iRacing Steering Wheel Range
In iRacing the sim tries to replicate the proper steering wheel rotation for each vehicle. Making the wheel rotation and the actual steering lock 1:1 compared to the vehicle in real life except for the most extreme vehicles. This allows us to calibrate the sim racing steering wheel range to 900 degrees and leave it. No longer necessary to adjust the steering wheel range.
Setting the wheel range to anything less than 900 degrees of rotation (the top slider) means you will have to turn the physical wheel more than what the in game sim wheel requires. Meaning for every vehicle you drive in-sim, you’re driving with a decelerated steering ratio. This changes for each vehicle, as the simulated lock-lock degrees are different for every vehicle. So set the steering wheel range to 900 degrees and forget it.
Steering Map Range
iRacing description of steering map range. Map from your wheel range to the virtual car’s range, if greater, to better support wheels with limited rotation. At slow speeds the mapped range will equal the range of the car, but we limit the car’s lock to lock at speeds to this value to help improve steering sensitivity.
In the sim try using the steering map range to help loosen the rear of the vehicle on corner exit. Coming off the corner when the rear of the vehicle will not slide out, this condition is referred to as tight off. To help loosen the rear of the vehicle, try increasing the wheel map range slider a little. Example, with the wheel range set to 900 degrees and map range 900 degrees. Move the slider to 935 or 975 degrees. What this does is help the rear of the vehicle slide a little causing a loose off condition. Experiment with this setting. The range of the slider can be increased to 1080 degrees. A lot of flexibility can be gained here. This allows you to unwind the steering wheel coming off the corner producing less tire wear and faster lap times.
Again when practicing or in a test session, experiment with the map range slider. Find the setting that will help with the tight or loose off conditions. Find what works best for you. Again don’t just run 2 to 3 lap segments looking for a fast lap, you need to run 15 to 20 lap segments. Always check the tire wear and lap time fall off. The goal should always be consistent lap times
How To Calibrate Your Steering Wheel Range
The proper way to calibrate the steering wheel in iRacing. The calibration software wants you to go left to lock, right to lock then centering the wheel to 50% dead on the screen, hitting next, then turning left until it says the correct rotation your wheel software was set to. Example 900 degrees. In theory this makes the steering 1:1 enabling the actual steering lock for all vehicles except for the most extreme ones.
The problem is, what the game detects as your range, center and 90*, is only by numerical estimates. Depending on type, quality of wheel, and many other factors, this may, make driving in a straight line and the wheel centered difficult. Actually the wheel will be off centered. The 90 degrees turn point may actually be anywhere from 80-100 degrees.
First go into the wheel setting software, and set the spring tension and dampener to off. This will allow the wheel freely in either direction, allowing the wheel to stay at any degree of rotation, while letting go of the steering wheel. This also will help ensure that the wheel can be calibrated properly. You can re-enable the spring tension and dampener later if you desire. These settings shouldn’t be used as they add a friction resistance to the wheel that really is not needed in sim.
Calibrate the wheel in iRacing. SLOWLY and GENTLY move the wheel to the left until it hits the stop or resistance. Don’t go past this resistance and this is the reason for going slow and being gentle. Repeat and do the same all the way to the right.
Now slowly return the wheel to the center, without worrying about the numbers displayed on the screen. PHYSICALLY CENTER THE WHEEL! Take your time and make sure that it LOOKS and FEELS centered.
This calibrates the wheel to utilize the proper lock to lock range. It also centers the wheel to what looks and feels centered to the person driving and not some arbitrary number.
The Turn Left 90 Degrees Step
There are two ways to set the 90 degree step.
Primary Method – Turn the wheel very slowly and gently to the left. When you reach the 900 degree rotation point displayed on the screen stop. You can literally let go of the wheel, and it will remain there until you select continue. This will now set the steering wheel and map range numbers to 900 degrees.
Alternative Method – Turn the wheel very slowly and gently to the 90 degrees to the left, without worrying about the numbers displayed on the screen. Stop turning when you reach the desired 90 degree point on the real steering wheel. Most wheels claim to be 900 degree wheels, but actually turn out to be 860 to 870 degrees or so. This will now set the steering wheel and map range numbers displaying the resulting degrees.
For both steps set the spring tension and dampener to off in software. This will allow the wheel move freely without any force fighting against you. Once you reach the desired 90 degree rotation point, you can literally let go of the wheel, and it will remain there until you select continue.
When your complete the calibration of the steering wheel, both ways, iRacing will now display the wheel and map ranges.