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Forza 7 beginners guide: Rule the road (and earn fancy cars early!)

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Forze 7 Beginner's Guide Image used with permission by copyright holder
It’s a new year, and that means we get

another new Forza

(this time on both Xbox One and PC). Forza Motorsport 7 is a great racer so far, adding plenty of new features that warrant a return to the world of motorsports. Some changes to the way it handles in-game currency and microtransactions might leave you confused about how to pull in cash quickly and buy the cars you want to drive, however. Fear not. We put plenty of time into just about every facet of the game, and our Forza 7 Beginner’s Guide will give you tips to win races and build up your car collection fast.

Get your first luxury car for free

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To start with, Forza 7 gives you one chance to get a slick, brand-new car for free. When you start up the game and finish your first few tutorial races, you are given the chance to select one major race series that you want to compete in. The game will start you with hatchbacks. Now, we love the Ford Fiesta as much as anyone, but if you’re looking for something a bit weirder or a bit more… well … awesome, you can pick a different race set.

We went with “Rise of the Supercar” because it gave us access to the McClaren F1, the Ferrari F40 and F50, Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, and the classic Lamborghini Diablo. Some of these cars top over a million credits — which can be more than 10 hours’ worth of play — but not if you get them right at the start. You will lose your chance for a free Golf GTI, but we think it is worth it.

Other options include off-road buggies and “Open Wheel Legends,” which is marketing-speak for Grand Prix racers from the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, if you’re already beyond this point, there is no going back. Think of it like picking your starter Pokémon. But instead of a cute critter that shoots lightning bolts from its cheeks, you get a multi-million dollar machine.

Use mods wisely

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The major thing to cover is a holdover from Forza 6 — race mods. Mods are cards you collect — usually from loot crates — which can be used to modify the conditions of a race. Some will alter basic game settings, like where your camera is positioned. Others simply challenge you to take a couple more risks or reward you for having a commanding lead over the other competitors.

If you want to really stack the deck in your favor, you can match the mods to the track. Some, like those that require you to stay on track the whole race. Maps like Rio de Janeiro are basically impossible to slip off of because the track is narrow and urban (as opposed to some of the bigger, more rural test tracks). As long as you do well that race, you can easily double or even quadruple your winnings.

Whichever way you go, it’s worth looking at a race’s stats — the length, track map, etc. — to get an idea of which mods you want to spend your cards on. If you don’t manage to finish or you fail to complete the conditions, the cards don’t go away. However, if you choose to equip them (and you can bring up to three) for an easier or relatively shorter race, you might get the mileage out of them. And make no mistake, these are a limited resource. Basic mod crates sell for cheap in the in-game store, but some go for more than $200,000. Often the mods you get from these boxes won’t make it worth the cost, unless you take extra steps to maximize their value.

Make races longer whenever you can

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New to Forza 7 is the opportunity to make races dramatically longer. This is here a couple reasons. For one, most actual, real-world races don’t just run a few laps. It would be pretty boring to get thousands out to Le Mans or Suzuka only to have them hang out for all of 10 minutes. Two, there are a couple of longer races in Forza, running over 100 miles by default. You won’t be able to use mods for these, but given that you could be sitting there, digitally driving for hours on end, Forza wants to make sure you’re ready for it.

To do this, go into the “assists” menu during race setup and then arrow down to the bottom to select race length. A “long” race doubles the race length (at a minimum), while “extra-long” more than triples it. The exact bump varies race-to-race, but it is dramatic. You can use this, plus some of your nicer mods to really jack up how much you can earn from a race. Some mods will grant you upwards of 80 percent bonuses. And they stack. Each race’s rewards scale with distance, primarily. So if you want to pull in a lot of money with relatively little time investment, load up on your favorite add-ons and go for the longest race you can.

Unfortunately, while you can extend the basic endurance races, Forza does not allow you to use mods for them. So, while they will definitely net you some sizable rewards on their own, if you want to maximize efficacy, just tinker with what you have by default.

One final note on that, though: If you’re likely to get bored, you may want to mess with some of the assist options, as well. Longer races are a lot more forgiving, because you have plenty of time to make up for a mistake, plus, many mods give big benefits for being in third or fifth. So if you’re thinking about driving for 30 minutes or more in one go is a bit dry, challenge yourself by taking away some of the assists you normally use and spend that time getting a bit better.

Boost your collector tier first

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One of the other changes is the new “collector tier” system, which locks off all but the most basic cars right off the bat (your free first auto excluded, of course). You boost your collector rating simply by buying cars. Each car has a value that is often (but not always) based on how much you pay for the car. You can sell vehicles immediately and keep whatever points you gained toward the next level, but you have to own it at some point.

Boosting your rating as fast as you can will help you earn more cash after each race, get access to better cars, etc. It’s essential and also really easy in the early stages. After each race, you get a bit of experience that gradually goes toward your “driver level,” a separate rating that roughly gauges experience with the game. Many times when you ding, you get the chance to get a car that is either free, or drastically cheaper than normal, but often with the same collector score bonus. Take advantage of these when you can, and you should be able to hit level 5 — which unlocks all the good stuff — well before you are done with the game.

Then, because rewards scale with your collector level, you will be able to make the most of those bonuses for the rest of the game. Combine this with intelligent mod use and lengthening races and you can make an embarrassing amount of cash in very, very short order. Especially because longer races also give you more experience points. That, in turn, means more levels, which means more rewards that will be boosted thanks to your higher collector tier.

Create tunes and designs

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This last tip will be for the folks that don’t want to play a ton all at once just to have more in-game dollars. If you only play a little each day, then you probably want to spend some time tinkering with tunes and making paint jobs for popular cars.

After a certain number of uses, you start seeing payouts that will increase the more your designs and setups are used. You will see these each time you start the game in the “message center.” You should also check there each day as your Drivatar will be constantly appearing in others’ games and earning you cash, and this is where you’ll collect.

You won’t, however, make anything extra if you don’t cross a threshold of downloads for your designs. What that exact figure is, Forza doesn’t say, but it’s not too high. We set up simple paint jobs for the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, for instance, that used a black-and-red color scheme. Given that the car is on the box, brand new, and from a major name, we saw use from other players rise pretty quick. Plus, the fact that we went with a neutral scheme that many people will dig on a sports car meant that we just had to sit back and collect our daily rewards.

There is no limit, really, to how many cars you can do this with. You just need to own it, and then you can make whatever design you want and upload it. If it is popular, you will make bank. Obviously, not too many people will be able to do this, but if you really want to make a lot of money, seeking out the most popular cars (probably any Ferrari or Lambo, honestly) and making simple designs and tuning setups for each should pull in a good chunk of cash in short order.

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