Haptic Feedback in sim racing explained

If you’re a gamer, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced haptic feedback. It’s that little buzz or rumble you feel when you do something in your favorite game that generates a physical response. But what is it, exactly? And how does it work? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at haptic feedback and explore how it’s used in sim racing.

Haptics explained

Haptics is the study of touch. This is a way to communicate without using sight or sound. Instead, Haptics uses the body’s somatosensory system to send and receive information.

However, it is important to note that there is no way for a simracer to feel everything their virtual car would be on track.

Haptic technology explained

Haptic technology, often known as kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch, is a term used to describe any device that generates a sensation of touch by applying forces, tremors, or movements to the user. For example, haptic technology may include tactile sensors that measure user forces on the interface.

Haptic technology is a way to feel something when you touch it. It can also be called, as seen above, 3D touch. So, for example, if you are playing a game and you have to press the screen hard enough for your character to jump – that could be haptic technology.

Why is it important in sim racing?

The game of racing is not as straightforward, but it still has enough similarities with reality to be enjoyable. There’s less practical information for drivers like you and me; we only have our skills at an advantage or disadvantage depending on how well-trained those muscles are in real life! The physics engine underneath all these tracks follows precisely the same rules as what happens outside them – except when forces appear because they’re communicated differently within each modeled environment (parked cars vs. unpaved roads).

In a real car, you feel what is happening. Brakes can lock up, and you will know it. You will also know when the wheels are not turning fast enough. Rotation of the car when cornering and motion at the rear is felt through your body, and sensations usually trigger the quick reflexes you need to catch an oversteer moment.

When driving in a corner, your body feels the car rotating. You also feel it when the car moves quickly at the back. This is why you need quick reflexes to catch an oversteer moment.

What hardware does a haptic system need?

Hardware drives a haptic system (The interaction of hardware and software provides motion, represented as a structure that includes actual conditions, the laws of nature, rules (or limitations), and certainties).

ACM (Actuator Control Module)

  • it is a module that controls actuators, such as the vibration motor.
  • The ACM is an input device that sends data to a device or application.

The communication module

  • A component that converts a signal format to another.

Haptic Source

  • Haptic feedback in sim racing can give you a more immersive experience, making you feel more connected to the game
  • One example of a haptic feedback system or haptic source is iRacing
  • This means that you can feel when the car brakes or when it moves quickly at the back

What is the difference between haptic feedback and vibration?

Haptic technology is different than rumble technology. It’s not information. You have to learn to interpret the signals with vibration rather than immediately recognizing them as a real-world experience. Haptic systems can lag, too, which means that you’re waiting for information that doesn’t arrive quickly enough to be able to respond. It would be like driving in a real car and waiting for feedback from the steering wheel before you turn it.

Haptic technology uses resistance to provide feedback. It’s an open-loop system since the amount of force is always the same regardless of what you do. Rumble uses a closed-loop system to provide force feedback. Resistance can quickly add up when you don’t apply the right amount of pressure, whereas closed-loop systems respond much better to different amounts of pressure.

So the haptic feedback is like how you feel on a mouse?

The haptic technology has nothing to do with how you feel on a mouse. It’s an entirely different technology, and future haptic feedback systems will provide more realistic feedback than mice. However, we’re still in the early days of haptic technology.

How do you feel about using a mouse to play games?

I think it’s terrible!

What are the key elements of haptic feedback?

Haptic technology is quickly becoming the new frontier in sim racing, with developers looking to provide unparalleled immersion through haptic effects. The most important difference between systems comes down to how promptly they convey information and the range of dynamic values that can be conveyed within games without sacrificing fidelity or accuracy and well-designed software interpretations for vehicle motions. The more input and output fidelity, the more effortless it becomes to convey important information such as tire slip and grip levels.

How is haptic feedback used in sim racing?

There are so many ways to use haptic feedback. In general, it just adds a whole new level of immersion and sees how it can make sim racing more engaging.

For example, let’s think about the steering wheel in a car. You can feel the road through the steering wheel. You get feedback when you run on dirt or lose grip, which is translated into vibrations that tell you, “Hey, you’re about to fly off the road!” And haptic feedback can also be useful for other games where you don’t have a steering wheel.

Is it worth buying an expensive system as a beginner for more immersion in sim racing?

Some people believe it is worth buying an expensive system as a beginner for more immersion in sim racing.

Others believe that it is unnecessary to buy an expensive system and that immersion can be achieved with a less expensive setup.

Both sides have valid points, but the final decision comes down to the individual.

Some people feel they need to have the best equipment to get the most out of their experience, while others are happy with a more affordable option. Having that said, starting in bandwidth from 300 USD to infinity gives you quite a choice. You might want to test a system before you make a buying decision anyways.

Where to test a sim racing “rig”?

Watch out for installations at car dealerships, an upcoming sim racing competition, or ask a friend!