Interpreting Telemetry

As a new tuner I have been reading threads from FM4-FM6’s tuner garage forums about tuning in general. From cause and effect of adjusting settings to suggested base tunes and addressing issues. The one thing I have not seen is a thread covering telemetry interpretation. I have seen pieces here and there but not a comprehensive explanation of what each page and its data is for in one thread. What the data is saying is happening that is a problem, needs to be corrected, can be improved, or what it should look like for how the car handles for your driving style. I understand part of tuning is by feel and lap times but, the data available for review is also helpful. Making sure I understand it should help me tune better. In case someone does not know, the telemetry screen is accessed by pressing up or down on the d-pad and using d-pad left or right to scroll while in a vehicle on a track. It can also be accessed via replay screen by pressing on the T in the lower left of the screen and scroll left or right with bumper buttons.

I’ll start by commenting on each telemetry screen. What I use it for and what I understand or don’t understand about the data being displayed. I think it would be more helpful to new tuners or anyone that does not understand something for a more experienced tuner and or driver to drop some explanations for each screen. What good data from a good tune should look like. Problems the data is indicating. The relationship with different settings in the tuning menu. Please correct anything I have stated incorrectly, add something if it is missing, and expound wherever you would like to. Thanks.

General Tab
I use this screen to find shift points for straight line acceleration and initial gearbox setup if I have fitted a racing gearbox.

Friction Tab
I think of this screen as the grip circle of each tire. How much grip is available from each tire. Red no grip. Green grip available with the size of the circle increasing indicating a higher amount of grip. Lack of grip indicates loss of contact patch for one reason or another.

Suspension Tab
This screen displays the loading and unloading of the spring. As the spring compresses (load) the white bar raises and the offset number increases. As the spring decompresses (unload) the white bar lowers and the offset number decreases. Basically weight transfer, complete loading or unloading, bottoming out, behavior over curbs, and wheel hop. Directly impacted by springs and damping.

Body Acceleration Tab
I am not sure about this one but, right now I think of it as a g-force display showing how much pitch or roll the car is experiencing.

Tires, Misc. Tab
Displays information for all four tires. Individual overall tire temperature, pressure, camber, and wear. I usually settle between 32 to 33.5 psi warm temp. Camber… I struggle with alignment and the adjustment relation between camber and caster based on telemetry. I have read explanations but I am still not positive I adjust this correctly. Directly impacted by tire pressure, tire compound, springs, damping, anti-roll bars, and alignment. I think downforce as well because higher downforce should wear the tires faster.

Displays the inside, middle, and outside individual tire temperatures.

Damage level of each component listed. Does anyone use this screen on a straight in endurance races for anything?

No takers to correct, clarify, or add something?

i used to use it in forza 4. back when it actually worked for tyre temps. the tyre gauge used to actually change colour and that made it really easy to tune with.

for me personally its seemed broken since forza 5 so i dont bother using it. i just go by feel of the car, rather than stats i dont trust. I think i’ve become quite good at knowing what the problem with the car is just by driving a few laps.

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I’ve used it a few times when I’ve felt that the engine has begun to act erratically. In a few career races I missed a downshift and overrevved the engine, usually getting 40% damage. Online I don’t use it as all races are Cosmetic.

Your other descriptions are good, although not much has changed on the telemetry front since Forza Motorsport 4.

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Thanks. That is a lot of damage for a missed shift. Something for me to think about before attempting the enduros. I don’t use rewind.

Thanks. I had not noticed that with the temps. I go more by tire pressure though. I have not gotten to the point where I can determine the cause of a problem by feel for everything. In those cases I use rivals. I look at the replay telemetry screens I think the issue might rear its ugly head in by way of the data. My biggest challenge is wheelspin exiting turns. I have not nailed that down yet.

Next would be finding the right amount of anti roll bars overall. Someone recently explained to me one issue I was having might be due to these and I mistook his “ARB” for bump and rebound settings when I sent a PM.

Thanks for the write-up!

If you figure it out, let me know. Trying to get traction while exiting turns seems to be a running theme for me.

Having said that, I think some of the problem is with technique, not tuning. I get better traction coming out when I’m careful to roll on the throttle smoothly. It doesn’t completely alleviate the issue, but it helps.

Your welcome. Definitely true about technique. Tuning plays a part as well though. A tune can determine how well all that power is transferred to the road. Most if not all of my tunes are prone to it. I have not submitted my tunes for the ERS Beamer, Benz, Bentley comp yet because I was able to get it pretty much eliminated in my most recent tune. A 1997 BMW M3. So, now I’m looking at the three entries to see if I can replicate what I have been working towards understanding since receiving feedback from DUST2DEATH about my GSW Ringtime entry. I was testing the M3 2nite in lobbies. I have it balanced, wheelspin free, and tight. I’ll be trying to make it a little loose like he also suggested.

Planning an M Power release day along with my competition entries if I get the other tunes done in time.

the reason you have not seen anyone covering telemetry interpretation is because no one uses the telemetry to tune cars. tuning is done by feel and lap times.

I use it for the tires.

I do refer to the friction tab to review the mid corner balance but as always, it happens too quickly to extract good information out of it. RED does not necessarily mean no grip; it means the tire has exceeded theoretical maximum grip (whatever T10 has coded into FM6). Staying in green is preferred but my personal target is to be just on the edge of RED zone. Staying only in GREEN zone = slow drive.

Differential setting is possible to detect but very very difficult using telemetry unless video of telemetry is recorded then analyzed afterwards. I wish telemetry screen can be paused to study it but alas, no such luck. For differential set ups I go by feel & skid marks left on the track (through rear view mirror).

Caster has NO effect when wheels are straight but goes from zero effect to maximum effect as the wheel is turned; IF I use telemetry, I target -0.5 on the outside tire camber in mid corner.

Also use the suspension travel telemetry to gauge the stiffness of the springs + ride height combination. If I see about 80% movement I’m happy.

Acceleration screen is not very useful. The ball bounces around so much it’s silly; may be useful it entire envelop of the ball movement is captured . . .

Overall, dynamic telemetry screen is very difficult to follow unless it is recorded then reviewed afterwards; the data is just too raw . . .

A much better explanation of theoretical maximum grip. I usually have a lot of green. I’ll look at that on some of my faster replays.

While driving and looking at the body accel tab I was adjusting my dampers. I found that with less pitch forward and backward I was staying within the inner circle on accel and the outer while braking. I started off outside both and found the cars pitch forward and backward minimized while staying within those ranges once I found a rebound setting I liked.

I am still outside it as far as high speed cornering but, I am thinking that is okay because the car is cornering well. 3 of the four balls remain within the inner or outer circle on the track I was looking at.

I know this was very broken in FM5 but you can now again go into freeplay, pick your car and track, take off the drivatars and do a 1 - 3 lap race by yourself and then view the telemetry in the REPLAY. Also if I’m racing on-line and my car feels wacky on a particular track I’ll save the replay and review the telemetry at a later time, I only wish it would let me rename the replay right at that spot.

as for actual use, what’s awesome is that before I paused it would remove the telemetry, now it stays so mid-corner I can pause or rewind or FF or whatever and can really get a good picture of what’s going on. I use the springs screen alot for setting the BUMP because I can see the effect and for some rebound but I generally do the rebound by feel. I use the friction tab also as maybe wrong or not but it works for me is kinda how I dial in the springs rather than using the springs telemetry, if a tire is geting too much red and I wasn’t crazy diving into the corner then I’ll just stiffen the front a bit, etc.

tire PSI and temps is somewhat useful, I’ve yet to have camber in FM6 have any real positive to any tune I’ve done so far. I make slight adjustments based on the telemetry data but the most noticeable changes I can ever see an effect from are the ARB, the rebound and the actual spring, and aero, wait… thats everything, nevermind.

Can you give an explanation about how you use telemetry to tune bump? Just an example or two.

Thank you!

In my experience, telemetry is kind of bad… I wanted to check my torque on a replay to see if I was shifting my rally motor correctly and I found that when youre watching the replay and mess around with the left trigger for rewind (Pull it halfway, mess around with how it moves time in the replay) it can actually display numbers that you wont see otherwise. A bit inconsistent?

I’m actually playing FM7 and I use telemetry to tune RWD cars :

-Tire pressure (when heated),
-Gears (TQ after upshifting),
-Cambers (via ‘‘tire,misc’’ screen and ‘‘tire heat’’ screen’’),
-For spring rates/dampers/ride height or anything related to weight transfer/car’s dynamics, I use friction and suspension screens to get the feel of where’s the lack.
-Aero is always maxed or 3/4 if racing on LeMans or tracks like that

From driving feelings I tune :

-ARBs according to over/understeer in corners
-Brakes are always set somewhere at 41-44/89-91, I think those settings are pretty personnal tho,
-Differential accel. according to how easy the car starts spinning in corners, decel. as low as possible, I start at 20 and if I see 1 wheel locking during hard downshifting I raise decel rate until no more 1 tire lock.

I need hard improvements on weight transfer (springs/dampers/aero)