SimXperience AccuForce Pro Steering System
I’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!
Update 2022-12-16: I upgraded to a Simucube 2 Pro in April of 2021. I enjoyed the SimXperience AccuForce Pro and it’s a fine wheel but after 5 solid years I decided to try something new. If you’re considering an AccuForce Pro I’d still highly recommend it. Find out more on Secrets of the Simucube 2 Pro.
Update 2018-09-28: Published a new post, Secrets of the SimXperience AccuForce Pro, in my Secrets series where I’ll be recording the less obvious/less intuitive discoveries and tips and tricks with the AccuForce and SimCommander. I’ll be putting AccuForce Game-specific content over there from now on.
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.
Older updates are archived at the bottom under the Updates section.
- 1 SimXperience AccuForce Pro Steering System
- 2 Unboxing
- 3 Setup
- 4 First Impressions
- 5 First Driving Experience
- 6 Sim Commander Software
- 7 SimXperience Owners Club
- 8 Thoughts Coming from a Logitech G27
- 9 Suggestions for Improvements
- 10 Closing Thoughts
- 11 Resources
- 12 Further Reading
- 13 Tips and Tricks
- 14 iRacing
- 15 RaceRoom Racing Experience
- 16 Assetto Corsa
- 17 rFactor
- 18 Updates
I’ve organized this post under certain headings. If you’re interested in something specific, scan down the headings.
I pre-ordered the AccuForce in January 2015 and received it in May 2015. Believe me, it was well worth the wait. Once shipped it took about 5 days to deliver from the US mid-west to Ontario, Canada.
There’s nothing particularly difficult about assembling the wheel itself. It was a little awkward to handle the 35lbs base while I put in the bolts through the wheel mount on my Obutto R3volution, however. Really, though, it took a few attempts but I got it right quite quickly.
The next steps were connecting the base to the controller box and connecting the controller box to the computer. There’s only one cable coming from the base to the controller box and two usb cables going to the pc. There’s a power cord from the controller box as well. You don’t need both usb cables, by the way, unless you intend to connect usb devices on the wheel hub itself which, if you don’t intend to change anything, you won’t really need to do that.
The Quick Start Guide will be your friend here. It’s a little sparse and could use some more visuals but it does tell you what you need to do.
See the Documents / Requirements tab on the SimXperience website for more documentation.
The last thing they’ll tell you to do is install the Sim Commander software. That was straight forward and it works quite well for what it does.
Can’t update the firmware when Sim Commander starts?
Apparently it’s common problem for Sim Commander to wait forever trying to update the firmware on your wheel when it first starts up. The solution is simply to turn the power off and on again on the controller box. Once I did that the firmware updated in about 10 seconds.
If you’re like me you’ll likely be too impatient at the time to realize what Sim Commander is for and just launch yourself into your favourite sim and tweak your force feedback settings like you always do. That’s what I did for my first experience with the wheel and, honestly, there’s not a lot wrong with that. It felt very strong and I realized immediately the potential it would have once tuned. I had left my previous G27 force strength setting in place and noticed right off the bat the iRacing force meter was showing tonnes of clipping. So I went in and tweaked that until I saw it wasn’t clipping anymore.
Pro Tip: iRacing and other sims don’t really know exactly how much force your wheel can handle or what it’s currently delivering so that’s why Sim Commander’s ability to show exact wheel forces will come in handy.
All this in-game tweaking, however is really not the best approach for the AccuForce way of doing things. Sim Commander comes with plugins for lots of sims and for some it can enable you to rely on the AccuForce’s force feedback handling rather than tweaking all of that in the game. Things like force strength, understeer, smoothing, damping, etc. Games usually provide a lot of options like that but you can also do that in Sim Commander and usually you can tune it better in Sim Commander than in the game.
Once you get into Sim Commander you’ll start to realize the potential of all the tuning options they provide but right out of the box SimXperience has setup a “Default” Wheel Mode. These wheels modes are simply labels for collections of settings applied to the wheel. Things like strength, smoothing, damping, oscillation control, etc.
First Driving Experience
The first thing you’ll probably notice is the incredible strength of the wheel. Coming from a G27 which has about 2nm of force (which is probably being generous) to the AccuForce at 13nm you really, really notice the difference. It is actually hard to turn the wheel at full strength in comparison to a weaker wheel like the G27.
I consider myself a strong and fit individual but there’s no way I’ll be running AccuForce at 100% strength. I might find myself tweaking more strength to get more information out but definitely not using 100% just for brute strength in general steering forces. It’s very strong and it will tire you out.
Update 2016-03-08: I’ve added strike-through to the text above because, per my Closing Thoughts section (written after 6 months of use), I now feel that you get used to the strength of the wheel over time and that it no longer feels strong enough. You wish there were more strength to bring out more detail.
The next thing you’ll notice is road feel. Things that were subtle bumps from the wheel become much more aggressive and actually force your hands to move before you can resist the force (unless you’re being really disciplined about your steering).
You can also get other vibrational effects through the direct-drive motor like engine RPMs or brake and kerb vibrations. They come through with a stunning clarity through the wheel itself not like some sound or movement of the wheel but a really clear vibration through the wheel. It’s a whole step up from the G27.
One of the best features of the wheel is responsiveness. The wheel responds very quickly even when it has to deliver large amounts of force. This allows you to feel loss or gain of grip or to catch slides or to tweak your steering through cornering.
One of the most surprising things with a high powered wheel is how much more grip it makes you think you have – and it’s not a false feeling, either. It’s so good at what it does that it gives you so much more confidence in your grip level. I won’t say I’m faster because of the wheel but instead of hoping and praying and hoping I have the wheel angle right through a corner to end up at just the right place on the kerb exit now I know all the way through the corner. It’s an odd feeling sensing so much grip and yet knowing you’re not going through the corner much faster than you have before. It’s sort of mind-bending but it feels really, really good. You’ll like the feeling, trust me.
Because the AccuForce has so much more strength, and ability to deliver that strength clearly, you’ll appreciate the wider bands of forces you’ll feel when driving on the edge. For example, with a weaker wheel you might have to guess more with experience and wheel angle when you’re going to lose grip on a corner, but with the AccuForce it becomes less about experience and wheel angle and more about feeling what the car is doing through the various forces coming through the wheel. It’s not a scary kind of guessing game, it becomes more about confidence in your driving because you’re feeling the results of your inputs.
Sim Commander Software
Sim Commander has a lot of features and offers great tuning potential. I’d recommend this read over at MockRacer.com: AccuForce Settings For Dummies
Sim Commander Crashes, Freezes, etc.
Do not boot up with your AccuForce powered on. Only power on the AccuForce after you have logged into Windows. Some people have reported, myself included, that the machine either won’t boot up at all with the AF on or Sim Commander will crash/freeze after launching a game. Power cycling the AccuForce when this happens resolves the issue and I haven’t had a crash after having done that when I have had a crash and then power cycled.
Auto-Tuning with Sim Commander Software
It’s easier than you think and it actually does create a better experience than the old manual tuning way. Berney, of SimXperience, has written a post on testing some new profiles but in there he’s also explained in simple terms how to start a fresh profile and get a basic auto-tune from it:
- Duplicate Profile: Duplicate an existing iRacing profile in Sim Commander: Open the Control Center, select a profile, then click the Duplicate button near the top of the window.
- Reset Profile to Defaults: Reset the profile to defaults so you’re sure you’ve got a good base line: Open the Control Center, select a profile, click Output Mixer tab in the middle portion of the screen, click the Output Tuning Wizard button in the same area, select Reset To Defaults option, click Next, Click Next again, click Finish.
- Reset Wheel Mode: Set your desired Wheel Mode in Output Mixer > AccuForce Steering Wheel > Device Settings. I use
“High (Peaks Allowed)”Default or High (Update 2016-03-08: nothing higher as Berney from SimX says only Default and High were assured to be linear torque). You can use whatever you’re comfortable with. The important thing is that you do this before running laps or else it won’t correct if you change the Wheel Mode after.
- Run Laps: Launch your game using Sim Commander with the overlay enabled and run a few laps at your favourite track. These laps will be recorded and you’ll pick the fastest in Sim Commander so it can tune your settings for that track and car.
- Auto-Tune Profile: Open the Control Center, select a profile, click Output Mixer tab in the middle portion of the screen, click the Output Tuning Wizard button in the same area, select “Create effect settings from recorded lap telemetry” option, click Next, Click Next again, select your fastest lap at the track you just ran laps on, under the “Select a Template” heading choose “Intelligent Peaks” in the drop-down, click Next, click Finish.
Congratulations! If you’ve followed the above steps you have an automatically tuned profile for your track and car. What this really accomplishes, at this time, is modifying the Game Force Feedback “Max Vehicle Steering Force” setting to ensure minimal clipping of forces happens. That ensures you get the most informative force feedback feeling through the wheel even in the hardest cornering where force strengths may exceed the wheel’s capabilities.
- Consider turning off some effects before running tuning laps. For example, I may usually drive with Engine RPM effects disabled. Disabling effects like this opens up some wheel strength to put into other effects and should enhance your experience.
Pro Tip: I highly recommend reading the post mentioned above as it contains some interesting tid bits and includes more details than my summary above.
See this article over at MockRacer.com: AccuForce Settings For Dummies
SimXperience Owners Club
The SimXperience Owners Club is a forum for owners and a great place to discuss the AccuForce and get help from others who are using the wheel.
Thoughts Coming from a Logitech G27
Definitely a massive step up. Pros include strength, clarity and wheel speed from game forces, greater software stability (no more having the wheel randomly reset to 270degrees like the G27).
Cons include not strength and clarity for a direct drive class wheel, paddle shifters seem to have a longer throw even when adjusted (which is easy to do), harder to reach buttons due to large wheel.
Be careful if you got used to the small 270mm G27 wheel. It’s not the end of the world but the 320mm AccuForce wheel feels gigantic in comparison and you’ll probably wish you had a smaller wheel. You can always buy a smaller wheel. Check out the list of compatible wheels in the SimX support forums.
Suggestions for Improvements
- Open up the firmware for users to tweak. Sim Commander doesn’t provide enough to satisfy users who feel they’d like to get more out of the wheel.
- Provide lower-level options in Sim Commander. Expose settings that may only be available in firmware through Sim Commander.
- Provide a Sim Commander grid or list view instead of the slider view for easier selection of games
- Provide option to not automatically start games when starting the Sim Commander profile
I’ve now had this wheel more than 6 months, since about May 2015. In that time, I’ve put in a lot of hours of driving. Everything has stood up impeccably and the wheel feels as strong and as clear today as it did when I first got it. It’s still a very enjoyable wheel.
The AccuForce comes with a base, a wheel, button box, serious power supply, great tuning software and game integration, all of which has been crafted with quality in mind, each piece feels solid and quite bulletproof (apart from the plastic housing of the button box). Last, but not least, the AccuForce comes with the support and equipment warranty of a great company, SimXperience. As an AccuForce owner you’ll be able to speak directly with the owner, Berney, and top-tier support who can get things done, by email or by private support forum.
As I mentioned in the 2015-06-01 update, when Sim Racing Garage did a head-to-head comparison of the AccuForce, Bodnar, and an OSW wheel, sim racing enthusiasts began to see the bigger direct drive picture. We finally became aware of the exceptional abilities of first generation direct drive wheels but we also became aware of their relative limitations. In SRG’s comparison, the clear impression was that the AccuForce, while a great step up from non-direct drive wheels, was lacking in areas that other direct drive wheels had already been able to overcome. These areas included strength of the force feedback and detail of the force feedback. The other wheels seemed to ‘just work’ while the AccuForce required auto-tuning (albeit relatively easily) and also required much more intense Sim Commander tuning to try to get somewhere close to the other wheels. Some would say, and I agree, that we’ve come to the conclusion that it just isn’t possible to tune the AccuForce to match other same-generation direct drive wheels which is likely due to the motor strength and delivery and response characteristics.
“@David Tucker I just wanted to say how impressed I am with the optimizing of the iRacing FFB code to get the *G27* to where it is. Let me explain I’m coming from a G27 to an Accuforce and, while it is leaps and bounds beyond a G27, I was experiencing a large portion of the effects on the G27 that I am on the Accuforce. Although dulled and washed out on the G27, they were there. Congrats to you and whoever else worked on the G27 code to get it that far along.” Matthew (myself), iRacing thread
I wanted to highlight this quote because I wrote it in May of 2015 just shortly after I got the wheel. I’m surprised by what I read into what I wrote above now and by what I didn’t mean at all at the time. While I intended only praise for David Tucker tuning the G27, I now see that what I was expressing was actually a relative disappointment in the AccuForce. I was basically saying “the AccuForce is a high powered G27.” That is not a comparison we should have to make with a direct drive wheel.
There was a discussion in the SimXperience forums where Berney was having us test new firmware in the hopes of improving the over-damped feel of the wheel (due to iRacing changes) and improving the responsiveness and strength of the wheel. This is where the Responsive Wheel Modes and the Dynamic Force Boost in Sim Commander came from. At the end of that forum discussion, Berney came to the conclusion that the wheel was unable to fully satisfy either camp: Those who wanted a highly responsive wheel and those who preferred a tamer but more realistic wheel. That’s where things left off and there hasn’t been much development in that area. I still hope the SimX guys come up with some brilliant solution or perhaps allow tweakers direct access to more settings in the motor controller (a la OSW wheels). As it stands, though, the AccuForce wheel is what it is: An entry-level, direct drive wheel, as others have mentioned.
One of the primary reasons I paid months ahead for an AccuForce was the early reviews. They made it sound world changing. And it was, but only relative to non-direct drive wheels. The hype sounded too good to be true… If I had been following the other direct drive wheels more closely I might have had a different feeling about the AccuForce at the time.
This all brings me around to the question: Would I buy the AccuForce again? The answer is: No, I wouldn’t – but that’s me and I have my own concerns to take into account…
Keep in mind, at the time, the AccuForce came in at a lower price than the Bodnar or OSW wheels by far. There were tricky OSW setups, you had to order your own parts (as far as I knew), and there was nobody selling full kits. The Bodnar is and has always been much, much higher priced so that kept me away from it.
The situation has changed, though. An entry level OSW wheel comes in at around $1500 give or take a couple of hundred. These are the calibre of wheel people prefer much more than the AccuForce. For just a little bit more than I bought the AccuForce, you can now get one of the higher powered, higher quality, better spec’d OSW wheels.
If I had known that in less than a year the OSW wheels would have come so far and that people would have been selling complete DIY kits I would’ve gone OSW.
Please keep in mind there are many variables at play. Most OSW wheels don’t come with a rim, require manual setup, don’t have any software anything like Sim Commander or its functionality, have no warranty, and have no official company supporting them. I am personally comfortable, after having read quite a bit on the OSW, to support myself and take the risk but others might not be. That’s where the AccuForce becomes an option. If you just want a plug and play above all other concerns then the AccuForce is for you.
Will I sell my AccuForce to get an OSW? Not anytime soon. I would like to and I may if I have some spare cash but what this tells me is that the AccuForce is ‘good enough.’ It really is good enough. It’s disappointing when compared to the early high hopes but it is still a direct drive wheel and it is far beyond any non-direct drive wheel. For those reasons, I’ll stick with the AccuForce for now.
I think the AccuForce has been a learning lesson for me about purchasing big ticket items. You really, really need to do your research and know your products and what the possible pitfalls are and what options are really out there.
Finally, I hope that SimXperience will continue in the force feedback wheel market and follow Bodnar and OSW footsteps to make a new model with a stronger, improved motor that is capable of keeping up with the other direct drive wheels. Combined with the company support, warranty, and Sim Commander software, they have an amazing value proposition. The problem right now is that the AccuForce wheel is just a little too uncomfortably on the low-end of direct drive wheels when compared with the others. It just wasn’t the order of magnitude difference many were hoping it would be when compared against non-direct drive wheels. We’re all hoping SimXperience takes their game to the next level and releases a next-generation, competitive direct drive wheel.
And, remember, enjoy your racing! It doesn’t matter what equipment you have. If you’re lost in the details of which hardware is better or worse than which then you’ve lost the reason you love racing to begin with. No matter what hardware you have, get out on the track and enjoy racing for its own sake. :)
- SimXperience.com AccuForce Pro Documents – Useful guides and videos to using and tuning the AccuForce
- Sim Racing Garage’s AccuForce Pro Review – A great, thorough, nearly 2 hour review of the wheel including tear down and rebuild, tuning, and game play. Must watch here for anybody interested in the AccuForce.
- Another great Sim Racing Garage video comparing the Accuforce, Bodner and OSW wheels.
The following sections include details not directly about the AccuForce or the Sim Commander software. Here you’ll find information like settings for particular games.
Tips and Tricks
AccuForce causing spurious inputs / Inability to assign controls in-game due to spurious inputs
- Difficulty assigning controls in-game because the game seems to detect an input before you try to assign your actual input
- Z Rotation spiking without user input in the Windows Game Controllers app.
- Find this app by searching for “USB Game Controllers” from the start menu
- Z Rotation spiking without user input in the DIView utility
- See this thread for the fix if you have access to the SimXperience Owners Club forums.
- Download and run DIView
- Note spiking axis (mine was “SimXperience AccuForce – Z Rotation [Rz]”)
- Right-click and select View Raw Data
- Right-click and select Calibration
- Click Restore Defaults: This will show values that are a little easier to work with
- Note the maximum spiking value
- Right-click and select Calibration
- For the Min field, enter the a value somewhat higher than the maximum spiking value you noted earlier
- Example: I enter a Min value of 200 when I noticed my spikes were about 120-40.
You can launch iRacing without Sim Commander and use the wheel as any regular force feedback wheel. You’ll have to find the right force strength just like you’ve always done and you won’t have access to the Sim Commander overlay which allows you to tweak AccuForce settings directly on the wehel in-game.
So, instead, launch iRacing from Sim Commander, then launch iRacing, and you should get your overlay where you can tweak everything. Note in this mode there will be no in-game force strenght setting – instead Sim Commander’s overlay will provide its own strength settings.
RaceRoom Racing Experience
RaceRoom Racing Experience Settings
Besides iRacing, I love to play RaceRoom Racing Experience by Sector 3 Studios (formerly SimBin) for its great visuals, amazing audio, and great car and track selection. There are really only a few things to keep in mind when using the game with an AccuForce but some of them will cause you real grief until you solve them. Here are my recommendations…
You won’t be able to use Steering Feedback Foundation in Sim Commander. Something’s wrong with it and it makes the wheel feel broken. Just disable that and use the Game Force Feedback.
Sim Commander integration is not as tight as iRacing even though you can tweak the wheel with the in-game overlay just fine. I haven’t been able to auto-tune based on lap telemetry, however, even though it seems to record fine. Instead, I’ve reset my AccuForce to defaults, and then in-game I’ve set Steering Force Intensity
70% 50% 30% and Understeer 25% 20% 10%. The Steering Force Intensity is to avoid clipping (remember no auto-tune to help you with that in R3E).
In-game, I don’t recommend changing all that much. You might want to play with smoothing and perhaps raise Vertical and Lateral forces now that you have a wheel that can deliver more but all that’s the normal tweaking you can go ahead and do.
A few problems pop up as some of the force feedback settings are not designed with high-response wheels in mind. For example, you’ll hear a nice little audible tune, not a force through the wheel, when you accelerate, brake or run over kerbs if you have those effects enabled. Why? Well the AccuForce can actually reproduce the frequencies the game is outputting while the game assumes the wheel cannot and they’ve actually just plugged in values that worked well on lesser wheels. Nobody has attempted to fix the engine, brake and kerb vibrations, to my knowledge, so here’s my attempt. It’s actually really simple just a few settings but you’ll have to edit this file: Documents\My Games\SimBin\RaceRoom Racing Experience\UserData\ControlSet\File.rcs where File.rcs is the name of your controller profiler in-game. Mine is named Accuforce Pro_unique.rcs but yours will be different. Here are the settings I tweaked:
FFB throttle vibe freq mult="0.025" // Scales actual engine frequency to force FFB vibration frequency. Suggested range: 0.10 to 0.50
FFB brake vibe freq mult="0.09375" // Scales actual brake rotational frequency to force feedback vibration frequency.
FFB rumble strip freq mult="0.125" // Rumble stip frequency multiplier 1.0 = one rumble per wheel rev.
Brake and kerb (rumble strip) are okay, somewhat like I remember them on G27, and kerbs are something like iRacing’s so I’m okay with them. The throttle setting needs some work, I’m sure, but I probably won’t run with it unless somebody comes up with something really nice. The good news is now at least it won’t sound like somebody playing a tune on a flute. :)
RaceRoom Racing Experience after 2015-06-02 Update
If you dial in this latest update you’ll have a great experience. One thing I just noticed is I think the game is registering the wheel as a 540degree wheel even though the AccuForce defaults to 900. This means the default steering lock in-game makes you move the AccuForce wheel more for less movement of the virtual wheel in-game. To rectify this in-game you’ll need to set a steering lock of between 24 and 30 in-game (see Car Setup once you’ve started a driving session). This makes the steering in-game much more responsive.
Be sure to apply the engine, brake and kerb modifications above, as well, for a great experience.
RaceRoom is no longer detecting the proper wheel rotation of the AccuForce Pro. This exhibits itself as feeling as if you need to steer much more than the in-game car appears to steer. For now, you can correct this by setting the steering lock to 24-30 if you’re using the default 900degrees setup of the AccuForce. You can find the setting in the menus under Car Setup when you’re in a race session. For other wheel rotations and steering locks, see my Update 2014-08-03 comment on my older post about 900 degrees in racing games. It should help you get your bearings.
RaceRoom Racing Experience Sim Commander Freezing, Crashing or In-Game Overlay Issues
If Sim Commander is crashing/freezing and/or the in-game overlay is failing to display try power cycling your AccuForce before launching the game. There appears to be some kind of boot up / initialization order issue with USB devices and the AccuForce. Letting the AF power up and initialize after you’ve logged in seems to resolve these issues.
FFB 68% to avoid clipping, zero out Road Feel to avoid crazy unexpected ffb noise on straights, 90% FFB Filter to mostly get rid of spikey ffb on straights.
Invert “Steering wheel strength” in your controller profile file…
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:
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:
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:
And for R3E in-game:
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