The Difference A Traction Loss Simulator Can Make in Sim Racing

Traction Loss Simulators are a part of what the industry calls a full-motion racing simulator, a.k.a., the full-motion sim rig. The idea is to simulate the g-force you would feel when in the racing car, whether you are going too fast, braking hard, turning, or even when crashing. This is also why many install nets on their rigs!

Traction Loss Simulators are a part of what the industry calls a full-motion racing simulator, a.k.a., the full-motion sim rig. The idea is to simulate the g-force you would feel when in the racing car, whether you are going too fast, braking hard, turning, or even when crashing. This is also why many install nets on their rigs!

In this article, we will examine the concept of a traction loss simulator closely to give you a better idea of what it is and whether it is a good idea.

What is a Traction Loss Simulator?

These are four-dimensional motion rigs purposed specifically for racing that offer the genuinely virtual experience of a sports car. Traction loss simulator is a single part of the entire rig, though, and is primarily responsible for simulating:

  1. Over braking is when you brake too hard, and your wheels end up locking. ABS (automatic braking system) can help avoid your wheels from locking, but ABS assist may also cost you some experience points or money in-game. The traction loss simulator tilts your rig to simulate backward g-force on your body.
  2. Over-steering is when the back-end of your virtual vehicle ends up slipping because you turned your steering too hard. The traction loss simulator tilts your seat to the side with respect to the oversteering direction. During over-steering, the back-end of your vehicle is what primarily slips.
  3. Over-accelerating is when you press your accelerator too hard, too quickly, causing them to spin in their position. The traction loss simulator tilts your seat backwards to simulate g-force forwards on your body.

Furthermore, depending on the racing sim you chose, there are three primary factors that the traction loss simulator takes into consideration:

  1. Conditions of the road, i.e., snow, rain, or mud.
  2. State of the vehicle, particularly the tires.
  3. Actions of the driver, i.e., over-braking, over-steering, over-accelerating.

Depending on the input, the traction loss simulator gives feedback to the rig, providing motion and vibrations at six different angles. These six degrees combine to simulate the freedom you would feel when on the track.

Aviation simulators, such as the Flight Simulator and Digital Combat Simulator, are primarily what the rigs were created for. Still, recently, they have been used much more widely for racing sims than for aviation simulators.

The six degrees of freedom simulated reflect the Earth’s physics, known more commonly as Drift Axis, which is essential to note. The sway uses a pivot point at the front of the frame with hydraulics, wheels, or rollers at the back. These allow the controlled motor or actuator to move the back for the frame with respect to the traction loss simulator’s feedback.

Choosing The Best Traction Loss Simulator For Your Needs

There are several traction loss simulators that you can buy, with the most prominent brand being Dbox. However, these simulators can be pretty costly if purchased directly from the market. While DIY traction loss simulators are much more cost-effective, they require quite a lot of elbow grease on your part.

  • Other examples include:
  • SimXperience Rear Traction Loss
  • Sim-Lab P1-X
  • Next Level Racing Traction Plus
  • Regular price

Traction loss with a suitable motor and an appropriate feedback system can add quite a lot to your experience. Of course, it requires you to tune it with respect to your needs, and you need to ensure there are no children or pets around the simulator when you are inside. The simulator is actually powerful enough to throw you out if you aren’t wearing a seat belt or there are no nets around it.

Appropriately tuned, traction loss simulators can let you ‘feel the road’ aptly, giving you clear warning signs about your car slipping. The traction loss simulator can help you improve your driving quite a bit, especially at higher speeds and in vehicles with lower clearance.

When choosing the best traction loss simulator for your rig, there are three primary considerations you should make:

  1. Your budget, of course. These simulators can cost quite a bit.
  2. How much space you have and, thus, the size of traction loss simulator you will be purchasing. Remember, the larger your rig is, the louder it will be. These simulators usually have a considerable footprint.
  3. Support and updates from the developer and availability of parts in your region

Based on personal preference, you may also look for a rig that is compatible with a VR headset. You can either buy a full-blown motion setup with haptic feedback, numerous sensors, hydraulic function (for quieter operation), and more, or you can go for basic seat movers with traction loss simulators and vibrators.

Making your Own Traction Loss Simulator

If you are looking to make an all-inclusive traction loss simulator, you will need:

  1. A racing wheel
  2. Pro pedal
  3. A gearbox
  4. Integrated 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system
  5. A wind turbine to help you ‘feel’ the acceleration
  6. A curved projection screen. You can also go with a video projector or simply a PC that is powerful enough to support a VR headset. Occulus Rift is one of the most commonly used headsets for these rigs.
  7. A racing set – preferably with seat belts.

The first thing you will need to do is to create a static simulator. Set up your PC and the equipment necessary for the sim. Now, move on to the motion hardware.

  1. 4 DC motors. You can either go with the 200W 180rpm version or the 400W, depending on how ‘heavy-duty’ you want the simulator to be. Remember to invest in one that has reduction gears.
  2. A controller of your choice.
  3. 2 24V 40A 1000W (or 1500W, respectively) power supplies
  4. Software of your choice. Stools are considered to be very reliable for small and large rigs alike. The developer rolls out frequent updates to meet the demands of new games and hardware.

Two motors should drive the seat; one should be attached to the “heave” module in the seat to give off that brake sensation, while one should drive the traction loss (drift) (5 Motors all up). It is a good idea to have one more that goes the surge table to give you that “kick” that rapid acceleration offers as well.

You may need to cut a hole at the bottom of your seat to allow the motor to sit properly underneath you and to drive you up and down based on the terrain and the g-forces. You will need to calibrate your rig with the software to allow for precise movements and fine vibrations. Even if you buy a fresh traction loss simulator or a complete rig from the market, you would have to calibrate it with the software,

The traction loss simulator may not seem like a necessity, but people who try the traction loss and get used to it find it hard to go back. The feature gives off very realistic forces if calibrated properly, and of course, if the sim you are using supports such detailed feedback.