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Everything we know about Forza Horizon 5

The fifth Forza Horizon game is already getting a lot of buzz and beat out serious contenders to win the top Most Anticipated Game award at E3, thanks in part to a series of stunning trailers and plenty of announcements that show Forza is giving racing gamers lots more of exactly what they want.

Forza Horizon 5 is set to release in just a few months, but for now, here’s everything we know about the game, availability, its beautiful Mexican location, and more!

Further reading

Release date and pricing

Forza Horizon 5 will be available for early access starting November 4, 2021, and the game will see its widespread release on November 9, 2021. It will be a day one launch on Game Pass, which means if you are a Game Pass subscriber, you can download and play for free.

If you are purchasing the game separately, you can pick up the standard edition for $59.99, the Deluxe edition for $79.99 (it includes a variety of extra car models), and the Premium edition for $99.99, which offers a special welcome pack, a DLC pass, and more. You can also order separate add-ons as a bundle if you prefer. Pre-orders are available here.

Platforms

Forza cars overlooking Mexican landscape.

Forza is traditionally an Xbox exclusive, and Horizon 5 is no exception: The game will be available for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and PC. It will be available on Steam, and you will be able to stream it with Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, this is one title where upgrading to the Series X could show a noticeable difference. It was created with the Xbox Series X development kit and offers 4K UHD resolution, 60 FPS at FHD, and fully enabled ray tracing while in viewing mode (not while racing) — not to mention the superior load times between races with one of the latest consoles.

Game modes

Forza Horizon is traditionally an open-world series, but there are still several game modes to choose from based on how you want to progress or what sort of racing you like best. For Horizon 5, the different modes available include:

Single-player campaign: This is a guided mode to explore all the primary locations in the game with a series of story missions and gameplay characters. The developers indicated that story missions could have different outcomes based on how races go or who you ally with.

Horizon Open: This is an open PvP mode that includes multiple PvP games including Racing, Drift, and more, and can seamlessly add you to any available game.

Horizon Tour: Horizon Tour encourages drivers to group up for a race together and continue the party by letting the group jump as a whole to the next location.

Returning racing modes with Horizon Arcade: The developers also confirmed that a variety of past game modes will be returning, although we aren’t entirely sure what they will all be yet. Since the game spans the full country of Mexico, we are likely to see modes like Cross Country Series, Street Scene, and Road Racing Series return.

Eliminator: This is a battle royale, open-world mode, and frankly we aren’t quite sure how that’s going to work yet. However, those looking for PvP action and possibly crashing into their opponents should certainly be interested.

Pinata Pop: This new game mode will scatter a drop of piñatas across the map. Players will have to pop as many as they can within the time limit and will be able to team up to maximize their scores.

Eventlab: Eventlab is a new, very promising creator mode that will allow players to create their own racing modes with specific parameters, allowing for plenty of innovation and replayability.

Car collection

Forza Horizon 5 will feature hundreds of different models, plus hundreds of visual upgrades for previously existing components, 100 new rims to experiment with, and more. Forza has promised additional information on capacity for the Garage ahead of the release date.

Character customization is also getting a number of upgrades, more customization options, and a greater range of character models, voices, and pronouns. You will be able to purchase things like clothing and colors using in-game credits.

Forza and online multiplayer

New to Horizon 5 is Forza Link, an A.I. assistant that will track your status and the status of people you meet online when playing multiplayer modes. The goal is to make linking up with other drivers easier, more related to your preferences and skill level, and generally more satisfying.

We would like to spend some time practicing in multiplayer to see if the difference is noticeable, but the optimization is exciting news. Multiplayer will also feature “Kudos” which is a social currency trade between players for “positive acts,” which can be used to unlock flairs that show what a wonderful person you are.

Location and terrain

Forza car race with air balloons and banners overhead.

Horizon 5 is all about Mexico, and maps are spread out to take advantage of Mexico’s many different types of terrain, including beaches, canyons, rainforests, cities, and even a dormant volcano. Urban areas like Guanajuato will be key maps for players to explore, and native artists contributed everything from mural art to authentic music for the experience.

Creative director Mike Brown indicated that this is the largest and most diverse Forza Horizon game so far. Weather and shifts in climate are also more dynamic than ever before, and the Forza team captured 12K-resolution recordings of the Mexican sky for 24 hours at a time to better imitate real-world lighting conditions.

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