DiRT 4 Guide: Tips for Optimizing Wheel Settings and Force Feedback
DiRT 4 gives you a wide range of options for Force Feedback (FFB) settings, but how do you actually tune these settings to what's right for you? What does each setting mean? And what should you look for when tuning your ideal FFB setting?
In this guide, I'm going to go over all the wheel settings and give you some tips for using Force Feedback to the fullest extent that you can.
Before you start tweaking these settings, you'll want to jump into DiRT Academy so you can test them out. You can create a long and not-too-complex Rally stage, but the Free Roam DirtFish arena is going to be your best bet for testing -- there is plenty of space for doughnuts and throwing the car into fast or slow corners.
Optimizing Wheel Settings in DiRT 4
The first 5 settings are the only ones which affect how the wheel feels for most of the time. But let's go over all of the options in Vibration & Feedback:
- Self Aligning Torque: The overall strength of the steering forces.
- Wheel Friction: Strength of the static friction of the wheel.
- Tyre Friction: Strength of the dynamic (in motion) friction of the wheel.
- Suspension: Strength of the feedback when suspension is in play.
- Tyre Slip: Vibration strength when rear wheels slip (front wheels covered by Self Aligning Torque).
- Collision: Strength of feedback when you have a crash.
- Soft Lock: Defines how far the physical wheel can turn, based on the vehicle (only use with 1080 degrees of rotation).
- Steering Centre Force: After you reset your car, this option defines how strongly the wheel goes back to center.
With that out of the way, let's talk about the practical applications of the FFB settings, which are far more simple than the fancy explanations above.
Self Aligning Torque
This essentially affects the strength of the overall feedback. So when setting the SAT, you want to ensure that the wheel isn't too heavy for you. But remember -- this setting also alerts you to when your front wheels start to slip (if you understeer), so don't set it too low or you'll miss those cues.
This is for when the wheel is static, so it is mostly effective on the tightest corners. That means the setting should be basically the same as Tyre Friction (below).
This setting tells you exactly how much traction you have, and lets you know when your wheel gets pushed into another direction from hitting a rock, knocking a trench, etc. This setting should be tweaked slowly, but often should be set lower than SAT.
If you make a jump and land on your side slightly, or go over bumps, this setting tells you exactly what is happening with the suspension. As such, it's often best to set it the same as you would Tyre Friction. You don't want either to override the other if you go over a bump on tarmac and the wheel gets pushed the wrong way. You want to know about both so you can make the appropriate adjustments without throwing the balance of things out of whack.
This setting tells you when the rear wheels are about to go over the normal slip angle (when you powerslide/drift), so you should test your tweaks to it with a RWD vehicle. With this setting, it's hard to designate a specific number it should be tuned to. The best way to figure out what works best is to push the car way too far, see if you feel it enough, then adjust accordingly.
Some players opt to set it similar to SAT, while others set it low lower than the rest. It's all down to personal feel and preference with this one.
When you crash, this is the setting that tells you how bad the crash is. I tend to set this high so that I know it's a bad crash, but many leave this set at its default (100).
This is the setting which stops the physical wheel when going over the Soft Lock steering angle for the car. The angle is different depending on the car, but it's best to stick this to 150 -- as you want to know if you cannot turn the wheels more. Soft Lock is only truly effective when your wheel supports 1080 degrees of rotation, so it's up to you if you want it or not (it can be turned off in the Advanced Input settings).
Steering Centre Force
This setting only takes effect when you reset your car. It can be toggled on & off right from the Vibration & Feedback settings. If you don't want your arm pulled off when you reset, leave it at default or drop it 20 points.
That does it for how to tweak your Force Feedback settings in DiRT 4. For the most part, what you opt to go with is going to come down to your personal tactile preferences. Tweak and tweak more until you get what you want, but make sure you're always testing so you don't find setting imbalances in the middle of a race.
For more tips and tricks that will help you get ahead of the curve, check out the rest of our DiRT 4 guides here on GameSkinny.