Given how large Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico is and how packed it is with things to do, it goes without saying that players are going to be spending a lot of time in Playground Games’ newest open world racer. Soon, it’ll be in the hands of the masses, and ahead of that, here, we’ve prepared a handy list of beginners tips and tricks that you should keep in mind as you cruise through Mexico.
STICKING TO THE LINES
Forza Horizon 5, like its predecessors, is a much more accessible and easy-going racing experience than its simulation-focused Forza Motorsport counterparts. Even so, it does require skill and precision. Rather than bashing through obstacles and opponents, you’re asked to stick to your lines and follow the course as you race to the finish line- even though the game isn’t too strict about that. Veering slightly off course or taking shortcuts or ramming into fences or bushes might slow you down, but other than that, you’re not going to be penalized for it. Of course, sometimes doing that can mean you’ll miss your checkpoint, but thanks to the handy rewind function, your mistakes can always be easily corrected.
Though it does focus a great deal more on arcadey racing than Forza Motorsport games, Forza Horizon 5, like its predecessors, doesn’t go all-in on that particular style either. For instance, taking long or high jumps off of ramps in the middle of races isn’t exactly advisable. They look really cool, of course, and you get skill points for making those jumps, but when you land, you lose a lot of speed, which is the last thing you want in a race Obviously, avoiding jumps isn’t always possible – a lot of the times they’re built into the design of the courses themselves – but if it is possible, you should try and do so.
Whether you’re participating in events or simply aimlessly driving about the open world, pulling off tricks like drifts or jumps or near misses or what have you rewards you with skill points, which in turn are needed to level up and gain skill points. Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t emphasize this aspect of progression a great deal, which means you’re not going to be left behind if you’re not exactly the kind of player that likes pulling off tricks- but if you are, chaining together tricks can be very useful. The more tricks you chain together, the higher your multiplier goes, and within seconds, if you’ve chained enough skills together, you’re going to be looking at a pretty healthy payout of points.
Skills and XP contribute to you leveling up, and the points you unlock from that can be used to further improve your vehicles’ ability to net more skill points. While not crucial to the experience (in fact, it’s entirely skippable if you want), a lot of these upgrades can be pretty useful. If you’re the sort of player that consistently pulls of tight near misses, for instance, you can get an upgrade that boosts your near miss points, while if you’re more fond of pulling off air skills, you can invest in that instead. One of the most useful unlocks lets you crash twice before losing your skill chain instead of just once, which is the default, but these tend to be pretty costly for each vehicle, so if you do want these upgrades, you’re going to have to save up for them.
EXPERIMENTING WITH VEHICLES
Forza Horizon 5 encourages you to experiment with a variety of different vehicles, of which it has literally hundreds across a number of different classes, categories, and eras. You’re going to be unlocking vehicles at a pretty regular clip, and given how many different specialized events and activities can be found throughout the world that each require different kinds of vehicles, it’s never a good idea to focus too much on just one. Of course, investing in a single vehicle per class is the smart move, but you do need to have a diverse garage with viable options across different categories, so make sure you keep trying out any new vehicles you unlock that catch your eye. Customizing the ones you like and improving them with upgrades is an important part of Forza Horizon 5’s gameplay loop.
Customizing vehicles, buying houses, purchasing cosmetics, and other activities in Forza Horizon 5 requires money (or credits, as the game calls them), and while the game thankfully isn’t awfully stringent with how much money it hands to the player (and how frequently it does it), there are ways to boost your payouts if you’re looking to do that. The easiest way to do that is by increasing the difficulty of races. Even on the lowest difficulty level you get a 10% bonus on your payout upon finishing a race, while on the harder difficulties, that payout increases progressively. Meanwhile, the auction house is also a viable alternative for making a quick buck, so if there are vehicles in your garage that you know you’re not going to use, don’t hoard them.
The Barn Finds mechanic returns in Forza Horizon 5, and just as it was in the previous game, they’re solid activities here that shouldn’t be missed. One of the reasons for that is getting to learn more about Mexico’s car culture, but of course, the fact that each of these rewards you with a classic car to add to your garage is the biggest bonus here. Once you’ve unlocked a Barn Find, a timer will begin counting down to when that vehicle is restored and ready to be driven, and as soon as that’s done, it gets added to your roster of cars.
Houses, too, are a returning feature in Forza Horizon 5. Scattered throughout Mexico are various properties that you can purchase, one of which can be set as your active house at any given time. A lot of these can be pretty expensive, of course, but making sure that you’ve purchased every available house on the map is something that you should be working towards nonetheless. Other than the fact that it’ll contribute to your completion of the game, each house you purchased also comes with a unique perk, from rewarding you with wheelspins to unlocking new cars, so tracking down these properties and claiming them for yourself is always a good idea.
KEEP CHECKING WHEELSPINS
This is something that most Forza Horizon players won’t needto be told, but if you’re a newcomer, it’s worth keeping in mind. Forza Horizon 5 regularly awards players wheelspins and super wheelspins, with their randomized pool of rewards including everything from credits and cosmetics to emotes and new cars. Wheelspins can be earned in several different ways and you rack them up pretty quickly, so make sure you regularly go into the menu and use up any wheelspins you might have earned.
Smashing through boards is a time-honoured tradition in open world racers, and Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t buck the trend. Like its predecessors, the game’s open world has several hundred small blue boards scattered everywhere, most of which grant free XP points, and some of which reduce the cost of fast traveling. Anytime you see one, make sure you smash it. A lot of the times you won’t see one around you though, even though the map will tell you you’re right on top of one, which means it’s time to go hunting under bridges or inside large pipes or behind sheds and houses or what have you.