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Prologue

This is really just a proof of concept. An experiment to see what can be done using the magical powers of the Wiimote. I wasn't able to score a racing wheel for Christmas, so I resorted to some zip ties and two controllers. I honestly didn't expect this to work, but it did. Now I will share my findings for people to experiment with.

The Idea

The Wiimote is a Bluetooth controller that can be connected to any device with Bluetooth capabilities. This means that the Wiimote can be connected to a PC using a Bluetooth dongle. Since the Wiimote has a gyroscope (among other functions that could also be used), it can be used for a number of tasks that a normal gamepad cannot achieve. In my particular setting, I wanted the Wiimote to function as a steering wheel for the game Assetto Corsa.

The Setbacks

The Wiimote does have a few flaws. For one, the Wiimote only has buttons. There is no way to read how hard a button is being pressed on a Wiimote. The second problem is that Windows does not have a driver for the Wiimote. Sure, emulators such as Dolphin can read Wiimote inputs, but Windows cannot interpret these inputs on their own.

The Solution

For problem one, I replaced all non-gyroscopic inputs with an XBOX controller. This allows me to control throttle and brake pressure. For the second problem, I was able to find a driver online that interprets Wiimote inputs. Julian Löhr created a device driver for the Wiimote as his Bachelor Thesis and has kept the project up-to-date for Windows 10. You can read about and download his driver here.

Do it Yourself

All of this is great, but how can you do this?

First, download the driver from Julian's website. If you are running x64 Windows, you will need to disable Driver Signing. Directions to do so are on Julian's site. Once the driver is installed, connect the Wiimote through Bluetooth. After that, open Assetto Corsa and use the Wheel tab in Controls to create a profile using your Wiimote. I'm not going to suggest settings because I haven't quite figured it out myself, but it isn't hard to get a rudimentary schematic working.

I also strapped a Wiimote to my XBOX controller. Feel free to better the design.










Here's a poor quality video of it in action.


The Drawbacks

First, there's no force feedback. I'm working to see if either the XBOX or Wiimote can vibrate, but I'm not sure it's possible.

Second, my remote isn't aligned perfectly. In order to drive straight, I need to tilt the wheel about 10 degrees right.

Third, there aren't pedals. I use the XBOX controller for gas and brake. I don't have a clutch either. There may be a way to use a Wii Balance board as pedals, but I can't find mine right now. I seem to recall throwing it away in a move.

Fourth, it's a little bulky. I think it may be possible to use a DualShock controller, but I haven't tested that yet.

Conclusion

This thread isn't really about Assetto Corsa itself, but rather the possibilities using the Wiimote. I'd imagine other games could benefit from this as well. I'm creating this thread to see what other people can do with the Wiimote in games, how it can be improved, and what is really possible.
 
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