Thoughts on the Physics


Active Member
Although I'm really enjoying the game, and indeed, how the cars 'feel', which is by far initially a really positive experience, and the best to date on consoles for me.

But, the only main slight reservations I have with the physics

As I said above, the initial handling/feel of the cars is really good, the physics engine is a very welcome change (for me) to GT5p.. Now I've done a lot of races, and spent time driving (and obviously golding) as many special events as I can (upto Lvl 20), I've realised that although I find the Handling enjoyable, I'm getting more and more convinced that underneath the physics aren't actually that great (in terms of other sim-eque type console racers), obviously they are a gazillion times better then any arcade game..

So here's a list (no doubt someone will be upset and feel the need for a full on rebuttle) of what has caused me to come to such an opinion that the physics are just 'ok' and not 'amazing'.

- Tyre choices (Comfort especially), I've noticed that in order to get a lot of cars 'feeling' right (and no question, a lot of them do!) that PD change the default tyres to 'tweak' the grip levels to get this right. This feels more of a sticky plaster to a problem that shouldn't exist. In the real world, if I have a Civic EK9, or a BMW M5, surely the 'rubber' on the tyres I buy is all pretty much of the same grip level, the difference being tyre width and possibly profile. But it's mainly the fact that you have to keep changing the tyre 'type' in order to get the car handling as it should that irks me a little, and on a theoretical level it shouldn't be this way.

- Traction/lateral grip weirdness - Taking an EK9 around Tsukuba, default tyres etc, going into turn 1, the lateral grip is on the limit, I'm just trailing the throttle to maintain speed, if I then floor it just after the Apex to 'run' the exit, the car suddenly turn's in quite a lot, when it should obviously start transitioning to understeer, it certainly seems unnatural. There does seem to be something not quite gelling between lateral grip and tractive grip (when large increases in power are suddenly fed in) for a lot of cars. Even at high speeds, I've noticed the amount of turn in on a steady throttle seems quite pronounced, if I'm trying to keep within the peak grip zone, I can hear tyre scrub, I should have a little more friction to play with, but not be able to 'saw' at the wheel and get quite pronounced turn in.

- Weight transfer - With the suspension loaded and in a reasonably controlled steady state condition, if you throttle on/off, their seems a very muted response to weight transfer, there is a small effect, but nothing pronounced, This also applies to kerbs and the like that don't massively seem to upset the suspension, the sudden kick you'd expect to send the car into a quite unbalanced moment is very dialled down.

- If you get a car to break lateral grip limits and slide, you do 'feel' when the car suddenly regains grip, which is nice, but you really don't seem to feel much around when it loses grip and there is a numbness at this level that doesn't overwhelm me, it's not a huge issue, and may be more the relative lack of weight transference, but on the limit, the car seems too easily adjustable and slightly numb.

- Track bumps (e.g. Nurburgring AMG shool in the SLS) - the 'movement' and amount of undulations/bumps put into the Nordschliefe is quite impressive, but crucially apart from being enjoyable, it really doesn't again seem to have much effect on the suspension, the car is not remotely skittish and doesn't seem to be really suffering too badly at all, as if the amount the 'bump's translate through to the car is massively sub-dued, which seems a running theme with GT5 for me.

- Brakes are done well, The braking effect is well thought out, I like the feeling of squirming and how it seems to slightly upset the car, you have to be on your toes to keep it in a straight line (No ABS). I have noticed that after a while, I seem to get the same reaction to braking everywhere, as if it's a little pre-baked, it doesn't feel like the weight transfer/track geometry etc is causing the instability. Also, the default 'bias' is just idiotic, turn off ABS, and the default 5:5 for each car is just plain wrong, all cars pretty much instantly oversteer/become very unstable and your stopping distances are much increased. Things are much better if you dial the rear brakes down, and shift the bias forward, which should be default, as this is how cars are set up in general.

- There is a softness to the oversteer that (and I'm not actually complaining, I enjoy being able to fully control a very tail happy car) that tells me it too has succumbed to the fact proper 'sims' are far too unforgiving and most large oversteer moments would be unrecoverable, and it's been dialled down to make it accessible/less frustrating.

- Tyre physics seem a little OTT in terms of temperature rise, I can have quite cold tyres, and just from starting to exceed lateral grip for a second or so, they turn red and (correctly for tyres that are too hot) grip dimishes very quickly. I think there is some artistic licence being applied to this effect.

- Collision physics have not been great so far, again, colliding with other cars/track furniture doesn't seem to translate to the correct level of suspension interference and general unbalancing of the car, it's not as bad as GT5p, but it's not that good either, 'leaning' on other cars, again, is a bit too numb in it's effect on things.

- Setting off under wheel spin in an FF Car, is again, numb.. no FFB, just sit there and listen to what you suspect is the wheels spinning..

Overall, one thing I have noticed from feedback is that people think that because the cars oversteer wildly on what seem to be greasy tyres that it's a hyper realistic physics sim, I don't agree, it's much more enjoyable then a proper sim, and it's biggest strengths by far is the fact that cars are made to feel quite 'real' by a lot of tweaking of grip parameters, when you dig deeper, the physics (so far for me) are not overly deep.

Even mechanical damage is something you seemingly only get to experience much later on, and I saw from the 'patch' news recently, it was going to be patched in that damaging something would lead to some affect on the steering.. clearly it's lacking much in terms of how things affect the physics/handling etc.

Don't get me wrong, as I said, I still think it's the best overall enjoyment I've had on a console, the grip levels (however much I think are slightly contrived and wrong) are great, the way cars slide feels in the main great, and I take my hat off and say that those two factors alone seem to contribute to 60-70% of the 'feeling' of a physics engine. It is annoying that you have to 'tweak' tyres and other things at times, or that they do silly things like put comfort tyres on an Elise (TG Special event), but that's relatively minor in reality.

I really need some leaderboards up and do some earnest hotlapping to see if I'm being too critical or too hasty, Some of my reaction has been due to driving some very quick cars on tracks and roads in real life (well upto about 450 BHP), and when adjusting the 'tyres' to give me what I know to be about the right grip levels for traction, then the rest of it doesn't feel right.
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Active Member
aaarggggh - I been crushed by a wall of text :)

Yeah.. poor form really ;)

Short version,

The initial 'feel' and grip levels of the cars is really good, very enjoyable, best attempt yet on a console!

However, whilst driving, quite a few 'niggles' and observations have been made that make it seem not as deep or complex as I first thought.

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Active Member
My mate races karts professionaly for one of the biggest kart manufactures in the world and he said the karting on this was "meh its alright"

Fen Star

Well-known Member


Well-known Member
Demon, your spot on, pretty much mirrors my opinion. ( See my wall of text in the moaning thread )

Something about the suspension isn't quite right, it's like what the car is driving over doesn't transfer to the movement and physics of the car.

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