Over the weekend I drove our long-term 2010.5 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT over several hundred miles of high-speed dirt roads and trails in California and Nevada. I got a good feel for the truck and what it can and can't do.
I also got to really messing with all the off-road buttons and features and came to a few conclusions. It's a pretty complicated number of modes that work (or in some cases don't work like you want) together. Not turning at least some of the babysitters off makes the Raptor extremely annoying and boring to drive in the dirt, especially at any kind of speed. You hardly get to use all 411hp if don't take at least a little responsibility for your actions. I had a pretty good time with the truck in 4x4 with the rear locker locked and the Off-Road Mode button in the center console "ON". But there were still situations where I didn't get to experience the raw violent power, mostly when I really needed it, like when I wanted to launch out of a corner sideways. The good news is you can shut off all this nonsense by pressing and holding the AdvanceTrac button until the icon blinks. With Off-Road Mode "ON" and the AdvanceTrac button fully pressed, your Raptor will drive like a bat outta hell with almost zero babysitting (there is still the off-road-calibrated ABS in place).
But, in the end it's still kinda nice to have at least some technology. It could save your butt if you blast into a corner a little too hot. And to be honest, having that kind of safety net may make you push a little harder and faster. I think maybe the best setting to really learn to push the truck safely is locker "ON", Off Road Mode "ON", and AdvanceTrac partially off. Then pick if you want 4x4 or 2x4. Keep in mind the truck has plenty of power to rail corners in 4x4 and you'll be much faster in the twisties with four-wheel-drive engaged.