned above, DRF would be a 1/10th of DRR. After this is done, play with DRF until force ramp up quickly enough, without a strong notch ,on turn ins.
Just did some quick test about wheel oscillation and acceleration.
When someone picks a given DRR, this is what happends with various DRF:
- No DRF: Square Wave oscillation around center. It can tattle. (It's also easy to see in the telemetry hud.)
- Not enough DRF: The square wave will go away, but you can feel a notch when turning from left to right quickly.
- Enough DRF: The centre of the wheel feels right, no notch when turning from left to right quickly. It can help a bit with some rattling. The wheel should self align by itself when going straight, up to some great speed.
- Too much DRF: The wheel will start to accelerate, before you go really fast, just by moving it a tiny bit and letting it go. Depending on your globals, it may not give enough forces on turn ins.
Relatives AdjustsNeed some cleanup and precisions
Like Soft Clippings, Relatives Adjusts can help you deal with clipping. It's a signal shaping tool. There's lot of ways of using it. You could check tpw's post, the official guide. I'll explain them briefly. In pCars, they don't come in that order but i think it makes sense that way. You can also disable Relatives Adjusts by putting the 3 RA's at 0.
There's one thing to keep in mind when messing with Relative Adjusts. It's easier to manage without Soft Clipping. If you add Soft Clipping afterward, you'll probably have to come back at RAs to align both tools. They need to be aligned to work great. Another thing is that RAs get his input only from the wheels. The G-Forces are applied afterwards.
Relative Adjust Gain: This parameter will let you control how much you want to lower or boost the amplitude of a FFB torque delta. You could say you "spice" or "tame" the signal.
Relative Adjust Bleed: This is how long the torque variation will decay, or bleed. If you use Relatives Adjuts, don't use a 0 value. The wheel will decenter itself.
Relative Adjust Clamp: This is the value where the FFB will oscillate around when RAs prevent clipping.
Work in progress:You shouldn't even read that part, i'm thinking out loud!
I deal with RAs this way:
- Find the right offset between RAG and RAC
- Adjust RAB until weight transfers feels good
- Lower RAG / RAC by the same amount to prevent clipping that may occurs from moving RAB up from it's default 0,10 value.
Scoops is tool to change the balance of weak vs strong forces. The best way to see how Scoops works is by playing with the FCM application. You'll see it for yourself! Sometime easy to feel is that, by itself, Scoop Reduction will change how much road feel you get, when going straight. You don't have to move it much to get the results you want.
Obviously, Scoops aren't limited to specific steering wheel behaviors. You do what you want with it. However, the following 2 go hand in hand. If we translate all that to driving, Scoops can be used to help you find the balance between how fast tire load ramp up and how much understeering feeling you want to get. The Stronger the wheel is, the smaller the available torque delta, to feel understeering, will be.
To quote Haiden:
Time up! I'll happen the understeering feeling later when i get some time.With that knee, SR=0.20 provides the best feel, immersion wise. It's a very firm wheel with good road feel, and has the best cornering dynamic (with regard to range of increasing force). On the other end, SR=0.28 sacrifices some firmness and road feel for more pronounced/detectable slip feel.
Without moving the knee:
More Scoop Reduction = Less road feel
Less Scoop Reduction = More road feel
Without moving the reduction:
More Scoop Knee = More road feel
Less Scoop Knee = Less road feel
Ref, will explain later.
Soft Clippings: Skoader updated the FCM with SC support, need to rewrite this part.
I can say is that it's main use is to prevent clipping. It is also a signal shaping tool. Tennebaum wrote another great post on Soft Clippings. It's the last step of the signal chain that can be seen as "generic". It's not tied to any wheel. It process the overall combination of the inputs.
Ref, will update later
If you want to actually put more TF into the mix, you'll need Soft Clipping. SC act as a signal compressor to lower total forces into the usable range of pCars FFB. One thing i can say is that Soft Clipping Half Input:1 and Soft Clipping Full 2.09, values from the official guide, works fairly well on low end wheels and probably most wheels. Depending on your Soft Clipping settings, you may need to move Deadzone Removals and Scoop a bit.
The first step is to move SCFO(with SCHI half of SCFO) up until you're not clipping under heavy wheels load.
When SCFO is dialed to "catch" everything:
- SCHI < 0,5*(SCFO) = Expantion of the low forces, less "space" for the high forces
- SCHI > 0,5*(SCFO) = Compression of the low forces, more "space" for the high forces
There's one thing to keep in mind when messing with Soft Clipping. It's easier to manage without Relative Adjusts . If you add Relative Adjusts afterward, you'll probably have to come back at SC to align both tools. They need to be aligned to work great.
Steering Gain(Work in progress, take it with a grain of salt)
By design, Steering Gain is the final step of the telemetry signal chain. It acts as a volume control of the mixed FFB signal. Here's the official words on it:
There's 3 use case for this tool:Steering Gain – the gain (multiplier) applied to all steering effects (steering force, jolts, kerb rumble etc) after they have been mixed. For a clean more detailed experience set at 1.0 or below, for stronger feedback at the expense of clipping set higher (maximum value 5).
- It lowers the overall forces a wheel produce.
- When SG is at 1, the signal doesn't change.
- It boosts the forces a wheel produce.
One thing to keep in mind about SG is that it won't prevent clipping that is already happening. It can also cause clipping if RAs or SC are not used in tandem with SG.
Lowering the signal:
The easiest way to use Steering Gain is to lower the FFB signal. Some wheels are can dish out strong forces. At some point, someone may want to soften that and Steering Gain will do that. Keep in mind that you should lower the FFB by the least amount you can. As soon as you lower the FFB range, more of signal will be in the FFB deadzone of a wheel. For low deadzone wheel, it may not be a problem. But for high deadzone wheel, it will be felt.
This means that if you plan to use SG < 1, you'll have to recalculate Scoops and Deadzones.
Leaving the signal unchanged:
Steering Gain = 1. This is self explanatory.
Boosting the signal:
There's a couple of ways to boost the force feedback strenght. If we focus on SG, it will boost the whole range of forces. This means you can use it to get that last extra space of forces. Under most situations, if the only thing approaching max range are the FFB spikes, you can move SG up slowly. It's important to avoid clipping important informatives forces. Chopping the top of spikes isn't that bad.
Master FFB(Controls --> configuration --> Force Feedback)
There was some debate, for a while, about the correct usage of this parameters.
It seems to work differently for the PC and Consoles...
On the PC version of pCars, this setting is redundant. Just set it to 100 and use the windows control panel to control your steering wheel strenght ouput.
On the console versions, a safe bet is to leave the strenght to its default value. There has been report of damaged wheels when set to 100%. For Thrusmasters wheels, the manufacturer recommends to leave it to default value(Link needed). However, some users where able to use 100%, depending on their whole globals settings. On consoles, it's essentially the driver's control panel of the wheel. The only exceptions are the fanatec wheels. They have built-in memory that keeps the settings you set in the windows control panel.
In either case, when you lower the maximum torque a wheel can dish out, It'll change the natural output of the wheel. It will also increase the FFB deadzone of the wheel.
Skoader came up with a nice trick to go around this problem! Instead of lowering the game FFB, you set Scoop Knee to 1 and Scoop Reduction to the amount you want to lower the max output. That way, the max output gets lower without actually increasing the FFB deadzone!
Controller sensitivity & deadzones
In the Controls / configuration tab, you can find couple settings about deadzone and sensitivity. We're talking about the input of our wheels. It's how the sensors in our wheel/pedals will behave.
Deadzones are there so that worn sensors don't give jittery data. If your hardware is in good shape, you probably dont need much deadzones, if at all.
Sensitivity serves a different purpose. First of all, let's talk about how it works. 50, the default value, mean that the range from 0 to 1 is linear. As you move the value toward 0, you'll get more precision at the beginning of a given input. This will lead into less precision at the end of that input. What does that mean for the wheels pedals.
- Wheel: For any wheel that has 900 or 1080 DoR, it's better to leave it at 50. You already have enough precision for thoses small movements, and you don't want less precision as you turn. However, you may need to lower this value if you have a wheel that has less than 900 DoR. Let's take a momo wheel for example. It only has 240(270, i don't remember) DoR. Since we rarely go full lock while racing, it may be usefull to lower the sensitivity, you'll get more precision on turn ins. The wheel will feel more natural top dead center.
- Throttle: Since we're racing, most of the time, we have this pedal to the floor! With this in mind, it make sense to increment above 50. If not overdone, this will give you precision when going towards full throttle.
- Brakes: Lot's of time, you'll need to brake just a tiny bit. Lowering the sensitivity for brakes, a bit below 50 will give you precision when doing feathering the brakes.
- Cluth: This pedal will be fully pressed when it matters, so a value a bit above 50 will make stoped start a bit easier. You'll be able to more precisely catch the point of friction when doing a stopped start on a race.
If you get to a point where you feel you've got a solid FFB setup, feel free to post how you configured Project Cars for your wheel!
I want to give credits to all of those that came up with the stuff needed to build it. Diluvian, skoader, VictoriSV, Schnizz58, PTG Ty1er Ward, tpw, STEELJOCKEY, dw123, Jack Spade, rocafella1978, GrimeyDog, tennenbaum, Haiden, morpwr, and everyone who's adding their views on the subject!
Here's a link to Grimeydog's FFB megathread. It's long read, but there's talk about all aspect of pCars FFB.
As always, if anyone think something is wrong in this post, speak your mind!
- Update #23/05/2016:Added some bits about Steering Gain and Game Force Feedback.
- Update #21/05/2016:Rewrote some part of Deadzone Removals.
- Update #13/05/2016:Added some info to Tire Force. Started to update the Scoops refinition. Added link to complete FFB templates. Updated FCM screenshot. Various small stuff.
- Update #24/02/2016:Updated FCM 1.2 links. You can get to the original post and the latest one about SC.
- Update #11/02/2016:Added some link to good posts.
- Update #23/01/2016:Put the test drive part on top because i think it's the final stamp of approval. Numbers don't mean anything if it doesn't drive well.
- Update #30/12/2015:Updated the first steps to use the sheet. Will try to build a howto for FCM also.
- Update #26/12/2015:I messed up the whole post and i had to rebuild it. There may be parts that where not properly formated.
- Update #14/12/2015:Tire Force cleanup. Added various bits and a terminology part.
- Update #07/12/2015:FFB Balance Plan & Tire Force
- Update #XX:Soft Clipping and Relative Adjusts, alone or mixed.
- Update #XX:Controller sensitibity and deadzone added.
- Update #10:I'll try to update the post with a small tutorial to open and use it in google sheet.
- Update #8:New sheet version available: Simple copy&paste wheelcheck logfile functionality
- Update #7:Cleanup and RAs.
- Update #6:Removed the link to my sheet and replaced it with Diluvian's one. Added some comments about FFB tools.
- Update #5:You can now calculate Scoops fairly easily now! I'll be able to catch some sleep! [img]images/smilies/biggrin.png[/img]
- Update #3:Nothing is set in stone right now, some discussion are still going on and there's much to understand. We'll see how it develops after patch 3.0