How to Connect a Steering Wheel to a Computer
Hello everyone! This time I would like to talk with you about such a wonderful thing as a game steering wheel. Modern car simulators allow you to participate in races without risking your life, developing amazing speed that is not available on real roads. I think many will agree with me that controlling a virtual car from the keyboard is not very convenient, which cannot be said about the steering wheel, so this article will focus on such a topic as connecting the steering wheel to a computer with windows 7.
Indeed, first of all, this applies to the operating system windows, because it is used by most players around the world as a gaming platform. About how to connect the steering wheel to game consoles will be described in a separate article. Some still consider the gamepad as an alternative to racing, certainly it is better than the keyboard, but still inferior to the steering wheel in terms of realism, especially if there is a set of pedals and a manual gearbox besides the steering wheel.
How to quickly connect a steering wheel with pedals to a computer
Before connecting the steering wheel to the computer, you need to assemble it (it’s not about the computer), because it comes out of the box in parts. Separately the electric steering wheel itself, separately the pedal assembly and possibly the gearbox itself, although most often the gearbox and steering wheel are combined in a single case. So, for example, the pedal assembly is connected to the steering mechanism via a special connector, and all together is connected to the computer system unit via regular USB. Accordingly, the panel of the system unit must have at least one free usb port.
Well, then a matter of technology, as they say. Just plug the power supply into the power outlet and a notification should appear on the screen that windows has found new equipment. If something like “hardware is not recognized” is highlighted, then you will have to install the drivers, but more on that below. The secret to a “quick” connection to a computer is that you don’t have to use a software disc that comes with the steering wheel. What are the disadvantages of this method? In some games this device may not work correctly or may not work at all.
A typical example is the mismatch of the initial positions of the steering wheel, when it is in the game (drawn) in the center, but in reality it is turned at some angle. Or, another problem, when in some simulator about a rally (where the steering wheel in the cockpit, in principle, rotates only half a turn in each direction), your “physical” steering wheel makes several revolutions in each direction. That is, on the screen he has already “rested” against the limiter, and you still twist it.
Here, in order to avoid such problems, it is necessary to install additional software. For example, for Logitech rudders, the Logitech Profiler application is freely available, which allows you to configure the maximum number of revolutions of the steering wheel, “feedback” (turning force) and many other settings, including manually setting certain buttons for specific actions in games. And this same application allows games to correctly identify the device and use all its capabilities.
Connecting a steering wheel to a laptop
A rather rare situation, for the simple reason that few people have gaming laptops that can “pull” modern racing car simulators on an acceptable schedule. But, it should be noted that in addition to modern games, over the past years a lot of races have come out on the PC that support steering, while not requiring large power from your PC. Such games can easily run even on a laptop. From the examples I recall immediately: “richard burns rally”, “Dirt 2”, “toca race driver 3”, “GTR 2”.
And also, in laptops it is often difficult to find a free USB port, simply because they are all corny busy. So, be prepared for the fact that you have to disconnect some device, whether it’s a flash drive or a mouse, to release the connector. But this is still half the trouble, most likely you will have to raise the laptop slightly above the table level so that the steering wheel does not close the review when playing, because the diagonal of the screen is already not big. Another thing is if you connect the laptop to a large monitor or TV using an HDMI cable, for example.
Otherwise, everything is the same as when connected to a regular (stationary) PC. Accordingly, the possible problems are the same.
One of the most common problems is that the system does not recognize the device. In this case, it is necessary to install the driver and software that are contained on the CD-ROM supplied with the steering wheel. If it happened that there is no disk in the kit, or you lost it (and it happens), you can download the driver on the manufacturer’s website. Usually, after this, the device should immediately be determined by the system, but you can do this manually by opening “Start”. “Devices and Printers”, if it comes to Windows 7.
A list of all available devices will open, if the steering wheel is not there, then you must click the “Add Device” button and follow the on-screen instructions.
Now let’s move on to the “calibration”, remember I said that the position of the steering wheel in the game and in reality may not coincide? So, in order to eliminate this unpleasant phenomenon, it is necessary to go through the calibration procedure. It can be launched both from a special application (additional software included), such as Logitech Profiler, and from the system itself. You can also calibrate the pedals (pressing force, linearity of stroke), if any.
To start, press the key combination “WinR” and in the search bar write “joy.Cpl” (without quotes), in the window that opens, select the steering wheel and click “Properties”. Specifically for a Logitech Driving Force GT, you need to press the upper side keys one at a time to successfully calibrate. Immediately, you can set the maximum angle of rotation by clicking on the Settings button.
Car simulations allow you to participate in races without risking your life, developing crazy speed and leaving behind unsuccessful rivals. However, using the keyboard to control the car is not so interesting; another thing is steering. Here the realism of control is already going wild.
But before you start driving through city streets and rough terrain, forcing opponents to swallow dust, you need to figure out how to connect the steering wheel to a computer.
If you play the latest generation of simulators, it is better to immediately select the controller models more powerful and more functional. For example, Logitech Driving Force GT. It is compatible with PC, PS2 and PS3. So you can connect your PS3 to your computer and enjoy your favorite game on the big screen.
But first you have to build a game controller. Its completeness depends on the model: it can just be a steering wheel; steering wheel and pedals; steering wheel, pedals and gearbox. The process of installing the steering wheel should not cause difficulties for the average user. If you connected the gamepad to a computer, then you can handle a different type of game controller.
The latest models use USB 3.0 technology, however you can install them in USB 2.0 ports (backward compatibility is supported).
After connecting, you will see a notification that Windows has detected a new device. You will be prompted to insert a driver disk and install the necessary software for the equipment to work correctly. Follow these guidelines.
If you do not have a software disc, download the drivers from the official website of the manufacturer of the game controller. The main thing here is to correctly specify the device model in order to download the appropriate drivers.
After connecting the game controller, you need to configure it. This is done directly in the car simulator: in the “Settings” menu there should be a special section devoted to regulating the parameters of the connected controller.
In the game settings, you will most likely have to indicate the purpose of the buttons and pedals. During the operation of the controller, you will quickly figure out how to better configure it for yourself, so there’s no point in advising anything.
As there, in the famous newsreel “I want to know everything”. “The nut of knowledge is hard, but still.” and so on. Yes, you can also remember the once-very good magazine “Knowledge. Strength” that was published. No, that’s right, that’s right, knowledge is a big thing. But sometimes they can only do much harm. Suddenly you start to philosophize, you don’t know what to fear, seeing the same steering wheel or pedal in front of you, although in fact everything is elementary simple. You just do not need to take what is superfluous in your head.
You see, that “knowledgeable scientist with experience” drove around with the wheel for an hour. And this boy, without a year a week on his computer, solves the problem of how to connect the steering wheel with pedals to a computer in literally 10 minutes. So he has blue eyes open at 100, a smile from ear to ear, he is not afraid of anything and almost spilled coffee on his brand new pedals, and his hands are shaking from one kind of boxes and the view is, well, very scary.
In other words, what do we want to say? Yes, the fact that to connect the steering wheel to a computer requires the joy of life, approximately the joy for which these devices themselves are intended.
The principle is the same, no more complicated than a flash drive
Well, for those who are used to living, “like in the hierarchal order,” let’s say. Installing and adjusting the steering wheel and pedals is practically no different from installing any other equipment, the same printer or scanner.
So, we begin, and this saving USB port helps us, as always. First, we connect the cables and connectors. Here, take a closer look, and we advise you not to neglect the schemes, which are replete with the installation instructions included with the device. Schemes and help you quickly decide how to connect a game steering wheel.
We connect the steering wheel and pedals to each other. There are different designs: the steering wheel to the pedal and further to the laptop, the pedal to the steering wheel, this does not matter at all. The main thing is that when we plug the cable into the USB port of the laptop, the devices will automatically be recognized. Ideally, the whole process will immediately end within 20-30 seconds, you will only have to be surprised at such simplicity in the lower right corner of the screen to read the caressing phrase: “The device is installed and ready to work.”
And yet we will not offend the wheel, this is not a flash drive
But frankly, the steering wheel and pedals are still not a flash drive, things may not even reach such elementary detail. Over, most likely, the phrase will be different, something like “The device is not ready” or “The device is not recognized”.
It’s okay, this is the normal course of things. So, the system did not recognize your racing accessories, has no drivers for them and offers to install them yourself.
To do this, insert the wheel with the steering wheel and pedal software into the CD-ROM drive, this disk is included in the delivery package. The hardware installer from the disk starts automatically. We install all the drivers and programs, possibly restart the computer.
Steering wheel and pedal software CD
Further, you are not going to use the pedals and steering wheel for racing through the files of the system, not in My Computer to use this equipment a la Senna.
Therefore, to test the installation, you need to start some game and try to steer the steering wheel, not forgetting to brake and accelerate by pedals.
Well, if for now there is no favorite race on the PC.
Then you can check the installation results with the system.
We go to the “Control Panel” of the “Start” and select “Hardware and Sound.”
In the window that opens, we need to “View devices and printers”. Here we will see all connected devices, including our steering wheel.
“View devices and printers”
If there is no steering wheel yet, we add it through the “Add” button (it needs to be searched on the screen, it all depends on the version of the system and the window presentation style).
Adding a New Device
The system itself will try to find new devices and offer everything in a single list. Select the steering wheel in it and click “Next”. The device will install. Most likely, the system will install the driver from its library (repository) of drivers, which was filled from the CD.
But the steering wheel is not enough to install. When you start the game, it will not work with the steering wheel or the pedals. Yes, you just need to teach the game itself to respond to all turns of the steering wheel and pedals. But this is a completely different song, it depends on how the developers of the program got up from their feet, here we usually go to “Game Settings” and carefully look at the screen, in this hobby without spilling coffee on the keyboard.
We connect and the command line
Calibration of the steering wheel can be done with simpler means:
- We get to work with the command line “Start / Accessories / Run.”
- We type and run joy.Cpl.
In window 3 we are given all the working devices
There is another way:
- We are now in the “Start / Control Panel / Hardware and Sound”.
- Go to the section of gaming devices.
- We select the necessary one and again through the context menu. “Properties”.
- The “Settings” window opens, and in it the “Calibrate” button.
You don’t need to be seven spans in your forehead to understand that steering and pedal tuning is a delicate matter (well, motorists from Lamborghini know this), so you need to be careful and patient at this stage.
Well, then we rush into this vast sea of games where the steering wheel and pedals are real kings, or rather, they will make you your kings: AutoClub Revolution, DriverParallelLines, TestDriveUnlimited, Richard Burns Rally, Live For Speed.
Among the above is not your favorite. Well, excuse me, did not know! And what can one know in this whirl of collections of tracks and models that appear almost every day as new as mushrooms after rain.