Beautiful !

by GTX_SlotCar    


Game settings are only a guide.






Grand Prix Legends (GPL), FF and Core.ini.

The first game I'm going to cover here is Grand Prix Legends because there are many adjustable variables and I disagree with the suggested settings in the GPL 1.1 text file. It is, in fact, my belief that the references to Torque and Damping in core.ini are reversed (not quite, really, but I say this for simplicity). There are, however, some references in the text file that I do agree with and that some people have forgotten about. When I first posted this theory on the newsgroup, it caused quite a stir. So, here and now I plan to hammer the point over and over with example after example if need be. When setting FF in GPL it's important to remember that this is one of the few games that programs Force Feedback using Constant Forces (Vector Forces in I-Force Studio) instead of Spring Forces. Using Constant Force, the forces must be updated  constantly, every frame or even better, every millisecond. Spring Forces (programming), on the other hand, are turned on and run until they are turned off again. Also, keep in mind that the possible values for Vector Forces in I-Force Studio are 0 to 10,000. Let's look at a couple excerpts from the text file (in blue).

"force_feedback_damping can be used to counteract the unwanted spikes."

Try setting the core.ini Torque to 225 as recommended in the text file. Set the Damping to 0 and take a test drive at Monza. According to the text file, you should have plenty of 'maximum force' and no damping. Before you pull out of the pit, bump the rail on your right with your tire. Feel anything? I didn't think so. Pull out of the pit, cross the track to your left and drive on the grass. Feel anything? No? Well, speed down the track and slam into the wall on the right.  Still nothing? All that Torque, no Damping, and you can't feel anything? Now, does this seem logical to you?   Now increase the Damping to 450 or so and try the same routine. Bump the rail in the pit. Wow! You sure felt something this time, didn't you? Pull out of the pit, cross the track and drive on the grass. How about that, GPL actually programmed feedback in the grass texture! If you're going to continue the test and speed into the wall, make sure you've got a good grip on the wheel. Now, try setting the damping to 5000. Does it really feel like you've counteracted unwanted spikes as the text suggests? If this truly is Damping, it should. Or, does it feel like you've introduced more unwanted spikes? The fact is, the higher the Damping value in core.ini, the stronger the force feedback. But this doesn't sound like damping at all. So, if the higher the value you enter as Damping, the stronger the forces become, shouldn't this value be called Torque or Maximum Force?

"Guidelines for this number? Try anything from 0.0 to several hundred, maybe, but this also causes jumpiness if raised to excess."

Here's what many people forget. "Try anything from 0.0 to several hundred". Yet commonly people don't use Damping numbers higher than 40. As far as the jumpiness  goes, I'm sure raising the value too much will cause jumpiness if core.ini's Torque value isn't also increased. And raising it too much, like 9000 or so, may cause the input signals to clip. Conversely, setting both values to 0 will definitely cause clipping.

"max_steering_torque is the level of torque actually computed in the game that will give the maximum force level on the device."

In reality, isn't this what the Damping just did?  

"Setting this to a higher number will reduce the force you feel. Setting this lower will increase the forces you feel,

Wait, a higher number will reduce the force, and a lower number will increase the force? Doesn't this sound amazingly like Damping?

 but will tend to clamp them, so you will not feel the car loading up on a hill, etc."

Yes, using lower numbers will clamp the forces. That's because you have a Vector range that starts at 0 and has a ceiling of 10,000. But the text suggests that you should use a value of about 40, thereby compressing all the available forces into a range of 0 to 40. That's why 'you will not feel the car loading up on a hill'. In fact, you will lose most of the subtle feedback that you really care about and the feedback effects are so compressed that you can hardly tell one from another.

Surely by reading this and trying some core.ini settings yourself, you should be convinced that core.ini's Damping is actually Torque or maximum force, and core.ini's Torque is actually Damping.

I'm not actually sure what the largest values are that can be entered in core.ini. I've tested it to 30,000, but values above 10,000 seem to have a funny effect, kind of like stretching the forces. The exact settings you prefer is subjective. I have found that setting the Torque value at about half the Damping value works nicely for getting all the subtle feedback and still rocks the wheel on big hits. Also, higher values make the wheel feel smoother and lighter while lower numbers make it feel stiffer. These are 1300 pound cars with very little weight on the front wheels, so the steering probably shouldn't feel real heavy. Because signal clipping may be an issue, I've settled on settings that are in the middle of the Vector range. Although I used a Damping value of 4000 for a long time, I have recently begun using 5000 with no clipping and nicely balanced effects. The Torque value you choose will also depend on your wheel brand and how well it's broken in. When the Ferrari wheel was newer, I used 1800/4000  (torque/damping), but after it wore in a little I was able to use 2000/4000 and still get the subtle feedback and the wheel was smoother (less motor torque). A smoother Logitech wheel (old style LWFF), with it's lighter motor, would perform well using a slightly smaller torque value. I've also found that using these higher numbers means you can fine tune the settings more easily than smaller numbers.

There are, of  course, no right or wrong settings if you're happy with the ones you're using. If you're using settings  close to the ones recommended in the text file and are happy with them, great. But at least you might want to try the new settings. After all, they're free.

Prancing Horse

Grand Prix Legends Settings:

My current settings for the Ferrari and Force RS wheels are almost the same in core.ini and Windows Controller Panel, but different in GPL's setup screen.



Windows Game Controller:

Overall Device Gain:    100% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                    0% (always off. GPL doesn't use Spring Gain. Having it on can cause spikes)

Damper Gain:                  0 to 100% (depends on the track and how stiff (viscous) I want the wheel)

Default Spring:                off (usually, sometime on at 25% or so with the Ferrari wheel)



[ Joy ]
allow_force_feedback = 1                ; Use FF if device has it
force_feedback_damping = 5000     ; this is force feedback strength, not damping
force_feedback_latency = 0.0045    ; force feedback latency (secs), use a low number
max_steering_torque = 2800            ; this is damping (2500 for the Force RS)


Steering Linearity:

Ferrari: 0 to31 clicks from left            Force RS: 0 to12 clicks from left


                Use the arrow keys to move slider to the right.


Steering Ratio:

Ferrari: 8-10 to 1                              Force RS:  7-10 to 1

Notes: I run max_steering_torque at 2500 to 3000 depending on my mood (although I favor 2500 for the Force RS). Both have good road feel. 2500 gives better grass feel but increases the pull of the motor. With these high values for damping and torque, Latency setting is less critical. This is good as the actual latency probably changes with the work load, like the number of cars in view and/or your graphics settings. Also, if your wheel feels too free and you want more real damping, it's okay to turn up the damper gain in the game controller panel. You'll still get the subtle feedback but with the feel of more wheel loading.  It's also okay to add some default spring. Experiment with your settings. If you like something less radical and with more wheel loading, try setting your torque at 300 and damping at 600, for example. These settings are well within the parameters written in GPL's text1.1 file. My wheels are pretty well broken in. I figure it took at least 60 hours to break in the Force RS, and then I lubricated the pulleys. The Ferrari wheel will take less than half that time.  If your wheel is new, keep in mind that I came to these settings gradually as the wheels broke in.



SlotCar-Z   MTM2  GTX team truck. 1998-99 World Champions.

Monster Truck Madness 2:

Although MTM2 is a great game, the force feedback is sub-standard to say the least. The crash forces are very strong, actually overpowering, but there is no subtle road feel at all. Probably just the way a real monster truck is. I imagine the steering uses plenty of hydraulics that kill the road feel. If you try turning up the force strength to feel ground textures, ruts and landings will rip the wheel out of your hands making the game almost unplayable. I'd really think about turning the FF off on this one, but I have come up with a setting that gives some FF and can still pull in good lap times.



Windows Game Controller:

Overall Device Gain:    50% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                 75%

Damper Gain:              100%

Default Spring:                off   (on at 35% if you need spring action)


Game settings:

Steering Response: Maximum


Crash Force: 10% to 50%, depending on track.

The tough part of setting FF in MTM2 is that each track is so different. These windows settings work for all the tracks I've tried by simply adjusting the Crash Force in the game. On a mostly paved track you can use up to 50% Crash Force, but on one with lots of jumps and rocks, 10% is much better.


Sports Car GT:       

Force RS

Windows Game Controller:  

Overall Device Gain:    100% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                 100%

Damper Gain:                   0%

Default Spring:                off   (on at 35% if you need spring action)

It was raining in Ontario. The road was slick but  I had a better line. By the time we exited the corner, I was leading. 


Nascar 3:

Don't expect to get the same quality of FF in Nascar 3 that you get in GPL. I'm not convinced this level of detail can be accomplished programming with Spring Forces. You can feel infield textures, ramps, walls and some steering torque. The additional RS Shifter support is also very nice. I've found it best to adjust the Spring and Damper Gains evenly. It's easy to get the wheel oscillating with too much Damper (which seems to give the strongest effects) and I don't like the wheel pulling from my hands when I exit a corner.




Force RS:

Windows Game Controller:

Overall Device Gain:    100% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                 55%

Damper Gain:               55%

Default Spring:              off  



Windows Game Controller:

Overall Device Gain:    100% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                 65%

Damper Gain:               65%

Default Spring:              off  



GEARS 6 7 1 2


;;GEARS 6 7 1 2


Show Bitmap Flags and NoVideo are just personal preferences having nothing to do with FF settings.


Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed:

As with all these settings, keep in mind that I'm using modified versions of these wheels whenever possible. These are settings that make me happy, but this is personal taste. If you want a quick setup and aren't familiar with game settings, this might be a place to start, but you'll probably want to make adjustments to suite your own taste.

Force RS:

Windows Game Controller:

Overall Device Gain:    100% (maximum)

Spring Gain:                 60%

Damper Gain:               50%

Default Spring:              off  


There is some road feel in NFS: PU. You can feel when the front tires start to lose their grip. When they re-gain their grip, the centering force is quite strong, so I lower the Spring Gain in the controller panel to help smooth the transition. With the Ferrari wheel you might want this a bit higher, and with the LWFF you may want to set it at maximum.

Dead Zone

I use split axis with all the wheels and set the cars handling (front/rear downforce) so that I dance on the gas and brake for steering. Play with your limiter settings in the Dead Zone settings to make the steering, brake and gas come on quick enough for you.

Force Feedback

Road Effects and Collision are nice to feel, but you don't want them turned up so high that they interfere with your steering when you hit a railing or go off the road. Engine is felt as wheel vibration. It also masks some of the road feel. You could set this to zero, but I like to feel it a little at high RPMs and when turning. With the LWFF try an initial setting of 20%.




Midtown Madness 2

   Don't expect MM2 to have the same good force feedback that the original Midtown Madness had. The cars don't handle as accurately either, and the graphics on the other cars is a bit disappointing as well.  Having 2 cities to drive in is nice and the Crash Course, although frustrating at first, is very nice.

    The spring centering in the game is too strong and distracting. Cut way down on your Spring Gain in controller panel to smooth out the 'hump'. The settings on the right give a pleasant driving experience. Use them as a starting point for your own setup.





Nascar Racing 4            

Controller Panel

Force RS

Overall: 100%

Damping: 40%


Overall: 100%

Damping: 40%


Overall: 150%

Damping: 100%

    As they did in GPL,  Papyrus is using Constant Forces for the force feedback programming, so Spring Gain in controller panel should be set to 0. (Spring Gain has no effect, but on some computers a setting other than 0 could cause spurious anomalies such as spiking.)  This time, though, the strength of the force feedback felt on the front wheels is directly related to the caster setting.  The caster on the the default 'fast' setup for tracks like Daytona and Atlanta is zero, so there won't be much pressure on the wheel. My suggestion is to get a good racing setup for Dover or Michigan and set your Damping in Windows Controller Panel and the Strength and Damping in the game. Then as you change tracks, you'll only have to play with the Strength.  Lower the Strength so that the wheel doesn't bounce when you exit a corner causing you to lose control. The caster only effects the amount of feedback pressure (or loading) you feel while steering. Skids, terrain and impacts are felt regardless of the caster setting.

    I've included a stable beginner racing setup for Dover here. Just copy it to your Player Name\setups\dover folder.








(Gary DeRoy)

Page updated:   February 20, 2001