Driving in F1 2010/2011 with a keyboard
5th January 2012, 11:02 at 11:02 am #130694
Im very curious as to how other keyboard gamers deal with their “limitation of using a keyboard. Obviously you can’t be as precise – in terms of how much you turn the wheel, how you modulate the two pedals, etc. for this reason alone you’d be limited to full TC and ABS already.
I’m curious. How do you folks “drive?” how do you tackle hairpins, slow corners, sweepers, and also chicanes?6th January 2012, 15:34 at 3:34 pm #188365
I used a pad for racing games on the PC. Keyboards only work for FPS and MMO’s really. You can usually pick up a cheapy pad for around a fiver or get an official wired microsoft pad (same as xbox pad) for £15+. Alternatively there are a fair few wheels out there that can be used on PC and these arent too expensive most of the time.7th January 2012, 13:40 at 1:40 pm #188366
In my previous PC F1 games when using a keyboard there is steering assist. Without Steering assist it would be almost impossible to convert a digital input into an analogue instruction.7th January 2012, 14:07 at 2:07 pm #188367
I honestly cannot understand why people put up with playing racing games with a keyboard. It’s like trying to play a FPS with a steering wheel. If you can afford $50 for a game, surely you can afford an analogue device of some kind?8th January 2012, 16:52 at 4:52 pm #188368
I drive using the keyboard and never found a problem. Sure, it’s less precise and when you have to tackle a medium-speed corner you can’t hold the key down – you have to tap it continuously – but I’ve always been able to drive well and with the same result as people that use steering wheels. Also, it saves me time as I don’t need to set up additional hardware.9th January 2012, 3:26 at 3:26 am #188369
@fixy – On most PC based racing games when you choose the keyboard setting the software knows some level of steering and throttle assist is required. I would presume the software developer is modelling key stroke behaviour to that of an analogue wheel and the throttle will require stability/traction control – so it might seem that you’re driving as well as guys with wheels as I don’t think the guys with wheels would be afforded the same level of artifical assistance – so one could argue that it would be easier to drive via the keyboard than a wheel – though, please don’t think I’m belittling your ability. I used to place racing games with a keyboard (only because I was a student and couldn’t afford the hardware) and too did quite well, but the difference came when I started using an analogue joystick – they definitely gave you more control but at the same time it was harder than the keyboard as it was easier to lose the backend on throttle, so it required more acute inputs. Then along came the wheel/pedals – which was definitely easier than the joystick and a lot more fun too!
It would be interesting to see how keyboards are calibrated in some of these games too. For example, 1 key stroke equals X degree of turn, and when holding a key down it would need to consider the half second (or so) pause before the key stroke is repeated. Also, it will need to calibrate the amount of speed the steering angle should take to get back to 0 degrees upon releasing the key stroke.9th January 2012, 11:43 at 11:43 am #188370
I just don’t think I’d bother playing a racing game with a keyboard, I wouldn’t even play one with a d-pad these days. In a game like F1 2011 where I strive for the absolute best lap times I’d hate to rely on assists and approximated steering adjustments.9th January 2012, 14:02 at 2:02 pm #188371
@vho you make fair points, and I’m sure my driving would be different if I used a wheel. At the moment I don’t feel the need to buy one, as I use my PC in various places and bringing it with me would not always be easy; also, I don’t play for so long.
I think I’ve got used to using the keyboard and my reaction time is quite good so I can most times control the car. I started playing racing games when I was little, and now I’m 16, and I’ve always played with the keyboard. The assists I use in F1 2011 are traction control and ABS, as well as automatic gears. I, especially in F1C, played sometimes without these aids and I controlled the car but I was definitely slower than usual, and I’m not used to driving without them so when I do I’m really bad at it.10th January 2012, 3:24 at 3:24 am #188372
How exactly do you drive with a keyboard without TCS and ABS? I don’t get that. You’d be all over the place, and killing your tyres. Having said that F1C’s tyre model does leave quite a bit to be desired11th January 2012, 12:18 at 12:18 pm #188373
Alianora La CantaParticipant
I prefer playing racing games with a keyboard than with a steering wheel or gamepad. No amount of driver aids seems to make up for the lost precision from using other devices for the job – though being a rapid typist and only occaisonally using (basic) gaming peripherals may have something to do with that.
As for driving without TCS and ABS, the keys are precision and remembering the correct technique. If the keyboard has a slower response time than the wheel or gamepad, you have to stop pressing each key a little earlier. Keyboards don’t have subtlety, so you have to “warn” the car before doing anything really complicated by briefly blipping in the direction you’re about to introduce.
(I don’t have F1 2010 or 2011, but in GP3 I use the steering assist only, which the game forces on anyone using a keyboard).11th January 2012, 12:42 at 12:42 pm #188374
@alianora-la-canta no no; my point is that if you are to drive without TCS or ABS; you’d be either full on; or full off both the brakes or throttle. Blipping would just kill your rear tyres as you’re constantly regaining and breaking traction.11th January 2012, 20:04 at 8:04 pm #188375
@raymondu999 yes, when I try to play without TCS I am either on full throttle or brakes. In a high-speed corner, I can accellerate while turning and the car doesn’t spin, but in a low-speed turn, also at the exit of a hairpin, I first align myself with the straight and then go at throttle up.
Having never tried with a wheel I don’t know how you handle that.18th January 2012, 6:51 at 6:51 am #188376
It’s all up to the coding in the game how is deals with keyboards. Basically it’s the algorithm that is used to determine the conversion from a digital signal (like hitting a key on the keyboard) to an analogue one (like turning the wheel to a certain degree or an increment on the throttle percentage). The increments follow the pattern in which your PC is configured to repeated key strokes and single key strokes. Possibly, if you change the settings in Windows (or Mac) to prolong repeat of the keystroke then it is likely that it would impact your steering response or throttle response.18th January 2012, 16:22 at 4:22 pm #188377
@vho yep. I used to play F1 CHallenge which was quite keyboard friendly – I could even adjust the “rate” at which throttle/brakes were applied; and steering input.
@fixy – while that wouldn’t rotate the car; doesn’t change the fact that you’ll be spinning the rears on the exit.
My biggest gripe is that I’m a trail braker when I’m on the racetrack; and I try to drive as such; but that’s not really possible with a keyboard; as the keyboard just seems to think I’m on 100% brakes all the time.
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