Sim Racing Studio 2.0 Motion Tuning Guide
Collated from existing resources and revised with new details. The goal is to have a single place to get started in learning to tune your platform with Sim Racing Studio 2.0. Thank you Sim Racing Studio and everyone else who has contributed to the discussion on motion tuning! Topics include: Introduction to Motion Tuning
Tuning Page Features
Effects Slider Settings
Understanding the Effects Sliders and Max Telemetry
Advanced Telemetry Gathering Corrupted and Bad Telemetry Lowering Max Telemetry Increasing Max Telemetry
General Slider Tuning Tips
Advanced Boost Tuning Troubleshooting
Introduction to Motion Tuning
The key to getting the best performance and experience from your movement platform is through tuning. Without tuning, the platform might not move enough or moves too much or feels jerky. Tuning is essential if you want to create your own experience for each game and car. Make the platform behave in the way you feel more realistic or comfortable with your style of racing/flying. Sim Racing Studio (SRS) has created a starting point based on the telemetry outputs of each game; however, these don’t take into account the nuances that each vehicle has when it comes to power, acceleration, turning, road conditions, etc. and how that is all interpreted as telemetry output into angles and g-forces. It also does not take into consideration your specific taste and preferences in terms of immersion (more or less movement).
Tuning in SRS is always LIVE and you feel the effect of the change immediately after you change a parameter. Once you are satisfied with how the motion feels, press SAVE so it will remember and auto-reload when you get back to the game/vehicle.
You can utilize the Profile Manager in SRS for general tuning setting without having to launch the sim. However, for vehicle specific tunings, you will need to load into the specific vehicle in the sim. You can find details on using the Profile Manager here: https://www.simracingstudio.com/post/profile-manager
Tuning is disabled when the Profile In Use in the upper right indicates “Stand By”.
Once you have loaded a game, the Profile In Use name will change to the game name if supported by SRS.
Once you have loaded a vehicle in supported games, the Profile In Use will switch to the name of that vehicle. Not all sims support vehicle specific tunings.
If your game is full screen and you can’t see SRS, ALT+TAB out to Windows and select SRS so you can begin to tune. Remember to reselect the game to resume testing once you’re done tuning in SRS.
Tuning Page Features
To start tuning, launch Sim Racing Studio 2.0, select TUNING at the top and then Motion in the left column. Below is the definition of each function and feature found in the SRS Tuning page.
These settings are applied universally to the motion of the platform independent from the Effects sliders or Max Telemetry settings. Adjusting these settings will change the overall feel of the motion profile.
· POWER/MAX ANGLE: This setting adjusts the maximum amount of movement available to the platform. For example, if your platform is meant to go from -10 degrees to +10 degrees and the POWER/MAX ANGLE is set to 90, SRS software will limit the platform to go from only -9 degrees to +9 degrees reducing the overall motion of the platform. It will "proportionally" calculate, for each telemetry value, the new motor position so it’s not a “stop when reaching 90” type of rule. Lower is ideal for kids and people who want less movement. Higher is ideal for hardcore racers and flight simers.
· SMOOTHING: Limits large delta changes of each motor. This is another value that can be lowered to reduce the “jerkiness” of the platform. For example, your game did a drastic change in direction (left to right or up to down) and the SRS formula calculated that your platform (motors) needs to go from position -10 to +10. Smoothing at 0 will allow the platform to do the -10 to +10 change. Smoothing at 50 will only bring the platform from -10 to +5. Smoothing at 90 will bring the platform to around +1. The higher the smoothing value the smoother your change in direction.
· REACTION SPEED: Limits how quickly the motors will move to get to the desired position. This is a major factor that impacts the “jerkiness” of the platform. For example, you are in a high-speed tight S-curve and the SRS formula has calculated that your platform motors need to go from position -10 to +3 and back to -8 in a very short amount of time. Reaction Speed at 100 (max and also the default of the platform) will try to reach the new position as fast as possible. Hence, you will feel a hard swing from side to side. Reaction Speed at 70 (the minimum value able to be set for Reaction Speed) will slightly slow down the swing speed and thus will be smoother.
· BOOST: Increases small delta changes of each motor and is the opposite of smoothing. Let's say your game did a very small change in direction (left to right or up to down) and the SRS formula calculated that your platform (motors) needs to go from position 0 to 1. Boost at 0, will move the platform from 0 to +1. Boost at 50, will move the platform from 0 to +1.5. Boost at 90 will move the platform to +1.9. The higher the Boost value the bigger your change in direction for small changes. Boost can be used to increase the feel of the small details in the road (like bumps from small rocks, minor divots in the terrain, poor road conditions) as well as small bumps from turbulence for flight sims. Boost is completely dependent on if the telemetry output for the sim supports these small changes. Be careful when increasing Boost too much since it can also increase the “jerkiness” of the platform due it constantly shaking. Do not overdo it. Note: See Advanced Boost Tuning below for additional guidance on tuning boost if required.
Effects Slider Settings
These settings handle how strong and predominant the g-force is on each axis (pitch, roll yaw, sway, surge, heave). They will determine how much acceleration you feel while you loose traction, how much roll occurs while diving, or how much deceleration is felt when turning at the same time.
· PITCH – The angle of the vehicle up or down. Imagine when you go up a hill or down a hill. Affects both cars and planes in similar ways.
· ROLL – The angle of the vehicle from side to side vs the horizon. This would be felt while in a vehicle and are on a banked curve. Mostly affect planes as the vehicle moves very little with Roll unless you are in a NASCAR banked curve or banked hillside while off-roading. Roll should not be confused with Lat G Sway which is the lateral g-forces felt when going around a curve.
· YAW – The twisting movement when you use rudders in an aircraft/spacecraft without rolling or pitching. Yaw represents the platform pivoting on a central axis. Generally used for aircraft, especially helicopters. Note that depending on the sim, Yaw can be driven by either g-forces on the yaw axis or the positional representation of the vehicle within 360° on the yaw axis. Tuning for yaw should take this into consideration.
· LAT G SWAY - The lateral G force affecting the vehicle (Sway). This would be felt when you are on a high-speed curve and your car is being "pushed" to the outside of the curve. One of the most important effects for cars, but is also seen heavily in aircraft depending on the sim.
· LONG G SURGE ACCEL - The longitudinal G force affecting the vehicle during acceleration (Surge). It’s also the effect that makes you feel gear changes through the g-forces in cars or a catapult launch form an aircraft carrier in a flight sim. If you want to increase the feeling of acceleration Long G Surge Accel is the effect. Important Note: Long G Surge Accel and Long G Surge Decel share the SAME Max Telemetry value as there is only one telemetry output for Surge.
· LONG G SURGE DECEL - The longitudinal G force affecting the vehicle during deceleration (Surge). This is the effect that handles the g-forces for deceleartion. If you want to feel like you’re being thrown forward during braking, increase Long G Surge Decel. Important Note: Long G Surge Accel and Long G Surge Decel share the SAME Max Telemetry value as there is only one telemetry output for Surge.
· VERT G ROAD HEAVE - The vertical g-forces affecting the vehicle (Heave). For a car, this would be the road texture and bumps. For planes, it would be felt in turbulence or when you hit the ground. Affects both cars and planes in similar ways.
· TRACTION LOSS – The force when the back part of your car is rotating quicker than the front part. For traction loss, the platform will pivot on a front axis so only the rear of the platform moves. Examples would be when you are drifting or losing control of the rear. Generally only for cars and usually not for aircraft.
These settings allow specialized tuning for specific effects/axis as well different motion platforms. Some settings will only appear if the game or platform is supported.
· MIN TRACTION LOSS ACTIVATION – Is utilized to make Traction Loss more noticeable by only engaging when there are larger movement swings so it’s not lost in other movements from the platform. This will cause the platform to “snap” into Traction Loss so it’s more noticeable. For example, if Min Traction Loss Activation is set to 30, then the platform will not begin to move Traction Loss until the telemetry input has reached “30% of its range” then it will snap to the left or right to catch up making it easier to feel the traction loss. If less snap is wanted when Traction Loss begins, reduce Min Traction Loss Activation. If you want more snap, increase this value. Note: This setting can be set to 0 to turn off Min Traction Loss Activation.
· ENHANCED G-FORCES – Only available for 6 axis movement platforms. If Enhanced G-Forces is turned OFF, the platform will move parallel to the ground during surge and sway restricted by the maximum movement range of the platform. With Enhanced G-Forces turn ON, the platform will move at an angle, with pitch for surge and/or roll for sway, which allows for a constant g-force being felt during long periods of acceleration/deceleration or sideways movement. Important Note for H6/P6 tuning: Test with Enhanced G-Forces set ON and OFF to ensure the proper g-forces are felt for the type of vehicle being utilized. For long moments of g-forces being felt in acceleration or deceleration in in sway sideways movements, test with Enhanced G-Forces ON. If movement is generally short, quick g-forces, test with Enhanced G-Forces OFF.
· ROLL (Angle/Rate) / PITCH (Angle/Rate) - For flight sims that are supported, there will be an additional option in Advanced to set either Roll or Pitch as Angle or Rate. This is an enhancement for flight games that allow the platform to self-level after you release the Yoke and Pitch. If you select Angle, the platform will follow the Angle of the plane. If you select Rate, the platform will be returning to level after you release the Yoke. Again, tuning is essential as each game and plane have different rates of self-levelling that are sent to SRS. Some of them are smooth, some are more abrupt.
· GEAR SMOOTHING FACTOR - Some racing sims might send very high telemetry for motion when changing gears which causes the platform to rock back and forth extremely hard. Gear Smoothing Factor that will reduce the gear shifting effect. When the slider is at 0 there will be no smoothing, increasing it towards 100 will reduce the gear changing effect thus smoothing the rocking motion it when shifting gears. If shifts are too intense, its recommend to move the slider to 75 and adjust up or down as needed.
· MOTION REFRESH RATE - This setting adjusts the number of instructions per second sent to the platform. For actuator based systems, such as Prosimu, the default is 1000. This should be adjusted if you feel lag in your movement from what is appearing on screen versus what you feel in the platform. Increasing the slider will use more of your CPU. If increased too much, this setting can begin to introduce latency which is dependent upon the power of your PC and the motion platform. Default settings are highly recommend and only should be adjusted if necessary. Note: This setting will not be available for DOF Reality Platforms as the defaults of 30 should not be adjusted.
Understanding the Effects Sliders and Max Telemetry
To tune your platform, you must first have a good understanding of exactly what the tuning slider actually does and how it relates to Max Telemetry. Sim Racing Studio uses a very complex formula that takes the telemetry output from a video game and converts it into motor position. Telemetry data is extremely raw and is different from game to game. The data needs to be converted into angles and g-forces that are then sent to the motor. What affects your platform angle/motor position is loosely based on the following:
1) The telemetry value the game sends for each effect/axis (pitch, roll, yaw, etc.) 2) “Multiplied” by the slider position 3) “Divided” by the max telemetry
For example, when moving the Pitch slider all the way down to 0, then it is “multiplying” the game data by 0%. That means Pitch will not be considered at all in the formula. If you set pitch to 20, you are telling SRS to use pitch as a very predominant value in the final formula. The formula is very complex and what each slider does is control each effect's influence on the formula.
Max Telemetry is utilized to tell SRS what is the “normal” range of telemetry the game sends, so SRS can calculate the relative position of the effect. For example, if max telemetry is 10 and the game is sending 5 in the pitch variable, SRS will consider that pitch should be at 50% of the total. If all other sliders would be at zero, the platform should be only pitching about 50% of the total angle. Also, you will find the values can vary between each effect when you Capture Telemetry. Pitch could be 23.8, roll is 8.8, yaw is 179.2, sway is 25.5, surge is 13.8, heave is 1.2, and traction is 7.0. Telemetry rarely comes in a scale from 1 to 10. It can have a large range and change depending on the game, the vehicle, the track, and how the vehicle performs through your inputs while telemetry is being collected. Max Telemetry is then just trying to normalize the game values across each effect. This normalized output of Max Telemetry (roughly the denominator) is then used against the Effects sliders (roughly the multiplier). This is why Max Telemetry is so important. If you do not normalize the values properly, the effect sliders are less effective.
Because the game is sending multiple variables at the same time and the formula is a lot more complex than a simple divide and multiply guidance, SRS will calculate the final platform angle, based on the combination of all those factors together.
Setting slider position and max telemetry have a huge impact on the formula and your experience as some effects are opposite to others. Imagine you are at 200 MPH in a banked right curve. Roll is trying to position the platform with it banked to the right; however, Sway is trying to push the platform to the left due to g-forces. Your final position will depend on how you set the sliders and max telemetry for both of those effects. Now imagine you are going up a very steep hill, pitch is trying to move you backward to match the pitch of the hill, then you brake and surge will try to move you forward due to the g-forces of braking. What should be the final angle of the platform? The values of the sliders and max telemetry you selected on Pitch and Surge Decel will determine that.
Increase the slider, you make the effect more predominant. Increase Max Telemetry, you make it less predominant.
Note: All games are developed differently and the raw telemetry data received by SRS can be very different. When SRS has a max telemetry of 1800, its to disable that effect because the telemetry is potentially corrupted and/or not utilized by vehicles for the sim. For example, a racing sim tuning might have the Effects slider at 0 and Max Telemetry at 1800 for Yaw. This is simply to increase the Max Telemetry denominator so high that any output wouldn’t be felt in the platform. Yaw data is received but might not be relevant for a racing sim. However, for 360° yaw axis platforms, it might be a valid directional vector based on the position of the vehicle in the sim and could be utilized depending on the tuning requirements for the platform.
The closer Max Telemetry is to the actual maximum telemetry an effect might output, then the closer the platform will be to replicating the actual movement. However, there are some cases in which Max Telemetry will need to be reduced greatly from what is captured due to bad/corrupted telemetry or limitations of the motion platform. Capturing telemetry is the first step to create a tuning for a new vehicle or a sim.
In SRS, go to SETUP > Telemetry.
At the top of the Telemetry page, turn Capture Telemetry to On.
Try to do 3 good laps for racing titles or play for 5 minutes a flight/space simulator as you normally would (See Advanced Telemetry Gathering below for more details) .
Try not to do any abnormal maneuvers like running off track, hitting a wall, go up and down in a plane quickly. You want to simulate what will happen in a real session so you get good "clean" telemetry data.
If there is an impact or other abnormal behavior that occurs, click the Reset Min/Max button to clear the values
The performance of the driver/pilot is critical and will greatly impact the captured telemetry. If you are smooth and consistent as a driver, max telemetry will likely be lower and will allow the platform to move with small changes in telemetry based on subtle movements; however, when other larger movements are used or a crash/abnormal effect occurs, the platform will have faster/extreme movement as it will reach Max Telemetry very quickly.
Record the MIN/MAX values for the specific effect you want to adjust.
Note: Do not leave the game or vehicle before recording the values as the Telemetry page will reset. It's advised to take a screenshot or similar process to retain the data.
Utilize the highest absolute value.
The attribute of captured Min/Max telemetry is not a major factor in determining Max Telemetry.
Generally, the negative number shown is pitching down, rolling to the left, yawing to the left, swaying to the left, surging down while braking, heaving/falling downwards, or losing traction to the left. Positive is the opposite.
Warning: A negative value uses for Max Telemetry for the effect will reverse the axis.
Adjust the number by following the Reducing Max Telemetry or Increasing Max Telemetry sections to ensure desired maximum movement.
Enter the number into the Max Telemetry field on the TUNING > Motion page for the appropriate Effect.
For example, an effect output has Max at 4.3 and Min is –16.6 for Longitudinal Acceleration - Surge. This means the vehicle has smaller acceleration telemetry (the positive number) than braking telemetry (the negative number). When setting Max Telemetry, we only an absolute value unless you want to reverse the axis movement (see Troubleshooting section). A good starting point might be to have the Long G Surge Max Telemetries be set at 15. This will still provide some feeling for acceleration, but the platform will still have the nearly full range for hard breaking. Since numbers need to be rounded, setting Max Telemetry to 17 would provide less feeling for acceleration (since the max value will only be ~1/3 of the range at 4.3) and would never reach the maximum braking value of 17 since the telemetry is -16.6. Utilizing 15 as our base starting point for Max Telemetry for Long G Surge Accel and Decel (Note - this effect must use the same Max Telemetry value), set the Effects tuning slider to 10. Do a few more laps or maneuvers. Fine-tune by adjusting the Effect sliders (which can be different for Long G Accel and Decel) up or down to tune the correct feeling of acceleration and deceleration against all the other effects. If you are not able to get enough movement for Long G Surge after maxing the Effect slider to 20, try LOWERING the Max Telemetry to 14, 13, or 12 one step at a time (Max Telemetry is how quick it reaches the maximum movement of the motor so the Effect will occur sooner and faster). If there is too much movement for Long G Surge after reducing the Effects slider to 1 (setting it to 0 will turn off that Effect), try INCREASING the Max Telemetry to 16, 17, or 18 one step at a time. If raised to 17 or above, the Effect will never reach its potential maximum movement since it caps at 16.6 for that specific vehicle/game.
Example of captured telemetry from iRacing for the Skip Barber Formula 2000:
Advanced Telemetry Gathering
Here are some advanced ideas on capturing telemetry for different types of vehicles. The detailed steps below are not needed and the general guidance above will suffice in most situations; however, the more captured telemetry data that is obtained, the more insight the tuner will have in adjusting Max Telemetry Values.
Taxi to runway using rudder and brakes
Acceleration on runway
Takeoff and being airborne
Raise gear and flaps
Stay smooth as possible
Record Captured Telemetry
Perform the following at standard cruising speeds:
Standard banked turning for a fill circle clockwise and counter-clockwise
Standard pitch up and down for gaining altitude and descending
Standard Yaw movement through rudder to adjust flight path
Standard adjustments to speed via the throttle
Utilize any boost or other afterburner effect to capture acceleration surges
Utilize any breaks or additional movements the aircraft/spacecraft are capable of that would occur during normal flight
Record Captured Telemetry
Mid-Flight Extreme (Used as a reference but can provide insight if adjustments to Max Telemetry are needed)
Hard pull complete loop
Hard pull negative loop at high altitude
Complete roll with maximum stick movement clockwise and counter clockwise
Maximum yaw deflection with maximum left and right rudder
Cut throttle completely and the move to maximum throttle
Helicopters or VTOL - maximum vertical speed of gaining or losing altitude
Record Captured Telemetry
Start on normal glide path
Adjustments as needed to stay on glide path with no extreme movements
Standard landing without hard hits
Complete braking process until aircraft comes to a complete stop
Record Captured Telemetry
Average the captured telemetry of Take-off, Mid-Flight Normal, and Landing with any additional adjustments from Mid-Flight Extreme. Telemetry from Takeoff and Landing can be excluded or tuned as needed since they might have outliers in high values (Heave is impacted by ground impacts on landing or while it taxis).
Aircraft and Spacecraft are generally thought of to have a smooth movements. Sometimes smaller movements are more immersive. Higher Max Telemetry values will avoid harsh movements, but might loose the fidelity with smaller changes in elevation or direction. Utilizing the Power/Max Angle in Platform settings on the Tuning page could assist in finding the smoothness needed.
Start from the Pits
Starting the vehicle
Accelerating from a stop
Drive onto the track for a basic lap
Record Captured Telemetry
Drive at least 2 or 3 laps smoothly
The captured telemetry should begin at speed and not from a complete stop. Treat the captured telemetry as a qualifying run with it beginning after the start/finish line and ending after the start/finish line at full speed.
Avoid going too slow, the driving should be performed at a normal race pace
Avoid collisions with other vehicles or objects
Avoid skidding off the track and minimize out of control skids on the track. Some traction loss is acceptable and expected in normal racing conditions.
Ensure braking would be perform as a normal race.
Record Captured Telemetry
Extreme Racing, Pitting, or Hard Braking
(Used as a reference but can provide insight if adjustments to Max Telemetry are needed)
Drive loosely over a chicane
Traction loss with rear wheels on curb or in grass
Trading paint/bumping with another vehicle.
Do not crash or have a hard collision as it will spike telemetry values
Heading into the Pits, having tires and fuel changed.
Braking hard to a complete stop
Record Captured Telemetry
Average the captured telemetry of Starting from the Pits, Normal Laps, and with additional adjustments from Extreme Racing, Pitting, or Hard Braking. Telemetry from a Pitt stop can be skewed if its captures the vehicle being raised on jacks for tire changes or other events. Extreme slides or collisions will spike Long G Surge Accel or Decel as well as Heave.
Find the right balance of telemetry for each effect is key in order to have the fidelity while driving to help make decisions on braking, turning and accelerating while racing.
There is no set system for gathering Capture Telemetry. However, the system above will assist in identifying corrupted/bad telemetry so it can be excluded from the final Max Telemetry setting.
Here is an image of a telemetry gathering session for DCS for the F/A 18. It enables to review data, spot outliers or corrupted data, and provided potential maximum telemetry values averages across all data. This is not a process that must be followed or utilized, but an example of one way to collect and analyze telemetry data in Excel.
Corrupted and Bad Telemetry
Since there are no industry standards like DirectX yet for telemetry output, the values captured can sometimes be corrupted by impacts, unknown variables, contain telemetry data not associated with normal movement, extremely low values, or is just buggy in terms of the telemetry values available.
Game World Impacts: A vehicle impacting something in a sim will usually create a large spike within a telemetry value as it replicates the g-forces of the crash. These are usually seen as extremely large spikes in Heave, Sway, or Surge; however, accidents can also impact Pitch, Roll, and Sway as the orientation of the vehicle spins/flips around. When accidents occur, the telemetry will contain these higher values which is seen with the extreme movements of the platform.
Excluding impacts from captured telemetry is essential to ensure the tuning represents normal driving. If the Max Telemetry setting contains these spikes from accidents, normal movement will be minimized or barely felt as the g-forces during normal driving or flight are significantly lower than that of an impact. This is why obtaining "clean" telemetry will provide the best motion platform experience.
Corrupted Telemetry: An example would be when a sim first loads a vehicle onto a track or runway via "dropping" it into the game world. This placement of the vehicle can cause a large spike in Heave, Sway, or some other effect and thus corrupt the Min/Max values for telemetry. This is normally felt in the motion platform as extreme movements when first tuning for the sim.
It's important to monitor the Captured Telemetry immediately after loading the vehicle. If large spikes in telemetry are seen. Reset the telemetry by clicking the Reset Min/Max button prior to recording telemetry data. Corrupted Telemetry values should always be excluded from the data while tuning Max Telemetry.
Unknown Variables: Since there are no industry standard for telemetry output, how telemetry is gathered from the vehicle in game can vary widely from sim to sim. There should be general principles applied, but sometimes there will be values that have no direct relationship to the activity of the vehicle. The values are usually seen impacting other effects that shouldn't be impacted or there isn't a specific logical reason for their impact.
These values could be impacted by something in the sim that should or should not impact telemetry. For example, when accelerating forward in a vehicle, traction loss increases at the same rate as Speed even though the vehicle isn't losing traction.
Unknown Variables seen in telemetry values should be normalized or excluded from the data while tuning Max Telemetry.
Buggy Telemetry: This will be seen as values that are extremely high (usually over 180), values when there is no movement on the axis, or no telemetry values reported when movement should occur. Buggy telemetry is common for sims that utilize Memory Hooks due to developers not supporting telemetry outputs or seen in games that are not sim orientated, such as roller coasters or other arcade like games that don't focus on realistic physics.
Tuning the telemetry output for these types of games will require the tuner to become creative with the data. Setting Max Telemetries that taken into account the motion platforms abilities will be a primary focus versus using the range of telemetry values captured from the game.
There is no easy fix for these games as the telemetry output can not usually be adjusted for within SimRacingStudio. The tuner must work with what is available.
Extremely Low Telemetry Outputs: Some sims will have telemetry outputs so low they never go above a value of 1. They will be seen as 0.0129 or 0.68. This could be there is no actual g-force or effect for the vehicle, thus making the number accurate; however, if a vehicle would normally feel a g-force; then the output isn't providing the accurate telemetry.
Lowering Max Telemetry to 1 might enable some movement, but it could be jarring and will likely not have the fidelity possible for the effect. If lowering Max Telemetry is still unable to obtain sufficient movement, submitting a ticket to SimRacingStudio will be needed in order for the telemetry value to be multiplied so a tuning range within Max Telemetry can be utilized.
Special note on Pitch, Roll, and Yaw: These values will change from sim to sim, but generally it represents the orientation of the vehicle in 360 degrees in space. This will be seen as Min -180 and Max +180. However, these values could also not use spacial orientation and be some factor of g-forces and positional data. Monitoring these values closely are important for a tuning that feels "correct". Expectations of movement are usually centered around the 3 axis.
For motion platforms that are unable to rotate 360°, the movement can be extremely violent as the platform switches from -180 Yaw to +180 . This is a key reason why the Effects slider for Yaw is set to 0 with Max Telemetry at 1800 to remove Yaw movement on these platforms.
Lowering Max Telemetry
Why are we lowering Max Telemetry?
The primary focus of a motion platform is to move. If the Max Telemetry is set too high for an axis, the vehicle will rarely be able to achieve the telemetry output needed, and thus, the motion platform will rarely move on that axis. If the Max Telemetry is set too low, then the vehicle will easily pass the Max Telemetry setting frequently thus leading to extremely jarring and unrealistic movements. The key is finding the right Max Telemetry to allow for the full range of normal movement of the vehicle under normal circumstances (See Advanced Telemetry Gathering). This brings up the next question:
How much should I lower Max Telemetry?
There is no easy answer. Though it is easy to not exceed the Max value of captured telemetry, how much lower than Max is the primary question. One method could be to lower the value until the effect "feels" right, but this will be completely dependent upon the personal preference of the tuner and will impact the Effects Sliders ability to tune the effect. The other method is to utilize the captured telemetry and to normalize the data which means to "bring or return to a normal or standard condition or state". This the preferred method.
A key thing to remember is that we are not normalizing the Max Telemetry relative to all the other effects, but instead normalizing the Max Telemetry for a specific effect and the specific abilities of the motion platform. The closer to the Max Telemetry captured during a "clean" run while gathering telemetry, the closer the movement of the platform will match that of the vehicle. This will provide the most realistic feeling possible. Again, there is no specific rule. Every effect is different. Every game is different. However, some general theories can be applied:
Lowering Max Telemetry to 33% (Divide by 3)
The general guidance of "dividing by 3" or rather, 33% of captured Max Telemetry was focused on ensuring movement for a game. Remember, every vehicle is different in terms of telemetry output, but this can also be impacted by the track, road conditions, etc. By using only 33% of the Max Telemetry available, you are ENSURING there will be movement. It won't be realistic, but the motion platform will move. The vehicle will likely always obtain Max Telemetry at 33%, therefor every vehicle on every track is likely to move.
There are titles with literally a hundred vehicles and half as many tracks. Include downloadable content and the number rises even further. To ensure there is movement for people using the tuning, utilizing 33% of the Max Telemetry was utilized. However, it will likely be extreme, jarring movement and not be realistic. It's no longer a recommended value for realistic movement.
Lowering Max Telemetry to 75%
This will allow for more realistic movement towards captured telemetry; but should be balanced across many different vehicles. Its a good starting point, but should never be a rule. The risk increases that there might not be movement for all vehicles if utilized as a general tuning for a game.
Lowering Max Telemetry to 90%
This would be a recommendation for the most realistic telemetry available, but its recommended for vehicle specific tunings or for sims that only contain only one type of vehicle. It will allow for the motion platform to move to its maximum range when the vehicle is close to its maximum telemetry output. It also provides some head-room for achieving the maximum amount of movement of the platform as it nears the maximum telemetry value.
Not Lowing Max Telemetry and keeping it 100%
Should only be used for vehicle specific tunings. This is completely dependent upon the accuracy of Captured Telemetry. If there is any inaccuracy of the Max Telemetry captured and its set too high, movement will rarely occur and feel dull. It's generally not recommended to use 100% due to the potential of inaccurate telemetry; however, this risk diminishes with extremely low Max Telemetry values (under 5) and increases as the values rise.
Remember, the percentages above are just a suggestion. There is no hard rule. It can be 10%, 52%, 83%. Utilize the data and your instincts as a tuner to achieve the correct feel of movement.
There will be instances where the Maximum Captured Telemetry is just extremely low. For example, is Max Telemetry is 3, you must be careful in reducing it further to 2 or 1 as motion will potentially be extremely fast and jarring. The lower the Max Telemetry, the more caution should be taken while making adjustments.
Another thing to take into consideration is by lowering Max Telemetry, you are allowing for more movement of the platform with very little input from the driver/pilot. This will provide addition fidelity of movement for small changes in altitude in a plane or small adjustments while driving down a straight road. The compromise will be when a large movement is executed (pulling straight up in an aircraft or making a sharp turn), the motion will be extremely fast and jarring.
Remember that EVERYONE has a personal preference for motion. Some people like A LOT of movement which will feel more like an amusement ride. While others want the most realistic movement possible, which could actually be very little motion of the platform to reflect the low g-forces of performance for the vehicle or the smoothness that can be felt during normal flight. Setting the Max Telemetry will have the largest impact of the overall feel of the platform. Though the sliders will impact the effect during movement, the range of motion and how quickly the motion platform executes that motion is all determined by Max Telemetry.
The final determination will fall upon the tuner. Their personal preferences will impact how low Max Telemetry is set. Its recommended to either tune for a sim on monitors or while videoing movement as it will be hard to verify full motion platform movement in VR. As the tuning becomes more realistic in VR, the platform movement disappears and you only feel g-forces in the game.
Increasing Max Telemetry
Why would we want to increase Max Telemetry?
One of the reasons would be to reduce the overall motion for a specific axis after you have reduced the Effect Slider down to 1. Since reducing the Effect Slider to 0 will effectively turn off that specific axis effect, there needs to be a way to increase the headroom for reducing platform movement.
For example, if you have the Max Telemetry for Traction Loss set to 3, but the motion for Traction Loss feels very jarring after reducing the Effect Slider all the way down to 1, you can increase the Max Telemetry to 4 or even 5 which will allow you to increase the Effect Slider for Traction Loss back up to 5 or 10 to help balance it against all the other Effects.
Remember, Max Telemetry will provide extra “steps” for overall motor movement. If you raise Max Telemetry too high and the game never outputs a telemetry value that meets or exceeds your Max Telemetry setting, you will never reach the maximum movement possible for your platform for that specific axis.
Increasing Max Telemetry for Traction Loss
Traction Loss is unique among all the other axis effects since it represents an error while driving. If you capture telemetry from the guidance above and make no errors or abnormal motions while driving, the captured telemetry for Traction Loss will be relatively low. This is because you did not actually lose traction from over-steer or under-steer while capturing telemetry. There might be some very small values when entering or exiting a corner or while swerving on the track.
This lower telemetry value if utilized will start to move the platform to the maximum possible movement as it approaches the Max Telemetry value. So, even if there isn’t any traction loss occurring from over-steer or under-steer, you will likely feel traction loss begin during normal driving because the Max Telemetry value is so low.
If you actually do perform and over-steer or under-steer while capturing telemetry, the value could be too high so you won’t feel the platform move much as the vehicle begins to lose traction.
You will often want to increase the Traction Loss Max Telemetry value to compensate for error free driving while capturing telemetry. The question is how much.
For example, in a clean run in iRacing, depending on the vehicle, the captured telemetry for Traction Loss could peak at 3 or 4. If you utilize this setting, you would feel the platform move in Traction Loss often. If you did over-steer too much and actually skid out of control, the capture telemetry for Traction Loss could be as high as 10 or 12. If you utilized these numbers, you would barely feel Traction Loss begin to move the platform which would make catching it to correct the over-steer more difficult.
A general guidance could be to then increase the Max Telemetry for Traction Loss to 5 or 6 (approximately 25% over captured Max Telemetry) from a good run. But this is just a guesstimate. The Tuner must 1) know how much they actually lost traction during the capture session and 2) balance it so they can still feel the effect during traction loss. This is why it’s important to have extreme driving telemetry as called out in the Advanced Telemetry Gathering section so you have a reference point to make these types of adjustments.
The Traction Loss axis is an important driving aid and should be always tuned to increase immersion and to improve performance of the driver and platform.
General Slider Tuning Tips
Tuning Sliders are adjusted based on the performance expectation of each vehicle so a Mazda MX-5 feels like an basic production car, a Lucas Oil Off Road Pro Lite 2 feels like an off road vehicle, and a Street Stock feels like an oval car. This is done by adjusting sliders up or down based on 8 questions related directly to the associated g-force:
Pitch* - Will it pulling g's by climbing or diving (hills and altitude changes)?
Roll* - Will it pull g's while at an angle (banked turns)?
Yaw* - Will it pull g's by rotating at a center axis (aircraft)?
Lat G Sway - Will it pull g's in corners?
Long G Surge Accel - Will it pull g's by accelerating quickly?
Long G Surge Decel - Will it pull g's by decelerating quickly?
Vert G Road Heave - Will it pull g's by heaving up into the air (jumps/bumps)?
Traction Loss - Will it pull g's by sliding out from the rear (vehicles)? * Note: Some telemetry outputs for Pitch, Roll, and Yaw match the positional orientation of the vehicle in the sim and are not related to g-forces. This will be dependent on the sim/game. For positional telemetry for Pitch, Roll, Yaw, tuning the sliders will be based more on the range of motion capable within the platform. Every game is different in how telemetry is output for the effects/axis, thus there is no formula that can be utilized.
Increase or decrease the associated slider to tune the vehicle more to your liking. If you feel a specific g-force would likely be felt more often than another, ensure its slider is set higher. For example, if a vehicle has low power for acceleration, it's Long G Surge Accel Effects slider would be lower (under 10) so that Long G Surge Accel is generally felt only when driving straight on a flat road; where as a 800HP vehicle might have it much higher near (above 10 or closer to 20) as this would ensure you feel the surge of acceleration while in a corner, climbing a hill, or even override the traction loss feeling by surging forward when accelerating. For overall general tuning of the platform, use the following:
1) If the platform moves too much for the vehicle - reduce Power/Max Angle
2) If the platform doesn't return to move to the next g-force quickly - reduce Smoothing
2) If the platform doesn't feel responsive enough - increase Reaction Speed
4) If you want to feel more road details - increase Boost
Advanced Boost Tuning
The Boost multiplier SRS utilizes; the threshold at which it would begin; and the threshold in which it would be smoothed can be edited in the config.ini file. For example, the default boost_threshold for a DOF REALITY platform is 150 which is 15% of total movement. To boost just the small details, lower boost_threshold to 100 or even lower to 50. Change these settings only if the Boost slider in Platform settings isn't providing the desired strength of boost. The SRS config.ini can be found in the documents/simracingstudio 2.0 folder. The config.ini file can be edited in Notepad to adjust various settings in Sim Racing Studio. When making any changes to the config.ini file, SRS will need to be restarted. It’s recommended to make a backup copy prior to editing. [MOTIONBOX] boost_multiplier - How much boost to apply if the threshold is met.
boost_threshold - When SRS calculates the new platform position, if the delta is smaller than this threshold, SRS will apply a boost_multiplier. The higher this number, boost gets applied to a larger range of delta movements and could cause jerkiness on large effects.
smoothing_threshold - When SRS calculates the new platform position, if the delta is larger than this threshold, SRS will apply a smoothing formula. The lower this threshold, more frequent smoothing gets applied and could cause some small effects to disappear.