Forza Horizon 5, the latest open-world arcade racer from Playground Games, jets players off to Mexico in the most ambitious undertaking that the series has ever seen. While many elements may feel familiar, there are some new additions to the game that improve and streamline headaches from the past. With the game fresh on release, here are 10 handy tips and tricks in this guide to get you started on your Forza Horizon 5 journey.
As a quick side note, your choice of starter car isn’t going to make a major impact in how you progress as they’re all cool and viable to begin with. We imagine many might opt for the Toyota Supra 2020, though. It’s pretty cool.
Don’t Worry About Cash
When we all start out on Forza Horizon 5, we’ll only have some loose change to our name. While cash (or Credits in-game) may seem important, the rate and quantity in which you can earn Credits becomes plentiful as the game progresses. Winning races affords you a nice chunk of Credits, but Wheelspins in Forza Horizon 5 are more frequent and far more forgiving in assuring you hit big Credit rewards. Despite being strapped of cash in the initial stages of the game, you simply have to win a few races and gather those Wheelspins. You’ll be earning Credits in no time, and it’s rather simple to build it all up again.
Drive With Grace and Grit
Forza Horizon 5 (like previous entries in the series) rewards players who drive either recklessly or professionally. Almost everything you do on or off the road racks up XP. More importantly, you can earn individual points to pour into each car that unlocks new rewards like Wheelspins, upgrades and more. This requires you to at least spend some time playing around with a lot of cars in your garage, but the game always rewards you for driving the way you want.
Hit Those XP/Fast Travel Boards
Scattered around Mexico are purple XP or fast travel boards. While they may seem inconsequential, they eventually build up and offer cool pay-offs later down the line. For example, smashing a fast travel board decreases the amount of Credits needed to fast travel (which is important if you’re visiting your home frequently). Smashing all fast travel boards equals free fast travel. Likewise, smashing XP boards gives you additional XP that you can use to level yourself up – and with a free Wheelspin every time you level up, it’s worth going out of your way to find.
Manage Your Activities
Unlike previous entries, Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t dump race types and icons on the map all at once. Instead, you can choose to unlock each race category (Road Races, Street Races, Dirt Races, Cross Country, etc.) at your own pace once you hit certain thresholds during the campaign. You can just opt to unlock everything from the get-go, but I took my time completing all the events in one race category at a time before dropping more race types on the map. It’s a simple and streamlined way to progress and better manage your activities in the world while also avoiding an imposingly cluttered map.
Tune Your Own Cars
Admittedly, this was the first time in a Forza Horizon game where I spent time tuning my own cars as opposed to using pre-made tunes and upgrades from other players online. Not only does it (often) work out cheaper in the long run, but thanks to Forza Horizon 5‘s simplified and easily digestible performance upgrade paths, you can fine-tune each component of your car to build it to your playstyle. Additionally, if you want to resell your tuned car, it’s worth a little more cash on the Auction House. Speaking of which…
Visit The Auction House
The Auction House has become a fan-favourite place for aspiring entrepreneurs to sell off their creations or excess vehicles. Best of all, if you’re smart enough, you can probably pick up cars at a much cheaper price point than what the game offers. Of course, this involves getting into bidding wars with other players, but coming out victorious with a car that cost you half the price than the game’s shop is so satisfying. Make sure you visit the Auction House frequently if you’re looking for a bargain or if you want to sell off your own cars to build up Credits.
Use The Recommended Cars
One new feature introduced in Forza Horizon 5 is Recommended vehicle selections before each race. The game offers a certain amount of recommended cars from your garage for races – and for a very good reason. As tempting as it would be to zip through all road races in your Lamborghini Centenario, which you can still do, the game cleverly calculates the track’s layout (taking into account tight turns and straights) and pairs you with the right car for the job. You can choose to ignore it completely and just stick to your favourite vehicles, but more often than not, I found using the game’s recommended selections to make for an easier time.
Buy Homes (and Bonus Rewards)
Like previous Forza Horizon games, players have a wide selection of homes to purchase across Mexico. Each home purchased often comes with bonus rewards too such as Wheelspins, extra Credits and more. Some even give you free cars! As nice as that little desert shack under the volcano is, don’t limit yourself to real estate. If you got the cash for it, make sure you buy as many homes as possible. Apart from the bonus rewards, they also give you handy fast travel points around the map.
Complete Seasonal Challenges
Forza Horizon 5 is constantly rotating daily, weekly and seasonal challenges online. Some are as simple as taking part in a race, while others require players to earn XP or pull off daring stunts in a limited time. They often reward you with new vehicles, customization options, extra Credits or level ups. The game will always update you on the current challenges at any given time as soon as you log in, and you don’t even have to pay too much attention to them as some can be completed while casually cruising the world.
The Eliminator is Fun and Rewarding
As soon as Mexico’s map opens up to you, you’ll immediately notice The Eliminator pop up. First introduced in Forza Horizon 4, this battle royale mode pits hundreds of players against each other as a “storm” closes in on you. You can earn small and big rewards by simply taking part in The Eliminator, picking up supply drops or competing for the last car standing. It’s still an extremely fun mode that has plenty of neat rewards, so don’t miss out on it.