Forza Motorsport is definitely best played on a racing wheel. Despite that though, it can take a lot of tweaking in the settings to get the wheel just how you want it. This guide will show you how to perfect your wheel settings in Forza Motorsport.
Taking the wheel
On PC, the maximum wheel rotation angle is 540 degrees. This isn’t the case on Xbox though, so sensitivity settings for PC may cause instability on Xbox.
Turn 10 recommends using default settings when first starting up Forza Motorsport, but you’ll find the game feels more suited to controller players. This is an odd decision for a sim racing title, but thankfully there is a way to make the game more responsive when using a wheel.
For beginners, there are multiple settings that many won’t even know about. For the most part, these settings can be left untouched, but there are some that will need some minor adjustments to help you out on track.
The ultimate decision is which steering setting to use. In the game’s menu screen, you can choose between fully assisted, partially assisted, normal or simulation. We’ll ignore the assisted options for now, as these practically drive the car for you. So the real choice is between normal and simulation.
Even if you're new to Forza Motorsport, we recommend going with simulation. This gives a much better feel during corners and combined with traction control and ABS will provide much more control when needed.
This is the easy part though, as the advanced settings are a lot more tunable and therefore a lot more reliant on player choice.
The advanced steering settings are split into multiple sliders. Each controls a certain steering factor, from the deadzone to the force feedback scale. To find these settings, head to the ‘Advanced Input’ tab on the settings screen.
Again, new players can leave a lot of these settings at default, as playing around with them too much can cause more problems than they solve. Seasoned sim racers may already know which settings need adjusting, but for those in the middle group, here’s what we suggest.
The first step is to ignore everything above and including the handbrake settings. It’s very rare that you’ll need to use the handbrake in Forza, with most racing wheels not even including one, so keeping these at default is fine.
Vibration Scale and Force Feedback Scale are vital though. These settings control the intensity of the force feedback vibration and the strength of the force feedback itself respectively. Sim racing pros can turn vibration all the way up to max, and the force feedback to around 70 for good all-round performance. But for those who don’t want their wrists ripped off every time they touch a curb, feel free to knock these down a few clicks for more comfort.
Feeling the grip
Arguably the most important setting is the Mechanical Trail Scale. This setting reflects the relationship between force feedback and grip through the suspension of the car. Losing grip while cornering will reduce the feedback felt through the wheel, but there isn’t much warning in the default setting.
Setting the mechanical trail scale to between 150-200 is ideal. Combine this with a Pneumatic Trail Scale of around 100, which represents the deformation of the tyre. This will ensure you will feel when the car is at its grip limit before it’s too late.
It should also be noted that the trail scale settings will also affect the force feedback sensitivity, so you may have to go back and finetune this after.
If you want to feel the track surface better through the wheel, we recommend adjusting the Road Feel Scale up to around 110. Here you will feel every bump in the track, without causing too many jolts.
Load Sensitivity works in the opposite way to the trail scales. This allows you to feel the load placed upon each tyre whilst cornering, giving you useful responses when going through fast corners. A value of around 50 is ideal to get the best feel without compromising the other settings.
Protecting the driver
The Wheel Dampening Scale adds resistance when turning the wheel to represent the forces you need to overcome when steering. We recommend keeping this low at around 20 to best accurately represent the resistance applied. Anything higher will cause more strenuous moments during key corners, whereas anything less will feel too limp when steering.
Centre Spring Scale is something we find is better when not present. This is the annoying feature in some cars that returns the wheel to its native position, potentially catching the driver unaware and even causing injury. Just turn this down to zero if you want to keep your wrists intact.
The final setting we recommend adjusting is Dynamic Damper Behaviour. This controls the delay between a curb ride or collision and the forces coming through the wheel. This gives you the chance to brace before that force is directed into your arms, again potentially preventing injury.
A value of around 20 is best here. This provides just enough of a delay without breaking the immersion too greatly.
All settings below this can be left as default for the best driving experience. These settings should help you race to victory in Forza Motorsport. If you do find some work better than others, some more adjustments may be needed to match your particular driving style.
That was quite a lot of information in one go there, so here's a handy summary for all wheel settings:
- Vibration Scale: 100
- Force Feedback Scale: 70
- Mechanical Trail Scale: 150
- Pnuematic Trail Scale: 100
- Road Feel Scale: 110
- Load Sensitivity: 50
- Wheel Damping Scale: 20
- Centre Spring Scale: 0
- Dynamic Damper Behaviour: 20
If you're playing on a controller instead of a wheel, check out our Forza Motorsport recommended controller settings guide.
Forza Motorsport guides
Now you've got to grips with the steering in Forza Motorsport, why not check out our other guides?
If you want to race on the best wheel available, check out our best wheel for Forza Motorsport guide.
If you're struggling to pick out your starter car, have a read of our Forza Motorsport starter car guide.
Want to compare your lap times to your rivals? Turn on the leaderboard with our handy guide.
Need to upgrade your car fast? We show you how to earn XP fast in this useful guide.
Finally, have a read of our full Forza Motorsport review to find out how we have found the game so far.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Forza page.