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New RaceRoom Update Out Now - Big changes to FFB and Physics


The much anticipated update to RaceRoom is finally here. Included in the latest release are new force feedback and physics updates, UI improvements and much more.

As a hugeRaceRoom fan I'm very excited about this latest update to come from Sector3 and I know a lot of people here on RD are too. RaceRoom is always my top recommendation for anyone looking to try sim racing for the obvious reasons that you can get racing for free and it drives pretty well too. Add to that the ever increasing amount of content that is available for the title means that there is something for everyone.

However, it doesn't always seem to click with everyone but gladly I think that might change very soon thanks to these new updates which are due to go live today. Sector3 have been hard at work implementing a boat load of new features including new Physics and FFB system. Now, rather than have me try and explain it without even trying it Chris Haye has been using the latest build for about a month and his latest video shows the nuances in detail. Spoiler alert, Chris seems to like the update which has me even more excited to try it.

If reading is more you thing then there is an excellent breakdown about the new Physics and FFB update over on the RaceRoom forum

Another note, if you haven't seen already you can now testdrive all the cars on all the free tracks included with RaceRoom, not just the RaceRoom RaceWay. Unpopular opinion, I actually really like the RaceRoom Raceway. But, having the chance to test cars on familiar tracks is a massive win, thanks Sector3 for that.

RaceRoom 5.png


Along with the aforementioned updates there is boat load of other changes too:

Changelog:
  • New Force Feedback system
  • Options menu interface has been redone, with FOV tools, Triple Screen setup, Search field.
  • Replays interface has been redone, with added keyframes feature and 100% unlimited free camera movements
  • Gameplay menus interface has been redone with Timing Screen comparison tools, Multiplayer chat box, new Race Monitor controls.
  • Test Drive feature in the store page now allows to select any of the free track layouts
  • Particles - Smoke and dirt puffs improvements
  • Particles - Sparks added on applicable cars. Sparks will be emitted with varying amounts depending on the type of material that hits the ground and the force of impact
  • Particles - Added exhaust fumes. Cars will emit varying types of fumes depending on engine type, exhaust types, engine temperature.
  • Sounds - Improved on how drivetrain oscillations at gearshifts are coming through for a selection of cars (Formula cars, DTM, Group C, GTE). All the cars will eventually receive this change in subsequent updates.
  • Sounds - Updated sound from riding on curbs
  • Controllers - Updated to latest Thrustmaster SDK, adding full support for their new SF1000 wheel.
  • Added support for 16:5 aspect ratio with 3840x1200 resolution
Content:
  • BMW M235i Racing - Physics review
  • Formula RaceRoom 2 - Physics review
  • Formula RaceRoom 3 - Physics review + New Sounds
  • Audi TT RS VLN - Improved sharpness of turn-in
  • BMW M3 E30 - New sounds
  • BMW Z4 GT3 - Resized wheels
  • Ford GT GT3 - Resized wheels
  • Formula RaceRoom 90 - Improved differential settings, less engine braking reduction
  • Formula RaceRoom Junior, 2, 3, 4 and 90 - Tweaked rear tyre slip curves to give more progressive grip drop off beyond the limit
  • Group 4 - Tweaked rear tyre slip curves to give more progressive grip drop off beyond the limit
  • Group 5 - Tweaked rear tyre slip curves to give more progressive grip drop off beyond the limit
  • Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO - Fixed a hole spotted in the dashboard
  • P1 and P2 car classes - Updated brake heating/cooling behaviour. Cures some inconsistant brake performance issues.
  • Pagani Zonda R - Switched to tyres GT3-spec
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R (2019) - Fixed a decal on the seat that would still be rendered while the seat itself was disabled in visual settings.
  • Brno - Fixed starting grid issues with maximum amount of AI opponents
  • Vålerbanen - Fixed a strict cut detection
We will surely test all the latest updates and be sure to report back with our thoughts very soon. Let us know what you think of the new updates in the comments below.

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About author
Steve Worrell
A motorsport fanatic and sim racer for over 20 years. Content creator for RD, and MD at Simracing.gp. Favourite sims include ACC, AC, RF2, AMS, WRC9 - VernWozza#7419 @vernwozza

Comments

I've been driving Raceroom a lot lately. Really had my FFB settings dialed in. So far I am not getting the same level of enjoyment from this new update. Seem to have lost tire scrub and brake feel. There are so few options that it doesn't take long to try everything. The control file is also very simplified with no hidden parameters. I'm kind of disappointed but will keep at it.
 
Always struggled with the FFB - just wasn't a joy to drive somehow - maybe this will change things, Grello + Nordschleife will help work things out later today ;)

Thanks for the article, mate!
 
I've been driving Raceroom a lot lately. Really had my FFB settings dialed in. So far I am not getting the same level of enjoyment from this new update. Seem to have lost tire scrub and brake feel. There are so few options that it doesn't take long to try everything. The control file is also very simplified with no hidden parameters. I'm kind of disappointed but will keep at it.
Same story for me. The original FFB took a lot of tuning, but I had it dialed in. With the new FFB it seems different than my other main sims (ACC, AMS2, rF2), and I can't seem to get it feeling right.

I spent about an hour tuning it so far, and I'll try again later. But I'm wondering if this is a common sentiment, and if so, would Sector 3 consider adding a "Use Legacy FFB" option.
 
Have way more hours logged on R3E than all other sims combined and this update after several laps at Road America in the GT3 car is like a whole new beginning...in a positive way. Is it different? Oh yeah, and has to take a back seat to no one on FFB.
The feel is tremendous and being able to aggressively use the curbs with out loosing control inexplicably, or an off course moment where the car has to routinely spin once or twice while trying to get back on track were noticeable straight away.
Some of the binding of keys between the wheel, keyboard and simdash are causing a bit of confusion but small details to be worked out.
 
Incoming pet peeve rant:

There's a lot of use of the term "canned effects" but in my experience there have almost never been pure canned effects. They're all based on physics in some way.

For example, you've probably never felt brake rotor vibrations ("brake vibe") when you step on the brake but it is an option in many isi/gmotor lineage games (sometimes in the config files). This *is* a canned effect per se but it's based on the rpm of the rotor and therefore provides you accurate information about how fast your wheel is rotating. You can use that information to gauge whether you're close to lockup. It's one of my favourite hidden ffb effects.

Steer Vibe is another cool one that can simulate the subtle bumps while rolling over the road surface. Also based on wheel rotation speed (physics) with a customizable, formulaic wave form (canned effect) that produces the feeling.

I'll take so-called canned effects any day of the week if they're generated based on physics if pure physics ffb isn't available.

As to R3E, I don't think their steering or road feel ffb was ever purely canned. I see they talk about understeer and slip effects being canned but guaranteed they're based in part on physics and last I tried they were okay in my books.

/rant
 
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I can't remember what the old ffb feels like but the new ffb feels decent enough. Grip expression feels good. Road surface feels too smooth on multiple tracks in multiple cars (even with Bump Amp at 100%). Something's a little too numb in the ffb outside of steering forces. I can feel slip but can't feel understeer. I'll scrub through a corner and won't be able to feel my way through.

No surprise they'll need a few rounds of tweaks to get it to where it needs to be.

EDIT: Feeling better with these tweaks
 
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Incoming pet peeve rant:

There's a lot of use of the term "canned effects" but in my experience there have almost never been pure canned effects. They're all based on physics in some way.

For example, you've probably never felt brake rotor vibrations ("brake vibe") when you step on the brake but it is an option in many isi/gmotor lineage games (sometimes in the config files). This *is* a canned effect per se but it's based on the rpm of the rotor and therefore provides you accurate information about how fast your wheel is rotating. You can use that information to gauge whether you're close to lockup. It's one of my favourite hidden ffb effects.

Steer Vibe is another cool one that can simulate the subtle bumps while rolling over the road surface. Also based on wheel rotation speed (physics) with a customizable, formulaic wave form (canned effect) that produces the feeling.

I'll take so-called canned effects any day of the week if they're generated based on physics if pure physics ffb isn't available.

As to R3E, I don't think their steering or road feel ffb was ever purely canned. I see they talk about understeer and slip effects being canned but guaranteed they're based in part on physics and last I tried they were okay in my books.

/rant
I know when I have said "canned effects" in the past, I have meant what I see/feel in arcade racers and, sorry Forza fans, even Forza at times. Like slides in those types of games never quite feel organic. It feels more like the physics have determined what you've done with the car dictates a slide should happen, so the engine goes into some kind of (easily correctable) slide routine. Feels more like a "quick time event" in an action game rather than interacting with an organic physics model.

FWIW, I've never noticed anything I would call "canned" in R3E. I've got a relatively large amount of wheel time (given my free time constraints!) in R3E as well as a steadily growing amount of real world track time on slicks and, frankly, I've always thought R3E to be pretty credible and a bit unfairly maligned by some in the community. I think in R3E, much like AC, the cars are on the grippier side of the spectrum but, personally, I consider that a good thing. Many sims are way, way too slick and difficult, IMO. I reject the notion that R3E (and AC) are unrealistic because they are "easy" (relative to some other sims).
 
Nice I'm going to try it. Does anyone know if you now have more road feel on DD wheels?

@RaceDepartment why hasn't there been any news about developments (Roadmap May Rfactor 2)
 
Too risky move changing the FFB system... I don't have it installed now, but I fear
it could dissapoint me when I get back to it...
 
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Too risky move changing the FFB system... I don't have it installed now, but I fear
it could dissapoint me when I get back to it...

Imo theres nothing bad, wrong or to fear when a old ffb system with big flaws gets replaced by a from scratch made pure physics based one ;)


Old FFB:
  1. Steering geometry of the car is ignored, resulting in little differences in FFB between cars. It results in the steering torques being wrong, as they depend only on tyre forces rather than the actual characteristics of the car
  2. Lack of longitudinal tyre forces
  3. Lack of gyroscopic forces from the tyres
  4. The tyre forces from physics are badly translated into FFB torque
  5. Tyre contact patch movement is ignored, no dynamic change while driving
  6. Too many sliders in the FFB options menu, some of them making promises the FFB could not deliver
New FFB:
  1. Steering geometry is used: much more uniqueness between cars, the resulting steering torques have real meaning
  2. All tyre forces are taken into account
  3. Gyroscopic effects of tyres taken into account
  4. 100% Physics-based calculations
  5. Tyre contact patch movement is used: much more dynamic feel while driving
  6. Only crucial settings to adjust the FFB to the various steering wheels
 
Nice I'm going to try it. Does anyone know if you now have more road feel on DD wheels?

@RaceDepartment why hasn't there been any news about developments (Roadmap May Rfactor 2)
Hey, we don't want to go into details but as you may have noticed news has been a bit light recently. Paul hasn't been available so we have been chipping in where possible to deliver updates but we are hoping to add some more writers to the team soon.
 
I seem to have instant dislike syndrome with this one. Seems to have less rear end feel with certain cars like the 964 and 2019 Deutschland cup car.

Electronics heavy cars seem sort of ok and I had a quick go in the 90s F1 cars and they were different but ok for feel but I had a blast in the E30 and it was totally lacking weight imo.

I guess my brain will recalibrate in time.
 
Hé, we willen niet in details treden, maar zoals je misschien hebt gemerkt, is het nieuws de laatste tijd een beetje licht geweest. Paul was niet beschikbaar, dus we hebben waar mogelijk gesleuteld om updates te leveren, maar we hopen binnenkort wat meer schrijvers aan het team toe te voegen.
Oke Mr VerWozza :duimen omhoog:
 

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