Tomorrow it's finally time for Playground Games' critically acclaimed Forza Horizon 5 to roll out and ahead of that we have put together a small handy guide to get you going.
Playground Games' wonderful Forza Horizon 5 will be released for everyone tomorrow, including Xbox Game Pass subscribers. For those who have played previous games in the series, there's probably no need for a detailed introduction to what to expect or how to get started. If you're brand new, however, it might be hard to know where your wheels should roll first. The map of Mexico is very large (50% larger than England/Scotland in Forza Horizon 4) with lots of different activities and opportunities to explore. Here are five things to get you started in the best possible way.
Smash any bonus signs you see
All around the map there will be two types of signs to smash, one type will give you XP and the other will make it cheaper to use fast travel. Both of these are obviously very good bonuses considering you only have to run through a sign. Some are very easy to find on the side of the road and at the same time they leave an icon on your mini-map so you can see that there is a sign nearby. The easiest signs give you 1000 XP while there are also those that'll award you 3000 and 5000 XP. The ones worth the most points can be very hard to find and can be in the middle of nowhere without you seeing it on the map or on top of rooftops where you have to find a suitable jump. Bonus XP is always welcome as each new level lets you spin a wheel and win prizes, from new cars to money to clothes. The second sign type is a Fast Travel sign (more on Fast Travel in another section below). The more of these you smash, the cheaper Fast Travel will be. There are a total of 250 signs to find, so get out there exploring and smash some signs!
Spread out your Accolade points on different race types
Along the way, you'll unlock something called Accolades. You unlock these by completing side quests and other things like running a race for the first time or collecting a certain number of cars. After collecting enough Accolade points, you'll be able to unlock the next part of the story. There are six different festivals to invest in. These are Horizon Festival Mexico, Horizon Apex, Wild, Baja, Rush and Street Scene. All have three or four parts to unlock, which include side stories. It can be tempting to finish one of the festivals before moving onto the next. Don't. Instead, unlock festival after festival and build from there. After all, by unlocking a festival, you also unlock a new type of competition. For example, if you ignore Horizon Wild, you won't be able to compete in the Cross Country events. To get the most out of the game, you should have as much choice as possible, and you'll get that by spreading out your Accolade points.
Buy new houses as soon as possible - especially Buenas Vistas
This may seem like a completely unnecessary thing to do. Why spend money on houses, which can't be used anyway, when you can buy great new cars? In fact, you should actually spend your money on houses and preferably as soon as possible. Cars will unlock in other ways regardless. Buying a house actually brings nice bonuses. It could be getting a spin on the wheel to get cars or money, and it could also be a rumour about a car in a barn (you can find old junk in barns in various places on the map, which can be restored to glory). Perhaps the most important house of the seven different ones, however, is Buenas Vistas in the southwest. Your previously purchased houses have been the only places on the map you've been able to Fast Travel to, but by purchasing Buenas Vistas you unlock the ability to Fast Travel anywhere on the map. Any route. Using Fast Travel in a driving game may sound like swearing in church, but later in the game when you want to get somewhere fast, it's a convenient way to get there as Mexico is huge. You still have to pay each time you use the feature, but by running over the bonus signs I wrote about above, it gets cheaper and cheaper, and once they're all smashed, you won't have to pay a single penny.
Don't be afraid to drive online
The Forza Horizon series has a very fun online component. There are of course regular races to compete in, but the two most fun parts are probably the Playground Games where you compete alone or in teams in mini-games. There are games like Flag Rush where one team picks up a flag on one side of the map and then tries to run it into a target area on the other side of the map. The defending team needs to run into a car from the attacking team for the flag to be lost and they have to drive back to get a new one. There's also Infected where one team are zombies and the other team are survivors. The survivors try to stay away, and the zombie team tries to infect the other team by running into them. There are more mini-games too to explore. Another game mode is The Eliminator Battle Royale which works like other types of games in the same genre; basically survive on an ever-shrinking playing field. It can be scary to head online in a game you're a total newcomer to, but this game is built to be fun for everyone without feeling any stress or pressure over rankings and stuff like that. There are also even more things to do online than those mentioned, so get out there and have fun.
Fastest car doesn't always mean best car
It may look like an easy choice. One car has much better acceleration and speed than the other cars I can choose from for this race. But is the fastest car always the best? The answer is no. There are many different things to look at when choosing your car for a race, and you'll probably find a favourite for all types of races pretty quickly. If you're running a cross country race, it's foolish to throw away your chances with a car like the McLaren Senna, which is breathtakingly fast, but not at all capable of driving in the wilderness. Instead, choose a car that has a high off-road rating and possibly good braking and handling rating. If, on the other hand, you are racing on fine tarmac roads, the McLaren Senna is an excellent choice. The game helps you here as before each race you are given a section with recommended cars. It's then up to you to choose whether to use one of them or be brave with something else.