Microsoft Studios’ racing tour de force is finally available on Xbox Game Pass and Steam. Forza Horizon 5 is Playground Games’ masterpiece so far, widely acclaimed by critics and fans alike. This might be the best racing title gaming has ever seen. An immediate success upon release with over 4.5 million players worldwide across platforms, the game has all the accolades to back the hype up.
The Horizon series is vastly different from the Motorsport series developed by Microsoft. While the former is an open-world title, the latter happens within closed circuits. Both series also differentiate themselves for the driving styles and realism the simulation offers. Horizon is reminiscent of arcade titles such as Need For Speed, Burnout, and Midnight Club. In contrast, the Motorsport series is focused on realism, to the likes of Gran Turismo and Project Cars.
Forza Horizon’s arcadey style doesn’t mean it is a superficial or straightforward game; in fact, it offers insane amounts of customizations that go down to the technical level of actually tuning a car. Driving can also be made more realistic for the hardcore fans through the game’s settings, which need to be applauded for its accessibility and willingness to make this a game for everyone. To help you navigate this massive game, we have crafted a list of tips & tricks for beginners with endless cars and content.
Explore All The Accessibility & Settings Available
This might sound extremely obvious; however, the game makes an outstanding job of providing countless accessibility options. Take some time to customize your HUD, subtitles, speed unit system, and especially your difficulty. The game has default difficulties that alter gameplay and can be customized even further; things such as manual transmission, no guiding lines, no breaking assistance are available for veterans.
As a beginner, choose a comfortable difficulty and don’t be afraid to go for the easiest one, as Forza will offer to bump the difficulty up if you are winning races convincingly. You should feel free to keep your difficulty as comfortable as possible. The only real changes are the credits you receive, but you will have endless opportunities to get credits. If you feel unsafe or just want to have a blast and go as fast as you can, these settings will help a lot.
- Damage & Tire Wear – Cosmetic
Trust The Marker and Pump The Brakes
Of all the options offered, the one I cannot recommend enough for newcomers is to have the Driving Line set to “Full.” This is a visual recommendation of where and when to pump the brakes and accelerate. The line changes color from blue to red; the former means accelerate, and the latter pumps the brakes. You don’t necessarily need to follow it to the tee, but this general guide will ensure you don’t crash on important curves and moments in a race.
The Rewind Feature is Your Best Friend
Forza Horizon 5 has a returning feature called “Rewind,” which essentially allows players to go back in time and correct their latest route. Check the difficulty setting to ensure this feature is activated, and use it whenever you get too excited and forget to brake, get sideswiped by an AI drive, or when you want to improve a certain portion of your race. You can backtrack very far into the races, and rewinding correctly will help you win more races and avoid having to replay an entire event again.
Hold On To Your Credits
Cars can be extremely expensive, and Forza Horizon 5 is designed in a generous fashion regarding vehicles. As you play through events, you will acquire countless cars – some of the best vehicles in the game – for free. Newcomers will certainly get excited and focused on driving the fastest cars as soon as they can or upgrading the beginning vehicles they get, but you should hold onto your credits. Credits should be saved until you truly find a car that you are passionate about since the game adapts races to whatever car you are driving. This means if you are driving a Nissan 370Z, you won’t face McLarens or Lamborghinis.
The most expensive and rare cars can go up to 50,000,000 credits, and you will have a long grind ahead of you if you are constantly spending your credits.
Remember to Spin the Wheel
Everything you do in Forza Horizon 5 grants you experience. It doesn’t matter if you are free-roaming, racing, drifting, speeding, or chasing side quests; you’ll get tons of experience to level up. Leveling up, always provide a free Wheelspin under the “My Horizon” tab. This is a free roulette with random prizes that range from 5,000 credits all the way to legendary cars. With that being said, constantly check to see if you have any available since the prizes are well worth it.
Do Not Spend Your Skill Points
Similar to the wheel spins, there is a “Car Mastery” system in Forza. As you level up, you gain skill points to spend on cars and unlock perks. Perks can grant credits or boost your car’s overall stats and bonuses; however, points spent are locked into the vehicle. Simply put, don’t bother spending points on cars you will soon replace; just save them for the vehicles you truly love driving and will keep as go-to vehicles.
Upgrade Your Favorite Cars
Whenever you find something you enjoy driving and plan to keep around, you should go to one of your houses and upgrade the vehicle. Under the garage tab, you should select the “Auto-Upgrade” feature and let Alejandra make the adjustments necessary to improve your car and make it more competitive. Unless you are a massive car aficionado, the “Custom Upgrade” alternative will probably leave you more confused and with a worse car.
Smash and Explore
Forza Horizon 5 is a masterpiece, truly a visually stunning experience, and should be enjoyed at your own leisure. There is no need to rush into events; you should treat yourself by enjoying the beautiful Mexican landscape and awe-inspiring level design. Free roam is fun and has few challenges such as speed traps, speed zones, drift zones, danger signs, and trailblazing. As you navigate the world, make sure to partake in these challenges and smash any signs you encounter.
There are hundreds of smashable signs that might require thorough search and creativity to reach and destroy. These signs offer bonuses such as experience and Fast Travel points – fast travel will be vital if you get tired of driving across the map for events and quests – smash all of them, and you’ll get a hefty bonus.
Check Your Accolades Constantly
There are eighteen hundred accolades available in Forza Horizon 5, and while it might sound overwhelming, most of them will come naturally through exploration. Accolades are separated by events and areas and have individual goals and milestones attached to them. Every time you complete an accolade, you’ll receive “Accolade Points” to help you level up, but there are unique cars and prizes attached to specific accolades. The game does a decent job of warning you to redeem your prizes, but it is very easy to overlook them and forget to claim cool cars.
Enjoy The Game
Many new players are joining the racing genre due to the buzz and success of Forza Horizon 5, and if you are one of these new players, welcome! Racing games can be extremely competitive, online gameplay can be daunting as well, but the beauty of racing games is that you can go at your own pace. Forza Horizon 5 is a very beginner-friendly game that offers diverse ways to play, explore, and enjoy. On top of that, this is one of the prettiest games ever made, and it should be admired and marveled at.
Finally, you can dip your feet into more complex features and change settings to customize your difficulty as you improve. The learning curve is pretty manageable, and the game offers constant support so you can increment the challenge in a steady and balanced manner. Oh, and whatever you hear, remember: there’s no wrong way to play Forza Horizon 5.