This paper describes a novel force tracking control scheme for magnetorheological (MR) dampers. The feed forward, which is derived by a control-oriented mapping approach to reduce modelling effort of the inverse MR damper behaviour, compensates for the main steady-state nonlinearity of the MR damper force and thereby linearizes the plant. The resulting force tracking error due to model imperfections and parameter uncertainties is reduced by parallel proportional and integral feedback gains that are formulated based on the absolute values of actual MR damper force and desired control force due to the semi-active constraint of the MR damper force. The feedback is enriched by an anti-reset windup to account for MR damper current constraints and the concept of current reversal to accelerate demagnetization. The experimental validations of the force tracking control scheme on a rotational and a long-stroke MR damper demonstrate its robustness and efficacy.