Shift 2 Unleashed: It’s Not Input Lag

Earlier today we posted an article rounding up what plenty of people were saying across hardcore racing forums (and EA’s own) – that the console versions of Shift 2 Unleashed suffers from some kind of lag.

We thought it might be ‘input lag’ – the delay of your controller inputs being interpreted by the game, and lots of people seemed to be of the same opinion.  You flick the stick left and – around 300ms later – the game responds.


But it’s not input lag.  I’ve just videod the in-game telemetry: the steering rack bottom left moves almost precisely with the analog stick.  No lag.  Look:

The steering wheel’s miles behind, sure, but that’s just an animation.  It’s true that the game does take a little while to respond but we’re now firmly of the opinion that this is ‘dampening’ employed by Shift 2 to smooth any inputs.

Indeed, PC owners can patch this out immediately via a .cfg file once installed removing pretty much any delay and lag, so we’re now hugely hopeful that Slightly Mad can do the same for the console versions, or at least offer us the option to do so via a slider.

Don’t let this put you off buying the game at all – it’s brilliant, and even better now that others have it, Autolog only comes into its own once your mates are battling for your times constantly…



  1. Have to be honest, I haven’t noticed anything wrong. Its an awesome game with so much excitement & fun and then on top of that is… Autolog.

    It may not be a driving simulator in the same sense as competing franchises, far to much adrenaline involved for that.

    the only problem I have with it is the awful American guy coaching me, its so annoying between events, but easily ignored when the action is so good, I suppose.

    • I feel like Codies did the same thing with DiRT 2 and took away some of the original flavor away from the original.

      • Err…sorry with regards to Americanizing the game.

      • Yeah, I know what you mean – I said that on Twitter earlier that it reminds me of Dirt2 in that respect.

        Americanisation is fine, it’s a US-centric game but I really hate that cornball telling me what to do between every race, just display the objective on screen. The worst bit is “GREEN, GREEN, GREEN, GO! GO! GO!”

        How about STFU & let me do it!

      • The NASCAR driver in GT5 (Jeff Gordon?) annoyed the hell out of me! Sometimes less voice over is better.

    • Yes but cc you also don’t think Kinect has lag even when it very clearly does. I’m not talking about it running on a PC where the hacked drivers can react to the raw input with much more speed and processing power, this is a console specific problem.

      Just looking at the Shift 2 issue there is no way I’m picking this up unless it’s patch. Lag like this ruins a driving game for for me, or anyone with a modicum of competitiveness.

      • Kinect’s launch games have lag, that’s obvious – but Kinect itself doesn’t inherently have lag over & above normal input & processing.

        Not sure how blind some people are not to be able to see that

      • Kinect’s launch games have lag, because Kinect – on the Xbox – has lag. I’m not sure how blind ‘some people’ are to not be able to see THAT.

  2. Good detective work, noster.

  3. Well I’m not buying it, that’s for sure. You can call it whatever you want, this doesn’t look right:

    When patched, if patched. Sure.

    • Hmmm that definitely looks like lag. That’s pretty bad, although nofi’s video doesn’t show lag. Weird. Don’t know what’s going on with this.

    • Even if that is damping and not lag at some points the car is still going left when he is turning right. This is without him going too quickly or changing direction too quickly.

      • Not surprised the way he’s jerking the wheel whilst going so slow.

        Would like to see him going at realistic race spade & rip it around like that, because flicking the wheel like that would cause the back end to go out, I’d say they game is compensating for some drift, but at such low speeds can’t work it out, almost like he’s breaking the game in a way whic hwould never show up when you’re actually driving it.

        Also without knowing his wheel settings (which could be deliberately bad) it only adds further cloudiness to what’s going on, or not.

      • I have to ask this, have you ever used a wheel? Thats not moving it quickly at all…

      • As Jambo said, this kind of movement is more than normal for a wheel, in fact, you HAVE to be able to move it that quickly and have it react or you have no chance of correcting for things like snap oversteer, or avoiding prangs etc.

      • You don’t drive like that in a game, nowhere ever do you do 5mph but steer like you’re Nigel Mansell pulling out to overtakeSenna.
        there’s obviously a kink in the game & he’s found a way to exaggerate it for vids.

        Still… he must have done something right as a certain group of fanboys obviously love him for it.

      • You do drive like that in a game, all the time, be it correcting slides or other. Feel free to call people that point it out fanboys all you want.

      • The game is clearly broken otherwise there wouldn’t be people all the place noticing the same thing, across THREE different platforms. Evidenced more by the fact that the PC guys can remove the source of the problem through config files.

        I thought the definition of a fanboy was defending something you own/like despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary… hmmm.

        BTW: Watch a pro racing site give it a go on the PS3. Despite having a very expensive wheel tweaking the crap out of their settings it’s still blatantly obvious to see large amounts of lag as he inputs large steering corrections. You see him move, then the ingame wheel moves almost 0.5 seconds later, then the car has a cup of coffee and starts to thinking about reacting. The comments are full of people complaining how the game handles like a boat too.

        It should also prove to cc that large/sharp steering corrections ARE required when driving with a wheel (from time to time), even at high speed.

      • That’s a lot of under steering…. hmm I wonder why :)

    • Woah, that looks un-drivable!

    • Here’s the same guy doing the same thing with GT5

      It only looks a fraction better & he’s no where near ripping it out of vertical so quickly

      So, ummm what does it show?

  4. A slider option would be welcome, hope it’s available soon.
    Some good detective work there nofi.

  5. Wondering whether to trade in GT5 to get this. Never usually trade in games but I have spent too much on games lately so that would be the only way. This does look fun.

  6. It was never going to stop me picking this up,my skills are bad so I would never notice.

  7. I need to find other TSA-ers who have Shift 2 on PC, as I have no Autolog friends! :-(
    (Maybe I should have bought it for PS3…)

  8. I played Shift2 for the first time today and found the control of the cars was fine. It took a while to fine tune the settings but there seems to be very little lag.

  9. I’m confused by these articles. Does input lag make the game difficult to drive, whereas dampening lag means it’s brilliant?

  10. I got the game yesterday on my ps3, all I’m gonna say is that it is SHOCKING.
    There’s no connection between the car chassis and the tyres. You don’t even know where the the tyres are pointing when turning in to a corner. In the words of jezza “the brakes are like milk bottle caps”.
    Terrible game. I’d say people should steer clear of this game!

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