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Community Question | FFB or No FFB?

AccAkut

Premium
Some robots.
I think without FF it"s not simulation but playing robot.
They only use their eyes knowing every inch of the track and knowing at what cm they have to brake and at what point they have to turn the wheel pointing to an other certain blade of grass.
They rely on their vision without anything else.
IMHO at this point it stops being a simulation or anything which can be enojoyed.
I spent my first year simracing with that Sidewinder Precision wheel someone else mentioned, which had no FFB, just a spring. I remember relaying basically only on my ears to spot understeer, my eyes to spot overster, but countering the latter was basically impossible in any of the non-road cars.

And you're right that its no simulation anymore of your surviving a lap relays on the track conditions being 100% identical every lap.
 

guidofoc

Premium
I disagree totally. Turning off ffb does not make you blind at all. Driving a race car is not reacting. It is about prediction. And ffb is mostly a reactive tool. It only gives you the information what is happening now. It can tell you about a slide only when the car is sliding.
..
Ok, I said it wrong, you are not totally blind because you still have your eyes :D. And you don't need FFB or even audio to drive. Sure, after all there's people driving racing sims with a keyboard. So yes, anything is possible. Of course we cannot drive blindfolded so I'll concede you that, sight is important in driving :D

Yes, Graham Hill said "The chief qualities of a racing driver are concentration, determination and anticipation". Totally correct. It's a fast thing, racing.

I do not understand, though, the thing about FFB being overrated because it's "only" about reacting. Yes it's called "force feedback" for a reason. A car is a moving object, with you in it. In a real car you have the whole thing moving under your ass, your body is pushed and pulled in all directions, so the force feedback is kind of overwhelming, you have to train physically to be able to withstand it. In that sense, it is only in real life that force feedback "gets in the way" , because having to wrestle those forces while driving is hard.

In a sim racing game, if the only physical feedback you get comes from the wheel, you are already missing all those overwhelming forces. You are just sitting there at home pretending you're driving. Vroom vroom! So let's say that in a real car you have a force feedback of 100, while driving a sim you have a ffb of.. 10? And we call it a racing sim. So for you that 10 percent still "gets in the way"?

And, mind you, FFB is important. First of all because "sim": ok, so you turn off FFB because it's overrated, then in a corner you lose control of the car and while in reality (or with FFB on) you'd have a tank slapper and would have to fight the steering wheel, turning it off allows you to control the car as if nothing were. If that's your idea of "not getting in the way" then I am not sure what's the whole point of doing sim-racing. I'd just call it "playing a videogame based on cars".

Also it's not true that "It can tell you about a slide only when the car is sliding".
FFB is important because it's an additional input that helps you on the limit. In aero-dependent cars like the GT3s in ACC, where the limit between grip and no grip is thin, it's there to help understanding the window of slip angle that you can use to maximize your speed. On cars with less aero and more mechanical grip, like road cars, drift cars, vintage racing cars, the feedback from the wheel is even more important. Yes, you still need anticipation, concentration and determination, but you also need to "dance" together with the car, it pushes, pulls, gets lighter, heavier, it goes where it wants. I get it, you can see it with your eyes but that's only part of the deal. It's like dancing with a partner without feeling the dance. That is not dancing. Ok, we're nerds playing a game here, but you get the metaphor.

@Case_ (What's the thing with writing between parenthesis)? If you have something to say, I think you can just add it to the discussion.
 
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v4v474

Premium
On rFactor2, the FFB puts you inside the car, giving a transparent feel for what is happening to the car.
Without it you can be fast, but you need to know, preemptively, the exact line you need to take and what speed.
The FFB will tell you and teach you for you to make corrections on the following laps.
The FFB on AC1 similarly does the same, whilst ACC's due to the specificity of GT3's high downforce + rigidity, there is less information coming to the wheel via FFB simply because those cars are less communicative, whilst on some of the GT4s and on the Porsche GT3 Cup, you again receive immense levels of information via the FFB.
 

Frank

RaceDepartment Administrator
Staff
Premium
Can you please state the names then? For no FFB I mean. Dialed down FFB is still using FFB anyway.
From what I know all the top iRacing Pro road drivers use FFB and some of them also are in F1 pro series.
I would argue dialing down the FFB to not give you any feedback, just tension in the wheel, is pretty much the same as no Force Feedback.

I won't give out names as people tend to name and shame in the community we live in.
 
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StefanoCasillo

Jaxx Vane Studio
I am still puzzled by how many people in this thread claim that FFB is part of the simulation. Most of the forces the game asks the FFB wheel to excert ARE NOT REAL. If FFB were only the true steering forces, I'd be happy to turn them on. However, FFB creates resistance where there is next to none in most modern racing categories. It is a tool, a help for those who cannot gauge the grip level by the visual speed sensation and an added layer of immersion to others. That's cool. But where is the "it is more real life with FFB" idea coming from? If anything, I think the simulation gets more accurate and the racing harder if FFB is turned off. Why then would one want to force esport racers to turn it on? Does not make sense to me.
You are playing the wrong games :p
 
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I do not understand, though, the thing about FFB being overrated because it's "only" about reacting. Yes it's called "force feedback" for a reason. A car is a moving object, with you in it. In a real car you have the whole thing moving under your ass, your body is pushed and pulled in all directions, so the force feedback is kind of overwhelming, you have to train physically to be able to withstand it. In that sense, it is only in real life that force feedback "gets in the way" , because having to wrestle those forces while driving is hard.
I think we agree. One aspect of ffb that people tend to forget is that some real cars do have really strong steering forces. I've read interviews from indycar drivers from the days gone by who said that the steering was so rough that the skin came off their hands. Some cars also had and have very strong steering. After all in real life not all cars are that well designed and sometimes it can create a really nasty combination of slick tires, downforce and bad steering geometry. Adding wide slicks to a road car also tends to increase the scrub radius making the steering a lot tougher.

So at that point the steering is pretty much 99% work, 1% information. So ffb in real car is not always helpful either and not just because the steering feel is bad, which is also another thing we don't simulate. Even the worst ffb of modern sims, acc, is pretty phenomenal compared to some rad cars I've driven :D. Point being ffb is not always useful or good even in real life.

In a sim racing game, if the only physical feedback you get comes from the wheel, you are already missing all those overwhelming forces. You are just sitting there at home pretending you're driving. Vroom vroom! So let's say that in a real car you have a force feedback of 100, while driving a sim you have a ffb of.. 10? And we call it a racing sim. So for you that 10 percent still "gets in the way"?

If we talk about absolute speed and go into very specific situations then sure, even 1% ffb gets in the way. Just having a motor attached to your wheel gets in the way. If you get in a really bad tankslapper slide you need extremely fast and precise steering wheel movements. Ffb simply slows you down and may even prevent you from doing it. Same thing with something like superspeedway oval qualifying. You want a steady line with no movement at all for fastest, straightest line and fastest lap. If the wheel moves even a little bit it is instantly some thousands of a second, I'd guess. I am not saying ffb is bad but if you want to nitpick there are lots of situations where ffb does not help you or even hurts you. Just like it does in real life. Learning to deal with those "ffb moments" is useful for real life training as well. But are there downsides to ffb? Yes of course there are. For me ffb is a net positive by a clear margin but it is not positive, better, faster in every situation.

And, mind you, FFB is important.
Important for what? Ultimate lap time? No. Immersion? Yes. For realism? Absolutely. Fun? Of course.

First of all because "sim": ok, so you turn off FFB because it's overrated, then in a corner you lose control of the car and while in reality (or with FFB on) you'd have a tank slapper and would have to fight the steering wheel, turning it off allows you to control the car as if nothing were. If that's your idea of "not getting in the way" then I am not sure what's the whole point of doing sim-racing. I'd just call it "playing a videogame based on cars".
It is video games based on cars. Forza, mariokart, rf2, iracing, tetris and online chess are video games. And some of them are videogames based on cars and racing. Saying that doesn't make it less realistic or less fun or less serious. And I don't turn off ffb. The point of sims?... is to have fun and enjoy realistic car handling in realistic and accurate physical environment driving against other racers. Test of racecraft, car control and speed. If I can do that using realistic equipment then sure, it gets even better. Good ffb, good suspension model good aero model, good tire model, good collision physics and netcode etc. etc...

FFB is important because it's an additional input that helps you on the limit. In aero-dependent cars like the GT3s in ACC, where the limit between grip and no grip is thin, it's there to help understanding the window of slip angle that you can use to maximize your speed.
Sure, I don't really disagree with any of that.

On cars with less aero and more mechanical grip, like road cars, drift cars, vintage racing cars, the feedback from the wheel is even more important.
I don't think so. Vintage and historic cars have more yaw and slip angle all the time which means the visual part becomes more important and ffb less so. Drifting is quite specific example and not representative of racing cars in general imho.
 
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@BP I have used the Logitech 3 MOMO Force Feedback wheel (old) and more recently (currently) the Thrustmaster TMX Pro. The problem for me is that the first half-cycle motion of opposite lock is usually fine, but on the counter-motion the belt or gears are producing way too much resistance making the motion unrealistically slow! This part of realism matters to me much more than "immersion"!
I haven't tried either of these, but I would at least expect the TMX Pro to work fine. I'm using a CSL and I'm driving a lot in DR2. Which means i have to stear like a madman a lot, especially with the RWD cars. Even though physics in DR2 are not considered the most realistic, it works surprisingly well. I've made a few runs in local rallye events lots of years ago in RL with a Kadett very similar to the one ingame (until I crashed it terminally and couldn't afford another one, game is a lot better in that regard...), and the behaviour especially in frantic countersteering is replicated incredibly well. I can even feel when it's going to snap on me and let the wheel go to let it spin and catch it just when it slows down like in RL. I was completely blown away the first time that happened, I reacted completely on instinct and it worked like it used to, so I really wonder how and why you are having such a bad experience (which I don't doubt). So maybe check your setup with the TMX again, surely it shouldn't be worse than my CSL?
 
Not trying to change the subject, BUT :whistling: does anyone drive with no audio ? Maybe I am missing something to go faster No FFB/Audio combined ( you know like no distractions)?? :sneaky:
I recently did that, not on purpose, in DR2 (my fault, not the game). Misshifted, didn't end well, there would have been casualies with spectators, don't recommend.
 

guidofoc

Premium
I think we agree. One aspect of ffb that people tend to forget is that some real cars do have really strong steering forces. I've read interviews from indycar drivers from the days gone by who said that the steering was so rough that the skin came off their hands. Some cars also had and have very strong steering. After all in real life not all cars are that well designed and sometimes it can create a really nasty combination of slick tires, downforce and bad steering geometry. Adding wide slicks to a road car also tends to increase the scrub radius making the steering a lot tougher.

So at that point the steering is pretty much 99% work, 1% information. So ffb in real car is not always helpful either and not just because the steering feel is bad, which is also another thing we don't simulate. Even the worst ffb of modern sims, acc, is pretty phenomenal compared to some rad cars I've driven :D. Point being ffb is not always useful or good even in real life.



If we talk about absolute speed and go into very specific situations then sure, even 1% ffb gets in the way. Just having a motor attached to your wheel gets in the way. If you get in a really bad tankslapper slide you need extremely fast and precise steering wheel movements. Ffb simply slows you down and may even prevent you from doing it. Same thing with something like superspeedway oval qualifying. You want a steady line with no movement at all for fastest, straightest line and fastest lap. If the wheel moves even a little bit it is instantly some thousands of a second, I'd guess. I am not saying ffb is bad but if you want to nitpick there are lots of situations where ffb does not help you or even hurts you. Just like it does in real life. Learning to deal with those "ffb moments" is useful for real life training as well. But are there downsides to ffb? Yes of course there are. For me ffb is a net positive by a clear margin but it is not positive, better, faster in every situation.


Important for what? Ultimate lap time? No. Immersion? Yes. For realism? Absolutely. Fun? Of course.


It is video games based on cars. Forza, mariokart, rf2, iracing, tetris and online chess are video games. And some of them are videogames based on cars and racing. Saying that doesn't make it less realistic or less fun or less serious. And I don't turn off ffb. The point of sims?... is to have fun and enjoy realistic car handling in realistic and accurate physical environment driving against other racers. Test of racecraft, car control and speed. If I can do that using realistic equipment then sure, it gets even better. Good ffb, good suspension model good aero model, good tire model, good collision physics and netcode etc. etc...


Sure, I don't really disagree with any of that.


I don't think so. Vintage and historic cars have more yaw and slip angle all the time which means the visual part becomes more important and ffb less so. Drifting is quite specific example and not representative of racing cars in general imho.
Ok. In short words, what you say is it's only games so let's throw realism out of the window and only focus on how to go faster. In that respect removing FFB may help. Not my cup of tea as I like driving more than just racing, but sure, legit.

Of course, YOU go tell the devs that RF2=Mario Kart. Good luck with that. :D
 
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BP

Premium
Woke up thinking about this topic (don't act like some of you don't dream about racing as well lol), then it occurred to me: What do million dollar simulators used by BMW and other works teams use? FFB or no FFB? Take one good guess... ;)


Yes I know the first response to this: their computer system has immensely more computing power than our PCs and they have firsthand data from their cars so the FFB is more accurate...and yes that's probably true. However, more accurate doesn't mean completely different/nothing alike...when you consider that Shed boy Jimmy Broadbent used their simulator and gets to 1.2 secs off their simulator/IRL test driver's laptime, when pretty much all of his driving training comes from the same sims, wheels, pedals and FFB systems we all use.

Jimmy AFAIK had no prior IRL racing experience until opportunities arose from being a famous YouTuber...so if the skills learned pretty much exclusively on consumer sims with FFB, transferred directly to being competitive on a state-of-the-art simulator with FFB on his first try (a simulator which the BMW test driver said it feels like the actual car itself), then that's more than enough for me. Whether a handful of aliens are ultimately faster without FFB is inconsequential, as I'll bet dollars to donuts the overwhelming majority of alien drivers that do use FFB outnumber them probably in the same ratio as this poll.

Don't focus on the things that aren't accurate and instead enjoy the things that are accurate; they're improving with each year and going no FFB is a step backwards, unless your ultimate goal is just to say "I set the fastest time in the world", which reduces sim racing titles to the average arcade racer.
 
The other day I was complaining that the fact that some old sims like GTR 2 and Automobilista are getting VR Support thanks to crew chief didn't make the news in a SIM RACING WEBSITE, and that we got instead some F1 news.

This is way worse... I mean, are you taking the piss? We don't get relevant sim racing news because one of the admins here doesn't like Crewchief's developer or something and instead we get this sort of content? Well, last time I paid premium for this website for sure. Ridiculous and insulting in equal measure.

Sure you are a private website and you do you, but don't dress yourselves as the kind of meca for sim racing news when you don't actually report important sim racing news.
 
Reminds me of my Quake 2 days when people played with reducing virtually every graphical fidelity to get the fastest ping. I have seen settings by competitive players with increased smoothing and less to virtually no FFB on the grass, road and curbs. Flaws aside i am single player rfactor 2 player so i guess FFB for me. Greater immersion.

Makes me question if there is a market for low force feedback wheels than a 20nm direct drive?
When I played Call Of Duty online I started on a cheap laptop that had 126MB graphics and 256MB RAM. I had to keep everything low just to be able to play. I learned to look for stuff that was not supposed to be there and shoot at it. When I got better computers I would still set the gfx low just to keep the speed up.
 
Force Feedback, of course, but not as strong and as much detail as the Direct Drive wheel's
manufactures want to sell us, because there can be so much going on sometimes at the
same time that it's confusing and utterly unrealistic since real cars don't give you that
much information.
 

BertramRaven

Premium
I had a Thrustmaster Nascar Pro Racing Wheel and Pedals back a long time ago. It has two huge rubber bands inside giving resistance to left and right as you turn. Loved it particularly with IndyCar Racing 2 and NASCAR games.

I then got a MOMO Force Feedback wheel and was heaps slower until I got used to it.

Now I have a G27 and use FFB but only on light - medium setting as too strong I am slower. I tend to be a bit more gentle with steering inputs and this setting helps my style.

I use the G27 with IndyCar Racing 2 in Windows 10 with no FFB and only the self centering of the wheel. Works fine and I am reasonably fast.
IR2 on Windows 10 with a wheel? *Cough* - Flight Stick for me - *Cough*.
"I'm Paul Page. From Papyrus, this is indyCar Racing Toooooo"
 
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