Forza Horizon 4 is more of an Arcade-sim, much like the Gran Turismo Franchise, rather than a full-blown simulator like Assetto Corsa, RFactor, iRacing, etc.
To be fair, driving in Forza Horizon 4 is much easier, technically speaking, than driving on a more serious racing simulator. However, this doesn’t mean that the car handling characteristics in Forza Horizon 4 make driving feel like you’re a train on rails. To some extent, some basic racing techniques will have to be employed to get the best results.
With this in mind, we will show you a few ways on how you can drive faster in Forza Horizon 4 regardless of the type of car you plan to use.
Your tires can only do so much at once.
Think of it this way: Tires only have 100% grip at any given time. When accelerating, you take away, let’s say, 20% of the total grip. This leaves you with only 80% grip capacity that you can use for something else along with accelerating.
We are sure you have been in a situation where, while accelerating as hard as you can, you decided to turn sharply for some reason. You might already know that your car, in this situation, will not be able to turn as quickly as you wanted it. Why is that?
That is because you have used up all of the available grips of your tires for accelerating, leaving nothing for turning.
This phenomenon is more observable when you decide to turn your car as hard as you can while going straight at 20 miles per hour. Your car will feel responsive to the input and will turn quickly towards the direction you want it to go. The faster your car is going in a straight line, the less responsive the car will be when turning.
The same theory can be applied when braking.
Keep this in mind whenever you’re out racing in the Horizon. Your tires are the only things that make contact between your car and the road.
Brake in a straight line
As mentioned in the tires discussion section above, we know that our tires can only do so much at any given time. In terms of braking, the same theory for accelerating can be applied. Braking at 100% in a straight line gives the tires and brakes the best chance of slowing down as quickly as possible.
Any new input you apply while braking, say turning left a little, will take away from the 100% braking capability of the tires. This means that if at a distance of 100 meters you can stop in two seconds while braking in a straight line, doing the same while introducing some other type of load on the tires will increase that time to four seconds.
With this in mind, it is best to brake in a straight line as much as possible. We say as much as possible because there will be situations where braking in a straight line won’t be an option.
Let’s move on to the cornering technique.
Out-in-out, generally speaking, is the most commonly used technique when driving fast, both on track and on the road. In Forza Horizon 4, this is still a very applicable technique since, as we mentioned, car physics is still pretty much at play in Forza Horizon 4.
Taking the wrong “racing line” in Forza Horizon 4 can cause your car to go off the optimal direction for the succeeding turns. This slows your overall speed down, and can even cause you to crash in a tree or fall off a cliff.
The safest and fastest way of attacking corners and turns in Forza Horizon 4 is by utilizing the Out-in-out concept.
Out-in-out in Forza Horizon 4 means that your car will be positioned towards the “outside” of the road before a turn, and will then proceed to hug the middle of the corner otherwise known as the Apex. The whole process is then finished off by exiting the corner towards the “outside of the road” once again.
Perhaps this illustration can help you understand better:
As you can see, the red line starts at the outermost part of the turn (braking straight), comes closer to the middle (turning. Accelerator and brakes OFF), and then finishes off towards the outside once again. (Full throttle. Max Power)
If you fully understand how the tires work, you will realize that out-in-out makes the most sense because this method basically slices and distributes 100% of the tire’s capacity into sections of the turn.
Additionally, as a rule of thumb, the straighter the line you take to clear a corner, the more speed you can carry through the said corner. This is because, generally, a straighter steering angle gives the car more tire grip for accelerating than if it was taking a sharper angle to clear a corner.
With this in mind, “Out-in-out” is a technique that you can use to take advantage of your car’s maximum braking performance, turning ability, and straight-line speed.
Slow in, Fast out.
Forza Horizon 4 features public roads rather than the usual track loop that many simulator players are used to. Driving in Forza Horizon 4 is much easier, technically speaking, than racing on a more serious driving simulator. However, players from more serious driving simulators can still apply some of the real-world driving techniques in a sim-cade game like Forza Horizon 4.
One of these techniques is the “Slow in, fast out” technique. In simple terms, this technique requires that drivers slow down adequately before a sharp turn to take advantage of the straight that follows.
Inexperienced players might think that “slowing down” is counter-intuitive in a game that rewards speed. However, being a sim-cade game, Forza Horizon 4 still employs car and road physics to some extent.
For example, turning while accelerating and turning while braking introduces “understeer,” or the inability of the car to turn because the tire is overloaded from two different inputs at the same time – Acceleration + Turning and Braking +Turning.
Slow in, Fast out, helps your car accelerate sooner and longer because you have positioned your car up to exit the corner in such a way that more tire grip can be used to unleash all of its power down in a straight line.
Forza Horizon 4 Driving Line
More experienced video game drivers tend to turn the Driving Line Assist off right from the start. This is because they believe that they already have a good grasp of what it takes to set a fast lap around a track.
However, for less experienced players, the Driving Line Assist is a great way of learning when, where, and how to brake, turn, and accelerate. There is no shame in turning on the Driving Line for a few days while you get a feel for how the racing line works in Forza Horizon 4. Everything else mentioned above will make more sense when the Driving Line is switched on. Go on, try it!
The Driving Line shows players the fastest way around the track (according to the devs). However, these lines cannot be utilized 100% of the time, because most of the race events in Forza Horizon 4 pits you against multiple other cars as well.
The Driving Line Assist is turned on by default right from the start of the game. However, if one day you decide that it has become more of a distraction rather than a convenience, you can turn it off by:
- Go to the Main Menu by pressing ESC on your keyboard:
2. Click on Settings:
3. Click on the Difficulty Bonus tile:
4. In the menu, configure your Driving Line to Full, Braking Only, or OFF:
Throughout the years, some more serious racing simulator drivers have scoffed at the realism that the Gran Turismo or Forza franchise offer.
While it may be true that the physics in sim-cade games are not quite up to par with real-life or even the more serious racing simulator offerings, Forza Horizon 4 provides a challenging, fun, and relatively realistic racing package that is approachable and forgiving for more casual racing game fans.
This point is further driven home by the fact that real-life theories regarding tire capability, and racing line techniques are even a point of discussion in a sim-cade game like Forza Horizon 4. The Forza Franchise has become a great racing franchise over the years.
With that said, we hope that gaining a better understanding of these concepts can help you drive faster and smoother in Forza Horizon 4.