I don’t always comment on news happening outside of the actual game titles I play. But this latest bit of news will be interesting to follow. Basically Logitech has acquired Saitek/Mad Catz. Personally, I think this is fantastic news. I’ve long been a fan of Logitech. Their quality is far superior to that of Saitek. I own/owned many Logitech products and have also purchased several Saitek items. The Logitech hardware is still running while some older Saitek pieces have long been thrown away.
It is uncertain what will happen with the Saitek Farming Simulator wheel, pedals and side panel controller which Saitek and Giants teamed up to develop. I’ve heard rumors of these controllers being in short supply and Amazon retailers telling customers they didn’t know when they would get new stock. For the record, I didn’t purchase the Farming Simulator Saitek controller. I really had no need for this as I already had the Logitech G27 and a Logitech joystick. But….But…I’ve thought more than once about purchasing the side panel.
I’ve been searching for a way to enable BOTH my Logitech G27 wheel/pedal/shifter unit AND my Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick in Farming Simulator 15. I’ve worn Google out and have read through many forums. I’ve also watched several YouTube videos. Unfortunately, much of the information available is either in a non-English language or more geared towards FS13. Some videos and forum threads discuss the need to edit the inputBinding.xml file and some even mention the need to install 3rd party software. I’ve also read through so many comments from fellow FS15 enthusiasts who are so frustrated and fed up, that they just gave up on trying to get it all to work.
Let’s face it. Giants SHOULD have done a better job implementing wheel support in FS15. Simply put…I believe they dropped the ball. If you are going to develop a driving based game and call it a simulator…YOU NEED TO OFFER WHEEL SUPPORT. Yes, FS15 can be controlled via the keyboard or a simple XBox type controller. Some folks are 100% happy with this setup. However, if you want to take this game to the max and truly push the limits…(and feel good about calling it a simulator) then offer better wheel support like is offered in Euro Truck Simulator 2 or American Truck Simulator.
Now that we’ve got that all out of the way, I absolutely love Farming Simulator 15. While I play a variety of simulation based games like the previously mentioned ATS/ETS2…I also enjoy Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, Train Simulator 16 and Flight Simulation (P3D). At the present time I would have to say that Farming Simulator 15 is my favorite. I believe it is my favorite because there is so much variety in the game play. FS15 allows us to operate tractors, combines, front loaders, bale hay, manage livestock and of course chop trees down in forestry.
The operation of most vehicles in FS15 is pretty straight forward with the G27. Press the gas pedal and the vehicle goes forward, turn the steering wheel and it turns. However, the operation of other functions not so much. For example, if you are operating the telehandler or the wheel loader…the operation of the front bucket is a little clumsy with the mouse. Actually it can be downright frustrating. Considering one spends good money on the G27, the need to use the mouse or keyboard to operate the front bucket really blows away the immersion you are attempting to achieve.
Most know the forestry aspect of Farming Simulator 15 is a very good way to generate a lot of money when first starting out on a new map. But operating the crane to pickup logs to load the trailer with the mouse or keyboard is just as frustrating as I previously described. Perhaps more so.
In the real world, these equipment functions are managed by pulling a lever or two and in some cases using a joystick (or two). I purchase the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick over a year ago in an effort to use it for handling the functions of operating the front bucket or grabbing logs. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get it to work alongside my G27…..UNTIL NOW!!!
As I mentioned at the top of this piece, I’ve searched, I’ve watched and I’ve read in an effort to make this work. I’ve started threads on many of the popular FS15 forums asking for assistance…and basically heard nothing but crickets. So in an effort to assist others who may find themselves in my situation…I’ve decided to document what I did to get both my Logitech G27 and Extreme 3D Pro Joystick to work in Farming Simulator 15.
The video below is just a little over 12 minutes long. In this span of time I demonstrate what I did to get my hardware working. During this video I setup the basic assignments for the wheel, pedals and joystick. Both the G27 and the joystick unit offer many buttons which can be programmed in the same manner I demonstrate in the video. You just need to decide what you want programmed.
The invention of the wheel (circa 3500 BC) was an incredible turning point in the history of civilization. The edition of the Logitech G27 setup has also been just as incredible with regards to my game play with Euro Truck Simulator 2. As I had previously mentioned in this blog post, I recently ordered the Logitech G27 steering wheel and TrackIR both arrived from Amazon and I wasted no time in getting the G27 setup. As I had used the Logitech Xbox type controller (F310) for several weeks accumulating over 30,000 km driven, 35 deliveries, over 35 real hours playing the game spanning some 59 virtual game days….I wanted to first get used to the G27 controls before I installed and started using the TrackIR.
The unboxing, install/setup of the G27 was quick and easy. If you don’t already own a Logitech device, you’ll want to make sure you install the Logitech software available here. I also found this YouTube video to be extremely helpful and saved time in getting everything setup and working as intended. The G27 requires one USB connection to your gaming PC and requires a connection to AC power (via the supplied AC power adapter). The accelerator/brake/clutch along with the gear shift console all plug into the base of the wheel. Once you get all the cables connected, the wheel and gear shifter consoles then clamp down to the desk surface. The setup in ETS2 couldn’t be easier. Refer to the YouTube video I mentioned earlier.
While I certainly enjoy the extra immersion factor this setup provides, the main benefit I’ve found is much smoother drive/steering control than what I had experienced on the Logitech Xbox type controller I had been using. With the Logitech F310 controller, I would steer with my left thumb but found the act of turning was not natural in look and feel and very choppy. With the G27, the action of turning is smooth and the same experience as in driving any vehicle (car, truck etc.).
The great thing about the G27 are all the programmable buttons. I’m using the right/left paddle shifters to control right/left turn signals and have programmed the smaller buttons on the steering wheel to handle cruise control functions. Finally I’ve setup the many buttons on the gear shift device to handle other frequently used options such as headlights, wipers etc.
I’m also enjoying the manual shifting options this setup allows. Again the immersion factor this setup provides to the simulation is fantastic. As I’ve previously held a class A CDL (commercial drivers license) and have driven large trucks, I can say that while the G27 shifting setup is not that of a large diesel truck…it is the best setup for the price. Of course, you can also setup ETS2 for automatic transmission driving.
Again, I plan to spend a little more time with the G27 setup before I introduce my new TrackIR. I’m also looking forward to configuring the G27 with Farming Simulator 2015 as well.
If you have been thinking about adding a steering wheel controller to your ETS2 game play, the Logitech G27 is a great choice and I believe you’ll enjoy it.
I recently pulled the trigger on a new Logitech G27 racing wheel and TrackIR setup to enhance my all-around game play. While I realize only a few days ago I blogged about and discussed the possibility of ordering the new Saitek Farming Simulator Hardware, I thought about it….I thought about it some more and in the mean time I also started to really enjoy Euro Truck Simulator 2 (and am looking forward to the release of American Truck Simulator) so I believe my best interest is served in going with the Logitech G27 which can be used for multiple game titles. The Saitek Farming Sim hardware only will function with Farming Simulator.
In addition to the G27 steering wheel setup, I also purchased a TrackIR. To be honest I’ve never really felt the need to purchase the TrackIR head tracking hardware. While I’ve played FSX/P3D extensively over the years, I could always get by using they top-hat button on my yoke to move my camera view around the virtual cockpit. I figured that was good enough. However, as I spend more time playing ETS2 and look forward to ATS, I figure it is time I give the TrackIR a try.
Both the Logitech G27 and TrackIR will arrive sometime tomorrow. I will most likely get the G27 setup first and see how that goes. Once I get it configured to work with ETS2 and Farming Simulator 2015, I’ll proceed to setting up the TrackIR for ETS2. While there is a mod available which allows for TrackIR to function with Farming Simulator 2015, I am not sure I’ll even try it. While I have no issue driving a truck in ETS2 from inside the cab (first person view) I can’t for the life of me do it in FS2015. I blame it on the poor mirror setup in FS2015. They really need to work on that.
Anyway…I’ll be sure to return to my blog site and tell you all about my experiences (good/bad and in-between) with my new toys.