Late last week I received a second set of paddles from Microsoft and have fully changed over to using the back paddles for gear shifting.
2 short sticks. Speed Freek Apex on left stick. The D-pad disk doesn’t really offer any advantage or disadvantage over the standard cross in Forza. I have it on just because it’s different.
Here’s a comparison of the different control sticks. Elite tall on the left and short on the right. In the middle is the short stick with a Speed Freek Apex attached. I’d been using a Speed Freek since Forza 2. I find its less stressful on my thumb for steering and allows easier steering control. The Apex version uses an adapter to fit the old 360 Speed Freek “U” to the smaller diameter Xbox One thumbsticks. I tried the Speed Freek on the Tall Elite stick and found it too tall to comfortably use and you can see from the photo the short stick with the Speed Freek attached is as tall as the Elite Tall stick.
Two sets of the short straight paddles installed. The left side paddles (right in the photo) are taped together with aluminum speed tape. This is thick enough to be fairly rigid, but can be bent for fine tuning the alignment between the paddles. I know it doesn’t look pretty, but I was doing this for testing the concept than a final solution.
Forward paddles on both sides are clutch, rear paddles are gears. With this setup I use my right middle finger to hit both paddles at the same time for upshifts and my left ring finger hits the front paddle on the taped set to do downshifts. As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to hold the controllers where my left hand is further forward than my right, so the reach ends up being further to get to the paddles. Having the paddles taped lets me activate both paddle buttons with only hitting the forward paddle.
Sunday I ran through about 25 career races in the V8 Supercars and Can-Am sequences in the Stories of Motorsport using this set up. I’m not taking any damage from missed shifts in the races. The downshifts with the taped paddles are more reliable than my upshifts, sometimes I’m only getting the clutch on the upshift. My problem here seems to be the corner of the forward paddle sticks out too much. I need the corner shaved off so it follows the profile of the arms of the controller better than the stock paddles.
I played around with taping both sides after I took these photos with good results, but still haven’t decided if having a separate clutch and gear is needed for anything.