Forza Motorsport Best Controller Settings Guide

Here, I run through the best controller settings for Forza Motorsport on Xbox and PC. These settings are designed to give you better control over your car and make Forza feel more realistic.

Forza Motorsport Controller Settings Thumbnail Web

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Forza Motorsport is a racing game which can be enjoyed by those using a controller or racing wheel. The game feels great using both of these control methods, and the vast majority of players will probably experience Forza with a controller.

There are some key settings that you can change to improve the feel of your car in Forza Motorsport while using a controller. In this guide, I’ll run through the best controller settings for Forza Motorsport.

If you do fancy racing Forza with a racing wheel, check out our recommended racing wheels for Forza Motorsport. This guide includes the best racing wheels on Xbox and PC as well as looking at budget and high-end wheels.

Watch our best Forza Motorsport controller settings video

Below is a complete video showing our recommended controller settings along with detailed explanations on what each setting does. If you’d rather quickly view the best controller settings, scroll down to continue reading.


Why change the controller settings in Forza Motorsport?

Leaving your controller settings at default lets you race Forza as the developers intended, and this produces an experience which is fine. However, optimising your controller settings allows you to fine-tune different settings to give you a more comfortable experience.

Adjusting your button mapping can make certain tasks such as shifting gears manually with the clutch enabled that much easier. Then adjusting your advanced controller settings which include your deadzones can remove any unwanted effects such as your car drifting to one side. And you can even make your inputs feel much more responsive and accurate.

I’d always recommend heading out on track in Forza Motorsport before changing any controller settings. This will give you a feel for how the driving feels at its default settings. From there, you can identify areas that aren’t optimised or any issues you may be having.

Then, I’d recommend using the settings below to see how much of a difference they make. You can then adjust your final settings based on what you’re feeling and your own personal preference.

At the end of the day, neither the default controller settings nor my recommended settings will be perfect for everyone. Everybody has their own preference and should adjust their settings to give you the perfect experience. The settings I’m going to recommend are a much better baseline than the default settings.


Main controller options

The main controller options allow you to change certain settings such as your button configuration. You can opt for one of the preset controller layouts, or customise your own.

Main controller settings

You can scroll down this list of inputs and adjust any of the button configurations as required. One of the key things I would recommend changing would be to swap your handbrake and clutch buttons.

Mapping your clutch button to the “A” button, downshift to “X” and upshift to “B” is my own preference. This lets me easily lean across the clutch button whilst pressing either the downshift or upshift button. And this results in almost perfect manual shifts with a clutch every time.


Advanced controller options

The advanced controller options give you much more control over individual areas of how your controller behaves. You can adjust every part of your controller input to change how triggers and certain inputs behave without affecting other areas of your settings.

Every input including your steering, acceleration and deceleration etc all have an inside and outside deadzone setting. These deadzones can be used to combat any input being accidentally applied while resting your finger on a trigger. Or they can be used to make an input more or less sensitive.

Advanced controller settings

Forza Motorsport deadzone explained

The deadzone for any input has both an inside and outside value which can be changed independently. Think of this as a scale from 0 to 100. The minimum value represents how much input you need to apply to a trigger before anything is registered in game. The maximum value sets the maximum amount of input required to reach full in-game input.

Inside deadzone

Leaving your inside deadzone at 0 means that any slight touch of your trigger will register an input. This is ideal for making your triggers responsive. However, if you rest a finger on a trigger, the weight of your finger may register a small amount of input.

To combat this, you can raise the inside deadzone to around 5-10. This will eliminate any input from the first 5-10% of trigger movement. This is normally recommended especially on the steering axis as increasing the inside deadzone can remove any tendency for your controller and car to pull to one side when travelling straight.

Outside deadzone

The outside deadzone is an indicator for the maximum amount of input required to reach full throttle, full braking force or full steering lock. This also applies to the clutch and handbrake as well.

Reducing this away from 100 down to say 90, will mean that your triggers become more responsive. Once you hit 90% of pressure applied to your trigger, in-game, you will be registering 100% input. Lowering the outside deadzone even more can further increase the overall responsiveness of any input.


Recommended advanced controller settings

Below are my recommended advanced controller settings for Forza Motorsport. These are designed to make the controller feel as responsive as possible whilst eliminating any unwanted inputs.

Steering
  • Steering axis deadzone inside: 5
  • Steering axis deadzone outside: 95

For the steering deadzone settings, I typically set the inside value to around 4 or 5. This will combat any unwanted drifting to one side or the other. When driving straight you don’t want to have to be correcting your cars path, so bumping this up to 3, 4 or 5 will eliminate that.

I then set the outside steering deadzone to around 95. This means I can reach the full steering lock a little quicker and easier.

Also, if you have a tendency to push your analogue stick slightly up or down while applying full directional input, it won’t necessarily register 100% input. So lowering this setting to about 90 or 95 will ensure you are always reaching full steering lock, even if your directional input is ever so slightly off.

Acceleration
  • Acceleration axis deadzone inside: 0
  • Acceleration axis deadzone outside: 98

For the acceleration settings, I generally leave the inside deadzone to 0. This means that as soon as I touch the throttle trigger, I’ll start applying the throttle in-game. This helps get the power down quickly and easily, and it also keeps the widest throttle range.

You can increase the inside deadzone if you don’t want your throttle to feel as sensitive. But what this does do is it narrows the window between minimum and maximum values. This will make the throttle a touch harder to control as you’re modulating pressure, especially if you’re racing without traction control enabled.

For the outside deadzone, I want it close to 100% to keep the input range as wide as possible. I do lower it to around 98% just to ensure that I am always applying full throttle.

If you have a sticky trigger, if you don’t press it to 100% consistently, you may actually not be accelerating as much as you can in-game. So lowering the outside deadzone just ensures we’re always hitting 100% throttle input.

Deceleration
  • Deceleration axis deadzone inside: 2
  • Deceleration axis deadzone outside: 98

For the deceleration, the main thing with this setting is to ensure you’re not accidentally applying any braking input when you don’t want to. I increase the inside deadzone a couple of points to ensure that the weight of my finger isn’t accidentally applying any brake input.

I then lower the braking deadzone to around 98% for the same reason as my throttle deadzone. Simply to ensure that I am always applying 100% brake input when I fully press the trigger, and I’m not leaving any braking performance on the table.

Again, the same as the throttle input, you’ll want the range between the inside and outside deadzone to be as large as possible. This will allow for maximum control while modulating your brake pressure if you race with ABS off.

Clutch and handbrake
  • Clutch axis deadzone inside: 0
  • Clutch axis deadzone outside: 100
  • Handbrake axis deadzone inside: 0
  • Handbrake axis deadzone outside: 100

Both the clutch and handbrake settings are very easy to set up. Simply leave them at 0 and 100 for inside and outside deadzone. Both of these inputs are button presses, so there is no modulation between 0 and 100. They are either engaged when the button is pressed, or not engaged when you’re not pressing the button.

Unless you’re racing with a wheel and pedal set that uses a physical handbrake or clutch, I’d recommend leaving these at default.

Vibration
  • Vibration scale: 60

Finally, the vibration setting adjusts the intensity of the controller vibration. Increasing this will make the vibration and rumble that you feel in your controller more pronounced. But if you crank this right up to 100% it can become more distracting rather than helpful.

I tend to leave my vibration setting at around 60%. This provides enough vibration feedback to be helpful, such as when you’re tyres are pushing the limits of grip. But it isn’t so intense that the vibrations are overwhelming.

This can be set more based on personal preference, but I’d always recommend keeping it at or above 50%. This ensures you can feel some of the helpful vibration feedback available.

Steering self align
  • Steering self align: 100

I generally leave my steering self align at 100%. This will automatically correct your steering input if you aren’t applying any input with the analogue stick to ensure your car points in the right direction.

Overview

Those are the only settings you need to worry about when racing with a controller. There are more settings which affect racing wheels, but I’ll touch on them in a different guide.

Let me know in the comments below what Forza Motorsport controller settings you’re using. And also how are you finding the game so far?


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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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