SimXperience AccuForce Pro Steering System

Update 2018-02-24 – 2: Added Tips and Tricks > AccuForce causing spurious inputs / Inability to assign controls in-game due to spurious inputs section detailing a fix if your AccuForce is causing spurious inputs.

Update 2018-02-24: Organized with a Table of Contents.

Update 2016-11-15: My latest R3E settings, including the November 2016 update, are over at my RaceRoom Racing Experience Force Feedback Settings post.

Update 2016-06-10: Updated Assetto Corsa FFB settings a little.

Update 2016-03-31: After the R3E update, I was getting a constant vibration in the wheel that tracked the cars speed (not engine rpm). People said to zero Slip Effect in-game but that wasn’t working for me. I eventually created a brand new R3E controller profile in-game and then compared to my previous profile. I noticed some differences like “FFB steer vibe freq mult=0” (and related values). Once I synchronized those I changed Slip Effect to zero in-game and that solved it.

Update 2016-03-08: Clarified certain language after time and reflection per the Closing Thoughts section. Filled in some sections that were still left undone.

Update 2016-02-19: Updated R3E section to sync with update notes. Added Assetto Corsa and rFactor place-holder sections for now. I plan to add more as I setup those games to work nicely with the AccuForce.

Update 2016-01-12: Added Suggestions for Improvements section.

Update 2016-01-01 – 3: Continuing my RaceRoom Racing Experimence experimentation (see updates below) I have been trying different cars with the settings I came up with earlier. I’ve run the Cadillac CTS V.R, BMW M4 DTM 2014, and the Aquila CR1, all at Brands Hatch Indy. They all felt really great except the Aquila which had very heavy steering (I’m not sure if S3 has updated the car in a long time) and its shift effect is ridiculous, I’ll have to turn that down even though it’ll also effect the other cars. I’ll be trying more cars and more tracks as my next step… Tested the McLaren MP4-12C, Ford Mustang GT3, Audi V8 DTM 1992, and 134 Judd V8. They all feel way better than my previous settings. The only quibble I have is cars with heavy steering could feel better. Remember some cars do not have updated physics/ffb (like the BMW E30 Gr. A I just tried) and they feel particularly “numb” or “dull”.

Update 2016-01-01 – 2: Following on my RaceRoom Racing Experience experimentation earlier today (see first 2016-01-01 update below), I then started experimenting with Wheel Modes and Dynamic Force Boost (expand Sim Commander Effects > Game Force Feedback to see the checkbox). I felt like I had more grip or could better tell how much grip I had under the Responsive (Peaks Allowed) mode as opposed to Default Wheel Mode I was using. This wheel mode allowed in some more what I call “boat sway” in the steering (ex. high speed straight wheel oscillates back and forth on its own) but it’s not so bad. I then enabled Dynamic Force Boost and the feeling of grip improved a little more. As a bonus, force feedback effects come in clearer due to the added force strength added by the wheel mode and force boost. I then had to experiment again with SC Dampening and Friction and I ended up on 1.57% for both. By the way, I have so far kept both Dampening and Friction to the same value as it feels correct in the steering and also seems to make sense in that they are sort of opposites and complement each other in a way. Dampening feels like added “weight” during force feedback effects, such as when the wheel swings back the opposite way when the backend goes out and you need to push through the effect to correct the steering, whereas friction adds weight when there are no force feedback effects. It’s still not perfect, I need to test with other settings like SC Inertia, as I said, and also try other cars (so far testing on BMW M3 GT2 at Brands Hatch Indy). Here are my latest Sim Commander and in-game settings for R3E:

r3e-sc-settings-20160101br3e-settings-20160101br3e-settings-2-20160101b

Update 2016-01-01: In RaceRoom Racing Experience, I experimented with moving Smoothing, Spring, Damper, and Friction to Sim Commander settings, so these are disabled (0%) in-game. I figure all the AccuForce does is FFB so it might be better or at least more efficient than the in-game settings. It also consolidates as much as possible to the wheel to avoid duplicating settings. I noticed both SC and R3E had smoothing applied so I first disabled it in-game, which felt better, and then disabled it in SC, which felt even better: I realized I was now feeling effects quicker than I was before. It seems Smoothing was delaying effects or making it feel delayed. I then did the usual binary search on SC Smoothing and Dampening and landed on 8.24% for each. It doesn’t feel perfect but it’s the best I could do in the binary search so far. I might have to experiment with some other SC setting like Inertia. Oh, before I started I did Reset to Defaults on the wheel, ensured Wheel Mode was Default (because High/Responsive modes have had too much oscillation in R3E), disabled Engine RPM (also SC), and then started experimenting in-game. Here’s my latest Sim Commander and in-game settings for R3E:

r3e-sc-settings-20160101r3e-settings-20160101r3e-settings-2-20160101

Update 2015-12-24: Added a Closing Thoughts section which wraps up my thoughts and feelings after having driven with the AccuForce now for more than 6 months. What do I really think of the AccuForce? Would I buy it again? Read on to find out… Oh, and here’s an article over at MockRacer.com about the Leo Bodnar SimSteering2 wheel where he compares it the AccuForce he tried earlier in the year. The direct drive wheel market keeps getting more and more interesting.

Update 2015-11-26: I picked up Stock Car Extreme on the Steam Fall Sale ongoing right now. Not a bad pikcup for CAD $20. Sim Commander supports it right out of the box with pretty good settings. I made a new SC profile from scratch and reset it to defaults. When you launch SCE for the first time remember to set Windowed mode or you won’t see Sim Commander’s overlay in the game. In game, you’ll need to setup your controls as per usual for any sim. It doesn’t feel like SCE knows about the AccuForce so I had to set the Wheel Range (in the Controls screen just after you launch a track but before you get on) to 900. It still feels off, you might need to set the Wheel Lock in the Garage screens to 30 to get a 15:1 steering ratio (ie. something like GT-style steering ratio). Let me know if there are any more settings we AF owners should be setting for a more solid ride. Enjoy.

Update 2015-09-25 – 6: My latest Sim Commander settings for R3E:

sc-r3e-2sc-r3e

And for R3E in-game:

RRRE 2015-09-25 23-49-00-52RRRE 2015-09-25 22-57-04-73RRRE 2015-09-25 22-57-08-21

Update 2015-09-25 – 6: A note on dialing in range settings. I’ve mentioned it before but I think I’ll mention it again. When I come up with settings within a range (ex. Smoothing 5% where the range is 0% to 100%) I do a binary search by hand. Put simply, a binary search is starting at one extreme, adding or subtracting half the range, and then adding or subtracting half again, based on preference, and repeating this process until you find an optimal value. For example, with Damping I went from 0% to 100% to try the extremes, then 50% because it was too high, then 25%, then 12%, then 6%, all based on preference. So, put in the setting, run a lap and, if it feels too much lower the value or if it doesn’t feel enough raise the value.

Update 2015-09-25 – 5: I’ve been playing around with Smoothing (5%), Damper (6%) and Friction (6%). Smoothing was at 25% before and it was taking a little bit of definition out of the ffb so I put in just 5%. Damper was at 0% before and it tends to simply dampen all forces (sort of make them slower) and I found more dampening helped me catch sliding backends. Friction was at 0% before and it applies a resistance to the strength you put into turning the wheel. I found in slides or losing grip that something felt off, it was too easy to swing the wheel back and that caused me to misjudge how I correct a slide. Turning up friction to 6% (after trying a binary search) helped me just a little better about how to correct my steering in those scenarios.

Update 2015-09-25 – 4: Even though R3E doesn’t officially support the wheel yet I find I’m finally getting to like the AccuForce FFB results after a lot tweaking (see the updates below from the last few days). The only thing really bugging me right now is the boat-like swaying motion on straights (“floaty” steering feel near center) and also the awkward steering feel when your backend flies out and you need to counter-steer. Something’s still not right there. But, hey, things are feeling pretty enjoyable.

Update 2015-09-25 – 3: I experimented in R3E with Steering Rack FFB. I was used to 0% (ie. all forces from tires as opposed to steering rack) so I flipped it 100% (ie. all forces from steering rack as opposed to tires) and I noticed a more “gradual” or “analog” rise and fall as I mounted and dismounted kerbs. I quite like the extra information so I’ve currently settled on Steering Rack 50% (ie. half of all forces from tires and half of all forces from steering rack).

Update 2015-09-25: Tweaked R3E Steering Force Intensity and Understeer as I put in more seat time and learn what I like.

Update 2015-09-17: Added force feedback settings for RaceRoom Racing Experience. Basically I reset the Sim Commander Profile and then set Steering Force Intensity 70% 50% and Understeer 25% 20%. That’s all I’ve done so far.

Update 2015-09-15: Having problems with Sim Commander crashing after launching games or the in-game overlay not showing in some games like RaceRoom Racing Experience? Power cycle your AccuForce and it should come back. I knew this trick since I ran into a bug when I first got the wheel where the computer wouldn’t even boot with the AccuForce on. Since then I must have gotten into the habit of turning the AccuForce on shortly after booting and that was causing problems. If I only power on the AccuForce after logging in then RaceRoom appears to work flawlessly and I don’t need to power cycle.

Update 2015-07-30: Check this very helpful and informative post on tuning the Accuforce Pro: AccuForce Settings For Dummies.

Update 2015-06-03: Added RaceRoom Racing Experience after 2015-06-02 Update section.

Update 2015-06-01: Added Auto-Tuning with Sim Commander Software section. Recommended read for AccuForce owners: AccuForce Tuning Feedback Test. This is a thread Berney of SimXperience created after the Sim Racing Garage head-to-head video, mentioned below, attempting to provide collect some user experiences and determine what kind of changes could be made to the wheel to improve feel for sim racers (who may have different force feedback tastes than real-life race drivers).

Update 2015-06-01: Barry, from Sim Racing Garage, has release a head-to-head comparison of the Accuforce Pro, Bodnar, and OSW wheels. It has highlighted some nagging concerns I’ve had ever since I’ve been playing with the wheel. Before we go any further, don’t think for a moment I’m saying the Accuforce is not a good wheel. It’s a professional, supported, warrantied, complete package, direct-drive, very strong wheel, with good force feedback and excellent tuning options. It’s a great wheel and at a competitive price. What I will say though is that the forces are not coming through as much as I’d like. For example, one reviewer in the video mentioned how it was difficult to tell the different between a slide through grass and the moment it hit the pavement during the slide. The AF wasn’t communicating that well. Other examples include strong cornering forces washing out road feel, or banking or kerb forces not feeling as defined as the other wheels. On the SimXperience forums, Berney (of SimX), has said he’ll be thinking about pushing out wheel updates to work on the comments the reviewers had in the videos. I look forward to trying those updates.

Update 2015-05-21: Added iRacing Settings, RaceRoom Racing Experience Settings

Update 2015-05-19: Added Setup, First Impressions, First Driving Experience, G27 Thoughts, Resources

SimXperience AccuForce Pro Steering System

accuforce2I’ve recently received my SimXperience AccuForce Pro and have been enjoying it for the past week. I’ve only owned one other force feedback wheel, a Logitech G27, and this is, of course, leaps and bounds beyond a G27. There is ample power and tuning options to provide the flexibility sim racers really want to ensure the best and most realistic experience while driving.

I’ll be posting my initial thoughts, my driving and tuning experiences, and providing tips and tricks for various facets of the wheel, it’s tuning software, and for the various sim titles I play.

I’ll be writing this post in parts and updating new sections as I have time and learn new things about the wheel!

Enjoy!

Continue reading “SimXperience AccuForce Pro Steering System”

Powerful Last Words

I finished the reading the Book of John today and my next chapter in the Book of Psalms was Psalm 22, a Psalm of David, to the tune of “Doe of Morning.” I didn’t plan it but I was instantly piqued by Jesus words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), Jesus quoting Psalm 22. By choosing those near final words from Psalm 22, Jesus was using the Psalm to speak more words than his tortured body had left. Psalm 22 is a prophetic, crazy accurate picture of exactly what Jesus was going through there on the cross. But not that only. Psalm 22 goes onto describe the glory of God and His Salvation for ever after that crucifixion moment. Selah.

The Power of Children’s Movies

Having the movie network I’m often able to catch some high quality films. In recent memory I’ve been impressed with Up, Bolt and Wall-E. I’m impressed with these movies not only because they target children andalso are quite watchable by adults, but I’m also impressed with their ability to touch on sensitive subjects in a straightforward yet mature, dare I say witty, way.

Update 2016-02-21: I’ll add Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out to the list of clever, thoughtful and genuinely funny children’s movies like Up, Bolt and Wall-E. It’s up there with Wall-E, I think.

The Power of Children’s Movies

Having the movie network I’m often able to catch some high quality films.  In recent memory I’ve been impressed with Up, Bolt and Wall-E. I’m impressed with these movies, not only because they target children and also are quite watchable by adults, but I’m impressed with their ability to touch on sensitive subjects in a straightforward yet mature, dare I say witty, manner.

Up deals with an old man who loses his wife and now spends his senior days in a very poor, sad routine. At one point during the early stages of the film a series of flashbacks to his life with his wife is presented. Through these quick flashbacks we learn of his favourite hero as a child, of how he met his wife as a child, of their romance, of their dreams to move away to live by a tall waterfall, of their discovery that they could not have children, of their shattered dreams as time after time their savings are sapped by other necessities, of his wife’s death and the death of their dream.

All of these things are presented  so visually and aurally and with such care of delivery that I have no doubt children grasp the full meaning of those events. The children are learning about love, about loss, about heart break and about loneliness, all in a family safe way.

Bolt is another film that manages to bridge  the divide between the children and adults that are watching. In the film, a dog who thinks he has superpowers, because of his role in a television show, gets tossed out into the real world and meets up with a stray cat, some street-wise pidgeons, and a hamster with no fear.

Mittens, the stray cat, is something of a close friend to Bolt and you can see a little bit of attraction between them which I’m sure does not go unnoticed by the kids. The fact that it’s attraction between a dog and a cat, two very different creatures and personalities, is just another cleverly written in lesson for children.

Bolt’s relationship with the wily hamster, Rhino, is also a good model for kids, and adults as well, to allow friends within your personal space that challenge your comfort zones. There’s no end to the adventure Rhino seeks. His loyalty and lack of fear, even in the knowledge of his mortality, is a shame to Bolt but also a good lesson for him.

In the climactic scenes of the movies, the hamster is seen to roll his ball to hold up a falling door. As the door threatens to break his plastic ball, he stretches his arms as if to hold up the door, his arms of course too short to even reach the top of his ball, and declares “Today is a good day to die!”

And then there’s Wall-E. Wall-E is a story of the last functioning garbage cleanup robot on a long since uninhabited and uninhabitable garbage pile that happens to be earth. Wall-E is this robot. Eve is the robot sent to earth to look for signs of life. What ensues is one of the most brilliantly portrayed romances conveying human thoughts and emotions, of excitement, happiness, fear, despair and more, that I have ever seen in any movie. That it is expressed through robots is an achievement in itself. The film, while having a grand theme of ecological responsibility, carries its lesser themes, of loneliness, friendship, sadness and love, perhaps even better in its delivery than its main theme.

All of these films have a few critical things in common. They are all targeted towards children. They are all intelligent films able to be enjoyed by adults. And each film touches on a number of basic life lessons, whether that be friends, adventure, realizing your limitations, dreams, inability to have children, or loss of a spouse, or one of the many other subtle yet very well delivered sub-themes.

These lesser themes are sometimes no less important than the greater themes. Often times, the lesser themes are more personal as is the case in Wall-E in which a personal relationship is the undertone to the greater theme of ecological responsibility. Also, quite arguably, while these sweeping greater themes are of great benefit to children, often times the greatest value of story telling are the personal lessons.

Story telling on the level of Up, Bolt and Wall-E go beyond mediocre, tried and true Hollywood fantasy. They cross boundaries. They reach more than just the lowest common denominator. In doing these things they become some of the best, most able, most apt teachers, not just to children but to adults as well, of the things we might shy away from because we don’t know how to speak about them with due sensitivity.