7 things I wish I knew before starting ‘Forza Horizon 5’
Forza Horizon 5 is about to roll onto Xbox Game Pass, and some players with fancier editions have already been making their way across Mexico in some of the world’s fastest cars.
While sharing plenty in common with Forza Horizon 4, Forza Horizon 5 introduces some new elements to the formula that new and returning players may miss if they’re too focused on launching a Lamborghini off the side of a cliff.
So we’ve put together a few of the things players shouldn’t miss if they want to get the most out of their Mexican vacation while seeing all the excellent game has to offer.
Bump up the tunes
Music is an incredibly important part of the driving experience. Some of the greatest racing games of all time have been elevated by their amazing soundtracks. ‘Riders On The Storm’ from Need For Speed Underground 2, ‘Girlfriend’ from Burnout Paradise, the list is endless. While Forza Horizon 5 features some great music, and a good variety of radio stations, keep an ear out for special skill songs that will make your journey a lot easier.
These songs allow our skill multiplier to go from a cap of 5X to a cap of 10X, doubling the amount of XP you’ll earn from any skill chain. These songs usually last around three minutes, so if you’re able to hold a chain for that entire time, you could easily rack up millions of XP in a single run. Also, if you’re in the middle of a chain and these songs start, as indicated by a yellow countdown in the middle of the screen, your current combo will carry over into the skill song period, so it’s always worth driving with style when you can.
All roads lead to this
Forza Horizon 5 lets you pursue several different disciplines in the world of driving in order to gain notoriety, and put on the greatest Horizon Festival performance the world has ever seen. These include things like cross-country races, street races and stunts. If you’re having trouble finding the type of activity you’re doing, it may be because you’ve not completed the expedition that opens that career path.
When you earn a new chapter in the Horizon storyline, you’ll be offered to choose a new main activity you’d like to unlock. Unlocking these, and completing the first expedition that will see you drive towards the new festival site will unlock the events around the map. Wondering why there are plenty of lovely cliffs to jump off of and no ramps? Well, you need to complete the stunt expedition first, then the world will be littered with ways for you to turn your multi-million-pound car into scrap metal.
The fast travel house
Strictly speaking, considering you’re driving around hyper-cars, any travel in Forza Horizon is fast, but if that’s not good enough for you, and you want the ability to warp to literally anywhere on the map, then there’s a way to do so, that might not be obvious at first.
In order to unlock fast travel, players must purchase the Buenas Vistas house in the far west of the map. It costs 2,000,000 credits but unlocking it means that travelling around the map to complete smaller challenges becomes a breeze. Also, due to the massive size of the game’s map, if you’ve only got a small amount of time on your hands, this is perfect for the player who just wants to get in, do a race, then get out, without having to commute.
If you love racing games, but your eyes begin to glaze over the second the tuning menu pops up, you’re not alone. The options seem endless, and while it’s great for players that love that sort of thing, if you’ve not got a degree in car alchemy, it can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s a great thing that Forza Horizon 5 allows those much more mechanically inclined folks to design custom tuning setups for every car in the game, and share them with players around the world. Just head into the tuning menu and look for the setup that suits you best. This is especially handy for some of the trickier stunt jumps, as turning almost any car into a Concorde with wheels is very helpful in your pursuit of flinging yourself 600M across the Mexican countryside.
Check your accolades
In Forza Horizon 5, you’re constantly achieving something. The game’s accolade system features hundreds of challenges that you’ll complete naturally, unlocking things like car horns, and even new cars. However, it’s not always extremely clear when you’ve unlocked something, or if you’re really close to a goal you can work towards.
Heading into the menu will show you a full list of the challenges, and the criteria to unlock them. You can also redeem your rewards here, and watch the cars, horns and over goodies roll in. The best part is, every time you check it, you’ll almost certainly have unlocked something you weren’t even working towards, and you’ll have something new to play with. It’s an incredibly rewarding system.
Rewind those stunt jumps
If you’re like us, you love stunt jumps. In a game that’s mostly about racing with 4 wheels firmly planted to the earth, there’s something liberating about seeing these absolute beasts of machinery fly through the air as if doing this in real life wouldn’t compress them to the size of a can of tuna.
But if you’re ticking all of those jumps off your list, it can sometimes be frustrating if you just miss the 3-star target, to have to drive all the way back up the hill and try again. You could fast travel if you’ve taken our earlier advice and bought the fast travel house, but why bother when the game provides you with an even handier way to reset your run.
If you find yourself less than gracefully smashing into the ground, then just hit Y and see your car reverse through the air with the greatest of ease, right back to where you started your jump. This may seem obvious to some, but when we realised we could do it for stunt jumps, and not just turns we’d taken horribly, it made the process of ticking off those final jumps much easier.
Turn up the radio
It’s not just banging tunes and extra skill score that make it worth your while listening to the radio. Between the songs, the various DJs will give you hints at secret barn finds, where to go next and they’ll also comment on your totally radical driving skills.
While the dialogue does occasionally air on the side of cheesy, it’s actually pretty helpful, as it’ll trigger a barn find reminder when you’re in the general area. These barns house some of the best cars in the game, so it’s well worth tracking them down, if you can find them that is.
Forza Horizon is out now for those with the premium edition. It releases for everyone on November 9.