Lets Talk FFB


Jun 18, 2015
Hey All,

Some of you may know I've been modding the FFB of Dirt Rally for a while now, and made some improvements here and there.

However I have very little experience in a real car, and absolutely non in a rally car. I wont be able to get into a car to feel things for myself for quite a while, so I need your help!

I need to know what should be felt through the wheel and how it should feel for the different effects. If I know what its supposed to be like, I can probably replicate it in-game!

There are 4 main functions to work on :

Self-Aligning Torque
Only 1 control value, the amount of torque. I don't think its worth changing this much
The value here seems to just control what 100% is in-game.

Lateral Forces
Very important function for alignment forces, and mostly a mystery. There are 3 settings, Velocity Factor, Grip Scalar, and Surface Scalar.
Velocity Factor is how much reduction in lateral forces there is as you increase in speed.
Grip Scalar is the amount of resistance felt from the tyres grip on the surface and Surface appears to be forces generated by the surface type and angle.
Grip Scalar effect is most pronounced on Tarmac, and Surface Scalar is most pronounced on Gravel. It seems almost impossible to feel slight changes to Velocity Factor, but large changes definitely reduce steering resistance at speed (or resistance at stand-still depending on how you mod the value)

Suspension Forces
This one is really important as it provides the majority of the surface feeling in game.
Unfortunately this is a static effect and individual ranges must be programmed separately. Here I need the most feedback. what does suspension compression actually feel like?
Despite being static, if you put enough of these in, the effect is very detailed
Tyre Skidding
Another one that is really important, it provides all traction based vibration feedback. Again, I have no idea how this should feel!
Do the rear and front wheel feel different?

I would love for some expert to come in and give me a "what it feels like" description of the effects and how they should be.


Mar 17, 2014
ive driven a few track cars (including a subaru rally, a formula renault, cater ham on track few road cars on track) i have to say no game ever really nails it, and never will. Real life theres too many senses at work. You feel most of is through your back and bum, its really hard to compress this into a wheel, so its hard to judge how they would feel thru one object.

But having said that, DR does a pretty good job at ffb. Just the grip on tarmac seems to snappy.


Jun 18, 2015
So I've hit a brick wall based on the fact I have little experience in a real car, and desperately need some help figuring this out!

After some comments regarding tarmac and wheel stiffness, I did some more investigation, and ended up pushing the lateral friction created by grip to its maximum.

When I went into the game, this is what I countered on tarmac : The wheel would self-align to the movement direction of the vehicle with no resistance at all from grip. Once the front wheels began to slip over the tarmac, grip friction kicks in and completely prevented the wheel from changing position itself (due to the high setting). This seems in my head to be the absolute opposite of what this effect is supposed to do. I was for all this time under the impression this created friction from high grip levels, not lack of grip!

Does this seem right to you? Do you understand what this function is supposed to be simulating? Because its not what I thought


Apr 28, 2013
I know that as front grip decreases, the wheel lightens accordingly. Sims that properly address this allow for early understeer detection, which makes the car feel better, and helps you drive better.

Of course, if the wheel lightens too much, it feels wrong, and the car feels very disconnected from the track (floaty).

BTW, I really appreciate your approach to this topic, and wish I could help more, as good feedback is extremely important!