How to enhance road/surface details in Assetto Corsa

A friend ( @Pole_Position ) and I have been tweaking both SimuCube and Assetto Corsa trying to make our wheels reproduce the tiny road surface details more efficiently. What we figured out so far is that increasing ingame Road Effects, the surface details start to be more pronnounced but also a “sand” feel is generated in the center of the wheel which feels quite unrealistic and sometimes disturbing.
Bumping up Reconstruction filter helps to get rid of the “sand feel” but also fades out the road surface details accordingly. We also tried IONI friction and damping but they don’t attenuate enough the sand feel and they put some extra weight to the wheel which we don’t desire much.
Direct Input Damping seems to work all the time, not just below a certain speed, it increases weight but reduce detail and also do nothing regarding to the sand feel.
We both use the Gyro On and the Gyro Min Damping level seems to change the general driving feeling quite a bit, increasing weight (but not much) and enhancing the understeer and oversteer perception. We are using 8% in it which seemed to be a good ammount.
We kept exploring further and we figured out that enabling Post Processing FFb effects, turning Gamma on, and setting the slider around 90% increased the road effects without inducing the sand feel and even allowing us to countersteer less, because the wheel tends to center itself much more naturally and catch slides became easier and more natural. It put some little extra weight to the wheel and also allowed us to use less gain, but keeping more road details in general.

We would like to know from the developers and more experienced users what you think about our findings and if there’s a way to increase the road/surface details with no need to put much extra weight and/or much reconstruction filter to try to reduce the unwanted grainy sand feeling.

Note: This saga started after I went to test a friend custom wheel project which is being developed by 3 Brazilian guys and felt that despite their wheel is much lower end than our OSWs delivered a lot of road details even having much much less torque power.

An observation, in Nordschleife we most of the times don’t need to use road effects because the tracks seems to be much more rough than Spa for instance. We are trying to find a good balance. We tested so far the 488 GTB and DRM Yamamoto 1 among other cars and their ffb seemed to be much improved after we set gamma of 90%.

My OSW Kit: Small Mige 20Nm - Biss-C Encoder 22 bits 4.2 Million cpr - SimuCube - Ioni.
Custom wheel Rim 300mm.

@Pole_Position OSW Kit: Big Mige 30Nm - 10k ppr - SimuCube - Ioni

My settings:

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In my experience whatever on Fanatec and OSW, AC is lack of road feeling and details, whatever you tune.

You could try to test the settings we found to be much improved regarding to road surface and mainly to a much more natural countersteer feel. Wheel tends to align to the center much more naturally.

Doing further tests today I figured out some even better settings. Seems to be closer to what we want.
Gamma seems to work much better when Main Gain is set to 100%. So I kept game gain to 100% and adjusted the car’s ffb accordingly.
Also, reducing Strenght in SimuCube reduced the “sand” feel a lot so I could reduce Reconstruction filter to 1 and Road effects to 10 getting a cleaner ffb signal from the game.
Also dropped the SimuCube strenght to 62% in my Small Mige 20Nm motor reducing sand feeling.
Tested the Kunos F1 2004, DMR Yamamoto, 488 GT3 and a modded manual Porsche (around 700cv) which I was able to drift very well.
Set the car ffb to a level which avoid clipping.

There are more programs emerging that utilize game-telemetry for motion and tactile like SimCommander does. Some DIY motion projects use both telemetry as well as audio to produce tactile and motion effects. In some cases, these effects have been a “Black Magic” (D-box for example) applied to very specialized and closed systems in the past. It seems that is beginning to change.

When using the AccuForce Wheel, we can use telemetry in combination with the Game-FFB to provide much more detail and even isolate certain details. Profiles that I refer to as “Blenders”, use about 85% of the FFB from the Game-FFB output and the remaining 15% is used to provide another layer or two that make up the fine surface details.

This works very well in AC because normally, it’s challenging to achieve a nice rubbery-quality in FFB while using a lot of Road-Detail but; with the additional layer (also has it’s own smoothing filter), it’s very easy to bring out as much fine detail as is desired. The working range can far exceed what is practical but, it’s a great tool for learning and understanding what our own preferences are.

This method also works well in iRacing, where fine surface detail is pretty non-existent. I sometimes receive requests from AF-users for blended profiles for various titles based on the success with others. It really is another level beyond although, some don’t know it even exists (and some don’t care :)).

Hopefully, someone with the desire and talent to create such an add-on for SimuCube will explore what is possible. I’d also like to see some FFB-effects derived from audio cues explored; perhaps under-steer effects generated from front-tire grip-loss noise (effects that are non-existent in some titles). Of course, such things would ideally, be included in the FFB-API and derived directly from tire-physics but, that’s just not how it works as I doubt its creator could foresee how this technology and hardware would evolve.

Ultimately, I think that we can achieve the best results by combining the different methods, and from learning how some alternate systems can be incorporated into the feedback that improves our immersive experience. The more our steering-FFB, tactile and motion-cues sync up, the more natural and immersive the experience becomes imo. Of course, striking a good balance becomes more challenging but, that can be part of the experience too. :slightly_smiling_face: