Force feedback support

Excuse me for lazy question - is there freeware tool for FFB support? If not, how soon MS going to implement it, by average opinion? Question from FS 3rd party dev.

I am only aware of XPForce which is not freeware.

As for how soon, potentially never, that is the point of voting for this thread, to make them aware of the need.

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I use this: https://directinputmanager.com/airforceplayer/ : at the moment, this is free of charge. Just remember to start it AFTER FS2k has loaded, otherwise it may not work.

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So far I have tried 3 FFB add-ons with my Sidewinder FFB 2: XPForce (payware), FS Playground (payware) and Airforce player. They all have a few pros and cons.

  • FS Playground: Is mainly a replay tool (which I don’t use) with FFB thrown in as a bonus. The FFB part doesn’t have a lot of features (like effects for bumpy/grass runway, touchdown, gear up/down, saving configs per aircraft, etc.), but the flying part is well done. Costs around 20 EUR.
  • Airforce Player: Has more effects, but the feeling in flight is not great and it always centers the stick regardless of situation. It’s free though.
  • XPForce: Has the most options and effects and flies nicely, almost as well as FS Playground. A big con: the program has to be started prior to MSFS, which is annoying when it loses connection to the sim midflight (doesn’t happen that often, but it’s a pain when it does). Costs around 12 EUR.

So far I use XPForce the most. I really hope FS Playground expands their FFB options, because it flies really well. I just want to feel other forces as well, as my joystick is the only way I’m going to feel anything.

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Even the game providing more support to these external apps would be a vast improvement on the present situation.

In FSX FFB was a standard option. It wasn’t good no question about it, but MSFS 2020 is next generation sim. We have to have FFB by default.
FFB is a complex simulation of many components that have to be taken into account. Asobo should be responsible for that part of the simulation.
Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing an option for a 3, 4, 6 DOF platform, out of the box.

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Yes, there must be an BIG demand for 6 DOF support, and all those that do not need it will be delighted to see the base price of the sim rise, to cover that development for “the few”.

Now your being silly, the game sold over a million copies in its first 3 months. Money is not really an issue with MSFS.

If anything the issue is they seem to rely on a lowest common denominator popularity voting system combined with advice from marketing wunder kids to decide priorities rather than talking to programmers and engineers.

Either way if people want FFB they should vote for this thread because what the masses vote for is what gets attention. Even basic steering wheels for car racing support FFB now.

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Its ALL about the Money: the almighty dollar, and satisfying the share holders.

There might be more Force Feedback support, if Force Feedback controllers (for Flight sim), were not so scarce / expensive. - Thank you Patent Trolls !!

@N6722C Just my 2 cents:

  1. FFB support code was already implemented in the FSX code.
  2. FFB in FSX was using per-aircraft tuning parameters saved in the aircraft cfg files.
  3. The same tuning parameters are still present in the FS2020 aircraft cfg files.
  4. FS2020 code is not using the FFB FSX code anymore (either removed or disabled)
  5. adding FFB support is not a lot of code because it is mostly handled via a few Windows API calls.

Supporting FFB is a matter of API first and foremost, and this API is in DirectInput. It is a Windows API no longer available on Xbox. You can search this discussion for my posts for the technical details.

update: my post here:
Force feedback support - Self-Service / Wishlist - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

So, because DirectInput API is no longer support in X-BOX, “EVERYONE” using MSFS is deprived of sim FFB support.

I am really beginning to “HATE” X-Box !!! (even more, every day !! )

Also, if you do choose to get an X-BOX to run MSFS on, looks like you will not even be able to use any FFB addons/mods with that X-BOX. ?

Have to wonder, how many people, considering an X-BOX as a “Simple” solution to a Gaming Machine, realize the LIMITATIONS, before they actually have purchased it, and find out the hard way.

Its sound like a similar experience buying MSFS addon content on the MS Store. !!

You may well not know what you are getting, till you have committed to and purchased it, and then there is no going back .(refund) . you are stuck with it.

Not so much a case of “Bait and Switch”, but similar – “Bait and CAUGHT

Maybe they’ll use DirectInput for FFB on the PC version only, otherwise I believe this is one way to see this.

However there are other equally valid ways to see this too:

About the Xbox version, their goal is to make it virtually indistinguishable from the PC version, and right now it looks good but more work is needed. Jörg specifically talked about native controller support, but some companies are already announcing Xbox peripherals specifically for flight simulation and they are very excited about that. In the end he expects that the experience for the hardcore simmer will be very similar to that of the PC version.

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/597920-jörg-neumann-regarding-reception-data-xbox-and-add-ons/


Unrelated to the topic, but to your remarks, they certainly know better what and what not implementing in the game after all, and it is not just about customer wishes or bugs reports:

Discussion: March 25th, 2021 Development Update - #331 by Jummivana

There are quite a few things blamed on Xbox including the fact that marketplace aircraft are de-miled with no weapons or gunsights (the direct purchased G91 drops bombs for example) but most of these theories are probably just unfounded conspiracies.

The official comments on FFB seem to be more to do with priorities and a perceived lack of need (which is why this thread and voting for it is important) .

I am thinking "Since there are so few Aviation Force Feedback Joysticks or Yokes still around, and potential new ones are “Patten Trolled” out of manufacture, or very high end expensive items, the perceived numbers needing Force Feedback support is so low, it is not financially viable to develop and is not needed, just for such a small market.

You could be sure if Microsoft was still manufacturing an Aviation Force Feedback control, MSFS would support it (and it’s sales)

And I’m pretty sure people having purchased the SW FFB2 are still using it for many years.

At least, mine is already 20 years old and still like brand new.

By all accounts Microsoft stopped making the FFB2 due to a patent dispute. But there are still customers using them, even today a 2nd hand FFB2 gives far better control for civilian sims then a shorty notchy fast action combat focussed joystick ( most of the reasonable priced ones on the market are short throw combat sticks).

As far as the patent issues go, there are clearly ways around it as FFB racing wheels for car sims are everywhere and are quite reasonable prices and a racing steering wheel is just a yoke without an elevator axis.

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I an lucky to have two.
One I am using all the time – the other I am in the process of Modding the electronics.

It difficult to justify changing to anything else that is not FFB, no matter how fancy some of these new non FFB yokes may be.

I also have an older Thrustmaster “top Gun” FFB stick + throttle.
Works fine on FSX, and on W10, but when I try it with MSFS, as soon as MSFS goes to get the USB Joystick, its a guaranteed CTD.

Most Frustrating - cannot figure out why – even considered buying a 2nd one off Ebay & sending it to Asobo, but I doubt that would do any good … Its an Obsolete Joystick …

Can we please stop perpetuating this patent troll myth. Microsoft and Sony were taken to court over rumble effects in their joypads. Microsoft settled the dispute out of court and ended up with a 10% share in Immersion Corp. Sony lost and as a consequence (although they said otherwise) removed rumble from their early PS3 controllers only to later bring the implementation back.

Yeah, don’t trust wiki but you can verify this across numerous other sources on the internet, this is just concise. I’ve never seen anyone who makes the claim of patent trolls killing FFB devices provide sources or evidence of any kind that there is any link between this court case and the decision by Microsoft to discontinue manufacturing of the Sidewinder joystick. Particularly odd would be to own a share of the company that owns the patent and not be able to release products using it, no?

Another funny thing, look who filed the patent for force feedback joysticks back in 1994…

If anyone has some actual sources, like Microsoft issuing a statement regarding them discontinuing the Sidewinder FFB stick due patent litigation from a company they own a 10% share in, then I’d gladly accept that information.

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I have no official source, but it was always mentioned that the patent was holding independent companies to release a FFB stick. Won’t say names, but brands that make pedals and joysticks. And these brands usually are built by players themselves. There was even a post a couple years back in Il-2 saying that the patent would expire in 2019/20 or something, that we could see some models released in the 2020s.

So as far as I know, it was too expensive for them to pay royalties to release a FFB stick.

Because it makes no sense. FFB is not something out of this world. There is no reason for these brands to don’t make a FFB stick other than royalties. Yes, most DCS titles are fly-by-wire, but warbirds and WWI planes get a whole different feel with FFB. We all know buffeting and airframe shaking won’t make the stick to shake (Butkicker), but it is a compromise.

Perhaps it is a urban legend, but then why we don’t see FFB anymore?

I don’t think you understood my point so I’ll remove my waffle and give it to you straight…

Microsoft held the patent for force feedback joysticks. The patent troll is a lie when it comes to why Microsoft discontinued the Sidewinder FFB2. Further to this, Microsoft bought in to the very company that people accuse of patent trolling and shutting them down.

I’ve backed this up with two links, one is a wiki link about the court case where the “patent troll” sued Microsoft and Sony. All the information there can be verified with more specific searching of the internet that will show various technology and game media reporting the same thing nigh on 20 years ago when it was occurring.

The second link is to the force feedback joystick patent held by Microsoft during the time period when apparently they were being stopped from making these joysticks because supposedly someone else held the patent.

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