Great news everyone! DiRT Rally’s FFB update is almost ready to go live but before we do that we wanted to drop the full details on what it is we’ve changed so that it has a little time to sink in.
Improved Force Feedback
There are two main parts to the FFB update, this first should be instantly noticeable the second you hit the stage. You’ll now find that the Force Feedback coming through your wheel now feels much more intuitive, the car will now feel much more connected to the road and the forces acting against you will help you get a better idea of what the car is doing. Hopefully all these changes will allow you to drive quicker and make you feel like you are more in control.
To take advantage of our new force feedback you don’t need to do anything other than download the latest patch and play the game.
The other main part of the patch is our new advanced wheel options screens.
Now if you’re more accustomed to the older DiRT games and was perhaps OK with how our force feedback was you won’t really need to worry about any of this. To you we’re recommending that you leave your set up as it is for now, you shouldn’t need to change anything but if you were previously running 270 degrees of rotation on your wheel you may find it really snappy and 540 may suit you better.
Advanced Wheel Settings
For our players who lean more towards simulation games you’ll find that we’ve added a whole suite of options to give you as much control as possible over your set up.
What you’ll find with this new set up is that in particular the older cars will now be much more work in the hairpins and tight turns, after an hour of play you’ll feel like you’ve done a full upper body workout. This is called “soft lock” and it mimics the same amount of lock these cars have in the real world (you’ll find a list of how we’ve set each car up so far below).
If you like the variety of steering lock which each car offers but are finding it too much work you can keep the soft lock option on in the “Advanced wheel options” and reduce the steering saturation by however much you like.
For example the Fiat 131 Arbarth has 1080 degrees of steering lock, reducing your steering saturation by 50% will now mean it has 540 degrees of rotation.
If you don’t like the effect of soft lock at all, turning soft lock off will mean all cars will run with the degrees of rotation that you have set in your windows drivers.
Here’s how we’re suggesting you go about setting your rig up.
Step One: Getting set up in Windows – Recommended
To take full advantage of our force feedback improvements on your wheel we highly recommend downloading the most up to date drivers and profiler software from the manufacturer’s website before going any further and checking your wheel is running the latest firmware.
Based on the information we could find we’ve set each car up in DiRT Rally with the same degrees of lock as they have in the real world; older cars such as the Lancia Delta have 1080 degrees of lock while the new modern cars such as the Fiesta RS Rally Car have 540 degrees.
To take advantage of this we’re recommending that you set your wheel to the maximum degrees of rotation available in your devices settings. Set your device’s dampening to 100% and set your driver centring springs to off or 0% (depending what options you have available) save any changes, and boot up DiRT Rally.
Step Two: Calibrating Your Wheel – Recommended
Before hitting the stage the most important thing to do is visit our new wheel calibration screen.
Firstly check that your wheel is recognised by the game. From the Main Menu select Options and Extras > Controls > Choose Preset and make sure your wheel is selected.
Now back out to the Controls menu and select Advanced Wheel Settings.
Make sure soft lock is turned on
Select calibrate device.
Now you simply need to follow the on screen instructions.
1 – Turn the steering wheel to full lock in either direction, hold it there and press any button.
2 – Hold the steering wheel at 90 degrees in either direction, hold it there and press any button.
3 – Depress all your pedals as far as possible, then press any button.
That’s it; this final screen lets you test your inputs before accepting but if you’d like to run through it all again just select “Recalibrate Device”.
Now you’re good to go and you can continue playing the game, though we suggest that you maybe hop into Custom Event to try your new set up.
Step 3: Customising your set up – Optional
You’ll also find a full suite of tweakable options, here’s a rundown on some of the most important ones and what they do.
Advanced Wheel Options
Throttle and Brake saturation can now be scaled to 150% on the wheel – for example increasing the saturation to say 125%, means that you can only achieve 80% of the input. This is particularly useful as limits the throttle and/or brake input preventing the user from applying 100% braking and locking the wheels, or achieving 100% throttle, which can help especially with throttle control. It is similar to placing a block of wood behind the pedal and using it as a driving aid.
Added Soft Lock option on/off – each vehicle has their steering lock set as in the real world (e.g. 540, 720, 900 or 1080 etc), for the most authentic experience possible we’re recommending this option is left on and that players set their steering lock/rotation in the Windows Device Control Panel to the maximum the device supports.
Here is how the cars are currently grouped but we may tweak them as we find out more info on how these cars are set up in the real world.
- FIAT 131 Abarth
- Mini Cooper S
- Lancia Fulvia HF
- Ford Escort Mk II
- Lancia Stratos
- Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2
- Lancia Delta S4
- MG Metro 6R4
- Peugeot 205 T16 Pikes Peak
- Audi Sport Quattro Rallye
- Ford RS200
- Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
- BMW E30 M3 Evo Rally
- Lancia Delta HF Integrale
- Ford Escort RS Cosworth
- Subaru Impreza 1995
- Audi Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak
- Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak
- Ford Fiesta RS Rally Car
- Mini Countryman Rally Edition
Load/Save Device Configuration – ability to load and save the wheel calibration presets from the advanced wheel options menu. These xml files can be shared with other players if you like (My Documents\My Games\DiRT Rally\wheelsettings).
Vibration & Feedback Screen Wheel
- Self Aligning Torque – scales the strength of the steering forces.
- Wheel Friction – scales the static friction of the wheel.
- Tyre Friction – scales the dynamic friction of the tyre (this is friction when the tyre is in motion).
- Suspension – scales the information from the road’s surface via the suspension. The harder the impact to the suspension the greater the force felt.
- Tyre Slip – scales the vibration felt when the rear wheels slip (front wheels are covered by the steering forces).
- Collision – scales the strength of impacts to the rigid body
- Soft Lock – scales the strength of the soft lock effect, the higher the value the stronger the soft lock force.
See, we told you it was a lot to take in! We’ll let that soak in and update this post once the patch is live. We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you for your support with DiRT Rally so far, this update is all based on your feedback and wouldn’t have been possible without you. We were really happy with how DiRT Rally felt before but now it’s like a new game to us and we love it even more!
A special thank you to Mastavonblasta, Evilsmurf, Rallycameraman and gfRally from the Codemasters forums, /u/deadstump from /r/simrally and @dchote from Twitter all helped us with the update.
That’s not forgetting @bettalines who took the time to come visit us in the studio really help us get to the bottom of this box of frogs we opened and was kind enough to put together a handy video detailing all the changes we’ve made and you can watch it right here.