Secrets of GTR2

Welcome to Secrets of GTR2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into GTR2.

Secrets of GTR2

Welcome to Secrets of GTR2 where I will be recording my experience, tips, tricks, resources and other helpful information as I get into GTR2.

Secrets of X is a series of blog posts I started with Secrets of iRacing. The “secrets” part is a little dramatic but there are quite a few tid bits I think new users will find very interesting and valuable.

Update 2017-08-20: Further FFB tweaking of “FFB steer force grip weight” which gives a feel of losing and gaining grip while cornering. Added Tips and Tricks section Use Auto-Clutch With Paddle Shifters. Added main section Mod Spotlight.

Update 2017-08-19 – 2: Added Getting Started sections: Mod: Track update for GTR2 Original Tracks, Mod: New GFX Mod, Field of View, Wheel Rotation and Wheel Lock, iRacing-like Brake Sensitivity for Potentiometer Pedals (eg. G27). Added Adding Game Cars, Tracks, Mods and More main section. Added Force Feedback main section with sub-section Helpful Guide for Advanced Force Feedback Tweaking.

Update 2017-08-19: Welcome to the initial posting of Secrets of GTR2! Check back from time to time as I add things and note the updates in this update box.

What is GTR2?

From the Wikipedia entry,

GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game is a sports car racing simulator developed by Blimey! Games and SimBin Studios (later Sector3 Studios) for the x86 PC and is a sequel to GTR. Since its release in September 2006, it has received widespread acclaim. The game simulates the 2003 and 2004 FIA GT Championship racing series.

And here’s the official game trailer,

Why a game from 2006?

GTR2 was/is one of those rare occasions when a game developer is given the opportunity to produce a game as it was meant to be. All the features you see in one game or another but never all in one game these days was actually included in one game: GTR2. And it’s still being updated by modders 15 years on!

Here’s some links that may give you a better understanding of why a game from 2006 still holds its own in this day and age:

Getting Started

Getting the Game

Steam is probably your best bet. Head over to the GTR2 store page and pick up the game. It’s pretty inexpensive but still offers good bang for the buck.

Initial Game Setup

Go ahead, setup your graphics, controls, and force feedback as you like. I don’t have any particular recommendations for the obvious in-game settings just yet. I will assume you’re like me and will play with all this stuff. This post will concern itself with stuff that isn’t immediately obvious.

Skip Intro Videos

These are always annoying, here’s how to stop them (from PC Gaming Wiki.com GTR2 article):

  1. Open Windows Explorer and find your Steam Library folder for the game: steamapps\common\GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game
  2. Rename (or delete) these files: Intro.bik, GameIntro.bik, SimBin.bik

Fixing Missing Original Content

Certain original content has been removed since the game was released, so head over here for a fix.

Hint: Install US/EU (as applicable) patch and then install No CD patch from files over at NoGripRacing.com. There’s a Digital Distribution patch but that didn’t work for my Steam installation. Just try the US/EU patch first.

Modernizing

GTR2 holds up remarkably well in the features department but shows its age in the level of quality we now expect of those features. Some things can be improved like textures, visual effects, sounds, even AI and new and improved cars and tracks, themselves.

Mod: GTR2 HQ Mods Collection

Get this collection over here at NoGripRacing.com and, among 28 mods included, you can pick and choose which you want.

Don’t worry, it looks intimidating at first but it really boils down to copy&pasting GameData/UserData folders to your GTR2 installation folder and overwriting files when requested. Each mod is separately packaged and only contains a few files that it will override so it’s easier than it first appears.

I found these appealing to start:

  • HDR Skies
  • HQ AI
  • HQ Cars and Tracks
  • HQ Car Sounds
  • HQ Lens Flare
  • HQ Marbles
  • HQ Rain
  • HQ Screen Dirt
  • HQ Ambient Shadow
  • HQ Backfire
  • HQ FOV DEFVIEWS
  • HQ Moon
  • HQ Smokes
  • HQ Sparks

And I’ll probably put in most of the others because…why not?

Mod: Track update for GTR2 Original Tracks

Check out the Track update for GTR2 Original Tracks for track scenery updates that really add to the immersion in game-play. The author has added in things like real-life signs that span over tracks and grandstands with people in them.

Mod: New GFX Mod

The New GFX Mod does seem to provide nicer graphics than stock but I’ve had issues with blurry textures but if it works for you why not?

Field of View

GTR2’s default FOV (field of view) shows you a large amount of your cockpit but it’s not realistic and can be a disadvantage in terms of judging speed, distance, and general timing.

Use the HQ FOV DEFVIEWS mod, mentioned in the HQ Mods Collection above, and tweak the field of view somewhat lower than the mod’s default so that you can see your driver-side mirror and about half of your dash.

Check this GTR2 field of view (FOV) post for on the adjustment. Beware the FOV calculator linked in that post is for Project Cars and doesn’t produce numbers that help in GTR2. Instead, google for “fov calculator” or use this FOV calculator from Project Immersion.com.

Wheel Rotation and Wheel Lock

You’re probably on 900degree+ wheel, like a G27, T300, ClubSport, or modern Direct Drive wheel, so when you get into the GTR2 GT-style cars it will feel like you’re driving a bus: You’ll feel like you need to turn the wheel more than should be needed to get the car to turn the right amount – This is a wheel rotation and wheel lock setting issue.

It’s probably best to set a 540degree wheel rotation in your wheel profiles for GTR2. Then, in-game, the default 15degree wheel lock will feel better, but if it doesn’t try 18-21degree wheel lock. Somewhere between 13-21 will be a 540degree sweet spot.

Adding Game Cars, Tracks, Mods and More

Check out NoGripRacing.com, they have a lot of GTR2 downloads, and I think it’s well worth paying to upgrade to premium to get unlimited downloads.

I’ll be adding to this section as I dig deeper into other cars, tracks and mods.

Mod Spotlight

I wanted to dedicate an area to all the fantastic and fantastically dedicated modders out there who keep updating a game from 2006. We appreciate you!

  • GTR2 HQ Mods Collection
  • …and many more! Thank you!

Graphics

At the time I was testing these settings, I was runnin an i7 2600K @ 4.8Ghz and an NVIDIA GTX 980 TI.

Enhancing Anti-Aliasing Using NVIDIA Inspector

My settings so far:

  • Antialiasing – Mode: Enhance the application setting
  • Antialiasing – Setting: 16xS [Combined: 2×2 SS + 4x MS]
    • I tried higher settings but they were visually blurry and I tend to prefer sharper images.
  • Toggle FXAA on or off: On

Force Feedback

At the time I initially tested these settings, I was running a SimXperience Accuforce Pro direct-drive steering wheel.

Helpful Guide for Advanced Force Feedback Tweaking

Check out this guide, Force Feedback Tweaking Guide for Simbin Games, for helpful descriptions and tips for advanced force feedback tweaking using the UserData PLR files.

Here’s my thoughts after trying some tweaking from the guide:

  • FFB steer force grip weight=”0.90000″ // Range 0.0 to 1.0, recommended: 0.4 to 0.9. How much weight is given to tire grip when calculating steering force.
    • This is an important setting. It gives you a feel of losing and gaining grip while cornering.
    • Try less than the default to reduce the amount of force removed from the wheel when there’s grip loss on track. The default value gives an exaggerated feeling and can throw you off.
    • I’m currently setting 0.4640625 for this while I do a bisection search
      • My bisection search: 0.9, 0.45, 0.675, 0.5625, 0.61875, 0.646875 (okay), 0.6328125 // 0.61875, 0.5625, 0.45, 0.50625, 0.478125, 0.4640625 (okay), 0.45703125
  • FFB steer force grip factor=”0.60000″ // Range 0.0 to 1.0, recommended: 0.2 to 0.6. How much of a factor the front wheel grip is on the steering weight.
    • My bisection search: 0.6, 1.0, 0.1, 0.55 (good), 0.775, 0.8875 (good too), 1.0
    • You’ll have to tune yourself
  • FFB steer update thresh=”0.0001500000″ // Amount of change required to update steer force/vibe (0.0 – 1.0). Lower values = steering force updated more frequently = lower frame rate.
    • Set this to zero if you have no frame-rate issues
  • FFB steer force average weight=”0.90000″ // How much weight is given to new steering force calculations each frame (0.01 – 1.0). Lower values will smooth out the steering force, but will also add latency.
    • Author’s recommendation: Use 0.28 if you’re playing at 60FPS
  • FFB steer friction coefficient=”0.10000″ // Coefficient to use for steering friction. Range: -1.0 to 1.0
    • Tried author’s recommended values (negative friction values) but got oscillation and it didn’t feel realistic.
  • FFB steer damper coefficient=”0.10000″ // Coefficient to use for steering damper. Range: -1.0 to 1.0
    • Haven’t played around yet

Rumble Strips Pushing/Pulling the Wrong Way

I noticed rumble strips were pulling me off track instead of tending to push me back on track. Luckily, I noticed an FFB setting:

  • FFB rumble strip pull factor=”1.50000″ // How strongly wheel pulls right/left when running over a rumble strip. Suggested range: -1.5 to 1.5.
    • Looks like this should be negative: -1.50000
      • My bisection search: -1.5, -0.75, -1.125
    • Positive vs negative could be wheel dependent. So you’ll have to test to make sure.
    • You may want to tweak this value. It’s a little strong feeling for me.

Tips and Tricks

This section will contain miscellaneous tips and tricks that don’t neatly fit into other sections.

iRacing-like Brake Sensitivity for Potentiometer Pedals (eg. G27)

If you’re used to iRacing and have potentiometer based pedals, like G27 pedals, you’re probably used to an iRacing default Brake Force Factor of 1.80x. In GTR2, and many other sims, brake sensitivity is linear and won’t feel like iRacing braking. You can achieve iRacing-like braking sensitivity by adjusting Brake Sensitivity in the in-game control options and lowering the value. Personally, based on my measurements, somewhere between 0-25% brake sensitivity is similar to iRacing braking progression judging by the in-game brake meter. Give it a try and use what you like best.

Note: I’m still testing, myself. It’s somewhere less than 50%, though, as 50% is linear in SimBin games.

If you don’t have potentiometer pedals, you may or may not want to adjust the brake sensitivity. I’ll assume you’re an advanced user, if you have these higher-end pedals, and you know what you want from them.

Use Auto-Clutch With Paddle Shifters

Use auto-clutch, available in the Realism settings, when making use of paddle shifters, otherwise shifts will be abrupt and cause wheel spin on up-shifting or lock-up on down-shifting.

About This Post

I’ll be updating this post with more and more details as I play around with GTR2. Check back and look for the updates box at the top of the post I’ll add update notes there as I add things.

Credits

New iOS: Should I upgrade?

After going through the horror of upgrading an iPhone 4s from 6 to 7 to 8 to 9, which became painfully slower, and slower…, and slower…with each release, I became way more picky about upgrading to the latest iOS. It’s a pretty simple decision process I go through. You’ll always find Youtube comparison videos. Here’s what I look out for…

Continue reading “New iOS: Should I upgrade?”

Firefox is winning me back!

I wrote earlier about how Chrome was winning me over. Well, after a brief fling, I’m back to Firefox and I now find it not so bad.

I wrote earlier about how Chrome was winning me over. Well, after a brief fling, I’m back to Firefox and I now find it not so bad.

The advantages of Chrome just weren’t enough to make me move completely. I tried for a few days at work and at home but in the end I’m back to Firefox.

Why? Well, I’m a techie, I have a lot of firefox addons and Chrome, while it has lots, doesn’t have exactly the ones I find I really want to have with me.

Also, some of the usability differences between Firefox and Chrome irked me. And there’s no advanced configuration tool (like Firefox’s about:config) to deal with those issues.

So, I’m back to Firefox. I’ve recently been hacking away in about:config again to make my experience better, so here’s what I’ve been looking at:

I guess sometimes the grass really does seem greener. I’m quite happy to be back on firefox with all my addons and customizations. The only thing I really hope for is a boost in javascript performance with the next few major releases…that and separated processes. Things are looking up for Firefox!

Send me some feedback on how you’re making Firefox better!

Chrome is winning me over!

Kudos to Google for their work on the Chrome browser. More and more I leave work at work and so my home computers don’t need all the extensions and features of firefox for web development. And so Google Chrome really, really growing on me.

Kudos to Google for their work on the Chrome browser. More and more I leave work at work and so my home computers don’t need all the extensions and features of firefox for web development. And so Google Chrome really, really growing on me.

I think I’ve finally fully switched on my Linux workstation (at home) and my Windows laptop.

Chrome feels very snappy which is important to me when I just want to surf. It also appears very compatible rendering various web pages.

I can’t fault it. It’s a stripped down Firefox with performance as its key goal. You can’t argue with that.

Try it out!