Forza Horizon 5: 5 Beginner Tips You Need to Know


John Paul Santiago

Writer and Storywriter

John creates game guides and covers the latest updates and developments in Valorant, Diablo Immortal, and GTA V for PlayerAssist. He is a PC gaming enthusiast with an affinity for FPS and RPG titles, but he has recently also developed a newfound appreciation for MMORPGs.


A ton of returning players from Forza Horizon 4 will expectedly make their way to the newest installment to the Forza Horizon Series. However, for players new to the Forza Horizon franchise, here are some important tips you should know before diving headfirst into Forza Horizon 5’s Mexican Paradise.

Forza Horizon 5: 5 Beginner Tips You Need to Know

The New Horizon

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Forza Horizon 5 is the newest installment to the highly acclaimed Forza Horizon series developed by Playground Games. The game has been out for a few weeks now and has gained overwhelmingly positive reviews from the gaming community since its release, proving itself by scoring an amazing Metascore of 92 on the Xbox Series X.

A staggering 3 million players were recorded on its very first day of release. Some of these players will most likely be coming from the previous Forza Horizon franchise games from multiple devices such as the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

The Forza Horizon game is set in beautiful Mexico, complete with its breathtaking scenic views and culturally rich urban jungle. The game features cars, events, and sidequests that pay homage to Mexico’s rich culture. The in-game graphics and sound quality have also improved significantly versus the previous game.

As was the culture in any Forza Horizon game, anybody can jump into Forza Horizon 5 and get straight into the action right away.

For newer players to the game, we have compiled a few useful tips and tricks to get you started on your Horizon Adventure.

5. Turn Off Unnecessary Driving Assists

Forza Horizon 5 makes it very easy for players who love cars but don’t necessarily love the act of driving in itself to enjoy what the game has to offer. Yes, these people exist, by the way.

A handful of driving assists such as steering, braking, and driving line assists are available in-game, so you can enjoy more of the car and the sceneries without having to worry too much about braking markers and driving lines, etc.

However, Forza Horizon 5 is first and foremost a driving game. To fully enjoy what the cars in-game have to offer, players will need to disable a few driving assists to gain full control of their in-game vehicles and get a good taste of the full Forza Horizon driving experience.

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The following Difficulty settings will help players get a good taste of the driving experience in Forza Horizon 5, and at the same time, make the game challenging enough to keep things interesting. Disabling some of these settings and raising the AI difficulty a little also gives players bonus in-game credits for every race. Neat!

Drivatar Difficulty: Highly Skilled

Driving Assists Preset: Custom

Braking: Anti-lock On

Steering: Standard

Traction Control: Off

Stability Control: Off

Shifting: Automatic

Driving Line: Braking Only

Damage & Tire Wear: Cosmetic

Rewind: On

Drivatars are the in-game AI opponents in Forza Horizon 5. We set them to a “Highly Skilled” setting to make races challenging but not impossible to win as a whole. This setting also gives players bonus in-game credits per win.

The rest of the settings, such as braking, steering, Traction Control, Stability Control, are turned off to give the player 100% control of the car they are currently driving.

Shifting should also be left at auto unless you have a racing wheel. Driving lines are turned on only for braking to help you slow down adequately before corners. The fastest driving lines are for the players to discover for themselves.

Damage and Tire Wear should also be turned off. Forza Horizon 5 is not a driving simulator. As such, we shouldn’t really be playing the game as if it was a more realistic simulator.

Keep rewind on so that you can cycle back to the last known good position you were in before you crashed to keep in-game progression smooth and stress-free.

4. Power is not everything

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Turbos on a GT3 RS? Get the GT2 RS instead.

Forza Horizon 5 is about racing, car culture, and, you guessed it, fast cars. However, power and speed are not the be-all-end-all of Forza Horizon 5. 

Driving in-game is beautifully balanced, as a good-handling car will most likely outrace and outpace power monsters in a technical race. Cars in-game handle as they expectedly should as well. For example, an old-school Dodge Charger will light up its rear wheels all day.

Although Forza Horizon 5 is an arcade-style driving game, the in-game physics are still good enough to keep car handling in-game honest. What we mean by this is that, for example, having a car with 1000 horsepower will not necessarily mean that you will be able to beat out more balanced cars with just 600 horsepower.

Additionally, players are encouraged to slow down and consider corner entry speed, as cars in Forza Horizon 5 will not turn into a sharp bend at 150MPH like they would in Burnout Paradise, for example.

Weight and other car parameters such as suspension also affect how cars in Forza Horizon 5 handle. This makes driving and racing in Forza Horizon 5 true-to-life even if just a little bit. We think that is an amazing thing for a racing game marketed as more of an arcade-style racing game rather than a full-blown simulator.

Power is not everything in Forza Horizon 5, although drag racing is obviously going to be a different story altogether.

3. Weather Affects Handling

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Seasons was introduced in Forza Horizon 4. Veterans of the previous game will know how the weather changes affect handling in-game. For example, Rain will obviously make your lap times slower, as the car struggles to find grip due to the slippery surface. Rain will also make the rear tires easier to slide which can help you drift low-powered vehicles with ease.

The devs expectedly added tire choices that can help you cope with the changing weather conditions in-game. Buy the different tires available in-game to help keep your car tame and controllable during the wet season. Or better yet, adjust your driving style accordingly to keep yourself competitive in wet races.

2. Rewind Your Mistakes

Forza Horizon 5 brings back the very nifty “Rewind” feature. The rewind feature basically “rewinds” your car back to a few seconds before your current position. The Rewind feature can come in very handy in situations where you find yourself in a race-losing situation due to an input mistake or a wrong judgment call.

Keep in mind, however, that in race modes such as the “Rivals” race, where players online fight for the lap time leaderboards, using the rewind function will render your current lap invalid. This is a great race mechanic which helps keep game modes such as “Rivals” races pure and competitive.

The rewind feature also bodes well with the arcade-ish nature of Forza Horizon 5. The game promotes racing for fun rather than racing for status, class, and recognition, after all.

1. Setups are not guaranteed

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Fora Horizon 5 allows players to essentially “grab” community-made car setups through the setup menu. The “Find Tuning” feature is no doubt valuable to players who do know what the individual tuning parameters work. It can also help players that do not have the time to mess around with tuning setups download and apply tuning setups that work for 80% of their intended use.

You might have come across a few YouTube videos where the content creator preaches about how good his setup is for grip driving or drifting or whatever the setup was “set up” for.

However, setups are often “personal” in nature because of how driving styles and preferences differ from one player to another. One player might welcome oversteer on his car, while another might have trouble dealing with oversteer. The more you play Forza Horizon 5, the more you start to build a car handling preference of your own.

With that said, we suggest that you keep trying out cars in their stock form and setup. It doesn’t matter if you upgrade your cars to their maximum potential, as upgrading a car just magnifies all of the innate qualities it already had in stock form. Just keep the tuning settings and setups stock since this will eventually help you build your handling preferences.

Welcome to The Horizon

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Forza Horizon 5 has everything you expect to see in a Forza Horizon game. The game features a mesmerizingly beautiful scenery set in Mexico, an iconic car collection, exhilarating exhaust note sounds, and the seemingly endless customization options that help make this game the best Horizon game ever.

The game features hundreds upon hundreds of hours of gameplay with its almost infinite collection of events and races, and that’s just the offline content we’re talking about. The online experience in Forza Horizon 5 is also a whole different experience in itself. You will find yourself cruising, drifting, and racing with your friends for hours on end in the new Horizon.

What are you waiting for? Fire up your copy of Forza Horizon 5, and treat yourself to a driving experience like no other!

Welcome to the Horizon!

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