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Steering Ratios in RBR

Discussion in 'Richard Burns Rally' started by Aaron DeMarre, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. I have been reading about steering ratios the past few days, something that seems to be discussed quite a bit in other sims, but rarely addressed in RBR. Sure there are discussions about what people set their steering rotations (wheel setting) and max steering lock (car setting) settings to, but these numbers seem to be all over the map, and no explanation to how these numbers were generated.

    First, here what started me thinking about this topic:

    (tl;dr version: The author thinks sim racers can "cheat" by using overly sensitive steering ratios. Not only do these quick steering ratios turn a sim into an arcade racer by being completely unrealistic, but can cause stability issues at high speeds. We should be using the correct amount of wheel rotation and correct steering ratios for the cars we are driving.)


    After reading this, I got to thinking about how this applies to the cars in RBR, and it is really bugging me.

    In RBR there is a setting of "Max Steering Lock" and it is measured in degrees, and by default is a large value (504°). This leads me to believe that it is the car's steering wheel rotation value. However, from other discussions I have read, a low setting of this value means you will struggle to make hairpins, and a high value means if the wheel is turned too much you can easily cause understeer. If this is true, this means the steering ratio of the car is fixed and the true steering lock (deflection of the actual wheels and tires) is completely dependent on the amount of the car's wheel rotation (aka: max steering lock). I believe this steering ratio is hardcoded in the physics files of the cars.

    Now we cannot change the steering ratio of the car itself, but since we can change the steering lock (wheel/tire deflection) indirectly via the max steering lock value. Since we can change the amount of wheel rotation in the settings of our racing wheels, we now have a way to change the effective steering ratio. For example, if you set the steering wheel rotation to the default value of the car setup, your effective steering ratio matches the steering ratio of the car.

    Now here is what bugs me, this does not seem to be what the developers intended at all, most likely because of the racing wheels of the time not able to go all the way to 540°, the wheel rotation of a real WRC car. From what I can tell, the developers intended the racing wheel rotation and the car's wheel rotation to be separated by a factor of around 1.4.


    The first thing that tipped me off to this was a post here: http://ascar.motorsportforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=726861


    Not one to take random internet posts for their word, I dug a little deeper and found this post by none other than Mr. Horsepower, the main physics guy for RSRBR: http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...orsports.com+rbr+g25&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us



    To my surprise, he recommends a max steering lock of 792°, the max value! This would mean if you ran your wheel rotation at 540°, the ratio would be 1.467 which matches with the ratio in the first post. If you wanted a quicker effective steering ratio, you would put your wheel rotation to 360°, giving you a ratio of 2.2.


    So what does all this mean? It means the steering model in RBR has nothing to do with realism and is entirely designed for steering feel when using old racing wheels. The effective steering ratio must be setup via a confusing system of the ratio between your wheels rotation and the car's rotation.


    Am I way off base on this? Just trying to make sense of it all, because it is really bugging me!
     
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  2. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Interesting theory. TBH, I have never spent much time fiddling with all of these settings, I set my wheel (G25) rotation to about 400 deg for all of my simracing, and don't change it between games. I mainly only play RBR and GTL these days though. I pretty much use the RBR default steering lock in-game and it feels pretty realistic to me. However, maybe I'm just used to it.

    In the end, I guess each of us just sets up the wheel to suit our own driving styles. :)
     
  3. It's like that in all games, no?
    It's similar to netKar Pro at least; there's no steering lock option, but you can set it with the steering ratio, and the wheel rotation.

    Don't see a huge issue with it really, but maybe I'm missing something. People have different wheels, mine has only 180 degrees. If it was real real, I'd be screwed.
     
  4. I tend to set my wheel to the actual rotation of the car we're driving at the time (or best guess). Watch a few YouTube videos of drivers getting it all wrong and you can see the lock to lock value quite easily! I've never touched the ingame value as I have no idea what it does.
     
  5. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    What is the approx (average) wheel rotation that you use Damien?
     
  6. For most of the cars it's 540 degrees, more for some of the older ones. You have to work a bit harder sometimes but the flipside is you also can make little adjustments. Works for me.
     
  7. Just want to clarify that the above is mostly theorycrafting, and I don't think it is a real issue. I really liked the ideals presented in the original piece I quoted, but struggled to see how they fit into RBR.

    I don't have much experience with other sims, and definitely have never looked at steering ratios. However from what you describe about netKar Pro, you are changing the steering lock because it is the output of the steering ratio applied to the steering wheel rotation. I think this is really ideal for representing steering ratios for production and sports car sims since those pieces of information are more available than the steering lock values, and could be plugged right into the setup without other calculations.

    Now this purist view does break down for production cars, for example an E46 M3 has a steering wheel rotation of 1080° and I do not think there are any racing wheels that go up this high.

    Totally agree, my wheel also has a 180° rotation, so there is no way to emulate the true rotation of any car.


    The in game setting is the steering wheel rotation of the in game car itself. So while your wheel is set to what you think the real car is, in game the car's setup says the car only has 504° of rotation. For example, if your wheel is set to 540° and your car's setup is default, every 1° you move your racing wheel, the car's ingame steering wheel moves 0.93°.

    You are basically doing the opposite of the issue described in the piece I first quoted, your effective steering ratio is slower than the "real" value would be.

    I don't think is this is any more or less of an issue than the scenario Senad or I have, where every 1° we move our wheel, the ingame steering moves 2.8°, it our case we do not have much of a choice unless we want to decrease the turning radius of the car in order to get slower steering.
     
  8. so does that mean I should set both wheel and ingame to the same value to more closely emulate the real thing?
     
  9. I think it ultimately comes down preference. The sweet spot seems to be when your in car setup is around 1.4 times your wheel rotation. However, that would be a lot quicker than what you are used to now, so you would be trading precision for quicker steering.

    In the post above, mrhorsepower (RSRBR physics guy) recommends a wheel rotation of 540° and an incar setup of 792° max steering lock. This would take a big adjustment, right now you are used to moving your wheel 540° to get the car's steering wheel to go 504° in-game with the default setup. Changing it to those values means you only have to turn your wheel 344° to get to the 504° in-game, so it is a much quicker steering setup. Also, anything after the 344° is extra wheel/tire deflection that you never had before due to changing the in-game setup from 504° to 792°, while leaving your wheel rotation the same. I imagine this may make the setup easier to get understeer if you use the full rotation of your wheel.
     
  10. Yes...it IS a matter of preference.
    There are mainly 2 settings for steering setup. The steering ratio and steering lock. You can change these to suit the track and your driving style.
    In reality the reason for high steering ratio is to give less precision and lessen the turning force. How much depends on the type of track and car. eg you cannot have the precision of F1 car on a rallycross car.

    Steering lock is sometimes allowed sometimes not through regulation, mostly not so you need to use proper parts.

    rfactor reads your wheel turn degree and uses it in conjunction with steering lock degree to calculate steering ratio. For example steering lock 9 will give you the same precision with 270 dgree wheel as a 18 setting with 540 dgree wheel. The question here is, is 9degrees going to be enough to take the tightest turn at the optimum speed. If not you'll need to give up some precision for speed.

    In RBR, it only allows you to set the max steering radius, like a steering lock. So if you use an adjustable wheel, you need to set your in-game and on-wheel radius to the same value which gives you enough precision and quick enough lock-to-lock. You can set the on-wheel value to a lower value if you want to have a slightly quicker reaction. I believe you only need to set the on-wheel steering degree to match the in-game value. You dont need to add another layer of calculation as in what it is actually set and what the game thinks it is set to.

    As you play sitting still you can get away with more precision as especially you dont have the force throwing you around as in the rallycar seat.

    For example for RBR..I have a 270 dgree MS non-adjustable wheel. I cannot set the in-game value to 270 because then it is so quick that it has negative effect on the handling. so what I do is I use a higher value in-game for less precision but then I cannot use the whole steering degree allowed.

    As a rule of thumb, in racing as a max, you must be able to turn all left-right the corners without taking your hands off the wheel and then some ... this usually corresponds to approx somewhere between 450-540 degrees in reality. RBR uses 504 degrees by default.

    some infos;

    FORD PUMA SUPER 1600: Standard power assisted rack and pinion. 2.6 turns lock-to-lock.
    FORD FOCUS WRC: Power assisted high-ratio (12:1) steering, 2.0 turns lock to lock -> max +/-30 degrees max steering.
    MITSUBISHI EVO: Rack and pinion steering, variable power assistance 2.2 turns lock to lock.

    Of course the max turning degree changes for every track/rally and surface.
     
  11. Dariusz Swiderski

    Dariusz Swiderski
    Premium Member

    I was playing a lot with the steering but eventually i settled with 1:1, 504 on wheel and 504 in game. That gives me the best sensivity/steering ratio :).
     
  12. Oke, didn't wanted to start a new thread, so if you please for someone that has been playing for about 2 years with keyboard, can you give some advice about how to play with a steering wheel?
    I actually have a second hand G25, and I didn't even manage to start the car :). So, everything about settings in game and for the wheel, tips and tricks for me about how to accommodate faster with the wheel, anything would be great, here and on PM.
    I'm afraid if I don;t make progress faster I'll trow up the wheel and return to keys :).
     
  13. First off, you are going to be learning how to play all over again, prepare to be very frustrated at first. You will want to go back to the KB many times before it comes together. But stick with it and once you get it down you will never go back! :)

    I do not have a G25, so not totally sure about the setup, but you will want to calibrate it and make sure everything is working properly in the Logitech software or Windows Game Controllers screen. To start out, I would recommend setting the rotation of the wheel to something small, like 360°, or even smaller as you are learning. This should make it easier to learn the wheel, and is a good value for the default car setups in RBR.

    Also in the wheel setup, make sure your gas and brake are on separate axes. There should be a setting to "combine axis" for the gas and break, you do not want to combine, you want them separate.

    Use this guide:



    Now to reduce steering lag do the following:



    Now fire up RBR using the actual game executable so you can modify your profile. Go into the profile you use in RSRBR and go into the controller options. RBR should detect your wheel. In the screen where you can set up the buttons there are gauges to make sure the wheel and pedals are working. You may need to set this up to use the right axes for each function. Make sure that the gauges look correct when moving the wheel and pedals. The break and gas pedals should be able to be use separately without one effecting the other. For example, if you have the brake fully depressed, hitting the gas should fully engage the accelerator and not effect the brake. If the brake goes down when you hit the accelerator, that means the axes are combined.

    For now, I would ignore the clutch and use autoclutch. Also use the paddles for shifting and ignore the shifter until you are comfortable with the wheel and pedals.

    You should be all set at that point.
     
  14. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Great news Robb, you will (eventually) find that driving RBR with a good wheel will add lots to the realism. The G25 is ideal for RBR too, nice and sturdy.

    And I agree with Aaron, you will feel like you are starting all over again, it's a huge change and your driving style will need to be different. patience should pay huge rewards though.
    I use a G25, as do many others here, so feel free to ask specific questions.

    Aaron has covered most of the important game and wheel settings, but here are some more of mine:
    http://www.racedepartment.com/richard-burns-rally/34304-my-game-settings.html

    The FFB can be very strong in RBR, so you may need to experiment to find your "sweet spot". I prefer not to have it too strong, so I use 101% in the Logitech Profiler, and reduce it slightly in-game. You need enough to be able to feel the grip level though. This is the big advantage of the g25 when you start to feel what the grip and suspension is doing, but it will take time and perseverence. Stick with it.

    I use about 400 deg Rotation in the Profiler, but I agree, you may want lower to start with, since you are used to quickfire response. I use the Paddles for gear changing, and the Stick as the handbrake (in sequential mode). Just pull it back to operate it, feels pretty realistic to me.
     
  15. Dariusz Swiderski

    Dariusz Swiderski
    Premium Member

    I would also put the brake sensivity to 0% and no steering fade with speed. :)
     
  16. Robb once you move on to wheel's you'll never look back imo, but the transition from keyboard to wheel is a pretty big move i think, and god knows how you set some of your times with a keyboard (impressive).
    I mean going from a game pad to a wheel wouldn't be so bad, because most game pads have triggers, analogue sticks and vibration so i think not a huge leap. But Keyboard?? with no ffb?? i think you have been missing half of the game lol. But not now :)

    I might not be the best person to ask in regards to your G25 as i use DFGT, i think both are 900' steering so presume the window's defaults should be the same?

    Someone here with a G25 will most likely give you some custom setup tips, personally i dont use the 'Logitech Software' as i run little as possible in the background.

    All my key-mapping is done in game (RBR-SSE) rather than software and i pretty much let windows configure defaults for steering calibration etc i've made changes to FFB and Steering Rotation only, you might have to find what suits you, try windows default for starter's and if that's to sensitive then start increasing steering rotation to suit.
    I find camhack can help aswell, if you zoom the camera on the front wheel's you can get an idea visually of how sensitive your steering input is or how out/in sync your wheel is to your hardware.

    If its your first time using a accelerator and brake pedal for a sim game your gonna find the sensitivity levels will be magnified by a factor of x10 compared to a real car. I find if you train your right foot to only use a small portion of the pedal travel something like 20% eg: in 1st gear accelerate just to the point when boost come's on and off or try and maintain half boost for as long as you can in every gear to practice where the turbo-boost range limits are in relationship to the pedal travel. Once you know this you can start to adjust your physical input needed (muscle).

    This will be the point in the pedal you want to remember because that will always be the point your foot comes back to, to balance the car when thing's get out of control. If you can control or predict boost-on this can help you a lot.
    Once you find that nice spot in the pedal that will be your reference point all the time, it wont matter if your going really fast because you can always come back to that point in the pedal with left foot braking.

    I'm sure there's more sensible ways of getting used to left foot braking?, but if you want a crash course?, select Joux Plane 2 drive the whole stage with your brake on (try 20-50% to start with) and try and 'maintain' between 3500rpm & 4500rpm and try to aim at keeping boost @halfway or just on full boost. Keep your speed to around 100 - 120km(final gear) if you can balance these 3 points that should roughly be the sweet spot or reference point in your accelerator (these three points apply from 1st to final gear).
    Try not to let the car come to a complete stop, and do the majority of your left braking in a straight line before corner entry and then easing up to about 20% or less for turn's, after a while you will know at what point the brake and accelerator match, and this will be another point to remember.

    Smooth is fast so jerky movements on the wheel will upset car weight transfer, also if you have to brake on a grassy bit, extra light braking will help, anything over 50%(pedal travel) braking will lockup and loose control.
    Also on the downhill run of Joux Plane 2, let the car coast, don't use the gas pedal just control your descent with the brake pedal while maintaining a good speed. Try and match your speed to the grip of your tires, find the grip limits and try and drive within them, then try it again with acceleration.

    Eventually you will get used to keeping the the car on-boost at low speeds through left foot braking eg taking a hairpin at speed, you can choke your speed with the brake and slowly apply more brake as you apply more gas to keep the car on boost and controlling a good entry speed for the hairpin exit.

    It's going to take a wee bit of practice, but in the end it will be worth the effort i suggest starting on tarmac to get the basics down then gravel.

    Make sure your wheel is clamped down really well and your monitor at eye level, good seating position also helps for some of the long rallies, when your ready try rally school again it should help.

    Don't give up!

    P.s Accelerator response can be adjusted in game under 'settings' in RBR-SSE, adjust curve if response is to sharp. BTW i keep my centering spring strength enabled, you may want to experiment?

    Edit: re-assessed my driving, updated notes.
     
  17. Thanks guys for all this info, now I'm in faze of learning, it's hard, let's hope I'll do it quickly and post some improvements. Now I manage times 50% slower than the keyboard, man I can't belief it.
    @Eddie: if you want to find another team mate for next season I totally agree, cose I'm not going to be able to help the team :).
     
  18. Two biggest and most annoying issues with my cheap wheel :mad:
    Used G27 still nowhere to be seen :frown:
     
  19. Warren Dawes

    Warren Dawes
    Premium Member

    Some good tips from Eddie, might also help me to get a bit closer to him in future. :tongue: Thanks Eddie. :thanks:

    To Robb, one more suggestion, it may be a good idea to go back to the Rally School and complete the courses again with the wheel. Some of the lessons are very wheel specific.

    BTW, the only part of the logitech software i use is for setting rotation and FFB settings. Everything else is done in-game.
     
  20. No wonder you're so quick Eddie; it sounds like you know what you're doing! Thanks for the tips, I'm looking forward to trying out those LFB tips when I get back home. I really have no clue about the proper technique so it's always interesting to hear from someone who does.