We have another SimXperience Accuforce Wheel review on the scene. This one is by Avenga76 from our forums and he gave me permission to post the entire piece here in our blog. Here it is and Thanks Avenga !!
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a beta tester for the Accuforce so I thought I would give my impressions of the wheel during the beta. As Steve (in the iRacing forums) and Bedros (MockRacer) have done such a good job of documenting the unbox and setup of the wheel, so I won’t bore you with more photos of the boxes. I will just jump straight in to talking about the features that I most enjoyed about the Accuforce wheel.
Speed, Response and driving feel
It is hard to put in to words how much of a step up from other wheels the Accuforce is. Before this I had a Fanatec CSW and before that a G27. I am just blown away by the speed and response of this wheel. It is so good that it almost feels like cheating with this wheel. You just have so much more feel and more importantly speed and response than other wheels that I have tried. Driving the Skippy or Star Mazda, there has been many times that the back end has snapped around on me but I was able to feel it in time and catch the slide. Afterwards I am thinking to myself how the hell did I manage to recover from that slide, and it all comes down to the wheel. The response time is so quick that you can react to everything so much quicker and correct before it is too late. With my other wheels I always felt I the FFB was a step behind what was happening in the game and I would only realise I was in a slide when it was too late. I have had so many moments when I have felt like a driving god and it is all because of this wheel. When I pull out of something that I know for sure would have resulted in a spin with my other wheels is the greatest feeling. I have the biggest of grins afterwards and this wheel does make me a better driver, more so than it should.
The Accuforce is very rewarding to drive. 13Nm is more than enough for me and it can be quite draining doing a race but the level of detail you have is amazing. It is a workout but it feel just like it should, the cars feel so much more alive, the bumps feel more aggressive and twitchy, you need to fight the wheel a lot more but in a good way, the way you would expect to in a real car on a bumpy track. There is just so much more feeling coming through the wheel and you feel at one with the track beneath you, The feeling as you come into a corner feels spot on with the Accuforce, you can feel the weight shift and the steering getting heavier, and but if you come in to hot or lock up you can feel the wheel go light as you lose grip in the front end. If you know photography it is like The Accuforce has a much wider dynamic range than other wheels I am tried, Almost like a really well done HDR photo. This means you can feel the subtleties better. It isn’t just if the wheel feels heavy or light as you go through the corner, you can now feel the minute little changes in resistance in such detail. Corner exit is amazing with the Accuforce, you can feel the grip level of the car so well. You can feel as you push the car to the limits of its grip and If the back of the car does lose traction then the wheel reacts instantly and it almost feels like the Accuforce correct the wobble for you by keeping the car going straight. No longer am I afraid of the “Death Wiggle” now I look forward to it knowing that the Accuforce will pull me out of it.
SimXperience Force Feedback
During my testing I tested the Accuforce with a lot of older titles and I have really fallen in love with the SimXperience FFB. I use it in most games because it gives you a much more detailed and most times a vastly better feel to the FFB. A good example of this is when I tried that new GTPC mod for rFactor 1. The mod doesn’t support Realfeel so the standard rFactor 1 FFB is quite frankly terrible, it just feels like you have a bunch of center spring and no feel for the car at all. After doing a lap with the stock FFB I created an automatic profile based on the telemetry from that lap. It automatically sets the correct level for the SimXperience FFB. I then switched off the game FFB in Sim Commander, turned on the SimXperience FFB as well as a few other effects like front suspension bumps, road bumps and engine vibrations. After this the game was completely transformed, it went from having some of the worst FFB to something on par if not better than that you would expect for iRacing or rFactor 2. I used the BMW M1 as an example, now with the SimXperience FFB I can feel the effects of my throttle inputs in such detail in the steering, in a corner I can feel the weight of the steering change as I shift the weight of the car by braking or accelerating. As you turn in you can feel the wheel getting heavier and heavier and the lateral G-force builds up, you can feel when you are about to understeer and corner exit is damn near addictive as you can feel the back end start to lose traction and back off just before losing the rear end and if the back end of the car does step out then the quickness of the Accuforce makes it so easy to catch the slides. It made it feel like I was driving a high horse power 70’s race car, power sliding around every corner. I have never been much of a drifter in Sim Racing. I could never get the hang of it but now I just want to power slide everywhere. I tried turning the SimXperience FFB of and driving the car the same way as I had. I spun on every corner, I couldn’t feel the slide, I couldn’t feel the counter steer. It was just impossible for me to drive the way I did with the SimXperience FFB.
I had the same experience with Codemasters games, most noticeably F1 2013. I have recently been doing some races with a friend of mine and I have been using the SimXperience FFB over the standard FFB and what a difference. Now the cars feel so much more alive. You can feel the road so much more. I actually found myself having far too much fun because I could catch and hold slides so well that I would purposely give the car a bit too much gas so I could feel the back come around and catch the slide, I never dreamed of powersliding an F1 car with the old FFB and my CSW. All this sliding around and having fun did hurt my lap times so I had to keep telling myself that I had to race seriously, but it was too much fun sliding around.
My friends must think I have been acting like a complete nutter power sliding everywhere, if only they knew that I had the Accuforce and how much fun I was having.
Another game I play a lot is Game Stock Car. I used to spend hours tweaking my Realfeel and LeoFFB settings for each car, a lot of mods don’t support realfeel so it was a lot of work to get some good FFB out of GSC, but when you did it was really good. Now I don’t even bother with the game FFB. I just run a lap to record the telemetry then create a profile based on that. I get a better feel from the SimXperience FFB which takes a few clicks to setup than I would get after hours of tweaking realfeel settings.
Sim Commander and the customisation of effects.
For those of you who are familiar with Sim Vibe, Sim commander has done what Sim Vibe has done for transducers to Force Feedback. I run an 8 transducer setup on my rig and I wouldn’t dream of using them without Sim Vibe. This is the same with the Accuforce, now I wouldn’t dream of using Force Feedback without Sim Commander. With the Accuforce it works in the same as with Sim Vibe, you can add all sort of effects and they are based on physics, not some canned effect from the game. This means that you can turn off some of the games effects and use your own. Rumble strips are a great example, a lot of games just use a standard vibration. I will use rFactor/GSC as an example.
Gmotor games use these setting for rumble strips.
FFB rumble strip magnitude=”0.25000″ // How strong the rumble strip rumble is. Range 0.0 to 1.0, 0.0 disables effect.
FFB rumble strip freq mult=”0.60000″ // Rumble stip frequency multiplier 1.0 = one rumble per wheel rev.
FFB rumble strip wave type=”0″ // Type of wave to use for vibe: 0=Sine, 1=Square, 2=Triangle, 3=Sawtooth up, 4=Sawtooth down.
FFB rumble strip pull factor=”0.50000″ // How strongly wheel pulls right/left when running over a rumble strip. Suggested range: -1.5 to 1.5.
FFB rumble strip update thresh=”0.07500″ // Amount of change required to update rumble strip effect (0.0 – 1.0)
Before I would have to tweak these numbers for each track to get the rumble strips to feel right. For example if the track had really smooth rumble strips then I would have to lower the strip magnatude and if the track had really deep rumble strips then I would need to increase the magnitude. Same with the spacing of the rumble strips. If the track had really wide rumble strips I would have to change the frequency.
This also meant I had to copy and paste FFB settings every time I wanted to change car or track. A major pain in the butt.
But using Sim Commander I can just set all of that to zero and turn on the front suspension bumps in Sim Commander. Because this is based on the telemetry coming from the front wheels you feel exactly what you would expect from through the steering wheel. So no matter what kind of rumble strip it is and what speed you hit it at you feel exactly what that rumble strip is meant to feel like. Or do what I do know and turn the game FFB off entirely. You can do this with the flick of a switch in Sim Commander so there is no more tweaking config files for me.
Not much more than I can say other than this wheel is an absolute tank, It isn’t stopping for anything. I have put a lot of hours on this wheel now and it hasn’t skipped a beat. I have sent entire days racing and the casing is still cool to the touch. My shoulders were destroyed by the end of a day’s testing but the wheel didn’t bat an eyelid. The wheel and paddles feel really solid and the quick release is very strong and a lot easier to use than the CSW is. This wheel is truly bullet proof and I think either my rig or my arms would give out way before I had any problems with the Accuforce.
I just wanted to show how I mounted my Accuforce. I used my old CSW angle bracket but I modified it to suit.
I welded inserts in to the triangular cutouts then drilled new holes.
Note: The Kill switch is not for the Accuforce, it is for my motion simulator.
The Accuforce has really ruined me for any other wheel or even standard in-game FFB. There is no way I could go back to using a normal wheel or in-game FFB. I used to think the jump from my G27 to my CSW was a massive leap forward, the Accuforce isn’t even in the same galaxy as those other wheels. I have had the most fun that I have ever had in Sim Racing while testing the Accuforce and I am so excited that it that soon the general public will have to chance to get their hands on the Accuforce and share in the fun that I have been having with the Accuforce. I think this is truly the birth of the next generation in wheels and I am so glad that I got the chance to test the Accuforce and see first-hand what the future holds.
Thanks Berney for making such a great product. You never cease to amaze me with what you can so with Sim Commander 4, Sim Vibe, the Accuforce and my GS-4. I really can’t wait to see what you come up with next but I know it will be the next big thing in Sim Racing. (SimXperience pedals maybe? Servo operated braking resistance, Sim Commander controlled braking effect i.e lockups?)
In case you missed it, The Accuforce is now available for purchase by the general public. Here’s the article we posted on it today.