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XBOX - Fanatec/ Logitech (and other wheel) button support

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Howdy,

I am fully aware and appreciate there is a lot of information (and misinformation) on this subject out there - primarily that this is a Microsoft/ XBOX issue where ‘wheel mappings are only allowed to that of XBOX controller inputs’. 

I accept it probably was the case historically, BUT see below...

I had a Logitech G923 (recently upgraded to Fanatec) and All (you read that right) - ALL button/dial inputs on that G923 wheel ARE SUPPORTED in Assetto Corsa Competizione on XBOX - SO THERE CLEARLY IS A WAY to get most buttons on other wheels working for our beloved F1 games...

Demonstrably, the above is allowing mappings well beyond the number of standard controller inputs, rendering that old chestnut; ‘Microsoft limits mapping to that of it’s controller inputs’ as null and void - at least in my mind.

Does it mean the Microsoft castle wall has been breached and we can now expect better wheel button support in future F1 releases? Or was this a one off?

I’m by no means a software development expert (and please correct me if you DO KNOW), but I assume this was achieved via Microsoft OK’ing, and ACC game developers then using, the new Logitech SDK to support Trueforce. 

A few questions then; What do other wheel manufacturers/ Codies need to do with their software to achieve better button support and what are the current roadblocks? What is in the pipeline on this for wheel brands - does anyone actually know? 

I am posting this as the more (correct) information that is out there, and knowing what has been achieved, the better equipped the “little guy” is in making requests and hopefully could lead to a better result for all wheel users on XBOX.

On a personal note, I will be reaching out to Fanatec to let them know what Logitech have been able to achieve. If the issue also affects you or your wheel brand, feel free to do the same. 

P.S. Happy to be corrected on any of my assumptions and thoughts above.

P.P.S. Yes I know I “should” be on PC to unlock all functionality (I will get there eventually if this can’t be solved), but that’s not the point - my Fanatec wheel is officially XBOX licensed and SHOULD work (as should any XBOX licensed wheel). And with the above development I see no reason as to why this can’t be achieved, especially as the equipment at Logitech level and above is varying degrees of expensive.

Edited by Monzie83

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I am also seeking answers to the same questions. Fanatec is relatively mute on the subject other than saying it is a Microsoft issue.

I do find it hard to believe that if you are able to assign keyboard commands to various functions that there is no way to port that over to the wheel side of things. Perhaps an interface between the wheel and the XB to allow manual assigning of functions.

I am also put out with the fact that Fanatec markets a wheel specifically for Xbox that is so handicapped by the ability to take advantage of all of its capabilities.

As for the PC aspect of gaming... the upfront cost of a capable PC on par with the specs of say the new series x. We are talking investing close to 2 grand to achieve the same performance. Not to mention the bandwidth requirement from your internet provider and being tethered to 3rd party distribution from Steam etc.

I must say that the performance of the Fanatec Podium with the formula v2 wheel that I have is far better than any of the logitec wheels I have had in the past. 

 

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10 hours ago, TKN42 said:

 

I am also seeking answers to the same questions. Fanatec is relatively mute on the subject other than saying it is a Microsoft issue.

 

@TKN42, you have your rebuttal now, as that excuse no longer holds true. If Logitech can do it, I’m sure there’s a way for Fanatec to do it. 

10 hours ago, TKN42 said:

As for the PC aspect of gaming... the upfront cost of a capable PC on par with the specs of say the new series x. We are talking investing close to 2 grand to achieve the same performance.

All the more reason to make it work for console users - especially when you consider the additional expense of these peripherals! 

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My G920 still has no LSB / RSB functionality on Xbox which I find quite unbelievable these days to be honest. ACC, PC2 and probably others have the ability to map any button now, so it is definitely no longer a Microsoft issue. It's an F1 issue. 

I've been looking into upgrading to Fanatec with the new Mclaren wheel but I'm very hesitant especially if I'm unlikely to be getting any extra button functionality. If everything is mappable on PC, why not xbox?? 

(what I find very funny too, is that there are a plethora of options for mfd shortcuts, which is ironic considering the button limits) 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2021 at 2:01 AM, Rango said:

My G920 still has no LSB / RSB functionality on Xbox which I find quite unbelievable these days to be honest. ACC, PC2 and probably others have the ability to map any button now, so it is definitely no longer a Microsoft issue. It's an F1 issue. 

@RangoI feel your pain and I agree it’s mad it’s not sorted yet on the G920 for Xbox. It’s just software in the end so pretty sure it can easily be done if the will is there (although I’ll admit I don’t know the technicalities). Clearly Logitech have used their clout to get the G923 SDK approved by MS and it’s now up to game devs to use it - like ACC’s devs did.

I believe we’ve discussed this before in another thread, and I really hope that there is way of somehow using the G923 SDK to “retro-fit” button support for G920 for F1 releases, but being brutally honest, I don’t see it happening - again I don’t know the intricacies, but assume they would need to develop a separate SDK for it. I just don’t see a commercial reason for them to do so and I think they’ll use it as a passive way to push people to buying the newer Logitech wheels. It’s not a good look, but I have very little trust in any company to do the right thing these days.

On 1/2/2021 at 2:01 AM, Rango said:

I've been looking into upgrading to Fanatec with the new Mclaren wheel but I'm very hesitant especially if I'm unlikely to be getting any extra button functionality. If everything is mappable on PC, why not xbox??

From what I now understand, it’s down to approval from Xbox for the Fanatec wheel SDK. This is why I was puzzled to find out all G923 buttons/dials/Rev lights worked on ACC - all anyone ever said about wheel buttons etc not being supported in all the posts I read and enquires I made was “MS limits peripheral input to that of its controller”. With the G923 now proving that not to be true, maybe it means MS are less precious about button mappings and better wheel support can be achieved IF the wheel manufacturers go after it - I certainly hope so.

As mentioned, I recently switched from G923 to Fanatec gear, and the wheel inputs are not fully supported on Xbox. I still haven’t received a decent answer about when better button support will be achieved (not remotely worried about Rev lights and switches ATM) - I’d literally like 4 extra buttons to be supported (I have Clubsport Formula v2 wheel) - it would be a massive improvement to in race car changes. I should also mention I use a keyboard number pad as a button box, so I still have access to some quick MFD settings that aren’t mapped to the wheel.

You can see which wheel buttons are supported for the McLaren wheel here: https://fanatec.com/media/pdf/96/9f/a3/CSL-E-SWRMcL-V2-QG-EN_Web_08_MO.pdf. Take with a pinch of salt though because it then depends on the game which buttons are supported through a wheel. So in the case of RSB/LSB for F1 2020, these are supported on standard Xbox controller but not on a wheel for some reason.

For me, the switch has been 100% worth it even if the additional buttons etc aren’t supported. Like you, this was my initial blocker but I’m glad circumstances made me jump (and TBH should have done sooner) - The LC pedal and accuracy of wheel input, feel and feedback make it more than worthwhile.

My reasoning for switching was, I’m currently stuck on Xbox and if I’m limited with buttons on Xbox, it’ll be for any wheel I get (so I’m not losing anything in that regard if I switch), but if I do I’ll have a better experience on the Fanatec gear. With a Brexit deal not looking likely at that time and having to buy from the UK in EUR, I was looking down the barrel of a likely increase in price due to currency fluctuations and possibly further tariffs. That changed my priority from platform to peripherals and luckily I could afford it.

The combination of gear I have will now work on all platforms and so doesn’t tie me to Xbox anymore. As much as I don’t want to, If they can’t pull their finger out, I’ll always be able to switch, and as I favour “plug and play” equipment PS might be my best bet as more buttons are supported. I’ll simply put up with having limited button support but better immersion until I can switch platform.

Edited by Monzie83
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I hear and feel your pain. I have the same setup (Fanatec CSW 2.5, V2 wheel) on Xbox. Just for the button issue I switched to pc because it’s a much better experience. If only the button layout could be altered (all Xbox buttons are located on the right side of the wheel, meaning during upshifting you very often need the DRS button too). But if ACC can manage, they all should be able to manage it and workaround the MS issue. Make it happen Codemasters!

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Interestingly (and complete speculation by the way), I’ve heard whispers that Logitech are looking to release belt driven, DD and quick release wheels quite soon to take a slice of the Fanatec pie as sim racing and esports become more popular.

If Logitech do this and have a good working relationship with MS/ PS (to get things like peripherals fully supported, which it looks like they do), it could become a VERY concerning situation for Fanatec...

All the more reason to get this sorted ASAP!!!

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From what I've been told (because we had the same thing in DiRT Rally 2.0), Fanatec doesn't have an SDK for Xbox, so you're relying on the default Microsoft SDK for wheel support. This is the main reason all the fancy knobs and switches (and some force-feedback options) aren't available with Fanatec wheels on Xbox.

I can't comment on Logitech (I'm not involved in the dev side of F1 2020) though GRID supports TRUEFORCE . Rally doesn't though we may be looking at adding it in if we need to do an update for other things.

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Thanks for the comment mate. But does this mean Fanatec is the third party that should provide you with the proper SDK for Xbox (they should get it from Microsoft)? Or is it up to the devs to get it? This must be something Codemasters isn’t happy about either. 

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Seems mental to me that in some games I can get an extra button box to work but not a few extra buttons on the wheel already being used in this game. It can't be that difficult surely?? Can't be a fanatec only issue either as logitech and xbox work fully together on other games (like acc/pc) but not in f1? 

@PJTierney does grid also support all g923 buttons in addition to Trueforce? If so, why can't f1 devs do it for that and the g920? 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Rango said:

@PJTierney does grid also support all g923 buttons in addition to Trueforce? If so, why can't f1 devs do it for that and the g920? 

@Rango I actually got both GRID and ACC on Xbox to check. GRID doesn’t support all G923 features - from memory it does support Trueforce and rev lights, but not the extra buttons. ACC supports all G923 features, including the extra buttons.

Edited by Monzie83
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Posted (edited)

Ok, so no 'Microsoft' reason that the wheel can't work as it does on other titles. GRID not supporting buttons again leads me to believe it is a CM problem. Not sure why they continue to drop the ball on this one but only for xbox... Really puts me off upgrading to Fanatec. New mclaren wheel for example doesn't have any kind of d-pad - how am I meant to navigate mfd? Can't go PC, all my race buddies are on xbox. 

Edited by Rango

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31 minutes ago, 1512marcel said:

Thanks for the comment mate. But does this mean Fanatec is the third party that should provide you with the proper SDK for Xbox (they should get it from Microsoft)? Or is it up to the devs to get it? This must be something Codemasters isn’t happy about either. 

@1512marcel This is the very thing that confuses me about this SDK malarkey.

If Fanatec have produced one, and MS have not approved it, the question is why. Surely Fanatec produced the SDK within MS provided guidelines - If not what was is the point of it? If we are to believe any Wheel Manufacturer SDK is limited to Xbox controller inputs, how did Logitech get around it?

If the SDK is provided by MS (and limited to Xbox controller inputs only) then again how did Logitech get their G923 wheel to go above and beyond?

Some clarity on the software process behind wheel support is much needed I feel.

#Confused

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5 minutes ago, Rango said:

New mclaren wheel for example doesn't have any kind of d-pad - how am I meant to navigate mfd? Can't go PC, all my race buddies are on xbox.

@Rango I think the dpad is mapped to the funky switch on the McLaren wheel. That’s what it is mapped to on the Formula v2 wheel. https://fanatec.com/media/pdf/96/9f/a3/CSL-E-SWRMcL-V2-QG-EN_Web_08_MO.pdf

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46 minutes ago, 1512marcel said:

Thanks for the comment mate. But does this mean Fanatec is the third party that should provide you with the proper SDK for Xbox (they should get it from Microsoft)? Or is it up to the devs to get it? This must be something Codemasters isn’t happy about either. 

If I have understood it correctly, no Xbox game fully supports Fanatec wheels/buttons in the way that PS4/PC do (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

They would need to develop their own SDK and it's a time consuming and expensive process. The Microsoft SDK is a fallback for when a bespoke one isn't available by the wheel manufacturer.

If that exists, then the game developer can work on direct support (again, I'm not involved in F1 development, so don't ask me if/when/why things do or don't happen).

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Ok clear. I will raise the question with Fanatec since they always point towards Microsoft. 

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1 hour ago, Monzie83 said:

@Rango I think the dpad is mapped to the funky switch on the McLaren wheel. That’s what it is mapped to on the Formula v2 wheel. https://fanatec.com/media/pdf/96/9f/a3/CSL-E-SWRMcL-V2-QG-EN_Web_08_MO.pdf

Thanks bud. Should have looked really shouldn't I?! That's really helpful actually, though that funky switch is a bit low, would take some getting used to. Guess I'd be in the same boat I am now lsb/rsb-wise, just with a much fancier wheel lol. Really need the LC pedals to up my game though

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9 minutes ago, Rango said:

Really need the LC pedals to up my game though

LC brake pedal is great, can recommend 🙂 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 1512marcel said:

Ok clear. I will raise the question with Fanatec since they always point towards Microsoft. 

Please do keep us updated @1512marcelHappy to push from my side as well and would encourage others to do so too.

Before purchasing my Fanatec gear (about a month or so ago) I enquired about Xbox button support and received the following reply: “Unfortunately, Microsoft only allows the buttons you can find in their regular controllers to be mapped and used (meaning that it doesn't support the use of thumb encoders, two way switches, or multi position switches).”

I read this as ‘Microsoft will NEVER support inputs over and above that of the Xbox controller’. Which is why I was puzzled as to how Logitech managed it.

Knowing what we do now (thank you@PJTierney), technically, I suppose their response is true (given the absence of a SDK), but then Fanatec should also be telling us that an SDK is required for button support and what their position is on getting it developed.

Having read their response the way I did, I reached out to Fanatec support again to let them know that Logitech managed to get all the features of G923 supported on Xbox and received the following reply: “Unfortunately we cannot state anything about the plans or procedures in our development department, but I gladly will forward the information you provided to the respective department. I hope we can achieve full support for our products on consoles too in the future.”

In my mind, the following scenarios at play now (unless someone else can correct me or add to the list);

1) Fanatec haven’t bothered to (or worse don’t want to) develop the SDK for Xbox (will be a BIG revelation in either case if true).

2) Fanatec have developed a SDK for Xbox and it is not approved by MS because it falls outside of established guidelines/ requirements (and therefore needs to be recreated/ refined, which they don’t want to do or haven’t gotten to yet - why not tell us if the latter is the case?).

Seems to me the absence of a Fanatec SDK is the answer to this conundrum, as if they were working on a SDK I’m sure they would have said.

I would rather they tell us the truth about what the issue actually is - we have spent considerable amounts of money on their gear after all. And at least by telling us we can take other steps rather than sitting here scratching out heads wondering what the hell is going on!

 

Edited by Monzie83

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I guess you are right. I have gotten a similar answer regarding button support. Only recently I have read a statement by Microsoft regarding button support and they have stated clearly that is a costly proces for a marginal number of users, using high end wheels and therefore probably not going to happen. 
If Fanatec however is able to fix this by developing a good SDK they could have a problem since they have made advertising mistakes and have been pointing to MS all the time. 

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59 minutes ago, Monzie83 said:

Seems to me the absence of a Fanatec SDK is the answer to this conundrum, as if they were working on a SDK I’m sure they would have said.

Not necessarily.

Sometimes in development communications you don't reveal what you're working on for various reasons (like getting in the way of an announcement, or that it may not happen in the end).

Heck, look at any Codemasters badge on this forum as an example; we don't try to promise anything unless it's (a) locked in and (b) ready to be shared with the world 😄 

 

As a Fanatec user myself I would certainly like more enhanced support on Xbox, but at least my Podium paddles work a treat. I even use the clutches as dual analogue handbrakes in DiRT Rally 2.0, feels amazing.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/5/2021 at 2:48 PM, 1512marcel said:

Only recently I have read a statement by Microsoft regarding button support and they have stated clearly that is a costly proces for a marginal number of users, using high end wheels and therefore probably not going to happen.

Do you have a link to this statement @1512marcel? I presume this is MS talking about extending the native or “fallback” SDK that PJ is talking about?

MS’ stance on this is absolutely right: They should not have to develop software to accommodate for the peripheral manufacturer - although I think there is a case for providing some expansion of the native support given the increase of interest in esports and sims in general and therefore greater demand for peripheral input capability. Xbox has the elite controller and keyboard support for example, they should let peripheral manufacturers map their inputs to that, can’t imagine it will be that difficult to open up.

That being said, if I’m in the market of producing peripherals (i.e. Fanatec, Logitech etc), I would fully expect to bear the cost of making them work properly on whatever platforms I want them to work on, and crucially, sell them for. This is exactly what a Driver for hardware on PC is, after all.

Fully agree with your last point. IF Fanatec knew all along that it was a SDK they needed to produce to make it work and didn’t (for whatever reason), and then they go and tell all their customers is MS’ fault, they will not look good if it comes out that the fault was with Fanatec all along.

Given the information we now have, this is increasingly looking like the case, and why I think it’s sensible for them to be transparent about what the process is and what the issues are if the above is not the case - Customer Relations 101.

Hopefully someone at Fanatec will see sense.

Edited by Monzie83

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6 hours ago, PJTierney said:

Sometimes in development communications you don't reveal what you're working on for various reasons (like getting in the way of an announcement, or that it may not happen in the end).

@PJTierney I can understand this. I work in business systems myself and understand the importance of not saying things to clients sometimes, particularly if a piece of functionality isn’t confirmed, in discussion, or too early in the product life-cycle that you’re not sure it’ll come to fruition. 

However, I feel given it’s such a long-standing issue, clouded in so much misinformation and misunderstanding, some transparency from Fanatec would be beneficial and go a long way in the eyes of their Xbox customers. Not least because it’s looking more and more like the line that we’ve all been fed at some point has not been delivered in good faith, with something held back.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Monzie83 said:

However, I feel given it’s such a long-standing issue, clouded in so much misinformation and misunderstanding, some transparency from Fanatec would be beneficial and go a long way in the eyes of their Xbox customers. Not least because it’s looking more and more like the line that we’ve all been fed at some point has not been delivered in good faith, with something held back.

Hi Monzie et al - I've been struggling with this button mapping dilemma for the last couple of years and decided to hold out for new Xbox X in the hope things would improve. On a personal basis I'm left-handed and had to 'retrain my brain' to work XYB and the A button all on my right hand whilst upshifting in the Fanatec Formula V2 wheel - all possible but a bloody nuisance! Not to mention lack of voice commands, (whilst operating brake bias and off diff via the MFD again all on my right hand). So came to the option of maybe just get the new PS5 - this would give me the opportunity to sort all this out - yes? (if I'm wrong can someone please correct me). However I prefer the XBox X - more powerful and all my current friends race on Xbox - plus I will have to repurchase all my racing sim games  (all at added cost) plus who the hell can find a PS5 (at the moment). Finally what about VR - yes on PS5 and defiantly not on XBox. I also play Assetto Corsa and VR is the future (make note codemasters !!!) so I've started to price up a medium sized gaming PC - the list of advantages over console racing is endless but at around £1200 to £1300 for a kinda similar graphic and speed spec to new Xbox X and PS5 (that's also future proof) drives me back round to Xbox or PS5 for around £500 - it's driving me F'ing mad!

In the meantime Fanatec Clubsport V3 pedals are without doubt the most important upgrade I've done so far - made a big difference to my driving (that I'm still working on) and immersion - well that's my rant over and I've added my bit to this ongoing discussion as I continue to debate the pros and cons of Xbox X vs PS5 vs PC for sim racing.

PS thinking about selling Fanatec Formula V2 wheel to buy the new McLaren GT3 V2 wheel as it has magnetic shifters and dual clutch at no added cost - plus it's a bit bigger and heavier - that I'd prefer plus it has enough buttons now that F1 2020/21 has increasingly less options for engine modes.

Thanks for listening 

Edited by HamishOK
added word graphics

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37 minutes ago, HamishOK said:

So came to the option of maybe just get the new PS5 - this would give me the opportunity to sort all this out - yes? (if I'm wrong can someone please correct me).

@HamishOK, regarding the above, I genuinely cannot say with any certainty (because I don’t own one so can’t confirm), however that is my understanding.

I think I’ve read somewhere that PS supports the Formula v2 Wheel much better: the left and right switches (as direction I.e. increase decrease, not as  static I.e. mode 1, 2 etc - useful for fuel, diff etc), as well as the thumb wheels (again useful for fuel, diff etc, although they’re too light IMO - but that’s another conversation). I also understand all of the buttons are also supported.

If you do make enquires into PS support, please do let me know what you find as I am also interested in moving away from Xbox to PS. PC would be ideal, but for me though I know PC will become a never ending project to try to maintain and would much rather plug and play with a console.

I would also ask you to reach out to Fanatec, even if you do eventually move away from Xbox. The more people they get pushing them the better.

 

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